Brightwood School

1701 Brightwood Street, Monterey Park, CA 91754

March 2003 | January 2003 | December 2003 | November 2003

The Brighwood Bark - March 2003
Brightwood School...A Grrreat Place To Learn

A publication of the Brightwood Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association, Alhambra Council, First District of the California State PTA. Reach us on-line at [email protected].

District Looks to Cut Budget in 2003-2004

Approximately 500 parents, teachers and other Alhambra School District employees attended the Alhambra Board of Education meeting on March 4. Because of State funding cuts, the Board is studying how to cut over $7 million from the 2003-2004 District budget. The 2002-2003 budget is $151 million. The Board is considering increasing class sizes in kindergarten through 3rd grade and 9th grade English and math classes. It is also considering other cuts which would leave those class sizes at their current 20:1 student to teacher ratios. The parents and teachers who addressed the Board all pleaded that the reduced class sizes be left in place.

The Board voted to create a budget advisory committee made up of Board members, parents, teachers, and other "classified" school employees. The Board announced that on March 15 about 100 temporary and emergency permit teachers and all administrators will receive layoff notices for the 2003-2004 school year. However, final layoff and budget cut decisions are not expected until late May.

At the March 6 meeting, to cover a short-term cash flow problem, the Board voted to borrow $11 million until June 30, after expected revenues are received.

Enjoy the 8th Grade/PTA McFundraiser, March 18

By Peter Kwa, 8th Grade Parent Committee Co-President

Mark your calendar! Don't cook dinner on Tuesday, March 18, 2003. Come and dine at the McDonald's restaurant located at 950 West Floral Drive (Atlantic Square). From 6 to 9 p.m., 20 percent of all purchases will be donated to the 8th Grade Parent Committee and the PTA! Spread the word and let your friends and neighbors know.

The 8th Grade Parent Committee organizes volunteers and raises money to help pay for scholarships and educational field trips to the floating marine laboratory and CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute). Funds raised also pay for students to participate in the science and math field day at Mark Keppel High School, visit Keiro Nursing Home, prepare Thanksgiving baskets for Brightwood families, and for the year-end promotion ceremony. The 8th Grade Parent Committee will also be selling food and drinks and running auctions and drawings at Open House on April 16.

Crime Prevention Clinic and PTA Elections on March 19 at 7 p.m.

By PTA Programs Chairman Ted Esaki

Please attend our March 19 PTA Association meeting and Crime Prevention Clinic, presented by the Monterey Park Police Department. The 7 p.m. meeting will be in room P-3 (in front of the office). Two police officers will speak about the growing problem of identity theft and how to prevent it, local crime trends, how to recognize gang members, how to protect our kids from involvement with gangs, how to prevent burglaries, and general crime prevention.

We will also elect the 2003-2004 PTA officers. On February 19, the PTA Nominations Committee announced that the following Brightwood parents have accepted nomination for office: Scott Hara - President; Ted Esaki - 1st VP (Programs); Sai Dizon - 3rd VP (Hospitality); Blanca Hatem - 4th VP (Publicity); John Hatem - Recording Secretary; Yaneli Ruiz - Treasurer; Joe Leon - Financial Secretary; Susanna Louie - Auditor; Annie Wong - Historian. No one has been nominated for the positions of Executive VP and 2nd VP (Ways and Means). We are also looking for interested parents to serve as Parliamentarian and other appointed positions. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the March 19 meeting. See you there.

Thank You Donors

Brightwood alumni from the Class of 1977 gave the PTA a donation of $700. Brightwood parents Paul and Ruja Tulaphorn have given a gift of $500 to the PTA. Their children are Matthew (8th grade) and Paulina (1st grade). The PTA sincerely appreciates these generous donations, which will be used to benefit all of our children.

Students' Talents Show

By Seventh Grader Alison Cheung and PTA Publicity Chairman John Hatem

The audience was growing larger by the minute as PTA President Scott Hara announced that the Talent Show was about to begin. This was the culmination of months of auditions and rehearsals. Seventh grader and show narrator Jasmin Hernandez, the steady voice of many school events, introduced the 23 acts.

Alicia and Lucia Lui, second and fourth graders, played their piano pieces with precision. (The PTA recently paid $250 to have the piano tuned.) Eighth grader Jennifer Lee ignored an uncooperative microphone and soulfully sang "Angel of Mine". Chris Don's acoustic guitar performance was brooding and cool. Eighth grader Justine Mansala shared her beautiful voice singing "Lonestar". Sister act Joanna and Ruth Ann Chan started with dueling violin and piano, but ended in harmony. Third grader Kenny Jen's Mozart Sonata was perfect. Sixth grader Michelle Nieman's Chinese classical dance typified grace and balance. Eighth grade dancers Jessica Kwa, Jenny Taing, Seika Ota and Lauren Sakakibara drew some of the evening's loudest applause. Justine Mansala and Jenny Taing beautifully sang "When You Believe." Refreshingly different was the enchanting music sixth grader Annie Shi drew from a Chinese zither. Fourth grader Veronica Ramirez said, "I was nervous, but excited, and my feet were shaking." Veronica took us to the South Pacific with Tahitian dance and closed the show by singing "God Bless America".

Second grader Will Hatem said that he liked kindergartener Matthew Gamboa's "Star Spangled Banner" best of all. Other wonderful performances were given by Francine Ramirez, Tiare Gurrola, Mallory Chen, Christopher Chen, Mindy Xie, Donette Murray, Sabrina Gutierrez, Ashley Zuniga, Jennifer Ruiz, Robin Watanabe, Mimi Cardenas, Henry Lu, Adam Ragus, Katherine Lam, Serenity Moreno and Stephinia, Desiree, and Vanessa of the sixth grade dance group. Before the show, Henry Lu said, "I am so nervous, I can feel my heart pounding in my ears!"

Seventh grade teacher Barry Glick was the show's producer and director. Special thanks go to PTA Programs Chairman Ted Esaki and his crew of regular, loyal PTA volunteers for serving more than 200 dinners in a packed Cafetorium.

Help Foundation Provide Extras For Our Children

The Alhambra School District Foundation has asked parents (in a letter and attached envelope sent home with children this week) to contribute to its efforts to support student enrichment programs. The Foundation sponsored Brightwood's Authors Festival on March 5. Additionally, the Foundation has purchased library books for all schools; equipment and materials to support the All-City Band and visual and performing arts programs; computers and equipment to establish internet access for schools. The Foundation has also provided over $6,000 in "mini-grants" to teachers to develop or enrich classroom instruction.

Brightwood Tops API

Brightwood's 2002 Academic Performance Index (API) score is 805, one point higher than our 2001 score. Again, Brightwood's score is the highest in the Alhambra School District. Mark Keppel was the top high school in the District with a score of 726. Brightwood continues to be ranked 9 out of 10 overall (10 being best), and is ranked 7 out of 10 among schools with similar demographics.

Our API rankings are based on the results of the tests that students took in spring 2002 (the California Standards tests, the Stanford 9 and the California High School Exit Exam). Using these test scores, the state generates an API number for each school. Scores range from 200 to 1000. The goal for all schools is 800 or higher. From this API number, the state creates rankings from 1 to 10. Congratulations to our kids for all of their hard work! For more information visit

Student Reports: Seventh graders Kayla Wong, Alison Cheung and Deanna Quan have been selected as the Bark's first student reporters. Read Alison Cheung's article above and look for their articles in upcoming editions.

I can't want to say how we are grateful to plenty for your help and concern in the matter of my VA benefits and plea.

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Albertson's/Sav-on Cards: Brightwood earns cash every time you shop at Albertson's or Sav-on, but only if you show your Community Partners card. Brightwood earns about $600 a year from this simple program. There is no cost to you. To get your free card, simply email PTA Ways and Means VP Linda Roehm at [email protected].

Harvest of the Month Program: Tasting and exploring different fruits and vegetables each month encourages students to make healthy eating choices. The PTA is excited to be sponsoring this program, which brings fresh produce into our children's classrooms. March, April and May will feature pineapple, salad greens and strawberries.

Email Updates: PTA President Scott Hara periodically emails education related news articles to interested parents. If you would like to receive education news articles too, please send your request to [email protected]. The PTA only sends education-oriented emails and does not give the email lists to anyone else.

Open House Food Fair: The 8th grade class will be selling delicious food and drinks at Open House on Wednesday, April 16. There will be a live auction of beautiful cakes made by our 8th graders and a silent auction of McDonald's Happy Meal toy sets. The climax of the evening will be a raffle for great prizes.


  • March 11 Music Center Assembly, 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • March 14 Brightwood Bucks Store
  • March 14 Report Card Prep.- MINIMUM DAY
  • March 16-20 Fifth Grade Valley Forge Trip
  • March 17 Third Trimester Begins
  • March 17-21 Seventh Grade at Astro Camp
  • March 18 8th Grade McDonald's dinner fundraiser
  • March 19 PTA Association Meeting, Election, and Crime Prevention Clinic, Room P-3, 7 p.m.
  • March 20 Eighth Grade Science Fair, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • March 21 Third Grade "Ag Day LA" at Moor Field
  • March 21 Report Cards Go Home
  • March 23-28 Eighth Grade Washington, D.C. Trip
  • March 26 Seventh Graders' Night at the Opera
  • March 28 Brightwood Bucks Store
  • March 31 Spring Break - NO SCHOOL thru April 4
  • April 9 PTA Board Meeting, 7 p.m. Teachers' Lounge-All Are Welcome
  • April 11 Brightwood Bucks Store
  • April 16 Open House, PTA Association Meeting, 8th Grade food sale, auction and drawing
  • April 17 MINIMUM DAY
  • April 21 Star Testing Begins (Grades 2-8)
  • April 23 Secretary's Day
  • April 25 Brightwood Bucks Store
  • May 6 Staff Appreciation Day
  • May 7 PTA Board Meeting, 7 p.m. Teachers' Lounge-All Are Welcome
  • May 15 College Night