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
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
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
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 http://api.cde.ca.gov.
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.