Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS)

Principal’s Message

We could not have asked for a better start to our school year! We have air conditioning in most classrooms and the exterior of the school was freshly painted. Our students were all in classes by 7:50 am! A huge “thank you” to our counselors, clerical staff, and administrators for ensuring that students had schedules and were ready for classes from day one. The Associated Student Body (ASB) students distributed schedules and were extremely helpful. Our enrollment is holding steady at 2260, which is our projected number for this year.

Our fall sports are underway, so please come out to support the teams. We appreciate the parent and community support for cross country, field hockey, football, women’s golf, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, and men’s water polo. Good luck to all the coaches and team members for a successful season!

Please check our website at [] for the latest news and information, as well as the school calendar. Here are a few highlights for October:

  • Thursday, Oct. 2—College Night for Seniors, 6 pm, SRHS theater;
  • Friday, Oct. 10—End of the first grading period; and,
  • Wednesday, Oct. 15—minimum day, 11:30 am dismissal; district-sponsored PSAT for all 10th graders and those 9th and 11th graders who paid by Friday, Oct. 4.

Our constant focus on our instructional program and powerful learning has paid dividends. The Common Core State Standards are being implemented in every class. Our continued success is due to a combination of a strong, dedicated, and caring teaching staff, top-performing students, and parents who make education a top priority.

We are preparing for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) visit in February where our school will be monitored and accessed for accreditation. I’ll have more information on this in the coming months. Your ongoing support of our school is deeply appreciated!

Ann Menna, SRHS Principal

Marshall Middle School

Principal Message

Dear Scripps Ranch Community,

We have begun another great school year at Thurgood Marshall Middle School. We have 1,638 students enrolled at the best middle school in the district! Our goal is to continue to provide engaging experiences and opportunities for our students to become problem solvers, critical and creative thinkers, and thoughtful productive citizens. It is through our curriculum, instructional practices, and expectations that our students achieve in all areas.

Part of our academic success is due to parent involvement. I encourage all MMS parents to monitor their student’s academic progress. Also, I recommend parents contact their student’s teachers by phone or email to inquire about their progress. We firmly believe school/home communication is critical for the success of every student. We have a faculty contact listing on our website at []—click on “Staff.”

At MMS student safety is a top priority. Please adhere to the traffic signs and personnel directing traffic in the drop-off zones. We do not allow drop-offs in the parking lot. Please drive safely into our parking queue to drop off or pick up our students safely. Please do not drop off or pick up your student at the corner of Pomerado Road and Avenue of Nations. Besides being extremely dangerous, drivers cause traffic flow issues and this area is not supervised. Please do not drop off or pick up your student at this corner.

We are very excited about the opportunities this year holds. Thank you for your continued support of our public schools.

Michelle Irwin, MMS Principal

October Events

  • Wednesday, Oct. 8—School Site Council (SSC)/Site Governance Team (SGT) meeting, 5 pm, community room;
  • Friday, Oct. 10—Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting, 9:30 am, community room; first grading period ends; and,
  • Friday, Oct. 17—Progress report distributed; picture makeup day.

Counseling Caseloads

This year we welcomed two new counselors, Paulette Blankenbeckler and Amiee McDearmon. Caseloads are:

  • Julie Becker, head counselor: assists students with the last names A–C, 549-5502;
  • Paulette Blankenbeckler: last names D–K, 549-5505;
  • Sharon Heuss: last names L–Q, 549-5501; and,
  • Amiee McDearmon: last names R–Z, 549-5504.

Progress Reports

The end of the first progress report period is Friday, Oct. 10, and progress reports will be sent home on Friday, Oct. 17. Please ask your child to see his or her progress report. If you don’t like what you see, contact the teachers to find out what your child can do to improve the grades.

Student Support Groups and Family Counseling

MMS counselors, in cooperation with the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic (ACFC)—whose intern therapists are from Alliant International University— will offer student support groups, as well as individual, couples, and family counseling. If you and your child are interested in finding out more about these counseling opportunities, please contact Julie Becker at 549-5502 or [[email protected]].

Homework Zone

We are excited to bring back our popular homework assistance program this school year, after several years of not being able to offer the program due to budget cuts. Homework Zone offers after-school homework help and is staffed by our own teachers two to three days a week from 2:25 to 3:25 pm for all interested students. The program is anticipated to begin in early October. More information will follow.

Resolving Issues

If a student or parent has specific concerns about a particular teacher: 1) The teacher should be contacted, the concerns should be discussed, and a mutually agreed upon resolution should be attempted; 2) If a resolution cannot be reached or the problem continues, the counselor should be contacted; 3) If the counselor is unable to facilitate a resolution or the problem continues, the issue will be referred to the vice principal (VP); and, 4) If the VP is unable to facilitate a resolution, the issue will be referred to the principal.

Spotlight on the Theater

The MMS theater department has a lot in store this year, and we hope to see everyone at the shows. Every ticket we sell goes straight back into the theater so we can keep our program running and do bigger things in the future. Below is our lineup for the year. All tickets are $5—half the price of a movie ticket! Any questions? Email Mr. Russell at [[email protected]].

  • Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 22 and 23—The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, 4 pm;
  • Tuesday–Friday, Nov. 18–21—It’s a Wonderful Life, 6 pm;
  • Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 14 and 15—The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, 4 pm;
  • Tuesday–Friday, Feb. 3–6—Winter musical: Captain Louie, Jr., 6 pm;
  • Wednesday and Thursday, Mar. 18 and 19—I’m a Teenager, Get Me Out of This Family, 4 pm;
  • Tuesday–Friday, Apr. 14–17—The Election, 6 pm;
  • Tuesday–Friday, May 5–8—Spring musical: Seussical, Jr., 6 pm; and,
  • Wednesday and Thursday, May 20 and 21—Drop Dead, Juliet, 4 pm.

Marshall Band Concert

The MMS Intermediate Band, Intermediate Orchestra, Advanced Band, and Advanced Orchestra will perform a Halloween-themed fall concert on Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the MMS Performing Arts Center at 7 pm. Admission is free to all, and donations will be accepted.

Marshall is Going Green!

Parents please avoid sending students to school with zip-lock baggies or one-time-use plastics such as disposable water bottles. We are encouraging all students to bring their own re-usable water bottles and lunch containers. Last year MMS produced more than 59,000 candy and chip wrappers that went to our landfills. We hope that by encouraging parents and students to reduce, re-use, and recycle we will decrease the amount of trash that ends up in our oceans and landfills. Thanks!

Broadcom Science Fair Semifinalists

MMS has three semifinalists! They have moved on to high school, but we are so proud of their accomplishment. They are: Joonhyuk Lee, Greg Martin, and Anshul Singh. Society for Science and the Public (SSP)-affiliated science fairs around the country nominate the top 10% of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders to enter this prestigious competition. After submitting an application, 300 semifinalists are selected.

The next step in the Broadcom MASTERS took place in September—after press time—when 30 finalists were named. Please visit [] for the latest. Finalists and one parent receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the Broadcom MASTERS finals in October. Students present their research and compete in hands-on challenges for top prizes, including funds to attend a STEM summer camp, iPads, and the Samueli Prize educational award of $25,000.

Dingeman Elementary

From Our Principal

October Greetings Dingeman Families and Community,

I am happy to report school started off smoothly and students quickly settled into their new routines. We had the honor of our own Col. Bob Dingeman greet all the students at our first Tiger Rally. The students gave him high fives and lots of hugs!

For the first time ever, students were able to wear sweaters in class! Yes, our air conditioning project was a complete success. After 20 years Dingeman finally has AC so students are safe, healthy, and can learn despite the high temperatures outside. Thank you for supporting Prop S!

Also thanks to Prop S, our exterior painting project will be complete soon. We hope you like our new color scheme. I think our palette complements the neighborhood and makes our campus a vibrant, clean place to learn, lead, and have fun.

Thank you to our Family Faculty Connection (FFC) for organizing the Volunteer Fair and annual Pledge Drive. One-hundred percent of your gifts of time and donations support our Art Corps, STEAM, Family Science Nights, enrichment assemblies, Rockin’ Science, Father/Daughter Dance, Mother/Son Night, Fall Festival, classroom grants, 5th Grade Junior Achievement Biztown, Spring World’s Fair, Book Fair, and Honor Choir—just to name a few! It’s going to be a great year as we work in partnership for your child’s education. In Partnership for Excellence,

Kimie Lochtefeld, Dingeman Principal

It’s Never Too Late to Volunteer

If you’d like to get involved at Dingeman, please email us at [[email protected]], and we’ll put you in touch with a committee that interests you!

Yen Tu and Luis Fregoso, Dingeman FFC Co-presidents

Pledge Drive In Full Swing

There’s still time to participate in Dingeman’s 2014 Pledge Drive! Help our Tigers soar and ease the pain of budget cuts for our students! If you have already made a donation, we thank you. Your Pledge Drive dollars make it possible to continue our strong tradition of excellence.

Donations at any level are greatly appreciated and they may be made online at [], using the “Donate Now” button. Also, pledge cards can be printed from the website under “Fundraising.” Thanks for making our school spectacular. With gratitude,

Hooban Forsman and Evelyn Capozello, 2014 Pledge Drive Co-chairs

Pippa Mills

Jerabek Elementary

Letter From Our Principal

Dear Jerabek Families,

My name is Kristie Joiner and I am honored to have been chosen to serve as principal at Jerabek Elementary, a school that has a long history of high student achievement with the support of an involved community that cares deeply about the education and well-being of all children. I was born and raised in San Diego. My husband of 26 years and I have raised twin daughters who are both teachers—one regular education and one special education.

I come from a large family of educators who have a strong passion for serving children and families within the field of education. I am a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University having earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and both teaching and administrative credentials. I have served the South Bay Union School District for nine years as a teacher and district administrator in a curriculum department. Most recently I have served the Santee School District six years as vice principal.

I am aware that a change in leadership for any organization can provoke both excitement and anxiety. In my Principal’s Entry Plan I have outlined specific steps that will enable me to get to know the Jerabek school community. It is my goal to cultivate positive and productive relationships with all stakeholders. I believe that the best education for our students is one comprised of productive, collaborative relationships amongst all constituents.

We are at the beginning of one of the most progressive changes in the history of education with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessments. These changes present opportunities for new, more in-depth approaches to teaching and learning. This shift will remain at the forefront of our focus as educators. I look forward to leading an experienced, dedicated staff who also is committed to continuing to provide a stellar education for all students.

My Principal’s Entry Plan and Principal’s Pledge will be posted on the Jerabek website. The documents will enable you to get to know my leadership approach and commitment to our school’s success. I know it will be a great year of teaching and learning. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our future college graduates.

Kristie Joiner, Jerabek Principal

The Wheel Deal

New to Jerabek this year is the Wheel Deal! What’s that? It’s a great new grade-level based curriculum where students get to have not just one teacher but three at each grade level. Both the 4th and 5th grade teams are using this approach.

Each day Jerabek’s 4th and 5th graders spend a limited amount of time in their homeroom and then spend the rest of their day divided between three classrooms and teachers. It has been well received by the entire Jerabek community and there are plenty of reasons why everyone is excited!

The students like it because they are on the move so there’s not much time to get “antsy” because they sit in one place too long. They also like it because they feel like they’re in college: changing classrooms and interacting with different teachers. The teachers like it because they get to focus on their area of expertise, experience, and passion. The parents like it because their kids are being taught the exact curriculum across the entire grade level with teachers specialized in each topic.

Thank you to the Jerabek 4th and 5th grade teams at Jerabek for introducing the Wheel Deal to the students of Jerabek! Above are the amazing teacher teams who make the Wheel Deal happen!

Ginger Colletto

Miramar Ranch Elementary

From Our Principal

Dear Families and Friends of Miramar Ranch,

What a busy month we had in September! Staff and students are off to a great start and have already taken on so much new learning. Students are learning new content and ways of thinking, while teachers are learning new ways to challenge their students. Newly developed curriculum aligned with the Common Core State Standards in language arts, writing, and math are now in place. We are excited to be a part of this implementation.

Every year we are fortunate to welcome new staff members and this year is no different. In addition to Julie Best, our new transitional kindergarten teacher, we are happy to welcome: Mike Getch, 1st grade teacher; Jay Leach, our new counselor; and returning teacher Bill Kalchik. We also are grateful to begin our school year with a vice principal. Yesenia Robinson is our new VP and comes to us with a wealth of experience in administration. Please come and meet our new staff members!

October will be equally busy with two of our most anticipated events each year. The week of Oct. 13 we will hold Student Council elections. During that week, the school is covered in campaign posters and nervous candidates practice their speeches. Win or lose, this is a great experience for the children who participate. Good luck to all candidates!

On Saturday, Oct. 18, Miramar Ranch will host its 41st Annual Halloween Carnival. This year’s theme is “Clownin’ Around at the Ranch.” See the following article for more details. I dare you to visit the creepy clowns in the haunted house!

As always, thank you for your continual support of the staff and students at our school. You make great things possible! Remember to “Work Hard and Be Nice.”

Peg Crane, MRE Principal

“Clownin’ Around at the Ranch” for the Halloween Carnival!

Get ready for another stupendous, incredibly fun Halloween Carnival at Miramar Ranch! It’s on Saturday, Oct. 18, from noon until 5 pm and will feature friendly clowns making balloon animals and face painters that allow your child to look like one! We have so much more in store!

  • Halloween Costume Contest for kids in K–5
  • Cake Walk
  • Bake Sale
  • Haunted House
  • The popular silent auction baskets
  • Sand art
  • Used book sale
  • Music and dancing with the best DJ in town
  • Inflatables to play on
  • Obstacle course with slide
  • Double-lane slides
  • Animal jungle playland
  • Halloween maze
  • New food trucks offering pizza, shave ice, lemonade, kettle corn, burgers, hotdogs, and more
  • Teacher’s Pet Shoppe
  • About 26 games including: Graveyard Goodies, Frog Launch, Clown Tooth Knockout, Hockey Puck, Football Toss, Krazy Driver, Penny Pinch, Toilet Paper Toss, and more

•Prizes galore from the prize booth!

The list of fun and exciting activities goes on and on! Don’t miss out on the 41st Annual MRE Halloween Carnival, a true Scripps Ranch tradition that doubles as the school’s most enjoyable fundraiser!

The carnival is free to attend, but you’ll need to buy game and ride tickets. Save time and money by purchasing your tickets online before the event at []. To volunteer—the whole carnival is run by fabulous volunteers!—email Jillian Frisbie at [[email protected]]. See you there!

Denise Herich

Garden Corps

We are proud to present a new feature this year. School volunteers, Boy Scout Troop 616, and Girl Scout Troop 3102 have come together to re-establish the garden and trail area on the northeast corner of campus this summer. MRE parents, students, and teachers are invited to join us in the garden each morning at 7:25 before school. We also have workdays on Saturday mornings and everyone is welcome.

To keep this beautification process going, we need help from the community. If you are interested in donating your time or garden supplies, please contact Jennifer Leader at [[email protected]].

Catherine Melis

Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary

Message From Our Principal

Dear EBS Families and Community Members,

Our school year got off to a fantastic start! Thank you to our Academic Fundraising Partnership (AFP) for providing the festive decorations and red carpet for the first day of school.

I am very happy to welcome many new staff members including: teachers Linnea Miller, Lisa Jacobs, Niki Wickenhiser, Christine (Hawley) Kazarian, Dawn Lawless, and Nancy Valles; counselor Gayle Shinn; speech language pathologist Ashley Fennell; education specialist Marty Smith; and library tech Margo Trembley. These are outstanding educators who will enhance our EBS academic program.

Good news! Our shade covers for the kindergarten and upper playgrounds are in the works. We expect the project to take at least 10 months because of the approval process. By this spring we should have beautiful shade structures to keep our students cool and protect them from the sun.

We also worked on another project over the summer. Lisa Olmore has painted a beautiful penguin mural for our main entrance that highlights the fact that we are a California Distinguished School. Lisa, an EBS parent, is the artist responsible for all our penguin signage around the school. It’s hard to miss our penguin spirit!

I look forward to seeing all our families at the Fall Festival on Friday, Oct. 17. Don’t forget to wear your Halloween costumes. I will wear the penguin mascot costume to take photos with the students. See you then! Sincerely,

Liz Sloan, EBS Principal

Message From The AFP

The AFP is preparing for upcoming events! We hope our 5th graders and parents had fun at the first Family Science Night of the year! This program gives students an opportunity to jump into the magical world of science, and parents can spend quality time with their children as they perform experiments together. The remaining grades will have their Family Science Nights in the coming months.

We look forward to the ever-popular Fall Festival on Friday, Oct. 17. This is the biggest family event of the year! Our Fall Festival team has been hard at work rounding up really terrific auction items, so make sure to bid on your favorites!

Thank you to everyone who has already participated in this year’s Super Pledge campaign. Your donations make a significant impact on your child’s educational environment. If you haven’t yet returned your envelope, there is still time to do so. Together we can make this a record-breaking year for parent participation!

Seema Moorjani, AFP President

Reading Volunteers Needed

Everyone A Reader (EAR) has been a vital part of EBS’s commitment to improving our students’ reading ability for more than 10 years. If you have 1½ hours per week to spend reading with 1st–3rd graders during the school day, please contact our site coordinator, Cindy Thomas, at [[email protected]] or 945-6989 for more information. RSVP to attend a two-hour training class on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 9 am at EBS.

Krissy Duke

St. Gregory the Great Catholic School

Dear Friends of St. Gregory the Great Catholic School,

October is an action-packed month at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School. Our 8th grade students will visit Catholic high schools, exploring Cathedral Catholic, St. Augustine, and Academy of Our Lady of Peace. This is an exciting time for the students and their families as they explore potential high schools for next year.

After-school programs are well underway at our school. Those include: cheer; Monart; San Diego Musiq Club—voice, piano, and string instrument; guitar; flag football; and varsity/JV volleyball.

October is also the time for standardized assessments. Students in grades 1–8 complete a battery of assessments in English language arts, math, and science over a two-week period. Administering the Iowa Standardized Assessments in October yields valuable assessment data early in November. The data is then utilized by the faculty and administration to address students’ strengths and areas for growth, along with allocating resources.

We would like to extend an invitation to all Scripps Ranch residents to join us for our Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the school located at 15315 Stonebridge Parkway. The theme for the Fall Festival is “Wild West” and attractions include a county jail, saloon, game booths, pumpkin patch, live entertainment with a special ABBA tribute, great food, and lots of fun for the entire family. The festival begins at 11:30 am and continues until the late evening. Check out pages 32–33 for details.

If you are interested in investigating a Catholic education for your child, please contact the office 397-1290 or [[email protected]] to schedule a tour of our campus at 15315 Stonebridge Parkway. Blessings,

Maeve O’Connell, Principal

Innovations Academy

Learning Leadership Skills

What a great time our middle school students had at the YMCA Leadership and Team Building Camp! Students participated in experiences that reinforced classroom learning and provided them with a foundation to further develop the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to make informed decisions. Caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility toward each other and all living things were an integral part of this program.

In this three-day experience, students built trust and confidence through fun and challenging experiences in a safe environment. It was awesome to see students accept the challenge to develop as individuals and as a team! Students returned to campus having created a unified community ready to take on the rest of the year with improved communication, problem-solving skills, and cooperation.