Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS)

Principal’s Message

We could not have asked for a better start to our school year! Our staff worked together as a team to make the first week of school the best one yet! On the first day our students were all in classes by 7:45 am!

We owe 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. Associated Student Body (ASB) students distributed schedules and were extremely helpful. Our enrollment is holding steady at 2,240, which is right around our projected number.

Our fall sports are under way, 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 players for a successful season!

Please check our website at for news and information as well as the school calendar to keep up to date on school news and activities. Here are a few highlights for October:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 14—minimum day, 11:30 am dismissal; district-sponsored PSAT for all 10th graders and 9th and 11th graders who purchased an exam; and,
  • Friday, Oct. 16—end of the first marking period; progress reports issued in October.

Our constant focus on our instructional program and powerful learning has paid dividends. The Common Core 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. Your ongoing support of our school is deeply appreciated!

Ann Menna, SRHS Principal

Find the Right College for You

Parents of sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to attend the College Solution Workshop with Lynn O’Shaughnessy, educator, speaker, higher-education expert, and author of The College Solution. Lynn’s goal is to empower families to make smart college decisions.

Topics she will cover at her interactive workshop include: how to determine if your family qualifies for financial aid; how to tap into the biggest sources of college money; how to find the most generous colleges; how to determine what a college will cost before you apply; athletic scholarships; and not just “A” students earn scholarships. Bring your questions.

The College Solution Workshop is on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 6 to 8 pm in the SRHS Theater. It is hosted by the SRHS Foundation. Admission is first come first served. Your $5 donation per family will help support SRHS student programs. As a bonus, everyone who attends will receive a copy of The Ultimate College List Builder, Lynn’s 33-page guide that helps locate generous colleges and universities.

Principal’s Message

Dear Scripps Ranch Community,

We have begun another great school year at Thurgood Marshall Middle School (MMS). We have 1,622 students enrolled at the best middle school in the district! Our goal at MMS 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 continue to achieve in all areas.

We also believe the relationships we build with our students can support their engagement in all our subject 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 that 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 list on our website at, then click on “Staff.”

I want to welcome several new staff members to the Marshall family.

  • Ryan Batalla—6th/7th grade math
  • Rodney Lowe—6th/7th grade PE
  • Jennifer Rick—8th grade English and Spanish 1–2
  • Luke Schulze—Choir

We are very happy to have these new staff members join our learning community.

At MMS student safety is our priority. Please adhere to the traffic signage and personnel directing traffic in the drop-off zones. Please be aware, 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. Drivers who do this cause traffic flow issues. This area is not supervised and is dangerous.

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

Michelle Irwin, MMS Principal

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, Oct. 7—School Site Council (SSC)/Site Governance Team (SGT), 5 pm, MMS Community Room;
  • Friday, Oct. 9—Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting, 9 am, Community Room;
  • Friday, Oct. 16—First grading period ends; picture make-up day; and,
  • Friday, Oct. 23—First progress report distributed.

Music Notes

The MMS Instrumental Music program will put on two fall concerts in October. The Fall Orchestra Concert is on Wednesday, Oct. 28, and the Fall Band Concert is the following evening, Thursday, Oct. 29. Both concerts will be in the MMS Theater starting at 7 pm. They will feature Halloween-themed music, and admission is free! We hope you join us for these nights to get you into the Halloween spirit!

Counseling Caseloads

Every student has a counselor to help with questions, scheduling, and other concerns. Counselors are assigned by the student’s last name:

  • Julie Becker, head counselor, last names starting A–C, 549-5502
  • Paulette Blankenbeckler, D–K, 549-5505
  • Sharon Heuss, L–Q, 549-5501
  • Amiee McDearmon, R–Z, 549-5504

Progress Reports

The end of the first progress report period is Friday, Oct. 16, and progress reports will be distributed on Friday, Oct. 23. Remember to ask your child to see his or her progress report. If you don’t like what you see, please contact your child’s teachers as soon as possible to find out what your child can do to improve his or her grades.

Grade-Level Assembly

In October, 8th graders will attend a presentation that explicitly addresses potentially high-risk sexual practices along with health-related concerns, peer pressure, sexual harassment, internet safety, social networking risks, and their legal implications. For several years, we have been fortunate to collaborate with Jon Moffat, a dynamic cyber education consultant, as well as with a parent and teen health educator from the Vista Community Clinic. Both speakers will present factual information, facilitate discussion, and answer questions. These 1½-hour “girls-only” and “boys-only” assemblies are generously paid for by our PTSA.

Student Support Groups and Counseling

MMS counselors, in cooperation with the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic (ACFC)—whose intern therapists are our next-door neighbors from Alliant University—again will offer student support groups, as well as individual, couple, and family counseling, beginning in the fall semester. 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] Past support group topics have included, but are not limited to: self-esteem, relationships, academic stress, newcomer issues, grief and loss, social skills, conflict resolution, and so forth.

Homework Zone

We are happy to be able to continue our Homework Zone program. It offers after-school homework assistance and is staffed by our teachers two to three days per week from 2:25 to 3:25 pm for all interested students. The program is anticipated to begin in October. We’ll contact families when more information is available.

Schedule Changes

Schedule changes will be made only for students who are in an incorrect class. This may be an elective class change, a change in the level of an academic class, if a student is missing a required class, or has a class duplicated. Schedule changes will not be made for students requesting a period change, nor will schedule changes be made for students or parents who request a teacher change.

If a student or parent has a specific and current concern about a particular teacher, the teacher should be contacted directly by the student and/or parent. The concern should be discussed and a mutually agreed upon resolution should be attempted. If that plan is not successful, a vice principal may be contacted for further assistance.

Dingeman Elementary

October Greetings

Dingeman Families, Friends, and Community,

Our school year is off to a great start with our Tiger mascot greeting students as they arrived back to school. It was a pleasure to meet so many of you, especially at the Family Faculty Connection (FFC) Volunteer Fair, which, thanks to the hard work of the FFC Board and volunteers, was a great success.

There are so many wonderful things to celebrate at Dingeman. The results from the new Smarter Balanced Assessment show that Dingeman students continue to score well above state and district averages. More than 98% of our 5th graders scored proficient or advanced on the state science assessment. Also, Dingeman ranked number one in attendance in the district last year! I look forward to working with all of you this year to continue the amazing learning here at Dingeman.

Tamara Lewis, Dingeman Principal

FFC News

Dear Families and Community,

The first month of school was a huge success! Everyone is settling in for what will be an excellent year ahead. This month our FFC looks forward to restarting our Art Corps and STEAM programs, which are made possible through FFC financial support and parent volunteers.

We had more than 300 volunteering roles filled in September and are looking for more volunteers to help with the many events and enrichment programs we have available. If you’d like to get involved, please email me at [email protected], and I’ll be happy to put you in touch with a committee that interests you!

We look forward to welcoming students, friends, and neighbors to our annual Fall Festival on Friday, Oct. 23, from 5:30 to 8 pm. Enjoy trick or treating around the school, see the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, enter the costume contest, and come hungry—we have food trucks waiting to serve you! Hope to see you there,

Luis Fregoso, FFC President

Pledge Drive 2015 in Full Swing

There’s still time to participate in Dingeman Elementary School’s 2015 Pledge Drive! Help our Tigers soar and support our FFC! If you have made a donation already, we sincerely thank you. Your Pledge Drive dollars make it possible to continue our strong tradition of excellence, including STEAM projects, instructional supplies, assemblies, and grants to each classroom.

Donations at any level are greatly appreciated! They can be made online at, using the “Donate Now” button. Pledge cards can be found under “Fundraising” and then printed. Thank you for helping enable our students to enjoy a variety of classroom and enrichment experiences! With gratitude,

Marla Garvey and Sunny Spencer, Pledge Drive Co-chairs

Pippa Mills

Jerabek Elementary

Perfect Attendance

We hope everyone has had a great first month back at school. Please join us in celebrating some of our students who achieved special accomplishments last year. They were recognized in July as we parted ways for the summer.

Attendance in school is very important. In Mrs. McCormick’s kindergarten class perfect attendance is recognized and reinforced in a special way. Each student who is in attendance every day of school for the year receives a certificate and an Eisenhower silver dollar in a clear case.

Children who strive to have perfect attendance but have to be out of school due to illness still have an opportunity for that honor. If her former students have perfect attendance during their time at Jerabek—K–5th grade—they may return to her classroom to be recognized. Each student may go back to Room 301, show Mrs. McCormick their report card reflecting zero days missed for the year—and no trips that were on a contract—and they receive a certificate and the Eisenhower dollar. Some students return year after year.

This year Mrs. McCormick had six students with perfect attendance. These hard-working kindergartners told their teacher they want to have perfect attendance every year. Now that’s a good work ethic!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Lutz

We couldn’t do it without you. The proverb “It takes a village” is alive and well at Jerabek. We are so fortunate to have so many volunteers give their time, experience, and compassion to the programs and events at Jerabek. This month we would like to celebrate and thank Jennifer Lutz, a mom to two beautiful children and successful attorney.

She also finds time in her busy schedule to be an amazing volunteer, helping at Jerabek in so many ways. She has served four years on the Family Faculty Organization (FFO) Board, co-chaired Jerabek’s fun-filled Ranch Roundup for the past two years, and signed up again this year.

She also has served on the Site Governance Team and been a room mom in her children’s classrooms. Thank you, Jennifer, for your amazing dedication to making Jerabek a special place for all of our children.

Business Partner Thank You

Having business partners in the community is so important to Jerabek. We wanted to give special recognition to a few sponsors that have helped ensure the programs at Jerabek continue. Thank you to these 2015 Platinum Sponsors:

  • Sigdestad Financial, Inc.
  • Seaside Pediatric Dentistry
  • Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC

Thank you all for your generous contributions to the Jerabek FFO.

Jan Coppola

Miramar Ranch Elementary

From our FFA

September was busy at MRE and now we are settling into the groove of being back at school. I want to thank my Family Faculty Association (FFA) team for getting the year off to a great start. Thanks to Regina White, Julie Yaeger, Diane Hunter, Christine Huddleson, Mike Gates, Pam Millar, Jillian Frisbie, Natalia Moorhead, Angela Frantz, Amy Hill, Kate Miller, Karyn Ho, Alejandra Ortuno, Anna Yakavenka, and especially our amazing volunteer coordinator, Jen Leader.

In October MRE students learn about and focus on “generosity” in our Character Education lessons. We try to teach our children to look for ways to make our world a better place.

At MRE we are all grateful to the parents who have given generously to our annual Pledge Drive. Your generosity makes our school a better place and funds many programs—science, art, media center, Garden Corps—the district cannot. We are approaching our goal of 100% participation in the Pledge Drive. If you haven’t returned your pledge form, please do so!

October is also an exciting time because of Halloween. This year we have a new Carnival chair, Angela Frantz, and she is putting together a spook-tacular celebration for our 42nd Annual Halloween Carnival. Please join us for the Haunted Halloween Harvest at the Ranch on Saturday, Oct. 17. For more information, please see pages 36–37 in this Newsletter.

Mary Corbett, FFA President

Hawk Gardeners

Our Miramar Ranch garden is growing! This month we start our after-school Garden Club that meets once a week to work on special projects. Students will learn about vermiculture, compost, monarch butterflies, and more!

October is also the kickoff of Garden Corps, our parent-volunteer taught Common Core science-based garden lessons. Students will enjoy learning about how plants grow with hands-on activities in our outdoor classroom. For more information or to get involved, please contact Jen Leader at [email protected] or visit to join our garden community.

Catherine Melis

Ellen Browning Scripps Elementary

Message From Our Principal

Dear EBS Families and Community Members,

I am happy to announce that we have installed a “Little Free Library” in front of the school for the entire Scripps Ranch community (pictured below). This mini library is located next to our parking lot and is for exchanging children’s books. Feel free to take a book and leave a book. Little Free Library is an international program for book swapping. Check out for the locations of other Little Free Libraries.

Did you know that our school saved 21 trees and 175,000 pieces of paper last year by participating in Peachjar, an electronic flyer program? Whenever we have community flyers to send out we post them on Peachjar, and they are automatically emailed to our parents. You also can check our flyers by clicking on the Peachjar link on the front of our website at We are proud to help out the environment.

Our school is doing its part to save water during the drought. Our sprinklers are turned off, and we are hand watering a few flower beds. This summer the district delivered and spread 16 truckloads of mulch on our planted areas as a pilot program in water conservation. Not only does the mulch help us save water but it makes our campus look beautiful.

I am always happy to give tours to any community member. If you would like to visit our school, please contact me at [email protected] I am very proud of the work we do here at EBS, and I enjoy sharing it with the community. Sincerely,

Liz Sloan, EBS Principal

Message From Our AFP

Yay! We survived our first month back at school! October is a fun month with 5th Grade Family Science Night and the Fall Festival. Bring your curious minds to Family Science Night and dress to impress at the Fall Festival. Come hungry so you can enjoy all the delicious baked goodies and Farmers Market food vendors!

Also, we are collecting Box Tops from Monday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Oct. 16. Be sure to clip your “Box Tops for Education” from participating companies and bring them in. Ask your friends and neighbors to help too. Each one is worth 10 cents for our school, and it really adds up!

October is also our Super Pledge month! Let’s show our Penguin support! Thank you!

Nancy Ferreira, Academic Fundraising Partnership (AFP) President

Everyone A Reader Wants You!

The Everyone A Reader (EAR) program has been going strong at EBS for years, thanks to our volunteers. Now we are looking for more parent and community volunteers to be reading tutors for our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders who need extra support.

Free training is on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 9 to 11 am in the EBS multipurpose room. Please contact EAR site coordinator Cindy Thomas at [email protected] or 945-6989 for more information or to RSVP for the class.

Krissy Duke

Innovations Academy,

Innovations Academy students began the school year with amazing new programs. Patrick Murphy O’Connor (below), a credentialed Spanish teacher

has joined our team. He just moved from Madrid, Spain, where he taught for more than 10 years. Patrick will use an exciting combination of art and theater to creatively teach our middle school students.

Evan Lopez, a local ceramics artist and teacher, will introduce students to the possibilities of clay in his ceramics class. Jeff Major, a veteran project-based teacher, has joined the IA team to facilitate a robotics program. It will utilize a unique delivery of engineering, science, and math that will empower students to solve engineering problems. He also will lead a Robotics Team for the First LEGO League where students will compete in an eight-week competition in November.

Students in grades K–4 will head outside with Mary Zanotelli, our new nature studies educator. Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of nature and the outdoors through hands-on science explorations and projects.

In addition to all of the exciting things happening on campus, our middle school students head off campus to the ocean for team-building activities in preparation for a year of effective collaboration and projects. We look forward to a great year!

Chabad Hebrew Academy

An independent school education has many benefits. However, one benefit that is often overlooked is the ability to initiate new programs in response to student’s interests and passions.

New to the CHA Middle School is a three-year program designed to give students an opportunity to act on their values and beliefs. Using components of “Design Thinking”—a method that breaks down the steps required to solve problems and think innovatively—6th, 7th, and 8th graders have a unique experience to become positive contributors to society.

One of the tenets of Design Thinking is to identify a need from a place of empathy. Sixth graders will focus on the school community. They will identify a need at the school and create a solution. According to one 6th grader, “One of the things I like best is the part where you come up with crazy ideas to solve a problem. Like solving not having enough recess with one day a week that is all recess.”

Seventh graders will explore issues in San Diego and gather knowledge through guest speakers and field trips. The program culminates in 8th grade. Each student will identify an issue they feel connected to and inspired to improve. They will be encouraged to utilize their innovation and collaborative problem-solving skills. The finale will be individual presentations highlighting the impact of making a difference in the world, one person at a time.

St. Gregory the Great Catholic School

Dear Friends, October is action packed on our campus. Our school will participate in the Great California Shakeout, a statewide earthquake drill, on Thursday, Oct. 15. Disaster preparedness is our safety theme for the month. Throughout the year a focus is placed on readiness through practice as we schedule monthly drills for fire, earthquake, and lockdown scenarios.

Later this month we will partner with Cross Catholic Outreach in support of World Food Day. Our students are collecting quarters for the Great Quarter Race on Friday, Oct. 30. Each quarter will purchase a meal for a hungry child. We hope to exceed last year’s total of 6,101 meals.

We invite all Scripps Ranch residents to join us for our Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the school located at 15315 Stonebridge Parkway. The theme is Wild West and attractions will include: a Beer Garden and Saloon; mechanical bull; game booths; pumpkin patch; live entertainment; and dancing with a “Journey through the Decades” theme. The festival begins at 11:30 am and continues until the late evening. Admission is free, and game tickets will be on sale at the gate.

If you are interested in investigating a Catholic education for your child, please contact the office at 397-1290. A potential student application may be submitted from Blessings,

Maeve O’Connell, Principal