December 2010 Spotlight on Success

December 21, 2010

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The charter school movement is dependent upon the hard work of visionary founders, leaders, and authorizers, plus dedicated teachers and volunteers and inspired students. The Association is proud to recognize several of them this month.

Twenty-eight students from Langston Hughes Academy in Stockton won admission to the inaugural Junior Achievement Social Innovation Camp at HP Labs in Palo Alto, Calif. The goal of the event is to spark creativity and foster the development of problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to address social issues that communities face in the new global economy. To qualify to attend JA Innovation Camp, teens were required to compete in an online essay contest. Students were asked to describe a specific form of technology that would make their high school more efficient and a better place for learning and socializing.

Jasmine Saleh, a student at Granada Hills Charter High, has been named an "ABC 7 Cool Kid." Saleh was honored for her work with the group Rachel's Challenge to convince high school students to think for themselves. She also volunteers with senior citizens. To watch ABC 7's profile of this outstanding charter school student, click here.

Genein Letford from NEW Academy Canoga Park was chosen to receive the Great American Teacher of the Year Award presented by The Ron Clark Academy, in conjunction with Great American Financial Resources, Inc. Letford was chosen from among hundreds of applications representing school districts from across the country after an in-depth judging process that included an interview with a panel of judges.

The Magnolia Science Academy Math Counts team received first place in the Math Counts completion organized by the western region of the National Society of Black Engineers in Stanford, CA. The school's team consisted of three 8th graders: Michael Simpson (1st place) Robert Butler III (2nd place) Roy Valesquez (3rd place) and 7th grade student Michael Adeniyi. The team has been working together for over more than a year for the MATHCOUNTS competition. The students have been meeting after school and in the weekends to follow the program provided by the ACCORD Institute.

Aspire Public Schools was featured in "How the World's Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better," a report by the consulting firm McKinsey and Company. The report, described by the firm as "the most comprehensive database of global school system reform ever assembled," analyzes and identifies reform elements to help school systems achieve significant, sustained and widespread gains in student outcomes. Click here to read the report, which also examined education systems in Armenia, Boston (Massachusetts), Chile, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Latvia, Lithuania, Long Beach (California), Madhya Pradesh (India), Minas Gerais (Brazil), Ontario (Canada), Poland, Saxony (Germany), Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, and Western Cape (South Africa).

According to the Colusa County Sun-Herald, Jesse Denewith, a student at Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts, earned an honorable mention for his entry in the statewide "Got Milk?" contest sponsored by the California Milk Processor Board.

The contest, open to teenagers, asked applicants to submit original color photos depicting why breakfast with milk is important for overall health and academic performance.

Jesse's entry featured a girl with a milk mustache holding a test with A-plus results.

Five California charter schools will share in more than $36 million in Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Competitive Grants. State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell announced the awardees, who include School of Unlimited Learning (Fresno); Environmental Charter High, Bert Corona Charter, Monsenor Oscar Romero Charter Middle (Los Angeles); and Charter School of San Diego.The grants are intended to enhance the use of data to improve student achievement. View the California Department of Education's press release on the grants here.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has awarded $1 million to Rocketship Education, a leading network of innovative K-5 public charter schools based in San Jose. he investment will support the first national expansion of a "hybrid school" model - which combines classroom instruction with online learning - helping Rocketship develop the infrastructure necessary to open 30 new hybrid charter schools nationwide by 2015. For more information, read the Broad Foundation's press release.

Harriet Tubman Charter School in San Diego was selected as the Best Community School by the College Area Business District, who each year honors those who have made a positive impact in the community.

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