By Mary O’KEEFE
On Monday, Crescenta Valley kids will head back to school. That means this week was all about lines. Lines for school supplies, lines for schedules, lines for books and in some cases, lines to find out what line to stand in to get a particular question answered.
At both the middle and high schools there were orientations that explained the rules and opportunities at each school. At Rosemont Middle School it was all about schedules and lockers for the new seventh graders.
Ron Sowers, Rosemont assistant principal, spoke to parents and students at the school’s Howdy Day on Monday about rules, dropping kids off at school and how to open a locker.
This year he had a large combination display and demonstrated the proper way to spin the locker combination. This particular demonstration seemed to capture the students’ attention and his instructional words were echoed later down the hallway as seventh graders tried to master the art of the locker.
Sowers also gave some advice to parents.
“Don’t walk them to their class the first day. Don’t kiss them goodbye in front of their friends,” he said. “They will be fine.”
And he added some stern warnings about dropping children off.
“There have been 14 students hit [by vehicles] at Rosemont in the 20 years I have been here,” he said.
He advised parents to pick their child up at 3:20 p.m., not right after school at 3 p.m. He also reminded them there are no left turns into the Rosemont parking lot in the mornings or afternoons and to not let their children get out of the car while northbound on Rosemont Avenue to run across the street. There are crosswalks that must be used. The California Highway Patrol officers will be nearby on occasion to make certain the traffic laws are followed.
Rosemont Principal Cynthia Livingston welcomed the students to the new school year and quizzed them on the school motto.
“Honor and excellence is what we expect in our students and the pride we take in our school,” Livingston said. “Honor, Excellence and Pride.”
She introduced the students to the staff and then sent them off to get their schedules, gym clothes, supplies and books.
Sierra Yarnes, an eighth grader, had her books and was ready for another year.
“I missed seeing my friends,” she said of her summer away from Rosemont.
Her sister Samara is starting seventh grade. She said she liked being able to choose an elective, in her case drama.
Sierra’s advice for her sister and other seventh graders entering Rosemont: “It is easier than it looks.”
At Crescenta Valley High School on Wednesday another group of kids was listening to orientation, this time for entering high school as a freshman.
The Associated Student Body introduced themselves and the opportunities available at the school including becoming a member of any of the 60-plus clubs on campus and sports teams.
This year an introduction film produced by ASB gave kids a look at the school. This year’s ASB president Marita Maffito said she is looking forward to the upcoming school year.
“I think we are settled this year. This is our principal’s second year and it looks like most of the teachers are the same,” she said.
CVHS Principal Michele Doll welcomed her students who were seventh graders when she moved from Rosemont as principal to the high school.
Doll added that the new class had high test scores and was certain the freshman would help raise the scores even higher at CVHS.
The California Department of Education released the results of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). All students in public schools are required to pass the English and Math CAHSEE tests before receiving their high school diploma. Ninth graders take the test; if they pass they are not required to take the test again. If they fail either or both sections, they can take it repeatedly up to their senior year in an attempt to pass.
In the 2010-11 school year, 766 ninth grade students from Crescenta Valley High School took the test. Of that, 99% passed the math section of the test, and 97% passed the English section. Clark Magnet High School had 294 ninth grade students who took the test, with 100% pass rate on both sections.
In Los Angeles County, 81% of ninth graders passed the math and English. Statewide, 83% passed math and 82% passed English.
As of Wednesday there were 2,945 students enrolled at CVHS, 1,128 at Clark Magnet and 1,319 at Rosemont Middle School.