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Back to books, classes: Students return to HUSD today

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>
Parents and freshman students wait to pay fees and pick up their text books at the Bradshaw Mountain High School registration on Thursday.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br> Parents and freshman students wait to pay fees and pick up their text books at the Bradshaw Mountain High School registration on Thursday.

When Humboldt Unified Students return to classes today, some of them will find a number of improvements paid for by B Bonds that voters approved three years ago.

At Bradshaw Mountain High School, new principal Dan Streeter can boast of state of the art artificial turf on the football and baseball fields, a new track, a new lower level baseball field, varsity softball field and a soon to be completed natural turf soccer field.

Drama, choir and art students will attend classes in the new performing arts building.

In addition to Streeter, BMHS made some other administrative changes. Kort Miner will handle educational services; Lisa Brackez is in charge of discipline and attendance; and Maury Ruble will continue as the athletic director but add activities, facilities and operations to his duties.

Street said BMHS will focus on the idea that "excellence is a choice. We are committed as an educational community to 'choose excellence' in academics, extra-curricular activities and character."

At Bradshaw Mountain Middle School, Principal Brian Buchholtz said school officials began an on-going process of Professional Learning Communities that past school year and will continue it implementation this year.

"Smaller learning communities within the larger scope of school is the way to go. PLC's allows for teachers and students to develop close bonds and opportunity to work on the strength and weaknesses of the child, Buchholtz said.

Glassford Hill Middle School successfully implemented a block program during the 2008-09 school year. Principal Kristen Rex said the program provides longer class periods focusing on math and language arts.

GHMS students begin each school year with Panther Pathways. Rex said the program teaches students, and staff members, "about our school culture, expectations for our campus with the discipline matrix."

Colorful paw prints greeted Coyote Springs Elementary School students this morning.

Principal Susan Fahrni said each grade level wing has a different color: kindergarten is purple; first and second grades are yellow; third grade is green; and fourth and fifth grades are orange.

"Students can follow the pay prints to easily find their classrooms," Fahrni said.

Fahrni said Coyote Spring is introducing a "Walk to Read" component for each grade level for individualized instruction.

The "Rocket Reader" program uses volunteers to help students gain the skills necessary for reading mastery.

"Our Rocket Reader volunteers come in daily and work one on one or in small groups. If you would like to become a volunteer, pick up your application at the school or district office and make an appointment for your fingerprint clearance," Fahrni said.

At Coyote Springs, recycling is part of the school culture. Fahrni said the Lions Club has placed bins at the school for newspapers and magazines. The money received from recycling goes directly to the student council.

Liberty Tradition School Principal Michael DeRois is excited about the improvements at his school, paid for with B Bond money. The improvements include a new gym/cafeteria, new soccer field, new playground field, new playground equipment for kindergarten and first through fifth grade, new outdoor activity area for middle school students and a new regulation-size track and field.

Enrollment at Liberty is growing, and DeRois added a sixth grade class and a seventh grade class. Liberty added an honor society, cheer squad and various after school clubs this year.

"With our new facility, please be aware of parking lot for bus drop off and parking lot for student drop off and pick up. Our campus has been re-designed for increased safety for the students," DeRois said.

For the first time, students at Mountain View Elementary School will have a specific dress code.

Principal JoAnn Bindell said the school "Implemented Specific Standardized Dress Apparel for this coming year. It is our never-ending goal to enhance our educational environment by promoting learning, fostering discipline, creating self-value and ensuring a safe school atmosphere. Most importantly our continued objective is to enhance our students' identity from within opposed to their identity for what they look like on the outside."

Bindell said teachers would incorporate Classical Enrichment classes every Friday afternoon where students can take Spanish, German, Sign Language, piano keyboarding, home economics, drama, art and so forth.

At Lake Valley Elementary School, Principal Dan Brown said B Bond money paid for new equipment on both the kindergarten and big playgrounds.

Brown said Lake Valley, as well as the other elementary schools, will implement a new writing program this year.

"We will be holding tow Parent Literacy Nights this year and also our annual Macro math parent education night this year. We hope to also have our Parent/English classes for some of our Hispanic parents," Brown said.

At Granville Elementary, Principal Diana Green is sponsoring a Back-to-School lunchtime barbecue for parents on Aug. 21.

Green said Open House at Granville would be different this year. She said teachers would spread Open House during the week on Aug. 24, with kindergarten and first grade on Aug. 24; second and third grades Aug. 25; and fourth and fifth grades Aug. 26.

She said this will allow parents to "spend more time with the teachers. Teachers will focus on expectations for students and entertain questions."

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