Category archives for: Schools

Bulldog auto team places second in nation

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By BILL TAMBURRINO
Dylan Ballantyne and Brandon Arthur had never been to New York City, so they worked to get there. Their work as the two-man automotive team from Ramona High School resulted in a second-place finish in the nation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in the National Automotive Technology Competition.
Ramona High’s retired automotive teacher, Mike Jordan, had to pinch-hit for automotives instructor Mike Saavedra as coach and chaperone, because Saavedra is recuperating from heart surgery.
Saavedra got Ballantyne and Arthur started and, when he went on sick leave, Jordan took over.
The trip was a four-day event. Day one was travel. Day two was a tour of New York City.
“It is an amazing city. It was fun to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there,” said Ballantyne.
Day three was competition day. The team had to rotate among 10 stations. Among them were engine diagnosis, electrical diagnosis, brake diagnosis, a safety test and a job interview.
The Ramona team aced the 10 stations and earned a trip to the finals.
At finals, they were given a car that did not run and had multiple problems. They had three hours to get it running.
They got the job done in two and a half hours, earning them second in the nation.
Arthur’s favorite part of the trip was the competition and finishing second in the nation. In addition to the competition, Ballantyne liked the experience of going to New York.
For their efforts, Arthur and Ballantyne each received $64,000 in scholarships, shirts, jackets, hats, a travel bag and a drill.
“We had trouble with TSA when we tried to take the drill on the plane,” joked Ballantyne.
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) didn’t think it was funny.
The San Diego New Car Dealership Association sponsored their trip.
“Dean Mansfield, the president and czar of the association, took great care of us,” said Jordan.
While the auto team was in New York City, Ramona High’s SkillsUSA adviser, Robert Grace, took a group of RHS students and graduates to the SkillsUSA competition in Mission Valley. There was no team format, but Ramona’s students did well as individuals:
•Kyle Rash earned the gold in collision repair,
•Mike Jones won the motor cycle technology competition,
•Ryan Hall took third place in the auto refinishing competition,
•Erick Leyva took third in automotive service technology,
•Ricky Jauregui came in third in collision repair, and
•Ramona High grad Adam Scull won the post secondary collision repair competition.

Cyberbullying and online predators among topics at Internet safety program for parents, students

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In concert with the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the San Diego Police Foundation, Ramona’s Sun Valley Council PTA will sponsor an Internet safety presentation for parents in the Ramona High School gymnasium on Thursday, May 22, from 6 to 7:15 p.m.

Parents and guardians are invited to the presentation — called “Bridging the Digital Divide — What Parents Need to Know” — to learn more about how to keep children safe online.

All-RHS Choir Reunion to have food, karaoke, entertainment

Ramona High School Choirs will host an All-RHS Choir Reunion in the Choir Room, A-22, at the high school on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Anyone who has ever been in choir/show choir at Ramona High School is invited, and “bring family if you’d like,” said Donna Ransdell, director of choral activities at the high school, middle school and all-elementary choir.
There will be food, karaoke — “feel free to bring your own disks” — and entertainment. The best news, noted Ransdell: “It’s free.”

Ramona schools will re-open Friday, superintendent announces

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Thursday, May 15—Ramona schools, closed today due to the rash of fires in the region combined with wind and heat, will re-open tomorrow, Superintendent Robert Graeff said late this morning.
In his message to parents and staff, he said:
“We are planning to re-open all Ramona schools and offices on Friday, May 16. The level of fire across North County appears to have become isolated and we believe that it is now prudent to invite all students and staff to return to school tomorrow.
“At the same time, please know that we will continue to monitor local weather conditions. If the situation changes later today, we will again notify all parents and staff.
“For high school athletes, CIF has ruled that there can be no games or practices today or tomorrow. Decisions about Saturday athletic participation is still pending.
“Other questions about other student activities and AP testing should be referred to your local school administration.
“Please be patient as we search for the appropriate answers. For all interested parties, tonight’s regularly scheduled school board meeting will continue as planned.
“Thank you so much for your outstanding cooperation during this very difficult time. Before concluding, let me remind all our families that it is only the month of May. Please take every precaution at your own home to safeguard your physical surroundings in preparation for what appears to be just the start of a very long fire season.
“Again, all Ramona schools are currently scheduled to re-open for Friday, May 16. Thank you — and be safe.”

Military aircraft joins firefighting effort; San Marcos blaze county’s top priority

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Thursday, May 15—A wildfire that has burned more than 800 acres and at least three structures south of state Route 78 near Cal State San Marcos was 5 percent contained today, according to fire authorities, who called the blaze the county’s No. 1 priority. The Cocos fire broke out along Cocos Drive about 3:45 p.m. [...]

Ramona schools, 28 other districts in county, closed tomorrow, May 15

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Wednesday, May 14—Ramona public schools will be closed Thursday, May 15. It is one of 29 districts in the county that will be closed on Thursday. In a message to parents and staff on Wednesday, Ramona Unified Superintendent Robert Graeff said: “Due to the outbreak of wildfires all across North County from Fallbrook to the [...]

Barnett Elementary students stage ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on May 7

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“Beauty and the Beast,” a musical produced by Barnett Elementary PTA, features 60 Barnett students in grades three through six. Cast members have dedicated three to four days a week after school for the past three months preparing for the show.

Directing the production is Lori Stateham, a Barnett parent, the school’s computer teacher and a PTA volunteer. Assisting her is a crew of volunteers who have put in hundreds of hours preparing for the show.

The students have learned skills such as acting, singing, dancing, dancing while singing and blocking, and a few have learned how to manage sets and props backstage, notes Corinna Powers with the PTA.

The production will debut at Olive Peirce Middle School on May 7 at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by two performances at the school on May 9.

Old West re-enactors treat students to sneak preview of encampments

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Ramona fifth- and sixth-graders are stepping back in time to see what life was like in the 1800s as they visit the Old West encampments set up as part of the Bluegrass and Old West Festival today and tomorrow.

Approximately 826 students are taking turns loading buses to visit re-enactor encampments in the Ramona Outdoor Community Center. Barnett, Hanson and Mt. Woodson elementary students arrived in staggered shifts starting about 8:30 a.m. and ending about 2:20 p.m. today. Students from Ramona Community School and Ramona and James Dukes elementary schools will visit on Friday.

Ramona Community School earns Distinguished School designation

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Ramona Community School is one of 35 elementary schools in San Diego County and 424 in the state selected a 2014 California Distinguished Schools, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

The schools are honored for commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.

School bond consultant recommends more community outreach, lower tax rate

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If Ramona Unified School District wants to pass a bond, the goal should be to bring the community a proposal it wants to support, not one the board thinks is a great idea or the district administration wants, bond consultant Jon Isom of Urban Futures Inc. told trustees Monday evening.

After surveying 403 of Ramona’s 20,322 registered voters, Isom presented several recommendations. Among them: lower the tax rate from the $60 per $100,000 assessed value proposed in the failed bond bid in 2012 to $39, and establish an independent citizens oversight committee before the election.

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