PTA: October 2011


Administration, parents, and students come together in the school theater on Monday, Oct. 19 for the second PTA meeting, praising a successful start to the school year. “If you recognize what kids are into, they start to like this place, and that helps us get them into what we we’re doing,” Principal Tom Houts stated.

Dinorah Acuna, Writer

The second PTA meeting of the year was conducted on October 17, in the theater, and the association discussed a variety of topics including emergency preparedness, a principal’s report, student activities and the Reflections contest. Those addressing these topics were Mark Sauter, Mr. Houts, Mr. Weisenburger and Lourdes Guzman.

First off, Mark Sauter, an employee for the city of Downey, talked about emergency preparedness. He explained the importance of being prepared for a major emergency, such as an earthquake, since the city of Downey does not have enough resources for its approximately 112,000 inhabitants. There are only four fire stations in Downey, about 24 firefighters and a couple dozen officers on duty every day; therefore people should do everything they can to be prepared and not depend so much on police officers, firefighters and hospitals.

Mr. Sauter stated that having an emergency plan and supply list are vital in every household. An emergency plan may be deciding on a place to meet other than home, remembering an out of town phone number and even learning how to text since it will be more practical to send a text as opposed to calling someone during a major catastrophe. Emergency supplies may include: water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days), food for at least three days, prescription medications, important documents, cash, sleeping bags or warm blankets, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, and wrench and pliers to turn off utilities. What was also recommended was that parents be informed of the emergency plans practiced at their children’s school, such as the shelter reunification plan.

Principal Tom Houts talked about how the school year has been so far. He informed the parents of the attempts to improve the school’s image through media such as the Viking Videos. So far, according to Mr. Houts, these videos have helped increase the school spirit this year. With only one fight, ten suspensions and a 97% attendance rate he hopes that the rest of the school year will continue on its tremendous path.

Also, Mr. Houts expressed his desire of expanding the engineering program at the school. Later on into the school year, he is scheduled to go to San Diego to visit the engineering programs from different universities. His purpose for this is to give students a wider variety of classes on campus and to open a wider range of possible majors for them.

Activities Director, Mr. Weisenburger, proceeded to tell of the events and activities that had occurred since the start of the school year. He also stated some of the upcoming events like the Food Drive and the Blood Drive.

Lastly, the meeting concluded with Mr. Houts giving a tour of the school.

Next month’s meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6:00 p.m., in the DHS theater, to discuss the topics of preparedness and the school nurse.