PTA: December 2011

Jessica Xilo, Parents & Teachers Editor

As the year nears to an end, parents and staff members assembled in the theatre on Dec. 12 to discuss recent news about the school and the students. Principal Tom Houts began the meeting by announcing the recent figure skating competition in which junior Vanessa Lam placed fifth in the world. He then discussed events planned, such as the holiday breakfast for all staff members and the winter sports assembly. The new procedure will hopefully help get more students involved in supporting athletics. Teachers will escort students to the rally at 1:46 pm.

Mr. Houts also announced that there will be two new buildings for the school. There will be one for administration and one for the engineering program. He will find out from the Department of School Construction on Dec. 15 if it is approved. The school will begin with, “full speed ahead,” as Houts said, while both buildings are under construction this upcoming spring. Recently, Houts attended a conference to figure out how to run the engineering building.

Guest speaker Tina Campos, the College and Career Center Manager, focused the parents’ attention on the career center link on the school website. She described the requirements and emphasized the importance of the local scholarship for students seeking money for college. Campos gave information about the Scholarship Directory on the Downey High School website which lists several scholarship opportunities. Fortunately, the application is located on a PDF form on a controlled database for easy access. “It’s a daunting task but it’s well worth it,” Campos said. She gave brief information about the FAFSA application and Cal Grants and openly answered any questions that parents had about financial aid.

ASB students Kimberly Matamoros, Kimberly Arias, and Brianna Rodriguez gave updates about the food drive. The school raised 7,953 cans which will go to families in need for the holidays. They reminded the parents and staff about spirit week and mentioned the Candyland Rally, which is scheduled for the end of the week. The rally will introduce the winter sport athletes and give an overview of what coaches expect from their season.

The next meeting will be held on Jan. 9 2012 after students return from winter break.