PTA: February 2012

PTA%3A+February+2012

Marilyn Ramirez

During the PTA meeting on Feb. 6 ASB Sound Assitant Dayze Castellanos discusses list of activities the students would be taking part of in March. One specific event was March Madness, a competition among classrooms to raise money for those in need.

Irene Luna, Editor-in-Cheif

At their usual spot in the B-building theatre, the PTA met on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. to discuss what will be occurring during the second semester.

They proceeded with the usual honoring of the flag with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then Principal Tom Houts introduced yet another segment of the renovations set to take place in the spring.  Issues like the photography classes needing a dark room to work in arose and other teachers began making requests as to what they would like in the new administration building.  Also, Houts spoke in more detail about the new Automotive Technology building that will take the place of the Z bungalows and some of the garden.  A booklet introduced what will be known as DUSD Careers in Technical Education.  Houts plans on introducing classes for students who are looking in Arts, Media & Entertainment careers, jobs in Building Trades & Construction, and even the anticipated Engineering courses, just to name a few.  He has even gotten as far as looking for the teachers who are qualified to teach these courses, like English teacher David Kraus who was in the Army for eight years as a mechanic before turning to teaching.  Most likely Garr Nelson would be teaching the applied physics courses, but Houts is still in the process of finding the accredited educators for the jobs and has visited trade schools near and far to get a perspective on both the lessons and instructors.

The principal also wants to implement a new segment he likes to call “Downey Eyewitness News” as the new morning announcements, which will be televised and broadcasted every morning to every classroom.  He has yet to find the students to carry out the positions of “anchors”, but most likely ASB members would do the job.

Assistant Principal Anthony Zegarra informed parents, students, and teachers present about the APEX courses because he felt that many were still unfamiliar with what the goal of the program.  APEX aims to help under-credited seniors earn the credits needed in order to graduate.  The classes are offered to juniors as well, but only as needed and seniors get priority over any underclassmen.  Counselor Monica Miller runs the program at Downey High and is enthusiastic about it.  Zegarra also made sure to clarify that although Cal States may accept the credits earned from APEX courses, UCs and the NCAA do not recognize APEX as a means of learning, only due to the fact that it is all computer interactive, making the curriculum accessible to anyone with a computer.

Third Vice President Liz Schlegel announced a few fundraisers, like the School Cents fundraisers.  At the Stonewood, Lakewood, and Los Cerritos Shopping Centers, shoppers can redeem their receipts at the guest services center to earn money for their child’s school and PTA, which just goes right towards further funding the student’s education as the PTA always award their annual scholarships to PTA students.  Schlegel, Houts, and PTA President Martha Michael also began pushing for more participation from the teachers, the “t” in PTA.  If the school succeeds in having all teachers apply for a membership, they get to send a representative from their school to the Annual PTA Convention in Anaheim.

On another note, the winners and honorable mentionees of the Skills USA competition at Mount San Antonio College were announced at the PTA meeting.  Senior Marie Bourgeault won a silver medal for her photography, and eight spots are open for students to compete at the State Level Competition in San Diego, California.  If they prevail there, they will face off other state school districts in the Nationals Competition.

Also, the Pennies for Patients fundraiser has been suspended for a new fundraiser for the TLC program, which provides people with necessities like eyeglasses and even family counseling, among their other services.

The next PTA meeting will be on Monday, March 12 in the B-building theatre at 6 p.m.