PTA: Feb. 2013


Gissele Enriquez

On February 11, in the Downey High School theater, English teacher, Mark Child explains the APEX program to the PTSA members for teens to recover their credits. “The capacity of students that are able to enroll in the program is 90, there is a total of 87 students,” Child said.

Marilyn Ramirez, Copy Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief

As second semester begins, parents come to the monthly PTA meeting on Monday, Feb. 11 at 6:00 p.m. to listen to Downey High officials present information on the remainder of the school year. PTA President Patty Northcott opened the meeting with the city’s new alert system and the progress of volunteers at Health Education Local Pantry Services who will begin the annual food drive on March 8.


After the Treasurer’s report by Debbie Fitzgerald, Principal Tom Houts spoke to parents about the winter sports teams who made it to the playoffs, which were all except boys soccer. He also mentioned the CAHSEE coming up on March 12 for sophomores. The CAHSEE is one-fourth of the school’s Academic Performance Index, which Houts stated has increased in multiple subjects.


“I’ve been looking at the percentage of Fs and As in semester one grades,” Houts said, “and each year I’ve noticed that Fs are going down and As are going up. We have more kids taking higher levels of math and science, and I’m very happy about that.”


Although Downey has a higher API, it did not receive a distinguished school mark like its city rival Warren High School because of the four-point shortage in the special education department.


English teacher Mr. Child followed Houts with information on the fairly new program APEX, a class held at 7:00 a.m. each morning for credit recovery for struggling students. Mainly for seniors, this class validates bad marks received throughout their high school years and also makes up for classes not yet taken but needed.


“You’ve got a student who’s down five or even 35 credits that needs to graduate,” Child said, “and APEX saves them when they start applying to colleges.”


Next year, Child hopes to implement Recovery Solution, an updated version of APEX that will test students before their required course to separate what they know from what they don’t to mainstream the course more appropriately, saving the student time.


The last speakers at the meeting were Activities Director Gordon Weisenburger and ASB members Karen Gill, 12, and Marjan Abubo, 11.  Winter Formal was the most recent news they delivered, as well as the Sadies Hawkins dance.


“We had a turnout of 785 guests at Formal,” Abubo said, “which wasn’t expected, so that was good.”


Gill answered one parent’s question about Sadies, who wondered about the turnout of previous dances as well.


“We recently brought back Sadies last year after six years,” Gill said, “and we’re looking into it for this year. We want to have enough people go to keep this event going.”


The remaining PTA members-Aida Ramirez, Norma Rodriguez, and Mr. Zegarra-concluded the meeting with the Membership Report of two new members and the stricter tardy sweep implementation.