On Monday, October 10, 2016 students were not in school, but Magnolia School District employees were on duty and learning!  During this annual staff development day, 700 Magnolia School District employees participated in specialized professional development in order to improve their skills and better meet the needs of students. Teachers and instructional staff participated in our fourth annual “Classroom Connections Conference.”  They received training on reading and language arts, small group instruction, and meeting the needs of the diverse learners in the Magnolia School District.  Classified support staff participated in job specific training related to student health and safety, food handling and nutrition, and working with elementary-aged students.

This great day of teambuilding and learning culminated the entire Magnolia School District team coming together for closing remarks from Dr. Frank Donavan, the Magnolia School District’s Superintendent.  Dr. Donavan thanked all of the Magnolia School District staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of the District’s students.  He highlighted superior instruction and high-quality programs in the District, such as the arts, physical education and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Dr. Donavan shared results from the 2016 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), which showed that Magnolia School District students outperformed students in surrounding similar districts and exceeded the State average in almost all tested areas.  There is much to be proud of in Magnolia School District!

Every school year, the Magnolia School District hosts a series of Town Hall Meetings at various school sites to highlight the outstanding services and programs provided to students and families.  The first Town Hall Meeting of 2016-17 school year took place on Tuesday, October 12, 2016 at Walter Elementary School.  Over 80 parents, community members, and District staff attended the meeting. 

Topics covered at the Town Hall meeting included updates on the Magnolia School District Overview documents, which summarize District demographic, achievement, and budget data, information on upcoming parent events at every District school, and an overview of the new District website and online resources for parents and students.  District Superintendent Dr. Frank Donavan also provided a presentation, including a video of summer programs, and an overview of State assessment results, which showed excellent growth by District students in both English language arts and mathematics. 

Parents participated in a hands-on computer activity using computers that the students have access to in their classrooms daily.  The activity highlighted how teachers can quickly gather responses from every student in order to ensure understanding of lesson concepts, and how engaging and fun learning can be when technology tools are used. 

Please join us at the next Town Hall meeting on December 6, 2016 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at Disney School 2323 West Orange Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804.

The Rotary Club of Anaheim donated over 75 new backpacks loaded with school supplies for students in the Magnolia School District who did not have these items.

The new backpacks and school supplies were delivered by members of the Rotary Club of Anaheim to Dr. Jonas Salk School in the Magnolia School District and then distributed to students in need.  The students received the fully stocked backpacks when they most needed them to keep up with their school work.

The Solari Corporation donated an additional 14 backpacks with vouchers for new Sketchers shoes to former students of the Magnolia School District who are now junior high or high school students.  These students were selected to receive the donated backpacks and shoes based upon their commitment to giving back through volunteering for the Magnolia School District schools and community. 

Magnolia School District Superintendent, Dr. Frank Donavan, commented, “The Rotary Club of Anaheim has generously donated these valuable school supplies to 75 students in the Magnolia School District.  We know that these students will greatly benefit because they will be able to complete their class work and homework with these new school supplies.”

Magnolia School District’s Cristina Sanchez, Project Hero Liaison, has been recognized by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County as a 2016 Ambassador of Peace.

The Ambassador of Peace Award recognizes individuals in Orange County who work in the fields of education, public service, social work, business, and media to prevent violence and promote peace. The Award was presented to Cristina Sanchez on Friday, June 3, 2016 at a special ceremony in Costa Mesa.

Past winners of this prestigious award, which has been given each year since 1997, include many individuals who have greatly impacted their community such as: Assemblyman Jose Solorio, Sheriff Sandra Hutchins, and Senator Barbara Boxer.

Sanchez’s receipt of the 2016 Ambassador of Peace Award validates the work she does every day which includes supporting student success in the Magnolia School District by addressing issues related to attendance, homelessness, foster care, child abuse, and coping with crisis.

Sanchez stated that, “I am often motivated by the belief that people can make a difference in their lives when they begin to see their future selves, despite traumatic experiences, a student and their family can begin to heal when their relationship with their community, their school, is strengthened."

Magnolia School District Superintendent Dr. Frank Donavan said of Cristina Sanchez, “Cristina is a real difference maker for our families and our community. She works tirelessly to ensure that children are supported and have a home and school network of support that is positive and free from violence.”

Cristina Sanchez will be recognized by the Board of Trustees on September, 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Magnolia School District at 2705 West Orange Avenue, Anaheim, California, 92804.

The California Department of Education has awarded seven Magnolia School District schools with both the Gold Ribbon Schools Award and the Title 1 Academic Achievement Award.  The schools awarded include:

  • Albert Schweitzer School
  • Lord Baden-Powell School
  • Dr. Peter Marshall
  • Esther L. Walter School
  • Juliette Low School
  • Robert M. Pyles STEM Academy
  • Walt Disney School

These schools were among 780 out of over 5,800 statewide that were recognized for model programs or practices that can be replicated by other schools and for making strong gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State of California.  Additionally, each of these schools was recognized with a Title I Academic Achievement Award for demonstrating success in significantly closing the performance achievement gap between students.

One school Juliette Low Elementary was also recognized with an Exemplary Arts Education Award for providing an exceptional arts program to the school’s diverse student population.

All seven schools were honored at a special ceremony in Anaheim by State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.

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