CVUSD Connect

Cajon Valley School District's weekly updates…

Welcome to CVUSD Connect!

Dear Team,

The purpose of CVUSD Connect is to open channels of communication, create transparency within our school district, and CONNECT us all once a week with a common message filled with updates, celebrations, school highlights, events, and more. Please send pictures, videos, and highlights from your school or department to me at so we can share with the entire family.

Kari, Michelle, Jon, Scott, and David


We have learned a lot about our students and ourselves using RIASEC with PBL

Students as young as five years old have a good idea of who they are, what they like, what they are good at, and what they want to be. Careers were introduced into our thematic units of study this year. Students have pretty clear opinions about if they would enjoy a particular career like being a Farmer or Zoologist and if they have similar strengths and likes. World of Work is now just a natural part of our dialogue in the classroom.
Using RIASEC also challenges our views of how we see our students. Behavior challenges and students we saw as timid, step up and become amazing leaders! They are focused and on task. They take their position seriously and channel that energy. Students we feel have poor fine motor skills want to be be recorders and artists. It is often NOT the position we would have assigned to them but it is how they view themselves and what they aspire to. In giving students that choice  we believe there is confidence building and ownership. Even if it is evident they lack the skills for their chosen job and it’s a disaster, that in itself is very powerful for the student! We hope they internalize and learn more about themselves from that experience.
As a teacher, it is both fascinating and frightening to step back and watch kids fail, disagree, and problem solve. It is sometimes a painful and counter intuitive experience for us. But ultimately we know the language, engagement and open endedness of the task is the best gift we can give them to truly prepare them for life in the real world.
This video chronicles our year of learning and growing together.
Niki Glah
Rios Elementary


EdSurge Article Summary and Reflection by Lisa Russo (HMS)

What Skills Do Google, Pinterest, and Twitter Employees Think Kids Need To Succeed?

  1. I quickly found that the skill people should master is clear writing—the ability to write well. I think that writing English might seem mundane compared with writing an iPhone app, but it really gives you a leg up on people who have just the technical skills. Being able to write well is never wasted—it forces you to understand your own thoughts and goals and what you’re trying to accomplish, and break them down in a way that actually ends up being parallel to the work that you do in programming computers.
  2. I think that public speaking is so important. I think it’s being at Google where I really developed that skill… I think that’s something we don’t put a lot of emphasis on, but it is super important, from my perspective.
  3. Having critical thinking around what you’re doing and where it is that you want to go is something I think is really important. Having a good idea of what it is you want to learn and where you want to go can do a lot to help further your career.
  4. I also think we should cultivate being unafraid of technical things. I think it’s important to arrive with the skill that you are capable of learning anything—even if it’s technical.
  5. To add to that, I think with problem solving, there also comes this notion of resiliency. I know we teach that failure should be embraced, because that way, you uncover more successes… Sometimes in those failures, you reveal your biggest triumphs, too. How do you bounce back from a failure and don’t get less confident or you don’t feel that you can’t move on from that?
  6. It comes back to growth mindset for me. I think that really helps you have that resiliency and grow faster.


Shared by Lisa Russo, Hillsdale Middle School (Thank you Lisa)


Congratulations Mark Reagles… “California’s Best”

Congratulations to Mark Reagles on placing 2nd in the 3rd Annual “California’s Best” competition in Lake Tahoe on June 7th.   Your participation in the competition written knowledge exam plus three very demanding technical challenge stations demonstrated your high level of knowledge and skills.  Only a very few points separated you from the first place competitor.

The competition was designed to be both fun and educational and to provide recognition for the individuals who contribute so much to school bus safety.  All participants received training on tires, multiplex wiring, accident investigations and wheelchair lift maintenance among other subjects and tested their skills with the goal of making school buses even safer across North America.

Phil Medved
CASTO “America’s Best” chairperson



Giving students what they need most: Encouragement

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

EL CAJON (NEWS 8) — Sometimes, what a student needs the most is encouragement.

In Thursday’s Zevely Zone, Jeff visited El Cajon to meet a special teacher who dug deep into her heart – and pocket – to help a student in need.

Jason showed up in Miss Wilson’s class 8 years ago and he was a bit of a handful. But he had good reason to be – when he was younger his mother went to prison and when he was 12 years old his father was murdered. Jason then went to live with a family friend.

Still, growing up without parents had many challenges and Miss Wilson became family to Jason.

Click here to see the full story.


“Anything Goes” @ CVUSD Extended Summer Day Camp

Our Extended Day Program’s second week of Summer Day Camp went off with out a hitch!   Our theme this week was “Anything Goes!” .  Just to name a few of the fun and engaging activities students enjoyed this week week we had Park Rangers guest speaking, We put our engineering skills to the test and built towers at of pencils, and enjoyed a week of coding from the Code to the Future group!  The fun just keeps on happening!

Week Three of EDP Summer Camp was “Community Helpers”  We kicked off the week working together to build Rosie the Riveter. Students moved on to learning the fine art of seeing bones by making “x-rays” of their hands with q-tips!  Kids enjoyed the outdoors with parachute play and then ended their week with a visit from the El Cajon Fire Department.  Fun, laughter and learning was had by all!

Week four, “The Wonderful World of Water” had students enjoying water games, the Bubble lady and ended in a Kickball tournament!  Students also made sure to give a big “thank you” to the El Cajon Fire Department for taking time to show our kids how to be safe and still have fun!

Kaarn Hopkins-Wolfe, Program Supervisor

Cajon Valley Extended Day Program


Summer Fun With CVUSD Extended Day Summer Camp

Our Extended Day Program’s Summer Day Camp has started off on the right foot!  Our first weekly theme this summer was “The Wonderful World of Disney” .  One of our many STEM activities included Cinderella’s Slipper!  Students used their engineering skills to design a new shoe for Cinderella!  Check out some of their designs!


Kaarn Hopkins-Wolfe, Program Supervisor

Cajon Valley Extended Day Program


Join the Movement “One Day”

Kari Hull, Joan Knoernschild, Steve Spence, and a team of directors and student musicians received permission from global recording artist Matisyahu, to make some age appropriate modifications to and record our own version of his hit song  “One Day” for our annual TEDxKids@ElCajon event.  The idea came from Avocado Principal Keith Himaka… Deputy Superintendent, Kari Hull, took it from there.  The result was a beautiful collaboration with the city of El Cajon and an opportunity to provide yet another stage for Cajon Valley Students to shine. We are grateful to the City of El Cajon and the El Cajon Police Department for closing down Main Street for the shooting of this music video.

Thank you for all those who participated!



Johnson Jaguars Finish The Year Strong

On Thursday, Governing Board President Jo Allegria and I had the pleasure of joining the Johnson Volunteer Tea, watch the 5th graders rehearse their songs for promotion, and visit students and teachers showing of their best work at the end of the school year.  The Volunteer Tea was beautiful.  It was so evident that the parent volunteers felt so valued and appreciated.  The detail and thoughtfulness put into the celebration by Johnson teachers and staff made my heart smile.  The progress made at Johnson this year in terms of academic focus, blended learning, and progress monitoring was impressive.  I was also very impressed by the routines and procedures in place to set high expectations for student behavior and proper engagement.  You have much to be proud of Johnson Team!  Congratulations on an outstanding school year!

David Miyashiro Ed.D., Superintendent


Snippet of Kids Singing at the Volunteer Tea

Snippet of 5th Graders Practicing a Song for Promotion


Renaissance Faire 2017 @ Montgomery Middle School

A quick look at the Montgomery staff and students enjoying The Annual Renaissance Faire

Montgomery Students Practicing The Traditional Dance


Each year MMS 7th graders, under the direction of Ms. Willhite and Mr. Degering, attend and perform in a Renaissance Faire.  We have guests come and show us some activities (The Archers of Ravenswood), the Maker lab re-created Renaissance objects and buildings, the Drama dept taught them all the Commoner’s Dance, the PE dept. teaches them jousting with swimming pool noodles and the shields/family crests that they research and create.  And finally, in the math dept. they study the Golden Ratio.  It is quite an event that incorporates almost every subject the 7th graders study. On the disk I have included some still pictures for the yearbook next year as well as a video version of the Dance.  Enjoy!  Come see us next June!

Kevin Day, Drama and Theatre

Montgomery Middle School


Welcome to CVUSD DELAC Convivio June 7, 2017

Yesterday June 7, 2017 as part of DELAC Awards Night that was held at Lexington Elementary school, we recognized our English Learner students for their outstanding achievement/progress, and the classified/certificated/ administrator staff as well for their contributions and outstanding support for our EL Program. Eyal Bergman, FACE Officer started the meeting and welcomed all the attendees, and introduced the Instructional Program Director, Denise Parnell and the DELAC Officers. Then students/staff were called to the stage to receive their achievement and recognition award. During the break, The Lexington Ballet Folklórico performed a dance from a Spanish culture. The event continued and more students/staff received their awards. Selected reclassified English Learners spoke and share their EL experience. It was a heartwarming event for everyone.

At the end, Dr. Denise Parnell, the Director of Instructional Services, thanked all the students, parents and the staff for their hard work and perseverance throughout the year, and encouraged the parents to get more involved in their children’s education and participate in the DELAC meetings to have a voice in their English Learners education.

Souad Naoum, Educational Services Department

Bicultural/Bilingual/Translator – Chaldean/Arabic


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