Good Luck, Mr. Roger!

After 32 years of volunteering at Johnson Elementary School, Roger Meyer has decided it is time to retire. On Wednesday, June 11, the entire staff and student body gathered to wish Mr. Roger and his wife, Virginia, a fond farewell and a giant cheer of thanks. After Dr. Willis presented a Certificate of Appreciation, students who wrote letters and poems for the occasion presented them to Mr. Roger.  Roger Meyer was born 66 years ago with special needs.  Despite many obstacles, Roger’s parents made sure he was educated and enjoyed life. He is a poet, an avid reader, and magician.  Along his life’s journey, he met his beautiful bride. He and Virginia married 37 years ago and they are the subject of both a book and a movie, Like Normal People.  For the past 32 years, Roger has walked to Johnson Elementary School almost every day to greet the children during lunch. After lunch, Roger would meticulously sweep the lunch table area and make sure everything was clean and shiny before heading home. For his daily efforts, he was rewarded with a school lunch.  While Virginia is happy that her husband is retiring, our Johnson Family will miss his daily presence and good-natured can-do attitude. Good luck, Mr. Roger!

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A Month of Celebration for the City of El Cajon

This month the community and leadership of El Cajon had much to celebrate.  Below are just a few highlights from the Kaboom Park Build at Wells Park, America on Main Street, and Jimmy Johnson Day.  Governing Board Member Suzanne Mullins, Director of Child Nutrition Mark Mendoza, and Principal Kathy Skube joined in on the fun volunteering at the Wells Park Build, Flying Hills Elementary School rocked the stage at America on Main Street, and the Johnson Jaguars led a cheer for Jimmy Johnson at his ceremony on Tuesday.  We are proud of our city and the community that makes El Cajon GREAT!!!


The Cajon Valley Middle schools have come together for over 30 years to compete in the All Champions Track and Field Meet in May at Granite Hills High School. For the last 13 years, Greenfield P.E. teachers have organized the event with over 200 participating athletes. The Granite Hills High School Track Team volunteer and help run individual events to help make this meet successful. This year 10 records were broken between 6th through 8th grade boys and girls. Also in May and June, Greenfield and Los Coches Creek open up their facilities and hold additional meets with around 125 athletes. It’s a time for all the middle schools to come together, cheer each other on, and compete. Because of the existence of the after school sports program, many friendships have been made throughout the year between the middle schools.

CVEA Retirement Tea

Thank you CVEA for allowing me, Kari, and Governing Board Members Tamara Otero, Deanne Markle, Suzanne Mullins, and Justin Slagle to participate in celebrating the careers of our retirees.  We are so grateful.  Blanca!  Kudos to you and your team for putting on a fabulous party…

Intervention Experiment at GMS

Governing Board Member Suzanne Mullins joined me and Principal Karen Minshew on a tour of Greenfield Middle School.  On the tour Principal Minshew explained several of the successes this year.  Below is one of several successful ideas implemented at Greenfield this year.  Congratulations GMS Staff!

Intervention Experiment at GMS
Review of data from past years showed an alarming amount of time out of class for students with behavior concerns.  The data revealed that students spent over 1700 hours in a detention room, outside of the classroom learning environment.  That is the equivalent of 283 days of school outside of the classroom. Not surprisingly, these same students were struggling academically.  In response to this data, we developed a pro-active intervention model to address the needs of the student early, provide intervention, keep the student in the classroom, and support them both academically and behaviorally.
The principal, assistant principal, counselor, and guidance technician are all involved in working with targeted students.  Interventions include working with students to create a strategic plan for success, use of think sheets or reflection sheets, and focused training on self-awareness and self-management.
One key element of each of these interventions is the students’ ability to reflect and then to process that reflection with an adult.  The adult working with the student continues to support that student. They may shadow them in a classroom, call them in for a check-in to review their plan, or have a quick visit at lunch time or in the hallways.  We stay in touch with parents, often encouraging parent shadowing or a parent conference.  As a result, we have maximized student time inside the learning environment, rather than isolating them from it.
The Guidance Technician alone has had 670 contacts with 244 students.  We will continue to review our data to monitor the effectiveness of our current model and refine our process for identification and intervention for struggling students.

Bringing US History to the 21st Century Using Mine Craft

Our students have finished their survey course of world history.  We ended with the colonizing of the Americas so that they would be ready for U.S. History when they return as eighth graders after the summer.  Understanding survival in the early colonies is quite abstract for our students, so we thought having them ‘build’ either Jamestown or Plymouth in the world of Mine Craft and giving them survival scenarios would better allow for them to understand what if may have been like.  All students are replicating one of the colonies.  Some will screencast their work as well.

Ty Dayton, Emerald Middle School

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Stedman Graham and Caroline Jones Visit Cajon Valley Schools

As part of an initiative to bring Arts and Physical Education back to Elementary Schools, The Sonima Foundation provided several of our schools with free assemblies with Singer/Songwriter, Caroline Jones and Best Selling Author/Leadership Coach, Stedman Graham.  Here are some pictures of the tour as well as a short video showing the pilot physical education program at Bostonia and Madison Elementary Schools.  The short video shows “The Patch” (an obstacle course), El Cajon Rec providing organized games and sports, and health and wellness.  The University of San Diego ran pre and post assessments similar to the CA Healthy Kids Survey to measure the impact of the pilot programs.  Teachers, parents, and kids all report positive feedback on their new program.