Tamara Otero and Eyal Bergman make a $10 million dollar dent at the CA State Capitol

Several months ago, we posted on this blog “a call for stories” about immigrant and refugee students. We have been blown away by all the responses! We have since taken all those stories and compiled them into a little booklet. Physical copies are also available through the print shop. Thank you to all the teachers that wrote in. I don’t believe there is another profession in America that has more daily interaction or long-term impact on immigrants than teachers. Teachers make the difference in our communities!

We’ve been distributing these booklets to lawmakers in Sacramento. On April 25th, Governing Board member Tamara Otero was invited to testify in the Education Finance Subcommittee in the California Assembly on a funding package that would distribute $5 million across the state to districts that receive large amounts of refugees. Her testimony made quite an impact on lawmakers. On May 23rd, the Subcommittee voted UNANIMOUSLY (across party lines) to approve the package, and actually increased it to $10 million! There’s still a long way to go before the funding is approved, but we’re hopeful these efforts will lead to additional funding to support our newest students. 

Tamara’s Opening Testimony is Here….

To See the Full Budget Subcommittee Hearing See Below…

Thank you to everyone who wrote in a story, and to all of you who do your part to improve the lives of our immigrant students every day. 

Eyal Bergman

Family & Community Engagement Officer

Chase Avenue Tigers Engaged and Empowered

Even though students had just finished a week of State Testing, they had a level of energy and engagement that was off the charts.  Brian Handley, Chase Principal, shared how proud he was of the collaboration and teamwork from the teachers that made it all possible.  As Naomie Rodrigues, my partner in the Supt. Office would say… “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work”.  She is so right.  When grade level teams truly combine the best of all ideas, strategies, and resources… all students win!  We also love it when the students run to hug their school administrators as they walk into classrooms.  Very proud of Asst. Principal Stephanie Dodds and Principal Brian Handley.  Your team and students shine!  Chase is an exemplar school for blended and personalized learning.

David Miyashiro, Ed.D., Superintendent

Emerald EmSTEAM Magnet School has the “Cool Kids”

On Monday, May 22nd Governing Board President, Jo Allegria and Cajon Valley Middle School Assistant Principal, Sergio Navarro, joined me on a visit to Emerald EmSTEAM Magnet Middle School.  Jo Allegria reminisced about her days as a student at Emerald.  As we entered Mr. Bailey’s Office Jo mentioned the last time she was in the Emerald Principal’s Office… We won’t disclose here, but we all shared a laugh then discussed how much Emerald has grown over the last few years.  We were really impressed by the progress of many of our newcomer students!  Congratulations Mr. Bailey, Mrs. Ruiz, and the Emerald EmSTEM Team on your progress and achievements this year.


David Miyashiro, Ed.D., Superintendent

On Saturday June 3rd…. It’s time to Power Up with TEDxKids@ElCajon

Snapshot From TEDxKids@ElCajon 2016

Preview of TEDxKids@ElCajon 2017… Saturday June 3rd

Dear Cajon Valley Families… It’s time to Power Up!

Channel your favorite superhero on June 3rd when Cajon Valley Union School District presents TEDxKids@ElCajon in the Greenfield Middle School Theater. This is a family and community event open to the public. TEDxKids@ElCajon will have four theater sessions starting at 10:00am showcasing TED talks and performances from Cajon Valley Students. Outside on the Greenfield track area, we will have exhibitors from our community partners and schools. We are excited to add an activity area with an enormous inflatable giant slide, inflatable obstacle course and climbing wall to the event. Additional parking with shuttles are available at Bostonia Language Academy and Kaiser Permanente off of Main Street. The parking, theater sessions, outside activities are all part of your admission to the event.

Cajon Valley students are free and by  attending the TEDx event can make up one missed absence for the 2016-2017 school year. Students simply sign up for a free student ticket on tedxkidselcajon.eventbrite.com. For attendance credit we ask that students stay for 4 hours, complete a scavenger hunt activity and enjoy the event.

This is a family event celebrating the Cajon Valley community! General admission is $6.00 per person and again…Cajon Valley students are FREE!  Register online @  tedxkidselcajon.eventbrite.com. See you on June 3rd at Greenfield Middle School Don’t forget your Superhero Cape!


The TEDxKids@ElCajon Team

Greenfield Arts Pathway (GAP) Gala

KUSI News – San Diego, CA

Greenfield Middle School welcomed the community to it’s spring Greenfield Arts Pathway (GAP) Gala this week.  Students presented a variety of GAP projects: theme-based, cross-curricular projects where students demonstrated their learning to authentic audiences in science, math, engineering, history, and English.  Many of the students presented community improvement projects that provided creative, solution-based ideas in response to challenges in our community, including homeless veterans, stray animals, and bullying.  Students in our performing arts classes performed, as well: dance, drama, and guitar.  Students also displayed visual art and screened films from the video production class.  The evening culminated with a performance of “Aladdin, Jr.” by students in the musical theater class.  Thank you to all the members of the community and district colleagues who joined the event!

Please enjoy a brief KUSI News Clip from the event.

Gregory Calvert, Principal

Greenfield Middle School

1495 Greenfield Dr., El Cajon, 92021

School Phone: (619) 588-3103

Direct Office: (619) 588-3252

Cell: (310) 346-1427





R.I.P. Sean Wallace, IT Department

Our TEDx team has been using the Educational Services department to coach our students for the upcoming event.  We have been using a few round bright red carpets for these students.  Our big red dots have been scattered around the department. This Friday, May 26th, Sean Wallace from IT, saw the red dot and he said, “This looks like a crime scene.  all it needs is a body.”  R.I.P Sean Wallace.  LOL

Shared by Souad Naoum (Educational Services Team)

I.T. Dept. Retirement Plan.

“Thank you, but we will no longer require your services.”


Avocado Elementary School… That’s how we #AVGatorsRoll

Avocado Elementary School continues to move #GatorForward and to #AVGatorsRoll to another successful year.   Our amazing team has continued to push themselves to new heights and our Gators have benefited from their efforts. As we move forward toward our claim of distinction centered on health and wellness, we look forward to what the upcoming year will bring to our Gators. Next year, The World of Work, our new presentation literacy curriculum and school wide PTA events will give our Gators a leg up in their educational careers and continue to make learning fun!

It has been an amazing year in the Gator Nation. Our Gators have earned special recognitions from MIND Research, Teachers are Heroes and Thank-A-Teacher; we celebrated our local heroes from Training Support Center, SDPD, ECPD and San Miguel Fire Department; built new partnerships CBS-KFMB 8 and continued to grow as a community. We invite all of you to follow our journey on Twitter @avocadogators and @AvocadoPTA .

We would like to thank Dr. Miyashiro for always making time in his busy schedule to support Avocado Elementary School. We would also like to thank Mr. Van Norman for joining us on this visit. This year continues to get better as our Gators continue to learn and grow. The great thing is that there is still more to come! Then again, that is how we #AVGatorsRoll!

Have a wonderful rest of the year, Cajon Valley!


Keith Himaka, Principal

Avocado Elementary School

Shrek Jr. the Musical @ Flying Hills Elementary School

Just before Spring Break, the 6th grade students from Flying Hills wrapped up their performance of Shrek Jr. the Musical, performing the eight shows during a 2-week period.  The entire show was student-led; everything from the performers to sets, props, lighting, sound, costumes, and crowd control.

As you can see from the photos here, the production was stunning, wowing audience after audience during its run.  We are incredibly proud of our students as they worked unbelievably hard to produce a show that was truly unforgettable! 

Jeremy Lyche, Principal

Flying Hills Elementary School

May the Cheese Be With You! (Part Deux)

Remember this great post by Ernie Ruiz back in March… Well read down to find the outcome!

This student at Meridian elementary is looking for support for his bring back the grilled cheese campaign. He was a joy to meet! Please join us on this cheesy crusade! May the cheese be with you! 

Shared by Ernie Ruiz, CVUSD Warehouse Operations Team

Part 2 (Story Continued)

Hot off the grill with this special update. The grilled cheese campaign was a success! Sabri from Meridian Elementary School sat down with the big cheese himself (Mark Mendoza) from our Child Nutrition Department to engage in negotiations. After some tough and thorough tactics exhibited by both parties the two agreed to bring back the grilled cheese sandwich to the menu starting in May. Sabri’s special team of Ladies that work in the kitchen at Meridian were an integral part of the operation. Way to go Sabri! You’ve reminded us all that the simple pleasures in life have big meanings, and you had a voice; and equally as important you were heard! Thank you Dr. Miyashiro and Mr. Mendoza for listening and allowing Sabri to have a voice.    

Thank you for sharing Ernie… and Congratulations Sabri!