The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Lighthouse Is Shining Brighter Than Ever! Fall of 2010 marks Lighthouse Community Charter School’s ninth year of operation. Serving about 690 students in grades K - 12, the Lighthouse mission is to prepare students for college and a career of their choice. High expectations, rigorous curriculum, programs to serve the whole child, family involvement, and the highest quality teachers are the tenets that drive how we achieve that mission. This issue of The Beacon highlights just a few of the remarkable things our students and faculty are capable of! Come visit us anytime - you are always welcome!
Lighthouse Graduates - Where Are They Now? Lighthouse Alumni Are Well on the Road to Success! Despite making the daunting transition to college during a time of great economic instability, on the whole, Lighthouse graduates have remained steadfast in their pursuit of higher education. Of the 46 students who have graduated from Lighthouse in the past two years, 39 are still enrolled in college, with several students planning to join their ranks in the spring. Many graduates attributed their success in dealing with issues such as fee hikes and class reductions to skills they learned while at Lighthouse. As Adrian Topete, a freshman at the College of Alameda and member of the Lighthouse Class of 2010 commented, “Lighthouse taught me to be proactive. Other students who come from prestigious private high schools are asking ME what to do.” UC Berkeley sophomore Veronica Guzman, Lighthouse Class of 2009, added, “There will always be challenges and obstacles. The key is facing your fears. Lighthouse has taught me to be brave in handling any situation that I encounter.” By and large, Lighthouse graduates also report feeling fairly well prepared for the academic side of college. “All the big essays we did at Lighthouse really helped me for my classes this semester. Same with the teamwork; so many college assignments require working with other people or forming study groups,” 1
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
cently received a grant to provide outreach to students who are underserved by the campus’ health care services. “The best part about college is the opportunity to meet really interesting people, people who are passionate about issues you’d never think about otherwise. And this leads you to think more about yourself and your own interests,” Guzman asserted. Other graduates shared that their favorite aspect of college is the personal freedom that college affords. “The best part of my college experience so far has been staying away from home and being independent,” reported Miguel Zepeda, a member of the Lighthouse Class of 2010 and freshman at Dominican University. Among the common challenges Lighthouse graduates report facing in college are the difficulty of making meaningful connections with college faculty and the complexity of managing their time effectively. “The most difficult part about college is multitasking, like studying when other things come up,” German Lopez stated.
Santiago Villalba, the 2010 Graduation Marshall, shows off his diploma.
remarked Esteban Buenrostro, a member of the Class of 2010 who is now a freshman at Sacramento State. “Lighthouse prepared us by always making us take notes -- Ms. Beale’s summary notes especially,” echoed Juan Ramirez, Lighthouse Class of 2010, who is studying automotive technology at Wyotech.
Challenges and all, Lighthouse’s graduates
Outside of their school work, many Lighthouse graduates are also taking advantage of the multitude of extracurricular opportunities available to them in college. For example, CSU Stanislaus sophomore German Lopez, LCCS Class of 2009, is among those pledging a fraternity while CSU Monterey Bay sophomore Janae Miller, LCCS Class of 2009, is a Resident Advisor in one of the school’s dormitories. Meanwhile, when she’s not attending classes at College of Alameda or working on her transfer application to CSU Fullerton, Elise Sien, LCCS Class of 2009, volunteers at Oakland’s Highland Hospital. Along the same lines, Guzman is involved with a student health worker program at UC Berkeley, and has re-
German Lopez, class of 2009, looks the part as he prepares for Rush Week at CSU Stanislaus. 2
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
remain overwhelmingly positive about the choice that they’ve made to seek out a college degree. Lopez continued, “College has been one of the greatest experiences in my life. I want to give special thanks to Ms. Fregosa for convincing me to attend a four year university!”
Lighthouse By the Numbers 120 * Approximate number of pounds of trash collected by 5th and 6th graders at Arrowhead Marsh this fall (pictured below)
Where Are They Now? Here’s where the Classes of 2009 and 2010 can be found: Berkeley City College Bethany University
773 * Current Academic Performance Index (API) of
California State University, East Bay, Monterey Bay, & Stanislaus
the K - 8 school (800 is the goal)
109 * Increase in the K - 8 API in the past five years
57 * Current percentage of 9 - 12th grade students
College of Alameda
who scored proficient or advanced on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts
143*Four-year percentage increase in the 9 - 12th
Holy Names University Kalamazoo College
grade students who scored proficient or advanced on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts
86* Percentage of low-income students served by
90 * Percentage of Lighthouse students who will be
Sacramento State University
first in their family to go to college
San Francisco Art Institute
95 * Percentage of Lighthouse students accepted to
San Francisco State University
four-year colleges and universities
Southern Methodist University
4 of 4 * Number of times Lighthouse Los Lobos
University of California, Berkeley, Davis & Santa Cruz
Soccer team has been in the league semi-finals or finals
University of San Francisco
7,241 * Current number of books in LCCS library
10,000 * Capacity for books in LCCS Library
20 * # of proposals on Donors Choose.
Go to www.donorschoose.com to fund a teacher’s project 3
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Beams of Light With 690 K - 12 students, 90 outstanding faculty members, and a well-rounded program that emphasizes a rigorous curriculum, high expectations for all students, serves that whole child, involves families, and fosters a professional learning community, good news radiates from the school. Here are just a few of the stories.
Robotics Program Is Given a “Leg Up” by Chevron Grant
Lighthouse Science Teacher, Aaron Vanderwerff has received a $25,000 grant to enhance Lighthouse’s robotics program. His submission captured a combination of excellence and innovation in the classroom above and beyond the many submissions Chevron received. Mr. Vanderwerff first submitted his project on the Donor’s Choose website where he described his students’ experience with robotics, “I work with amazing 11th and 12th grade students from a high-need community who are attending our small community based charter school. Over a period of two years I teach them Chemistry and Physics, and they have an option to take Robotics. Our school's primary mission is to help all of our students successfully graduate from college; most of our students they will be the first in their family to attend college. Designing and programming robots is a life-changing experience for my students, most of whom have never considered programming or engineering as careers. Students returned from our first robotics competition very interested in furthering their technical education; my 11th graders even asked if we can create an advanced robotics program at the school.” These Chevron Classroom Challenge funds will help make this a reality!
Lighthouse Teacher Invited to Attend Education Nation This September, Laura Kretschmar, one of Lighthouse’s founding teachers, represented Lighthouse in a nation-wide education summit within NBC's annual Education Nation at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Fifty educators from around the country were selected to participate in the summit to dialogue around issues of teacher effectiveness and public school reform with some of our nation's education leaders and politicians. Laura had the opportunity to meet and dialogue with Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children's Zone; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; California Representative George Miller; and Michael Lomax, President of the United Negro College Fund to name a few. One of the outcomes of the summit was a need to create more pathways for teacher input on public school policy decisions. The group of educators is planning to meet again this March in NYC to continue dialogue and work with the Hope Street Group, a policy and economic opportunity advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. She also made her television debut as a member of a televised audience for a Teacher Town Hall moderated by NBC’s Brian Williams and a forum to discuss the documentary Waiting For Superman with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and the director of the film, Davis Guggenheim.
Students Travel to Washington, DC to Represent Lighthouse to Foundation Jorge Prieto and Nancy Vuong, 8th graders, had the honor of traveling to Washington, DC this November with Melanie Swandby, 8th Grade Math/Science Teacher as a part of a two-year service learning project sponsored by the National Council of La Raza. The students and their teacher were summoned to DC to address senior representatives of State Farm Insurance, the funders behind the project. The service learning project, still ongoing at Lighthouse, is focused on healthy eating, organic gardening, and fighting obesity. Jorge and Nancy told the State Farm folks about their trips to the Fully Belly Farm, building an organic garden on campus, and conducting healthy, kid-friendly cooking demonstrations to younger grades at Lighthouse. While they were there, Jorge and Nancy had a chance to visit some of the Nation’s Capital’s finest sites. Of the trip, Jorge remarked, “This was a great opportunity to represent our school. It was awesome! I’ve never been to Washington, DC before and I got to see all that this nation is built upon. I left feeling really inspired to help my community in Oakland.”
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Lighthouse in Pictures From Top to Bottom - 1. Lighthouse music teacher, Hamu Yaropa, poses with 4th graders who sang at the annual gala (left to right): Sandra Morales, Nifi Brandy, Alondra Ocegueda, and Annabel Dudash. 2. Instructional Aide, Angela Tam, with her children, Michael and Jasmin Tam. 3. First graders, Gregorio and Diego model compassion on the playground.
From Top to Bottom - 1. Alex Synder, 12th Grade, on the Blue Water Foundation Sailing Trip 2. 7th Graders, Gaby Garcia, Nayeli Cruz, and Esmeralda Brizuela, at the Fully Belly Farm Hoes Down Festival. 3. Ms. Pellsâ€™ first grade class fieldwork to Revolution Foods to learn about healthy eating. 5
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Black, White & Light All Over Gala a Fantastic Success Guests Came“Dressed to the Nines” to Celebrate Lighthouse’s Nine Years items included incredible donations of Usher tickets, donated by the Oracle Arena; a night on stage as a stand-up comic, from the Purple Onion Comedy Club; VIP Tickets to the Pebble Beach Concourse d’ Elegance and a surfing package complete with surfing lessons and a custom made surfboard, featuring Lighthouse student artwork.
! Board Member, D’Lonra Ellis (2nd from right), and guests light up the night with their smiles.
October 9, 2010 marked our 4th Annual Gala and over 200 guests came “dressed to the nines” to celebrate Lighthouse’s 9th year of operating and raise money for the many valuable programs we offer our students. The beautiful Rotunda Building served as an elegant backdrop for the bidding, excitement and connections that made this such a special evening.
! Phil Tagami leads a lively LIVE Auction.
The energetic, creative and hard-working Gala Committee planned and executed the evening to logistical perfection. Event planner extraordinaire Midge Walterhouse handled the details, while Lynn Epstein, Karen Lybrand, Steve and Judy Lipson provided the support that brought the evening together.
This year the “light” part of Black, White and Light All Over was the light-up ice cubes that kicked off the cocktail hour and silent auction as guests mingled, bid on items, were serenaded by Lighthouse 4th graders and geared up for the Live Auction. During dinner, 2010 Lighthouse Graduate Jennifer Lopez, told her sometimes heart-wrenching, mostly heartwarming, story of attending and graduating from Lighthouse. While her story is a powerful one, hers is just one of many that Lighthouse students could tell about their life-changing experience. Jennifer reminded us that because of supporters like you, every student - regardless of their hardships, can reach their goals From the moment Oakland developer and superstar Phil Tagami, opened the Live auction with a surprise offering of John Madden wine from his personal cellar, the live auction lived up to its name – lively. Auctioned
! Lighthouse faculty dressed to nines!
The close to $100,000 we raised will help Lighthouse continue to provide a quality educational program for every student! Next year will mark our 10-year anniversary and 5th Annual Gala. We’ll see you there!
Event Sponsors Guardian Angel Len and Lynn Epstein
Beacon Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
Spotlight Cahill Contractors Heller Family Foundation JE Petronet, Inc. The Kretschmar Family Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP The Pravina Fund Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Our Generous Business Partners Bay Area Red Carpet California Capital Investment Group Dr. Michael Macdonald Distinctive Design Douglas Parking MW Events Oakland Magazine Patrick David’s Fine Catering Pinnacle Printing Production Logic
Black White & Light All Over Auction Donors 2 Mile Surf Shop About Face and Body Aquarium of the Bay Asian Art Museum Aviva Black
Bay Area Discovery Museum Bellanico Ben and Jerry's Berkeley Rep Berkeley Symphony Bistro Liaison Boconova Boulder Creek Breggo Winery Brian Perloﬀ Brian Rogers Cabi – Alexandra Murphy Cahill Contractors Cal Performances Cal Shakes California Canoe and Kayak Camino Casa Orinda Restaurant CiKzen Canine City Center Dental City of Oakland Courtyard by MarrioM Darren Anderson Dermalounge Diesel, A Bookstore Disneyland Dolce Wines Dona Tomas Douglas Parking El Charro Mexican Dining Entourage Spa, Salon and café Fairyland Fine Arts Museum of SF Firehouse StaKon A Flora Gala CommiMee Golden Gate Fields Great America iFly John Parman Ken Morrison and Lauren Pacelli La Piazza LafayeMe Car Wash Lark Creek -‐ Walnut Creek Lawrence Hall of Science Lighthouse Board of Directors LiMle River Inn Loka Yoga Marcus HIbser Mark Rollins Michael Heines 7
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Midge Walterhouse MysKc SurXoards Namaste Yoga Nick Krieger Oakland East Bay Symphony Oakland Ice Center Oracle Arena Oregon Shakespeare FesKval Orin SwiZ Vineyards Ozumo Paciﬁc Coast Brewing Co. Panera Bread Pappos Patrick David’s Fine Catering Pave Pebble Beach Concours d’ Ele-‐ gance Perry's Pete's Brass Rail and Car Wash Phil Tagami Phillipa Roberts Pican Powell's Sweet Shoppe Renaissance Club Sport Renaissance Railto, Inc. Rialto Cinemas Rick Evans RN74 Royal Gorge Ski Resort San Francisco Ballet San Jose Sharks SFMOMA Shurhold Industries, Inc. Smiley’s Schooner Saloon & Hotel SMUIN Ballet Soo-‐Zee Park Southwest Airlines Sylvan Learning Tamarindo The Claremont Hotel, Club & Spa The Coast Café The Oakland Raiders The Purple Onion Comedy Club The Walt Disney Family Museum The Yogurt Shack USS Hornet Museum Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Yu Hay and Suzie Lee Zachary's Chicago Pizza
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
Teachers Take On “Take One” This fall, all of the K – 8 Lighthouse teachers committed to taking on a yearlong, robust professional development process called Take One. Take One! ® is one step of many that can lead a teacher to become National Board Certified, the highest level of prestigious certification in the U.S. The goal of Take One is to improve teaching quality by providing teachers with the opportunity to reflect on their own classroom instructional practices within the context of national teaching standards. As a part of this process, teachers have selected an area of their practice that they want to examine, film their lessons, and are working in teams to analyze their teaching. “The Take One professional development process is helping me focus my instruction on the areas I most need to improve. I feel both supported and pushed by the process,” remarked Catie Baetens, 6th grade Humanities teacher. Take One is one of many professional development opportunities that Lighthouse teachers experience. In addition to Take One, they also participate in workshops on English Language Development and collaborate on curriculum development. Teachers also have the opportunity to sit in on instructional rounds, a teaching and learning practice inspired by medical rounds. Instructional rounds help our teachers identify effective teaching practices, learn from one another, and collaborate on areas of improvement within the school. Preparing students for college and a career of their choice requires the highest quality teachers the profession has to offer – the Take One process is just one way Lighthouse teachers are working hard to improve their practice to best serve their students.
Generous Donation from the Science Source Propels Science Education Forward at Lighthouse
in the science and technology teaching materials field. Lighthouse students have been able to “see” concepts with electrostatic and audio demonstrators and have been able to investigate the physics of motion with sophisticated sensors and probeware technology. “By using the probeware, we were able to see how our motion translated into a graph, and we were able to connect that graph to what that meant in showing real-life motion,” shares Maria Pelayo, 12th grader, on her experience in Physics.
“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” - Carl Sagan
“The Science Source demonstration materials elegantly show students how science concepts are applied in the real world, and the technology and probeware are so important for students to be able to collect data, perform calculations, write, and print their analyses all in one lab setting-making the learning iterative and immediate.” “Finally, we are doing and seeing science in ways that we haven’t been able to in the past. With equipment, science is more interesting, and fun,”
Last year, physics teacher Aaron Vanderwerff, was able to launch a college preparatory physics class for Lighthouse students using the new materials in powerful ways,
That is the quote that greets juniors and seniors at Lighthouse every time they enter their state-of-the art physics and chemistry lab at the new Lighthouse facility on Hegenberger Road in Oakland. Equipped for innovative teaching and learning, the lab was outfitted with technology and equipment thanks to Rudi Graf of the Science Source in Waldoboro, Maine and his colleagues
comments Jennifer Garcia.
The Beacon * Fall of 2010
the CAHSEE multiple times to pass). Every year we have administered the test, we have significantly outpaced the Oakland Unified School District in our passage rates. This year was no exception.
Snapshots of Success: a quick look at some recent results Lighthouse continues to make strides in high levels of student achievement for our students. While we will not be satisfied until we are doing even better, we are proud of our results.
CAHSEE Passage Rates Over Time in comparison with Current Year OUSD (in red)
For background, our academic program is measured against the same assessments all California public schools are required to use, the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) system, for all students in grades 2 – 12. Using the scores from these assessments, the California Department of Education calculates an Academic Performance Index (API). The goal for all schools in California is 800 and the Lighthouse Board of Directors has set the goal of achieving an API of 800 by 2011 for the K – 8 school and by 2014 for the 9 – 12 school. Below are some snapshots of our improvements in academic achievement for our students.
In addition to improvement on our API scores and progress on our CAHSEE passage rates, we continue to outpace the district in key metrics that we are quite proud of. LCCS Four Year Drop Out Rate: 2% OUSD Four Year Drop Out Rate: 37.6% LCCS Graduates having taken prerequisite courses to apply to college: 100% OUSD Graduates having taken prerequisite courses to apply to college: 37.8% What is disheartening about this data is that less than 4 of 10 OUSD graduates are even qualified to apply to a four-year university. Meanwhile, almost 9 of 10 Lighthouse graduates are actually enrolled in college. While these numbers are to be celebrated, we will continue to strive to meet our mission of preparing 100% of our students for college. Looking into the future, we see great reason to believe our results are only on the rise. As we mature as a school, we continue to refine our practices, develop our teachers, and hold our students to ever-higher expectations.
Another measure that the school uses to assess its performance is the rate of first-time passage our students have on the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) – a requirement of graduation from any public high school in California. (Students can take
8th Graders on a recent trip to UC Berkeley.
The Beacon: The Lighthouse Community Charter School Newsletter Board of Directors Brian Rogers, President Sarah Chavez Sanjay Dholakia D’Lonra Ellis John Hall Susan Harper Mike “JB” John-Baptiste Christina Legg Greenberg Soo Zee Park Kristin Richmond Jonathan Velline
EXPO of Student Work
School Directors Melissa Barnes-Dholakia Steve Sexton Jenna Stauffer
444 Hegenberger Rd. Oakland
Lighthouse Community Charter School 444 Hegenberger Road Oakland, CA 94621 www.lighthousecharter.org
Fall of 2010
All are welcome to attend Lighthouse’s Fall Expo of Student Work, a schoolwide presentation of the semester’s worth of learning. Come see projects, hear student presentations, and be wowed by performances! December 15, 2010 5 - 7 p.m.
Call 510-562-8801 for more information
Lighthouse Community Charter School November 2010 Beacon Newsletter