Math coach welcomed by teaching staff
Water prices on the rise By Marcus Kahn and Coleman Rainey Tiger Staff The decrepit reservoir stands in the middle of a suburban San Gabriel community, its perfectly manicured lawn and hedge-lined walls guarding the main source of South Pasadena’s water. “They’re telling us to conserve water,” said Environmental Sciences teacher Don Wielenga, shaking his head, “And then they have a lawn like this. The city of South Pasadena held a presentation and tour of its reservoirs and pumps last Saturday, February 5, hoping to quell protests over the proposed increase in water bill rates. This March, residents will see their water bills rise by 30% in an attempt to fix the city’s crumbling infrastructure, and deal with a scarcity of both ground and imported water. Rate hikes will not stop there, however, and will be raised in increments until 2015. The problem is twofold. As city officials explained Saturday, the amount of water that South Pasadena receives from Northern California and the Colorado River is dwindling. To make matters worse, the aquifer below the San Gabriel Valley, from which we pump all of our groundwater, is at a record low. Only 60% of our water can come from these sources, for health and sustainability concerns. The rest must be purchased from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) – water which is almost 30 times more expensive than groundwater and will continue to get more expensive in the next few years. The second factor spurring the rate hikes is South Pasadena’s hundred-year-old reservoirs and pumps, which are in desperate need of repair. See “Water” on pg. 2
By Amber Laird and Ande Withers Tiger Staff
WINTER FORMAL 2011: Freshmen Michael Owens and Isabella Trent embrace on the dance floor at the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium on February 29. See additional coverage on pg. 12-13.
Construction aims to alleviate traffic congestion By Libby Rainey News Editor Construction on Fair Oaks Avenue is being conducted throughout South Pasadena in a project aiming to reduce traffic congestion in town, although the work itself is causing the street to be temporarily jammed. The construction, ranging from Columbia Street to Monterey Road, is an effort mainly aiming to resurface the street by removing and replacing existing asphalt, install crosswalks and median islands, and build a new traffic signal at the State Street and Raymondale Drive intersection, among other renovations. Funding for the road renovation comes from multiple sources, including money secured in 1998 by Congressman
Street work on the intersection of Fair Oaks Ave and El Centro St. Jim Rogan specifically meant to aid traffic congestion in the Los Angeles area. Other reserves include the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act supply, local resources, and Metro funds. The project is estimated to cost about 4.3 million dollars. Street work has “definitely impacted local business,” ac-
District invests in “Thinking Maps” By Coleman Rainey Editor-In-Chief
English Department Chair Mr. Jim Asher displays some visual teaching tools.
A professional development program named “Thinking Maps Incorporated” has been hired by South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) to train faculty to use “visual teaching techniques which foster and encourage life long learning,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Dr. Steve Seaford. Those “visual teaching techniques” are eight “Thinking Maps;” basic visual organizers that are now being utilized across the district. According to Dr. Seaford, the program is based on research of the brain. The “Thinking Maps” are based upon eight fundamental thinking processes that researchers have identified. These
maps, which include basic shapes and recognizable designs like bubble diagrams and brackets, are trademarked. The district must pay $260 daily to train teachers to use the maps, and each teacher receives five days of training. According to English Department Chair Mr. Jim Asher, one of a dozen teachers who attended the initial development workshop, the training is extremely specific and intensive, and requires six hours of work for the teacher to become officially licensed to use the company’s designs. The district sent teachers from every school in the district to the training. The district now plans to train every teacher in SPUSD to use this program. Mr. Asher and fellow English teacher Patricia Wylie received the training See “Maps” on pg. 2
cording to Gabriel Nevarez, Project Manager for the city of South Pasadena, who is involved in carrying out the development. However, Nevarez stresses that an effort is being made to minimize the disruptions to businesses on the street, and the current stress on stores is the “only drawback to the construction plan.”
Last month, South Pasadena Unified School District hired Ms. Janet Bryson as a math coach for the middle and high schools. Bryson, whose experiences with math range from teaching in Mali, Africa, to consulting with schools in Hawaii, has begun working in South Pasadena, primarily with the high school’s math department. At SPHS, Bryson is working with math teachers to provide innovative strategies and encourage efficacy in students. After observing teachers in their classrooms, she holds meetings with all the teachers of the same level of math. There, she collaborates with the teachers, suggesting new and innovative strategies that help teachers be effective in their instruction. So far, Bryson has been very well received by the staff. Although many teachers have yet to meet with her, most are very optimistic about her ability to positively contribute to the math department. “She has some great ideas,” said Ms. Ruth Moonesinghe, Algebra and Calculus AB and BC teacher. “I’m always learning. I’m glad that I have someone that I can bounce ideas off of.” The administration agrees. “Everyone, regardless of how successful they are, can use a coach in some way,” said Principal Janet Anderson. “It is great to have an objective person give feedback and suggestions from a strong experience base.”
WASC report submitted By Luka Douridas Assoc. Opinion Editor After a year of effort, the SPHS faculty turned in a self-study report to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or WASC, this past month. SPHS completed a similar report in 2005, which, along with a visit from a WASC visiting committee, earned the school a six-year accreditation with a review in its third year. The SPHS faculty was divided into five “focus groups:” Organization, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Accountability, and School Culture and Student Support. Each focus group put together their share of the self-study report, which made up Chapter IV—by far the largest portion of the report. For each focus group, teachers had to describe ways that SPHS meets specific criteria, while citing evidence to support those findings,
such as specific events, policies, and direct quotes from students. While the self-study report was the lengthiest and most labor-intensive for SPHS faculty, it is only part one of the accreditation process; the second part involves a review from a WASC visiting committee, which will begin February 27 and continue to March 2. “It’s been exciting to see all the pieces of the report come together as we prepare for the arrival of the visiting committee,” says co-chair Maryann Nielsen. “I think they are going to enjoy being here at SPHS and will be impressed by our dedicated faculty and staff as well as our outstanding student body.” After SPHS is assessed, it can receive a six-year, “clear” accreditation, a six-year accreditation with a review in its third year, a three-year accreditation, a one-year accreditation, or no accreditation at all.
Published on Feb 10, 2011
Published on Feb 10, 2011
South Pasadena High School's award-winning newspaper, Tiger Newspaper, proudly presents its fifth issue of the 2010-2011 school year.