Briefs – May 20

Become a football official

If you’ve ever dreamed about donning the black and white stripes and making the tough calls as a football official, you just might be in luck.

The San Diego County Football Officials Association (SDCFOA) is currently looking for people with a passion for the game to train as officials for local youth leagues, high school, junior college and even possibly Division I college games.

The SDCFOA is recognized one of the finest football official organizations in the country and has produced officials for the NFL and major college conferences.

CIF-Final-Crew-600x399Meetings will begin in July. No previous experience is necessary and training is provided by experienced officials from the NFL, NCAA and area high schools. These officials will teach recruits at a pace they can easily understand. When games start, new officials will be assigned with experienced officials who enhance the training experience.

Officiating games also comes with some pay as well as the health benefits of exercise — running up and down the field following the game.

For more information, contact SDCFOA recruiting coordinator Tyler Lindsay by calling 619-431-0459, or by email at

San Diego River Days

logoOver 4,000 people are expected to participate in the 13th Annual San Diego River Days, a two-weekend celebration that began May 14 and continues on Sunday, May 22. Participants will be able to walk, hike, bike, take guided tours and enjoy other outdoor experiences at 43 free, family-friendly activities.

The San Diego River runs 52 miles from the mountains near Julian to Ocean Beach and offers many opportunities for nature exploration, recreation, and more. As one of the largest watershed events of its kind in Southern California, River Days is a chance to showcase these opportunities through guided experiences.

River Days is hosted by the San Diego River Park Foundation, and supports their mission to connect people and organizations with the historic San Diego River and empower them to create a better future for the River and the region.

“We invite the public to join us and our partners for River Days! There are trails to explore, animals to glimpse, histories to discover, and memories to be made,” said Rob Hutsel, Executive Director of The San Diego River Park Foundation. “This event gives people an opportunity to connect with their river and their community, engaging them in our work to change the river from something that was neglected and abused into a resource to be protected, enjoyed, and celebrated.”

San Diego River Days is sponsored by Think Blue San Diego with additional support from Civita, Kaiser Permanente, KPBS, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, and San Diego Gas and Electric. In addition to activities hosted by the River Park Foundation, 31 partner organizations and businesses are hosting activities.

For a complete list of activities, partners, and project sites, please visit

Student posters win cash prizes from Kiwanis

Patrick Henry High School students participated in a Conservation Poster contest sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens, and coordinated by Patrick Henry High School faculty member Lara Dickens held during the months of April and May, 2016.

The winning poster, out of 30 entries, was created by Lianne David , who will be receiving a cash prize and certificate. In addition, copies of her poster will be printed to be placed in the

windows of businesses around the area of Navajo, Allied Gardens, Grantville, San Carlos, and others.

Other winners included a first place graphics arts poster created by Jessica Bolinger about protecting our beaches with a photograph background she took herself. Bamidele Aleshe won second prize and Kevin Thai won third. There were also two honorable mentions, Stephanie Ly
and Carissa McDermaid.

The cash prizes are offered by the Kiwanis Club. Additional prizes were offered by the San Diego Water Department, and other organizations with certificates hand lettered by the office staff of Councilman Scott Sherman for every entrant.

Kiwanis Conservation Committee chairman Byron Y. Newman, George and Kathy Butterstein and many more were judges in the competition.

Prizes will be presented in Dickens’ classroom of at the end of May.

School district cuts testing

Early this month, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten announced a significant reduction in the amount of high-stakes standardized testing at local schools. Instead, the district will focus on providing classroom educators with more meaningful measures of student progress in real time. The changes are expected to improve student well-being and academic outcomes.

“The changes we are announcing today will improve the well-being and performance of our students by allowing teachers to teach and students to learn in an environment that values and supports them as individuals,” Marten said in a May 4 press release. She added the new system will help the district provide students with project-based, collaborative learning in classroom settings customized to the needs of a diverse student population.

Effective the 2016-17 school year, the specific changes announced today will:

  • Stop the district-wide collection of interim assessment data and DRA test results, eliminating the need for teachers to waste valuable classroom time entering and uploading data for the central office.
  • Replace irrelevant district-wide data collection requirements with real-time reporting on student progress for teachers to use when and where they need it to support student learning.
  • Empower teachers to analyze student learning results, and revise lessons to meet individual student needs.
  • Support local schools as they develop common formative assessment plans, identifying relevant measures that give insight and critical information about how students are developing in literacy and mathematics.

A major factor behind the changes was the recent study showing the overuse of standardized testing is harmful to area students, according to some 90 percent of San Diego’s teachers. The study was conducted by the San Diego Education Association.

“We are pleased San Diego Unified has decided to put the interests of our students first and moved to reduce high-stakes standardized testing, which we know from our research is contrary to students’ well-being,” said Lindsay Burningham, president of the San Diego Education Association. “A true reflection of student achievement and improvement is always done through multiple measures and can never focus on just one test score.”


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