California - San Diego
SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center
The San Diego Job Corps Center is located in Imperial Beach, the most southwesterly city in the United States. The center is on land leased from the navy and is adjacent to a helicopter base. The center’s student enrollment is 665. Nineteen trades are offered to trainees including construction, culinary arts, health occupations and security.
The SIATech program is housed in a building with six classrooms and two offices. Many of our graduates pursue their careers in downtown San Diego or in one of its outlying communities.
One unique aspect of the SIATech program is that when students complete the SIATech curriculum, they present their Senior Portfolio to their classmates as a PowerPoint presentation. All SIATech classes, select Job Corps staff, family members and friends of the senior who is presenting are invited. Graduates are allowed to invite up to ten guests to the graduation ceremony. After the ceremony, everyone is invited to an open house in the classrooms where the students’ senior projects are displayed.
Sally Cohenour joined SIATech as principal of the San Diego school site in 2007. She comes to us with 18 years of educational experience. She has worked on the high school and middle school level and has administrative and counseling experience. Ms. Cohenour holds a B.A from Azusa Pacific., an M.S. from Azusa Pacific, and she has a PPS and Administrative Credential.
SIATech San Diego Graduate Thriving
Since enrolling at SIATech San Diego in May 2010, Kowser Elmi has gone on to accomplish many feats that she never expected were possible.
She came to SIATech knowing little English and did not know any students who spoke her native language, Somali. In less than two years, Kowser went on to make major gains in her English and Math skills, pass her CAHSEE examinations, complete her Office Administration Trade, and graduate from SIATech San Diego Charter High School.
Kowser graduated with a Graduate of Excellence Award and a SIATech Scholarship. The Graduate of Excellence Award is a distinct honor that is granted to only one or two students every year who demonstrate an excellent academic record, leadership skills, and show immense academic growth in the areas of Math and English.
After graduating, Kowser enrolled at San Diego City College and received a 3.77 GPA in her first semester. She is currently in her fourth semester and has been given a prestigious honor. Kowser has been granted a membership to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at San Diego City College. This society is one of the oldest honor societies in the United States and it is required that each member has a minimum 3.5 GPA.
In addition to her stellar academic performance, Kowser has also worked full-time during her entire college career, often working five to six days a week.
Kowser is the first student in SIATech San Diego's history to be given this honor. She continues to be an inspiration to students and SIATech staff alike. She reminds us that we can accomplish anything that we set our mind too. She has made all of us realize that anything is possible if we are extremely determined and focused.
Sara Lewis is an instructor at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center. She is also currently the acting principal of the campus.
Assembly Member Toni Atkins Visits
On September 27, Assembly Majority Floor Leader Toni Atkins (AD 78) visited SIATech classrooms at the San Diego Job Corps Center in Imperial Beach.
Pictured from left to right are: SIATech Student Dove King, Director of External Affairs Ernie Silva, Assembly Member Atkins, SIATech Student Marquis Blue, Superintendent Linda Dawson, and California Director of Education Services Liz Hessom.
Assembly Member Atkins worked for Job Corps early in her career and is a passionate advocate for Job Corps and SIATech students. She was a co-author of AJR 13 which the State Legislature passed to call on Congress to end the Job Corps enrollment freeze and a co-author of SCR 50 which declared the week of August 6th as Dropout Recovery Week honoring the staff and students who reengage in high school.
Ms. Atkins toured the SIATech English, Math, Senior Projects and Social Studies classes. She talked with a number of students and our teachers about their school work and their future plans.
In Mr. Luke Sponsler's Social Studies class she enjoyed a great conversation with students about a range of issues including health care and affordable housing. In response to one question about the need for more affordable housing for SIATech students and their children, she described AB 1669, a bill which she authored that is awaiting action by Governor Brown. Her bill would make it easier for cities to implement affordable housing policies across California.
She spent an entire hour touring the classrooms and met with Job Corps' Business and Community Liaison Frank Buttino. She introduced the SIATech community to Rachel Gregg and encouraged SIATech students to keep her in the know on activities and future plans.
Assembly Member Atkins deserves our appreciation as an outstanding example of the commitment and public services provided by San Diego's legislative delegation.
Sara Lewis is a teacher and acting principal at SIATech San Diego. Ernie Silva is SIATech's director of external affairs.
Earth month arrived at SIATech San Diego in April 2013 with many ideas and plenty of exciting projects. We learned how to create hand bags by recycling old t-shirts, and we also learned how to make beanies and scarves out of yarn by crocheting. In one exciting project we had a unique experiment: we dehydrated fruits and meat.
The objective of this project was to learn how long it takes for certain fruits to fully dehydrate. In this project I demonstrated to the class the procedure to dehydrate each fruit.
I hypothesized that the less juice the fruit had, the faster it would dehydrate. I considered that pineapples and cherries are the juicier fruits on the list. Following those were the apples, strawberries, bananas, and cherries. I considered those less juicy; therefore I estimated that they will dehydrate faster than the juicier fruits.
In order to succeed in this experiment, I had to come up with a schedule that told us the estimated time of how long each fruit would take to dehydrate. In the schedule the students would find the exact time the fruit was suppose to be in the dehydrator and also what time they were going to be done. Our deadline was on a Friday at 3:00p.m. and the first fruits were cut on Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday Mr. Troy and some students cut up the pineapples and the cherries. By the end of the day, sometime around 4 p.m, Mr. Troy put the fruits in the dehydrator, leaving them over night because those fruits take longer to dehydrate.
Early Friday morning we started the other half of the project which involved the rest of the fruits. We started with the fruits that would take longer to dehydrate: strawberries, apples, and bananas. Before cutting the fruit, some of the students wondered about the purpose of dehydrating fruit. I told them that it wasn't just fun, it was also a healthier snack and the fruit would last longer.
While we were cutting the strawberries and the bananas, one of the students had a nectarine and she asked if she could dehydrate her fruit. So curiosity had us on a string, and we all in excitement said that she should. She did!!! Most of the fruit were cut into pieces of 1/8" thick. They were placed on trays and put on the dehydrator on 135°.
The interesting thing was working with the apples. Mr. Troy brought in an apple peeler that peels, slices, and cores all at once. We were like little kids looking at Mr. Troy using the apple peeler. It was something that most of us had never seen before. We were so amazed, but what many didn't know was that once the apples were peeled and cut, they needed to be tossed into an ascorbic bath. The ascorbic bath consists of lemon juice and water at a 1:4 ratio. The ascorbic bath helps to prevent food from spoilage.
Finally the trays were on the dehydrator, and we were so excited that we wanted to speed up time. We kept on going back to the dehydrator to check on the fruit, so I think that kind of was making the process slower.
At last the time had come. The fruit was dehydrated and it was a blast!!! We all gathered around and ate our fresh dehydrated fruit. Many made the comment of not being sure what the outcome was going to be. They were all impressed and excited because their assumption was the opposite of the results. Many students liked the apples, but what was really surprising was that the nectarine we added to our experiment was a success. The nectarines were just right; they were crunchy and the flavor was scrumptious.
Oh!!!! And we also added an extra project in our experiment. Since we were dehydrating fruit, Mr. Troy brought in some raw marinated beef and we put it in the dehydrator. The results were amazing. I don't think I have ever tasted such delicious jerky. The jerky came out just right: it was tender, chewy and with a great taste.
Overall the experiment was a fun and a successful project. What made this project great was that we all learned something about the benefits of dehydrating fruit and how to dehydrate fruit. We also learned that dehydrated fruit was not just good and beneficial to our bodies, but using a dehydrator can also be much cheaper than going to a store to buy dried fruit. A dehydrator is more economical and easy to use. In the process, we worked on our social skills such as communication and working together. This project was one of the best projects we did during the earth month.
Margoth Reynosa is a student at SIATech San Diego. Principal Sally Cohenour praised Teacher Troy Machado: "Great job Troy! Margoth was very proud of her work and final writing assignment. Hard to imagine that this young lady at one point in time chose to drop out of school and now is teaching other students to "stay in school" and LOVES learning! Troy, I'm very impressed. Thank you for facilitating this learning project/experience."
The Iditarod Project: A Scholastic Challenge
Here at SIATech San Diego new and innovative ways are always being found to teach and inspire students. It was with this in mind that the Iditarod project was conceived. Originally meant to encompass all subjects taught within SIATech, the Iditarod project would quickly spread all across the San Diego Job Corps Center. (Students are pictured with a special dog guest named Bronte.)
The Iditarod race itself was created to remind Alaskans of the history of Alaska and the Iditarod trail. 1967 marked the 100th anniversary of Alaska being a U.S. Territory after being purchased from Russia. Dorothy Page, chairman of the Wasilla-Knik Centennial Committee, conceived the idea of a sled dog race over the historically significant Iditarod Trail. It would not be long until the whole world would become fascinated with the Iditarod race. Each year mushers prepare their dog teams and plan out their strategies.
The world waits with bated breath in anticipation of the Iditarod; this year SIATech waited as well. For four weeks students studied every aspect of the Iditarod. A portion of each class offered by SIATech was dedicated to helping students analyze the race. Before the race took place each student picked a musher. Research would be done on her/his musher. Everything from past races to dog training would be taken into account. Each student then made a prediction on their musher's finishing time. Yet it would be more than musher ranking that would inspire these students.
Projects were done on a variety of subjects. Students would come to find a way to incorporate every interesting aspect of the race into their projects. Some students created a popup book on the history of the Iditarod. Propping these pages open is a scale model of the traditional dog sled used in the race. Students created this sled based on their own schematics as they studied the aerodynamic properties of sled dog racing.
Presentations would also be given on every aspect of sled dog racing; dog training, the diet of mushers and their dogs, the medical dangers faced on the trail, animal cruelty, feminism in racing and the different breeds of dogs used are just a few of the well thought out studies that were presented.
Each teacher as well took it upon themselves to incorporate the Iditarod into their lessons. An exciting science class was devoted to an Iditarod murder mystery. "Blood on the Tracks" was created to study forensic sciences. Students would be in charge of solving a fictional murder by analyzing different evidence left behind. Suspect profiles were created, hair, fibers, blood and shoe prints were analyzed by each student. History classes were used to study the amazing story of the Iditarod trail. English classes were spent researching the cultural significance of woman in the Iditarod and every free moment was spent creating imaginative power point presentations.
More than just an intellectual pursuit, the Iditarod challenge served as a chance for fun and frivolity. This was perhaps best highlighted by our very popular guest, Bronte. Brought in by the lovely Jen O'Connor, Bronte is a giant malamute, one of the breeds popularly used in the Iditarod. He served as a delightful example of several studies done by students on the Iditarod dog breeds.
The most fundamental lesson involved in the Iditarod project was perhaps its most basic one. The techniques SIATech teaches you can be applied to anything that interests you. Learning, it taught us, can be fun. Students of SIATech not only walked away with a wealth of knowledge about the Iditarod but with a new found appreciation of the learning process. We look forward to next year's Iditarod but more importantly many of us now look forward to a life time of learning.
Liliana Pineda is a student at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center. Thank you to instructor Sara Lewis and Principal Sally Cohenour for sending in her essay.
SIATech San Diego Recognizes Students of the Month
Pictured are students and staff from SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center during their February Student of the Month Luncheon.
Students are selected by each one of our subject area staff members monthly. The chosen students are honored in front of their peers at an all student and staff assembly at the end of the month.
In addition, the chosen students are invited to a luncheon where they are fortunate to bring another student guest. The other student is often introduced to our program for the first time which is a fantastic opportunity to share what is happening at our school. These conversations often result in the student guest coming to SIATech, too.
Congratulations to our most recent group of Students of the Month!
Sally Cohenour is principal of SIATech at San Diego Job Corps.
Gallup Identifies Three SIATech Campuses as High Hope Schools
For the past four years SIATech has participated in the Gallup Student Poll. Every SIATech, MYcroSchool, and NEWCorp campus participates along with students nationwide. In 2012-2013, nearly a half million students across the country took the poll. The poll surveys students' hope, well-being, and engagement. Gallup has identified these metrics to be indicative of student success.
Recently, Gallup announced that three SIATech schools surveyed among the most hopeful schools in the country. SIATech Homestead and SIATech Jacksonville in Florida along with SIATech San Diego received notification that they were "high hope schools." Out of the thousands of schools that took the poll, only 192 schools received this notification. SIATech is honored that three of its schools were part of this small cohort of schools that inspire hope in its students.
The SIATech San Diego staff celebrated their Gallup Student Poll "High Hope" Distinction Award (pictured below). As part of the recognition, schools were asked to nominate their "Most Hopeful Teacher." In San Diego, Sapna Iyer (third from right) was nominated as their "Most Hopeful Teacher in America Award." This teacher was nominated for changing lives by believing that every student can have a better future and by striving to meet each student's individual goals and needs! Also, Ms. Iyer is able to promote student learning and achievement and inspire them to want a better life. If Ms. Iyer becomes a finalist she will be interviewed by the selection committee. The award also comes with a $2,500 cash prize.
Our schools' capacity to inspire hope, well-being, and engagement is greatly expanded through our partnerships with Job Corps and other agencies that provide wraparound services to students. Through this teamwork our students receive numerous opportunities to get their lives back on-track to a lifetime of success. Thank you to all our sites, staff, and students for participating in the Gallup Student Poll.
Teacher Training at SIATech San Diego
In the fall semesterSIATech San Diego special needs students received a major boost in services. Two members of the current SIATech staff demonstrated their commitment to being lifelong learners.
ITAs Troy Machado andAlison Trant (pictured on either side of the student in the middle) have both completed Special Education student teaching on the San Diego site.
Mr. Machado and Ms. Trant have provided Woodcock Johnson testing, written IEPs, and ran IEP meetings. This was done in addition to maintaining their daily teaching tasks. They have been called upon to perform demonstration lessons with special needs emphasis for their supervising university professor.
Participant Mr. Machado said, "Completing my special education student teaching at SIATech High School was a great learning experience. Having hands-on experience...gave me a 'Real Learning for Real Life' experience that I could never have gained in a traditional classroom."
Mr. Machado and Ms. Trant have worked with students in all aspects of the students needs. They have become familiar with Educational Psychology Evaluations, IEP annuals, IEP triennials, transition plans, behavior support plans, and so on. They are prepared, ready, willing, and able to collaborate to ensure proper and compliant implementation of student focused IEPs.
Having teachers “in training” keeps the site current with the best practices of the day. Fellow resource teacher Sara Lewis, the students on their caseload, and I have enjoyed having the support of these two fine teachers.
Mr. Machado wrote, "By receiving direct and constructive feedback from my mentors, I was able to reflect upon my teaching practices and make improvements for the future. Overall, thanks to Mr. Tom, Ms. Sara, and SIATech High School, my student teaching experience has been a huge success!"
Working with colleagues Mr. Machado and Ms. Trant has truly been a pleasure.
Tom MacCabe is a special education teacher at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
College is Not Just a Dream...It's the Plan
Being a dropout recovery student, the title "college student" wasn't something I thought I would ever be able to consider. Dreams of success, community involvement, and making a difference are now possibilities for me.
Initially, I became overwhelmed by just visiting a few community college websites. I had no clue what I wanted to study, which school would I attend, and or even what is financial aid? I honestly had no clue or no direction.
When University Path, UPATH, appeared on my announcement portal, I jumped at the opportunity. UPATH is a college readiness group aimed at inspiring SIATech students to enroll and stay in college. Through this cohort, we learned how to plan and organize our options for college.
With the assistance or our college advisors, Mr. Howie, Ms. Sapna, and Mr. Troy, we went on three college tours to San Diego State University, San Diego City College, and Southwestern College. These experiences allowed us to see the similarities and differences of community colleges and universities as well as the programs offered at each one.
In January 2013, I am proud to say I will begin my prerequisites' coursework at Southwestern College and then plan to transfer into the nursing program at SDSU. I now know how to pay for my books, tuition, lab fees, and any other finances with various grants.
Without the help of UPATH, none of this would have been happening….at least this soon.
Beverly Pendleton is a student at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
SIATech San Diego at Asian Film Festival Youth Day
For the second year in a row students at SIATech San Diego participated in the Asian Film Festival Youth Day.
Each year during the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Youth Day is held for hundreds of students from around the county. According to their website the mission is to screen films "to culturally educate, enlighten, and enhance students' film literacy skills."
This year they screened a variety of student films, short professional films, and animated shorts. Also, we had the opportunity to ask question to the filmmakers about making movies and getting started in a career in film.
The Asian festival, in my opinion, was incredible experience. They not only presented to us great films, but also great art. The art to express what you feel and see and to share it with people is unique.
The film I loved the most was titled Bleached. It was the story of a first generation Filipino teenager who was the daughter of a beauty queen. The film set in San Francisco was a dark comedy that examined the pressures teens have to look a certain way. In this case the main character was felt pressure to bleach her skin. This film spoke to me, because family pressure to be something you aren't is a common occurrence in some families.
I enjoyed the messages behind every film and the comedy as well, but there were also some films that brought about the feeling of tears that wanted to escape me. I also enjoyed the fact that they told us how we could make our own films so that we could also express ourselves through the art of film making.
Overall the film festival has inspired me to look at the world as a way of inspiration, to be more creative in my daily life, and my passion for art. Thank you for the opportunity to be inspired and amazed.
Samantha Carrasco is a student at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
SIATech San Diego's 1960s Decade Project is a Hit
As a student of SIATech San Diego, I had the opportunity to participate in the "1960's Decade Project." This fun and informative project took place over the month of October.
It kicked off with a launch party where about 35 students met in the English classroom for instructions on what we would be doing throughout the month. Our teachers from English, Social Studies, and Science collaborated in presenting an overview of parallels between our present time and the 1960s (socially, scientifically, politically, and artistically).
The teachers discussed the features and activities to complete our project and outlined "credit" available in English, Science, Social Studies, and Senior Projects. The project consisted of choosing a character from the 1960s to create the "Big Head" project; doing research, a primary document analysis, an art analysis, and a historical protest/event analysis; attending at least one of four films; and writing a film review. Project extension options included a decade editorial and a science research paper.
When my English teacher asked me to "Choose a person from the 60s to do research," I thought of many musicians. After doing a review in my memory of how many musicians I know from that decade, I chose Eric Clapton. The "Big Head" project included different features. I had to start first with finding a good picture of my character. After deciding which picture I would choose for my head, the research started. On the back of my "head," I had to have information about my character, including birth and death dates, vocation/life calling, a quote, and interesting facts about him. I thought this was a fun way to learn about Eric Clapton's life work.
The "1960s Decade Project" concluded with a closing party and our final "Big Head" presentation. (Pictured at right are staff members Carole Fisher and Salley Cohenour.) At the party, everyone who participated tried to impersonate their characters. Everyone — teachers and students — played their "Big Head" role and we all learned about each other's character through a trivia game where we had to match people with facts. This game was really hilarious and educational, especially because we got to watch our teachers dressed up as their characters (just imagine your teacher with a big giant afro head of Angela Davis) while sharing information.
After watching films every Thursday in my Social Studies class, doing a film review about Forrest Gump, doing a lyrics analysis of the song "Sunshine of Your Love," and all the research I did about Eric Clapton and the 1960s, by the end of the month all our work and effort was worth it.
This project helped me to view the sixties from another perspective. I realized that the sixties decade was not only about Woodstock, hippies, and drugs. This decade was a huge change for America because of the Civil Rights Movements, Feminist Movement, assassinations, Vietnam War, and war protests.
Alejandro Tavizon is a student at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
What's New at SIATech San Diego? iPads!
SIATech San Diego now has iPads available for
student use. As a Job Corps student I appreciate that SIATech has always provided the technology, the tools, needed not only for academic research but also to connect with employment opportunities, colleges and financial aid. The new iPads have provided students with an internet connected, quick research tool.
My team used our new iPads during our Academic Pentathlon while the competing teams dissected frogs. The team first “dissected” a frog’s likeness on the iPad to learn the interior parts of the frog then the team dissected a real frog. The iPad guided us and helped learn the body parts of our real frogs.
I found the iPad to be useful during “internet down” times; many of my peers used the iPads during the “Olympic Games Project,” helping them research countries and athletes.
I anticipate using one of the iPads for research for the cross-curriculum 1960’s Project that we are working on this month. I am researching the great environmentalist Rachel Carson for this assignment. We are also using the iPads for accessing college information during college prep UPATH program.
The ease of use makes it fun and exciting to “look around.” One site I found is “makeuseof.com,” the website index provides a directory of Apps available. Some of my favorite include: Best iPad Apps, evernotes, understoodit and if you are interested in some Real Learning for Real Life check out 99hacks for life.
Thanks SIATech, for keeping us up to date with emerging technology.
Beverly Pendleton is a student at SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center.
SIATech at San Diego Job Corps Center Holds Academic Pentathlon