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Ventura Schools

September 23, 1990
Officials from the Ventura Unified School District Education Foundation will try to raise $50,000 to provide money for educational programs not covered in the district budget. The nonprofit group raises funds to increase the quality of education in Ventura schools. Teachers apply for grants from the foundation to buy materials, classroom equipment or other aids for teaching music, fine arts, math and science.
March 11, 2013 | Eric Sondheimer
Marc Groff, the principal at Ventura St. Bonaventure, will soon learn what it's like trying to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. He's facing a challenge that will require him to stay calm, take lots of deep breaths and perhaps pray for divine intervention when things get tough. His assignment on March 20 is to persuade members of the Southern Section Executive Committee to reverse a decision that would force St. Bonaventure's sports teams to start traveling hours away from their campus for athletic contests.
November 28, 1995 | CATHERINE SAILLANT
Overcrowding at several Ventura schools has become so severe that school district officials have formed a committee to look into the problem and recommend solutions, officials said Monday. At least nine of the city's 24 public schools have too many students squeezed into classrooms, said Gerald Dannenberg, assistant superintendent of human resources. The most crowded conditions are at Buena High School, Anacapa and Balboa middle schools and Sheridan Way, E.P.
January 27, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch
Major automakers are readying a wave of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles for consumers, but one local school district is already taking advantage of the technology. The Ventura Unified School District unveiled a $200,000, state-of-the-art, plug-in hybrid electric school bus Tuesday, the first in Southern California. The bus will start hauling students this week and replaces a polluting, 1977 model. The bus, built by the IC Bus subsidiary of Navistar Inc., is powered by a lithium ion battery pack and is expected to improve fuel economy up to 30% and reduce emissions up to 40% over a conventional gasoline-powered school bus. Michael Chiacos, transportation specialist with the Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara, believes the bus will do even better, improving fuel economy more than 60% compared with a traditional school bus. "The bus reflects our commitment to being a green school district as we ensure safe and healthy learning environments for our students," said Trudy T. Arriaga, superintendent of Ventura Unified School District.
Students at two Ventura schools found boarded-up windows, patches of paint primer and damaged artwork at their campuses Monday morning, fallout from a weekend vandalism spree. Two Ventura boys, ages 16 and 17, were arrested Sunday in the incident, which caused more than $10,000 worth of damage.
When Priscilla Flanagin moved to Ventura in 1959, only one elementary school in town had a library. But when Flanagin died in February at the age of 75, the librarian known for her hearty laugh had helped set up dozens of school libraries in Ventura and across the county.
About 50 parents, teachers, community leaders and administrators from the Ventura Unified School District met Tuesday to discuss ways to trim $3.2 million from the school budget. Alternatives include temporary elimination of employee benefits, closure of schools and a reduction in busing. Those were among six areas identified by Supt. Cesare Caldarelli and other district officials as possible ways to reduce a shortfall in funding from the state. The projected 1991-92 budget is $57 million.
October 10, 1992 | KAY SAILLANT
In a statement issued Friday, former Ventura schools superintendent Cesare Caldarelli defended his rocky tenure as head of the system and took a parting shot at members of the school board. "I did the best I could and am proud of what we were able to accomplish . . . during my time in Ventura," said Caldarelli in the three-page, single-spaced letter distributed to several newspapers in Ventura County.
School administrators, who like teachers have expressed dissatisfaction with Ventura Unified School Supt. Cesare Caldarelli, are considering whether to form a union, an official representing management employees in the district said Wednesday. The action follows a poll in which 93% of the teachers expressed no confidence in Caldarelli and backed a resolution that demanded his resignation. The resolution said the superintendent has exhibited a bullying management style and a lack of leadership.
October 13, 1995 | CATHERINE SAILLANT
Assemblyman Brooks Firestone will serve as superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District for a day later this month, officials said. Firestone--a Republican representing Ventura, Santa Paula and Ojai in the 35th Assembly District--will visit Ventura and Buena high schools and possibly other campuses in the 25-school district Oct. 25, Supt. Joseph Spirito said. Spirito said he also hopes to show Firestone the overcrowded conditions at some Ventura schools.
October 3, 2007 | Eric Sondheimer, Times Staff Writer
The resignation of a Ventura County high school baseball coach for what he said were health reasons came after he allegedly sent inappropriate text messages to one of his players, according to public records and interviews. Seven games into last season, Mike Lee stepped down as coach at Westlake High, while remaining a teacher at Newbury Park High, both in the Conejo Valley Unified School District.
March 9, 2006 | Catherine Saillant, Times Staff Writer
A Ventura seventh-grader collapsed Wednesday during a gym class run at De Anza Middle School and died shortly after at a hospital, school officials said. Ricardo Ramirez, 12, was an outstanding student who wanted to go to college and ran a nine-minute mile for the school's cross-country team, said Supt. Trudy Arriaga of the Ventura Unified School District. But as Ricardo and his classmates headed out for a warmup run at the start of their 10 a.m.
January 24, 2006 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Teacher Mary Galvin says she pays plenty of attention to the standard curriculum in her Ventura classroom. But it's the creative, hands-on activities that set her lessons apart. Like when a parent drops by to teach her students how to make musical instruments out of natural materials, such as turning hollowed-out gourds into water drums. Or when the youngsters plop on the rug to learn a little yoga, led by another parent volunteer.
December 2, 2004 | Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
Several guards at the California Youth Authority's Ventura School have been accused of improper sexual conduct with female wards at the Camarillo facility and are the subject of an internal investigation, agency officials and the father of an alleged victim said Wednesday. A 20-year-old Yorba Linda woman alleges that as many as a dozen staff members coerced sex from seven wards in exchange for jewelry, gifts, extra food and privileges in the last two years.
March 15, 2004 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
There was a time when Principal Joe Bova had to hunt for new students, searching far and wide for youngsters to fill slots at Ventura's magnet high school after it opened nearly four years ago. Not anymore. Word is out on Foothill Technology High School. And now prospective students, drawn by the school's innovative approach to learning and its growing reputation as an academic powerhouse, are on waiting lists to get in.
March 10, 2004 | Fred Alvarez, Times Staff Writer
Almost one-third of Ventura County schools last year surpassed a stringent state target set for academic accomplishment, nearly twice the number of local campuses that achieved that distinction the year before, according to new California school rankings. Sixty schools posted scores of 800 or better on the 2003 Academic Performance Index, the state's annual measure of academic progress. In 2002, only 36 local schools met that target -- one of the state's primary performance goals.
January 14, 1993 | CARLOS V. LOZANO
The board of the Ventura Unified School District said it will postpone a decision on whether to convert seven schools to a year-round calendar until it consults with school principals about the results of a parent survey. During the next two weeks, Supt. Joseph Spirito said he will meet with the principals of Cabrillo Middle School and Blanche Reynolds, Lincoln, Loma Vista, Pierpont, Poinsettia and Will Rogers elementary schools to discuss the survey's findings.
June 25, 1993 | MATTHEW MOSK
After nearly 14 years on the Ventura Unified School District Board of Education, Terrence Kilbride has decided not to seek another term. Kilbride joined the board in 1980 to face what he described as a long series of frustrating budget decisions. "We've been cutting funds every year since I joined the board. At this point it is impossible to run a quality school system," Kilbride said. In spite of these hurdles, Kilbride's colleagues said he always maintained focus.
May 10, 2003 | Erika Hayasaki and Claire Luna, Times Staff Writers
More California students will be forced to pay for public transportation, carpool or walk to school next year because those yellow school buses won't be stopping in their neighborhoods. In response to the state's budget crisis, some cash-starved school districts are scaling back on bus routes or eliminating rides altogether, while others are instituting or raising transportation fees. School officials say cutting down on transportation costs helps save other popular programs, as well as jobs.
December 23, 2002 | Sandra Murillo, Times Staff Writer
It was only mid-December, but already teachers like Michael Wittlin were bidding some of their students a holiday farewell. Off they went, on extended family vacations south of the border. But before they left Wittlin's Ventura County classroom for rural Mexico, he gave them something to remember him by: homework. Lots of it. Eight-year-old Jasmin Martinez didn't mind.
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