HART of the Matter A Rose By Any Other Name

Volume 3, Issue 1
A PAR Center Publication
Fall 2005
A Rose By Any Other Name
and a group of dedicated mentors called Support Providers and Consulting Teachers. Our
programs aim to advance teaching practice
with programmed collaboration between veteran and neophyte teachers. They are also
about establishing a habit of mind: reflection
on practice. The tools of our formative assessIt turns out that induction is a word that every ment system (FAS, as it is called by the Santa
Tom, Dick and Harry of an educational institu- Cruz New Teacher Center) are designed to altion has been using with every neophyte low new teachers opportunities to self-assess
teacher in sight. And I’m equally guilty as I competency based on an examination of pracam running both a BTSA/Induction Program tice. Participants have a mandate to study the
and a 2042 Hart Induction Program. Some of community, district, school, class and then a
the Hart district’s newest teachers have already Case Study student. Mentors and new teachers
been inducted by their intern program, again work together to lesson plan, communicate
by their university-led preliminary credential with parents and analyze student work. All of
program and now are told that they need to do this work is focused through the lens of the
an induction program as part of their employ- California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTPs).
ment, or as a way to clear their credential.
This means yet another induction choice of
BTSA or BTSA plus 2042. No wonder we So is this rose any different from the others?
Yes. Our induction programs are designed to
face rampant induction phobias in our office!
advance the practice of new teachers who are
We are part of the state’s most radical change ready to leave their classroom management
in credentialing: districts recommending can- fears behind begin the process of differentiatdidates for clear professional credentials. ing lessons to meet the needs of all of their stuTherefore we have two overlapping programs: dents. They were designed with the Hart disBTSA, a state program mandated by our dis- trict teaching and student population in mind
trict, and the Hart Induction (read Credential) and in a way that often allows participants to
Program. Each has something very important choose their own path to personal excellence.
The word induction has become a term that
simply shivers me timbers. Its meaning is innocuous enough on its own—just to initiate,
bring into the fold—nothing scary in that. But
it’s a word that has produced some hostile reactions this year.
Inside this issue:
Welcome to The
Spotlight on
Cassandra Cross
Spotlight on John
Upcoming Workshops 4
Letter from Linda
Jokes and Trivia
in common: a formative assessment system
It is a different rose. Honest. Linda
“The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire
for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a
school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.”
Albert Einstein
Volume 3, Issue 1
Page 2
Welcome to The Ranch
“Relationship, rigor, and relevance” is the mantra of one of
our newest high schools, West Ranch. Bob Vincent, principal, says that these ideals are embedded in everything that
happens on the campus.
West Ranch High School opened this fall to 1452 students
in the 9th and 10th grades at the top of Valencia Boulevard, even though the school officially opened last year on
the Rancho Pico Junior High School campus. The beautiful 52 acre campus has a incredible view of the Santa
Clarita Valley and houses 59 teachers with 41 other support staff.
Opening day did have a few interesting moments when Valencia Boulevard was closed to medivac a local resident
making it quite challenging for students to arrive on time.
Thankfully, the rest of opening week, dubbed the “Week of
Welcome,” went extremely well. Students were greeted on
opening day with velvet ropes guiding them onto a red car-
pet while music played.
The week ended with a
“Welcome to the Ranch
Dance” attended by 900
The campus took two
years and $80 million to
build. Construction continues to complete the
550-seat theatre and athletic complex for football, soccer,
and track. The Ranch has had to cope with the usual
school start problems, such as errant bells and air conditioning issues, but the staff and administration all feel
that they have such an exceptional school. Wildcat TV is
in full swing, and the athletic teams are already competing in most sports.
Mix It Up
What is Mix It Up?
Mix It Up is a project that supports student efforts to identify, question and cross social boundaries within their schools
and communities.
When is Mix It Up at Lunch Day?
This year, Mix It Up at Lunch Day is November 15, 2005. However, you can organize a Mix it Up Lunch Day at your
school anytime.
Why Mix It Up?
For many students, social boundaries are a troublesome, daily constant. Although the types of boundaries may vary from
school to school, a 2002 Mix It Up survey showed:
A majority of middle and high school students said that schools were "quick to put people into categories."
40% admitted that they had rejected someone from another group.
One-third said it's hard to become friends with people in different groups.
Which boundaries are the hardest to cross? Student respondents' top answers:
Personal appearance
Athletic achievement
Academic achievement
Where did students see the boundaries most clearly?
Recreational activities
After-school clubs
What does Mix It Up hope to accomplish?
Organizers hope students will take a fresh look at their school environments and ask why the barriers that divide groups
For more information, visit www.tolerance.org/teens for more information.
“Students and their
teacher allies can help
form safe, welcoming
schools — places
where every student
can grow socially and
academically. The
goal of Mix It Up is
to help make that
Volume 3, Issue 1
Page 3
Spotlight on Cassandra Cross
Cassandra Cross is a new teacher in the Hart District but
she's not a new teacher. She's been an instructor since
she was 15, first at her church, both in Sunday school and
an after-school program for 5th and 6th graders, and then
at an elementary school while pursuing her education degree at Fresno State.
Now she's back in her hometown of Valencia making a living at it, teaching Special Education at Rio Norte Junior
High. It's a position for which she is well-suited; among
her favorite quotes is, "With understanding comes a time
when difference no longer makes a difference."
Cassandra is quite an inspiration herself. In February 2004, while walking
through a parking lot at
Fresno State, she was hit
by a car and dragged 30 feet. The mishap left her with a
broken pelvis, hip, shoulder and vertebra - injuries that
required a month of hospitalization and six weeks in a
wheelchair. She nevertheless completed her 19 units that
semester and graduated on time in May - and did it walking to boot.
Her interest in working with students with disabilities
started at home. Cassandra's sister, Tiffany, suffered a
traumatic brain injury at the age of twenty months, and
through her Cassandra got involved early on with the Special Olympics, "and as Tiffany will tell you, 'My sister only
teaches Special Education because of me. I am her inspiration.'"
It comes as no surprise, then, to hear Cassandra describe
her teaching philosophy. "I believe that all children have
the ability to learn," she says. "I also believe that most
educators, especially in my field, have too low an expectation for students. Students will either fall to your expectations or rise to them. I have high expectations that I believe my students will rise to."
Spotlight on John Salapatek
Every teacher is part performer, but it's no exaggeration to say
that when it comes to acting, John Salapatek is a real pro. Before becoming an English teacher at Golden Valley High School,
he spent more than 20 years as an actor and writer - including
portraying Cousin Itt in the two "Addams Family" movies.
When not in the classroom, John loves to travel the country in
his RV, listens to the Beatles and other classic rock and has a
preference for Italian and Mexican food. His favorite actors are
Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep, and he cites Charles Dickens'
"Great Expectations" as his favorite book.
A native of Blue Island, Ill., John got a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater at the University of Illinois. But he'd already
made his professional acting debut by then. In 1984, using his
stage name of John Franklin, he played the head of a cult of
obsessed teenagers in the movie adaptation of Stephen King's
"Children of the Corn." He later starred in and co-wrote one of
the sequels, "Children of the Corn 666."
He's a big fan of the PAR program - "every time I go to a seminar I learn something great that I incorporate the next day" - but
this former actor's teaching philosophy is completely his own:
"First do no harm, then keep them laughing."
Besides movies, John's first career took him to stage work
around the country and to guest appearances in such TV series
as "Highway to Heaven," "Star Trek: Voyager," "All That" and
"Cagney & Lacey."
So what made him give it up? "After the events of 9/11," he
explains, "I saw the shallowness of showbiz and felt a great
desire to leave a greater legacy than just being Cousin Itt.
Teaching seemed to be a perfect fit for my theatrical talents
and to touch many lives."
Nov. 3
Cooperative Learning I
Nov. 8
Time-Saving Strategies
CSUB credit for BTSA dates: Win
ter due February 10
and Spring due May 5
Nov. 17 Who’s on First?
Coming soon: We received a grant
with t he New Teacher
Network. Books and a companion
DVD will be distributed in December. These materials
are linked to online
courses that can be used for BTSA
workshop credit and
university credit.
Nov. 29 HOTS
Additional offerings of Induction sem
inars are now online
with ERO.
Dec. 6
If you continue to have problems with
ERO, please contact Mary Delgado at the PAR Cen
ter ASAP.
Nov. 15 It Isn’t Just For English Anymore
Got Speech?
Trivia and Cartoon
Fall Trivia
1. Which famous American icon suggested
that the U.S. national bird should be the
2. Which state is represented by the coin with
a maple leaf?
3. What are the only two regions in the world
that have a distinctive colorful autumn
The first person with all correct answers will
win a great prize.
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Phone: (661) 259-0017
Fax: (661) 284-3064
E-mail: [email protected]
26111 Bouquet Canyon Road
Suite H-1
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
April Carey
Francine dos Remedios
Monica Ludlow
Linda Margulies
Claudia Padilla
Jolene Smith
Stephanie Viramontes
James Webb