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Fontana Unified Wins 2016 Golden Bell Award for Freshman Success Intervention Program

FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified’s Summit High School has been awarded a 2016 Golden Bell Award for a program that successfully supports freshmen as they shift from middle school to high school – a transition made easier with the mentorship and guidance of junior and senior students, called Link Crew leaders.

Of the almost 300 entries that were submitted for the award, now in its 37th year, Summit’s Freshman Success Intervention Program (FSIP) was selected to win the most prestigious honor awarded to California school districts by the California School Boards Association (CSBA).

The school and District will receive the award at a recognition ceremony on Dec. 3 at CSBA’s annual Educational Conference in San Francisco.

“I cannot express how proud I am of Summit High School and its Link Crew program, especially our juniors and seniors who play a critical role in the development of our incoming freshmen, who are gaining the skills to succeed in high school,” Fontana Unified School District Board of Education President Lorena Corona said. “This Golden Bell Award validates the hard work of everyone involved in making this program a success, and I want to congratulate the Summit High community for its commitment to working together for the benefit of our students.”

Summit High School’s 2016 graduates were the first freshmen to participate in the Link Crew program, which began in 2012. Over the years, students and staff saw the program evolve from one of social and emotional support to one that uses data and statistics to improve student academic performance by reducing failing grades.

“Link Crew has transformed our school, with our upperclassmen leading the charge,” Summit High School Interim Principal Mike Micallef said. “They have experienced much during their years at Summit and have enough insight into the challenges and opportunities high school offers to effectively mentor our newest students. It is because of them, our teachers, staff and parents, that our school has seen such marked success.”

FSIP consists of 175 junior and senior Link Crew members who are extensively trained to serve as tutors, positive role models, motivators, coaches, leaders and teachers to freshmen, facilitating their academic success during their first year of high school and beyond.

While the program initially focused on social and emotional support, FSIP shifted its concentration to one of strategic intervention and support focused on academics after school data showed that a substantial number freshmen were failing first-year classes.

In the 2015-16 school year, administrators launched a number of strategies to remedy the situation, including creating a Freshmen Tutoring Lounge with the help of 130 Link Crew leaders and 45 Peer Link Tutors. The lounge serves about 40 students a day.

Other programs conducted throughout the year included freshmen parent nights and outreach opportunities, study skills and technology workshops, and parent support phone call events. Additionally, teachers, staff and administrators have supported the initiative, with freshmen teachers working in Professional Learning Community (PLC) groups to coordinate their students’ needs with how Link Crew could support them.

Link Crew leaders review missing assignments and low test scores to manage ongoing student assessments while providing guidance on academic performance goals. During the 2015-16 school year, 200 students applied for 130 positions Link Crew leader positions.

A review of data showed that Summit was able to close the achievement gap by 35 percent over the previous year, demonstrated by the reduction in the number of freshmen classes failed and an increase in students passing core classes.

“The Link Crew program is built on the belief that students can help other students succeed. With the support of our incredible teachers and staff at Summit, this program has made a substantial difference in the lives of both our freshmen and mentors,” Interim Superintendent Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal Bassett said. “I want to congratulate everyone in the Fontana Unified family for nurturing such a transformative program and earning well-deserved prestige for it.”

BOTTOMLINE: Your vote is very important! Let’s review the Propositions.

Publisher’s Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

If you have seen any of the TV commercials or print ads regarding the Propositions, you are probably as confused as they apparently want you to be. Leading up to a forum, members of San Bernardino’s North-West PAC will join me on the “Empire Talks Back” (ETB) radio program as my guests to discuss and clarify the 17 Propositions that are on the California State Ballot. We discussed 51 thru 56 last Sunday… That program can be seen at this link   www.ustream.tv/recorded/92095530  

We will discuss Propositions 57 thru 62 this Sunday Morning on the “ETB” radio broadcast. We will review props 63 thru 67 the following Sunday, October 23rd. The NWPAC is hosting a forum on Saturday October 29th to review all 17 propositions as well as the measures on the San Bernardino City ballot. I will provide actual recommendations on the Sunday October 30th ETB program. Those recommendations will also be published in the November 3rd edition of WssNews.

ETB is broadcast on KCAA 1050-AM Radio each Sunday Morning at 10:00 with live stream video via www.kcaaradio.com and can be heard directly on your phone by dialing 832-909-1050.

The North-West PAC is presenting the forum to discuss the Propositions and San Bernardino Measures on Saturday October 29th at 2050 North Mt Vernon Ave. Refreshments will be served at the forum which begins at 9am.

“If You Didn’t Do the Right Thing…. Then What Did You Expect…Stop Your Whining!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Listen, you can’t do evil and expect good to come to you. God gives principles in Scripture to serve as warnings and as an encouragement. In [Galatians 6:7], His Word states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows this he will also reap.” This principle applies to everyone, both Christians and non-Christians. This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life. You cannot sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing. “Behind every action is a reaction.” Every choice has a consequence. If you make wise, godly decisions, you can expect God to reward you for your faithfulness. If you make rash or sinful choices, you can anticipate negative consequences. “Do not be deceived,” introduces an undeniable truth. God may not be “treated with contempt,” or “outwitted.” Don’t think that you “can ignore the commands God has given and go [your] own way with impunity.” Don’t be fooled about this! Actions and consequences are inseparable; if you sow corn, you will not reap wheat. This is a truism of agriculture. What you plant is what you will harvest. What you do will determine what you will become and where you go. What you put in is what you will get out. In the end, over the long haul, justice is served; we all get what we deserve.

When we disobey God, the message we convey is that His Word is not important to us; we’ll simply do what we want to do regardless of what His Word says concerning our choices. These kind of evil tendencies really create an environment God can no longer operate into our lives. We literally kick Him out of our life, so that we can do what we want to do. But thank Jesus that God is so loving that He always grants us an opportunity to confess and receive cleansing. The Scripture is true, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” The Bible teaches that we cannot hide our iniquities. Saul sowed the seeds of rebellion and reaped the crop of judgment. How true are the words of Job, “Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble, reap the same.” God’s judgment is slow, but it is sure, and it is always SAD!

But when you do what is right, you bring blessings on yourself, blessings to others and you are a blessing to God. I tell you, if you’re not walking carefully, you’re living dangerously! You’re adrift without rudder or power in dangerous waters! You’re wandering aimlessly in a minefield! Christ’s admonitions to the seven churches of Asia Minor are filled with urgent warnings to repent and turn away from practices that conflict with God’s will [Revelation 2 and 3]. I tell you, repentance involves a state of mind, a disposition. More than a one-time act, it is a life of obedience that involves continual changes—spiritual growth—and a continuous desire to do the will of God, not merely for the purpose of reaping the rewards of obedience, but because it is right in the sight of God. “Therefore, having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” [2 Corinthians 7:2]. God’s desire is to bring all to repentance and grant us the gift of salvation. As long as we yearn for His loving embrace, even if we’ve temporarily strayed from Him, He is always there for us, always ready to receive us back into full fellowship with Him.

What should you do?

If you have come to a knowledge of the truth—knowledge of God’s law; of His way of life, particularly as expressed through His Ten Commandments; of His provisions for salvation through Jesus Christ, who offered Himself for the sins of the world; of the resurrection of the dead; of the Kingdom of God and reward of the saved—and if you truly believe the good news of Christ and His Kingdom, then Peter’s timeless words are for you: “Repent, and…be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:38].

If you are one who previously came to a knowledge of the truth, responded in repentance and baptism, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, but have since drifted away from God, perhaps returning to old habits or allowing despondency and doubt to overwhelm you, then God’s Word has a message for you, as well: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9].

Whether you are new to the faith or are a “backslidden” Christian, God desires to receive you into the loving fellowship of His family. The next step is up to you!