Generous Donations are accepted at AUSD board meeting
By Sharon Havon
For The Alpine Sun
The April meeting of the AUSD board was a testament to the generosity of The Alpine Education Foundation and its’ supporters.
At the first meeting following the MARDI GRAS BALL, the Foundation stepped up to present nearly $20,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. The largest gift was a commercial lawn mower for the District which cost $12,134.17 and was funded by a coalition of local businesses, AYSO Soccer #295, the Alpine Kiwanis, and Alpine Education Foundation. The businesses were Intellicept, owned by Chris and Shannon Loarie, Mauzy Heating & Air Conditioning, and residents, Ed and Teri Sanchez.
Additionally, AEF presented $6000 in “wish fulfillment” pledges to classrooms in the District; and the spontaneous contribution of $250 made by Chris Loarie to each classroom of the (5) teachers who attended the Mardi Gras Ball.
Following the acceptance of donations, The Alpine Education Foundation stepped forward again to ask AUSD to support and expand an educational system that is already operating as “Pathways Plus” at Creekside Early Learning Center. The system is now known as KNEWSPACE, and has also been implemented in National City at Las Palmas Elementary, where it has received kudos from parents, teaching staff, and objective state and federal auditors. The system has drawn the interest of two teaching colleges, UCSD and Point Loma Nazarene, who are in the process of setting up training for their student teachers on site.
Two and a half years ago, Albert Haven, Ed.D, the creator of the KNEWSPACE system, was able to interest the innovative teachers at Creekside (Wendy Yoshinaga, Michelle Handley, Laurie Dotts, Cheryl Irick, Shannon Brown, Bree Montalbano, Beth Bresnahan, and Lynn Laughlin) in implementing KNEWSPACE by utilizing their “Pathways” reading program in combination with “JiJi Math”, “Sparks”, “WordWork” and “Keyboards”. The combination resulted in “Pathways Plus”, an individualized program for all children at Creekside that allows them to progress as quickly as they are able, and to learn independence in the process. Mr. Keith Malcom was Principal at Creekside at the time, (currently Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Lemon Grove School District), and his support for the benefits of Dr. Haven’s system is on record. (ALPINE SUN 9.13.12).
In this last year, two grade levels in National City with completely different instructional programs have been implemented through the KNEWSPACE system to the enthusiastic reception of the teachers and parents involved.
AEF, represented by Chris Newcomb, Founder of the organization, and Ed Sanchez speaking for parents, requested that the District expand the system to JMMS, AES, and other schools in the District. They expressed the belief that an innovative system such as this would have a positive effect on the District. Many members of the public spoke in support, including community leaders, parents, and teachers (Shannon Loarie, Jennifer Doucet, Patricia Cannon, Colin Campbell, Stacy Starr-Williams, George Barnett, Mary Kay Borchard, Darlene Newcomb, and Wendy Yoshinaga ). The Board is considering their request.