Weekly Update

Friday, October 3, 2014


This year has been marked by the most collaboration within the math department I have ever seen. More importantly, it is being sustained. The credit for this goes to all members of the department. They have embraced the change that Common Core has presented and taken it to a new level.  However, our lead teachers are to be most commended for it has been their efforts that are making it happen.   So thank you Marleen Gracom, Yen Law and Eric MountcastleSteve Worth, Math Department Chair


Girls’ Cross County is currently 4-0 in league, placed 3rd in both Varsity and JV at the Gold Coast Invitational last week.  However, I am most proud that our Varsity team G.P.A. at this time is a 3.8.   We are shooting for a 4.0 by quarter”…Coach Rick Torres


Freshmen Class officers were elected this week and include: Samantha Alferes, Kayla Hosch, Eli Moore, and Alyssa Naigan.   Homecoming Fashion Show was held on Wednesday during lunch.  Luke rocked the tux!  Carl Melhorn, ASB Director/Link Crew Coordinator/Peer Resource Advisor


Business Microsoft Office Intro students learned advanced PowerPoint skills by rehearsing the timings of their presentations.   Multimedia students did a Gallery Walk at the completion of their Photoshop project Fantasy Quad” – one of the top vote getters pictured hereMary Clayton, Department Chair



Adult Transition Program students went on fall field trip to Sycamore Canyon.  They practiced leisure skills, planning skills and overall social skills.  The weather was perfect and they had a wonderful time.

The program continues to build the flower business and still getting new orders!  They are thankful to Rio Mesa, the largest group of customers, for their loyal support which is helping build young responsible workers…Connie Westphal Brown, M.S., Department Chair


COUNSELORS have been collaborating with Rio Mesa’s UC Outreach Coordinator Griselda Sanchez for the October 7th Senior Parent Night for students who are on track with their A-G requirements.  College options will be discussed, as well as opportunities to begin the on-line college application processes for various 4-year universities including UC, CSU, and private colleges.  This very important meeting will be held on October 7th, 6 p.m., in the Rio Mesa Library

The Counseling department is finalizing intervention strategies to incorporate as they meet with students who are experiencing academic difficulties in their classes…Kirk Raymond, Counselor

Busy in the library!  Sophomore English classes researched the historical context of Of Mice and Men, but also applied themes from the novel to contemporary issues using the Opposing Viewpoints database (Stancil).  Freshman English library orientations continue on (Samples), with ELD 103 also completing the library scavenger hunt (Tchiprout).  Meanwhile, Geography classes completed a “landscape scavenger hunt,” finding different samples of land forms from the Internet to copy into PowerPoint (Dunst).  AP Geography students collected demographic data which they displayed in Excel tables. Other sophomore English classes reviewed the use of the library book catalog (Tierney), while English ERWC classes composed their personal essays for college applications…Margery Ricards, Librarian


This week, College Site Coordinator Griselda Sanchez presented to 9th grade students in their Physical Science class on “College–Making it Happen.”   The presentation focused on reviewing information presented when she assisted the students in creating their 4-year plan and discussing the differences and similarities of the 4 systems of higher education. Mrs. Sanchez continues to meet with seniors to find out their college plan as a way to better assist and meet their with the college application processes.

Academic Services Coordinator Robert Barrera provided a workshop to seniors in their classes this week on the Personal Statement to better assist seniors in the preparation of their college applications.

This Saturday is the last of three Saturdays of the SAT Academy.  Students can take a practice test and learn different math and English strategies to improve their performance in the test…Griselda Sanchez-Pelayo, UCSB Site Outreach Coordinator


Chemistry students are finishing up a unit on Atomic Structure and Nuclear Chemistry.  Students did two lab activities over the last two weeks.  In one lab, the students plotted the half-life of the element M and M ium as it transformed into Paper Clipium.  In the other activity, students calculated the average atomic mass of the newly discovered element Beanium.  Physics: Students are studying kinematics and have been working on graphical representations of motion and solving motion problems with vectors.  This week students learned how to calculate acceleration.  Earth Science:  Students are learning about the formation of the Solar System and as part of that unit they have done several lab activities involving: density, finding the distance to the sun, the formation of elements from the building blocks of atoms inside of stars.  Bio Lab:   Some of the Bio Classes had a 3 day microscope lab focusing on preparing a wet mount for observations of various specimens and building overall skills and safety with the microscope.  Biology students also did the happy meal lab to demonstrate types of organic molecules found in foods, as well as a lab involving catalase enzyme (liver) lab to demonstrate removal of bad substances from body.  Physiology observed various human tissues with the microscope and prepared slides.  IB Environmental Systems & Societies has been exploring environmental pollution and Lichens.  Lichens are very sensitive to pollution and are commonly used as a bio indicator of the quality of the environment.  Students set up an experiment using several metal cations solutions as a “source pollution” with methylene blue as an indicator of the exchange that may take place in the lichen.  Physical Science Honors has just completed a series of experiments demonstrating the concept of the law of conservation of mass.  As part of these experiments students demonstrated the scientific method; metric measurements & conversions; graphing skills; and what is needed for a formal scientific lab report.  Marine biology– Students are finishing a unit on sediment.  As part of the unit students compared and contrasted the three local harbors, Hueneme, Channel Islands, and Santa Barbara…Corene Duarte, Science Department Chair


Several college representatives visited the College and Career Center this week to speak with students:  Monday, September 29 – Ashley Cowan, Corban University – Salem, Oregon, informed students about this small, Christian, liberal arts college.   Tuesday, September 30 – Fifty-one students heard presentation by Allen Tang, UC Los Angeles, about this large, highly selective university.  He discussed the importance of taking the hardest classes a student can handle, getting great grades, having high test scores, and showing leadership positions in the student’s extra-curricular activities.  Friday, October 3 – Stephanie Nelson, William Jessup University, Rocklin, CA, talked about this small, liberal arts college.  She discussed the benefits of going to a small college where students receive individualized attention in academics.

On Tuesday, September 30, Mrs. Anderson attended the Service Academy Information Night put on by Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s office at Pacifica High School.  Students and parents viewed video about five military academies and heard information presented by representatives from each branch of the Military Service Academies.  Also of interest, was presentation by Five Star Academy Advisors, a free counseling service to help students proceed through the complicated application and nomination process.  Mrs. Anderson collected information to provide to interested students.

On Thursday, October. 2, Mrs. Anderson and Ms. Sanchez attended the CSU High School Counselors Conference held at the Long Beach Conference Center.  Attendees could choose from many workshops which presented information about changes to the application process, updates at the various CSU campuses, and financial aid opportunities to name a few…Sally Anderson, College and Career Center Tech


Late Bus – Monday through Thursday, 4:35 p.m. pick-up in front of Admin. Office

ZAP (Zeros Aren’t Permitted) continues in Library Saturdays 8:15 a.m. to 12 noon

Students can use media tools, work on group projects, make-up tests & extra credit assignments in an environment that stresses–Zeros Aren’t Permitted.  Peer tutors available to assist students who ask for help – Counselor Kirk Raymond



SAT Academy – Oct. 4 – 8 a.m. to noon

Interested students contact Mrs. Sanchez in the College and Career Center 

RMHS Marching Band & Color Guard will participate at UCLA Band Day at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 4th during halftime at UCLA v. Utah football game.

High schools from throughout Southern California participating.

RMHS Marching Band & Color Guard – field show competitions:

West Hills (@ Valencia HS, Santa Clarita,    Sat., Oct. 18

Simi Valley HS, Sat., Oct. 25

Oxnard HS, Sat., Nov. 8

Moorpark HS, Sat., Nov. 15

Oct. 6 – Homecoming Raids – Oct. 6

Oct. 7 – College Application Night, 6-7:30 p.m., library, by invitation – see Griselda Sanchez

Oct. 13 – Professional Dev. Day

Oct. 14 – CSU Application Workshop, lunch, computer lab – see Griselda Sanchez

Oct. 15 – UC Application Workshop, lunch, computer lab – see Griselda Sanchez

Oct. 15 – Homecoming Spirit Week

Oct. 16 – Higher Ed Day – Seniors per. 1, Juniors per. 2 – see Griselda Sanchez

Oct. 17 – Homecoming Game

Oct. 18 – Homecoming Dance, 8-11 p.m.

Oct. 31 – Food Fest

Nov. 11   Veteran’s Day