The Grade Blog

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  1. Brent_Poppen1.JPG

    Paralympic athlete to local kids: You, too, can overcome adversity

    BY LAUREN FOREMAN The Bakersfield Californian
    Friday, Feb 27 2015 06:48 PM

    Jazmin Cervantes, a fifth-grader at Williams School, stood in front of about 90 of her peers and bent her right leg -- a request from a guest speaker talking to the group Friday.

    That speaker, Paralympic athlete Brent Poppen, is making his way to about 17 schools in the Bakersfield City School District to share his story.

    He picked Jazmin, a nervous volunteer, to help him demonstrate the function of a spine. Poppen, a baseball and football player at the time, was paralyzed after sustaining a spinal injury while wrestling at a church summer camp he attended when he was 16-years-old.

    For the most part, the Long Beach native had only ever been told yes. Yes, he could go to college. Yes, he could play college sports.

  2. pbis_2_fa.JPG

    THE GRADE: Discipline program praised, criticized; more on scholarship offerings

    IS GREENFIELD'S PBIS WORKING? Six teenagers, laughing and talking (but mostly laughing), stood along the outskirts of an enclosed field Wednesday at Greenfield Middle School. The campus on Pacheco Road is one of four schools -- Planz,...


    Bakersfield teachers want more pay: What do they earn now?

    Scores of teachers, dressed in their union color, red, have for months been flooding the monthly Bakersfield City School District board meetings. Fair pay has been their rallying cry. After about five months of negotiation, the district...

  4. Lauren_Foreman.JPG

    THE GRADE: Tell us about your scholarship offerings

    HELP FIND MONEY FOR SCHOOL: It's that time of year when high school seniors are starting to wonder how they'll pay for college. Application deadlines for the fall have long passed, and college acceptance letters are starting to arrive....

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    CSUB program gets $7.3 million grant

    A Cal State Bakersfield program newly energized by federal funding will teach educators more engaging ways to instruct their students in science, technology, engineering and math. The program called Growing Rural Opportunities STEM...


    Columbia Elementary community bands together to raise money for girl battling leukemia

    Thirty-four beaded, plastic jump ropes were arranged Friday on the floor of Columbia Elementary School's multipurpose room. Scores of children were seated around the ropes in preparation for a schoolwide event called Skip for Alizza....

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    Common Core in Kern: Exploring a deeper level of thinking

    Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" was the focal point of teacher Diana Greenlee's college prep English class Thursday. The teacher gave what's known as a formative assessment, a point-in-time check to gauge student understanding of the...

  8. Family of Delano boy who died seeking donations

    The family of an eighth-grade boy who collapsed and died during gym class last month at Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy is accepting donations to pay the boy's funeral costs, according to the Delano Union School District. That boy,...

  9. MykaPeck.JPG

    Garces Memorial High gets new principal

    Myka Peck, a seven-year staffer at Garces Memorial High School, will take over as principal, the Catholic high school announced Friday. John Fanucchi, president of Garces Memorial, said Peck has a "tireless work ethic and enthusiasm, and...

  10. Mark Arax.JPG

    History with a nod toward Central Valley celebrated

    Peter Bennett, 92, pitched a remarkable story in a rather unremarkable fashion to the veteran journalist listening about a year ago. "It's the God-damnedest story you have ever heard," Bennett told Betsy Lumbye, former executive editor of...

  11. KOO scholarship deadline apporaches

    The deadline is approaching for the annual Kappa Omega Omega Chapter scholarships for black high school students in Kern County. Kappa Omega Omega (KOO) is a local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the oldest Greek-letter...

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    THE GRADE: Common Core essay contest

    COMMON CORE ESSAY CONTEST: Should the United States pass immigration reform? That’s the question the Bakersfield City School District will be asking its sixth-, seventh- and eighth- grade students in the third annual Young Writers of Kern...

  13. The Lennon Bus stops in Delano

    Noel Burrell, a senior jazz band student at Delano High, stepped onto a 65-foot tour bus parked Tuesday outside of Cesar E. Chavez High School. "The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus" was painted along both sides of the vehicle. The Lennon...

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