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The College Application Handbook

Introducing the first edition of El Cerrito High School's College Application Handbook. This comprehensive guide provides information, advice and resources to help make the application and admission process more accessible to students and families. Find the handbook in the Counseling menu above or click the link in the sidebar. Continue Reading→

Principal’s Message: Week of March 29th

Thank you to everyone for helping to finish out last week on a positive note. I am looking forward to carrying that positive energy into this week’s Spirit Week.

Students, please make sure you have your school ID with you at all times. Any student that does not have a 1st or 4th block class should keep a copy of their schedule with them at all times.

ECHS will be hosting a community meeting on Thursday evening at 6 pm in the Theater to discuss safety procedures and systems at ECHS. El Cerrito High School, West Contra Costa Unified School District, and El Cerrito Police Department staff will be present to help explain how our different agencies work together to support our youth and the community and to answer questions.   Everyone and anyone is welcome to attend.

We have a couple of altered schedules this week. Monday is a Minimum Day and 4th block will end at 2:00. Friday is a Rally Day so Block 3 will end at 1:00 and Block 4 will end at 2:30. The rally will take place from 2:30 to 3:45. Students that do not have a fourth block class that would like to stay for the rally will need to stay in the cafeteria. Students that leave campus will not be allowed to return for the rally.

Term 3 report cards will be distributed in Block 2 classes on Friday and mailed home next week.

Summer School applications are in and the deadline to sign up with your counselor is Monday, April 13th. Counselors will be calling in students this week that are behind on credits or have not passed the CAHSEE.

A quick shout out to a number of our students that were down in Monterey competing this weekend. In Mountain Biking, Congrats to Peter May for placing 3rd in the Sophomore boys and Gerardo Castro for placing 4th for Junior boys – the best that either of them have ever done. After a 24 year hiatus, The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Quintet performed at the Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey this weekend. The jazz quintet was awarded 2nd place in arguably the most competitive division at the festival! Two of our students were recognized as some of the entire festivals top players – Phineas Crisp (trombone) was awarded an outstanding soloist award and Davis Feeley (alto sax) was recognized with a half scholarship to the Brubeck institute jazz camp.

Spring Sports are in full swing and all of our teams are doing really well right now so please make sure to come out and show some support for all of our great student athletes.

Also, a shout out to Ms. Shah, our IT Academy lead teacher, for her two REI speaking engagements during the month of March on the topic of “Sharing brain-shattering outdoor and classroom adventures.”

Thank you to all the students and staff that participated in Pennies for Patients as the Leadership class raised $760 to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s research on finding a cure for blood cancers.

This week marks the end of Term 3. Please make sure to do the best you can on your final exams and projects – let’s finish Term 3 strong.

Academic counselors have now been to every 2nd block class to support students in filling out course request sheets for the 2015-2016 school year. You and your student may now log in to powerschool using your normal powerschool login to see the requests that have been entered and make any necessary adjustments. Please note that courses that are by audition only and academy electives have not yet been added to students’ requests and are not available on the student selection screens. Please communicate directly with the instructor if you would like to add one of these courses. These courses will be added by the counseling department based on the lists provided by the instructors. If you do not have access to your powerschool log in information please contact the main office or have your student stop by the office to pick up instructions for student access. Please note that passwords are case sensitive. Once you have logged in, you will need to click on the button entitled “class registration” to view the registration options. If you have any questions about this process, please contact your students’ counselor or Mr. Fleischman. The window for class adjustments will remain open until Tuesday, March 31.

Regarding sign-ups for AP testing:

Students can now sign up for AP testing through the cashier. Students who qualify for Free and Reduced lunch pay $13 per exam, all other students pay $91 per exam. This year, all AP Biology, AP Chemistry, and AP Environmental Science exams will be paid for by the school district so if your student has taken one of these courses, they are encouraged to take the exam for free. The deadline to sign up for AP exams is Friday, April 3rd. If you have any questions about AP exams, please contact Mr. Fleischman.

The Gooden College Connection is hosting free, personalized college advisory sessions for WCCUSD 11th graders and their families on Saturday, March 28th at DeJean Middle School. Topics covered include transcript evaluation, course planning for senior year, college essay writing, college costs, scholarships and financial aid. The deadline to sign up is March 13th and you can sign up in the Career Center with Ms. Griggs.

I am happy to announce that 698 students (that is more than half of our student body) had over a 3.0 GPA for Term 2 and 342 of those students had a 4.0 GPA or higher.

The District has finalized the start-of-school schedule for next year. The first day of school will be on Monday, August 24th. Walkthrough registration for ECHS will begin on August 11th for 9th graders, the 12th for 10th graders, the 13th for 11th graders, and the 14th for 12th graders.

Did you know that your student may be eligible to receive FREE dental services at our school health center, the James Morehouse Project? Services include dental exams, cleanings, x-rays and fillings and are provided by Contra Costa Health Services. If you would like your student to receive dental services at the JMP, please call Luisa Arguello-Mendoza at 510-965-5313. That phone number is 510-965-5313, or have your student contact the JMP directly for more information.

Please mark your calendars for this year’s graduation ceremony. The ECHS class of 2015 will be graduating on Saturday, June 6th at 12:30 PM at the Richmond Auditorium.

I am pleased to announce that our School Climate Report Card is out for this year and our scores continue to rise. This data is based on The California Healthy Kids Surveys that our students complete in the Spring and our Truancy data. When ranked with similar schools in California, ECHS is currently sitting at the 91st percentile. Thank you for your feedback Gauchos!!

Please do not forget to complete your “Online Meal Application” so that your student can receive free or reduced lunch.  The application is quick and easy to fill out and can be accessed directly from the home page of the West Contra Costa Unified School District website under “Online Meal Application”.  The application must be completed annually so if you have not renewed you application from last year please do it as soon as possible as last year’s service will expire at the end of September.

I would like to remind everyone of a couple of important school policies.  Students should have ID’s with them at all times.  ID’s not only help support the safety of the campus, but they are also required in the cafeteria for students to receive free and reduced lunch. With the warm weather right now it is particularly important that everyone dress appropriately.  More specifically, all shirts should be long enough to overlap a pair of pants or a skirt.  Students not dressed appropriately will be required to wear a loaner shirt or call home for a change of clothes.  It is also important to remember that El Cerrito High School has a closed campus policy so at no point should a student leave campus during the school day without being signed out of the main office.  This also means that students are not allowed to leave campus during lunch.  Please remind your student of these policies as we would like to avoid students missing instructional time for not meeting these expectations.

Please help keep our school and community looking beautiful by not leaving trash laying around on campus or when you are walking through the community.  We are extremely fortunate to have such a beautiful facility, but it takes all of us working together to ensure it stays that way.

Principal Luongo

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