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Bishop’s School first to start 2009 year

Monday marks the first day of school at The Bishop’s School, the first of La Jolla’s public and private schools to start classes.

The Preuss School at UCSD campus follows the next day with La Jolla Country Day School ringing in the new school year a week later, on Tuesday, Aug. 26. La Jolla High School and local public elementary schools and Muirlands Middle school follow suit on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Enrollment this year at The Bishop’s School, for grades seven through 12, will be 745, said Suzanne Weiner, the school’s director of marketing and public relations.

Next year enrollment will grow to 800 when the school adds a sixth-grade class, she noted.

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There are a number of changes, both aesthetic and more far-reaching, this year at Bishop’s.

Said Weiner: “We painted all the Irving Gill historical buildings and the Johnson Tower. We took our Wheeler J. Bailey Building, which had been used for our instrumental music program, and made it into our Centennial Celebration Headquarters, where we will be staging three exhibitions during the year.”

One new administrator joins the Bishop’s staff this year: Gayle Williams, head of the Middle School. She came from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Preuss on mission

The Preuss School, located on UCSD campus, is observing its 10th year of existence. Preuss was created a decade ago to serve underrepresented students from low-income families whose members have never graduated from a four-year college or university.
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Principal Scott Barton said there aren’t any big changes at the high school this school year.

“We’re just going to continue with our mission,” said Barton, “which is to prepare our students to be admitted to four-year colleges and universities. There are no new facilities or new programs to speak of. We’re just going to be continuing on with our vision.”

LJHS spruces up

Dana Shelburne, longtime principal at La Jolla High, said he expects enrollment to be stable again this year starting out between 1,685 to 1,700 students and settling at about 1,660 students by the end of November.

New student registration is Aug. 21, followed by continuing students the next day.

Although some programs and positions had been in doubt because of financial uncertainties with the state’s budget still incomplete, Shelburne said, “We think we’re going to be able to hold onto all the programs that we’ve had.”

Students last year were able to raise money to help save the positions of pink-slipped teachers. The district reinstated all teachers’ positions, but some faced the prospect of being moved to other campuses as the district tightened its belt.

“Students held a ‘phone-a-thon’ and raised almost $100,000 to help underwrite the cost of some of the teachers who’ve been laid off,” said Shelburne. “That was really a heartwarming effort by students and parents.”

A big project La Jolla High is working on is getting Muirlands Middle School’s field, which high school sports programs share, funded for new, cutting-edge artificial turf like that existing at the high school’s stadium.

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“We’re right at $300,000 in donations,” said Shelburne, “and we need $1.2 million.”

Shelburne also said handicap access has been improved at La Jolla High’s Edwards Stadium and architectural renderings have been done to renovate the school’s tennis courts.

New at LJCSD

La Jolla Country Day School, which has students from nursery school through Grade 12, anticipates enrollment of 1,050 students this year.

School registration started Wednesday, Aug. 13 and continues Monday from 8 to 11 a.m.; and Aug. 25 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The campus opens the year with a new Visual Arts & Science Center, which will house Upper School science classes and brings all visual arts activities - painting, drawing, graphics, and digital photography - into one space.

Along with the new Upper School science classrooms will be two new teachers, Todd Lineback and Daniel Padgett teaching chemistry and physics. Other additions to the teaching staff include Dana Kerberg, Mark Needle and Jennifer Jacob in the Lower School.

Head of School Christopher Schuck is looking forward to continuing the school’s traditions and legacy.

“La Jolla Country Day School attracts and retains a world-class faculty with an average tenure of 16 years, including 71 percent with postgraduate degrees,” said Schuck. “Each of them is committed and passionate about providing our students a superior educational experience that prepares them for college and quality of life that creates concerned and informed citizens.”

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