Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Comprehensive School Safety Plan
Information presented by Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Pupil Support, Stefan Cvijanovich

Approve Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA)
Board approved the Single Plans for Student Achievement for all district schools.

Notice of Completion for Roof Restoration
The Board approved a Notice of Completion for roof restoration projects completed by Midstate Sheet Metal, Inc.

Extension of Contract for Dr. Adrian Palazuelos
The Board announced the recent positive evaluation of the Superintendent and unanimously approved a contract extension for Dr. Adrian Palazuelos to continue as Fillmore USD Superintendent through June 30, 2021.

Personnel Recommendations
The Board approved all personnel recommendations including new hires, promotions, resignations, and leaves.

 


 
Last week Fillmore High School hosted an Anti-Bullying assembly in the gym for each grade level, where they learned about how they can help stop bullying and what they can do if they see it happening. Photo courtesy Katrionna Furness.
Last week Fillmore High School hosted an Anti-Bullying assembly in the gym for each grade level, where they learned about how they can help stop bullying and what they can do if they see it happening. Photo courtesy Katrionna Furness.
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Last week during lunch at Fillmore High School the US Marine Corps set up a Pull Up Challenge for the students to compete as well as learn about the Marines. Photo courtesy Katrionna Furness.
Last week during lunch at Fillmore High School the US Marine Corps set up a Pull Up Challenge for the students to compete as well as learn about the Marines. Photo courtesy Katrionna Furness.
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Pictured above are San Cayetano Elementary 3rd - 5th grade students who participated in the this year’s school Spelling Bee which took place Monday, January 29th. 3rd grade students: Saul Fraga-Sandoval, Kamila Maldonado, Paul Pacheco, Ricardo Quilo, Sienna Altamirano, Luis Navarro. 4th grade students: Giovanni Alcala, Jose Alcarez, Emma Victor, Jesse Cavazos,  Jirhet Cruz, Jonas Ramirez. 5th grade students: Nadia Palazuelos, Diana Santa Rosa, Presley McLain, Nolan McKeen.
Pictured above are San Cayetano Elementary 3rd - 5th grade students who participated in the this year’s school Spelling Bee which took place Monday, January 29th. 3rd grade students: Saul Fraga-Sandoval, Kamila Maldonado, Paul Pacheco, Ricardo Quilo, Sienna Altamirano, Luis Navarro. 4th grade students: Giovanni Alcala, Jose Alcarez, Emma Victor, Jesse Cavazos, Jirhet Cruz, Jonas Ramirez. 5th grade students: Nadia Palazuelos, Diana Santa Rosa, Presley McLain, Nolan McKeen.
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(l-r) are 2nd place runner up Presley McLain and 1st place winner Nadia Palazuelos, who will compete at the Ventura County Spelling Bee Final in March.
(l-r) are 2nd place runner up Presley McLain and 1st place winner Nadia Palazuelos, who will compete at the Ventura County Spelling Bee Final in March.
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Congratulations to all San Cayetano 3rd -5th grade students who were eligible to participate in the school Spelling Bee, which was held Monday, January 29th. After several elimination rounds the final contestant standing to represent San Cayetano is 5th grade 1st place was winner Nadia Palazuelos. Our 2nd place runner up was Presley McLain. Nadia will move on to the next round to compete at the County level. The Ventura County Spelling Bee final will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 3, 2018, at California State University Channel Islands. The county champion will fly to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Spelling Bee.

Submitted by Tricia Gradias, Principal, San Cayetano School.

 


 
On Tuesday, January 30th Fillmore High School parents graduated from Fillmore High School’s 1st Aid for Mental Health Program, completing their 3rd and final class. They learned about mental illnesses and how to recognize them, and resources available to help.
On Tuesday, January 30th Fillmore High School parents graduated from Fillmore High School’s 1st Aid for Mental Health Program, completing their 3rd and final class. They learned about mental illnesses and how to recognize them, and resources available to help.
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The Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) met with representatives from the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association (FUTA) on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 to negotiate. Negotiations were held at the District Office (627 Sespe Avenue, Fillmore, California) beginning at 9:00 AM.

Present for the Fillmore Unified Teachers Association:
Jennifer Beal - Fillmore Middle School
Tammy Ferguson - San Cayetano Elementary School
Donna Wojciechowski - Heritage Valley Independent Study
Marisa Martinez - Fillmore Middle School
Kelley Hess - Fillmore Middle School
Kassie Chambers - Rio Vista Elementary School
Heather Milam Mountain - Vista Elementary School District
Kristin Dewey - San Cayetano Elementary School

Present for the Fillmore Unified School District:
Andrea McNeill, Chief Business Officer
Stefan Cvijanovich, Asst. Superintendent, Human Resources and Pupil Support
Todd Schieferle, Director of Human Resources
Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, Superintendent

Articles discussed today were as follows:
•Article 5: Salaries
Tabled to February 7, 2018
•Article 6: Hours of Employment
FUTA provided FUSD with a proposal
•Article 8: Extra Pay Positions
FUTA provided FUSD with a proposal
•Article 11: Evaluation Procedures
FUSD provided a draft Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint evaluation committee
•Article 19: Class Size
FUSD provided FUTA with a proposal
Today’s negotiations session ended at 1:25 PM

The next negotiations session for FUTA and FUSD is Wednesday, February 7, 2018

 

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Ventura College one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The prize includes $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships, highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges.

The Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The Aspen Prize recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students. Ventura was also awarded the nomination honor for the 2017 award.

“I am grateful for the dedicated work of all our college employees,” said President David Keebler. “Their efforts directly help students succeed at Ventura College. It is very exciting to receive this recognition from the Aspen Institute and we look forward to completing our application for the 2019 award.”

Ventura College is one of 16 California Community Colleges eligible for the prize. A full list of the selected colleges and details on the selection process are available at www.aspenprize.org.

Ventura College is invited to submit an application to the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence containing detailed data on degree and certificate completion (including progress and transfer rates), labor market outcomes (employment and earnings), and student learning outcomes. The Aspen Institute will select ten finalists, from the 150 eligible nominations, to be named in fall 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner and a few finalists with distinction in early 2019.

About Ventura College: Ventura College, an accredited two-year institution of higher education, has been a part of the beautiful seaside community of Ventura, California, since 1925. It is conveniently located approximately 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. The 112-acre campus, set in the rolling hills of Ventura, has an enrollment of 14,500 students. Ventura College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Sciences Degrees in 33 majors, and Certificates of Completion and Proficiency Awards in 61 areas of study. Ventura College also has Transfer Guarantee Agreements with CSUCI, CSUN, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. Class schedules are posted at www.venturacollege.edu. For more information, contact the Ventura College Student Connect Center at 805.289.6420.

About the Aspen Prize: The prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation, the Siemens Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation.

The Aspen College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the New College Leadership Project, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/college-excellence.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

 
Foundation’s gift to benefit Cal Lutheran, community

A Camarillo couple’s foundation has made a $300,000 donation to California Lutheran University’s Center for Entrepreneurship to expand opportunities for students at the college and throughout Ventura County.

Entrepreneur Dave Gross and his wife, Cal Lutheran alumna Dawn Gross, provided the gift on behalf of NewCo Foundation, which they started to further entrepreneurship and career technical education for students in Ventura County.

Part of the five-year donation will fund cash prizes for the center’s annual New Venture Competition, which provides Cal Lutheran undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines with the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills, experience the challenge of launching a startup business, and connect with mentors and investors. The gift will also cover expenses for students to travel to regional and national pitch competitions and to study entrepreneurship in other countries.

The donation will also enable the center to co-fund a pitch competition for elementary through graduate school students in Ventura County in collaboration with the Ventura County Office of Education and Aspire3, a Ventura startup that provides programs and tools for aspiring entrepreneurs. Cal Lutheran, which also runs a Start-Up Kids program, will work with other institutions that teach entrepreneurship to host the competition in May on the university’s Thousand Oaks campus.

Since 2014, Dave Gross has mentored student entrepreneurs at Cal Lutheran. He also volunteers daily and has taught engineering and entrepreneurship classes at Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo. A year ago, the Grosses launched RCMAKES, a student-operated makerspace and job shop at Rancho Campana.

Dave Gross co-founded and is a managing partner of Persistence Partners, a local early-stage venture fund. Its investments include cloud-based software company Procore Technologies, biomedical company Sirigen and wellness software platform BioIQ. He co-founded and served as CEO of digital advertising firm Connexity, which was bought by Shopzilla. He also co-founded internet advertising firm Fastclick, which was bought by ValueClick. He founded his first company after earning bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and environmental studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and working as an engineer for a decade.

Dawn Gross, a Braille transcriber and nationally recognized advocate of Braille literacy, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal Lutheran and is the Braille program manager with the Alternate Text Production Center of the California Community Colleges. She has served as treasurer or controller of Fastclick, Connexity, Persistance Partners and RCMAKES.

For more information on the center, visit CalLutheran.edu/entrepreneurship. For information on NewCo, visit newco.foundation.

 
Fillmore High Schools outstanding Renaissance Class attended the Renaissance National Tour at Monrovia High School last week. The students were joined by over 1000 other students from other high schools that shared their passion for changing school.
Fillmore High Schools outstanding Renaissance Class attended the Renaissance National Tour at Monrovia High School last week. The students were joined by over 1000 other students from other high schools that shared their passion for changing school.
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The Fall Semester for Fillmore High School will be extended for three weeks from January 8th to January 26th. Final exams are now scheduled for January 23, 24, and 25, 2018 due to the Thomas Fire closure.

 

CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) is among the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in terms of social mobility, a term synonymous with a low income students being able to improve their socioeconomic circumstances.

CSUCI is ranked number 18 out of 1,363 universities in the “Social Mobility Index” (SMI), which was developed by CollegeNET — a software company for higher education, and PayScale, Inc.an online salary, benefits and compensation information company.

The SMI measures the extent to which a college or university educates more economically-disadvantaged students at a lower tuition rate, then graduates them into promising careers.

CSUCI Executive Director of Student Academic Success & Equity Initiatives Amanda Quintero, Ph.D. believes CSUCI excels at social mobility because the University takes special care to provide encouragement, tutoring and practical support to students and families who may not be familiar with the college experience.

“This recognition made me feel very proud of the work we’ve been doing,” Quintero said. “For a long time, I’ve been applying for funding available to Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Some of the criteria is that we have a minimum of 30 percent of students receiving Pell Grants. Over time, that number has skyrocketed to about 50 percent. Nearly half come from under-resourced communities and about 60 percent are the first in their families on a pathway to completing a baccalaureate degree.”

In fact, all 23 CSU campuses appeared in the top quartile of the listings, with five CSU campuses in the overall top ten.

Data was collected through third-party sources such as Payscale, Inc. and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The index measured five criteria when compiling statistics: tuition cost; the percentage of the student body from low-income households; graduation rates; and the size of a school’s endowment.

Quintero often works with students who are the first in their family to attend college, and these students are often from lower socioeconomic backgrounds reaping the greatest benefit from higher education as a tool for social mobility.

Quintero herself is the picture of social mobility. She rose from poverty to become the first of her family to attend college, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University.

“It was really tough. It was a hard, hard road,” she said. “I worked full time the entire time I was on this path. I had to work two or three jobs in order to go to school. At times it was very lonely.”

But in the end, she said, the sacrifice was more than worth it because she improved circumstances for her entire family, and for generations ahead.

Her advice to those who are seeking an education despite few economic resources is to “never give up,” she said.

“It’s not always going to be easy. Ultimately the sacrifice they’re making is going to change the trajectory of their family forevermore,” she said. “This is something much bigger than themselves.”

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CSUCI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CSUCI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CSUCI’s Social Media.

 
Fillmore High School AVID group took a trip to Cal State University of Northridge last week. They toured the campus and were able to get a feel for the college lifestyle. It is hoped that trips like this will encourage students to continue their education at the next level.
Fillmore High School AVID group took a trip to Cal State University of Northridge last week. They toured the campus and were able to get a feel for the college lifestyle. It is hoped that trips like this will encourage students to continue their education at the next level.
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Pictured are some of the Fillmore High School Robotics’ Club attended the Bakersfield Vex League Competition #3 on November 11th. Also pictured is their prototype they entered in this year’s competition which is held from October 2017-January 2018.
Pictured are some of the Fillmore High School Robotics’ Club attended the Bakersfield Vex League Competition #3 on November 11th. Also pictured is their prototype they entered in this year’s competition which is held from October 2017-January 2018.
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For the fourth time, CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Nursing graduates scored a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the state boards that allow them to practice nursing.

The latest 100% pass rate is for the 57 CSUCI Nursing graduates who took the state boards between July 1 and Sept. 30. All 57 passed on their first attempt.

CSUCI Nursing graduates also managed a 100% pass rate for the 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2015/16.

“We have not fallen below the 90% ever,” said Nursing and Health Sciences Chair Lynette Landry Ph.D., R.N. “The national pass rate was 81.4%. I’m very excited. To me, it’s reflective of the quality of our faculty and their commitment to student success.”

The average pass rate for the state of California for 2016 was 88.2%.

Landry said that integral to the success of the Nursing graduates is Professor of Nursing and former Nursing Chair Karen Jensen, who retired but still teaches part time.

Both Jensen and Landry credit the 100% pass rate in part to a remarkable faculty, who go above and beyond for their students, and always model professional behavior.

“There is a lot of student mentoring that goes on in the department,” Landry said. “More so than I’ve seen in other institutions. There is a collegiality and sharing among faculty, within the department and externally.”

This news is especially welcome because Nursing faculty had just streamlined the nursing program from 136 to 120 units of instruction at the direction of the Chancellor’s Office, and there was concern about how this would affect student outcomes.

“The faculty was very careful about not removing too much and still giving them a baccalaureate,” Jensen said. “This is the first class that went through the program with 120 units.”

Both believe the selection process for Nursing students is also a factor. Out of 400 to 500 candidates, just 40 are accepted.

“I think we do a really good job of selecting students,” Jensen said. “It isn’t all about grade point average. With our supplemental criteria for admission, we look at whether they have done volunteer work and know about nursing, whether they are bilingual, and we do give an entrance exam.”

“You have a strongly motivated group of people who are multicultural and they support one another,” Landry said. “They become lifelong friends.”

Jensen believes the support the Nursing students give one another can’t be underestimated. As an example, Jensen refers to her so-called “miracle class” at the Goleta campus a few years ago.

“We admitted 22, and graduated 22 on time,” Jensen said. “And all 22 passed the boards on their first try. I’ve been in educational administration for 30 years and had never seen that. Never. And they weren’t 4.0 students, either. They simply made a pledge that no one was going to be left behind. And when anybody had trouble, they all helped. It was absolutely phenomenal.”

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CSUCI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CSUCI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CSUCI’s Social Media.

 
Congratulations to the Fillmore High School Marching Band and Color Guard which took first place in 2017 USBands West Coast Regional Champions. It was held at LA Valley College on Saturday, November 4th.
Congratulations to the Fillmore High School Marching Band and Color Guard which took first place in 2017 USBands West Coast Regional Champions. It was held at LA Valley College on Saturday, November 4th.
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On Thursday, November 9th Fillmore High School hosted its Renaissance Rally, where it recognizes students who have achieved high GPA’s or have shown great improvement academically. Pictured above is the Fillmore High School Color Guard preforming during the rally. Photos courtesy Katrionna Furness.
On Thursday, November 9th Fillmore High School hosted its Renaissance Rally, where it recognizes students who have achieved high GPA’s or have shown great improvement academically. Pictured above is the Fillmore High School Color Guard preforming during the rally. Photos courtesy Katrionna Furness.
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Fillmore High School Mariachi Band.
Fillmore High School Mariachi Band.
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Thursday, November 2nd Fillmore High School hosted its 4th annual Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead event in downtown Fillmore. There were crafts, art work, music, etc. All proceeds go to help fund scholarships to Fillmore High School students.
Thursday, November 2nd Fillmore High School hosted its 4th annual Dia De Los Muertos/Day of the Dead event in downtown Fillmore. There were crafts, art work, music, etc. All proceeds go to help fund scholarships to Fillmore High School students.
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Fillmore High School students are pictured in front of USC’s “Tommy Trojan Statue”. The students are belong to the EAOP (Early Academic Outreach Program). They toured UCLA and USC campuses this past Friday, November 3rd. Juniors and Seniors were able to explore and experience the college atmosphere as they toured both universities. The program has also toured UC Irvine, UCSB and Long Beach State, and plan to tour Cal State LA and Cal State Channel Islands. The tours are to inspire and encourage students to continue their education after high school. Photo courtesy Katrionna Furness.

 
Professor of Mathematics Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D
Professor of Mathematics Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D

Her work to level the playing field for underrepresented minorities has earned CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Professor of Mathematics Cynthia Wyels, Ph.D., a 2017 Distinguished Mentor Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Wyels received the national honor at the 2017 National Diversity in STEM Conference in October in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“This is the most meaningful recognition I could ever imagine receiving in my professional career,” Wyels said. “This is about people. This is about doing what I can to help people find their paths and succeed.”

Wyels stressed that mentoring is a “we” and not an “I” activity and she could not have done as well with her students without a network of faculty, graduate students and others who rally to help her usher students of color into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields they might never have dreamed they could master.

Wyels had no idea she had been nominated by a colleague, Alejandro Alvarado, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics at Eastern Illinois University. Four other faculty members from Massachusetts, Ohio, and CSUCI supported the nomination.

“Her definition of mentorship is not just advising students on research projects, or how to apply for graduate school,” Alvarado wrote in the nomination letter. “She encompasses compassion, caring, and preparation for the next step in the career ladder. She fosters intellectual and professional development among STEM professionals at every stage of their academic careers.”

Wyels is a believer in senior faculty helping newer faculty, so she mentored her junior colleagues as well.

Youngstown University Associate Professor of Mathematics & Statistics Alicia Prieto Langarica said that meeting Wyels when Langarica was a junior minority mathematician was one of the best things that ever happened to her.

“The year my tenure application was approved, she invited me to spend my spring break at CSUCI, to help refocus my career and to guide me through grant applications and help me brainstorm for my sabbatical proposal,” Langarica wrote as one of many thing Wyels did to help her succeed in academia.

Among many other projects, Wyels and CSUCI colleagues developed a minority-serving program called Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) to guide students into mathematics research.

Letters of support from former REU students offered a glimpse into how far above and beyond Wyels went as a mentor.

Alejandra Castillo, who is working for her Ph.D. in Statistics at Oregon State University, remembers meeting Wyels at a SACNAS conference in Los Angeles.

“As a undocumented student, I had already been warned that REU Programs were out of my reach due to my citizenship status,” she wrote. “Dr. Wyels quickly mentioned that the Mathematics REU at CSUCI was undocumented student-friendly. She then talked about how a few of her past students, though undocumented, have continued to pursue careers in academia and industry. This entire conversation took place within the first 20 minutes after meeting Dr. Wyels and she has continued to change my life ever since.”

Crystal Mackey, who is studying for a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington, was struggling in her graduate program.

“In the beginning of graduate school I quickly felt overwhelmed about remaining in good standing and I did not feel like I belonged in school,” Mackey said. “I was ready to leave the program. I called Dr. Wyels looking for support and she inspired me to use all my resources such as professors’ office hours, and to continue to work hard.”

Wyels said that if she has been effective as a mentor, it’s because she and her network considered their jobs to be more than advising students on math research or grad school.

“You have to look at the whole person. It’s not just about the math,” she said. “Especially our first generation students and underrepresented minorities. All that context can be critically important.”

Wyels says she treasures all the letters, but especially the letters from former students.

“When I’m on my death bed reading these I’ll say ‘maybe I made a little bit of a difference,’” she said.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CSUCI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CSUCI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CSUCI’s Social Media.

 
On Thursday, October 26th from 5pm-8pm Kids and parents dressed in their costumes and excitedly headed down to the annual Harvest Festival at San Cayetano Elementary, which included food, games, and activities.
On Thursday, October 26th from 5pm-8pm Kids and parents dressed in their costumes and excitedly headed down to the annual Harvest Festival at San Cayetano Elementary, which included food, games, and activities.
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