LATEST UPDATE RE: SANTA CRUZ HS INVESTIGATION
For those who would like to keep abreast of the SCPD investigation regarding Santa Cruz High School, follow this link to the police blogspot - it will be periodically updated:
Posted by Santa Cruz Police Department on December 10, 2014
Our team of detectives worked through the weekend sorting through forensic information. We also continue to work and consult with our Federal colleagues. There is no new information to publicly report, but we are pleased with the progress of the investigation.
Meanwhile, we continue to have additional security measures in place at Santa Cruz High School as well as our other city schools. We are confident in our security assessment and we remain committed to ensuring a safe campus environment.
An unidentified person claiming to be responsible for the threat, again contacted the Sentinel newspaper today (Monday November 24th). They claimed to be responsible for the arson of vehicles in the Aptos area that occurred overnight. In coordination with the Sheriff's Office, we were unable to confirm any of the crime scene details provided by the person, and deemed the claim of responsibility was not credible.
In spite of the lack of credibility in the claim, we consulted with the school district and without hesitation; they have decided to provide additional overnight security to a number of campuses, including Santa Cruz High School. The additional security will stay in place at least through this week, even while school is not in session.
Thank you all for staying engaged as well as your support and patience. The security of our students and staff is a top priority for us. We will update the community with any breaking information on the status of the investigation.
Released from Santa Cruz PD, Fri., Nov. 21, 11:55 am
This morning the Sentinel published an article indicating they had email and Twitter conversations with the suspect in the threats at Santa Cruz High School.
Although the person communicating with the Sentinel does have some knowledge about the original email, we cannot confirm or validate that they are conversing with the actual suspect. We are extremely cognizant of the potential for copycats or friends of the actual suspect trying to distract the investigation. If this person is actually the suspect, they can end the public concern by simply surrendering to the police department allowing us to resolve the case and relieve community concerns.
Additionally, we cannot confirm whether or not the actual suspect is a student. Therefore, we cannot confirm the claim that they attended school yesterday. If they did attend school, we are confident that we had sufficient officers and a plan to monitor and respond to any threats on or around the campus.
There have not been any additional threats made. The police department has been continuously working on this case to determine the origin and identity of the threat. We continue to monitor the threat potential to the students and staff. If, at any point, we believe there is a legitimate threat of violence, we will consult with school administration and take all necessary steps to secure the campus. We will not gamble with the safety and security of our school campuses.
Last night, our detectives detained and interviewed two persons of interest in conjunction with this case, and a separate unrelated case. We were prepared to serve a search warrant at their home. The persons were cooperative and allowed the seizure of computer equipment for examination. They also shared information about potential suspects and people with the technological savvy to be involved with this threat.
Detectives are continuing to use software tools to identify a suspect, as well as looking into possible suspects based on tips and information. This is an active and dynamic investigation with information changing hour by hour. When we have solid and reliable information to report, we will update the community.
Steve ClarkDeputy Chief of PoliceSanta Cruz Police Department
This morning the Santa Cruz Sentinel ran a story about someone claiming to be responsible for the email threat to Santa Cruz High School. At this point, the police have not confirmed that this person claiming responsibility actually sent the message. We also do not know that this person is a student. The Police Department is seeking confirmation of this information.
There is an active on-going investigation. We continue to work in full cooperation with the Santa Cruz Police Department. We will provide updates on our website and provide other information as it becomes available.
All of our schools are open today. We are confident in our collaboration with the police and they will continue to have an increased presence at Santa Cruz High and our other sites today and as long as needed.
Update from Superintendent Munro - 10:47 p.m., Wed., November 19
Working in partnership with the Santa Cruz Police Department, the school district has determined that Santa Cruz High School will re-open Thursday, November 20. We are confident we have a safe environment for teaching and learning at Santa Cruz High. Students can expect to have counselors available and we will have an increased police presence on campus. All other Santa Cruz City Schools campuses will continue to remain open and will continue to have increased police presence.
Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of both students and staff in Santa Cruz City Schools.
As we reopen Santa Cruz High School on Thursday, we understand that some students may not feel comfortable attending. Please make the parenting decision that is best for your family. Though the district is confident in your child’s safety at school, you will have the full support of the district in your decision.
We will continue to keep you posted with any new developments. Thank you for your support for our students, our employees and our school district.
Update from Superintendent Kris Munro
SANTA CRUZ CITY SCHOOLS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At 8:23 last night, an explicit email threat was sent to the Santa Cruz High School principal, Karen Edmonds. The email mentioned a specific time, place, and action, but did not indicate any specific person or persons as a target. We immediately contacted the police and they investigated through the night to assess the threat.
Because the police were not able to authenticate the threat before the start of school, we acted with an abundance of caution and closed the school. We are unwilling to put any staff or students at risk, given the threat. At 6:00 this morning, we notified Santa Cruz High School families through our emergency messenger system, including robocall, text and email platforms, that we are closing school for the day. Additionally, extended the messenger system to all district families to notify them of the school closure and let them know that all other schools would be open today. We also notified local media.
We contacted all district principals last night to determine if any of them had received a threatening email. No other principals had received a threat. The threat is isolated to Santa Cruz High School.
Both site-based and district administrators were at Santa Cruz High this morning to meet any students who did not receive the message and we responded to parent phone calls.
Early this morning we met with Santa Cruz High School teachers and staff to review the threat and our response. We are truly grateful for our partnership with the Santa Cruz Police Department and their incredible support. Santa Cruz Police officers were dispatched to provide security and reassure parents, students and staff at each of our school sites.
This afternoon a letter was sent home to families sharing our most current information. We have also updated our website. We will continue to update parents and the community as the situation develops.
We live in a special community, where we look out for one another. I want to say how proud I am of our staff and students, police department and community, for their response to today’s events.
Tonight, we will hold a parent meeting from 7:00-8:00 in the Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz to update families and answer questions.
SANTA CRUZ HIGH SCHOOL IS CLOSED TODAY, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19.
ALL OTHER SANTA CRUZ CITY SCHOOLS ARE OPEN.
Santa Cruz High School will be closed due to a threat against student safety. The Santa Cruz Police Department has been working all night on the investigation of this threat.
In consultation with the Deputy Chief of Police, we have decided to close Santa Cruz High School today to ensure the safety of students and staff. The police department is continuing their investigation and we will update the community via website as more information becomes available.
The safety of staff and students is our top priority.
The Santa Cruz Police Department will be patrolling on all campuses toady.
There will be a parent meeting tonight, Wednesday, 11/19/14 from 7:00pm - 8:00pm at Kaiser Permante Arena (Santa Cruz Warriors Arena).
Habra una reunion para los padres esta noche a las 7:00pm - 8:00pm al estadio de Kaiser Permanante (del los Warriors).
On behalf of the governing board and staff of Santa Cruz City Schools I would like to welcome you to the 2014-15 school year. We are proud of our work in SCCS, and are pleased to be able to serve our students and their families. Our work in the school community is governed by our District Vision, Core Values and Strategic Goals.
This should be an outstanding school year in SCCS. Thanks to voters who have approved our parcel tax measures, we will maintain outstanding programs, including fully staffed libraries, reduced class sizes, and visual and performing arts programs. Our K-3 class sizes average about 22 students, and our 4-5 class sizes around 27 students. We offer a full range of outstanding classes at our middle and high schools.
We are working hard to increase the number of our students who choose to attend college and to insure that they are better prepared to do so. We are seeing significant improvement in the number of students meeting rigorous college entrance requirements and taking Advanced Placement and Honors Courses. As you will see below, our graduates are being accepted at some of the best colleges, universities and vocational programs in the world.
We continue to focus upon customer service, working on doing a better job of responding to your needs. We maintain a constant focus upon teacher quality, with the knowledge that nothing is more important than the teachers who work with your children every day.
Finally, please be assured that as students in Santa Cruz City Schools your children will be known, safe, challenged and supported. Also, please remember that we are here to serve you as your partners in educating your child and welcome your ideas, concerns and requests.
Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools
District Employment At-A-Glance:
- Certificated (teachers): 434
- All Employee: 753
- Curernt Contract with the Greater Santa Cruz Federation of Teachers: 7/1/11 - 6/30/14
- Current Contract with the Santa Cruz Council of Classified Employees: 7/1/13 - 6/30/14
Santa Cruz City Schools serves students residing in the city of Santa Cruz and neighborhoods from Davenport to Soquel.
The district is comprised of elementary and high school districts governed by a common Board of Education and a general administrative staff. There are five schools in the Elementary District; the Secondary district includes two middle schools and three comprehensive high schools. Serving the diverse needs of our community, the district also offers a continuation school, an opportunity school, an independent studies program and a home school program.
Our students receive a rich and deep education. From strong academics to music and art , our schools offer programs and services that meet the needs of all students, guiding them to reach their full capabilities. A supportive and involved community helps us to maintain excellence.
Santa Cruz County College Commitment Summit
UCSC Hosts 350 Local 7th GradeStudents
UCSC piloted the first Middle School Summit on May 21, 2013 to 7th grade students from throughout Santa Cruz County as part of the Santa Cruz County College Commitment program. The purpose of the summit was to provide career and college-going curriculum for 7th-grade students in Santa Cruz, and have students conduct research on solving challenges in the community and the broader world. Each student participated in one of 10 workshops on such topics as homelessness, hunger, environmental sustainability, astronomy, social justice and immigration, cancer, game design, engineering solutions, healing through the arts, and crime prevention. For information directly from students, please view this video: http://sccommits.org/s4c-ucsc-7th-grade-experience
SANTA CRUZ CITY SCHOOLS RELEASES LIST OF 161 UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES THAT HAVE ACCEPTED ITS GRADUATING SENIORS
LIST HIGHLIGHTED BY STANFORD, HARVARD, BROWN, NYU, UC BERKELEY, UCLA, USC, CAL POLY, PITZER, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
SANTA CRUZ, CA – Santa Cruz City Schools announced today its preliminary list of 161 colleges and universities that have accepted graduating seniors from the district’s high schools (Harbor, Santa Cruz, Soquel, Delta, Costanoa and AFE). The list is expected to grow through the end of the school year, as more students receive admission notifications.
District leaders attribute the depth and breadth of the list of universities and colleges to the district’s focus on college readiness beginning in elementary school. Specific programs that aid in college readiness include extensive AP and honors course offerings, libraries staffed by credentialed librarians, the AVID college readiness program, Math Academy, Humanities Academy, Summer Math Bridge Academy, Calculus Camp, Homework Club and career-readiness programs aligned with college A-G standards.
THE LIST: Academy of Art University, American Musical and Dramatic Academy, American University, Washington, D.C., American University of Paris, Azusa Pacific University, Bates College, Berkeley City College, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Brigham Young University, Brown University, Cabrillo College. Cal Poly-Pomona, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, California Baptist University, California College of the Arts, California Lutheran University, California State University-Bakersfield, California State University-Channel Islands, California State University-Chico, California State University-Dominquez Hills, California State University-East Bay, California State University-Fullerton, California State University-Fresno, California State University-Long Beach, California State University-Los Angeles, California State University-Monterey Bay, California State University-Sonoma, Carleton College, Chapman University, Clarkson University, Coe College, Cogswell Polytechnical College, Colby College, College of Creative Studies, Cornish College of the Arts, Creighton University, Cuesta College, DePaul University, Dominican University, Drexel University, Eastern Kentucky University, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Florida International University, Fordham University, Gonzaga University, Hamline University, Hampshire College, Hampton University, Hartnell College, Harvard University, Haverford College, Hawaii Pacific University, Hofstra University, Howard University, Humboldt State University, John Carroll University, Kennesaw State University, Laguna College of Art and Design, Lake Superior State University, Lewis and Clark College, Linfield College, London Metropolitan University, Louisiana State University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Macalester College, Marymount University, Menlo College, Miami University of Ohio, Middlebury College, Mills College, Montana State University, New College of Florida, New York University, Northeastern University, Occidental College, Oregon State University, Ouachita Baptist University, Pace University-New York, Pacific Northwest College of the Arts, Pepperdine University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Portland State University, Rhodes College, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Santa Monica City College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Scripps College, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, Southwest Minnesota State University, St. Edward’s University, St. John's University, St. Mary's College, Stanford University, State University of New York, Buffalo State, Temple University, The Colorado College, The Boston Conservatory, The Evergreen State College, Trinity University, Tufts University, United States Naval Academy, University Arkansas at Monticello, University of Advancing Technology-Tempe, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Merced, University of California-Riverside, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Colorado-Denver, University of Edinburgh-Scotland, University of Hawaii-Manoa, University of Jamestown, University of La Verne, University of Mary, University of Maryland, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Nevada-Reno, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina Wilmington at Maynooth, University of Oregon, University of Phoenix, University of Pittsburg, University of Portland, University of Puget Sound, University of Redlands, University of San Francisco, University of South Florida, University of Southern California, University of Southern Mississippi, University of the Arts, University of the Pacific, University of Toronto, University of Tulsa, University of Vermont, University of Washington, University of Wyoming, Valparaiso University, Washington State University, West Virginia Institute of Technology, Western Oregon University, Western Washington University, Westmont College, Whitman College, Willamette University, Xavier University
Congratulations to the Class of 2014 - we are very proud of you!
Santa Cruz HS & Harbor HS receive the California Distinguished School Award!
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced 97 exemplary California public middle and high schools were selected as 2011 California Distinguished Schools as the state’s prestigious awards program celebrates its silver anniversary.
Santa Cruz City Schools is pleased to announce that Harbor High School and Santa Cruz High School were recognized as exemplary and inspiring public schools that have earned this highly sought after award. The Distinguished School award is a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work, and vision of each school’s education community.
Schools were identified for eligibility on the basis of their Academic Performance Index (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ap/index.asp) and Adequate Yearly Progress (http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ay/index.asp) results, which are the state and federal accountability models, respectively.
The applicants were also identified by their success in narrowing the achievement gap that exists between higher-performing and lower-performing students. All applicants underwent a stringent selection process conducted by the California Department of Education with the help of many educators from across the state. Each applicant was required to describe two Signature Practices that have led to an increase in student achievement and a narrowing of the achievement gap. Applicants were then selected to receive a thorough site visit to validate the Signature Practices.
Santa Cruz High School has been recognized for its Signature Practices in improving literacy and numeracy for underperforming students, and for its four-year personal planning workshops. Harbor High School’s Signature Practices are its work to develop community ties to enhance college readiness and student achievement, and its work embracing and challenging its significant subgroups to close the achievement gap.
Superintendent Gary Bloom commented as follows: “The recognition Santa Cruz and Harbor High Schools as California Distinguished Schools, both in the same year, is an unprecedented honor for our school district. These awards validate the hard work and commitment of our teachers, classified staff, leadership team, governing board and community. This is further inspiration for all of us in Santa Cruz City Schools as we strive to insure the success of each and every one of our students.”
The 2011 California Distinguished Schools will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 20, 2011. The event and awards are funded by donations from many of California’s most prominent corporations and statewide educational organizations.
Santa Cruz City School District is one of fewer than 400 school districts in the nation being honored by the College Board with a place on its AP Achievement List for opening AP classroom doors to a significantly broader pool of students, while maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. From 2008 to 2010, Santa Cruz City School District has increased the number of students participating in AP exams from 263 to 337, while maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher, the score typically needed to earn college credit, at 77%.
Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent Gary Bloom stated the following: “Santa Cruz City Schools is making a concerted effort to insure that all of our graduates are able to access college and other post-secondary educational and career opportunities. We are committed to increasing the numbers of students from non-college educated families who aspire to graduate from four year colleges and universities. Thanks to the efforts of our students, families, teachers and counselors, we increased the number of students taking AP classes by 12% in just this past year.”
"I am constantly impressed with the excellence of Santa Cruz City Schools. Our teachers and students are as talented as any in the country and they should be proud of this recognition," noted Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty, an alum of Santa Cruz's public schools.
Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to expand access and improve student performance simultaneously.
The complete AP Achievement List can be found at www.collegeboard.org.