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The Marilyn Magaram Center, the Institute for Community Health and Well-Being, and Neighborhood Partners in Action (NPA) at California State University, Northridge in partnership with Christopher Columbus Middle School embarked in a joint venture working effortlessly to bring nutrition and gardening education to students and parents at this school and 12 other sites.  The goal of the Champions for Change program is to reduce the risk of obesity among SNAP-Ed eligible persons and to educate children and parents on how to grow their own produce even when faced with a limited budget. At the launch of our program, we built two raised garden beds in a garden with vast land and an amazing growth potential. After working in collaboration with Christopher Columbus’ Parent Center Director, Ms. Urrutia and Principal McIntyre-Sciarrino, we gained the trust and ignited the interest of a group of parents to join our adult nutrition and gardening education classes. This group of parents has now become our Garden Committee. They have become invested in getting this garden to its full growth potential. We now have 13 beds with many different vegetables and fruits growing. We have hosted harvesting events and have been able to harvest enough produce for each family to take a sufficient amount home. In addition, we have established a relationship with the cafeteria staff who are now participating in the garden. They are ecstatic to be part of this program and to be able to grow vegetables. The partnership between the parents, cafeteria staff, and teachers continues to strengthen and expand. Our vision is to have a strong school community collaboration to ensure sustainability of the garden. This garden can be used as a learning platform for many generations of students throughout the years. 

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 1/28/18




Audience: Homepage, Homepage, Parents and Students

Above, from left, Columbus Middle School teacher Joseph Nemchik, Principal Debra McIntyre-Sciarrino, Instructional Director Margaret Kim, School Board Member Scott Schmerelson and teacher Monique Brusca pose with the digital piano donated by the VH1 Save the Music Foundation.

Instrumental music teacher Monique Brusca wrote the application that brought a new digital piano and electronic keyboard to Columbus Middle School.

The battered upright piano that has accompanied generations of choirs and musicians at Columbus Middle School was replaced this week with a state-of-the-art digital model, thanks to a $10,000 grant awarded to the Canoga Park campus.

Donated by the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, the Casio hybrid piano was unveiled Thursday during an assembly in the school theater. The top-of-the-line instrument emits the rich chords of a grand piano, as well as the sounds of nearly three dozen other instruments. VH1 also donated three new portable keyboards that students will be allowed to take home to practice.

The Columbus music teachers said the Casio will add a level of professionalism to their lessons that the school’s original acoustic piano – which is at least 50 years old – just can’t match.

“Our students deserve to have equipment that is as good as any other school in the country,” said Joseph Nemchik, who arrived three years ago as Columbus’ choir teacher.

The choir is just one of the opportunities offered at Columbus Middle School’s Conservatory of Music.

Added instrumental music teacher Monique Brusca, “Music is my passion, and I want to bring the same thing to my kids.”

Brusca is an award-winning music teacher whose knack for writing grant applications equals her talent as an educator. She secured the VH1 donation, along with $40,000 in band and orchestra instruments the school received last year from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Those resources are essential to the Conservatory of Music, the small learning community that Columbus Principal Debra McIntyre-Sciarrino launched in Fall 2016. There are a full range of classes – band and orchestra, piano and guitar, choir and musical theater. The arts are integrated into all of the academic courses offered at Columbus, which also has a new Medical/Math/Science Magnet. In addition, the school is about to embark on an $80,000 upgrade of the theater’s sound and lighting systems.

Eighth-grader Amanda Mirando and teacher Joseph Nemchik accompany the school choir.

“Arts education is foundational to what we do,” McIntyre-Sciarrino said. “That’s how we begin to think about how we want our world to be.”

Thursday’s assembly was a scaled-down version of an event planned a week earlier, when VH1 and its partner, Annapurna Pictures, had arranged for the cast of the movie “Detroit” to visit the school. That event was cancelled when the Creek Fire forced the closure of San Fernando Valley schools, but McIntyre-Sciarrino still wanted to celebrate the VH1 donation.

During a first-period assembly, students were treated to a performance by the school choir, with eighth-grader Amanda Mirando playing an introduction on the new digital piano.

“It made me feel like a real musician,” said Amanda, who is taking piano lessons from Brusca during home room class.

School Board Member Scott Schmerelson also addressed the assembly, commending the principal, Brusca and Nemchik for their diligence and innovation in creating programs to appeal to their interests.

“There are children who come to school for the arts,” said Schmerelson, a retired principal. “They come for the music, they come for the band, and they come for the choir. The arts hook you into the school and make you want – and enables you – to become a successful student.”

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 12/15/17




Audience: Homepage and Homepage

Christopher Columbus M.S. (CCMS) played host to LAUSD School Games in partnership between Special Olympics Southern California and the Los Angeles Unified School District Nov 3rd, 2017, for a second consecutive year. Adapted Physical Education Teachers offered sports training and athletic competition programs for students with intellectual disabilities and other special needs.   This year’s  event culminated six weeks of soccer training that provided opportunities  to learn through sports competition,  developing all aspects of total  fitness needed to  compete  in any sport, and promoted  the development  of  life-long  fitness skills that  will  help student athletes lead a more productive and independent life.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 11/5/17




Audience: Homepage

Congratulations to the Conservatory of Music at CCMS in being the recipient of another fabulous donation. To do the honor was LAUSD's Beyond the Bell Music and Entertainment Coordinator Mr. Anthony White. The Conservatory of Music was one of twelve LAUSD schools to receive a bass guitar from the bassist of one of Rocks Elite Bands - Green Day. Bassist Mike Dirnt, of Green Day, donated 12 bass guitars to LAUSD to motivate our musically inclined students to work hard and pursue their dreams. In return for this wonderful gift, CCMS Conservatory of Music students are learning to play one of Green Day's biggest hits "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". They will perform it at the CCMS Winter Concert in December.

It was presented on Oct 18th to the Conservatory's Modern Rock Band Class taught by Teacher of the Year Mrs. Brusca.


 

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 10/19/17




Audience: Homepage

CCMS Film Club premieres at CSUN and a 2nd screening at Airtel was successful, people love the movie! Next stop, Sundance Film Festival. The film is being submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. Good luck CCMS!



 

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 8/16/17




Audience: Homepage


CCMS Students receive scholarships this summer to the CSUN Teenage Drama Workshop. The program ran for 6 weeks from 8:00 – 4:30, Monday through Friday, this summer and concluded with them performing in Into the Woods or the Lion King.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 8/15/17




Audience: Homepage

A select group of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Columbus Medical Magnet Students had a rare opportunity to train alongside veteran physicians at The Women’s Guild Simulation Center for Advanced Clinical Skills during a field trip to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. The Simulation Center is an immersive environment equipped with the latest in human patient simulators and medical devices. The center replicates the reality of health care providers working together performing different roles and navigating the latest medical technology. During their visit, students learned about Multi-professional clinical skills development, teamwork, improving communication and, patient safety. Twenty-four students participated in the field trip and trained in small groups of six, using the latest in medical educational technology.

 The Women’s Guild Simulation Center comprises two fully equipped and functioning operating rooms, an ICU, OB/GYN room and a trauma bay. In addition, it has a PICU/NICU and multiple rooms for skills training and development. The center also includes a fully equipped computerized simulation room with simulators for practice in GI/ bronchoscopy procedures; laparoscopic, hysteroscopy, urologic, neurologic and cardiovascular procedures as well as ultrasound procedures and robotic surgery.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 5/18/17




Audience: Homepage

Columbus MS Receives National Recognition for Music Education Program

CCMS is one of 1% of schools in nation to receive distinction

 


Canoga Park, California – April 4th, 2017 – LAUSD’S Christopher Columbus MS has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. CCMS – Conservatory of Music is one of only 1% of schools in the nation to be recognized with this prestigious award in 2017.

The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, CCMS – Conservatory of Music answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

This award recognizes that CCMS – Conservatory of Music is leading the way with music learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation, signed into law in December 2015 and awaiting state implementation, designates music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 5/5/17




Audience: Homepage

The CCMS Concert Band recently attended an invited rehearsal of Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Conducted by Monsieur Lionel Bringuier, the students observed how a professional orchestra prepares for a concert.  Also, students participated in a workshop that explained the history of the piece and its story.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 3/7/17




Audience: Homepage, Students and Teachers

Above, award-winning teacher Monique Brusca works with Leonor Diaz, left, and Ashley Martinez in their Modern Band class at Columbus Middle School. Read on.......

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 2/21/17




Audience: Homepage

As a Medical Magnet, knowing Greek and Latin roots, which can be learned from studying spelling, is an essential part of our curriculum in preparation for career and college readiness, especially for those jobs in the medical field.
Students shone at our 2nd Annual CCMS Spelling Bee last Friday. As part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, our winner (and returning champion):  Julia Gutierrez-7th grade, and runner up: Safat Zia (Zara), will be competing at the CA Regional Spelling Bee. See below for details!

Location: Walter Reed Middle School Auditorium, 4525 Irvine Ave, NoHo, CA 91602
Date & Time: 03-12-2017 2 PM
Once again, a big congrats to Julia and Zara! We'll see you at the next round!

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 2/3/17




Audience: Homepage

Museum of Tolerance

Ms.Godinez and Ms. Conn led all 8th Grade Magnet Students on a field trip to the Museum of Tolerance for an emotional and enlightening examination of prejudice and discrimination in our world today.  During the visit, each student was challenged to make their own personal commitment to effect positive change in the world.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 1/17/17




Audience: Homepage

La Brea Tar Pits

Mr. Seifert and Ms. Agajanian brought all 6th Grade Magnet Students on a wonderful field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits. The students visited Pit 91 and witnessed live excavations of Ice Age fossils of saber-toothed cats and dire wolves. Students were also able to view the paleontologists in the Fossil Lab hard at work. In addition to learning about LA’s past, the students were able to have a little fun rolling down the hill, a favorite activity of all kids who visit.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 1/8/17




Audience: Homepage

Congratulations to the fifteen Columbus Medical Magnet Students who participated in this year’s Hippocrates Circle Program, and graduated on Monday, November 28, 2016 during a wonderful ceremony at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills.  During the graduation dinner banquet, our students, along with students from Woodland Hills Academy and Lawrence Magnet School, were honored by the physicians of Kaiser Permanente and presented with a graduation certificate and a stethoscope as symbols of their accomplishments. At the close of the event, all of the future doctors recited the Hippocratic Oath and reaffirmed their commitment to pursue a career as a physician. 

Over the last months, our students have participated in a series of field trips and special events that gave them a rare behind the scenes look into the world of the physician and provided them with many hands-on opportunities to experience what it is like to be a doctor. They earned CPR certification, toured a hospital, and established relationships with doctors who will mentor them as they prepare for medical school and beyond.  In addition, students and their families were able to meet and ask questions of a group of committed doctors who shared their personal experiences of overcoming hardships and challenges to become physicians.

Once again, congratulations to our Hippocrates Circle Program graduates!

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 12/5/16




Audience: Homepage

Saturday October 29th was a great day for Columbus Middle School!  Enrich LA is an organization dedicated to building healthy, edible gardens at over one hundred Los Angeles schools.  We were lucky enough to be selected to receive this grant!  We had volunteers from USC, as well as staff and students and family members out on Saturday to help build our Edible Garden!  Thanks to everyone who came out!
 

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 12/1/16




Audience: Homepage

 

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 12/1/16




Audience: Homepage

Our First Annual PTA Cultural Diversity Night was a huge success as we celebrated each other's cultures and heritage.  While celebrating our diversity, we became more aware of ourselves, gained a sense of pride, and developed an understanding that fosters respect and open-mindedness for others.  Teachers, students, families, and the community came together and embraced our similarities and differences through music, dance, song, and art.  The event helped us to cross cultural boundaries and allowed us to be part of an experience that honored and recognized our universal equality and provided time for us to connect as a unified community.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 10/31/16




Audience: Homepage

1473925339900 w1000.jpgOn October 29th and 30th Lowes sent a crew sent of 10 volunteers to help us renovate our agricultural area. And also made a generous donations of over $2000 worth of gardening supplies and plants! Thank you Lowe's.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 10/31/16




Audience: Homepage

1468166397361 w1000.jpgThese six CCMS students received very generous scholarships from Ms. Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, which provided them the opportunity to participate in the CSUN Teenage Drama Workshop which is a 6 week, intensive summer workshop for student interested in theatre. Our students were at CSUN Monday – Friday and most Saturdays from 8:00am – 5:00pm. The students lived and breathed every aspect of the dramatic arts this summer from the performance areas of acting, dance, voice, musical theatre, improvisation, and playwriting to the technical theatre areas of costuming, stagecraft, lights and sound. These photos are from their final performance of Shrek the Musical, Jr. My favorite quote from the students, “Ms. Sciarrino, this was the best summer ever. We worked hard and learned so much.”

 The names of the folks in the big group photo are Professor Doug Kaback, Bridgette Sellman, Santiago Gomez, Maria Acabal, Principal Debra McIntyre-Sciarrino, Ingrid Corleto, Julia Rosaci, Fernando Araujo, and Choreography Candy Sherwin.

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Posted by: Mr. Richard Helm
Published: 10/4/16