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First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. With the start of school, off-season work sessions of the San Marino High School Titanium Robotics team are now in full swing. Members and captains are meeting at the robotics room and have been training in their respective fields, ranging from electrical and mechanical engineering, programming, CAD (computer aided design), and business.Additionally, new members have been “safety trained” by the safety captain, Gavin Morris, and accommodated themselves with the ins-and-outs of the robotics room. Furthermore, dedicated members have been hard at work on assembling evacuation signs for staff on campus, in which they completed for each class after a week of work sessions.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. Valentine Elementary School 3rd and 4th graders recently attended the annual Bike Safety Rodeo, where students spent a portion of the school day brushing up on their bike safety knowledge and skills. Students also practiced riding and signaling with Valentine’s physical education teacher Wes Gonzales and listened to an informative safety talk provided by San Marino police officers.Brent Bilvado, a parent, organized the event and Principal Alana Faure and PTA President Erin Clougherty were present to cheer for the students.

First published in the Sept. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. The San Marino school board has scheduled another special meeting for Friday, Sept. 17, to discuss protocols and governance, according to its president, Shelley Ryan. That purpose, however, may not be as innocuous as it sounds.Angelena Pride, who, represents the California School Boards Association, will facilitate the meeting, which is slated to begin at 8 a.m. at the San Marino Unified School District office“Each of the last three meetings have contained incidents that showed a lack of civility among either members of the school board or members of the community,” said Ryan. “This is a policy that we have all agreed to follow and right now it is not happening.”

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. Enrollment in the San Marino Unified School District has experienced further decline, according to preliminary figures sent to the Tribune by Linda de la Torre, the SMUSD’s acting superintendent.The overall number of students for the 2021-22 school year has dropped to 2,697, more than 400 fewer than attended schools five years ago, when the count was 3,101 — a 13% decrease. San Marino High School’s enrollment has dropped to 866 students, compared with 1,110 during the 2016-17 academic year.

First published in the Sept. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. The Chinese School of San Marino hosted an unveiling of the Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning on Tuesday morning at the school.The ceremony was held to acknowledge the cooperation between the school and the Overseas Community Affairs Council from the Republic of China (Taiwan) in establishing the center to promote traditional Mandarin learning with Taiwanese characteristics. The Chinese School teaches Mandarin and offers other classes that are conducted in that language.

The mural, which measures approximately 8 feet by 8 feet, acknowledges the school’s dedication to academics, arts, activities and athletics. With the campus cleared out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Marino High School Principal Jason Kurtenbach and art teacher Michelle Pauline thought they would take advantage of the extra room brought on by the lack of students. So at the end of 2020, they collaborated on an ambitious project.“Jason said that he wanted a mural painted in his office,” said Pauline, who also heads up the school’s National Art Honor Society, or NAHS. She is also the chair of VAPA — the visual and performing arts.

The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education is expected to discuss its open superintendent spot at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 7, according to board President Shelley Ryan.Jeff Wilson resigned from the superintendent’s post in April but remained in that position until June 30, when he took over at the Claremont Unified School District. Soon afterward, the board appointed Linda de la Torre as its acting superintendent.

As a new school year was dawning, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced last Friday that it was ramping up restrictions aimed at mitigating a recent spike in COVID-19 infections — rules requiring athletes to be tested for the virus.In a later communication, the county set Sept. 1 as the date when the orders become effective, said David Irie, San Marino High School’s director of athletics and director of student experiences.The county also said it is requiring all spectators, athletes and coaches to wear masks indoors. Volleyball players must wear their masks during competition and can take them off only when eating or drinking.

A total of four students from both of the local elementary schools tested positive on Monday for COVID-19, school officials said in a statement. All parents of elementary school students received a general notice from the school principals informing them of the positive cases on campus. The cases were also reported on the district’s COVID dashboard. Students who were identified as having been in close contact with the individuals testing positive, as defined by the Los Angeles County Department of Health (LACDPH), received a separate notification from the school informing families that their child is required to quarantine for 7-10 days.