February 10, 2006

New state-of-the-art school opens in San Ysidro

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

The waiting was worth it. Now children in the Ocean View Hills community have a school which they can feel very proud of. In fact, all of the San Ysidro community can feel proud of the newly opened Ocean View Hills School, which is located on Del Sol Boulevard.

The new school, which was build at a cost of about $60 million, extends 20 acres, with 5 acres of park space. It includes green grass areas and playground areas. It includes 40 truly state-of-the-art classrooms and has space for 1,000 to 1,200 students. The old temporary school site had space for 580 students, grades K-8, said Principal José Valdivia.

“It’s really exciting for kids to come to a new school,” he said.

Even though classes began on January 6 and students are already taking their classes there, the official Grand Openining ceremony took place on February 9.

Valdivia said that several elected officials are scheduled to attend the ceremony, including California’s Secretary of Education Alan Bersin.

The Grand Opening will include a parent and community open house where they will visit several of the state-of-the-art classrooms.

The new school was constructed next to the temporary school, which opened in the fall of 2001 and was in existence for 4 and a half years.

The district used the following sources to construct the new school: the state ($21.2 million), home-owners’ fees ($1.5 million) and funds raised by voter approved-bonds ($36.8 million). Fewer than 1,000 votes were enough to pass San Ysidro’s $250 million bond measure, Proposition C, in 1997, at the time the largest voter-approved local school bond measure in state history.

The District will continue to expand even more in order to meet the needs of the community. In two to three years, Ocean View Hills will become a middle school only, so construction of a new elementary school is planned within that time frame.

The term educational technology has reached Ocean View Hills School at its best.

Each classroom will be a state of the art, high-tech classroom, for example each teacher will be equipped with a lapel wireless microphone, which will provide each teacher the ability to walk around the room presenting to the class.

Each teacher will have a variety of technologies readily available; each classroom will be equipped with a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, document camera, DVD/VCR unit, scanner, five networked computers, and high-speed printer and a multimedia teacher station.

All media will be displayed through a high-end projector, which is physically mounted in each classroom projecting onto an interactive Smart Board. SMART Board combines the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer; the SMART Board interactive whiteboard engages students and adds in the learning process. The touch-sensitive display connects to your computer and digital projector to show your computer image. You can then control computer applications directly from the display, write notes in digital ink and save your work to share later or provide student with a printed copy.

These technological tools will allow the district’s technology department to be proactive from a management standpoint on a key component in making the high-tech classroom function properly. The district believes that technology when effectively integrated into the curriculum, will in fact improve student learning across the board.

“Student achievement is increasing dramatically,” said 7th grade teacher Tina Randolph.

With the opening of the new Ocean View Hills School, without a doubt, the district’s mission statement, “to provide an educational environment in which all students succeed,” is truer than ever.

Ocean View Hills School is located at 4919 Del Sol Blvd.

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