Principal’s Message for December 2011

December 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Dear DPMHS Community,

We have a lot to celebrate at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School despite the drastic budget cuts and reduction in staff positions. Just look at what we’ve accomplished so far:

  • Our API score rose 26 points from 777 to 803 — a truly incredible achievement for any high school. Those of us who promised to dye our hair turquoise if the students scored above 800 found ourselves having a special “beauty treatment” during our API celebration! (See the photos taken by the Daily News here)
  • Our 2011 High School Exit Exam scores (CAHSEE) were the third highest in LAUSD.
  • DPMHS was cited in the Daily News for having such a large number of our students enrolled in classes that fulfill A-G requirements for graduation.
  • Our first high school book fair was sponsored in October by our wonderful new Teacher Librarian, Tammie Celi. The school library is in full use and visited by students daily thanks to Ms. Celi’s efforts to create a warm and welcoming reading space on campus.
  • Daniel Pearl Music Day was covered by the news media on October 28, 2011 (click here for photos of this event). Over 100 of our talented students, under the direction of our incredible music teacher Ms. Jackie Gorski, sang, danced, and recited student-composed poetry with Daniel’s parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl in attendance. In addition students played the piano, violin and guitars in honor of Daniel’s memory.
  • Students in Leadership and the Senior Class have sponsored Octoberfest, Spirit Week, and Fiesta Fridays under the mentorship of Ms. Leslie Hicks, Senior Class Adviser and Leadership teacher.
  • Our School Site Council is strong and active thanks to the students, parents, teachers and community members who now hold positions. The SSC has already been working on school policies, the bell schedule, the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and will soon lead the critical work on preparing DPMHS for accreditation next year through the WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) process.
  • Senior students are being assisted in writing college essays and practicing for interviews by PrimeTime volunteers, a group of retired community partners (sponsored by the Sherry Lansing Foundation). It has been so successful that we are asking the mentors to work with students in other grade levels as well.
  • ALL students are being supported academically. Students who are behind in their classes or need additional academic support are assigned to Academic Recovery. Those who have lost instructional time due to absences or excessive tardies are assigned to Instructional Make-Up Time.
  • Free tutoring is available before and after school as well as during nutrition and lunch. Contact Mr. Stephen Owens, Resource Teacher and Intervention Specialist, or Ms. Martina Torres, School Counselor, for more information regarding our student academic support system.

Finally, I can’t thank our parent volunteers enough for helping in the office, in directing traffic after dismissal and for donations of money and supplies to our school. The economic picture is still serious, but with the help of families and community members, our small high school will continue to represent the best in public education.

As always, please feel free to email me at or call our main office at (818) 654-3775 if you have any questions about school events.

My best to you,

Janet Kiddoo