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Aspen Challenge comes to LAUSD, AALA president retiring

Craig Clough | January 22, 2015

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school report buzzStudents from 18 LA Unified schools will be taking part in the third-annual Aspen Challenge on Saturday at the César E. Chávez Learning Academies in San Fernando.

Launched by the Aspen Institute and the Bezos Family Foundation,the Aspen Challenge provides a forum for high school students and teachers to take on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Equipped with tools and support, teams design a solution to their selected challenge and seven weeks later present solutions on stage in a daylong competition. Teams are selected to advance and showcase their work at the Aspen Ideas Festival, according to the Aspen Challenge’s website.

Check out the YouTube video below for highlights from last year’s challenge.

Rock stars jam for LAUSD arts

A lineup of major rock stars, including Slash, Duff McKagan and Richie Sambora, played a benefit concert last Monday at The Roxy in West Hollywood to raise money for Adopt the Arts, a charity dedicated to funding music programs at LA Unified elementary schools.

The concert, which was dedicated to honoring music legends Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Butch Trucks of The Allman Brothers Band, raised over $106,000, reported

Adopt the Arts is a non-profit co-founded by Matt Sorum, who has been the drummer for Guns-N-Roses, Velvet Revolver and The Cult. Click here to learn more about the charity, and click on the video link below to see a clip of the Roxy show.

AALA president retiring 

Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) President Judith Perez will be retiring when her term ends on June 30. Perez made the announcement at AALA’s executive board meeting on January 12, according to AALA’s newsletter.

“In June, I will complete 46 years of service as a teacher and administrator in LAUSD. It has been challenging, exciting, sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding. I look forward to keeping busy with a variety of interesting projects,” Perez said, according to the newsletter.

SoCal students share ideas for ‘Future Cities’

The Wildwood School in Los Angeles is hosting a regional meet Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Future City competition, a national event in which students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades imagine, design, and build cities of the future. This year’s theme is “Feeding Future Cities,” and an estimated 40,000 middle school students from from 37 regions around the country are expected to participate.

Winners of the regional will move on to the national finals in Washington D.C. on Feb. 15-18, with the top prize a trip to U.S Space Camp.

Bob Bravo’s Podcast

In his first podcast of 2015, LA Unified’s Local Instructional Service Center-South Superintendent Bob Bravo interviewed Dana Bowden and Kate Beaudet of Powerful Choices Education Consulting, which trained some LAUSD teachers over the winter break on teaching writer’s workshop. Click here to listen to the podcast.

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