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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Hands Together

NEWS                                                               Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        880 S. Lemon Avenue
October 14, 2011                                           Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Hands Together
C.J. Morris Celebrates School-wide Success

WALNUT, CA – C.J. Morris Elementary School celebrated reaching a 902 API (Academic Performance Index) score on October 11, with award presentations, school song, standing ovation, and then they gave themselves a hand – 902 hands to be exact. 

To commemorate topping the 900 API mark of excellence the school coordinated a “902 Hands Together” project for students, staff, parents, school officials, and community members.

Everyone decorated and cut out a hand pattern for the project themed, “We can accomplish great things if we all join hands and work together”. 

During the celebration, about 30 parents proudly carried the colorful display to the amphitheater filling the entire length of the stage with about 100 feet of hands!

Then new Principal An Nguyen and Mrs. Ruthie Lu led students and staff in the school song Reaching for the Stars.

The children in the audience swayed back and forth as they sang with arms linked around each other’s shoulders.

“This is an exciting place to learn and you all should be very happy that you are going to C.J. Morris Elementary because it is an outstanding school,” Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin said to students. “Congratulations to staff and students for all your hard work – keep it going!” he said.

Students cheered when former Principal Susan Arzola, now South Pointe Middle School Principal, took the stage.

“Once you’ve been at C.J, your heart is always here. I’m so proud of you!” she said.

“We all came together, our whole community, and you did your very best to accomplish this great thing - going over 900 points on a super hard test.

Let’s give each other a standing ovation!” she said.

Principal Nguyen reported that school has come very far on the API test during the past decade. In 1999, the school’s score was 672, then came changes and improvements including being designated as a prestigious IB-PYP international school and launching a One-2-One technology program.

“Achieving the 902 score doesn't make us successful; however it is because of our success as a community that we have achieved this goal. “

We have a great challenge to look beyond test scores and envision a future which our students will carry on our legacy and even change our community and the world. Our children are the future and we have a great charge to prepare them for the future and expand our definition of success.”

After the awards presentations, Radio Disney hosted a high energy Safety Smart super challenge sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.

They kicked up the fun passing out foam fun fingers and pompoms and then led spirited yellow and red team safety challenges about water, fire, and personal safety.

The celebration even continued later with a community club sponsored staff luncheon and in classrooms when students got an end of the day frozen yogurt treat!


The C.J. Morris amphitheater stage filled when parents carried out the “902 Hands Together” project. 
The school song Reaching for the Stars was led by Principal An Nguyen and Mrs. Ruthie Lu.  

Students cheered when Radio Disney passed out foam fun fingers and pompoms. 

During the first round of competition, Radio Disney led a safety challenge about water safety. Shown: 1st grader Diamond Dickson correctly answered a question. 

Red and yellow team members Kindergartener Ryan Jackson and third grader Lillyanna Aguilar competed during the safety challenge match led by Radio Disney.