Downtown Magnets High School

Magnet School of America

Upcoming Events

AP Testing

Date: 5/3/2016
Location: Library
Advisory Block Schedule (even periods)
Date: 5/3/2016
Edgenuity English
Date: 5/3/2016, 3:15 PM 4:15 PM
Location: MC
Edgenuity Math
Date: 5/3/2016, 3:15 PM 4:15 PM
Location: B2
Edgenuity Social Studies
Date: 5/3/2016, 3:15 PM 4:15 PM
Location: CC
AP Testing

Date: 5/4/2016
Location: Library
Advisory Block Schedule (odd periods)
Date: 5/4/2016
CST & CMA 10th grade Science
Date: 5/4/2016
CST Science - 10th grade
Date: 5/4/2016
ThePlusMe Project
Date: 5/4/2016, 1:30 PM
Location: Student Union

Program Updates

Parent Center

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College Center

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Advanced Placement

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International Baccalaureate

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Instructional Coach

March 2016 - On February 18 and 19, DMHS faculty conducted Instructional Rounds by department. Each department had identified a Problem of Practice (POP) and teachers’ observation notes were used to analyze department trends. Many departments, such as English, Social Studies, Science, and Special Education focused on issues of critical thinking, including questioning and the use of evidence to justify claims. Other department POPs included:
  • Procedural skills and fluency in Mathematics
  • Mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills in Physical Sducation
  • Literary analysis strategies for reading comprehension in World Languages
  • Scaffolding in Electives
The Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) will be meeting March 2 to determine each department’s professional development needs and to plan workshops for a March 8 Symposium.

November 2015 - We just completed a full Instructional Round, including classroom observations, analysis, and professional development, and we are grateful for everyone’s participation. On October 7th and 8th, administrators, a dozen teachers and students and five parents joined us in observing thirty “regular” classes in all core content areas. In addition, feedback from student participants was collected (attached). Afterwards, the ILT reviewed and analyzed observation data and student feedback to identify school-wide instructional strengths and weaknesses. The ILT then planned a PD Symposium to address areas of instructional need. Faculty feedback on the November 3rd Symposium was overwhelmingly positive, though many teachers requested that the next Symposium include two longer sessions rather than three 25-minute sessions.

Instructional Rounds is an action research project. In order to bring about school-wide improvement, we first identify a Problem of Practice (POP). This semester we are focusing on how to support struggling students. At DMHS, we have been conducting rounds at least once per semester for about three years. Our goal is to make our school vision - success for all students - a reality.

Attached is a Powerpoint presentation that describes our problem of practice - using instructional strategies that effectively address the needs of struggling students - as well as the results of our analysis. We theorized that if struggling students receive plenty of practice, feedback, and opportunities to question, discuss ideas, challenge thinking, apply knowledge, and reflect on learning, then their chances of succeeding increase. Classroom observations were designed to test this theory of action, and as a result of observing successful classroom strategies, the PD Symposium included the following sessions (see attachment for descriptions):
  • Help Gifted Underachievers
  • Check for Understanding vs. Progress
  • Sexy Data: Data Worth Checking Out - Mr. Jocz's Unit Survey
  • Moving Beyond Just Bloom’s
  • Growth Mindset
  • Student Generated Questions and Building Advocacy
  • Metacognition to Motivate Learning
  • Creating Student Independence
Instructional Coaches and department PLTs will provide support as teachers try to implement strategies they learned in the Symposium.

Attached are some of the presentation materials from the symposium.
- Diana Lee, Instructional Coach

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Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a set of practices designed to build a sense of community here at Downtown Magnets High School. The overall goal is to create a strong sense of community in order to reduce discipline issues so that all members of the school community can feel safe in order to focus on learning and achievement. Also, Restorative Justice aims to change the way that discipline issues are resolved by involving all the affected people (the harmer and the harmed, and everyone affected by an event) so that the school community can return to normal as quickly as possible.

Restorative Justice is a proactive (not reactive) mindset which fosters communication and collaboration between community members. Restorative Justice is not a program or curriculum from a book, and it does not replace traditional mechanisms for mandated punishment for certain specific offenses.

The most important aspects of Restorative Justice are its community-building components, which are designed to create connections between people so they feel safe and more connected to the school community, and avoid creating disruptions in the first place.

Please visit this page regularly for updates to the Restorative Justice newsletter for Downtown Magnets High School, Relationships Matter. This monthly newsletter will provide information about the Restorative Justice efforts here at Downtown Magnets High School, and how faculty and staff can put Restorative Justice ideas into practice.
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News & Announcements

Enrollment Forms Available

To access a student enrollment form in English or Spanish, click on the above title and download the pdf document.

Summer School in LAUSD!

Summer school is scheduled from June 27th to July 29th, from 9:00 AM until 2:30 PM. Although DMHS is not a summer school site, students may enroll in up to two semester classes at another LAUSD campus. Contact your counselor to enroll.

Visit DMHS Booth at Grand Arts Festival - April 16

LAUSD is hosting its annual Grand Arts Festival at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, April 16, from 10am to 7pm. DMHS students will display their art work, including drawings, 2D art, digital imagery, photography, and videos. In addition, the festival features over 2,000 LAUSD students performing music, dance, theater, film, and art. Visitors will also enjoy food trucks, family art activities, and performances by professional artists who represent the district's community arts partners.

Ryman Arts for Teens

Ryman Arts is hosting a recruitment event for students interested in learning more about their arts program for teens. Ryman Arts teaches classical drawing and painting to talented and motivated high school students as a bridge to a lifetime that expresses and appreciates the arts. Interested students can learn more about this program at the Ryman Arts Application Day event on Saturday, April 30th at Cal State Fullerton. This event is a free drawing workshop for student; parents and teachers are welcome to attend. Click on the above title for more information. Applications for the 2016 fall semester are due Friday, May 20th.

New Superintendent Visits

Our new LAUSD Superintendent, Michelle King, visited Downtown Magnets. Ms.King had the opportunity to visit classrooms and talk with our teachers and students. She was impressed with the work we are doing as a school community. She reiterated the need to continue to work as a team to improve student achievement. She congratulated us on all of our hard work and the data that supports our efforts! Way to go Suns!

DMHS Robotics Team Participates in Mini Urban Challenge

Our Robotics Team participated in the 2016 Mini Urban Challenge at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in February. Using Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits to design and program a robotic vehicle, our team competed nationally to demonstrate their vehicle's ability to autonomously navigate a mini-urban city while obeying all traffic rules. See photos of our team!

Engineering Students Participate in JV InvenTeams

DMHS engineering students are participating in an invention education program, Junior Varsity InvenTeam. It provides a program and resources for 9th and 10th grade engineering students to engage in projects like designing your own shoe soles and basic electronics (using arduinos). The goal is to give students the tools, skills, and hands-on experiences to improve their skills for designing and inventing solutions to engineering problems. The Lemelson-MIT program also has competitions for inventors, scholarships, and recognition for high school and college students.

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U.S. News & World Report 2016 Gold Medal Award

The U.S. News and World Report released its list of 500 best-performing high schools on April 20th and Downtown Business Magnets ranked #56 in California and #360 nationwide. We moved up from #84 state-wide in 2015. Click on the title above to see the LAUSD news release.

Debaters Make History at National Championship Tournament

Eleanor Skladman and Samantha Lemus made history by being the first Los Angeles Metro Debate League (LAMDL) team to make it to the finals of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) Championship Tournament, held April 14-17 at San Francisco State University. In addition, they were the first 16th seeded team to beat a #1 seeded team at the championship. In addition, out of 5,000 speakers participating in the tournament, Skladman won the 12th place speaker award.

Ms. Coffey Named Knowles Science Teacher Fellow

Ms. Coffey is one of 30 teachers nationwide selected as a Knowles Science Teacher Fellow! She will participate in a five year fellowship for new teachers that provides additional stipends and grants for classroom materials, professional development, national board certification, and leadership opportunities. Fellows work on strengthening content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and leadership skills.

Unsung Heroes

Congratulations to the finalists of Lowell Milken Center's 2016 Unsung Heroes Art Competition, Maya Wong and Xue Liu, two DMHS AP Studio Art students. Maya and Xue's artworks represent approximately 15% of the total entries submitted by students in grades 6-12 from across the world. To learn more about the project, please visit LMC’s Unsung Heroes Art Competition webpage. The winners, including the $7,500 grand prize, will be announced on April 1, 2016.

DMHS Named 2016 National Magnet School of Excellence

DMHS has been named a 2016 National Magnet School of Excellence! In May, DMHS will be recognized at the National Magnets Schools of America conference for the ability to raise academic achievement, promote racial and socioeconomic diversity, provide integrated curricula and instruction, and create community partnerships that enhance the school’s theme.

Mr. Jocz - California Teacher of the Year

Oct 26 - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that DMHS teacher Daniel Jocz is among five remarkable educators in the state who have been selected as the 2016 California Teachers of the Year. He is the only LAUSD teacher who made it to the state level. Mr. Jocz is now in the running for the national Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced next spring.

"The teachers we are honoring today are dedicated, energetic, innovative and very effective," Torlakson said. "Every day in the classroom they inspire students to learn, excel and realize their full potential. Their work provides a great example for other teachers."

Motif Award Honors DMHS as Top School Nationally

The International Selections Committee of the nationally recognized Motif Awards ranks Downtown Magnets High School as one of the top leading schools in the country, observed for the school's hard work and diligence within the community.

Because of DMHS's push to generate positive productive citizens within the nation, the Motif Awards International Selections Committee invited Downtown Magnets High School faculty and staff to participate in the 2015 Motif Awards Ceremony - The Nation’s Highest Honor for Youth Advocacy - on September 6 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Debate Team Wins

The DMHS Speech and Debate Team won numerous trophies at the 5th Los Angeles Metro Debate League (LAMDL) Tournament on March 11-12. In addition, the team earned a place in the National Urban Debate League qualifier tournament to be held in San Francisco on April 15-17. Debaters Eleanor Skladman and Samantha Lemus bulldozed their way through the competition last weekend, winning every single round, and earning one of two spots as representatives for LAMDL.

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