From the daily archives: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

By Mario Conde

The City of Calexico will once again see fireworks this Fourth of July as the Council approved the sale of fireworks to three local non-profit organizations.

Last March, the City of Calexico started taking applications for non-profit organizations to sell safe and sane fireworks within the Calexico City limits. The sale of fireworks will only be allowed outdoors. Eligible non-profits needed to have a principal and permanent meeting place in the City and a bona fide membership of at least 20 members.

The majority of the members must have been residents of the City of Calexico. The three non-profits that received the Ok from the City were The Police Officers Association, Calexico Baja Runners, and Calexico Desert Valley Bandits.

Tony Tirado representing the Calexico Baja Runners said that this will be beneficial for the City since there will be fireworks in Calexico for the first time in many years and will bring tax revenue to the City’s coffers. During the meeting, the Council gave approval to the POA to sell its fireworks at Joel Reisen Field. POA Chairman Luis Casillas said that this cooperation between the City and the Police Association will help youth athletic groups in Calexico.

In other news, the Council approved the Tax Allocation Bonds for the Calexico Unified School District that was approved last week. The bonds will be used to improve various areas within the School District but the main focus for these bonds will be the re-build the swimming pool at Calexico High School.  The School Board approved these bonds since Governor Brown proposal to eliminate the Redevelopment Agencies have failed as of press time.

This window of opportunity has allowed the City and the District to sell bonds. The bond is expected to be given to the City in the next two weeks. The Heffernan Memorial District could also be involved in this new pool by providing wellness programs.

The pool was damaged by the 7.2 earthquake and was red tagged. The City Council and the Calexico School District will have a joint session meeting next week to discuss how they are going to use the bonds.




By Mario Conde

Calexico High School takes a new direction using technology to improve academic achievement at the district.

Calexico High School teacher Eliseo Cerros’ U.S. History Class has joined the transformation of a normal U.S. History review into a fun and interactive experience using integrated technology, engaging questions, music and movement to boost their knowledge and test scores.


“The engagement level and excitement level is so much higher in his classroom now.  The immediate feedback empowers the students immediately,” said Cerros. Last Tuesday, Mr. Cerros quizzed the students in world history focusing this time in the Cold War and Communism. Students received a devise where they answered to the questions similar to a cell phone where they “texted” their answers in this group dynamic.


The new interactive program has been implanted at CHS thanks to an Enhancing Education through Technology Grant given to Calexico High. This grant program provides funding for grades four through eight to assist eligible local educational agencies in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.


The new classrooms incorporate hi-tech teaching tools such as wireless tablets, digital “chalk boards”, educational video gaming and student response systems called “clickers”. The “clickers” are the foundation of our digital classroom and give students the ability to “text” their
answers anonymously and provide instant feedback to the teacher.


Because only the teachers know the student’s answers, this technology gives even the “shyest” student a voice, boosting participation to 100%. This devise can tell the student if their answer is right or wrong and also tell them the grade they will receive after the assignment is done. The teacher will later collect the devices and transfer the information to his computer.


Cerros mentioned that this program has increased the level of student achievement in his class now that his students have gained confidence through student engagement. “With this system, students can privately answer questions without the fear being laugh at so it makes it easier for our students to increase their academic achievement.”  Most of his student are level 3 ELD students that have improved their English skills and are doing well in this class.


The program has been in effect for the last four years at the High School but now it has been expanded to other departments at the High School.



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