Noe Valley Voice March 2003

James Lick Middle School Report

Our 2003 Mexico Trip: Can you imagine bringing a group of vibrant middle school students on a field trip, and experiencing total silence? Such was the awe of the 23 James Lick students who traveled through the rainforests of Yucatan last month to enter the great pyramid at Palenque (Pah-LEN-kay). Descending the steep steps down to a tomb obscured by centuries of total darkness, they approached the long-concealed sarcophagus and illuminated it with their flashlights. Did it contain the remains of an ancient Mayan ruler, or those of an extraterrestrial being? The following day, they swam in a freshwater pool with a baby crocodile, before leaving Merida for a trip through the emerald jungle to Cancun and more swimming in the world's second largest coral reef.

Snowy Rewards: Students who fulfilled attendance and assignment completion requirements in our after-school homework program enjoyed sledding on the snowy slopes of South Lake Tahoe on Saturday, Feb. 22. Natalia Lopez-Whitaker supervises this important daily program, which also includes a wide range of enrichment activities.

Coffee with the Principal: Parents, neighbors, and merchants are invited to join school principal Janice Daniels for coffee between 9:30 and 11 a.m. on the last Friday of each month in Room 107 for open discussion of school-related issues. The James Lick Community Alliance meetings continue on the last Wednesday of the month at 12:30, with lunch provided.

Get a GRIP: Roberto Pena has returned to our staff to implement the new Gang Risk Intervention Program (GRIP). At the middle school level, the program focuses on identifying at-risk students, monitoring attendance, and encouraging involvement in school activities. During the week of March 10, GRIP will sponsor a lunchtime peace rally (March 14) and an afternoon dance.

College--Making It Happen: On Feb. 26, Jaclyn Johnson, representing San Francisco State University, presented an overview of higher education to parents who participate in GEAR UP, our early college-readiness program. Johnson also explained the steps to college admission and the importance of enrolling in college preparatory classes in high school.

Our annual Black History Month Assembly on Feb. 21 featured musical performances by the school's Jazz Band and African Drum Group. On Feb. 23, our student orators traveled to Thurgood Marshall High School to participate in the district's annual oratorical contest.

Free Money? The School Beautification Day scheduled for March has been postponed by the sponsoring organization due to funding cuts, but as one door closes, another opens. Our local Bell Market will be participating in ESCRIP, a partnership program through which shoppers can direct corporate contributions to the school of their choice. If you have a frequent shoppers card from Bell Market, Safeway, or other participating merchants, you can sign up for the program, and the merchant will contribute a few cents to James Lick each time you use your card. We invite your support, so more of our students can participate in academic enrichment experiences next year.

The amazing James Lick Talent Show will rock the halls again on April 9 and 10, with one performance filling the auditorium at night with parents, and another the following day for students. Many of the young musicians who will perform received free instruction through our after-school music program using instruments donated by generous people like you.

Make a Difference! Please contact Gail Koucerek, student adviser, or Denise Rueda, parent liaison, at 695-5675, to confirm dates, volunteer, or get more information about the school.

Ms. Susan Cattoche


Mrs. Janice Daniels


James Lick Middle School

1220 Noe Street at 25th Street

San Francisco, CA 94114

(415) 695-5675