Blog Post

Student Powered Interviews

Throughout the month of May, Design39Campus (D39C) had the opportunity to host teacher candidates from around the country to experience a taste of what it is like to be an LED at Design39Campus. As part of our multi-faceted hiring process, potential teacher candidates participate in a design thinking group process to showcase their abilities to collaborate in a team environment.

In the past, our interview panel consisted of D39C team members. This year, we decided to try something new! In addition to staff, students were invited to the interviews as well.

"Design39Campus is a student powered school, and we are so thrilled to have students be a part of this work," said Joe Erpelding, Principal of D39C. "When you think about it, kids are directly impacted by our staff everyday, and hearing their voices allows us to choose the best possible LEDs for our kids and families."

The students on our panel were selected by their teachers and took time out their evening to spend with us. Our kids had many ideas to share with our team, and their feedback was critical in our decision making.

"We were so amazed by their insightful feedback," said Judy Caraang, a 4/5 LED at Design39Campus. "Our kids really have a grasp of what it means to be a great team player. So glad they could join us!"

Watch the video below to learn more about our student powered interviews!

Sneak Peek into the D39C Kitchen

The School News Team toured the kitchen to find out more about how the food at D39C is made.

Some of you may think, is the school food imported? Is it frozen? Is it brought to school by a truck? Well here’s one thing for sure. It is made fresh by the food and nutrition cooks.

Four student reporters went down under to the kitchen to look behind the scenes. They showed us how they prepped the food and got it out into the food court.

The two of the coldest places in the kitchen are the freezer which is -10 degrees and the other would be the fridge. They use them for the hot dogs or other meats that will be ready by the next day.  Two of the news group members went inside, finding out that it was so cold.

They also have ovens. Not one, not two, but seven ovens just to cook your food! The ovens are fast heating and it takes only ten minutes to cook the pizza.

And you thought that it was imported from a truck that ships it to the cafeteria! The reality is, they don't just heat up the food and serve it, they actually cook it on site. Maybe this helps change your mind on the food here at Design39. We should appreciate the cooks and what they do to make our food. Thank you to the 39 Cafeteria workers for spending your time to make our food.

The B114 homeroom with Tyler Borek.

The B114 homeroom with Tyler Borek.

We had a special opportunity yesterday to meet with Tyler Borek, creator of Literably.  What is Literably? Literably is a classroom tool that helps elementary teachers monitor students’ progress in reading. The site administers and scores oral reading assessments (with a comprehension check), so teachers can spend less time assessing and more time teaching. 

The 2nd and 3rd grade span has been working closely with Literably for the last two years.  From in-person to video conferences to emails, our relationship is mutually beneficial. Yesterday we had a lunch meeting with Tyler.  We learned that La Mesa-Spring Valley and Mountain View schools are using Literably district wide (Wow!).  We also had a chance to ask questions and give suggestions for site improvement. 

(From left to right) Abby Robles, Carly Ciuffreda, Tyler Borek, Patrick Dela Cruz, Kate Stanley, Kriscia Cabral, Maureen Dunn, Brenda Gillies, Anna Johnson

(From left to right) Abby Robles, Carly Ciuffreda, Tyler Borek, Patrick Dela Cruz, Kate Stanley, Kriscia Cabral, Maureen Dunn, Brenda Gillies, Anna Johnson

And then.....

Tyler stayed after lunch to meet with students. My homeroom students had a question/answer opportunity. "What inspired you to create Literably?" "Who helped you create Literably?" "How did you come up with the name?" "Was it hard to rewrite the code for iOS?" 

Students in B114 asking Tyler about Literably.

Students in B114 asking Tyler about Literably.


After questions, the students gave Tyler suggestions to improve Literably.  

  • More variety with passages
  • More comprehension questions
  • Instant feedback after answering comprehension questions
Students offering suggestions to improve 

Students offering suggestions to improve 

After our chat, Tyler stayed to see the students as they completed their weekly Literably recordings.  When they came to me with Literably questions, as they sometimes do, I happily directed them to ask Tyler for help :) 

Kai, Gabriel and Lainey seeking help. 

Kai, Gabriel and Lainey seeking help. 

What a small moment filled with awesome memories for all involved! Tyler Borek is an inspiration, an innovator, a mentor, and a friend to us at Design39Campus. 


Months of Holidays

By Alex Nelson & Natalie Winkler, 4-5 School News Team

Do you enjoy celebrating holidays? Do you know the reasoning behind these holidays? Well, keep reading to find out information that you may not have known before.  In this article you will be able to learn about the most common holidays celebrated each month.      

January, February, & March

In January there is a holiday that many people in the world celebrate and that holiday is New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Day is one day out of the year that is like no other day. This day is celebrated since it is the first day of the new year. Many people make New Year's Resolutions. Since it is the New Year, people may like to start fresh. Fun Fact!! Did you know that to some religions, New Year’s Day has been celebrated for almost 4,000 years.

In February there is a lovely holiday, Valentine’s Day!!! This is a holiday that mainly children celebrate, but adults will sometimes do nice, loving things too. Fun Fact!!! Almost 150 million cards are estimated to be exchanged. This holiday happens on the 14 of February, and schools around the world exchange and have fun with this celebration.

Now there is St. Patrick’s Day. This is a holiday of luck! They say that if you find a four leaf clover, than you will have luck for the rest of the year. If you get lucky, than you might even find some gold! Fun Fact! Did you know that until 1970 St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated as only an Ireland holiday?

April, May, and June

Do you enjoy hunting for eggs and eating the candy that you find? Well many people do, Easter is a fun holiday for kids all ages, and it is fun for parents to watch their kids go run excitedly and enjoy trying to find their candy and eggs. One of the fun things to do for Easter is paint a hard boiled egg. You can paint the hard boiled egg any way you would like. Fun Fact!! Easter was created because it was the day that Jesus Christ had died.

Now in May, there is a special holiday, Memorial Day! Memorial Day is when you honor the military soldiers that died.  Fun/Sad Fact!! The war that killed the most soldiers was the Civil War, it was sad, but we still honor them today.

Another holiday is the amazing Flag Day. Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 and we honor this holiday since that was the day that the United States flag was created. Fun Fact!! In 1777 the flag was created, that means that the flag has been around for 238 years.

July, August, & September

As most of you all know, on the 4th of July, it is someone's birthday, or should I say something. Of course, it is America’s birthday. Now, people cannot go around saying that America was “born” on this day. It was actually the birth of America’s Independence! Fun Fact!!!! In 1776 the birth of Independence was created, therefore, this holiday has been around for 239 years. We have been so lucky to have been able to keep this independence around for so many years.

Now you’re probably wondering, what is the Civic Holiday. This holiday is mainly celebrated in Canada. On this day, many people will go on trips, go camping, or enjoy time somewhere outside of your house. Fun Fact!! Very few people outside of Canada celebrate this holiday, therefore, it is unique!

Finally, there is the holiday in September, Labor Day! Labor Day is a holiday that is celebrated internationally. The reasoning behind this holiday is to celebrate the festivities held in honor of the working people, almost to give them a day off since they are always working. Fun Fact!!!! Labor Day has been around for only 126 years, that is short for when a holiday was created!

October, November, & December

The next three holidays that we will be telling you about are the ones that pretty much everyone loves to talk about! The first one is Halloween. Halloween is on October 31 every year. People around world dress up and walk around to gather candy. This is one of the most unhealthy, yet delicious holidays. This is one of the most old holidays in the world, yet every year people love to celebrate. Fun Fact!!! You can be any age, and still go around as something silly or cool, it is all for the fun of it!

The next holiday is Thanksgiving, which happens to be more of a United States only holiday, but is also celebrated in Canada. We celebrate the day of where the Native Americans helped out the European Colonists to grow things in the winter. Therefore, they became friends and celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast. That is why every Thanksgiving we eat the same thing. Fun Fact!!! Did you know that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

Now the last holiday, Christmas!!!!! Now many of you celebrate Christmas, and here is the reason why it is celebrated. Christmas is really the birthday of God’s son, Jesus Christ. On that day many people came to give gifts. Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts from you friends and loved ones! Fun Fact!!!! Did you know that Jesus was estimated to be born on 1BC?









What Sparked Design39's existence

By Anisha and Riya, 4-5 School news team

Have you ever wondered why Design39Campus is even the way it is?  

We all know that Design39 has a different environment than the other schools in Poway, but how was D39C even created? Was there something that caused the existence of this wonderful school?

PUSD has stated that Design39Campus is the, “first public school of it’s kind.” There is always learning going on everywhere here! From the imagination studios, to the maker spaces. In traditional schools you probably will run into a library, a lab, or maybe even a multipurpose room. Here, at D39C, we don’t have any of those! We have a Loft, instead of a library, Makeries instead of labs, and a Showcase instead of a multipurpose room. And we never run into teachers, instead we run into LEDs!  Design39 decided that teachers should be called LED’s which stands for Learning Experience Designers. Also, LEDs are a type of light, and they wanted it to be as if the LEDs are lighting up a student’s learning path.

Design39 wants kids to maximize their potential at their own learning pace. They want kids to be challenged and motivated in a small class size. In 2013, Mrs. Wrisley came to Dr. Collins, our superintendent, with the idea to reimagine traditional schools into a school where the learner was at the center. How would this look like? How would it work? With the vision in mind, Mrs. Wrisley gathered up five teachers to explore some of these questions. As soon as they got a image in their heads, they asked even more parents and educators!

We wanted to know more, so we went to Mrs. Eveleth and asked her a few questions. “Once you had got this idea in vision, how did you tell yourself it could be a real thing?” When asked this, Mrs Eveleth said, “We knew that anything could happen if we believe and let it happen. Mrs. Wrisley already had a vision of this school. So, we looked at every aspect of the design process, We took some aspects from the traditional schools like PE and asked ourselves, ‘How can we make this activity fun for kids?’

Mrs. Eveleth and her team did not have any problems. She said that there were just boatloads of challenges! They had a challenge everyday and these became challenges mainly because during the testing and evaluation stage of the process, they didn’t have any students to see if kids would enjoy any of it. So they had to find their inner-kid, and ask themselves,

“Would they really want this?”

The design process continued throughout the first year. They added anything that would make the kids feel a new experience.

When Design39 was first thought of, you can see that it took a lot of determination and belief to make, but nevertheless they stuck to it and made it happen!