161 West Williams Street, Banning, CA 92220
Phone: 951.922.0200
Fax: 951.922.0227


Robert T. Guillen, Superintendent

Robert T. Guillen, Superintendent

Phone: (951) 922-2706
Fax:     (951) 922-0227



Felicia Adkins, Director, Education Services

· Barbara Wolford, Director, Special Education

· Bryan Astrachan, Director, CWA/PC/Human Resources

· Johnny Baker, Principal, Cabazon Elementary

· Marcia Cole-Anderson, Principal, Central Elementary

· Alisha Morff, Principal, Hemmerling Elementary

· Matt Beilstein, Principal, Hoffer Elementary and Florida Learning Center

· David Sanchez, Principal, Coombs Alternative Education Campus (AE, BISS, NHHS)

· Al Evinger, Principal, Nicolet Middle School

· Janet Gray, Vice Principal, Nicolet Middle School

· Anna Torres, Dean, Nicolet Middle School

· Doug Newton, Principal, Banning High School

· Matt Valdivia, Vice Principal, Banning High School

· Cathy Bagnara, Supervisor, Fiscal Services

· Debbie Douglas, Supervisor, Maintenance, Operations and Transportation

· Mac Patel, Supervisor, Information Technology

· Karen Sanchez-Wright, Supervisor, Nutrition Services

I look forward to the beginning of a new academic year.  I am proud of our accomplishments by staff and am grateful for the support provided by parents and community. By working together the District is experiencing positive gains on our journey toward an ever-improving district.

Students will begin the new school term on Thursday, August 7, 2014. This is the first day of our twenty-day Student Perfect Attendance Incentive Program. Students will need to strive to be eligible for awards and prizes. So make sure that your student is ready for their first day of school this year and is present to learn about this outstanding award program.


The first official work day for Teachers and many Classified Staff will be on Monday, August 4, 2014.


District administrators and staff are setting the pace for academic achievement and focusing on serving all students to develop future successful citizens. The following is a brief synopsis of recent and future endeavors within the District:



The District will continue to contract with the City of Banning for the service of one full time Police Officer for the Banning High School Site. This is the fourth year of this agreement for an officer to handle minor violations, assist with truants, provide informal lessons on law enforcement topics, and work with students so that they will be successful at school.


Video surveillance is now operational at all school sites (total of 110 cameras). These cameras will allow the City Police Department to have visual access to our school sites as needed. It is the District's intent that in the near future we will be able to merge with the police department's city wide surveillance program.



As advised by staff and community panels seventeen new part-time Instructional Aides are to be hired. It was determined by our stakeholders that instructional aides for Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes are necessary to help students with academic achievement while the District strives to lower class sizes.


Four Intervention teachers will be hired. They will be assigned to our elementary schools. Both the Middle and High School are being provided six class periods of intervention services.

These intervention teachers will assist struggling students to improve academic achievement. Intervention material will be purchased.



The District is in its second year of a counseling grant entitled RAPP (Resiliency, Awareness, Protection and Prevention). RAPP is a comprehensive elementary school counseling program that aims to provide comprehensive, integrated student support services to assist students in overcoming the barriers that interfere with learning and achievement. The RAPP program currently funds eight counselors at the elementary level. They are working with students on behavior, academics, social skills, bullying, etc. In addition, the District is funding a sixth grade counselor at Nicolet Middle School


RAPP also utilizes school and community resources and, in collaboration with community based agencies, provides assistance to children, an array of resources for individual and family support services, and teacher consultation and training. The project activities and management are being implemented by a project director/counselor supervisor who insures psychologists, school principals, and numerous classroom teachers partner with these counselors.


This year one additional counselor is being added to the High School to assist students in academics, social issues, careers, etc.  This provides for a total of three counselors at this site.



The District continues in its efforts to maintain lower class size District wide.   Staffing ratios at Banning High School in its core academic classes continue at thirty (30) or less students per class. This is one of the lowest Teacher-to-Student ratios compared to surrounding districts. An average class size of twenty-seven or less students is maintained in our Transitional Kindergarten through third grade classes.



The Special Education Department continues to evaluate its programs and use of outside agencies to provide services to students. The Special Education funding encroachment for the 2012-2013 school-year was just over $2,000,000. The Department has looked at staffing, student needs and bringing programs back from the Non-Public Schools and Riverside County Office of Education. The estimated encroachment for this fiscal year has been reduced to $1,200,000. The Special Education Department continues to look at programs and building capacity within our district programs in order to meet the needs of our students in the District. Twenty-seven students are being transferred back to the District from county operated programs. This will allow the District to be able to serve more students in all disability areas and reduce costs over time. We are offering new classes, new programs and improved staffing levels to assist with student success.



The District is beginning a volunteer reading program called "Rolling Readers." Each site will be recruiting volunteers for grades 1 through 3 and will ensure that they receive training. The training will include guided reading and small group instructional strategies which will give students the necessary skills to become proficient readers. The intent of the "Rolling Readers" program is not to teach reading, but to make the student a better reader by building their reading strategies and word attack skills. Each targeted student will receive one to one reading help for 15 minutes a day.



The former San Gorgonio Day-Care, has been renamed the Florida Street Discovery Center. Listed below are repairs made to the facility in order to bring it up to State and District standards for staff and students:


·         Clearing debris and trash, interior painting, sections of subfloor were removed and replaced, installation of new vinyl flooring, kitchen remodeled, new exit lights, some roofing repair and replacement, new bathroom partitions, new security surveillance, etc.


The majority of these site improvements were performed by District Staff. This facility is now ready to house Transitional Kindergarten and Special Education pre-school programs.


We are also ready to expand the Pre-school to include age four students.  This will be done once the State implements its current budgeted funding levels for State-wide Pre-school expansion.


The location of the special needs preschool program on this site allows for these students to interact with age appropriate peers. Both groups of students will enjoy a fabulous start in their educational journey through small group settings and a knowledgeable staff.


A new baseball concession building has been added to the baseball complex. This building is concrete block and includes restrooms, baseball storage and a warming kitchen.


There are eight new tennis courts. Surfacing applications and striping has been completed. Slope protection at the site has been added, this includes shot-concrete and D.G. (decomposed granite). A new parking lot and drop-off area has been constructed adjacent to the new tennis courts.


A ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony is scheduled for Monday, August 4, 2014 at 9 A.M.



Air conditioning/heat has been installed in the Music room and Fine Arts Building. Drama and Chorus classes will be offered to all students. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is now available to sixth grade students for the first time.


During the summer break the "Race Is On" finished its second year with over 200 students participating. Softball, swimming, choir, baseball, basketball, soccer, flag football, band and culinary arts activities were offered. This program will be available to ninth graders next summer.



Eight mobile technology labs were ordered for a cost totaling $307,371.42. These labs were distributed as follows: two each for Central and Nicolet; one each for Cabazon, Hemmerling, Hoffer and the district office (professional development).



"Go Math" was purchased for K-5 as recommended by the adoption committee. "My Math" was purchased for Nicolet Middle School. Teacher training for both programs took place this summer. "Pearson Integrated Math" is being piloted at Banning High School and training also took place. 


Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

The plan was developed with input from all stakeholders in Banning Unified School District.  The plan outlines five goals that will guide the district.


·         All students will be taught by highly qualified teachers as measured by the annual Williams visit, compliance with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and District Office audit of the teachers' credential as applicable to the master schedule and course assignment.

·         All pupils will have access to standards-aligned instructional materials taught by highly-qualified teachers implementing Common Core State Standards. Pupil proficiency will be assessed by the use of multiple measures.

·         All English Learners will have access to core curriculum, materials, and high quality instruction provided by appropriately credentialed teachers as measured by their performance on District benchmarks, California English Language Development Test (CELDT), classroom grades, and graduation rates.

·         All students will have access to, and be enrolled, in a broad course of study leading to graduates who are college and career ready as measured by A-G completion rates, AP passage rates, EAP participation and college readiness score, enrollment in the Dual Enrollment Program, Dual Immersion, and graduation rates.

·         All students will be provided a school climate that is conducive to student achievement, provides a sense of safety and school connectedness as measured by suspension rates, expulsion rates, attendance rates, and parent and student surveys.



Staff filed a QEIA waiver at the May 2014 State Board of Education meeting. In the 2012/13 school year the District did not meet the required class size per QEIA guidelines. We had to request a waiver which was approved. This allowed the District to receive last year's QEIA funding. We obtained an additional waiver to continue with a twenty-seven student or less ratio per teacher in all of our middle school academic classes for 2014/15 school year.

The above information is only a part of what is happening within the Banning Unified School District. Continuing efforts to add new staff, bring back programs, enhance curricular/non-academic programs, and through team collaborations, our District will continue our efforts to meet the needs of our students to ensure their success.

News from the Superintendent

August 2013
July 2014