September, 2016
Special Welcome Back to School Edition
Message from the Principal
Focusing On Our Strengths
Casa Gran de's campus in a photo taken in Spring 2016

The 2016-17 school year is off to a great start at Casa Grande High School.  Once again, Casa teachers and staff members have recommitted ourselves to providing our students with the very best education possible.  Building on our successes from past years, Casa’s teachers and staff have begun this year focused on maximizing the value of our community’s greatest strengths. 

At Casa, we are increasingly inspired by a growing tradition of excellence.  Now in its 43rd year, Casa Grande has emerged as one of the finest of all the comprehensive public high schools in the region and the state.  As many in the community are aware, Casa is a recent recipient of the Gold Ribbon Distinguished High School Award.  Just last year, we were again recognized by US News and World Report as in the top 5% of high schools in California.   

Casa has established a tradition of academic excellence for all students, and also a strong commitment to a well-rounded education, that includes an outstanding and highly competitive athletics program, and ongoing commitment to supporting our young artists.  A number of our specialized programs are consistently recognized as among the very best in the region: Casa’s student paper The Gaucho Gazette, Casa’s choir and performance ensembles, Casa’s robust Career Technical Education program, Casa’s Advanced Placement program,  and, of course, Casa’s Academic Decathlon Team, which is now a 32-year state finalist. 

Rather than taking such success for granted, Casa’s teachers and staff draw inspiration from our past, and through collaboration and hard work, we continue to strive to keep the momentum going.  This is the Casa way!  --Eric

What's Going On?
Stay Informed and Get Involved

Wednesday, September 14 - ELCA Meeting in the Library 6:30-8pm

Thursday, September 15 - CGHS PTSA Meeting in the Staff Lounge 7-9pm

Friday, September 16 - Leadership Motivational Speaker Assembly in the GYM

Tuesday, September 20 - Project Grad Meeting in the Staff Lounge 6:30-8pm

Wednesday, September 21 - CGHS PTSA Speaker Series in the Library 6:30-8pm

Thursday, September 29 - Senior Year Overview Night in the OMU 6-9pm

Tuesday, October 4 - College Application Workshop in the Library 2:30-5pm

Thursday, October 6 - College Application Workshop in the Library 2:30-5pm

Thursday, October 6 - SRJC Jump Start Parent Info Night in the NMU 5:30-7:30pm

Monday, October 10 - CGHS Boosters Meeting in the Staff Lounge 7-8:30pm

Tuesday, October 11 - Financial Aid Parent Info Night in the NMU/OMU 7-9pm

Friday, October 14 - Homecoming Football Game JV at 5pm; Varsity at 7:30pm

Saturday, October 15 - Homecoming Dance in the GYM 7-10:30pm


First PTSA meeting of the year…Thursday, September 15th at 7pm in the staff lounge. Our meeting will focus on discussing PTSA events and plans for the upcoming school year.

PTSA Speaker Series * - Want to Understand Your Teen Better?

Wednesday, September 21st - Overview of Teen Development & The Experience of This Generation

Wednesday, October 26th - Cognitive/Brain Development

Wednesday, November 16th - Parenting

Wednesday, January 25th - Identity & Social Development: Self-Image and Self-Esteem, Social Media

Wednesday, February 22nd - Movie: "Screenagers" followed by discussion
All sessions will be held in the Big House Library from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

*Susan Victor, Ed.D. has been a professor in the School of Education at Sonoma State University since 1999. Dr. Victor has been teaching classes for parents of teens in Sonoma County for the last five years. “My goals for these classes can be listed with these three words: EMPATHIZE, FAMILIARIZE, and THEORIZE. I hope to provide you with some information, to raise some questions and to foster discussion that leads to more empathy for our teens, more familiarity with this generation’s experience, and – when helpful – some theories to understand their development and better address their needs.”  

Hello, hello, hello new and returning Casa parents! Come volunteer -- a little, or a lot.

Project Grad is a fun-filled, all-night party on June 2 for Seniors, driven entirely by Casa parent volunteers. We’d love to see some Freshman, Sophomore and Junior parents so that the baton can get passed on. Come to our meeting on Tuesday, Sept 20, in the faculty lounge at Casa at 6:30 pm. Find out what Project Grad is all about through our PowerPoint presentation, as well as what ways you can share your talents — decorations? prizes? security? food? We need your creative minds to help pull off this event.

Some of the Project Grad fundraisers for this year include:

Drive 4 Your School, Oct 15th from 10am-2pm at Henry Curtis Ford at 1120 Auto Center Drive. For every test drive, Ford will donate $40 to Project Grad — this might be the easiest (and most fun) you’ll ever have donating $40 to a non-profit.

Lagunitas fundraiser, Jan 23rd -- more information coming...

Host Lions Food Festival, March 11th -- more information coming...

Visit Project Grad at

Booster Club

Become a Booster member and support students in Fine Arts, Academics, Technology and Athletic programs - visit to sign up today.

Buy Gaucho Gear at all Varsity Football Home games at our clothing store. 100% of the profits returns to student programs. 

Get involved!!! Join us at a Booster meeting, the second Monday of each month @ 7pm in the Faculty Lounge.

Save the Date for our annual dinner and fundraiser: Feb 13, 2017 @ Lagunitas.


Petaluma Parents Against Drugs

We are a community action organization partnering with Casa (and other Petaluma Schools) to get more drug and alcohol education in our schools. As a parent, you can help by: liking our page, sending us feedback with ideas on how to further our vision. If you are a student, you can help by reaching out to us with your ideas on how best to deliver education that will impact teens the most.

IPad Coverage Plan
The 2016-2017 iPad Coverage plan is here !  Visit the link to find out what is covered under the plan and an easy way to pay online.  The plan can also be paid for by bringing a check or money order to the Casa main office along with a signed copy of the coverage plan.
The coverage plan costs $50 and the deadline for purchasing the plan is September 30, 2016. 
Purchasing the insurance coverage is the best way for you to protect your student's iPad from incidents of accidental damage such as cracked screens or water damage.  Please take a few minutes to thoroughly read through the coverage plan.
iPad Coverage Plan Link

Parent Volunteer Needed for School Site Council

We are looking for a parent to join the site council at Casa Grande High School.  This is a committee that helps decide how to spend our discretionary monies on campus.  We talk about school improvement and help make decisions to support our teachers on campus. We would love to have someone join our group.  Please email Kelly Rankin at if you are interested.
Petaluma City Schools                           
Wants You!    

Can you:
Dance           Sew         Sing         Knit    Design            Do Maker     Do Robotics         Yoga     Coach Sports      Do Woodwork  Puppeteer  
Speak another language            Cook     Juggle     Do Coding           Garden Do Gymnastics         Play an instrument            Act             Make Jewelry           Birdwatch              Do Martial Arts                      Magic Tricks         Do First Aid/CPR         Box      Do Parkour         Budget             Eat Healthy                  Balance a Checkbook           Auto Repair           Play Chess            Paint         Purchase Groceries               Exercise         Interview             Make Ice Cream             Or…….?

We need volunteers to share their talents with students of all ages.
Sessions are four to six weeks long, meeting once or twice a week after school.
Please email or call 707 778 – 4887

Join the Team
One of the best ways parents and community members can support Casa teachers and students is to become a member of PTSA and Boosters.  Both organizations play an essential role in supporting the incredible work being done at Casa by funding our athletes, academics and artists and the teachers and staff who support and educate them. Please visit:
PTSA like us on Facebook
Eastside Friends of Music
Friends of Drama
United Anglers
Casa Websites
One of the best ways to stay informed about Casa Grande is to regularly visit the school’s websites.  Here are links to the three main school websites:

Casa’s school website is the central hub for all information related to the school and its many programs and services.

Last year, Casa’s Gaucho Gazette was named the Best Student Newspaper in Sonoma County by the Press Democrat.  Now online, readers can easily access the very best in student journalism.  The Gazette is a great window into student culture and campus life.

Mr. Libecap, Casa’s incredible librarian, curates the Big House Library website.  It is a great resource for students, parents and teachers.  The site includes book recommendations, research tools, project ideas, and links to many of the websites used by Casa teachers.   

The Class of 2020!

Casa Grande’s Link Crew led an upbeat orientation for the new Freshman Class on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016.  Special thanks to Paul Koene, Paula Biancalana and Chris Schunck for their inspired leadership.  We are also indebted to our Link Crew student leaders, who are committed to actively supporting members of the new freshman class as they transition into high school. 

Poetry Recitations in the OLE  

Mr. Raiewski’s students in IHouse English 11 recite original poems aloud.  The poems explore personal identity, family, and beliefs, and are a great example of Casa’s commitment to developing students’ communication skills.  

Club Rush  

Throngs of students gather in Casa’s Outdoor Learning Environment to sign up for student-led clubs.  A clear sign of student engagement, students are leading clubs that are focused on a wide array of interests and activities, including creative writing, Black Student Union, mountain biking, journalism, art, coding, gardening, ultimate frisbee, acting and drama, feminism, and much, much more.   

New Projects:

Outdoor Classroom and Breakout Space

Concrete benches and tables, along with pathways, were installed this week between the I-wing science and G-wing drama classrooms.  Once complete, the space will include shade trees, native plants, and a water reclamation system for irrigation.  This project has been generously funded by a Casa family who wishes to remain anonymous.  

Face Lift  

The renovated Press Box is nearly complete, just in time for the 2016-17 football season.   

Weight Room Expansion  

The new weight room expansion is complete.  Special thanks to Kimo Garrigan of Ohana Construction and Golden State Lumber for their continued support and generosity.   

Casa in the News

Members of James Forni’s family were honored at the Gaucho’s home-opener on August 26.  Mr. Forni’s #4 jersey was officially retired at the ceremony, the first football jersey to be retired in the school’s 43-year history. (photograph--Press Democrat)  

Casa Grande High School • 333 Casa Grande Road • Petaluma • CA | Website
The Casa Grande Times  is published monthly to inform parents of important news and updates related to our school community, and to unify our parents and community stakeholders in support of Casa students, teachers and staff.