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Season 1. Episode 9.

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Welcome to the GIA Education Report. With the latest in Southern California education news, I’m Alyssa Silva. 

The U.S. Department of Education is changing its approach to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by appointing College Board president Jeremy Singer to oversee the current rollout and prepare for next year’s application process. Singer, known for his role in launching the digital SAT, brings expertise in technology solutions to address immediate concerns and ensure smoother future implementations. 

Secretary Miguel Cardona has assured stakeholders of an improved application by October 1st, crucial for accessing federal and state aid. Singer expressed eagerness to enhance FAFSA, emphasizing its pivotal role in college affordability. His appointment signals broader reforms at the Office for Federal Student Aid, aiming to streamline processes and better support millions of students nationwide. 

In San Bernardino County, the Preschool Services Department is pioneering innovative programs for children from birth to five years old, especially those with special needs. Supported by the Department of Behavioral Health, the Preschool Services Department’s Theraplay and LIGHT groups offer tailored care to nurture each child’s potential. Their approach integrates the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) to monitor progress and set goals collaboratively with parents and educators. Complemented by tools like the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, the Preschool Services Department ensures comprehensive support for social-emotional development through curriculum-based strategies and inclusive community partnerships, fostering a nurturing environment for all children.  

In Fontana, the secondary school music programs of Fontana Unified School District (FUSD) shined at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Festival. Twelve FUSD ensembles across five schools garnered top honors, with Wayne Ruble Middle School’s orchestra and band achieving unanimous superior ratings. Summit High School also excelled, with three groups earning superior status. Almeria Middle School’s orchestra was among those achieving superior ratings, while five other FUSD programs received excellent ratings. Celebrating their achievements, district leaders emphasized the dedication of students, teachers, and administrators in nurturing musical talents and fostering success in regional competitions.  

After nearly three decades of dedicated service in the High Desert, educators Nate and Wanda Lambdin have retired, marking the end of an era in local schools. Nate concluded his career as assistant superintendent at Lucerne Valley Unified School District, while Wanda retired as a veteran school counselor at Sultana High School in Hesperia. Their retirement leaves behind a legacy celebrated by district officials, recognizing Nate’s leadership and impact across Lucerne Valley, and Wanda’s 32-year commitment to Hesperia Unified.  

And that’s this week’s GIA Education Report, I’m Alyssa Silva.

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Growing Inland Achievement (GIA) created the GIA Education Report to keep you informed and connected with the most relevant developments shaping the educational sphere. Tune in to stay up-to-date with key insights and stories impacting education today. Learn more at

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