Branham High School

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Principal's Corner

Visit the Branham Campus Newsletter page to reference the bi-monthly 'BHS Information and Updates' sent out by Branham's Principal and Administration.
Check this link to this valuable 22 minute TEDx video: Throw Out the Checklisted Childhood, presented by Julie Lythcott-Haims, a Gunn High School parent and former Stanford Admissions Officer.  I encourage all parents and students to watch it- together!
Identified Long- & Short-term Action Plan Goals:


WASC (Long-term, 2016-2022)

  • #1: Close the access and opportunity gap for all students.
    (This goal is aligned with the District goal of Access and Opportunity for all students.)
  • #2: Provide students with a 21st century education (communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking) that prepares them for success beyond high school. (This goal is aligned with the District goal of Preparation for Success Beyond High School.)
  • #3: Define school’s vision and mission to support professional culture to ensure school-wide learning outcomes. (This goal is aligned with the District goal of Transforming School Culture.)

Annual Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) Goals (Short-term, 2017-18)

  • #1: Equity & Opportunity – Achieve High Impact Teaching & Learning through Quality Interactions, Student Engagement & Scaffolded, Rigorous Content
  • #2: Excellence & Opportunity - Increase College and Career Readiness for All Students through 21st Century Competencies
  • #3: Increase Staff, Student, & Community Engagement & Positive School Cultures
For more details, please see the full 2016 WASC and 2017-2018 SPSA reports


The Branham community is healthy, engaged and innovative. We work together to explore issues and solve problems to positively impact the world in which we live.



Branham provides an inclusive, nurturing environment that enables students to build the confidence necessary to take risks. We mentor students as they master a relevant, rigorous curriculum that empowers them to achieve their maximum potential as successful and productive citizens.


Student Learner Outcomes (SLOs)
1) Self-Directed Learner

Determines what needs to be done and does it, seeking help and support when needed. Plans and manages workload and time. Locates and utilizes available resources. Has confidence to explore areas of interest or curiosity.

2) Complex and Innovative Thinker

Interprets, analyzes, and integrates information from varied sources and applies knowledge to new problems or situations.


3) Effective Communicator

Clearly expresses ideas in a variety of modes to specific audiences. Actively listens and collaborates with diverse groups.


4) Engaged Citizen

Actively contributes to our school, our city, and our world. Understands, respects, and values diversity.


5) Healthy Individual

Achieves and maintains physical and emotional well-being, while balancing the demands of academic and personal life.

Principal's Welcome July, 2017


Dear Members of the BHS Bruin Community:


Welcome to Branham High School, home of great academic pride and accomplishment.  We are a California Distinguished school currently serving close to 1700 students.  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, students, and families, BHS students continue to perform among the top in the state in academics, athletics, and extra-curriculars.


The 2017-18 school year is a special one, in that it will mark the 50th year since Branham first opened its doors as our local high school.  We are looking forward to several celebrations and events to mark this milestone, with many planned for our Homecoming week of October 23-29th.  We will be sending out more information to the community as it becomes available.


For 2017-18, CUHSD is also moving to an online check-in/registration process so that most of the documents previously completed on hard copy will be submitted electronically instead. This includes contact and medical information updates, technology agreements, media release forms, etc. Please read the included letter from our Technology Department titled ‘Aeries Online Check-in/Registration’ for instructions.


In addition, we want to remind everyone of the new CUHSD Graduation Requirements passed by the CUHSD School Board this past May. (These new requirements apply to all students in the class of 2020 and beyond. Please see specific information in the 2017-18 Parent-Student Handbook.)


As we move into the 2017-18 school year and I enter my second year as Principal, I look forward to expanding on the many different programs and opportunities we offer for our amazing students.  

  • Within our Library Media Center (to be temporarily housed in Room 45 as we prepare for construction of new buildings on campus), a large section has been dedicated to College and Career research and information. A full time College and Career Center Specialist will be available daily from 7:30am-3:30pm during the school year to assist students in locating the specific information they need. 
  • Our counseling department has been reconfigured and we have hired an additional guidance counselor to better support our students’ varied academic and social-emotional needs. (New counseling assignments, delineated by last name, are listed in the Student Handbook.)
  • In order to meet increasing interest and demand, we have added extra sections and are providing enrichment opportunities in all STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math).  Numerous new clubs are also in the works as students develop and explore new areas of interest.
  • An expanded peer tutoring program, Bruin-to-Bruin, will be serving students who need additional support in their courses. (Once school starts, more information about accessing the program will be provided to students and parents.)
  • Thanks to Measure AA funds, a new football field and track have been installed and construction will be starting later this year on a new state-of-the-art science building. Updates about additional facilities modernization plans will be sent out over the coming months as details are finalized.


Branham High School also continues its commitment to provide a model of innovative education while focusing on these key goals:

Building Community

  • Communication with all stakeholders- parents, students, and staff is thorough and timely.
  • Outreach services focus on creating a sense of connection and meeting students' social-emotional needs.
  • Teacher professional development and collaboration target students’ academic and social-emotional needs.

Academic Rigor

  • Instruction and assessment are primarily Common Core-focused with an emphasis on communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
  • Higher-order thinking skills are regularly practiced and assessed through student-centered activities.
  • ‘Raising the Bar’ is the norm, rather than the exception.

Preparation for Post-High School Success (Regardless of their ultimate plans, all students should graduate from BHS being college eligible, college prepared, and career ready.)

  • Technology access and support enhance learning and build 21st century skills.
  • Academic opportunities encourage and allow for college attendance and success.
  • Multiple Career-Technical Education (CTE) opportunities are provided through electives and experiences.


During the 2017-18 school year, we hope you will join us in helping to make the educational experience for our students even stronger.  If you are a parent or community member, get involved. Visit the campus and staff during our Back to School Night or Open House. Participate in one of the PTSA/Administration-sponsored Parent Information Nights. Attend a showcase, performance or athletic event. Join one of our many parent organizations.  Participate as a guest speaker or job-shadow/internship host.  Or make a financial donation to support school programs. The opportunities are many, and the effects will make a huge difference for our students and the entire Branham High community.


Thank you, and I look forward to a great year!

With warmest regards,

Cheryl Lawton


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