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After-school Enrichment Classes for Magnet Students

posted Sep 7, 2013, 7:34 AM by Andrew Hyman   [ updated Sep 17, 2013, 8:51 PM by LA MagnetSchools ]
The Magnet Parent Association (MPA) in conjunction with our magnet teachers would like to offer a number of after-school enrichment classes.  Each class is planned for about a 10 week session.  A minimum enrollment of 20 students is needed to have a class.  As the classes will be after-school, there will be no bus transportation, so parents of interested students must be able to pick-up their children.

For your information, a brief synopsis of each class is offered below.  In order to help defray the cost, a payment of $50 per enrichment program sign-up is required.  If interested, please complete the attached tear-off and return it to homeroom class or the Magnet Office together with a check made payable to Portola HGMPA no later than 4:00 PM on Friday, September 13th (no late tear-offs will be accepted).  Classes are scheduled to begin in September for MathCounts and Debate, and a later date for Geo Bee class.  A notification of the start date will be sent out by e-mail.


MathCounts is a national enrichment club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement.  The program provides the extra incentive and the perfect atmosphere for students to push themselves to achieve more in mathematics.  The classes will focus on fun and creative problems that promote critical thinking and problem solving skills.  The MathCounts competitions have written and oral rounds as well as individual and team components.  For more information, see

As the coach, Mrs. Martin selects the 4 team members and 6 individuals that represent Portola HGM at the chapter competition. MathCounts class will be run by Mrs. Martin on Mondays (6th graders) and Wednesdays (7th/8th graders) from 3 to 4:15. 

Debate Class

This course is designed for students interested in improving their communicative and public speaking skills.  It covers speech research, preparation, outlining and delivery.  Students learn a set of systematic strategies which should increase their abilities to react critically to issues and to form arguments.  It will help the students to learn the art of asking the “right” questions, be good listeners and have tolerance for the opposing views.  The art of debating is creating an effective argument regardless of whether or not they share the same point of view.  Students, therefore, will not necessarily be arguing their own beliefs or opinions.  The debate class will be run by Ms. Massoudi and will meet on Thursday afternoons from 3:15 to 4:15 PM.  Priority placement will be given to 8th graders, and 7th graders will be able to take the class if there are any remaining spots. 

Geography Bee

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee. The contest is designed to spark student interest in the subject and increase public awareness about geography.  We are proud to announce that our Magnet school will be participating in the National Geographic Bee. This means that all of our students will have a chance to compete in this contest, and the school winner will qualify to compete in the State Geo Bee.  More information regarding the GeoBee can be found at

Classes to prepare our students for the Geography Bee will be run by Mr. Blurton on Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 – 4:00pm. Class is tentatively scheduled to start in October.

Andrew Hyman,
Sep 7, 2013, 7:34 AM