Earthquake Building Competition

In trimester 1, all Rio Vista 6th grade students will be engaged in a Project Based Learning experience aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). After studying plate tectonics and earthquakes, students are challenged to work as teams to create the tallest building to withstand a large magnitude earthquake simulation. Teams compete in class competitions as well as grade level competitions. This project incorporates science, technology, engineering and mathematical problem solving (STEM).

Students will explore:

*  factors that affect the durability of buildings during earthquakes

*  causes of earthquakes (fault/boundary types and location)

*  variations in causes, magnitudes and resulting damage of earthquakes

*  how earthquakes are measured

Earthquake Building Competition Blogs

Principal Profile – Adrienne Peralta, Ed.D.

Adrienne Peralta, Ed.D.


Rio Del Valle Middle School

4 Years as Rio Del Valle Principal

8 Years as Administrator

18 Years as Teacher

This is Dr. Peralta’s 4th school year as principal of Rio Del Valle. Previously she served as assistant principal at Rio Vista Middle School. Prior to her work in administration she served as a 6th-8th grade teacher of math, science, and ELD. 

Dr. Peralta earned her Bachelor’s at UCLA in Latin American Studies, Master’s in Elementary Education, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership both at California State University Northridge.  

Adrienne is deeply committed to family and community and to building ramps for all children and families to achieve academic success. Having worked in our community and schools for years, she has developed keen senses for what our schools and community need to develop and grow. Dr. Peralta combines her unique blend of systems thinking and relationship building with strong and persevering leadership and these efforts have yielded improvement and coherence in support of excellence in learning and teaching. 

Principal Peralta is a great example of “leader as learner.” She realizes that a professional grows when they learn and she continues to pursue and develop new knowledge that can support her work as both school manager and instructional leader. Adrienne combines mind and heart in pursuit of supporting teachers and children to find acceptance, growth, and excellence in all their pursuits.   

 We asked Dr. Peralta the three questions and her responses were as follow;

  • What do you think matters most to children when they attend school?

I believe that at the middle school level students want to feel safe, heard, and respected.  Middle school is the beginning of the transition from a child to an adolescent/young teen. They have incredible insight and a great deal of passion, all of which they want to share, but are unsure of how to do so.  This age is beautiful, yet challenging for them. As adults we need to create and nurture spaces for them to speak, share, and learn. Their world is fast paced and messages come at them from every direction – t.v, technology, music, friends, etc… It is incumbent on us to help them decipher these messages, and provide them opportunities to help them develop the skills they will need to thrive.

  • How has your leadership changed over time and experience?

Over the past 8 years my leadership has been impacted by the 

experiences I have had with our students, families, staff, and community.  I have a greater understanding of their needs, and of the responsibility we have as a team of educators to create a positive and nurturing environment.  Leadership is a word that defines how people work together. I want to be a leader in the sense that I will leverage my skills in such a way that they in turn leverage the skills of others.  I expect that as the world around me changes so will my leadership skills. In order to be an effective leader you must be willing to change with the tides.  

  • What has working in schools meant to you in terms of your own development as a person, mother, and citizen?

I cannot put into words the deep commitment I have for those that I serve – students, families, my colleagues.  My work has impacted every corner of who I am. As a teacher and administrator I have had a multitude of experiences, these have impacted how I see the world.  They have taught me to appreciate, love deeply, serve sincerely, and to work harder every day. It holds me to high standards, and it makes me expect more of myself.  I expect to always do better, I expect that we as a whole can always do better for one another. It has taught me to see things from another’s perspective, and to use this knowledge to find commonalities and spaces in which to work well with others.  This work is the best kind of work. The responsibility of this work is great, and sometimes the challenges even greater, but the satisfaction it provides is immeasurable. I cannot see myself outside of a school, it is who I am. 

Principal Profile January 2020 – Ms. Brenda Bravo

Brenda Bravo


Rio Plaza Elementary School

1+ Years as Rio Plaza Principal

1+ Years as Principal

8 Years as Teacher

This is Ms. Bravo’s 2nd school year as principal of Rio Plaza Elementary School. Previously she served as the Intervention Specialist at Laguna Vista, Ocean View School District. Previous to that, she served as a dual immersion teacher at Tierra Vista, Ocean View School District. 

Ms. Bravo earned both of her Bachelor’s Degrees at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), one Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Liberal Studies, the other in Spanish. After a few years of teaching, she decided to return to CSUCI for her Masters in Educational Leadership and Administrative Credential. 

Brenda has lived in our community for some time and has a deep value for education and its power to help people grow and take advantage of opportunities to their well-being and contributions to their family and community. 

Principal Bravo, like most of us, has faced challenges on her journey of education and career development. Among her many resources she counts relationships with mentors, a positive attitude, a caring and ever-learning intellect, and hard work as among the characteristics that served her well in serving her students and community.

We asked Ms. Bravo the following three questions and her responses follow each;

  • What do you think matters most to children when they attend school?

There are three things that I believe matter most to children when they attend school. Number one, children want to feel safe. Often times, children prefer to be at school, as this may be their only safe place. Number two, children want to have a sense of belonging. Even as adults, we often seek those places where we can feel a part of a group. Lastly, and maybe most important, children want to be loved. We all prefer to be in places where we know people care about us. I believe that after children get these three needs met, they are able to focus and learn at school. 

  • How has your leadership changed over time and experience?

Leadership has always been about serving. When I started this journey, I learned about servant leadership and I fell in love with the idea because it aligned with my philosophy of leadership. This philosophy states that leaders serve and demonstrate the following traits: listening, empathy, stewardship, foresight, persuasion, conceptualization, awareness, healing, commitment to the growth and development of people, and building community. As much as I believed in this style of leadership, I now know that it is easier said than done. Over time, I have come a lot closer to being a servant leader, but I know that this will take time. The best lesson that I have learned thus far has been patience. Patience with others, but most important patience towards myself. I can be hard on myself, but I am learning to be patient and take this opportunity to lead one day at a time.

  • What has working in schools meant to you in terms of your own development as a person, mother, and citizen?

It is quite difficult to express how much working in schools has meant to me in terms of my development as a person, mother and citizen. As a person, I have developed many qualities that have improved my way of interacting with others in society. Working with students and families that I see myself reflected in has helped me become more empathetic and understanding. I can see things better because I have learned to stop, think, make a plan and adapt it as needed. I have definitely become a better mother as a result of working in schools. Working with students and their families has helped me understand family dynamics and learn to better interact and respond to my own three girls at home. I have learned to value my family time and to take advantage of what life has to offer. As a citizen, I have improved because I have become involved in the community and have found ways to give back. Overall, I think that working in education has made me a better person. I cannot imagine not working in education my entire life. My husband tells me that I am going to be one of those educators that ends up volunteering her time at schools for the rest of my life. Well, I think he is right, I love what I do!


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