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Email Mr. A.
Edward Altenberg (831) 728-7832 ex: 5264 Health Teacher

Edward "Ted" Altenberg

Einstein's General Relativity is 100 years old!
AJHS 7th grade science students of Mr. A. (2013)
7th grade students with science teacher Mr. Altenberg, AJHS, December 2013

Peer Editing Checklist, Final Draft Scoring Rubric

Here is the Peer Editing Checklist students will use Thu-Fri this week (11/5-6) on persuasive essay first drafts.

And here is the scoring rubric sheet Ms. O. and Mr. A will use when grading students' final drafts of their essays.

MLA Format Template

Click on this link to access a Google doc that is MLA-formatted,  to use for your persuasive essay:

The file is "View only" which means you can't change it. So here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to File → Make a copy... on the Google doc menu (not the browser menu).
  2. This will create a copy of the template file, which you now "own" and which you can change as you wish.
  3. Rename the file as follows:
    "n-lastname-Food-Essay." (without the quotes and replace n with your class period 1, 3, 4, etc.)

Food Inc. Documentary Video and Notes

The entire documentary is on YouTube:

And here are Mr. A's thorough notes on the documentary we've watched this week, Food, Inc., in a Google doc.

Class Resources Available Online

Visit in order to view the course syllabus, the "Daily Slides" that Mr. A. displays each day, which list each day's classwork and homework, and an online version of the Health Notebook Table of Contents, which I will update every few days.

Class handouts (classwork, homework and the like) are in the SchoolLoop (SL) class Locker, which you can access through your SL portal.

Mr. Edward "Ted" Altenberg, 9th Grade Health Teacher

Mr. A in Pajaro Valley Unified School District:

School year 2015–2016 is my 29th year as an educator in California, my 9th year working in Pajaro Valley USD, and my 1st year here at Aptos High School! For 5 years I served as a "TOSA" (Teacher on Special Assignment) in PVUSD, which means I was a teacher not teaching students in a classroom, but instead doing other curriculum-related work. For four years I worked with Gifted Education (GATE); SY 11-12 I had multiple job titles/duties, and 1/3 of my FTE was at Cesar Chavez MS. For 2 years (12-13 and 13-14) I taught 7th grade life science at Aptos JHS. (Hence, many of my freshman students this year were my 7th grade science students 2 years ago!) Last year I served as Academic Coordinator (equivalent to Assistant Principal) at E.A. Hall MS; the position was grant-funded, and I knew when I took the job in July 2014, that it would end June 30, 2015.

I am really happy to be here at AHS, and look forward to a wonderful year as a Mariner!

Previous Teaching Experience:

Before coming to Pajaro Valley USD, I taught at a number of schools in various districts in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties:

  • Washington MS, Salinas (1998–2007): 7th-8th Science, Math, Computers, Yearbook, AVID
  • Mission Hill JHS, Santa Cruz (1997–1998): 7th Life Science
  • Sierramont MS, San Jose (1993–1994): 6th-8th Science, Math
  • Gateway School, Santa Cruz (1991–1993): 5th grade self-contained
  • Del Mar MS, Live Oak Santa Cruz (1989–1991): 6th-8th Science, Math, Computers
  • Boulder Creek Elementary, Boulder Creek (1988–1989): 5th grade science
  • San Lorenzo Valley JHS, Felton (1987–1988): 7th Life Science

Yes, I have bounced around a lot, and for different reasons in different cases. While I've wished at times I had more long-term consistency in my employment, having worked in so many schools and districts gives me a breadth of experience and perspective that I believe serves me well in working with a wide variety of students, families and colleagues.


  • I received my BA from UC Santa Cruz in 1984, with a double major in Biology and Environmental Studies.
  • I earned a M.Ed. in science education and my teaching credential in 1987, at University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • In 2011 I earned a second Masters degree, an M.A. in Educational Leadership ("Administration and Supervision") from San Jose State University. (AP Ms. Pughe, and science teachers Mr. DeMuth and Mr. Manildi were in our "cohort" as well, along with former Mariners Mr. Russo and Mr. Moran.)

Mr. A's Family

I grew up in Connecticut, with 3 sisters (2 older, 1 younger), no brothers. (Mom was from Cambridge, MA; Dad from NYC; they settled half way between the two in Hartford, CT.) My dad now lives in southern Maine, and my sisters and I are spread out from NY to NC to BC, Canada. (Mom's in Heaven.) I live in Santa Cruz with my wife Jody, who retired last June after working 36 years at UCSC. Our son and daughter are in their 20s; son is here in Santa Cruz, daughter is en route back here after traveling in Europe and US for nearly a year. Both are SCHS grads, have studied at Cabrillo, and are figuring out what's next.

I always loved nature and science, and dreamed of homesteading a farm on our family land in southern Vermont. That led me to enroll in vocational agriculture in high school, and to Environmental Studies and biology at UCSC. I still love to garden, but haven't yet become a farmer.

I met Jody at UCSC when I was an undergraduate, and after being on opposite coasts from 1984-1987, I moved back to Santa Cruz to be with her (and have been teaching here in CA since '87). We married in 1989 and happily celebrated our 26th anniversary this summer.

Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco Unit Videos

Video 1: "Body Story: The Beast Within" (2011; second half, starts at 24:09):

And the handout for this video.


Video 2: "The Meth Epidemic" (Frontline, 2011):

And the handout for this video.


Video 3: "Heroin in the Heartland" (Oprah Winfrey Network, Our America series, with Lisa Ling, 2011): (It's a Korean website, and might be glitchy [do funny things], but is the only place we've found it online...)

And the handout for this video.

Also a text version (sort of):

And Mr. A's notes on the video (must be logged into Google with your PVUSD account):

See Mr. A's Health Class page
for more information.

See also to view the course syllabus, the "Daily Slides" that Mr. A. displays each day, and an online version of the Health Notebook Table of Contents, which I will update regularly.


Health Class Update 10-12-2015

Here's the class update students received in print on Monday October 12 (or as PDF):

Quiz 1 Retake:

  • Any student that wants to re-take Quiz 1 to improve their score, can do so during tutorial Thu or Fri this week.

  • You will keep the higher of the 2 scores if you do the re-take, so no risk of lowering your grade… That said, please study before coming in for the retake; let’s not waste your time and mine…

Last week and this week’s Work:

  • Here’s the list of the work you did last week and will be doing this coming week, on infectious diseases and the immune system, and the [due dates] for getting stamps to indicate you completed the work on time:

    • Outline notes, 22-1 (pp 524-527): Nature of… [Tue 10/13]

    • DECIDE Activity (p 526): Mice in restaurant  [Tue 10/13]

    • Salmonella video notes [Tue 10/13]

    • Outline notes, 22-2 (pp 528-533): Immune sys [Fri 10/16]

    • Copy diagram 22-8 (p 531): Antibodies [Fri 10/16]

    • Outline notes, 22-3 (pp 534-537) [Fri 10/16]

    • Copy diagram 22-10 (p 533): 3 lines of defense [Fri 10/16]

    • Influenza video notes [Fri 10/16]

  • Also due by Friday 10/16 is the completed 3-page Integumentary System review handout.

Notebook Check #2:

  • Notebook check #2 will be due next Monday, 10/19. Even though the grading period officially ends at the end of this week, Notebook Check #2 will be part of first quarter grade.

How 1-Semester Course Grades work:

  • Unlike junior high/middle school, in which the gradebook started fresh each quarter, the gradebook for Health class continues from August all the way to December. This is both good and bad news for those with low grades: you will still have that low grade to pull up; but you also have until December to do so.

  • Talk to your teacher about what you can do to improve your grade — but start with looking at SchoolLoop to figure out which assignments are missing or have very low grades!

Back-to-School Night - Wednesday September 2, 2015

If you were unable to join us for our annual Back-to-School Night, here are a few things you missed: