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Vista Heights Middle School



For my official and full website, please visit
Text Message Notifications: 

One of the most helpful things I do for students and parents is offer a text message notifications system (which allows everyone to keep their privacy). By signing up, you'll be given updates for upcoming tests, homework, projects, and more.

In order to register, you'll need to text the proper code to the number 81010:



History Classes (Periods 1 and 5):  Text  @mrcortez  to  81010


8th grade GATE History Class (Period 2):  Text  @gateclass  to  81010


Achieve 3000 Class (Period 6):  Text  @cortez3000  to  81010


6th Grade GATE History Class (Period 4):  Text  @6GradeGATE  to  81010


2019 East Coast Trip:  Text  @ect2019  to  81010


Speech Meet:  Text  @oratorical  to  81010


Bible Study:  Text  @GodBible  to  81010



Visit for more info, and make sure to download the Remind app for Android or Apple

Social Media Links:
Sign Up For The East Coast Tour Today!!




Attend an informational meeting:


8th Graders:  I will be holding an informational meeting in the MPR on September 12th (Back-to-School Night) from 5:00-6:00pm.


6th and 7th Graders:  The info meeting for 6th and 7th graders will be on November 7th in the Vista Heights Library.  The meeting will be from 6:30-7:45pm.


If you are interested in sending your child on the East Coast Trip in May of their 8th grade year, you need to attend an informational meeting!  Minimum $250 non-refundable deposit required to register.  It is an informational meeting only; many topics will be covered, including: 

date and cost of the trip/payment information/how to sign up/who are the chaperones/safety issues/

hotel information/cities and sites we'll visit/questions and answers/and more!


Please download the following documents for all of the necessary info:


8th Graders:

Informational Flyer for May 2018 Trip

Registration Info



7th Graders:

Informational Flyer for May 2019 Trip

Registration Info



6th Graders:

Informational Flyer for May 2020 Trip

Registration Info




About the trip:


- The cost of the Trip is $2849.00 for the 2019 Trip. (If you pay by credit/debit card, there will be an additional $35 charge.)


- The Trip is in late May of your 8th grade year.  You will miss five days of school.  This is AFTER State testing, so don't worry about that.  We will depart on a Saturday afternoon and return on a late Saturday night.


- Sign up as soon as you can, because the top 48 are guaranteed a spot on the Trip.  If you register after the top 48 spots have been filled, you will be placed on a Waiting List.


- I can take a maximum of 96 students (2 busses with 48 per bus). 


- We will visit four major cities, and various other towns.


- Minimum 2.0 GPA required and no F grades.  Student behavioral record will be assessed by Mr. Cortez and Mr. Hasson.


- Get your friends to sign up and perhaps they'll be your roommates in the hotels!







8th graders:  Text  @ect2019  to  81010


7th graders:  Text  @ect2020  to  81010


6th graders:  Text @ect2021  to  81010


(If your cell phone doesn't allow you to send messages to short numbers like 81010, then you need to

either download the Remind app or download a different messaging app.)


I strongly recommend this experience for all students.  It is strategically organized, safe, and a great time for students to bond. But most importantly, it is LIFE-CHANGING.  Your child will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with many of the historic sites and topics that are studied throughout the course of middle and high school.





To register now, visit, click on "Register for a Tour", then enter the following Tour Code:


51ZT4S - for 8th graders (May 2019 Trip)


TNOHNL - for 7th graders (May 2020 Trip)


HSNM97 - for 6th graders (May 2021 Trip)


After filling out the required information, submit a $250 non-refundable deposit. Call Apple Student Tours for further payment details at (619) 299-9686.  (If you register online and haven't attended an information meeting before, I recommend you attend the meeting mentioned above.)


Any questions?  Please email Mr. Cortez at



The New Social Studies Framework:
Students:  Download and read the new Social Studies Framework!  Click on the globe:
Interested in Speech Competitions?
If you are interested in participating in any of the various speech competitions, see Mr. Cortez in Room C-1.

Also, for info on Speech Meets, be sure to text  @oratorical  to 81010  and follow me on Twitter - @cortezhistory


- All students are required to bring their Chromebook to class every day.

- I am currently taking signups for the East Coast Tour ... space is limited!

- Interested in Speech Meet?  See Mr. Cortez for more info.

- Bible study is every Monday and Thursday during second lunch in Room C-1. 

Download the class syllabus here:
East Coast Tour Site
Click on Lady Liberty:
Mr. Cortez's History Day Site
Click Here:


A post shared by Cortez History (@cortezhistory) on

Speech Meet Info
Click Here:


Chuck Norris Facts


- Chuck Norris threw a grenade and killed 50 people ... then it exploded.


- Sharks have a week dedicated to Chuck Norris.


- Chuck Norris will break the strings on your air guitar.


- Chuck Norris once won the title of Iron Chef by cooking Instant Ramen Noodles!


- Chuck Norris has a diary: It's called The Guinness Book of World Records.


- In Chuck Norris' wallet he keeps a photograph...of his wallet.


- Chuck Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun.


- Once a cobra bit Chuck Norris' leg.  After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died. 


- Chuck Norris doesn't call the wrong number... you answer the wrong phone.


- Chuck Norris's email address is


- When Chuck Norris turned 18, his parents moved out.