Local Education News

LTUSD Superintendent Dr. Jim Tarwater announces retirement - Superintendent Dr. James Tarwater of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) has announced he'll retire in one year. Dr. Tarwater has been with LTUSD since 2005… A letter to Dr. Tarwater and the community of South Lake Tahoe from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education: …Lake Tahoe Unified School District is distinctly proud and honored to have been led, through good times and bad, by the steady hand of Dr. James Tarwater. It can seem incredibly difficult now to imagine our district without this man. The children of our district have always known a fierce ally and protector in Dr. Tarwater. Nothing is more important to Dr. Tarwater than his kids. It shows. 

Kids’ Fun Run and Golden Star Awards showcase students – Mountain Democrat - After the official El Dorado County Fair ribbon cutting ceremony children participated in the 1K Kids’ Fun Run and raced against El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala along a course that weaved around the fairgrounds. For some runners, it was their first time; others had been participating for years. After the race runners received El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) water bottles and congratulatory medals.

Herbert Green names new principal – Mountain Democrat - Mary Beal has been named the new principal at Herbert C. Green Middle School. Beal has taught at Herbert Green for five years and has spent her entire 11-year teaching career in the Mother Lode Union School District… “We’ve got dynamic teachers and staff members across the board that are really committed to student success and a whole child’s success,” Beal said. “So being the leader of that team is exciting.”

Going, going, gone — champions sell at junior livestock auction – Mountain Democrat - The Junior Livestock Auction at the El Dorado County Fair started with a single fryer rabbit raised by Jazmyn Hanna of Shingle Springers 4-H selling for $650 and the top bid went for a market steer at more than $10,000. Calista Schreck of Union Mine High School’s Future Farmers of America raised a 1,349-pound steer in her sixth year of competition to take top prize — Supreme Champion Market Steer.

Local student-athletes win scholarships – Mountain Democrat - The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section awarded two students from Union Mine High School and another student from Golden Sierra High School with Clark Coover Scholarships at an awards ceremony in Lodi. The scholarships are given to students who have succeeded in athletics, community service and academics. The Sac-Joaquin Section covers 192 schools and 225,000 students. Of those 225,000 students, 49 were given scholarships.

High school district announces registration for 2019-20 – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado Union High School District has released student registration information for the 2019-20 school year. School will start on Monday, Aug. 12. Consult your respective school’s website for the starting times.

Wheelin’ for Johnny — past and present come together in 75th running – Mountain Democrat - The audience gasped, cheered and at times were left speechless as competitors in the John M. Studebaker Wheelbarrow Races battled for cash prizes and bragging rights Saturday evening at the El Dorado County Fair… Proceeds from the annual wheelbarrow races go to the Placerville Kiwanis Club and its scholarship programs for three local high schools: El Dorado, Ponderosa and Union Mine.

Senior of the Year: John Raslear a tireless voice for seniors, youth – Village Life/Mountain Democrat - John Raslear radiates health and vigor. Having retired to El Dorado Hills 14 years ago to be near two of his daughters and six granddaughters, one might expect to see a slower pace of life. That couldn’t be further from the truth… He then partnered with the Oak Ridge High School Sunshine for Senior Citizens Club to plan, prepare and download personalized playlists requested by seniors in those facilities.

Educators of the Year – Village Life (photos attached) - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills, along with education leaders from Oak Ridge High School, Buckeye Union School District and Rescue Union School District, recently celebrated outstanding educators… Principal Aaron Palm and El Dorado Union High School District Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Chris Moore celebrated English language development teacher Nicole Lucidi. .. William Brooks Elementary School Principal Barbara Narez and BUSD Superintendent Dr. David Roth celebrated special education teacher Britni Miller… Jackson Elementary School Principal Michele Miller and RUSD Superintendent Cheryl Olson celebrates first-grade teacher Debbie Meyer.

A small commitment can make a big difference – Village Life - Volunteering has become a way of life for Kelly Seymour, Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County’s 2018 Big Sister of the Year… Mia and four other students became the first Littles to participate in the “Beyond School Walls” program on the Blue Shield campus… Mia, now 17 and a new senior at Oak Ridge High School, liked Seymour and the bi-monthly meetings so well, that five years later, she is still getting on the bus to visit with her Big.

Sons & Daughters of Italy hands out scholarships – Village Life - The Gold Country Lodge No. 2705 Sons & Daughters of Italy in America awarded three scholarships at the annual dinner meeting May 21 in El Dorado Hills. For 19 years lodge members have recognized graduating high school seniors attending El Dorado Union High School District campuses.

Silva Valley principal bids farewell – Village Life - It was a suggestion from Kathy Holliman’s husband that put her on the 15-year path in the field of education… “The district is like a family, from the office level to the teachers to the bus driver and custodian,” she said of the Buckeye Unified School District. “It’s a second home. I will miss the people I work with … I feel very blessed to be here.”.. “Kathy has been an incredibly skilled and student-centered principal who has led Silva Valley through an important period of change as the site has transitioned to the use of 21st century classroom technology, new state standards in English language arts, mathematics and science and new state assessments,” BUSD Superintendent David Roth said. “She is a highly respected member of leaders across our district and we will miss her greatly.”

Rotarians wine & dine – Village Life (photos attached) – The El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park Rotary Clubs hosted another successful Wine at Town Center fundraiser Saturday. At left, EDH Rotarian Jenny Pettit, Carson Pettit, EDH Rotary Club President Tina Ferguson.

Students turn out for Garden Valley Fire program – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – A number of graduates from Golden Sierra High School turn out for the Garden Valley Fire program. The Regional Occupation Program gives students the opportunity to see what the Garden Valley Fire Protection District programs entails. The primary instructors for the fire district are engineer/paramedic Corinne Staves and Capt. Charles Frost.

Marshall Hospital marks 6 decades with party set in 1959 – Mountain Democrat - A lot has changed since Marshall Hospital opened 60 years ago in Placerville. In 1959 the hospital had 10 physicians and today, more than 200. Marshall Hospital Chief Executive Officer James Whipple said in 1959 the cost  of the entire hospital was $1,085,000. Now, he said that the cost is much more.

Vaccination rates at California’s schools – EdSource – School search function

California finally to move ahead with 'cradle to career' data system – EdSource - With $10 million in funding, an ambitious timeline and a champion in Gov. Gavin Newsom behind it, the Legislature this week passed legislation for a statewide education data system that will follow children from infancy through the workplace. The marching order for what Newsom is calling a Cradle to Career Data System is included in a lengthy bill elaborating on the 2019-20 state budget for education.

California wants to find out if you — or your kids — have experienced trauma – EdSource - Has your child ever lived with a parent or caregiver who had mental health issues, such as depression?... Those are some of the questions on a survey that California pediatricians will use to screen millions of children for traumatic experiences beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Building blocks: California’s proposed early education legislation – EdSource - California is on the brink of making huge investments in young children. EdSource is tracking 27 early childhood bills introduced in the Legislature this session that focus on a host of issues, from expanding paid family leave to improving access to preschool. This list will be updated as the bills make their way through the Legislature. Bills that have stalled are shaded gray…

What schools and parents need to know about California’s vaccination law – EdSource - Changes to California’s current vaccination law being considered in Sacramento would make it more difficult for parents to use medical exemptions to avoid immunizing their children before enrolling them in school.  A bill is making its way through the Legislature and is expected to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces $1 Million Literacy Partnership Grant with Two County Offices of Education – CDE Press Release - In 2017 results for English Language Arts (ELA) on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, 51.44 percent of all K–12 students did not meet the standard for ELA. That is why State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is excited to announce a new literacy campaign that will begin for the 2019–2020 school year in partnership with two selected county offices of education, Tulare and Riverside.

California governor and lawmakers at odds over new special education funding – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders agree that the state should significantly increase funding for students with disabilities. But, in one of the biggest disagreements over next year’s state budget, they head into negotiations far apart on how they would spend the new money… “The Newsom administration’s heart may be in right place, but it is essential to pay for core special education responsibilities before granting flexibility,” said David Toston, associate superintendent of El Dorado County’s two SELPAs and chair of the Coalition for Adequate Funding for Special Education.

South Lake Tahoe's Stephanie Zepeda inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi – South Tahoe Now - Stephanie Zepeda, a 2011 graduate of South Tahoe High School, was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Zepeda was initiated at the University of Southern California.Zepeda is a 2015 graduate of UC San Diego and now in graduate school at USC. Zepeda is among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year.

Photo gallery: Celebrating the class of 2019 – Mountain Democrat

Photo gallery: Student success celebrated at Shingle Springs Rancheria – Mountain Democrat

Pinewood third-graders find innovation in invention – Mountain Democrat - For more than 20 years, Lorrie Hargon has taught her third-grade class necessary life skills at Pinewood Elementary School through inventing. On May 21, Hargon’s students displayed their skills and inventions to fellow students and teachers at Pinewood’s annual Thomas Edison Day. Hargon said younger kids walk into the classroom and are in awe of the third-graders’ marvelous masterpieces like the Lego Stack-N-Sort or the Tooth Buddy and leave inspired.

Learn to be well, safe and ready at South County fair – Mountain Democrat - Do you know how you will evacuate in case of a wildfire? How will you evacuate your horse? Do you have a defensible space to protect your house from fire? Do you have health insurance? Do you know what your blood pressure is?... To find out these answers and discover more information attend the second annual South County Health and Safety Fair. It is happening from 10 a.m.to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at Mountain Creek Middle School, 6860 Mt. Aukum Road in Somerset.

Divide Women’s Club awards scholarships – Mountain Democrat - Thanks to the very successful Divide Women’s Club annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon in April, the club was able to provide $8,000 in scholarships to four very deserving graduating Golden Sierra High School seniors. All proceeds from this exciting event, as well as other events during the year, fund scholarships for local students. The Lillian Lafaille cash award for excellence in writing was awarded to Jenna Campbell. Those receiving scholarships at the GSHS Awards Ceremony were: McKayla Susic, Jazmine Carpenter and Daniel Davis.

PUSD Family Resource Center changes lives – Mountain Democrat - The Placerville Union School District (PUSD) is fortunate to serve diverse student and family populations through Edwin Markham Middle, Louisiana Schnell Elementary and Sierra schools. Approximately 1,300 students call PUSD home and 56 percent are classified as low income. Throughout the past five years, PUSD has served a high of 188 McKinney-Vento (homeless/foster) students to a low of 91. When students experience a level of instability at home (trauma, neglect, homelessness, poverty, etc.), they become at-risk of falling behind in school and life. Therefore, PUSD takes steps to ensure vital services are available to those who need a helping hand today, so they may ultimately thrive in the community.

Unified Track Meet showcases athletes of all abilities – Mountain Democrat - Buckeye Unified School District adaptive physical education specialist Joey Stein has been involved with similar events at the high school and elementary levels and suggested the district try one at the middle school level. When he floated the idea by Rolling Hills track coach Judy Pickett, she jumped at the chance. “I have been involved with the Special Olympics for many years outside of school, so I thought it was a perfect fit,” said Pickett, who also teaches the unified PE program at Rolling Hills.

Shakespeare Club presents gift of knowledge – Mountain Democrat - Thanks to the generosity of the Placerville Shakespeare Club members, the club will be funding five $1,000 Mollie Hurd Scholarships and one $1,500 Wolterbeek Scholarship for local high school students… This year’s scholarships were awarded to Lillian Fike of Union Mine High School, Gianna Campagno of Ponderosa High School, Emily Ferrell of El Dorado High School, Karina Alvarado, Tifany Wong and Shelby Engdall of Oak Ridge High School.

El Dorado County school officials say goodbye (list of retirees) – Mountain Democrat

Band teacher retires after 43 years of teaching music – Mountain Democrat - After 43 years of teaching young musicians, Gold Trail School band teacher Glen Cain will retire his director’s baton at the end of the semester. “The motto I live by is, ‘I don’t teach music. I teach kids with music,” Cain said. “When I see kids lives change, when I see them learning something that they can do, when I see kids who struggle at school but they can play an instrument, or I see special education kids who are a part of the band and that’s the only thing they’ve ever been included in at school, that’s what inspires me.”

Livestock Auction – American as Apple Pie – Windfall Magazine (attached) – Participating in your local Jr. Livestock Auction is about as American as Apple Pie. Our 4H and FFA kids work hard all year to raise their stock to show at the Fair and sell at the auction. Not only will you be helping out your community’s youth, but you will be putting fresh, wholesome, healthy food on your family’s table. The auction starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15.

Student of the Year: Bella Escobar – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recently celebrated Bella Escobar — Silva Valley Elementary School’s Student of the Year. School staff commended Bella for her dedication to sports — she plays first base and catcher in softball — as well as her confidence off the field and her inquisitive nature. The fifth-grader works hard in the classroom, added teacher Amber Ross. “The future is in good hands with this one.” Bella, 10, was joined by her family at the Rotary breakfast meeting, where she received a plaque, illustrated dictionary and $50.

Class of 2019 – Village Life (attached) – Oak Ridge High School graduates take their last walk across the football field, ready to receive their diplomas.

ORHS commences the class of 2019 – Folsom Telegraph - Both sides of the football stadium were filled Friday evening at Oak Ridge High School, in El Dorado Hills, as the community gathered to commence the graduating class of 2019. With rains clearing just in time for the celebration, students, faculty and county leaders celebrated from dusk until after dark in celebration.

Golden Sierra Student Studies in Japan – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – What would it be like to travel to a foreign country, study a new language, live with a new family and become immersed in a completely new culture? Golden Sierra High School junior Kiyana Pitre did just that. In August 2018, Pitre, who studied Japanese online for two years, became an exchange student through CIEE’s Global Navigator Study Abroad Program at Doshisha International High School in Kyoto, Japan.

New El Dorado County website launched as new vegetation ordinance begins – South Tahoe Now - El Dorado County has created a new website as part of its efforts to keep residents informed, safe and prepared for wildfires. Part of this new informative site is an explanation of defensible space and the County's new vegetation ordinance that takes effect May 30, 2019… The Board of Supervisors approved a new vegetation management ordinance last month which regulates the cleaning or removal of hazardous vegetation and combustible materials and the parameters of clearing for defensible space. It also sets forth regulations for inspections and mandatory vegetation mitigation. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters raises over $80,000 at tourney – Mountain Democrat - Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County raised over 80,000 at the seventh annual Golf for Kids’ Sake fundraiser. The event was held at the Serrano Country Club in El Dorado Hills and featured a helicopter ball drop, putting contest, silent auction and other hole-in-one contests. Members of the El Dorado County and surrounding communities enjoyed a day of golf while raising funds for at-risk youth.

Lost days: Poverty, isolation drive students away from school in California’s rural districts – EdSource - t was a wonder Kaylee Adkins ever made it to school. The daughter of two heavy drug users, she lived a transient childhood — rarely staying for long in the same apartment, let alone the same school… Statewide, more than 700,000 students, or about 11 percent, were chronically absent. About 10 percent of the 1,000 districts statewide had rates near the level of Oroville Union High’s or significantly higher. Most of those districts were in rural areas, the analysis found…

Interactive Map: California's chronically absent students in 2017-18 – EdSource

Almost a third of teenagers sleep with their phones, survey finds – EdSource - Teddy bears have met their match: cell phones. Sixty-eight percent of teenagers reported that they keep their mobile devices within reach at night, a telephone and online survey released Tuesday by the nonprofit Common Sense Media found. Nearly a third (29 percent) of teens sleep with smartphones, cell phones or tablets in their beds.

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - At South Tahoe High School, students faced a surprisingly cold week with snowfall. Advanced placement testing finished, spirit week is about to begin, and sports teams reached the state championships. On Campus: Advanced placement tests ended this week with AP Language and Composition on Wednesday. Stress is relieved, as there are only finals left on June 17 and 18. Next week is spirit week. With events, such as dodgeball, “manly volleyball” and dress up days, students get to show their school spirit as the school year wraps up.

EDCOE Program Liaisons Team Receives 2019 Excellence in Education Award – Windfall Magazine (attached)/Mountain Democrat/Placerville Newswire - Based on their dedication and willingness to provide high-quality services, County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, honored the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Program Liaisons team with the Excellence in Education Award for the 2018-19 school year. The award recognizes hard work that contributes to providing quality support to students, schools, families, and the community. packet that students receive.

EDCOE honors individuals with 2019 Excellence in Education Awards – Mountain Democrat - Each year, the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) recognizes individuals for hard work that directly or indirectly contribute to providing quality support and services to students, schools, families and the community. This year two admirable team members were selected to receive the superintendent’s Excellence in Education Award, Dianne Deitchman, program manager for Home Study Academy K-8 and extended day, and Joey Stein, teacher for special services.

Students tee off at Serrano – Mountain Democrat - Students in Buckeye and Rescue union school districts hit the green at Serrano Country Club Saturday as part of the First Tee National School Program, which helps students develop an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with golf. First Tee of Greater Sacramento hosted the golf clinic to support the districts’ program rollout. More than 300 students, parents, teachers and administrators, representing both districts, participated in the event.

Golden Sierra High School-Garden Valley Fire Protection District Celebrate 20 Years of Partnership – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - Twenty years ago, Superintendent-Principal Jeremy Meyers asked Garden Valley firefighter Mike Sampson to teach fire science in Golden Sierra’s Regional Occupational Program (ROP) program. Garden Valley Fire Chief Bob Woods approved the project. On June 13, the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees will honor Sampson and fellow Garden Valley firefighters for twenty years of exemplary partnership in providing GSJSHS students with the Fire/Emergency Medical Responder program in today’s Career Technical Program (CTE).

New Principal of Herbert C. Green Middle School – MLUSD Press Release (attached) - The Mother Lode Union School District is pleased to announce Mary Beal as the principal of Herbert C. Green Middle School beginning with the 2019 - 2020 school year. Mrs. Beal has taught for the Mother Lode Union School District for 11 years and has taught at all three of our school campuses at a variety of grade levels and taken on numerous leadership responsibilities including serving as “Teacher-In-Charge” at both Indian Creek and Herbert C. Green and leading her colleagues as the president of the teachers’ union.

Photo gallery: Pollock Pines-Camino Rotary turns 70 – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County District I Supervisor John HI dahl, of El Dorado Hills, center, arm in arm with Uncle Fuzzy, a.k.a., Rich Mason of Pollock Pines, take a deep breath and together blow out the candles on the cake as Youth Services Committee Chair Carol Abba Nat, left, and Jim Swig art, both of Pollock Pines look on.

David Livingston Appointed as County Counsel for El Dorado County – EDC Press Release - The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors today appointed David Livingston to the position of County Counsel. Livingston was most recently Interim County Counsel. "I'm honored to have the trust of the Board of Supervisors to hold the position of County Counsel," said Livingston. "I look forward to continuing my career with El Dorado County and providing legal advice to the Board on the myriad legal issues that come before it."

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Roseann Torres as Co-Chair for Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Roseann Torres as Co-Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. She will partner with Co-Chairs Ryan Smith and Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i to lead work aligning with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students.

California considers overhauling test of reading instruction for teachers in training – EdSource - California is considering overhauling a test intended to measure whether prospective teachers are prepared to be effective reading instructors. That’s because the test, known as the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment, or RICA, is outdated, and there is no evidence that it contributes to more effective instruction.

Majority of California voters favor tax increase on millionaires to fund schools, poll finds – EdSource - As pressure builds in California to increase funding for public schools, a new poll shows that a majority of likely voters are in favor of raising taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals to boost education funding. Six in 10 California voters say they would support a possible 2020 ballot initiative that would raise at least $11 billion for K-12 schools and community colleges, according to a California School Boards Association poll released last week.

Experienced teachers key in California districts that ‘beat the odds’ – EdSource - Research released this week identified 156 California school districts with higher test scores in math and English language arts than expected for African-American and Hispanic students and found that teacher experience was the common factor that contributed to the higher results.

EDCOE Program Liaisons Team Receives 2019 Excellence in Education Award
– Placerville Newswire - Based on their dedication and willingness to provide high-quality services, County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, honored the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Program Liaisons team with the Excellence in Education Award for the 2018-19 school year…County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, presented the award and expressed, “The Program Liaison team has heart and are always there when we need them. Thank you for all of your hard work to support EDCOE. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”

OPINION: Everyone’s job but no one’s responsibility – The Hechinger Report – Approximately five million students who are served by public care agencies have multiple official adults in their lives — judges, lawyers, therapists, volunteers, teachers, counselors, case managers, social workers and more — people paid to support them when they experience significant life circumstances like homelessness, foster care or incarceration…In El Dorado County, system leaders are moving ahead with efforts to improve coordination for all of their young people who experience education disruption.

Jog-A-Thon Update – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – On April 26 students of GT School of Technology participated in the Jog-A-Thon fundraiser and it was a success. There were 209 participants, not including teachers and parents. A total of 2,482 laps were run. Wendy Appleby’s classroom was awarded the designation as “Top Fundraiser Classroom” earning over $2,700 with the “Top Runner Classroom” being awarded to Andrea Brown’s class.

Photo gallery: Lessons in logging – Mountain Democrat - High school students from Placer and El Dorado counties watch as a cut-to-length harvester pulls a tree out of Blodgett Forest May 2 during the woodED Pathways Experience at UC Berkeley's Blodgett Forest Research Station near Georgetown. Some 200 students spent the day in the forest, learning about careers in harvesting, forestry, fire science, research and education, forest regeneration, wildlife and forest products.

Program teaches youth to hit financial highs – Mountain Democrat - FLY, a program run by Oak Ridge High School students, teaches youth how to manage money. While speaking with Sohil Varshney, founder and CEO of Financial Literacy For You, you can easily forget you’re talking to a 16-year-old. Well spoken, confident and with financial knowledge that you would associate with a professional, Sohil knows what he speaks and takes great pride in the development and roll-out of his financial literacy program at Oak Ridge High School.

Women’s Fund celebrates grants – Village Life - A record $100,000 was awarded to seven nonprofits by Women’s Fund El Dorado at its annual Grants Gala held at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds on May 2… Another Inspiration Grant was awarded to Sierra Elementary School for Defending Hope with Social Emotional Learning for ALL Students at Sierra School, a program that offers counseling services to students in an age of increased school violence… El Dorado Union High School (Supporting Youth in the Pursuit of STEM & Robotics, $8,000)…

Students tee off – Village Life - Students in Buckeye and Rescue union school districts hit the green at Serrano Country Club Saturday as part of the First Tee National School Program, which helps students develop an appreciation for the positive personal and social values associated with golf… In 2018 Parker Development Company, Serrano Associates and Serrano Country Club committed to launching the First Tee National School Program in all elementary schools.

Photos of the week: Creative cartographers – Village Life (attached) – Lake Forest Elementary School fourth-grader Loti Boucher poses with her Crazy California City Laws map, which took second place in her age category at the SAGE Student Map Drawing Contest… Latrobe Elementary School kindergartener Brighton Gaasch shows off his My Fun House map, which took second place.

Digital summer resources for students (and their grown-ups) – South Tahoe Now - Reading can be enjoyed by all South Lake Tahoe students this summer, even without stepping into the library. Summer is a great time to keep Reading and learning and be prepared for fall. Library cards can be used online for ebooks and downloadable audiobooks whether you're in town, at grandma's house or on vacation somewhere across the globe.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints Co-Chair for Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Manufou Liaiga-Anoa’i as Co-Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. She will partner with Co-Chair Ryan Smith to lead work aligning with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students. 

State budget proposal would fund computer science coordinator, broadband expansion – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing $15 million to expand broadband internet to more schools and an additional $1 million to hire a state computer science coordinator as a “down payment” on a comprehensive plan to provide access to computer science classes to all California students.

Gov. Newsom proposes tighter rules on charter school enrollment – EdSource - State law already requires that a charter school admit any student who applies. In his May budget revision, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to tighten the language banning discrimination in charter school enrollment, particularly to protect students with disabilities and students with poor grades who want to attend charter schools.

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - Tahoe High School students took the week to promote end-of-year events and commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month. Testing begins, sports end and school spirit is running wild. STHS is taking time to observe Mental Health Awareness Month in May by sending out advice to students, including posting positive comments on social media, writing for fun, and learning a new skill.

Bread & Broth celebrates 30 years – South Tahoe Now - It was a celebration of 30 years of serving food to the local community through St. Theresa Church's Bread & Broth program. It was a celebration of the volunteers that make their Monday Night meals, Second Serving meals and Bread & Broth 4 Kids so successful in feeding those in need, not only of food but for camaraderie and community… The Bread & Broth 4 Kids program provides weekend food backpacks for over 180 students each week in grades K-8 and provides over 500 nutritional snack bars to K-12 students in need.

Kudos: Heavenly and Epic Promise bring Sierra House students out of classroom and onto slopes – Tahoe Tribune - Sierra House Elementary School would like to thank Heavenly and the Epic Promise grant for another amazing year of skiing and boarding with our students. We are a health and fitness theme school, and we are grateful to be able to take every student up to the mountain to experience skiing or snowboarding. This is not only an “Epic” adventure that our students look forward to every year, but it is an experience that builds confidence on the snow and this confidence transfers to their academic performance in the classroom.

Trading up — vocational education gives parolees another chance – Mountain Democrat - Hoping to offer up a different life and career path for those on parole or probation, the El Dorado County Probation Department and the El Dorado County Office of Education have recently launched a new vocational education program that comes with a proven track record of success. In operation for about six months now, the course of study is called the Northern California Construction Training program (NCCT).

Photo gallery: Union Mine Diamondbacks softball fundraiser featured classic cars Saturday – Mountain Democrat - The parking lot of Union Mine High School was filled with classic cars for the Diamondback softball fundraiser Saturday.

Cougar Fest fundraiser set for May 11 – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado High School Cougar Athletics Booster Club will hold its annual Cougar Fest fundraiser from 5:30-10 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the Boys and Girls Club of the Western Slope, 2840 Mallard Lane in Placerville. The event will raise money for next years teams. The booster club is a nonprofit organization that is run by parental volunteers to help support the 19 athletic teams.

Photo gallery: Problem solving in the park – Mountain Democrat - Union Mine 12th-grader Keoni Rivera counts the costs of lemonade ingredients while he and his team try to compute the cost for a specific batch size during the Math Steeplechase event Tuesday.

Big party planned for Amgen’s arrival Monday – Mountain Democrat (maps attached) - f you liked the big party Placerville threw about this time last year when world-class bicycle riders rapidly rolled through town, then you’re going to love the chance to flash back to the fun on Monday, May 13, when they do it again…Students from Sierra School will grab their cow bells and head to the end of Thompson Way where it meets Cedar Ravine, and rumors are that they are going to try to be even louder than last year. Or maybe that rumor was about the Schnell School kids who will be at the Regal Theater parking lot on Placerville Drive, ready to clang their enthusiasm over Amgen cruising through town.

Photo gallery: Students dig into Farm Day with Ag in the Classroom – Mountain Democrat - The 19th annual El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom Farm Day was held Tuesday at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. At the event, El Dorado County third grade students and teachers enjoyed a day-long, hands-on experience, learning lessons of agriculture and its role in everyday lives. Farm Day Coordinator Britney Patterson is pictured presenting welcoming words to all the attendees.

Farm to Pork Fundraiser June 1st – Windfall Magazine (attached) – Leadership El Dorado is an inspiring program to help build El Dorado County’s future leaders… The project “Farm to Pork” is a fundraising event to build the Hog Barn for Union Mine High School’s new FFA Program. A quote from Leadership El Dorado Class 11 states, “Leadership El Dorado Class 11 is extremely honored to bring about an event that will engage our community and “raise” financial capital for just such a barn.”

El Dorado County Students Bring the Written Word to Life! – Windfall Magazine (attached) - This spring, more than 400 fourth through eighth-grade students represented 28 schools from across El Dorado County at the 41st annual Festival of Oral Interpretation, hosted by Pioneer Union School District (PUSD). Small groups of children hurried to classrooms across campus to deliver interpretive performances of poetry and prose. Students chose from famous works of literature and some composed original pieces.

Program teaches youth to hit financial highs – Village Life - While speaking with Sohil Varshney, founder and CEO of Financial Literacy For You, you can easily forget you’re talking to a 16-year-old. Well spoken, confident and with financial knowledge that you would associate with a professional, Sohil knows what he speaks and takes great pride in the development and roll-out of his financial literacy program at Oak Ridge High School.

New school program develops active learners – Village Life/Mountain Democrat - An alternate curriculum is being introduced to the Buckeye Union School District. Come this fall, Valley View Charter Montessori in El Dorado Hills and Camerado Springs Middle School in Cameron Park will offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme to their students. Many see the IB program as the flip side to the Advanced Placement program already entrenched in the El Dorado Union High School District curriculum.

Rescue Elementary celebrates diamond anniversary – Village Life - Rescue Elementary turns 60 years old Friday, May 3, with a milestone celebration planned in the small town that has a rich history of pride in education. Since Rescue elementary opened its doors in 1958, the school has created a foundational relationship with the community. The small town of Rescue witnessed the dawn of the Pony Express as it was a vital station between Folsom and Placerville.

‘Every 15 Minutes’ event teaches at Golden Sierra – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Approximately every 15 minutes, someone dies in the United States from a drunk driving accident. In order to bring this statistic to life for Golden Sierra High School juniors and seniors, a coalition of community partners, including the California Highway Patrol (CHP), local law enforcement, local hospitals, emergency medical responders, businesses and services clubs, conducted the simulation on April 30 and May 1.

District students demonstrate their learning on state tests – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – If you are a parent of a Black Oak Mine Unified school district student, you know that state testing has begun for this school year. All students in grades 3-8 and 11 take one or more tests in various content areas. All testing is prescribed by the California Department of Education and takes place in all California schools.

STEAM SHOWCASE Open House at Northside School – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - On Thursday May 16, Northside STEAM School will SHOWCASE a year of successes at their Open House.  Come join the Northside family as it celebrates this first year of focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Beginning with a hot dog roast sponsored by PTA, families will tour the campus and see demonstrations of student learning in the Multi-purpose Room, the science lab and in open classrooms. Northside School embraced the STEAM curriculum focus to enhance student learning experiences. 

Upcoming Diamond Springs Area Transportation Projects – EDC Press Release - Motorists who drive in the Diamond Springs area are going to see a lot of construction activity over the next few years with five major improvements slated to begin now and continue through 2020, according to El Dorado County Department of Transportation (DOT) officials. Two more projects are planned pending funding.

Slow for roadwork in Lotus area – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County’s Department of Transportation will be performing road and bridge work on Bassi Road over Granite Creek in the Lotus area beginning the week of May 13 and continuing until October. The project is located on Bassi Road approximately 0.25 miles northwest of the intersection of Bassi and Lotus roads.

El Dorado Community Foundation honored by county chamber – Mountain Democrat - The first Distinguished Community Service Organization of the year award has been given to the El Dorado Community Foundation in Placerville for its efforts in philanthropic service to the community. The El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce presented the organization with the special award earlier this year. The El Dorado Community Foundation is a local philanthropic business that helps nonprofit organizations build endowments within the community.

Marshall selects Siri Nelson as CEO – Mountain Democrat - Marshall Medical Center has named Siri Nelson as its new chief executive officer. As CEO Nelson will lead the 125-bed hospital with 1,800 employees, the largest employer in El Dorado County. Marshall’s board of directors selected Nelson after a nationwide search that produced a field of 100 applicants to the top post at the Placerville hospital.

State Board Adopts Guidance on Health Instruction – CDE Press Release - The State Board of Education (SBE) today adopted new health education guidance for K–12 teachers designed to make classrooms more inclusive and help students access the knowledge and skills necessary to grow into healthy adults.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Commends New Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond praised the recent adoption of California’s Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan by the State Board of Education, stating that it’s a critical step in preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow.

Teacher shortage, early education targeted in Gov. Newsom’s California budget revision – Ed Source - Gov. Gavin Newsom is taking advantage of additional revenue to put his stamp on education, boosting funding in his revised state budget for his top priority — early childhood education and child care — while creating $90 million in college loan assistance to fill critical vacancies for science, math and special education teachers in K-12 schools.

California governor expands commitments to young children, low-income families – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is adding more spending for subsidized childcare for low-income children and moving ahead with a master plan to overhaul the state’s early childhood programs.

Gov. Newsom proposes $90 million in scholarships for new teachers in revised budget – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to address the state’s teacher shortage by spending $90 million on college scholarships for individuals committed to become special education, math and science teachers.

California approves new guidance for teaching sex education – EdSource - The California Board of Education Wednesday approved new statewide guidance for health education, including recommendations for teaching sex education that align with the California Healthy Youth Act, the state’s comprehensive sex ed law.

California moves to get more K-12 students into computer science classes – EdSource - More California K-12 students at all grade levels could have access to computer science classes if schools implement a plan unanimously approved by the State Board of Education Wednesday.

First on new California state superintendent’s long agenda: getting more men of color in the classroom – EdSource - Four months into his first term, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is creating 13 work groups that he expects will recommend strategies for addressing some of the state’s thorniest education challenges.

MJ’s Project – Good Day Sacramento - Ashley Williams is live in El Dorado checking out a cool project to help kids get to prom at a low cost. (Union Mine High School student)

LTUSD recognizes staff on California Bus Driver Appreciation Day – South Tahoe Now - Bus drivers in Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) were honored today during a celebration of California Bus Driver Appreciation Day… In LTUSD, bus drivers are part of the emergency plan for the district and when all 23 are deployed can remove and transport 2,000 people in under 45 minutes. A typical day in the life of a school bus driver means arriving early, performing daily pre-trip bus inspections, knowing what students ride the bus, where each student lives, and what school each student attends.

Rescue Elementary celebrates 60 years in El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - After decades of teaching and guiding children in El Dorado County, Rescue Elementary is turning 60 years old on Friday, May 3. As Rescue Elementary gears up for the milestone celebration, faculty members and former students help illustrate the history and culture of the longstanding school in Rescue. Tucked away in a small pocket of California, the town of Rescue has a rich history of pride in education. Ever since Rescue elementary opened its doors in 1958, the school has created a foundational relationship with the community.

Mighty effort for Mito kids – Mountain Democrat (attached) – More than 300 people registered for the 10th annual Mito Kids walk in El Dorado Hills Town Center Saturday. Many wore the “someone I Love Needs a Cure” t-shirts… Photo: At left, Brooks Elementary School students London Meyer, 7, left, and Kahlan Payne, 7, pose before the 5k fundraising event. Dozens of Brooks students participated this year.

Photo gallery: Sobering reminder — Every 15 Minutes at Ponderosa High School – Mountain Democrat - Ponderosa High School student Alex Steiner, playing the drunk driver in Wednesday morning's Every 15 Minutes reenactment at the Shingle Springs high school, partakes in a field sobriety test administered by California Highway patrol officers. Local schools and law enforcement put on these demonstrations in an effort to show high school students the harsh consequences of drunk driving.

El Dorado County students bring the written word to life – Mountain Democrat/Placerville Newswire - This spring, more than 400 fourth-through eighth-grade students represented 28 schools from across El Dorado County at the 41st annual Festival of Oral Interpretation, hosted by Pioneer Union School District (PUSD). Small groups of children hurried to classrooms across campus to deliver interpretive performances of poetry and prose. Students chose from famous works of literature and some composed original pieces.

Local retired teachers empower current teachers with grants – Mountain Democrat - The California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA), Division 73 of El Dorado County, recently awarded five $400 mini-grants to teachers in El Dorado County. “Every year teachers submit outstanding applications. Out of 50 entries, we were privileged to award five grants to support these innovative and engaging educators,” said Tim Smith, chapter president.

Soroptimist International of Placerville give back at annual Awards Night – Mountain Democrat - Soroptimist International of Placerville (SIP) held its annual Awards Night on April 17 at the Sequoia Restaurant in Placerville. In addition to the awardees and their guests, other honored guests included Mark Acuna, Patti Borelli, Elizabeth Ripley and the Carolyn Hibbeln Family — Heather Hibbeln, Christopher Hibbeln and Brett Fooks. The Placerville Soroptimist Club awarded five scholarships to local high school seniors, as well as the Soroptimist Live your Dream Award and the Ruby Award.

Annual Union Mine Football Crab Feed – A ‘Cracking’ Success – Placerville Newswire - It was a great night at the 3rd Annual Union Mine Football Crab Feed! The Crab Feed offered a wonderful evening of crab, music, raffle, auctions and fun…Dr. Ron Carruth, El Dorado Union High School District Superintendent, said, “Coach Bist has been working in this community for over 37 years and is being honored tonight for being a model to others. Every one of the young football players are extraordinarily proud to be coached by such a fine person who has made an impact on their life.”

Student of the Year: Joshua Simmons – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills celebrated Jackson Elementary School student Joshua Simmons as Student of the Year. “He’s one of the brightest students I’ve ever met,” said Principal Michele Miller. Joshua’s teachers called him kind-hearted with a great personality and the ability to persevere. “He’s a great thinker,” added Rescue Union School District Superintendent Cheryl Olson.

Board of Trustees Approve Contract with Bond Advisors – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - the April 11, 2019 meeting of the BOMUSD Board of Trustees, members unanimously approved entering into contract with Isom Advisors for Financial Planning and Advisory Services. Under this agreement, Isom Advisors will provide financial consulting services including: (1) Survey/Voter Opinion Poll Services; (2) Financial Planning Services related to capital and debt issuance planning; (3) Financial Advisory Services should a bond issuance occur; and (4) Continuing Disclosure Services to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for current and future debt issuance made by the District.

District Seeks Provisional Replacement of Board Member – Mountain Democrat/Village Life/Georgetown Gazette, Windfall Magazine - Trisha N. Wilkins, member of the El Dorado Union High School District, recently announced her resignation. At a recent Special Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees determined that it would fill this vacancy through a provisional appointment. All interested residents are encouraged to apply.

Scholarships available for best student videos featuring special districts – Mountain Democrat - The Districts Make the Difference 2019 Student Video Contest for high school and college students challenges would-be filmmakers to produce a 60 to 90-second video that tells the story of a special district or districts in their community. The goal of each video is to increase public awareness and understanding of California’s special districts and the services they provide to residents.

Community Invited to Provide Input on Mental Health Services Act – EDC Press Release - The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health Division invites the public to review and provide comment on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Annual Update, including Innovation proposals. The draft Update provides information on current and new MHSA programs and budgets for three fiscal years (FY 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20), as well as a description and proposed budget for the Innovation proposals.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Appoints New Chair for Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Ryan Smith as the new Chair of his statewide Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. Smith’s work will align with the initiative’s goals, which include addressing ways to close the achievement gap and improving educational outcomes for all California public education students.

Infants and toddlers the most undercounted in census; California wants to change that – EdSource - If you’re the parent of a California preschooler, don’t be surprised if she or he comes home with a flyer reminding you to count them in the 2020 census. As California gears up for the census, state officials and advocates are trying to spread the word through preschools, doctor’s offices and community centers to count the youngest state residents — infants and children under 5 years old. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates about 210,000 children under 5 years old in California were left uncounted in the 2010 census.

Wage gap between teachers and other college graduates exacerbates teacher shortages – EdSource - Teachers are continuing to fall behind other college graduates in the wages they earn, contributing to the difficulties many school districts in California and the nation face in filling positions in key subject areas, according to a new analysis.

Bolstering California’s increased focus on early childhood, statewide commission releases final recommendations – EdSource - As California lawmakers consider Gov. Gavin Newsom’s early childhood proposals, a new report lays out the goals that parents, advocates and early childhood experts believe are needed to serve the state’s youngest children. The final report of the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, released Monday, sets out a long-term vision for how to overhaul the early childhood education system in California, with short-term and mid-term milestones along the way.

Despite education reforms, foster students in California lag far behind on multiple measures  - EdSource - Seven years ago, two education researchers in California did something that had never been done before. They sat for months in San Francisco in a secure, private room and matched confidential information on children in the child welfare system — those who had been removed from their biological parents due to abuse or neglect and placed into foster care — with information on those same kids’ school attendance and performance.

More funding for full-day kindergarten questioned as many low-income California schools already offer it – EdSource - Funding proposed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to expand full-day kindergarten would not likely benefit many low-income communities, where the greatest need is more programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, according to a new analysis. Among Newsom’s sweeping budget proposals for early childhood is a one-time investment of $750 million for school districts to expand full-day kindergarten programs by building or renovating classroom 

El Dorado County administrators honored – Mountain Democrat - Recently the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) hosted a gala at the Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln, celebrating Region 2 Administrators of the Year… Several administrators from the El Dorado charter were recognized. During the event, several El Dorado County administrators were recognized… “Congratulations to all of tonight’s awards recipients,” said El Dorado County Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala. “This official recognition by our colleagues is a testament to your work that benefits thousands of El Dorado County students. I’m honored to serve our students with you.”

County Probation Department, Office of Education Open New Vocational Construction Program – EDC Press Release - The El Dorado County Probation Department in partnership with the El Dorado County Office of Education will host a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration for the Northern California Construction Training (NCCT) program on April 18, 2019, at 9:00 AM at 6187 Pleasant Valley Road, El Dorado, CA 95623. "The Probation Department is grateful to Northern California Construction Training and the El Dorado County Office of Education for their continued partnership in support of our vision to create "Safer Communities through Changed Lives." NCCT fills a meaningful gap in our local services by providing continued support of our clients as they transition back into the community in a positive way," said El Dorado County Chief Probation Officer, Brian Richart.

South Tahoe volleyball star Sofia Hedqvist earns full ride to D1 University of North Dakota – Tahoe Daily Tribune - South Tahoe volleyball coach Kelly Racca knew Sofia Hedqvist was a special athlete when she was just a sophomore. Racca would watch the budding star work harder than everybody else and do whatever it took to get better. "She was dedicated, determined and went to every open gym she could whether it was here or down in Carson City," Racca said. "She's even traveled to Sweden to receive upper level training with their national team."

Marina Village music program hits a high note – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Marina Village Middle School has been on an award high. Not long after making the 2019 California Distinguished Schools list last month, the school received the Support Music Merit Award handed out by the National Associate of Music Merchants Foundation. “I consider it such a blessing to be the music educator at Marina Village Middle School. The NAMM Foundation award means a lot,” MVMS band director Ben Cain said. “I have always been appreciative of the tireless support from the Rescue Union School District, administration, staff, music parents, families, students and the El Dorado Hills community.

Photo gallery: Playin’ with the law — Charter College and Career Prep basketball with El Dorado County Probation Department – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County Office of Education Charter College and Career Prep student Jaden Weitz runs the ball upcourt while county probation officers NIkki Moeszenger and Melissa Mutzig follow in pursuit in Thursday's basketball game between the CCP student team and a team of juvenile probation officers. The probation officers pulled off a late-game win over the CCP boys, but Tracey Bunch with the EDCOE, who formed the CCP team, said that everyone was a winner.

Rotary scholarship applications due April 5 – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Applications for this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) are now being accepted and must be submitted by April 5… Each year the Georteon Divide Rotary Club, Ready by 21, and the Golden Sierra High School Interact Club, sponsors several GSHS juniors to participate in give days of leadership training with students from across Northern California at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola.

El Dorado County Board of Education Meets at GT School of Innovation – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the El Dorado County (EDC) Board of Education held its monthly meeting at the GT School of Innovation - a New Tech Network school. Board trustees listened to high school representatives outline event highlights and to GT School principal, Dr. Wendy Westsmith’s presentation about student progress in project-based learning. Trustees were treated to a tour of classrooms where student ambassadors explained how they now absorb crucial lessons through hands-on, project-based learning.

Hands4Hope opens applications for camp scholarships – Village Life - Hands4Hope announces that the organization is accepting applications from select students who wish to receive a partial or full-paid scholarship to a 2019 summer camp of their choice. These scholarships are made possible through the Ryan Christopher Hersh Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is designated to provide youth, whose families face financial struggles, with the opportunity to attend the summer camp of their choosing to pursue their particular interests.

FLC hosts youth camp – Village Life - Folsom Lake College is proud to present Youth Summer Academy once again this summer, with weeklong instructional camps for ages 8-17. Participants will be able express themselves creatively or improve their athletic skills while having fun and building lifelong memories. Two tracks of camps will be offered this summer: Creative Expressions Camps focusing on the visual and performing arts, computer and robotic programming, and making; and Athletic Camps featuring individualized sports instruction.

Supes approve Camino undercrossing – Mountain Democrat - A Camino area traffic safety project was approved by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s board meeting. A cooperative agreement between the county and Caltrans, improvements will include an undercrossing of Highway 50 east of Camino Heights Drive to improve traffic circulation and safety in the area, particularly during Apple Hill season. A wildlife crossing that will go under the freeway is planned as well as a concrete median barrier separating eastbound and westbound traffic.

Vaccination Rates by School in California 2017-18 – EdSource - Under the California Health and Safety Code, kindergartners who enroll in public or private school must be fully vaccinated against 10 serious communicable diseases. The database below provides the percentage of vaccinated kindergarten students by school in the 2017-18 and 2016-17 school years, as reported by the California Department of Public Health. For definitions of column headers, see the list below the database. Chart…

South Tahoe High grad receives numerous honors – Tahoe Tribune - South Lake Tahoe native Kylee Lyons was honored with the Distinguished Appointed Board Award, first place in Mei Po Wong Overall Service, and second place in Outstanding Total Service Hours at the California-Nevada-Hawaii Circle K International (CKI) District Convention this past weekend in Los Angeles, California. Lyons was the 2018-19 Small-Scale Service Chair of the CKI chapter at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she is studying to obtain a bachelor's degree in Psychobiology, aspiring to become a Physician Assistant (PA).

Students awarded at Disney-themed event – Mountain Democrat - The results are in for Virtual Academy High School’s 12th annual Cake Auction/Student Award and Art Show, held on March 23 at the high school. Sophomore Alexandra Kristedja won the “Most Creative” award for her “101 Dalmatians” cake. Junior Rachael Kowlchick won the “Most Detailed” award for her “Tangled” cake. The “People’s Choice” award went to junior Justine Majewski for her “Mike n’ Sully Monsters” cake. And freshman Faith Pickett won “Most Colorful” for her Snow White cake.

Community Hubs set to help families – Mountain Democrat - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and offers the community a time to increase awareness of the issues related to child maltreatment, identify strategies to strengthen families and understand how everyone in our community can be an everyday hero for children. Strong, nurturing communities support families and play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being.

Empty Bowls Dinner set for April 26 in EDH – Mountain Democrat - Oak Ridge High School students are raising funds to alleviate hunger in local communities by putting on an Empty Bowls dinner and silent auction on April 26 at the Oak Ridge High School cafeteria. The event, running from 4-8 p.m. will include live music by the band Hell’s Bent and entertainment by ORHS students. Local restaurants are providing soup, which will be served in unique, hand-painted bowls painstakingly decorated by local students and adult artists. The bowls are a keepsake with any ticket purchase.

Board of Supervisors recognize International Women’s Day – Mountain Democrat - On March 5, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation, that was signed by Supervisor Sue Novasel, recognizing March 8 as the 108th International Women’s Day. The proclamation highlights women’s economic empowerment and how El Dorado County’s child care shortage can be a vehicle for women to start a family child care business and be a part of the solution… “On this International Women’s Day, we need to highlight the lack of available child care as a barrier to women’s economic empowerment. El Dorado County is experiencing a crisis in the availability of infant care, which disproportionately impacts women,” said Elizabeth Blakemore, Med., Director of Early Learning and Family Support at the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Channel your ’80s groove at ‘The Wedding Singer’ – Mountain Democrat - You are cordially invited to Ponderosa High School’s spring play, “The Wedding Singer.” This fun-filled, musical extravaganza  comes to the Pondo stage beginning April 4, in part thanks to drama teacher Renee Fritz’ love of the ’80s. Having graduated high school during the era the original movie takes place, Fritz decided to bring it to the stage. “The Wedding Singer” follows crooner Robbie Hart, played by Marcus Barela, as he swoons his way into the hearts of wedding goers by singing all their favorite tunes.

Student essay winners to be honored at luncheon – Mountain Democrat - The winners of the Fred Winn Democratic Party Essay Contest sponsored by the Democrats of El Dorado County will be celebrated at a special luncheon at noon on Saturday, April 6 at the El Dorado County Office of Education, Room B2, 6767 Green Valley Road in Placerville. Emmett Wilson, a senior at El Dorado High School, earned first place with his essay, “Collegiate Americans: Unprepared and Unfinanced.” He will receive $1,500. Katie Kenny, a junior at Oak Ridge High School, placed second place with her essay, “The Cost of Higher Education Locks the Door to the American Dream.” She will receive $750. Third place went to Callie Adams, a senior at El Dorado High School, “Students in Crisis: To Mitigate the Cost of Higher Education.” She will receive $500.

Third place winning essay: Students in Crisis: To Mitigate the Cost of Higher Education – Mountain Democrat - By Callie Adams: Dream big. Go to college. Education fuels the world. These are sentiments commonly used to encourage young children and teens to pursue a higher education beyond high school. Education opens doors; a college degree gets a person further than a high school diploma alone. Yet, college is more expensive than ever. As citizens of the United States, we have a right to receive education, but this right does not guarantee that education will be affordable. College tuition is more expensive than it has ever been, while funding is slashed and inconsistent.

Second place winning essay: The Cost of Higher Education Locks the Door to the American Dream – Mountain Democrat - Outside, the sun is shining, and the aroma of freshly cut grass fills the air. It’s May 1st and high school students across the country will click a button to commit to a university, then craft the perfect announcement on Facebook and sign their future of financial independence away. Each acceptance click amounts to over $25,000 in student loan debt. A deep current of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is drowning millions and forcing young adults to delay marriage, homeownership and hindering many from starting their own businesses (Herron).

First place winning essay: Collegiate Americans: Unprepared and Unfinanced – Mountain Democrat - By Emmett Wilson: As high school students approach the end of their senior year, one concern looms large over them: what their path forward in life will be. The immense pressure of having to decide what they want their lives to look like is compounded by the imminent financial difficulties that each of their options presents. In a world which increasingly requires its citizens to have some form of post-secondary education to succeed, students must trap themselves into debt just to survive.

Make a difference in education: 6 ways to contribute to schools in your community – Mountain Democrat - In communities across the country, many cities and towns revolve around their local school districts. As education is considered one of the backbones of society, it’s common for community members to seek ways to assist students through school-related programs. If you’re interested in making a positive impact on your local schools, teachers and students, consider these tips from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer:

California schools find success building student confidence and campus culture – EdSource - When Christopher Gonzalez first entered John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, he noticed that students generally kept to themselves and their own cliques. “It was like a line you didn’t cross,” said Gonzalez, now a senior. The climate began to change more than a year ago: More greetings are exchanged in hallways. Virtually no one sits alone at lunchtime.

Newsom names two to state’s education board: former superintendent and early ed advocate – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom has nominated a former superintendent of Sanger Unified and an early childhood advocate to two positions on the State Board of Education. Matt Navo and Kim Pattillo-Brownson will join Newsom’s earlier appointee, Stanford University emeritus professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who was elected board president at her first meeting last month. That leaves Newsom one more vacancy to fill on the 11-member state board.

LTCC Receives Grant to Expand, Enhance Free College ProgramLake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) is one of only three community colleges in California to be recently selected to receive a grant that will allow the college to enhance and expand its free college program, called the Lake Tahoe College Promise. Currently, LTCC’s Promise program provides a free year of tuition for first-time, full-time students. With this grant award, LTCC can further enhance the program, adding free services and extra support to improve Promise student success. 

EDC school board and community members recognized – Mountain Democrat - At an awards ceremony on March 4, the El Dorado County School Boards Association (EDCSBA) recognized school board and community members for their 2018 contributions. County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, facilitated the presentations and noted, “This room is filled with hope, promise and individuals who give tirelessly for the betterment of El Dorado County schools and students. Congratulations to all of our winners tonight.”

South Tahoe Sports Med students place third in weekend competition – South Tahoe Now - South Tahoe High's Sports Medicine students earned impressive third-place honors at the 18th annual High School Sports Medicine Competition at UC Northridge this past weekend. They competed against 700 students from 50 high schools from western states including Kansas, Texas, Washington, and California. This is the third year the school's Sports Medicine Coordinator Isaiah Tannaci has taken a group of his students to the competition. The first year the group went to observe and learn, the second year they came in tenth, and now a top-three finish.

El Dorado County Leads with Heart, by Dr. Ed Manansala – Windfall Magazine (attached) - El Dorado County models the values of commitment and compassion we want to see in every student. We were all deeply impacted by the unprecedented devastation of the Camp Fire in Butte County last November… Living up to our reputation, El Dorado County leaders responded to this in full force, bringing crucial support to our neighbors.  Counselors and psychologists from the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) and local school districts all volunteered to travel to Butte County, providing urgent mental health care to students and families.   

Lifechanger of the Year Nominee Profile - Delrene Tschida, Position: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher: Mrs. Tschida has spent her life fighting to improve the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Her mission is personal—both her parents are deaf, and American Sign Language is her first language. Growing up, she learned first-hand the daily struggles deaf people face in society. But that’s only part of the picture. The other, more vital parts are her innate gift for teaching and passion for helping people. Most of Mrs. Tschida's career has been spent in deaf classrooms, where she helped students of various grade levels learn and thrive in a hearing society. While her impact was strongly positive, it’s the position she’s held the last few years that has allowed her to truly amplify her impact.

Parklet pops up on Main Street – Mountain Democrat - People who have been burning up Facebook and other social media sites expressing their unbridled ire over a parklet popping up on Main Street last week might well be advised to pause, sit down and relax — give yourself a moment to regain your cool… The parklet that was built on Main Street in Placerville this week catches the eye of a passing pedestrian. Designed by an Oak Ridge High School student, the structure was constructed using grant funding.

Theatre at the Mine opens ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Friday – Mountain Democrat - In its upcoming production, Theatre at the Mine at Union Mine High School will feature “Little Shop of Horrors,” a musical based on the 1960s cult horror film, featuring music by Alan Menken. The play follows nerdy floral shop worker Seymour, who would do or give anything to gain the love of Audrey, the object of his affection. The depth of his desire is tested when a strange and menacing addition to his floral shop brings him sudden and unexpected popularity.

‘See That Girl, Watch that Scene’ it’s time for ‘Mama Mia’ – Mountain Democrat - Get ready to brush up on your ABBA playlist  as “Mama Mia,” the musical, hits the El Dorado High School stage beginning March 28. Favorites like “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” will be hard to get out of your head as you watch the story about a young girl and her free spirited mother. Sophie’s dream is to find her father before her big wedding day and have him walk her down the aisle. Easy enough for most, except according to her mother’s diary, her father could be one of three men that she had a tryst with over 20 years ago.

EDUHSD leaders earn top honors – Village Life - The El Dorado Union High School District is proud to have six administrators honored at this year’s regional Association of California School Administrators Administrator of the Year Awards. Aaron Palm (principal, Oak Ridge High School), Chuck Palmer (senior director, Student Services and Innovation), Jeremy Hunt (assistant principal, Ponderosa High School), Marti Zizek (director, Fiscal Services), Anthony DeVille (assistant superintendent, Human Resources) and Lisa Garrett (principal, Ponderosa High School) were all presented with awards at the March 8 gala in Lincoln.

Student of the Year: Max Hillhouse – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills celebrated Max Hillhouse, who was named Lake Forest Elementary School’s Student of the Year. The fourth-grader and his family attended the March 20 Rotary breakfast meeting, where Lake Forest Principal Bruce Peters commended Max for his positive attitude. He called Max, who is also a Boy Scout, a hard worker who stands out as a role model to others.

Chamber luncheon salutes local businesses – Mountain Democrat/Georgetown Gazette - Multiple businesses were recognized for their achievements by the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce at last Friday’s 2019 Business Awards Luncheon. The audience also listened as El Dorado County Supervisor and Board Chair Sue Novasel provided the State of the County address.

‘Aristocats’ opens Friday at Imagination Theater – Mountain Democrat - Imagination Theater is rolling out it’s 67th production with some cool cats and company. “Disney’s “Aristocats Kids” is an uplifting musical with an eclectic cast of cats, geese, dogs, humans and a mouse who join forces with a common purpose to overcome their challenges,” said Director Becca Kaldunski. “Together, they remind our audiences of the importance of discovering our similarities and celebrating our differences.”

MORE building benefit planned with ‘stand-up comedy night’ – Mountain Democrat - Leadership El Dorado brings Stand-Up for MORE Comedy Night back to Placerville, Friday, April 12, a benefit for Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Inc. The fundraiser will raise money for the renovation of the organization’s existing building, a process expected to begin sometime soon. In lieu of a ground-breaking ceremony at the building site, this year’s Comedy Night will include a short ceremony to formerly usher in the commencement of MORE’s exciting building renovation project.

College admissions scandal upsetting to California's low-income students – EdSource - For Lupe Nieto and other high school seniors in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood, this already is an emotional time of year. College acceptance and rejection letters are rolling in and these low-income students soon must decide whether financial aid offers are large enough to attend their dream schools.

Q&A: California’s first-ever surgeon general on her plans to tackle toxic stress in children – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom made it clear throughout his campaign that improving the health and welfare of California’s children and young families would be among his signature issues. To underscore his commitment in the days after he took office, Newsom named Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician who specializes in the impacts of trauma and toxic stress on the health of children, as the state’s first-ever surgeon general.

California school district among latest to change board elections to better reflect diversity of community – EdSource - Across California, more than 190 school districts are electing board members to represent specific geographic areas in hopes of improving the representation of diverse communities.

Schools lack a clear view of Asian and Pacific Islander discipline disparities, study finds – EdSource - When examining school discipline disparities, data consistently show that Asian-American students, compared to other racial and ethnic groups, have the lowest rates of suspensions and expulsions.

Kamala Harris's plan to boost teacher pay would cost $315 billion over 10 years – EdSource - Calling the issue of underpaid teachers a “crisis” with “disastrous consequences,” Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who is running for president, says she wants to increase the average teacher’s salary in the United States by $13,500.

Sen. Kamala Harris says federal government must step in to close the 'teacher pay gap' – EdSource - At a time when state legislatures are coming under increasing pressure to increase funding for education, presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has come up with a different approach: Have the federal government allocate funds to close the gap between what teachers and other comparable college graduates earn.

Two weekends of South Tahoe High's production of The Diary of Anne Frank – South Tahoe Now – On June 12, 1942, a young Jewish girl named Annelies Marie Frank made her first entry in her now-famous diary and little did she know that it would be read and discussed for generations to come… That message is coming to the South Tahoe High for two weekends in March as the students perform in "The Diary of Anne Frank" on the TADA stage at the campus.

South Lake Tahoe students celebrated during World Down Syndrome Day – South Tahoe Now - It was a day of crazy socks, mismatched shoes and untied shoelaces at the Sierra House Elementary campus at Al Tahoe Learning Center Thursday in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day. Kindergarten teacher Amy Terpening organized #RockYourSocks day in her classroom and held a surprise celebration of her student Dylan Polan who has Down Syndrome. The six-year-old came through a tunnel created by her fellow students and then sat down to be "interviewed" by her teacher.

Bijou Community School taking steps to become 100% two-way immersion – South Tahoe Now - It's been twelve years since Bijou Community School in South Lake Tahoe started offering two-way immersion classes where students become bilingual and learn Spanish and English in their daily work. The program has become so popular that English-only class enrollment is dropping… With a bit more room at Bijou, which is the largest elementary school in the district, they have been able to add a science room with a robotics curriculum and a garden with more science involved.

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - South Tahoe High School endured the beginning of Spring weather as the snow stopped falling and temperatures rose to 45F, giving students hope of warmer weather for the next following weeks. This week at STHS students prepared for upcoming school events, Julia Russell discussed Challenge Day, and Sofia Hedqvist signed to a college to continue her volleyball career in North Dakota. This week was all about upcoming events for STHS as Challenge Day and the Blood Drive both land on the March 18. The Blood Drive is run by Key Club.

Kudos: Ice Arena continues support of Sierra House Elementary School – Tahoe Tribune - The Sierra House Elementary School Community would like to thank the South Tahoe Ice Arena for offering their facility and equipment to our students. Not only do they work with us for PE, they offer lessons for all third graders in the district and are a wonderful place for us to hold fundraisers that build our school community in a fun and healthy setting.

Kindergarten registration dates set for South Lake Tahoe children – South Tahoe Now - Registration for kindergarten students in Lake Tahoe Unified School District for the 2019/20 school year will be held April 29-May 10, 2019 for Tahoe Valley and Sierra House elementary schools. For those enrolling in the Two-Way Immersion program at Bijou and wanting to enter the lottery for enrollment at Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, the deadline is March 22.

Success for Golden Sierra graduate at UC Merced (front page) – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Sophomore Joe Webb is “digging it” at University of California, Merced this volleyball season with his sixth “double-double” match for the season. This defense-offense achievement is rare and Webb is making headlines. Majoring in mechanical engineering, he plans to complete his degree, then join the Air Froce to become a helicopter pilot.

Youth commissioners host county officials – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Youth Commission hosted members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Leaders on Feb. 13, at the commissioners’ annual pasta dinner. “It is a delight to see these young people in action, working out their vision and passion for benefiting others,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Manansala. “They are a strong, focused group of leaders who understand firsthand what their peers are going through.”

Union Mine High School Theater: Little Shop of Horrors – Good Day Sacramento (video) – Watch a video interview with Ryan Pullen and musical performance!

‘Emma’ wreaks havoc in love at ORHS – Mountain Democrat (attached) – “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” Jane Austen never heard that famous quote by John Lennon but she demonstrates this very concept in ‘Emma,’ her comic masterpiece. This month Oak Ridge High School students will be performing Sandra Fenichel Asher’s adaptation of Austen’s novel.

Bridge work on Highway 50 to impact traffic in Placerville – Mountain Democrat - A section Highway 50 in Placerville will be reduced to one lane in each direction for 12 consecutive days next month in order to replace the bridge deck at the Mosquito Road undercrossing. Weather permitting, construction is scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 1 and be completed by midnight on Friday, April 12, according to a Caltrans press release.

New Child Support Services director appointed – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has appointed Ron Ladage as the county’s director of Child Support Services. Ladage was previously assistant director/chief attorney of Child Support Services. Ladage spent more than 25 years with the Sacramento County Department of Child Support Services, seven of those years as the principal attorney. While there, he was responsible for planning, directing and managing the legal division which included nine attorneys.

MORE building benefit planned with ‘stand-up comedy night’ – Mountain Democrat - Leadership El Dorado brings Stand-Up for MORE Comedy Night back to Placerville, Friday, April 12, a benefit for Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises Inc. The fundraiser will raise money for the renovation of the organization’s existing building, a process expected to begin sometime soon. In lieu of a ground-breaking ceremony at the building site, this year’s Comedy Night will include a short ceremony to formerly usher in the commencement of MORE’s exciting building renovation project.

El Dorado Arts Council announces new name — Arts And Culture El Dorado – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Arts Council has announced that as of April 1, the organization will be known as Arts and Culture El Dorado, to better reflect its mission of serving and celebrating the culture of El Dorado County, as well as the fine arts.

DAs oppose new law in juvenile justiceMountain Democrat - New California legislation affecting how juvenile criminals are handled is being challenged in court by district attorneys throughout the state as unconstitutional and a threat to public safety. Senate Bill 1391 was introduced last April by State Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before he left office. According to the DAs, the new legislation is unconstitutional because it amended another law — Proposition 57 — unlawfully… Commenting on the law, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson had this to say: “Not every 14-or 15-year-old who kills should be tried as an adult. There are some, however, that cannot be rehabilitated within the limited time allowed by the juvenile system…

New data detail soaring costs of California school pensionsEdSource - California school districts’ expenses for employee pensions on average doubled to about $1,000 per student over the four years ending in 2017-18, according to newly released state data. Those increases will rise at least several hundred dollars more per student before stabilizing two years from now. The Legislature mandated the increases, partly to make up for the sharp decline in the value of the pension funds for school employees and other public workers during the Great Recession in 2008.

Interactive Map: Changes in pension costs for California school districts – EdSource - View the changes in per-student pension costs across California school districts - Unified, Elementary and High school.

New training for California preschool teachers to help bilingual children prepare for kindergarten – EdSource - When Joyce Ponce used to teach Head Start preschool programs in Santa Clara County, she taught in English, though many of the children in her classroom spoke Spanish or Punjabi at home… For the first time, this fiscal year the California Department of Education awarded $5 million through the Dual Language Learners Professional Development Grant to six organizations to train preschool teachers who work with dual-language learners.

Push underway to lower the barrier for school districts to pass a parcel tax – EdSource – Confident that a new Democratic supermajority in the California Legislature will back them, two state senators are proposing to ask voters in 2020 to make it easier for school district voters to pass a parcel tax.

California governor's new task force on charter schools convenes – EdSource - A new task force that will examine the financial impact of charter schools and report back to Gov. Gavin Newsom by July 1 met for the first time privately on March 7... In a statement, Thurmond said, “We plan to research data and facts, and will review the fiscal impact and authorization process of charter schools. But more importantly, we are going to do this with thoughtful intention and through the lens of identifying what is truly best for kids.” …Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent, and President of the CA County Superintendents Association, has been appointed as one of the eleven task force members.

El Dorado County discusses updates to strategic plan – Tahoe Daily Tribune/Mountain Democrat - The Marshall Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds was buzzing with activity as some 80 people gathered for a recent workshop to discuss updates to the county's strategic plan. In attendance were members of the Board of Supervisors, county staff and department heads along with representatives from fire, safety and water agencies, the grand jury, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and office of education, in addition to members of the general public.

California school districts visit Chico State for Education Hiring Fair – The Orion - Chico State’s Career Center hosted roughly 100 school districts across California for the Education Hiring Fair Saturday morning. LuAnn Lantsberger, HR director for El Dorado County Office of Education, noticed the difference in Chico State students compared to others. “The Chico State group seems more prepared,” Lantsberger said. “It’s the way they interviewed, the way they dressed and the questions they asked in the interviews.”

School Closure and Make-up Day Information – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - It has been quite the winter and it's not over, yet! As you may be aware, Black Oak Mine builds two "snow days" into our instructional calendar each year.  These are days built into the calendar as make-up days in the event we are forced to close schools as a result of inclement weather. As a result of our closures this year, we will be utilizing these two days for instruction.  May 3rd and May 24th are now school days; however, this still leaves us three days short for instruction.

Golden Sierra High School hosts blood drive – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Vitalant (formerly Bloodsource) will hold a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 22 in the gym at Golden Sierra High School, 5101 Garden Valley Road in Garden Valley. All participants will receive a Vitalant “Make Every Day Awesome” t-shirt. Vitalant asks that donors eat well and drink plenty of water before donating and bring photo identification when donating.

Marina Village makes the distinguished list – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Marina Village Middle School was recently awarded the 2019 California Distinguished Schools honor… “The California Distinguished School awards represents the dedication and commitment by the Marina Village staff to support students academically and socially. Our students have worked hard and put forth a tremendous amount of effort to engage with the curriculum and to support one another. This award also represents the support of a district that is committed to student success, preparing them to further their education and to become contributing members of our society,” said Marina Village Principal Levi Cambridge.

Guest Column: El Dorado County students shine at Academic Decathlon – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - By Dr. Ed Manansala - The 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon Super Quiz Relay and awards ceremony took place at Union Mine High School on Saturday, Feb. 2, and showcased some of our area’s most committed high school students. It was impressive to witness the students’ level of dedication, achievement and the joy that they discovered in pursuing educational excellence. I look forward to this event every year because it highlights the very best of education in El Dorado County.

Star Studded Gala: EDC Assoc. of Realtors – Mountain Democrat insert (attached) – Scholarship winners listed

Photo gallery: 2019 Ponderosa High School Foundation Spring Banquet – Mountain Democrat - Guests listen to the Ponderosa High School Choir sing for them as they eat at the Ponderosa High School Foundation’s 15th annual Spring Banquet held on Friday, March 8 at the Shingle Springs Community Center. The event raised funds to support and promote the enhancement of education at Ponderosa High School.

Oak Ridge goes green – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Oak Ridge High School is about to lower electricity costs and reduce its carbon footprint. In collaboration with Engie Services U.S., the El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) has implemented a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy program. Five solar PV parking shade structures will be installed on Oak Ridge parking lots. Along with these solar panels, Engie Services will also be integrating a solar educational program with existing science curriculum.

Linda Darling-Hammond becomes president of California's State Board of Education – EdSource - In another sign of the changing of the guard in the leadership of education policy in California, former Stanford professor and leading researcher Linda Darling-Hammond was selected to be president of California’s State Board of Education by fellow board members on Thursday, a month after Gov. Gavin Newsom named her to the post.

Gov. Newsom's early childhood advisor describes 'whole-child, whole-family, whole-community' strategy – EdSource - For the first time, a California governor has created a position in his office focused on early education. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Giannina Pérez as his Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood. Peréz previously worked for Early Edge California and Children Now, both well-known children’s advocacy organizations.

Many California schools have police but no counselors, ACLU report finds – EdSource - Nearly 400,000 K-12 students in California attend a school that has a police officer but not a counselor, according to a new nationwide report by the ACLU on the presence of police and mental health services in schools. The report used federal data that had not been released publicly until 2018 to make the argument that schoolchildren in America are over-policed and under-supported by health and mental health professionals.

Increasing subsidized child care and pay for providers crucial for California, report says – EdSource - California families with average or low incomes should pay no more than 7 percent of their income on care and education for children under the age of 6. That’s a long-term goal set by the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, in its draft report for how to improve child care and preschool throughout the state, which was released this week.

NSPRA’s 35 Under 35 Class of 2018-19: Dina Gentry (El Dorado County Office of Education, Placerville, CA) – National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) News - Dina is one of 35 professionals, age 35 and under, who is part of the Class of 2018-19. These 35 individuals are emerging leaders who are making a difference in school public relations. Questionnaire: …What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed – either one of your own or one you saw nationally? “One of our schools recently became part of the national New Tech Network and was renamed the GT School of Innovation, located in Georgetown, Calif.. Their educators harnessed engaging, project-based learning and promoted their activities across multiple platforms, like social media, to successfully reach their audiences.

Day of the Young Child to be held in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - The annual Day of the Young Child will be held at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This free event is for all ages. There will be activities, games, booths opened by local youth-oriented groups and vendors, and information about jobs in the early childhood education field… Hosted by Choices for Children and Parks & Recreation, Day of the Young Child is also sponsored by First 5 El Dorado, Kiwanis, South Tahoe Refuse, High 5 For Quality and the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Changes Coming for Junior High at GSJSHS – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Exciting changes are planned for 7th and 8th graders at Golden Sierra Junior High this spring and fall. Teacher leaders from both the junior high and high school, school counselors, and student peer advocates have met with Superintendent-Principal Meyers and Assistant Principal Morris to design programs and activities that will enhance student engagement by emphasizing the unique identity of middle school students.

Golden Sierra Travel Club to hold benefit dinner – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - A tri-tip dinner fundraiser benefit will be held on March 30 at the Cool Community Hall to benefit Golden Sierra High School Travel Club. Doors open at 6 p.m. The students at Golden Sierra Junior and Senior High School have been given the opportunity to travel to New York and Boston in April.

EDUHSD partners with Cenergistic, will implement sustainability program – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) is partnering with Cenergistic to implement its Sustainability Solutions. EDUHSD is a public ninth-12th grade school district with an enrollment of 6,740 students across six campuses which total more than 700,000 square feet. Cenergistic expects EDUHSD to reclaim approximately $800,000 during the next five years.

Folsom Cordova Unified high schools will no longer report student ranking to universities. – Sacramento Bee – Video: The three high schools in Folsom Cordova Unified School District have chosen to do away with student rankings because they felt brilliant students were getting left out.

California gets boost from federal government to expand early learning – EdSource - Though California has been at odds with the federal government on many fronts, the state is getting a boost from the Trump administration to lay the groundwork for expanding preschool and child care programs. California was one of 45 states to receive a Preschool Development Birth through Five Grant this year for improving access to child care and early learning for infants and children. California received $10.6 million.

Gov. Newsom signs legislation requiring charter school transparency in California – EdSource - Underscoring the high priority he has placed on the issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill approved by lawmakers at lightning speed that will require more transparency in charter school operations.

Oakland school board cuts $20.2 million from budget, including 100 jobs – EdSource - After discussing for months how to make budget cuts to pay for teachers’ raises and balance its budget, the Oakland school board on Monday voted to slash $20.2 million next year and lay off more than 100 employees.


Lessons from the Los Angeles and Oakland teachers' strikes – EdSource - After two teachers’ strikes in as many months in California, it is too soon to tell whether the labor disputes in Oakland and Los Angeles presage a new era of school-based activism. But regardless of what comes next, this year’s strikes had much in common, and yielded valuable lessons and insights for other districts where labor troubles may also be brewing.

Student athlete safety laws going into effect – K-12 Daily - Although the impending summer heat may be the last thing on the minds of administrators during this rainy season, legal experts are calling on districts to be mindful of upcoming deadlines related to ensuring student athlete remain safe on hot days.

Back in session: Pollock Pines schools reopen after week – KCRA 3 - Power is back on at many places in Pollock Pines, including Pinewood Elementary School… “We were like, ‘Yes! Praise God, it’s on,’” she said. “We’re finally back. It was an amazing moment.” Nielsen’s daughter, 9-year-old KyrieAnn, is a student at Pinewood Elementary. She said she’s ready to go back to class. “I miss my friends,” KyrieAnn said. “And, I kind of want to do some work.”

Local students beam up with NASA – Mountain Democrat - Students from William Brooks Elementary and Buckeye Elementary schools had the opportunity of a lifetime Feb. 5 of  when they spoke to astronaut Anne McClain, a crew member on the International Space Station. Hosted in Brooks’ school gym, and broadcast live on nasa.gov/ntv, kids, parents and the community were able to be a part of this historic event. This out-of-this-world call came via Skype and NASA’s education downlink.

Students bring Gold Rush history to life – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Local eighth-graders traveled back to the Gold Rush and brought history to life for fellow students last week, hosting a Gold Rush Fair in the Rolling Hills Middle School multipurpose room Feb. 7. Oak Meadow and Silva Valley elementary school fourth-graders walked to Rolling Hills to listen to presentations about the groups that migrated and settled in the West during the 1800s. The eighth-graders worked in groups of three to four to create posters and speeches about 49ers, Mormons, missionaries, African-Americans, California Indians, pioneer women, Chinese, explorers and Californios.

It is a three-peat for the Trojans – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - In a display of academic brilliance the Oak Ridge High School Trojans pulled off a three-peat to win the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon. The Trojans scored 35,502.80 points in the victory at Union Mine High School on Feb. 2. “The euphoria I felt after the third consecutive victory is indescribable,” Jeff Hassian, Oak Ridge coach. “I am so happy for these students and the efforts that went into being the first time in the history of Oak Ridge High School to win three times in a row.

Academic Decathlon 2019 winning essay – Mountain Democrat - By Ryann Fox, Ponderosa High School. Essay prompt: Literature Essay Prompt: There are many examples of doubles or parallels in “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” Discuss some of these examples and explain what they all add up to. What is the point of having them in the play… As Forrest Gump observed, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” The unpredictable nature of existence has been noted by humans throughout their history…

Hands4Hope plans to expand program to Placerville — support still needed – Mountain Democrat - Hands4Hope of El Dorado County is expanding it’s youth program to Placerville through a new Placerville-based steering committee. Jennifer Bassett, of El Dorado Hills, is the founder and executive director for Hands4Hope, a nonprofit, youth-driven organization based in El Dorado Hills. With the help of the new committee, she is currently working to secure funds to expand the program into two Placerville schools: Markham Middle School and El Dorado High School. Additionally, Bassett said they are working to open a Placerville location for a satellite Hands4Hope Youth Center for kids to use after school.

Technology Initiative Approved (attached) – Georgetown Gazette - A long-awaited 21st century classroom technology initiative was unanimously approved by the Black Oak Mine Unified School District’s Board of Trustees on January 10.  Superintendent Jeremy Meyers and Chief Business Oficial Sid Albaugh provided the Board and community members with a detailed presentation outlining the steps to achieving this major goal of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to infuse technology into district instructional programs.

New Morning Youth and Family Services to host Battle of the Badges – 911 Cook-off – Mountain Democrat - New Morning Youth and Family Services will host the second Battle of the Badges – 911 Cook-off fundraiser event from 4-8 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in the Forni Building. This impressive event will include more than 20 county first responder agencies battling it out for the “Best Culinarian in El Dorado County” trophy.

How to understand your child's CAASPP individual student score report – Sacramento Bee - This video from the California Department of Education shows how to understand your student's California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test results for the year 2017-18.

Full replay: Here's Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State of the State address – Sacramento Bee - Governor Gavin Newsom delivers his first State of the State address before a joint session of the California Legislature on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

In his own words: Gov. Newsom on education in his State of the State speech 2019 – EdSource - This is what Gov. Gavin Newsom said about education in his first State of the State speech on Jan. 12, 2019, delivered in the Assembly chambers in the State Capitol.

Gov. Newsom names new head of State Board of Education in California – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom has named Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University professor emeritus and one of the nation’s most prominent education researchers, to head California’s State Board of Education.

Kamala Harris’s stance on truancy resurfaces as she launches presidential campaign – EdSource - California Senator Kamala Harris’s tough stance on truancy, her signature education issue while she was a local and state prosecutor, is again attracting attention as she embarks on a campaign for president and schools statewide are facing increased scrutiny on chronic absenteeism.

Only a fraction of California children eligible receive subsidized child care – EdSource - As Gov. Gavin Newsom pushes to expand subsidized childcare in California, a new report indicates that the state still has a long way to go to reach a substantial share of its neediest children.

California quietly publishes list of 781 lowest-performing schools – EdSource - Without fanfare or advance notice, the California Department of Education released the list of the state’s poorest-performing schools last week for the first time in four years… In their work with districts, county offices of education do “root-cause” analyses that look beyond low dashboard scores to teacher turnover patterns, labor management issues and principals’ experience, said El Dorado County Superintendent Ed Manansala, who is president of the organization representing the state’s 58 counties, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. “That’s why coherent work with districts and schools becomes important.”

Talented Golden Sierra artists dazzle community – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - “How did they do that?” and “That’s gorgeous!” were just a few of the comments by the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board and community members when viewing an art display in the Board Room. Erica Phillips, Visual Arts teacher at Golden Sierra, is very proud of her students. And the Board Room isn’t their only venue. In 2018, GSJSH students were invited to a showing competition at Folsom Lake College’s Harris Center Art Gallery and took home honors, were published in Style Magazine and have been invited to participate again this year.

Local yard duty saves Sierra School student – Mountain Democrat - While eating a peach one afternoon at Sierra Elementary School, 11-year-old Ashden Berg, of Placerville, learned that asking for help is always the right thing to do. I was eating a peach and didn’t chew very well and started choking,” Ashden said. “I started choking and hit my friend’s arm to get his attention. He called Mrs. Delgado our yard duty over to help. She stood me up and performed the Heimlich maneuver on me and then I got everything out.” Etelia Delgado, 57, of Placerville, said to her, it was just another day at work and she was glad she was in the right place at the right time.

Exchange students bringing the globe to El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - Learning about other countries may seem like it requires traveling thousands of miles. But some families in El Dorado County have figured out how to experience other cultures from across the kitchen table, by hosting international exchange students. While it’s not clear how long international exchange students have been coming to El Dorado County from across the globe, it’s been at least since Janice Reese and Bridget Wright were students at El Dorado High School about 30 years ago. Reese and Wright, who now work with the Center for Educational Travel USA (CETUSA) to place exchange students in the county, fondly remember their peers from other countries.

Harms named cross country coach of the year – Mountain Democrat - The National Federation of State High School Associations has named El Dorado High School’s cross country coach Dwayne “Peanut” Harms the 2018 California Coach of the Year for both boys and girls cross country. Harms began volunteering at El Dorado High School as a freshman girls basketball assistant coach in 2000-01 and has been coaching there for the past 18 years.

Leaders in the making – Mountain Democrat - More than 100 local teens had a chance to hone in on their leadership skills this week, through a day of discussion, development and dancing at Markham Middle School. Students from Markham, Sierra Ridge and Herbert Green middle schools, along with the Camino School, met Wednesday for a presentation from the California Association of Student Leaders (CASL). The CASL organization travels statewide to help build positive leaders at elementary schools all the way up through high schools.

Registration is now open for Gold Trail Union School District – Mountain Democrat - Parents will have the opportunity to register their children for the 2019-20 school year in the Gold Trail Union School District beginning Tuesday, Feb. 19. Registration information and forms will be available in school offices. Currently enrolled students do not need to enroll again.

Ponderosa Hands4Hope Club helps local dogs – Mountain Democrat - The Ponderosa Hands4Hope Club raised $557.97 during a December bake sale and last week the group presented the funds to Foothill Dog Rescue. With the donation of these funds, Foothill Dog Rescue can fully vet eight new dogs rescue to adoption.

Photo: Pondo soccer raises money for cancer awareness – Mountain Democrat - The Ponderosa High School boys soccer team, pictured before winning their league opener with Rio Linda Tuesday, will host their third annual Breast Cancer Awareness Match Jan. 15. The Bruins will play Nevada Union High School and proceeds from snack bar sales will go to the El Dorado Pink Ribbon fund. There will also be a half time penalty kick shootout sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Indian Creek Kindergarten registration opens Feb. 11 – Mountain Democrat - Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK) registration packets will be available in the Indian Creek front office on Feb. 11. There are many items required to enroll a child in school for the first time and school officials want to ensure families have plenty of time to get the necessary documents together for registration.

New art curriculum adds vibrance to area schools – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Hills artist and teacher Jamie Lentzner spent years discerning what would make the ideal elementary school art program, first as a parent volunteer in her own children’s schools. When she was approached by the Lake Forest Elementary School Parent Teacher Council to help create a new art program in early 2018, Lentzner got right to work, writing her ideas down to make the Color Wheel Art Curriculum currently being piloted at Lake Forest.

Photo: Students talk “Freedom of the Press” – Mountain Democrat (attached) - At the 82nd annual Student Speakers Contest, El Dorado High School senior Jake White won with his speech on “Freedom of the Press: What does it mean?” From the left, participating students Abby Loomis, Emmet Wilson, Joshua Fiak, Jake White and Carlo McCallick prepare to read their speeches on the same topic.

Photo gallery: Crab feed fun with EDH Rotary – Mountain Democrat - Matais Ovando, El Dorado Hills Rotary Youth Exchange student from Bolivia who is attending Oak Ridge High School this year, has some fun with the Lucky Hat and event guest Rex Everett of Shingle Springs. Democrat photo by Noel Stack

STOPit app keeps Oak Ridge Safe – Village Life - Oak Ridge High School has become a little safer since a new app called STOPit was implemented by Principal Aaron Palm last January. The app allows students to report threats made against the school as well as inappropriate or dangerous behaviors observed or experienced… “I am glad that students have a way to communicate and help to maintain a safe environment,” Palm added.

Students getting an out-of-this-world experience – Village Life/Mountain Democrat - From 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, Brooks and Buckeye elementary school students will connect live with astronauts orbiting Earth in the International Space Station. The community is invited to tune in and witness this historic event that will broadcast live from Brooks Elementary School’s gym on NASA TV at nasa.gov/ntv… “We are ecstatic for the opportunity our students have to make the real-world connection between learning in the classroom and what scientists actually are doing,” said Jonathan Lee, principal of William Brooks Elementary.

Photo: Welcome, Future Trojans! – Village Life (attached) – Marina Village Middle School students Abby Love, 13, and classmate Estella Roseveare, 14, pose for a photo at Oak Ridge High School’s open house for incoming freshmen Jan. 26. Abby is looking forward to playing Trojans softball and Estella wants to play tennis.

Academic Decathlon: Is Oak Ridge ready for a three-peat? – Village Life - On Jan. 30 at Union Mine High School, the Speech and Interview portion of the 2019 High School Academic Decathlon will commence… Oak Ridge junior Harleen Bal, the team’s co-captain with Melissa Gomes, said, “This year is about getting everyone excited, to get information out to the team and to teach actual content about the 1960s.” Harleen, whose favorite topic is history, said that starting in November, she puts in about 14 hours of studying a week.

Student of the Year – Village Life (attached) – The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recently celebrated the accomplishments of lakeview Elementary School student Chloe Griffith, who earned the title of Student of the Year. Principal Kathy Miracle commended Chloe, a fifth-grader, for all of the academic effort she put into receiving straight A’s. She called Chloe the kind of student who steps up to volunteer and is accepting of others.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Applications for Summer Meal Programs – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Commends New K-12 California Arts Standards – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond praised the recent adoption of new California Arts Standards by the State Board of Education, stating it is a critical step in enhancing creativity in students and preparing students for California’s “creative economy.” The last update to the state’s arts standards was in 2001.

Gov. Newsom and his school spending ideas are popular with Californians, poll finds – EdSource - Californians overwhelmingly support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent proposals to increase funding for all levels of education and are optimistic that he and the legislature can work together to accomplish a lot, a new poll found. An eye-opening 70 percent of California adults favor Newsom’s budget ideas in general, according to the survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan statewide research and policy organization.

Database: California's lowest-performing schools – EdSource - For the first time since the 2015 federal education law was enacted, California identified 781 district and charter schools for 'comprehensive support and improvement'; 481 are schools receiving Title I federal aid selected for poor performance under the California School Dashboard (CSI Low Perform); 300 are high schools whose two-year graduation rate averaged less than 67 percent (CSI Grad).

Trump renews call for 'school choice' legislation in State of the Union speech – EdSource - Kicking up on an issue that has virtually disappeared from his policy agenda, President Donald Trump called on Congress in his State of the Union speech to approve “school choice” legislation — without providing any details about what he has in mind.

Gov. Newsom asks to review impact of California charter schools on district finances EdSource - In one fallout from the recently settled strike of teachers in Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to establish a panel of experts to examine the impact of charter school growth on district finances.

Gun violence in schools and college affordability highest priorities for California voters, poll finds – EdSource - In a poll released Monday, 2,000 registered voters ranked making schools safe from gun violence and college affordability the most important education issues in California, far higher than early education, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top priority on his children’s policy agenda.

Chronic absenteeism in California schools up slightly, new data show – EdSource - It is the most obvious and important contributor to student success and yet something many California school districts are not doing well: getting students to show up for school. More than 1 in 10 students statewide were chronically absent from school in 2017-18, meaning they missed at least 10 percent of the school year, according to recent data released by the California Department of Education.

Vote now for Tahoe Daily Tribune Student of the MonthTahoe Daily Tribune – Poll

Union Mine to honor memory of Sky Mote – Mountain Democrat - A special presentation honoring former Union Mine High School student Sky Mote will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, between the girls varsity and boys varsity basketball games. Associated Student Body President Kierstin Parker and ASB Vice President Cassie Regan will present a plaque in the Marine’s honor, which will be on display that night for those who want to see it.

Photo gallery: Backtrack Vocals performs at Ponderosa High School – Mountain Democrat - Singer Johnny Bufalo performs freestyle beatbox during a recent El Dorado County Community Concert Association student outreach performance featuring the award-winning a cappella group, Backtrack Vocals. The group performed for Ponderosa High School jazz and choir students last week at the high school.

Academic Decathletes prepare for their Olympics, community volunteers still needed – Mountain Democrat - t’s that time of year again, and El Dorado County decathletes are preparing for the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon Regional competition hosted at Union Mine High School at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. The event is open to the public and will take place in Theatre at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane in El Dorado. Teams from Union Mine, Ponderosa, El Dorado and Oak Ridge high schools will compete for the opportunity to represent El Dorado County at the California State Academic Decathlon.

School field dedicated to late teen – Village Life - The restored field at Marina Village and Lake Forest schools was dedicated to former Marina Village student Erin Hauge during a celebration on Jan. 12. The 14-year-old was killed in 1990 by a classmate’s younger brother, one month after walking across the same field during her eighth-grade promotion ceremony. Erin lived in Shingle Springs with her older brother and parents, Dave and Cindy, and attended Rescue Union schools since kindergarten. She would have started Ponderosa High School that fall.

Kindness bagged up: Oak Ridge club lends a caring hand­ - Village Life - Student Katie Kenny started the Oak Ridge High School Care Package Club after she had an epiphany while volunteering at Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento. “I came to the realization that many homeless people in our area are in need of items beyond the meals, which are offered at shelters,” the high school junior shared with Village Life. “After sending out numerous care packages to my sister, who is in college, I wanted to make something similar and give it to the homeless. Everyone can relate to the feeling of happiness after receiving a package in the mail and I thought that other Oak Ridge students might be excited (about) such a concept.” ­

Amgen Tour of California returns to South Lake Tahoe – Mountain Democrat - The Amgen Tour of California, America’s premier cycling event, returns to South Lake Tahoe for the Men’s Stage 2 finish from Rancho Cordova at Heavenly Mountain Resort, May 13, 2019.

See how the 2018 teacher salaries compare across CaliforniaSacramento Bee (video)

This Week in California Education­ (Podcast) - EdSource - This week Louis and John discuss the dramatic plans for early childhood development and education that Gov. Gavin Newsom presented in his initial budget this month.

Required tests roadblock for many aspiring California teachers – EdSource - Nearly half of California’s potential teachers struggle to pass a gauntlet of standardized tests required for them to earn a credential, making it more difficult for the state to put a dent in a persistent teacher shortage. But that could change soon, as officials at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing look to reform the entire landscape of tests that teachers have to take to enter the profession.

Soroptimists honor South Tahoe High and Whittell High girls - Ten senior girls at South Tahoe High School and Whittell High Schools were honored by the Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe club on Wednesday for their service to the community and their leadership, athletic and academic achievements… South Tahoe High - Emily Dilts, Summer Furrer, Rita McCann, Megan McGill, Kylie Pilkinton, Zyena Tolhurst

GT School of Technology invites the community to Tinker Night (attached) – Georgetown (attached) – The community is invited to a free event to use their imagination to tinker, test and build. The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 25. Some of the projects include retractor cars, foil art, puff rocket, critter capsule, connect-a-pult, colors of light, buzz off, simple motor plus, gravity defying frog and more. What you make, you get to take home.  

Local teacher exhibits photos at Cameron Park Library – Mountain Democrat - El  Dorado Union School District instructor Chris Plewa has been selected as one of the photographers to exhibit his photographs at the Cameron Park Library. His photo series is titled “California” and represents scenes from around the state which evoke memories of growing up in Scotland. Plewa grew up in Scotland where he became accustomed to expansive landscapes and unpredictable weather as he ventured out into the hills in all seasons.

Women’s Fund Scholarship applications available now – Mountain Democrat - Applications are now available for Women’s Fund El Dorado’s (WFED) Wickline Scholarship. The Wickline Scholarship Fund was established to assist women over the age of 25 in overcoming personal difficulties by pursuing post-secondary education. Since 2012, WFED has awarded $27,000 Wickline Scholarship dollars, making a difference in the lives of 20 women.

Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony celebrates 150 years with summer festival, tickets on sale now – Mountain Democrat - Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony is celebrating 150 years of Japanese-American heritage, arts and cuisine this year and will hold a special Sesquicentennial Wakamatsu Farm Festival this summer. The WakamatsuFest150 will take place June 6-9 and be hosted at Wakamatsu Farm, site of the first Japanese colony in the country. This four day festival will celebrate the historic date of the first Japanese colonists’ arrival at Wakamatsu Farm on June 8, 1869.

Art and Wine With Something MORE returns Saturday – Village Life - For those looking for unique artwork with a positive effect on the community, Art and Wine With Something MORE has just the ticket. The 15th annual Art and Wine With Something MORE, hosted by Placerville’s Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises, Inc. (MORE), will be from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Forni Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. “This event is meant to teach people about our clients here at MORE,” said Susie Davies, MORE’s chief executive officer. “We don’t want our clients seen as people with disabilities; we want them seen as artists.”

Should children attend full-day kindergarten? California law may soon require it – Sacramento Bee - California may soon require that all the state’s kindergarteners attend a full day of school, if a bill introduced last week becomes law. Under the legislation, schools must transition from half-day programs to full-day programs by the 2021-22 school year. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, introduced Assembly Bill 197, which proposes that the minimum school day for full-day kindergarten be “the same number of minutes per schoolday that is offered to pupils in 1st grade.”

California Receives Nearly $11 Million Federal Early Childhood Education Grant – CSE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award for $10,620,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. It was one of 45 states/territories that received the grant award.

Trauma in Paradise: A California school system focuses on mental health after devastating fire – EdSource - The flames have long since died down, but Fiona Roberts, a high school senior, remains haunted by the memory of being trapped with her mother in a slow-motion race for their lives on the morning of Nov. 8, the day the Camp Fire swallowed Paradise. Driving from their home in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the left-hand side of the road, they gasped at the pop of backyard propane tanks exploding and the sight of embers the size of butterflies swirling in the air.

Help EdSource shine a light on challenges in rural education – EdSource - There is nothing more fundamental to a student’s success in school than his or her ability to be there…  We at EdSource see it as our responsibility to shine a light on issues like this and search for solutions as part of our mission to cover all aspects of education throughout California. We want to tell the stories of teachers, students and their families who are overcoming challenges to educate the state’s next generation.

Just days into governorship, Newsom a master of complexities of California budget – EdSource – “I love this stuff,” Gov. Gavin Newsom gushed during the presentation in Sacramento this week of his first state budget — which, at $209 billion, is larger than that of most countries. As Newsom dissected virtually every cranny of the huge public enterprise that is California, the differences between his leadership and the lack of it in Washington, D.C., could not have been clearer.

El Dorado County's newly-elected officials sworn in – South Tahoe Now - Two El Dorado County Supervisors and eight other elected officials were sworn into office on Monday, January 7 during a ceremony in the Board of Supervisors meeting room in Placerville. El Dorado County Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne N. Kingsbury administered the oath. Elected officials taking the oath of office were: Philip Mosbacher, newly-elected Surveyor; John D’Agostini, re-elected Sheriff; Joe Harn, re-elected Auditor/Controller; Vern Pierson, re-elected District Attorney; Karen Coleman, newly-elected Treasurer/Tax Collector; Janelle Horne, newly elected Recorder Clerk; Karl Weiland, re-elected Assessor; and Edward Manansala, re-elected County Superintendent of Schools. 

Measure C provides enhanced schools at MLUSD – Placerville Newswire/Mountain Democrat - After their generous community passed Measure C in 2016, Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) students came back to class this fall with a renewed sense of pride made possible by massive efforts to enhance Indian Creek and Herbert C. Green Schools. Superintendent Marcy Guthrie expressed, “This was a long and thoughtful process that ultimately accomplished our mission to improve facilities for our students, staff, and community. I’m thankful for all of the hard work invested over several years, and grateful for the opportunity to work with partners to save taxpayer dollars.” 

PUSD takes major steps to support children affected by trauma – Mountain Democrat – During a recent in-service day at the Placerville Union School District (PUSD), all district team members convened in the multi-purpose room at Markham Middle School to gather comprehensive knowledge and tools to help students who may be facing traumatic challenges. More than 300 people participated and included school administrators, teachers, nurse faculty, bus drivers, maintenance, custodial, coaches, yard duties, and more. PUSD Superintendent Eric Bonniksen welcomed the large group and expressed, “I’m glad to see you here this morning. Everyone connects with our students in some manner, so it’s important for our entire district team to hear this message... 

Community mourns coach Clark’s death – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - “A true gift,” “a shining example,” “an inspiration” — words of praise and heartbreak poured from the community at the news that esteemed Oak Ridge High School football coach Jason Clark, 40, died Jan. 4… ORHS Principal Aaron Palm said the Trojan community is in “a state of shock” at the sudden loss. “Coach Clark was the kindest man who really had a heart for kids,” he said. “I simply cannot overstate the positive impact he has had on our campus. It will be a long time before our school recovers from his loss.” 

Now recruiting judges for Poetry Out Loud 2019 season – Mountain Democrat - Do you love poetry? Do you like to help high school students enrich their learning experience? Then Poetry Out Loud might be for you. El Dorado Arts Council is seeking interested individuals to volunteer as poetry recitation judges for the Poetry Out Loud 2018/19 season. What does a judge do? Attend school-wide competitions at local high school campuses where they will evaluate students’ poetry recitations.

School Districts Bus Runners to California International Marathon – Mountain Democrat/Placerville Newswire – It was an extremely cold morning in December when more than 9,000 runners participated in the California International Marathon (CIM). To help transport individuals to the start line at Auburn Folsom Road in Folsom, Rescue Union School District (RUSD) donated seven buses and seven dedicated drivers. RUSD Superintendent Cheryl Olson said, “It is a privilege to be part of this annual celebration, and I’m proud of our drivers who went beyond the call of duty to make this possible… 

Life Changer of the Year Nominee Profile: Delrene Tschida – National Life Group – Delrene Tschida was nominated by her spouse, Paul Tschida. Mrs. Tschida has spent her life fighting to improve the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Her mission is personal—both her parents are deaf, and American Sign Language is her first language. Growing up, she learned first-hand the daily struggles deaf people face in society. But that’s only part of the picture. The other, more vital parts are her innate gift for teaching and passion for helping people. 

EDCOE’s Coleen Johnson Receives Statewide Award – Style Magazine (attached) – Coleen Johnson, the executive director of personnel services at the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) was honored with an award recognizing contributions to county offices of education, leadership within their committee, and services to students in California. The California County Superintendents Education Services Association presented the Personnel Administrative Services Steering Committee’s Star Award to Johnson, who began her career in education in 1992 as a teacher before moving onto administration. (see attached) 

Hope blooms in wake of Paradise burning as local students pitch in – Mountain Democrat - A lovely phoenix rose from the ashes of the November fire in Paradise — in the form of actual roses — beautiful white blooms that on Saturday, Jan. 5, graced the wedding of a young woman and her groom, courtesy of a group of Ponderosa High School students and grads… That hope manifested in a fragrant room at Ponderosa High in Shingle Springs on Friday, Jan. 4, as students and former students gathered to create beauty. Not only did the volunteers work on the bridal bouquet consisting of plump white roses, wax flowers, eucalyptus and hypericum berries, but the same scented wonders were used in artfully designed decorations that would bring the wedding venue to life. 

Congrats, coach Yates – Mountain Democrat - Ponderosa High School coach Mike Yates, center, was inducted into the Optimist Hall of Fame for his dedication and commitment to encourage and train youth to take their volleyball skills to the next level. The ceremony was held Dec. 8 at the 35th annual Optimist High School Girls’ Volleyball All Star games at El Camino High School. Yates is seen here with Matt MacDonald, Optimist girls volleyball assistant coordinator, from Bear River High School, right, and John Grix, Optimist girls volleyball coordinator, from Rio Americano High School. 

Golden Sierra Grizzlies Succeed in California’s First Cyber Robotics Coding Competition – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Finals were held for California’s first Cyber Robotics Coding Competition in Stockton Dec. 15. Alex Marshall, Tyran Hamlin, Kyrtis Peoples, Nikiah Terra, Cannon Siracusa, and Dylan Bingham represented Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School (GSJSHS). 

The Jeepers Jamboree scholarship – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – The Jeppers Jamboree Scholarship is a career, technical scholarship including computer tech, truck driving, building trades, engineering, HVAC, visual arts, mechanics, welding, firefighting, woodworking, drafting and more. The scholarship is available to Golden Sierra High School seniors, with a 2.0 GPA or higher, who will be attending college or trade school following high school. 

Student of the Year: Mateo Medina – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recognized Mateo Medina as William Brooks Elementary School’s Student of the Year at a breakfast meeting earlier this month. The fifth-grader was commended for his work ethic in the classroom and on the basketball court. “He gives his best ever in all areas,” said teacher JenniBeth Diaz, adding that Mateo is kind and has a great attitude. 

Don Semon Named New Director of Health and Human Services Agency – EDC Press Release - The Board of Supervisors today appointed Don Semon as the County's Director of Health And Human Services Agency, effective February 2, 2019. Semon was previously Director of Child Support Services since 2014. "We are delighted that someone of Don's caliber and experience will guide the County's various and far-reaching efforts on health and welfare issues to help residents stay healthy and self-sufficient," said Don Ashton, Chief Administrative Officer. 

Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal adds money for pensions, increases COLA – CSBA - Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first state budget proposal was unveiled today, bringing with it expected investments in early education and in health care as the state finds itself with a hefty budget surplus of more than $21 billion, as reported by the Associated Press. Despite modest growth to the Proposition 98 guarantee, the budget proposal is overall encouraging and demonstrates a commitment from the new Governor to uphold the Local Control Funding Formula with a 3.46 percent COLA and to addresses the issue of CalSTRS contribution increases with a total investment of $3 billion. 

School districts will be required to verify they’re fixing California’s lowest-performing schools – EdSource - y the end of January, the state will publish the initial list of hundreds of low-performing California schools that must receive intensive help under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which Congress passed in late 2015. On Wednesday, the State Board of Education approved how districts with any of those schools must verify what they’re doing to turn those schools around. 

Gov. Newsom proposing to expand services for babies and toddlers – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce plans to spend big on babies and toddlers, significantly expanding a range of programs, from helping parents care for their small children at home to identifying developmental delays early. In his first budget proposal, which is due to the Legislature by Thursday, Newsom plans to propose $100 million to expand a home-visiting program — in which nurses and social workers visit young, low-income parents to give health and parenting advice — and another $100 million for developmental screenings, according to a document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team. 

Michael Kirst's parting advice: more teacher and principal training is critical to success of local control – EdSource - Michael Kirst retires this week after eight years as president of the State Board of Education, satisfied that the key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown’s education policies he helped create are solidly in place. But in an interview, he expressed worry that a failure to sufficiently fund training for teachers and principals in the new academic standards, school climate and other supports for students could undermine expectations for achievement and erode the public’s faith in the new system. 

Gov. Newsom wants universal preschool for low-income children in California to be phased in over three years - Within days of being sworn in as California’s chief executive, Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to put forward a three-year plan to achieve universal preschool in California for all low-income 4-year-olds, in an attempt to implement a campaign promise pledging a major expansion of early education programs. 

With new hires, California's teaching corps becomes more diverse – EdSource - When Rachel Valdivia-Ornelaz attended elementary school near Oxnard during the 1950s, none of her teachers were Latino. Later, over the course of a decades-long career as an elementary school teacher in Oxnard, she watched that pattern change, especially during the last few years. 

Landmark reforms championed by Gov. Brown leave deep imprint on California education – EdSource - When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office he will leave behind a set of sweeping education reforms that occurred during his governorship, representing what many education leaders consider the most extensive shakeup of California’s K-12 public education system over any comparable period in the state’s history. 

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces Guide of Social Emotional Learning Resources – CDE - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today the release of “Social Emotional Learning in California: A Guide to Resources.” The guide was developed by a multi-agency team that included experts in the field and members of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Social and Emotional Learning State Team, a group that has been meeting since 2016 with the goal of advancing social and emotional learning. 

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Calls Governor Newsom's Budget a Home Run – CDE - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20. “Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said. 

Lupita Cortez Alcalá Sworn In as Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 9 – CDE - Lupita Cortez Alcalá was sworn in as Chief Deputy to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond on Wednesday, January 9, at the State Board of Education meeting after the board approved her appointment. She will be the first Latina to serve in the position. “Lupita is a proven education leader with the experience, dedication, and talent to serve effectively as Chief Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education,” said Thurmond. “She has deep knowledge of education policy and a record filled with achievements.”

Measure C provides enhanced schools at MLUSD – Placerville News Wire/Mountain Democrat - After their generous community passed Measure C in 2016, Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) students came back to class this fall with a renewed sense of pride made possible by massive efforts to enhance Indian Creek and Herbert C. Green Schools. Superintendent Marcy Guthrie expressed, “This was a long and thoughtful process that ultimately accomplished our mission to improve facilities for our students, staff, and community. I’m thankful for all of the hard work invested over several years, and grateful for the opportunity to work with partners to save taxpayer dollars.” 

Photo gallery: EDHS woodshop toy event – Mountain Democrat - Maya Ballesteros, 3, of Placerville is super excited to receive a wooden toy truck at the annual El Dorado High School wood shop class holiday party on Dec. 10. 

Board of Supervisors Welcomes El Dorado County Youth Commission – Mountain Democrat/Georgetown Gazette (attached) - In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission. Each school year, students are appointed to the Youth Commission by the County Board of Supervisors to help develop and express the opinions, ideas, and vision of El Dorado County youth by working with local government and community decision-makers. 

Join the Peer Council – Village Life - The El Dorado County Peer Council in Placerville is currently inviting new student volunteers to participate. Students in grades 8 to 12 who attend public or private schools in El Dorado County can take an active role in the local juvenile justice system. Peer Council is a collaborative program of the county’s Probation Department and the Health and Human Services Agency… Students interested in participating in the Peer Council program in Placerville are asked to sign up and apply online by Jan. 4 at sites.google.com/edcgov.us/peercouncil-pv/. Students accepted into the program will be notified regarding next steps and training. 

Folsom State Prison refurbishes record number of bikes – Folsom Telegraph - …The local organizations that picked up bicycles to donate included New Morning Youth, for 45 foster youth in El Dorado County; Big Brothers/Big Sisters in El Dorado County, for 45 youth; Powerhouse Ministries in Folsom, for 23 recipients; Union Gospel Mission in Sacramento, who will be taking 70 bicycles to Camp Fire victims in Paradise; Alameda County, for 100 foster youth; Green Valley School in El Dorado County, for five youth; Shingle Springs Montessori, for five youth; Child Advocates of El Dorado County, for 13 recipients; and El Dorado County Office of Education, for six recipients.


Good to know


State Superintendent Torlakson Criticizes Safety Commission for Ignoring Gun Control, Seeking to Eliminate Policy to Make School Discipline More Fair – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on the report of the federal School Safety Commission. The commission was put together as a response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 14 students and three teachers, while injuring dozens of others.


Paradise High seniors lost almost everything in Camp Fire, but are determined to salvage their final year – EdSource - Last weekend Paradise High School seniors were supposed to don ties and shimmering dresses and dance the night away at their Winter Ball. This week would have been Christmas Spirit Week, with activities like an ugly sweater contest and Christmas sock and pajamas days. They would have been enjoying their final year of high school together.


Los Angeles teachers plan to strike Jan. 10, union says – EdSource - United Teachers of Los Angeles has announced teachers intend to strike Jan. 10, after what the union called “20 months of fruitless bargaining and lies and manipulation on the part of LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner.”


Trump administration’s school safety report met with harsh criticism in California – EdSource - The long-awaited report from the Trump Administration’s school safety commission is being met by a chorus of criticism from the California education community, with state officials and representatives for school administrators joining youth advocates and union leaders in decrying some of the report’s key recommendations.


With sparse state funding, California districts get creative in addressing student health – EdSource - As pressures grow on schools to address students’ physical and mental health, including the stress and trauma they may experience in their homes and neighborhoods, many California educators are acknowledging that they don’t have the resources they need to respond appropriately.


Brown appointees to comprise majority on California's state board of education after Newsom takes office  - EdSource - California’s governor appoints all the members of the State Board of Education, a powerful force in shaping education policy in the state. But when incoming governor Gavin Newsom is sworn in on Jan. 7, the majority of the 11-member board, all appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, will remain.


What California can learn from universal preschool in other states – EdSource - s momentum builds in California to expand early childhood education programs, the state has the opportunity to look outside its borders and learn from other states and cities that have moved in the direction of offering universal preschool.

Rural Professional Learning Network Seminar
– Policy Analysis for California Education - Rural school districts face unique challenges in procuring funds, recruiting staff, and obtaining high-quality technical assistance. This environment creates challenges in implementing best practices, including in mathematics instruction… In this seminar, based on a recent PACE report, Dr. Tom Timar, Dr. Arun Ramanathan, and leaders from El Dorado County Office of Education will discuss lessons learned from a rural network in El Dorado County… Friday, January 11, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm, The Citizen Hotel, 926 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814, RSVP through this link >>

Guest column: Introducing The 1974 — Lake Tahoe Community College’s new student newspaper – Tahoe Tribune - For the first time, Lake Tahoe Community College has a student newspaper — The 1974, named in honor of the year of LTCC's founding. This publication, created by the new student Journalism Club in partnership with the Office of Student Life at LTCC, will come out once per quarter crammed with interesting stories, feature articles, interviews with interesting Coyotes from around campus, advice from the Coyote columnist, student club updates, and much more. The 1974 welcomes contributions from community members, including story ideas or finished pieces to share with our campus and community. We'll also have advertising space available for getting the word out about great deals and opportunities to our students.

PUSD Takes Major Steps to Support Children Affected by Trauma – Placerville News Wire - During a recent in-service day at the Placerville Union School District (PUSD), all district team members convened in the multi-purpose room at Markham Middle School to gather comprehensive knowledge and tools to help students who may be facing traumatic challenges. More than 300 people participated and included school administrators, teachers, nurse faculty, bus drivers, maintenance, custodial, coaches, yard duties, and more. PUSD Superintendent Eric Bonniksen welcomed the large group and expressed, “I’m glad to see you here this morning. Everyone connects with our students in some manner, so it’s important for our entire district team to hear this message.”

Board of Supervisors Welcomes El Dorado County Youth Commission – Placerville News Wire - In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission…. “We are privileged to partner with our school districts and County Board of Supervisors in supporting the development of our young adults,” noted Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools. “We are confident that El Dorado County students will emerge as strong leaders at the local, state, and national levels.”

UMHS Honorary Football Captain Shines