Local Education News

South Tahoe High and Whittell High girls honored by Soroptimists of South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - Nine young women from the south shore were honored by the Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe (SISLT) club during a luncheon on Wednesday. They earned the "Young Women of Distinction" award for their exceptional academic achievements, leadership abilities, and community service. From South Tahoe High School: Carissa Buchholz, Kayla Mason, Tyler Pevenage, Brenda Santana, and Sadie Waldie. 

South Tahoe High students 'building' up their skills for the workforce – South Tahoe Now - Gone are the old high school woodshop prerequisite napkin holders and cutting boards. In their place are sheds and dog houses built to code, giving their creators valuable life and work skills for their futures. Students in the South Tahoe High Woodshop 1 classes have been building dog houses, complete with insulation and roofs and sides built with techniques found in residential construction. 

Viking Corner: This week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - The students of South Tahoe High School came back from a two-week holiday vacation with motivation to finish the term and start their new year’s resolutions. Final exams are next week, Winter Formal is coming soon, and winter sports are continuing. Finals are next week on Thursday and Friday, which end the first term of the 2019-2020 year. While students bear down on studying, here are some of their resolutions for 2020: 

Career Day Presents Possibilities for Students – Windfall Magazine (attached) - At El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Charter College and Career Prep School (CCP), 14 high school students participated in a unique career day at Ken Lowry Preschool Center to learn about employment options in the child development industry. Students toured classrooms, playgrounds, received information about employment opportunities, and asked questions. 

Photo gallery: A heroic night for Boys and Girls Club – Mountain Democrat - The community showed its support for the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County's Western Slope at the 22nd annual Heroes Night Saturday, Jan. 11. at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. The fundraising event included a social hour, silent auctions, a raffle and a delicious barbecue tri-tip dinner. Dozens of dedicated Boys and Girls Club volunteers helped make Heroes Night possible serving food, drinks and helping in any way they could. 

Art and wine: What could be MORE fun? – Mountain Democrat - Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises brings the community together for a night of art, wine and food. The Art & Wine with Something MORE fundraiser is a celebration around which the entire community can rally. The fabulous 16th annual evening takes place at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in the Forni Building, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Tickets are $40 per person or $75 for two. 

Hands4Hope boutique keeps families warm – VillageLife - Hands4Hope recently completed its 10th annual Winter Boutique for Foster Families at El Dorado Hills Town Center, providing 442 individuals in need with warm winter clothing and blankets. The boutique, held the first two weekends in December, was organized and hosted by a youth-led committee that coordinated every aspect of the event from clothing collection and set up to decor and music. 

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Praises Governor Newsom’s 2020 Budget – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020–21… “Today, we were pleased to hear that many of the budget announcements were aligned with the work we have been doing. Governor Newsom and his team have produced a budget that is comprehensive, aligns with our goals to ensure equitable education for all students, and allows us to focus on helping our most vulnerable students in underserved communities.” 

New push in California to increase diversity among math and science teachers – EdSource - When State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond took office in 2019, he announced that recruiting more male teachers from diverse backgrounds would be one of his top priorities. That is a principal focus of two new offices he has set up in the California Department of Education that are charged with attracting black and other teachers who more closely match the racial and ethnic makeup of the state’s student population. 

In his own words: Gov. Newsom explains his budget proposals on early education – EdSource - On Jan. 10, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his proposed budget for California for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, 2020. Departing from tradition, instead of making short remarks and turning to his finance director to provide more detail, Newsom spent nearly three hours explaining his budget himself. By far the most extensive remarks were about education, an indication of the high priority Newsom is placing on it. 

Years of reform efforts contribute to declining African-American suspension rates in California – EdSource - After nearly a decade of school discipline reform in California, the suspension rate for African-American students continued to decline last year, according to recently released state data. The statewide suspension rate was 3.5 percent in 2018-19, the same as the year before, but the suspension rate among black students fell from 9.4 percent to 9.1 percent, a drop of more than 3,500 suspensions, according to the California Department of Education. 

California governor proposes nearly $1 billion to tackle teacher preparation, shortages – EdSource - Anticipating nearly $4 billion more in revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges in the next state budget, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday proposed to continue massive investments for teacher recruitment and training and for transforming special education. 

California governor wants to expand preschool and create new early child development department – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is moving forward on his promise to offer subsidized preschool to all low-income 4-year-olds and is proposing to consolidate most other subsidized child care programs in California in a new Department of Early Childhood Development.

South Tahoe High ALLY Club keeps track of SnowGlobe lost and found items – South Tahoe Now - One can only imagine the amount of lost and found items accumulated during three days of a music festival where thousands of people attend. To help with that at the SnowGlobe Music Festival, the South Tahoe High School Ally Club was recruited to operate the Lost & Found booth at the event. In return, Chad Donnelly, the founder and CEO of SnowGlobe, gives the club a donation to help with the club's activities.

Signing ‘champions’ learning to better communicate – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Most locals know Gene Harris as “Farmer Gene” of Farmer Gene’s Christmas Trees, seasonally found in El Dorado Hills Town Center. But what they may not know is that Harris is a retired school teacher with a passion for teaching American Sign Language and he shares that passion with students at two local schools — Jackson Elementary School and Marina Village Middle School.

Career Day presents possibilities for students – Mountain Democrat/Placerville Newswire - At El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter College and Career Prep School 14 high school students recently participated in a unique career day at Ken Lowry Preschool Center to learn about employment options in the child development industry. Students toured classrooms, playgrounds, received information about employment opportunities and asked questions.

Board of Supervisors welcomes El Dorado County Youth Commission – Mountain Democrat - In an effort to positively enhance the community and empower future leaders, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission. “It is an honor to collaborate with our school districts and county Board of Supervisors in support of developing young leaders,” noted Dr. Ed Manansala, county superintendent of schools. “We see great potential and promise in this special group of students.”

Hands4Hope boutique keeps families warm – Mountain Democrat - Hands4Hope recently completed its 10th annual Winter Boutique for Foster Families at El Dorado Hills Town Center, providing 442 individuals in need with warm winter clothing and blankets. The boutique, held the first two weekends in December, was organized and hosted by a youth-led committee that coordinated every aspect of the event from clothing collection and set up to decor and music.

Student of the Year: McKenzie Quintello – VillageLife - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills honored Brooks Elementary School Student McKenzie Quintello as Student of the Year. McKenzie, 10, was called “a great role model” and “awesome student leader” who is ready to help and has a good heart. School leaders and teachers, as well as McKenzie’s family, joined the young lady at the Dec. 18 Rotary breakfast.

School Closures Part III – Preparing Schools for Future Power Shutoff (PSPS) Events – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Dear Black Oak Mine Families, We continue to research what is required for our schools to remain open without power from PG&E. This communications includes updates on what we are doing/have planned to safely keep schools open when another power outage event occurs.

Law enforcement spends the day reading with kids and giving away gifts in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - Deputies from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office (EDSO) and officers from the South Lake Tahoe Police Department (SLTPD) joined forces this holiday to help spread cheer and gifts to children in the community. On Saturday, December 21, the deputies and officers collaborated to provide a book reading, meet and greet with Santa and gift-giving to the children of South Lake Tahoe.

ibrary leaders move on to the next chapter – Mountain Democrat - After years of service to the El Dorado County Library two important and devoted librarians, library director Jeanne Amos and systems technician Deborah Raiche have recently added a book titled “Retirement” to their personal shelves… “I became a librarian because it was a natural fit — books, research and helping people all combined into one profession for me. What could be better?” — Jeanne Amos

Students to speak at Speech Trek – Mountain Democrat - Eleanor Stem Allen Memorial Speech Trek is a speaking contest open to all California high school students. This program is an American Association of University Women California project that begins on the branch level with a speech tournament for local students and culminates with three top statewide finalists performing their five-minute speeches at the AAUW California convention/annual meeting in April… The public is invited to the local contest to be held on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 1-5 p.m. at the El Dorado County Federated Church, 1031 Thompson Way in Placerville.

Inspired by service, Scout gives back – Mountain Democrat - Jacob Van Spanje knew since the fifth grade what his future would look like: He was going to enlist in the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where now at age 17 he is currently seeking a nomination and appointment… Currently a senior at Ponderosa High School, the time had come for Jacob to take his last leap in a Scout’s ranking and begin working on his Eagle Scout project.

Eagle Scout and volunteers create living science lab – Mountain Democrat - On Saturday, Nov. 23 an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts, students and community volunteers placed the last three benches and spread wood chips onto the trail for a project in Pollock Pines… Eric Schlavin grew up in Pollock Pines and has taught at Sierra Ridge for 20 years. Schlavin is the student council advisor and teaches seventh and eighth grade science. He saw value in the small stand of trees and the potential for multiple learning experiences.

Lanny Langston: A mind of imagination – Mountain Democrat - Stage lights around Northern California are a bit dimmer as El Dorado County has lost an artistic force. Lanny Langston, who, along with Peter Wolfe, founded Imagination Theater in 1999, died Friday, Dec. 13, at the age of 74. With his endless energy and enthusiasm he’ll always live in my memory as decades younger.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Supports National Human Trafficking Awareness Month – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today recognized January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Human trafficking is a pandemic that crosses all demographic, racial, and socioeconomic lines.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces LCFF Workgroup to Increase Transparency in Process – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he has convened a group of educational partners to discuss ways in which the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) accountability system is providing districts with flexibility to lend support to focus areas that need extra support in order to improve student outcomes.

California’s effort to turn school staff into teachers starts to pay off – EdSource – A state program that recruits classroom aides, food service workers and bus drivers — who are already on campus and invested in local schools — and trains them to become teachers is one innovative way California is trying to combat its teacher shortage. The California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program has helped transform 299 school employees into teachers, with thousands more in the pipeline, according to a new report from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Big promises for little kids: Has California governor delivered on early education? – EdSource - A s he was campaigning for governor, Gavin Newsom made some enormous promises for the youngest Californians and their families — universal preschool, affordable, high-quality child care, six months of paid family leave. And he’s delivered — on the first few steps.

California education issues to watch in 2020 — and predictions of what will happen – EdSource - … I have yet to see the over/under on whether the State Board of Education will pass the next LCAP revision… Meanwhile, let’s get to work on 2020. The prediction scale ranges from 1 to 5 “Fensters,” with 1 meaning no chance and 5 meaning highly likely.

Students in foster care: a quick guide – EdSource - E ach year, thousands of children in California are removed from their homes and placed into foster care due to parental neglect, abuse, or exploitation. During this time, they are considered to be wards or dependents of the court.

The Changing Role of County Offices of Education in Supporting District and School Improvement – PACE - County Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala will present on a panel Friday, December 13, hosted by the Policy Analysis for California Education regarding the changing role of County Offices of Education in supporting district and school improvement. County Offices of Education (COEs) play a key role in the system of support, working with districts to understand their needs and coordinating resources to help them improve.

Help Cal Fire bring Christmas to New Morning Shelter – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Station 43 of Cal Fire’s Amador-El Dorado Unit welcomes all Dec. 14-15 to a Christmas open house and donation drive to benefit youth at New Morning Shelter. The community is asked to bring unwrapped toys or monetary donations that will go to youth housed at the shelter. There will be a raffle, cookies, hot cocoa and coffee, and a visit from Santa Claus himself from 9 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. to the firehouse at 5660 Motherlode Drive.

Stranded passengers receive ‘A Gift to Remember’ – Mountain Democrat - Have you ever wondered what most of America really truly wants deep down inside for Christmas?... Charter University Prep drama students bring to the stage a less than idyllic Christmas scenario in their production of “A Gift to Remember,” adapted by Joseph Robinette from Debbie Macomber’s novella, “A Gift to Last.”…Find out in “A Gift to Remember,” a full-length play performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, and Friday, Dec. 13, and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec 14, in the gym on the Charles  Brown School campus, 6520 Oak Dell Road in El Dorado. Tickets are available at the door.

In the know – Mountain Democrat – Saturday, Dec. 28: Winter Campfire presented by of Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp is a 7 p.m. at El Dorado High School, Studio 81, 561 Canal St. in Placerville. Sugarloaf staff, alumni and campers will present at evening of entertainment. For more information go to SugarloafStationFoundation.org.

Limited open enrollment available – Mountain Democrat - Incoming El Dorado Union High School District ninth grade students who want to attend El Dorado or Union Mine high schools beginning the 2020–21 school year, but who do not reside in the school’s attendance boundary, may submit a “Limited Open Enrollment Request” form. The submission deadline is Dec. 20 by 4 p.m. There are 35 openings available at each site.

Photo gallery: Sounding joy — Hangtown Christmas Parade – Mountain Democrat - Marching bands from El Dorado Union High School District — Union Mine, El Dorado, Ponderosa and Oak Ridge, as well as Edwin Markham Middle School — came together to bring holiday tunes to the 41st Hangtown Christmas Parade Sunday. The parade began on Broadway in Placerville with approximately 80 parade participants marching downtown to Main Street.

Community Partners Support GSJSHS Positive Behavior Incentive Program – Georgetown Gazette - At Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School, our goal is to develop healthy and productive citizens as well as to ensure students attain excellence in academic and career technical education (CTE). In order to acknowledge students who display excellence in academics, CTE, positive behavior and regular attendance, a Positive Behavior Incentive system called LiveSchool has been incorporated into our school program.

Black Oak Mine staff honored with Excellence in Education Award – Georgetown Gazette (attached) At the Nov. 14 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees, members of the maintenance and grounds, transportation, custodial and kitchen staff were honored with an Excellence in Education award by their supervisor, Mark Koontz. In particular, Koontz recognized staff members for their diligent services during the last public safety power shutoff events.

Photo gallery – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Lena Bearden and Abbagael Bearden at the Georgetown Library bazaar raising money for the middle school class at American River Charter School. At the end of the year the class will be attending a trip to Monterey and these funds will help with the trip.

Young shoppers make a list … check it twice – Village Life - An early morning wake-up call was hardly a bother for the nearly 200 children who participated in this year’s Snowball Heroes & Helpers Shopping Event at the El Dorado Hills Target Dec. 7. The youngsters, paired with volunteers from every branch of law enforcement as well as first responders, giggled and happily pushed their carts through the aisles, eager to load them up with necessities like warm coats and boots. Children from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County, CASA and New Morning programs each received a $150 gift card.

Big crowd shows up to welcome Humane Society back to South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) has opened an office in South Lake Tahoe to better serve the community and they celebrated along with a full crowd at their grand opening reception on Tuesday.