Local Education News

The following Local Media Clips are brought to you by Dina Gentry, Communications Director, El Dorado County Office of Education:

Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education: Celebrating success, addressing challenges (by LTUSD BOE)– Tahoe Daily Tribune - It is that time of year again. It is time for the youth in our beautiful community to take the big plunge. We, the members of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education wish to congratulate each and every member of South Tahoe High School and Mount Tallac High School class of 2017 for all their hard work, not just for the last four years, but for the last 12.

Juvenile Treatment Center looks to innovative programming to rehabilitate youth offenders
– Tahoe Daily Tribune - In contrast to the stark facilities of the El Dorado County Juvenile Treatment Center is a hardworking and compassionate staff who has turned to innovative programming in an effort to rehabilitate the county's young offenders, many of whom have grown up around addiction, abuse and neglect. "We operate on a philosophy that programming for each child has to be tailored. It's not a 'one size fits all' for any kid's particular problem set," said El Dorado County Chief Probation Officer Brian Richart.

South Tahoe Middle School holds bike rodeo – Tahoe Daily Tribune - In the spirit of the Tahoe Bike Challenge, South Tahoe Middle School partnered with local cycling groups, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Boys and Girls Club and several other organizations to host the first STMS bike rodeo. At the event, students learned anything from bike safety and maintenance to the environmental impact riding a bike can have.

South Tahoe High School graduates send off full of ‘new hope’
– Tahoe Daily Tribune - South Tahoe High School held its graduation for the class of 2017 Friday and the threat of rain didn’t put a damper on things. As South Tahoe High School's class of 2017 ceremoniously tossed their graduation caps in the air, the theme from "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" began playing over the loudspeakers at Vikings Stadium… Ed Manansala, El Dorado County superintendent of schools, closed out the opening speeches and said that being a successful graduate will involve three Ps—being passionate, prioritizing your life and being proud of what you do.

Showtime at the county fair
– Mountain Democrat - Fair time means carnival rides, cotton candy, exhibits and of course livestock. FFA and 4-H members are a big part of county fairs and the El Dorado County Fair is no exception…Jake Boudreau, 17, a senior at Ponderosa High School, showed his 13-month old steer Bobby Q a 1,284-pound Black Angus mix.

$475,000 awarded to 118 South Tahoe High Seniors - During a series of recent awards ceremonies, South Tahoe High(STHS) students were recognized for academic success, attendance and bilingual immersion.

The annual Senior Awards Night saw 118 students recognized with $475,000 in scholarships. During the evening, 64 individual presentations honored one or more students for achievements.

Outside of the awards night, STHS is celebrating the fact that 24 of their 26 athletic teams went on to regional and/or state championships, two students were accepted to the California State Honor Band, both students performances this year (White Christmas and You Can't Take it With You) were before full audiences and digital photography students won two of three first place awards for the state of California.

Kudos: Primo’s helps make fundraiser a success – Tahoe Daily News - National Honor Society at South Tahoe High School would like to thank everyone at Primo's Italian Bistro for a very successful fundraiser last month! Everyone raved about the delicious in-house-made pasta and sauces. Mr. Jim Primo generously invited the students again next year to host once more, and they loved being part of it. Thank you, Primo's! The students chose to donate proceeds to a local cause, Sierra Child & Family Services.

STHS recognizes students at annual banquet
– Lake Tahoe News - At the annual South Tahoe High School awards banquet $475,000 in scholarships was bestowed upon students. The event recognized 118 students. It was noted that 24 of 26 athletic teams competed in regional and/or state championships. On several occasions during the school year, STHS recognized individual students for perfect attendance over a certain period of time. In total, 187 students were recognized.

South Tahoe High recognizes senior athletes of the year – Tahoe Daily Tribune - South Tahoe High School held its awards ceremony for seniors Wednesday, May 31, recognizing members of the class of 2017 for their achievements over the academic year. As part of the ceremony each year, a collection of senior student athletes are recognized for their work both in competition and in the classroom. This year, Maya Brosch, Tommy Cefalu and Louis Marin were named as STHS "athletes of the year."

South Tahoe High School students were honored for their award winning photography - South Tahoe Now.Com during Tuesday's Lake Tahoe Unified School District board meeting. Guadalupe Ruiz and Tristan Klasko received recognition for their first-place award winning photographs submitted to the California Streaming Photo Contest sponsored by the California County Offices of Education. They each won a camera, tripod and other gifts. Their award winning photos will be used on a calendar distributed to teachers across the state.

Youth Commissioners gather for end of year report
– Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County’s youth commissioners join their respective district supervisors during the annual “end of year report. 

Gold Country Sons of Italy award scholarships
– Mountain Democrat - The Gold Country Lodge No. 2705 Sons of Italy in America awarded two scholarships at its annual dinner meeting in May in El Dorado Hills. For 17 years the lodge has recognized graduating high school seniors attending El Dorado Union High School District campuses. A $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student of Italian decent. Anna Marie Repetto from Union Mine High School received this scholarship.

Sac City college lineman from Union Mine HS commits to UC Davis
– Placerville News Wire - Colton Lamson, a 2015 graduate of Union Mine High School and more recently a defensive lineman for Sacramento City College, has signed his grant-in-aid agreement to play football for UC Davis, announced head coach Dan Hawkins on Tuesday. He is expected to enroll with the university for the 2017 fall quarter.

Sun Safety Campaign at El Dorado Union High School District
– Placerville News Wire - The 2017 Sun Protection Fest was held at the Placerville Aquatic Center on June 2nd where several agencies in El Dorado County teamed up with the help of alumni and current students from the El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) to spread word about the importance of sun safety. Bella Hoffman, an alumni from El Dorado High School (EDHS), stated “I believe that monitoring your exposure to the sun is a huge way to protect yourself. We often do not realize how much time we spend in the sun, but it really does add up.”

Four Oak Ridge Seniors Earn El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce Scholarships
– Placerville News Wire - This year the El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce awarded four scholarships of $750 each to graduates who plan to continue their education at a university, college or technical school… The chamber congratulates the following scholarship recipients for 2017 and wishes them much success: Cheljea Jang, Shane Simon, Jack Van Boening and Eileen Xie — all from Oak Ridge High School.

Carolyn Strelo-Smith Receives 2016-2017 Excellence in Education Award
– Placerville News Wire - Each year, the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) recognizes individuals for hard work that directly or indirectly contributes to providing quality support and services to students, schools, families, and the community. One admirable team member is selected to receive the Superintendent’s “Excellence in Education Award”; this year’s recipient is Carolyn Strelo-Smith - a retiring teacher at the Rite of Passage, Sierra Sage Academy in Yerington, Nevada.

Wishes can come true – Mountain Democrat - The last time the Mountain Democrat talked to Grayson Kleinknight, he was 7 years old and demonstrating the use of a scale model trebuchet in the hallway of his Placerville home. He was also facing the battle of his life with acute lymphoblastic leukemia… “At first you think that giving your child the chemo at home is poisoning him,” said Tristan (parent), who is a school nurse in the Buckeye Union School District. “Now, the prospect of no more chemo is joyous but also scary. It’s like a golden armor.”

RUSD appoints superintendent
 – Mountain Democrat - The Rescue Union School District Board of Trustees has appointed Cheryl Olson, current superintendent of the San Bruno Park School, as the district’s next superintendent. The current superintendent, David Swart, who announced his retirement earlier this year, will remain at the helm until June 30. “I am deeply honored and excited to begin a new journey with you in Rescue. I want to continue the path of excellence in the district, to accomplish great things with and for our students. I look forward to working collaboratively with the board, employees, students, parents and the community to lead the district to continued student success and achievement,” said Olson.

Hundreds flock to annual Camino School Spring House
 – Mountain Democrat - It’s an idyllic spring evening and hundreds of students, educators and family members cover Camino School’s campus for its annual Spring House — a community event that highlights the accomplishments and successes of Camino students throughout the year… Camino Union School District Superintendent/Principal Matt Smith welcomes everyone and introduces each new grade performance. “Thank you all for coming and supporting our Camino schools tonight at Spring House. As you are walking around our beautiful campus, please take a moment and thank our amazing volunteers for all that they do. Tonight is a celebration of outstanding student visual and performing arts and our wonderful community. Enjoy this special evening,” said Smith.

Ponderosa High School choirs shine at Heritage Festivals
 – Mountain Democrat - Ponderosa High School sent three choir groups to the Heritage Music Festivals in Santa Clara and brought home a veritable mountain of awards and honors. Choirs and bands from all over the country, plus one from Canada, performed at the event. The Acabellas group won first place with a gold rating and the Adjucator’s Choral Sweepstakes for best group at the entire event. The Concert Choir also won first place with a gold rating and an Adjucator’s award. The Chamber Choir won third place with a gold rating. Gold ratings indicate that judges scored the group at 90 or above. Maestro awards were also given to the following soloists: Erin Ling, Andrew Maloney, Julia Pankow, Ben Thuesen, Cole Aiston and Iona Neff.

Carolyn Strelo-Smith receives 2016-17 Excellence in Education Award
 – Mountain Democrat - Each year the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) recognizes individuals for hard work that directly or indirectly contributes to providing quality support and services to students, schools, families and the community. One admirable team member is selected to receive the Superintendent’s “Excellence in Education Award.” This year’s recipient is Carolyn Strelo-Smith — a retiring teacher at the Rite of Passage, Sierra Sage Academy in Yerington, Nev.

Join Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, at the El Dorado County Fair Kids' Fun Run!
 – Placerville Newswire - On Thursday, June 15, kids 4-12 years of age may enter the El Dorado County Fair for FREE and are invited to participate in a 1K Fun Walk/Run with County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala. Runners will receive a participation ribbon, lanyard, and water bottle (first-come-first-served). Beat the rush and pre-register at the Fair Office – 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville. For questions, please call (530) 621-5860.

District Attorney Vern Pierson Announces Another Successful Year Of Project Lead
 – EDC Press Release - Local law enforcement teamed up with Sierra School in Placerville and Blue Oak Elementary School in Cameron Park for another successful round of Project LEAD — an innovative approach to crime prevention that teaches children that the choices they make today can affect their lives forever. Through Project LEAD (Legal Enrichment and Decision Making), prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office and officers from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, Placerville Police Department, and the El Dorado County Probation Department visit fifth grade students at elementary schools across the county once a week to provide an introduction to the criminal justice system and to promote positive decision-making skills.

Norovirus case reported in county
 – Mountain Democrat - While a large number of cases of norovirus have been reported in Yolo and Sacramento counties it was only this week that the first case of norovirus was reported in El Dorado County. Julia Gillespie, a retired nurse, said her son, who attends El Dorado High School, tested positive for the virus.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Release of CA Schools Mobile App
– CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the release of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) first mobile application that offers detailed information about California’s 10,000 public schools. The CA Schools mobile app, developed in-house by the CDE and available for iOS and Android systems, lets users locate nearby schools based on their current location and provides a wealth of details, including contacts and directions, demographics, test scores, and a school’s California School Dashboard profile page.

Students perform better at schools offering extra services on campus, study finds
 – EdSource - Schools that offer dental care, mental health counseling, food assistance and other services have a significant and measurable positive impact on student achievement, according to research released this week by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Education Policy Center.

Teachers' training needs improvement so students benefit, new report says
 – EdSource - For classroom teachers, professional training can be a mixed bag that too often leaves teachers uninspired with no improvement in student learning, according to a new report by the Learning Policy Institute. So researchers for the nonprofit institute set out to find what works best in helping teachers to improve teaching methods and their students’ learning and test scores.

A sign of caring in El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - Proud of his students and his community, Rick Armstrong said there are plenty of signs proving what a caring community El Dorado County is. An instructor at Sierra Ridge Middle School in Pollock Pines who teaches English, math and PE, Armstrong said the school has a sixth-grade student who is visually and hearing impaired. 

A healthy look at career options
 – Mountain Democrat - If there is a shortage of health care professionals in the U.S., El Dorado High School in Placerville is ready to meet the need. Since 1994 EDHS has been developing a career preparation program called the Health Careers Academy for students who are interested in the medical arts and in the science and the skills they need in order to be ready for college and a future medical career. Teacher and program coordinator Annmarie Wunschel has been a moving force in the grant-funded program and shares her enthusiasm with eager energy.

RUSD’s Swart signs off as super
 – Mountain Democrat - A native Michigander from the Upper Peninsula, little did David Swart know he’d end up out west, leading the K-8 Rescue Union School District where he’d cap a career in education spanning more than 40 years. One of four siblings, Swart said three of them ended up in education careers. “I came by it naturally,” he said, though that wasn’t his plan.

EDCOE Charter Students Receive Regional and National Honors for their Writing
– Placerville Newswire, Windfall Magazine (attached) - The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter students recently received Regional, National, and Local awards for their exceptional writing at a dinner hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association.  Each year, the Reserve sponsors a writing contest for 7-12th grade students to promote the spirit of American patriotism among our country’s youth. 

In El Dorado County, the High School Dropout Rate has Dropped Every YearPlacerville Newswire/ABC10 - Several Central Valley schools did not meet the state’s average graduation and dropout rates after the 2015-2016 school year, according to data from the California Department of Education.…For example, the graduation rate in Sacramento County increased from 80.6 percent in 2014-2015 to 81.2 percent in 2015-2016. And in El Dorado County, the dropout rate has dropped every year.

Students see fruits of CC&R labor
– VillageLife - Oak Ridge High School teacher Steve Seely’s Service Learning students had one more reason to relish in the last day of school Friday…Hidahl took the notarized signatures to the county clerk on May 25 to be verified and learned the volunteers did indeed meet the threshold. The language will be removed but a copy of the original CC&Rs will remain on record should anyone wish to see it.

Soroptimist ​International ​of South Lake Tahoe Rewards for Excellence Scholarship Program
– Tahoe Daily News - Soroptimist ​International ​of South Lake Tahoe recognized students from Lake Tahoe Community College, South Tahoe High School and Whittell High School for their achievements with the annual Rewards for Excellence Scholarship Program during an event at Harveys Lake Tahoe on May 17.

Health advisory issued for Norovirus
– Village Life - With the recent large number of cases of Norovirus reported in Yolo and Sacramento counties, El Dorado County health officials are reminding El Dorado County residents to take precautions.

California law spurs reforms after suicide cluster
– EdSource - The California Department of Education released a model youth suicide prevention policy this month that calls for schools to create strategies to encourage students to talk about depression and stress.

Assembly pressing for solutions to teacher shortage in state budget
– EdSource - Nearly $100 million worth of new initiatives to address the state’s teacher shortages will be in play during state budget negotiations that will begin in earnest next week.

California programs to entice would-be teachers to the classroom
– EdSource - In an effort to lure more people to the profession, the California Department of Education, California State University, the University of California and nonprofits such as 100Kin10 have all created programs to entice college students and mid-career professionals – especially those in the math and science fields – to become teachers.

Few programs prepared to help traumatized infants and toddlers, report finds – EdSource - The National Center for Children in Poverty, a national public policy organization that advocates for children in poverty and low-income families, released the report titled, “Helping Young Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: Policies and Strategies for Early Care and Education.” It describes the impact of trauma on infants, toddlers and preschoolers and recommends services to help them.

EDCOE gets national Assistance League award – Village Life - Assistance League of Sierra Foothills recently presented the El Dorado County Office of Education with the National Operation School Bell award for its continued support in helping to ensure local children in need start the school year with new clothes. It was the first time the local chapter has “pleaded its case” to the national organization to grant the award locally… “On behalf of Dr. Manansala, thank you for the work that you do for our county’s most vulnerable youth,” Monsma said. “Something like new clothes may seem small, but it isn’t to these kids. It makes an impact when people make an investment in their lives.”

Divide Women present scholarships 
– Georgetown Gazette (attached) - Divide Women’s Club – The Divide women’s Club presented $6,500 in scholarships to four very deserving graduating Golden Sierra High School Seniors thanks to a very successful annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon in April. All proceeds from the event, as well as other events during the year, funded scholarships for local students. Those receiving awards at the Golden Sierra High School awards ceremony were Vincent Williams, Adam Kay, and Ashton Andersen. The Lillian Lafaille award for excellence in writing was awarded to Kayla Martain. Scholarships were presented by Carol Davis.

Local woman off to serve in Moldova
 – Mountain Democrat - Justine Willis, of Placerville, didn’t always know where Moldova is, but she certainly does now. She’s going there in a couple of weeks to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer for up to two years. J.. Now 30, Justine was born and raised in Placerville and graduated from El Dorado High School.

ORHS’ first principal to be honored
 – Mountain Democrat - A memorial bench honoring Oak Ridge High School founding principal Don Reynolds will be dedicated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, on the school’s cafeteria quad. Reynolds, who died July 24, 2016, was named by the El Dorado Union High School District Trustees to open the El Dorado Hills school in 1980. Hired initially in 1971, he served previously as principal of Ponderosa High School and the El Dorado Adult School.

Pasta brings supes and youth commissioners together
 – Mountain Democrat - Members of the El Dorado County Youth Commission meet with El Dorado County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, members of EDCOE leadership and members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors for a pasta dinner to update the adults about work done by the commission.

Ponderosa students get nautical at regatta
 – Mountain Democrat - The Bruin Regatta is a time-honored tradition at Ponderosa High School, a thrilling (and soggy) way to wrap up the school year and welcome the summer heat. The concept is simple: Students team up to build rowboats out of cardboard and packing tape, then race their creations across the pool to the cheers of their classmates and teachers.

Norovirus outbreak jumps to 950 cases in Yolo County schools, officials say – 
Sacramento Bee - More than 950 students, teachers and staff in Yolo County have been sickened in the ongoing norovirus outbreak, which is associated with stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, health officials said Friday.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Release of Draft ESSA State Plan, Invites Public Review and Comment
 – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the release of California’s draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan today along with a schedule of workshops and Webinars to review the plan and collect public comment.

State board rethinking how to measure performance of alternative schools
 – EdSource - State law recognizes that schools primarily serving expelled students, dropouts and students who had trouble coping in traditional schools should be held accountable for academic performance – but by different measurements. This month, the State Board of Education began a more than year-long process to determine what those metrics should be, which schools should be measured by them and how the schools should fit into the larger system of accountability and school improvement the board is designing.

Bill would help California schools teach about 'fake news,' media literacy
 – EdSource - Spurred by the rise of so-called “fake news” and its impact on elections, a Santa Barbara state senator has introduced a bill that would encourage California’s K-12 schools to teach students to be skeptical, informed news consumers.

Gov. Brown's proposal delays $1 billion for schools until 2019
 – EdSource - Regarding the $1 billion in one-time funding for K-12 schools that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed last week in his 2017-18 budget: The word is don’t count on it – at least not next year. In what a school consultant is calling a “bait and switch,” the Department of Finance is saying that the money won’t be available until May 2019 at the earliest – and possibly only partially then.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Gives President Trump’s Federal Education Budget Proposal an “F” Grade – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Tuesday urged Congress to reject President Trump’s federal education budget proposal, which includes deep cuts to teacher training, after school programs, mental health services, advanced coursework, and many other important programs.

California would lose $400 million in federal K-12 education funding under Trump budget
 – EdSource - Programs run by the U.S. Department of Education, which distributes funding for numerous programs to all states, would be cut by $9 billion under the Trump administration’s proposed federal budget for the fiscal year beginning in October. 

County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, will be honored as the Commencement Speaker for the U.C. Davis School of Education – Placerville NewsWire - The university will recognize more than 9,000 graduates with undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in fields ranging from management and veterinary medicine to the humanities and agricultural sciences. Other guest speakers at 13 ceremonies through June 18 are listed in chronological order.

STHS’ next principal eager to do great things
– Lake Tahoe News - Passion and energy spill forth from Carline Sinkler as she talks about her next job – principal of South Tahoe High School. “I’m excited about all the work being done, career technology education, getting students ready for college and life,” Sinkler told Lake Tahoe News. “What impressed me was the enthusiasm of the staff. They are student-centered and forward thinking. I feel like I’m coming into a community that is poised to do incredible work.” She wants to build on the strengths that already exist.

Youth in Juvenile Treatment Center earn CPR/AED cards
– SouthTahoeNow.com - Eleven youth detained at the Juvenile Treatment Center (JTC) in South Lake Tahoe recently received two certifications: American Heart Association Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED). This was the first time the course was offered to the youth housed at the facility, and not only did they get these important certifications but they also earned school credits.

Families of deaf and hard of hearing students socialize at ice cream social
– Mountain Democrat - May Day was a fun day for El Dorado County deaf and hard of hearing students. The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) special services team hosted a lively ice cream social for families with deaf or hard of hearing students. Children and families networked with each other, met with members of the deaf/hard of hearing EDCOE team and were provided with information regarding resources to help them in the future.

Parklet soon to pop up on Main Street
– Mountain Democrat - Despite the fact that some 50 Placerville merchants and their employees signed a petition against parklets being added to downtown, store owners at one small shopping area on Main Street reportedly want the innovation to be part of their business entryway… The young lady who submitted the winning plan for the parklet, a student from Oak Ridge High School, was present at Tuesday’s meeting to accept praise, applause and other encouragement from the council members and attending public.

Students make Angel Gowns for grieving families
– Mountain Democrat - Union Mine High School Fashion Class students are working on their final project of the semester: beautiful, hand-made Angel Gowns that will be gifted to families who have experienced a heartbreaking loss due to miscarriage, still-birth or early infant death. Heather Sabol, longtime teacher at Union Mine, saw a post by a couple on social media a few years back and said she fell in love with the idea.

Mother and daughter run the Boston Marathon
– Mountain Democrat - Mother’s Day serves as a reminder of all the wonderful times we’ve spent with Mom, even after we’re all grown up and have children of our own… Hunter said she normally runs 8 miles every morning before she goes to work at Pleasant Valley Middle School. That takes about an hour and a half.

Kylee Hunter vying for Homecoming Queen
– Mountain Democrat - Kylee Hunter, 18, daughter of Art and Rebecca Hunter of Cameron Park, has been selected as a finalist for California’s 37th annual Homecoming Queen pageant to be held May 21 at the Ayres Hotel Hawthorne in Hawthorne. She is the Ponderosa High School Homecoming Queen.

Multi-cultural Night takes students around the world
– Mountain Democrat - At Placerville Union School District’s (PUSD) annual Multi-cultural Night in April, the multipurpose room at Louisiana Schnell School was transformed into an international gathering that greeted several hundred students, educators, families and community members. “This year we added a healthy and safe community component to include booths hosted by Marshall Hospital’s Cardiology Department and Shingle Springs Health and Wellness,” Bonniksen said. “We are glad to partner with local law enforcement agencies during this event as well. The Placerville Police Department is here tonight giving stickers to students, teaching children about the K-9 unit and allowing them to explore the Humvee. Also, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office brought members of its SWAT team, a SWAT vehicle, the K-9 and is providing free children’s fingerprinting by the STAR volunteers.”

School District Superintendent Stephen Wehr, Members of the EDUHSD team Recognized for Outstanding Work
– Placerville NewsWire - The Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) Governing Board publicly recognized El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) Superintendent Stephen Wehr and members of the EDUHSD team at their regular board meeting on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. MLUSD’s Superintendent, Marcy Guthrie, stated “EDUHSD Transportation Director, Dennis Vanderpool, has been and continues to be an outstanding mentor to Mother Lode’s new Chief Business Official (CBO), Lisa Donaldson. While she has expertise in school finance, she has had to become a quick student of school transportation and Dennis has been a wonderful mentor to her. Dennis has provided both technical and human resource assistance to us when necessary. This is sincerely appreciated.”

Dancers present ‘Three Days of Peace and Dance’
– Mountain Democrat - Each year the dance program at Union Mine High School grows in strength and expands in numbers. Students choose to enroll in this unique Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) class to gain confidence and overcome shyness, to meet new people in a welcoming and inclusive environment and to manage stress while engaging in an artistic opportunity. Many students find such a kindred relationship with the Union Mine dance program, that they re-enroll each year of their high school career and many continue to study the fine art in their higher education.

Divide Women present scholarships
– Mountain Democrat - The Divide Women’s Club presented $6,500 in scholarships to four very deserving graduating Golden Sierra High School seniors thanks to a very successful annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon in April. All proceeds from the event, as well as other events during the year, funded scholarships for local students. Those receiving awards at the Golden Sierra High School awards ceremony were Vincent Williams, Adam Kay and Ashton Andersen. The Lillian Lafaille award for excellence in writing was awarded to Kayla Martain.

Oak Ridge to end year with a sweet send-off
– Village Life - It smells a little sweeter on Oak Ridge High School’s campus this time of year. Art students drew 1,000 chalk flowers in only two days across campus during the school’s Random Acts of Kindness Week last Tuesday and Wednesday. The flowers’ lingering effects will live on, however. They will be featured in the Art Media program’s latest video, “Plant a Thousand Flowers,” an inspiring send-off message that will be shown to students before they break for summer recess.

Government-minded teens head to Girls, Boys State
– VillageLife - Oak Ridge High School juniors Camryn Barrett and Tyler Barth have been selected to represent their school at Girls State and Boys State this June, a participatory program within the American Legion in which students from across the state they are representing spend a week at a college campus to take part in a mock government at the local, county and state levels.

Hometown Hero: Brianna Halsey
– VillageLife - Private Brianna Halsey, 20, of El Dorado Hills recently graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps Boot Camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina. Halsey successfully completed 13 weeks of intensive basic training at Parris Island as one of 70 recruits in Training Platoon 4011… Halsey, a 2014 Oak Ridge High School graduate, is the daughter of Donnel and Valerie Halsey of Folsom.

County and Coalition of Recreation Groups and Local Businesses and Residents Reach Agreement on Mosquito Road Access
– EDC Press Release - The County of El Dorado and a coalition comprising American Whitewater, El Dorado County residents and businesses, and other conservation and recreation organizations today announced an agreement assuring continued access to Mosquito Road Bridge aka “The Swinging Bridge” and the South Fork American River. In February 2017, the County Board of Supervisors voted to maintain Mosquito Road Bridge for pedestrian and bicycle use after completion of a new, safer bridge that will carry vehicles across the South Fork American River to Mosquito and Swansboro.

With higher revenues, Brown to provide $2.8 billion more next year for K-12 schools
– EdSource - The austere budget that Gov. Jerry Brown proposed in January eased somewhat – at least for schools and community colleges – in the budget revision he released Thursday. Readjustments in the formula that sets education funding will provide $2.8 billion more in 2017-18 for K-12 schools than they are receiving this year, an increase of 5.4 percent.

Assembly Education Committee denies opportunities to students in poverty
– Folsom Telegraph - Assembly Bill 1482 authored by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville) was defeated on a 4-3 vote in the Assembly Education Committee on May 11, despite receiving bipartisan support. The bill sought to enable foster youth, English learners and low-income students to transfer to schools districts that better serve their educational needs.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Peak of Annual CAASPP Testing
– CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that nearly 500,000 California students took California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests on Tuesday May 9, the highest number of students testing simultaneously during the 2017 spring testing season.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Opposes Potential Federal Medicaid Cuts for School-based Health Services
– CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today said he sent two U.S. Senators a letter announcing his opposition to changes proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives in the American Health Care Act that could endanger funding for school-based health services.

Transitional kindergarten helps prepare English learners for school, study finds
– EdSource - English learners who attended transitional kindergarten were better prepared in math, foundational reading skills and language skills when they entered kindergarten than English learners who did not, according to a new study.

Researchers, advocates divided over reclassifying English learners
– EdSource - Researchers and language experts have long criticized the subjectivity and variations in criteria that California districts have used to determine when English learners are proficient in English. But proposed legislation to create uniform, statewide standards for doing so has hit a snag, with some of the nation’s leading academic experts expressing strong opposition to the bill.

Another school rating system, more data on racial, ethnic disparities
– EdSource - Using a new, multimeasure school rating system, the Oakland-based nonprofit GreatSchools has produced a fresh look at a stubbornly persistent problem: racial and ethnic gaps in student achievement in California schools.

Gov. Brown's revised budget plan draws mixed response from early education advocates
– EdSource - While early education advocates say they appreciate Gov. Jerry Brown keeping last year’s promise to increase preschool funding – which he proposed postponing when he introduced the 2017-18 budget in January – they were disappointed that the May budget revision didn’t include additional money and changes that would allow more low-income families to qualify for subsidized child care.

Federal support for teacher training to continue, but next year's funding in doubt
– EdSource – As s Congress struck a $1.1 trillion-dollar budget deal earlier this month to fund the federal government through the rest of the 2016-17 fiscal year and avoid a government shutdown of federal agencies, education leaders in California are relieved that the state will continue to receive federal support for teacher preparation programs.

As schools adopt social-emotional programs, a new guide offers help
– EdSource - Parents, teachers and students streamed into the library of Palo Alto’s Gunn High School on a warm evening this spring to hear about a new plan, coming this fall, to help high school students develop empathy and coping skills through “social and emotional learning.” For starters, the audience wanted the answer to a question that has dogged the jargon phrase for years: What is social and emotional learning and why should schools get involved in it?

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