Local Education News

LTCC First College in the Country to Offer Bi-State Promise Program
Thanks to a few key donations, Lake Tahoe Community College’s free year of tuition program, called the Lake Tahoe College Promise, is now available around Lake Tahoe on both sides of the California-Nevada border. With this expansion, LTCC becomes the only college in the country to offer a bi-state College Promise program providing free tuition regardless of which side of the border a prospective student lives on. The expanded program also reflects LTCC’s conviction that the Tahoe Basin is a complete, single community despite where the border lies. Being able to promise Nevadans in the Tahoe Basin a free year of college right along with California residents brings LTCC closer to realizing its goal of serving the needs of the entire Tahoe region. Read More...

Two Electric Buses to be Added to LTUSD Fleet
Does this bus look any different than your usual school bus? Well it is. The little turquoise bird above the door with the electric cord tells all. It is an all electric bus!  Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) received a grant earlier this year to purchase two electric school buses. Tuesday was the first test drive of the production vehicle and we expect a few more test drives this winter If all goes well LTUSD expects to have the two buses in service by next school year. Read more...

El Dorado County Partnerships Build Promise – Serrano Magazine (attached) – By Dr. Ed Manansala: Belief and promise in our youth fuel extraordinary partnerships in El Dorado County! From El Dorado Hills to South Lake Tahoe, throughout our schools and across agencies, a strong system of support creates opportunities for children facing unique challenges.  At the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), we recognize that our county is uniquely strong in creating meaningful partnerships for the benefit of all children. 

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ begins run at Lake Tahoe Community College – Lake Tahoe Tribune - Lake Tahoe Community College's Duke Theatre will be home to Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical masterpiece, "Jesus Christ Superstar," starting tonight. With music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, "Jesus Christ Superstar" is one of the true original rock operas. The Broadway hit has become a global phenomenon, wowing audiences for over 40 years. 

Community partners brings “Farm-to-School” nutrition program to South Lake Tahoe elementary schools – Mountain Democrat - It is often said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In South Lake Tahoe, the same could be said about keeping kids healthy. October is National Farm-to-School Month, and in South Lake Tahoe, the UC Cooperative Extension CalFresh nutrition education program has partnered with Barton Health and Lake Tahoe Unified School District to implement Harvest of the Month, a statewide initiative that motivates students to make healthier choices and brings fresh, in season produce to all South Lake Tahoe elementary schools. 

Podcast: This week in California Education – EdSource - With the Nov. 6 election fast approaching, Louis and John interview candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

Differences between Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond are real, as are areas of agreement – EdSource - Given the head-spinning spending in the race for state superintendent of public instruction, you’d think there’s about a dime’s worth of agreement and $50 million of disagreement between Marshall Tuck and Assemblyman Tony Thurmond. Instead, in temperament and basic outlook, the two candidates are strikingly similar. And both are Democrats, although the election is non-partisan. 

California school districts make new investments in teacher evaluation – EdSource - On a recent afternoon veteran social studies teacher Robert Waldo sat in his Sacramento classroom explaining the goals of the next lesson in his Advanced Placement Government class. He wants his students to understand the evolving powers of the presidency and how the job has grown more powerful over the years. 

Jerry Brown awaits his day in court on pension reform – EdSource - Six years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown cut a deal with unions and the Legislature to rescue the state’s two largest public employee pension funds from insolvency — but at a steep price for school districts and other public employers. Now, in the waning days of his administration, Brown wants a chance to persuade the California Supreme Court to relax some of the pension guarantees that have escalated the financial obligations of the state and local government agencies, including school districts. 

CHP Tips - School Bus Safety (Video) – California CHP produces a statewide public service announcement featuring Pollock Pines busses, students, and drivers (credits at the end)… Riding the school bus is by far the safest way for students to get to and from school, but everyone must do their part. Stay alert, avoid distractions, and obey traffic laws. Together, we can provide a safe environment for kids traveling to school.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds Expanded Learning Leaders in Honor of National Lights On Afterschool – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated the California Department of Education (CDE) 2018 California Expanded Learning award winners. “Expanded learning programs are an important extension of a student’s typical school day. The programs provide additional academic support, cultural enrichment, and social and emotional learning opportunities,” said Torlakson. “These awards are a way to recognize the talented and dedicated staff who are helping students learn, thrive, and succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

Union Mine student receives top ACT score – Mountain Democrat - It’s not only brains that earned a senior from Union Mine High School a prestigious score on her (ACT) American College Testing exam, but dedication, focus and the support of those closest to her. Taylor Gierke, 17, of Placerville, recently scored a rare 36 on the ACT exam, which is the highest possible cumulative score one can earn on the test. On average only one percent of all test takers earn the top score. In 2017, 2,760 out of approximately 2 million test takers earned a combined score of 36 on the ACT exam. 

Tifany Wong was recognized by the El Dorado Union High School District, for advocacy of the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Initiative – Placerville Newswire - "During today's Board meeting, Tifany Wong was recognized by the El Dorado Union High School District, for her advocacy of the Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Initiative for our schools! Today is also her birthday and she can't ask for a better present than this!" Suicide is a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, classmates, co-workers and communities, as well as on our military personnel and veterans. 

‘Food52: Genius Desserts’ help simplify the way you bake – Village Life - Have to make a stellar dessert for a special occasion — something that goes beyond a box of cookies from the grocery store bakery? What if you don’t have candy thermometers and special tools? What if you have no special baking skills? “Genius Desserts” may be just the book you need to save the day. Miglore, who grew up in El Dorado Hills and graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 2000, started college by majoring in economics, but all she could think about was cooking. 

Pondo alum named new planning, building director – Village Life - El Dorado County has announced the appointment of Tiffany Schmid as its new planning and building director, effective Oct. 20. Schmid takes the place of Roger Trout. According to a press release issued by the county, “El Dorado County is fortunate to have someone such as Ms. Schmid who brings a very supportive, collaborative and customer service oriented approach to this very challenging, yet critical position. 

EDH Rotary Student of the Year – Village Life (attached) – The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills celebrated Valley View Charter Montessori Student of the Year Jaimee Cailao at its breakfast meeting last week. Principal Paul Stewart called Jaime, “a cheer leader for fellow students.” Fifth-grade teacher Lisa Hassey said she appreciated Jaimee’s respectful and appreciative attitude.

Drug take back day scheduled – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.. There are four collection locations where you can drop off drugs including the Sheriff’s main office at 300 Fair Lane, Placerville; the El Dorado Hills substation at 4354 Town Center Drive, Suite 112, El Dorado Hills; the Georgetown substation at 6101 Front Street, Suite 4, Georgetown; and at Fire Station 17 in Pollock Pines at 6430 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines. 

The Confidence Lab - student works, play readings, live music, and more – Placerville Newswire - This September, El Dorado Arts Council will introduce a new attraction to Main Street: The Confidence Lab, a dedicated space for temporary “pop-up” arts projects, including installations, student works, play readings, live music, and other activities. The space will occupy the bottom level of Main Street’s historic Confidence Hall, and will be managed and programmed by El Dorado Arts Council in a public-private partnership with the City of Placerville. 

El Dorado County Child Protective Services Launches New Toll-Free Phone Number - (844) 756-3699 – EDC Press Release - El Dorado County Child Protective Services (CPS) has launched a new toll-free phone number -- (844) 756-3699. The CPS Hotline can be accessed across El Dorado County 24 hours per day by anyone concerned that a child may be experiencing abuse, neglect or exploitation. "The new CPS hotline is an important tool to help us more comprehensively serve residents across the county and ensure that children stay safe," said Kathy Brook-Johnson, manager of El Dorado County CPS.

Podcast: This Week in California Education – EdSource - This week, Louis and John look at the impact of working too many hours while in college. Research shows that working less than 15 hours a week can be positive in improving a student’s work ethic and time management skills, while providing useful contacts after he or she graduates.  

California's SAT scores rise, beat national averages – EdSource - California high school students showed gains on the 2018 SAT college entrance exam but less than half of the test takers in the state scored at levels considered college ready in both reading and math skills and big gaps remain among ethnic and racial groups. California students’ average scores were 540 in reading and writing and 536 in math, on a scale of 200 to 800 points each.

Utilities Cut Power to Prevent Wildfires. But Who Wins When the Lights Go Out? – NY Times – Ed Manansala, the school superintendent in El Dorado County, east of Sacramento, said his county received notice of planned blackouts on Saturday and began working with PG&E to figure out which of 15 school districts would be affected so parents could be notified. The blackouts forced 10 districts in the county, with 34 schools, to close on Monday. They reopened Tuesday. 

Power shutoff forces school closures in Sierra foothills, leaving parents scrambling – Sacramento Bee - Deputy Superintendent Kevin Monsma at El Dorado County Office of Education said he appreciated that PG&E was trying to be “thoughtful” and ensure the safety of the neighborhood, but understands frustration among parents. “We want places where kids can be safe and learn, and that’s hard to do without power,” he said. 

South Tahoe celebrates homecoming with parade through town – Tahoe Tribune - South Tahoe High School paraded through town Friday afternoon as part of its homecoming celebration. The participants gathered at South Tahoe Middle School. The parade started at Al Tahoe Blvd. and traversed Lake Tahoe Blvd back to the school and into Viking Stadium. Law enforcement provided an escort and helped shut down southbound traffic. The homecoming theme is “Music Through the Ages.” 

Community partnerships open doors to leadership for Golden Sierra Students – Gazette (attached) – On Saturday, Oct. 1. Calista Schroeder and Andee Bradley, eighth grade students from Golden Sierra Junior High School, share their learnings from Tech Trek camp with members of the Foothills branch of the American Association of Univerisyt Women (AAUW) led by chairs Misti DiVittorio and Darlene Tarlton. Both girls, as well as 18 other girls from local middle schools, participated in a rigorous application process that identified future leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

County names new planning and building director – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County has announced the appointment of Tiffany Schmid as its new planning and building director, effective Oct. 20. Schmid takes the place of Roger Trout who is retiring… Schmid received a M.A. in anthropology from California State University, Sacramento and a B.A. in psychology, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from California State University, Sacramento. She grew up in the county going to Gold Trail School from kindergarten through eighth grade and Ponderosa High School. 

Watershed Education Summit brings local high schools together – Mountain Democrat - For the past 21 years, the Watershed Education Summit (WES) has brought together local high school students and teachers with resource specialists in an extensive watershed monitoring project in the Crystal Basin of the Eldorado National Forest. Krista Potter, El Dorado High School Natural Resources Program director, said, “It’s amazing to see these kids work alongside resource professionals collecting data on our watersheds. Its real work, and real data, that can be used to help make informed decisions. After 21 years, we’ve got a pretty good understanding about what’s going on out there”. 

Community partners brings “Farm-to-School” nutrition program to South Lake Tahoe elementary schools – Mountain Democrat - It is often said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” In South Lake Tahoe, the same could be said about keeping kids healthy. October is National Farm-to-School Month, and in South Lake Tahoe, the UC Cooperative Extension CalFresh nutrition education program has partnered with Barton Health and Lake Tahoe Unified School District to implement Harvest of the Month, a statewide initiative that motivates students to make healthier choices and brings fresh, in season produce to all South Lake Tahoe elementary schools. 

Cops and Rodders Show & Shine Highlights – Channel 2 - Annual Family fun day featuring over 100 cars, airplanes, displays and, this year, boars and motorcycles.  Presented by the Placerville office of the California Highway Patrol and other outstanding sponsors. View the EDCOE Kids’ Zone at minute 16. 

Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots – Mountain Democrat - The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program partnering with CHiPS for Kids is gearing up to provide Christmas for low-income children in El Dorado County, between the ages of infant to 18 (if still in school). Registration will be completed on the following dates and times only: 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County unveils new brand positioning aimed at volunteer recruitment – Mountain Democrat - Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County along with more than 270 Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates across the country, unveiled a new, modern look and brand repositioning with a goal of recruiting more diverse volunteers. “The need in El Dorado County for young people to have a role model is more urgent than ever,” said Brenda Frachiseur, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County. 

Supervisor Frentzen elected at LAFCO Treasurer – Mountain Democrat - Supervisor Frentzen by the state-mandated Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) by its board of directors and her re-election to the Central Region by its members. The California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) Board of Directors unanimously voted Shiva Frentzen to serve as the association’s Treasurer at its October 5, 2018 Board meeting. 

Women’s Fund Celebrates passion, purpose and philanthropy – Village Life - Passion. Purpose. Philanthropy. Those three words sum up the ingredients of social responsibility, according to Andrea Howard, featured speaker at annual Celebration of the Women’s Fund El Dorado attended by more than 250 members and guests at the fairgrounds Oct. 4. Howard, herself a WFED member since 2011, commended WFED for using the power of collective giving to “elevate nonprofits all around us and achieve maximum impact.”  She is principal planner for Parker Development Company and is active on a number of boards and numerous professional and nonprofit organizations.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds Legislation to Increase Early Learning and Child Care Access Statewide – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson applauded the Governor and Legislature for passing a law that addresses inequities in early learning and care programs. It makes eligibility requirements for early learning and care the same regardless of which county the parents live in, and increases access to early learning and care for working families.  

California's History-Social Science Framework Wins Prestigious American Historical Association Prize – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California History-Social Science Project (University of California, Davis) have won the American Historical Association's Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching. The two organizations collaborated to create the groundbreaking History­-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, which was approved by the State Board of Education in 2016 and published last year. 

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Applauds Signing of Mental Health Legislation – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson thanked Governor Brown for signing legislation last month that will improve mental health support for students. As a teacher, legislator, county supervisor, and State Superintendent, Torlakson has long worked on trying to improve mental health awareness and treatment, suicide prevention, and school safety.

Local kids mountain bike team has strong showing in Reno – Tahoe Daily Tribune - About 170 high school and middle school students competed Sunday, Sept. 9, in the Rattlesnake Roundup, the second race of the Nevada Interscholastic Cycling League Fall mountain bike race series at Hidden Valley Regional Park in Reno. Fifteen students of the Alta Alpina Composite Team comprised of South Tahoe and Douglas High and middle school students competed and had a strong showing. 

Lake Tahoe Community College hosting artist reception – Tahoe Daily Tribune - Lake Tahoe Community College is hosting a free artist reception to celebrate a trio of new exhibits coming to the college this month. The exhibit will take place Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. Reno ceramicist Joe Winter's Pyrotechniques will be in the Haldan Art Gallery located in the library building. 

Pinewood Elementary celebrating $2.5M in updates – Mountain Democrat - Pinewood Elementary School’s roughly 340 students will be able to eat and play in a new-and-improved multipurpose room this week, due to $2.5 million from taxpayers. The improvements to the school, located in Pollock Pines, include acoustic wall panels, a new sports floor, a new sound system and curtain for the stage and an HVAC system, according to Tara Clark, chief financial officer for the Pollock Pines Elementary School District… Kitchen upgrades also began after spring break last year and were finished before the start of the 2018-19 school year, according to District Superintendent Pat Atkins… community members wishing to see the changes can do so at the district’s ribbon cutting, held in conjunction with the Fall Festival, on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Pinewood Elementary. 

Students make bowls to help fight hunger – Mountain Democrat - For more than 10 years, El Dorado High School has been creating and donating student-made bowls to the Empty Bowls fundraiser, an international project which aims to fight hunger one meal at a time. The fundraiser takes in handmade bowls from schools and local artists, fills them with food and sells the dish at an annual fundraiser. Students of Brigid Bourque’s art class came in to the studio Wednesday afternoon, picked up lumps of clay and got straight to work. Bourque, who has taught at El Dorado for seven years, continues the tradition that was passed onto her by previous teachers every year.

Seventh-grader takes on 2-mile run after heart transplant – Mountain Democrat - Though hundreds of students participated at the 10th annual Gold Trail School fun run, one seventh-grader was all heart. Six months after receiving a new heart, Isabella Sanchez, 12, took on Friday’s 2-mile walk/run event. Isabella, or “Bella” as she’s known to friends, had her first heart surgery at two days old, according to her aunt and guardian Priscilla Sanchez, of Placerville. She’d gone through five more surgeries before her heart transplant on April 18, Priscilla said, and the family had almost lost her twice last summer. 

Observatory reaches 100,000-visitor milestone Saturday – Mountain Democrat - Though not a ball of gas in a distant galaxy, one local teen got to be a star of a different sort on Saturday as the Community Observatory’s 100,000th visitor. Bo Fisher, 13, said Monday he was in the right place at the right time during his visit to the observatory to view Saturn last weekend. The Camerado Springs Middle School eighth grader was greeted with balloons, a mug and, of course, Milky Ways and Starbursts. “I was quite lucky,” Fisher said. “I was one out of 100,000 … the probability was quite low.” 

History, teaching and finding true love — local man reflects on his life in El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - Tom Carpender, 89, of Diamond Springs, has devoted his life to his family, country and educating the youth of El Dorado County… Tom met the love of his life Vivian, 88, in high school during lunch. They have been married for 67 years and graduated from El Dorado High School… After high school, Tom was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 and Vivian began teaching primary classes in the Rescue School District… Vivian had already been teaching in the newly formed Mother Lode School District… In 1960 Edwin Markham Middle School opened up and Tom transferred there where he taught Industrial Arts, wood shop mainly, and physical education. He also coached sports. 

Campus Corner: Join our EDC Family for Some Fall Fun – Mountain Democrat - With such a small campus, you may think that the Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center may not have much to offer; on the contrary, our small campus is what makes us a great starting point for any student. We are more than a college for the community. We are like family who provide and support each other, and what else do families do well? They plan spectacular events for the upcoming seasons.

Preventing Substance Use Among Teens in  El Dorado County – Placerville Newswire - National Red Ribbon Week is October 23 - 31, 2018 -- a time for communities across El Dorado County to join together to prevent substance use. Many students, parents, teachers and other people across the County will wear the red ribbon during the awareness week, hear speakers on school campuses and conduct other activities to raise awareness about the importance of being drug-free. 

Girl Scout project hangs at Marina – VillageLife - When Girl Scout Troop 2340 members brainstormed ideas for the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette can earn, they knew exactly where they would start — Marina Village Middle School in El Dorado Hills. The Marina Village campus had been going through an extensive renovation over the last year and a half, during which plants and trees were removed. A space that particularly needed attention was the area surrounding lunch tables. 

Girl Scout project helps horses in need – VillageLife - Oak Ridge High School freshman Lauren Jamieson channeled her love of horses to earn the Girl Scout Silver Award — the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette may earn. She initiated a tack drive earlier this year to collect gently used tack and gear to be donated to All About Equine. “My Girl Scout Silver Award Take Action Project was to bring awareness to unsheltered horses,” Lauren said. “AAE has a continuous need for tack and gear to support the numerous horses it fosters. My project will save AAE money, which allows them to rescue more horses and bring more awareness to these unsheltered horses.” 

Harvest Luncheon a success for county’s California Retired Teachers Association division – Mountain Democrat - Dappled sunlight filtered through the apple trees as Members of CalRTA (California Retired Teachers Association), Division 73 of El Dorado County, enjoyed a lovely afternoon at its annual Harvest Luncheon on September 11. This event, hosted by Rainbow Orchards owners Christa Campbell and Tom Heflin, featured Halloween-themed lunch buckets filled with treats, a picnic under the apple trees with friends, hot apple donuts and a presentation about Medicare Part D. 

At-risk juvenile missing – Mountain Democrat - An at-risk juvenile is being sought after he apparently ran away from home. Patrick Siebenthaler, 13,  ran away after school in the Placerville area on Sept. 24. The teen has run away in the past but always returned within a day or two. He fled without having any extra clothing, money or supplies, according to a El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office press release. 

School hours – Letter to the Editor, Mountain Democrat - I am writing to express my concern with school hours. I am a high school senior who has struggled every year to wake up and arrive to school on time. Everyday students struggle to make it to our first period class and on the days that we do, struggle to stay awake through the lesson. 

The center hosts open house for Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Mountain Democrat - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month across the nation. The Center for Violence-Free Relationships, a nonprofit that serves victims of domestic violence in El Dorado County, invites the public to attend an open house to learn about domestic violence and how The center helps victims in our community… in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Center will host an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 5 – 7 p.m. with a short program at 6 p.m. 

Applications Are Now Being Accepted from Local Organizations to be Included in Future 2-1-1 El Dorado System – EDC Press Release - Organizations within El Dorado County that provide health, social and community services are invited to apply for inclusion in the new "2-1-1" system coming to El Dorado County next year. 2-1-1 El Dorado is slated to launch in the County mid-2019, and will be a toll-free, comprehensive, 24-hour information and referral service, accessible to all residents by telephone, website and text.

California Department of Education Receives Million Dollar Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Grant – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) secured $1 million in grant funding under the federal STOP School Violence Act. The funds will be used to provide violence prevention and mental health training to students and staff in school districts that have been the most affected by violence on their campuses. 

California rural education network launches to help isolated teachers share resources – EdSource - On an early morning late last spring about 100 educators from districts serving California’s rural areas trickled into a meeting hall north of Sacramento for the inaugural launch of a network meant to address their isolation and frustration. Among them were staff from county offices of education, school superintendents, principals and a handful of students. 

With bill signings, Gov. Brown makes his final mark on California education – EdSource - Gov. Jerry Brown wrapped up his final legislative session this week and in doing so became the most prolific decider of laws in California history. During his 16 years as governor — two terms spanning the late 1970s and early 1980s and two terms this decade — he signed a total of 17,851 bills and vetoed 1,829. This year’s crop included dozens that touched on a plethora of education-related issues — ranging from school start times to for-profit charter schools, standardized tests, discipline, mental health and early education. 

New California law requires day care centers to test for lead in water – EdSource – A law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will expand California’s requirement to test water in schools for lead to day care centers and pre-schools that serve nearly 600,000 children. The law marks the first time California’s day care centers have been required to test for lead in water.

Physical Education Teacher of the Year - Elementary

Seth Martin, Lake Tahoe Unified School District
Seth Martin is the Physical Education Specialist at Sierra House Elementary School in South Lake Tahoe, and he also serves as the Lead Teacher for all Elementary PE Specialists in the district.  He works actively to create a learning environment that supports physical health in all students and staff.  All activities are outcome based, and focus on best practices of the profession. Lessons draw from both California and National Standards to provide developmentally appropriate programs that lead to well-rounded and physically literate students. Formative assessment is ongoing to better understand what students need from the lessons. Seth's resume as an Elementary Physical Educator is extensive and impressive.  In addition, he has served in many leadership positions for CAHPERD, including Secretary and Chair of CAHPERD's Council on Physical Education for Children (CPEC).  He was the 2016-2017 Vice President for Physical Education, while also serving as the State Conference Manager and a member of the Technology Committee.  Seth Martin exceeds the standards expected of a recipient of the CAHPERD Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award.  The impact he is committed to having on his students on a daily basis, coupled with his desire to be a leader in the field are exemplary. 

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

The wheels on the bus go round and round - Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Driving a school bus is not for sissies. In fact, there are some basic rules to effectively transport children to and from school… Lucky for the young riders on Rescue Union School District’s bus No. 6, Char Feigles has the first two rules down pat. And while she is not a licensed therapist (it’s unknown if she is psychic), she appears to have what it takes after almost 15 years behind a school bus wheel. Including a smile, which she was seen exchanging with her passengers on a recent Thursday afternoon as they boarded the big yellow bus.

PUSD chooses new Principal of Sierra School
– Mountain Democrat/Placerville News Wire - Patricia Horn has been selected to serve as the new principal of Sierra School by the Placerville Union School District (PUSD). Horn brings with her experience as both a teacher and administrator with training credentials in Administrative Services, Multiple Subject Teaching, and Master of Arts – Education, Curriculum and Instruction.

It is important for every child to have a toy
– Mountain Democrat - Play is more than just a fun distraction for children, it is an important part of their development. Children who have no toys to nurture their imaginations are at a disadvantage… First, it is important that parents who want to receive a toy for their child must register between now and Nov. 16 at any public school in the county (even if the child attends a private or home school)… The El Dorado County Office of Education helps with finding eligible families.

Boys & Girls Club proposes idea of new home to LTUSD
– SouthTahoeNow - What is currently six portable buildings at the Al Tahoe school site could be a new home for the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe (BGCLT). That is the idea Jude Wood presented to the school board Tuesday night. Wood, the BGCLT Executive Director, spoke in front of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District's Trustees, giving them a look into a proposed partnership and future facility use agreement with the District with a new Clubhouse built on District owned property. The Club would fully fund the new building.

Mt. Tallac High students thank volunteers
– SouthTahoeNow - Dear John, Steve, Mo and Sombreros, Thank you so much for all you did for us on the day we hiked Mt. Tallac. We enjoyed your company and couldn't have done it without you guys as our chaperones, or your encouragement. The healthy, thoughtfully put together snack bags were so good, even the chipmunks were eyeballing them. They gave us the fuel to climb up the mountain and the taco truck gave us the motivation to do it.

Letter: Help us help others
– Tahoe Daily Tribune - We are Maiella and Milan Riva and Lily Demus. Last year we collected gloves, hats, socks and thermals for our Tahoe Warm Room. We far exceeded our goal with all of your help. This year we are raising items for our local and surrounding foster care services… Any of the above items can be dropped in the tall box in the front office of South Tahoe Middle School or Bijou Community School.

Students Teach Students ‘Say No to Tobacco!’
– Placerville Newswire/Windfall Magazine (attached) - To reach students on a peer-to-peer level about the dangers of tobacco use, Union Mine High School Leadership students spent a day as teachers at Pleasant Valley School this October. Dressed professionally, these young adults taught 7th and 8th-graders using curriculum from Stanford University’s Tobacco Prevention Toolkit. Lessons were delivered through ice-breaker activities, PowerPoint presentations, and were focused on long-term effects and the marketing methods used to entice children to become addicted to tobacco. A busload of Mountain Creek students also benefitted from the experience which took place in half a dozen classrooms.

Shrek offers a positive message
– Mountain Democrat - In this time when prejudice and bullying seem to be on the rise “Shrek: The Musical” has a message: that beauty isn’t always on the outside, diversity is important and bullying is a sign of weakness. Imagination Theater (IT) is in full rehearsal and the scenery is in place to be ready for the Nov. 24 opening night… Tessa Bush, 14, performs as the teenage Fiona, who like teens anywhere, is into having the right look and the right clothes. A student at El Dorado High School, Tessa is active in the drama program there under the direction of Paul Tomei.

Student art and more at Art On the Divide
– Mountain Democrat/Gazette - Art On the Divide Cooperative Gallery is collaborating with Divide schools to display art created by students. During the unit of study of Early Americans, fifth-grade students in Victoria Aquino’s class at Northside Elementary School with the assistance of Mrs. Uphold, retired art teacher and volunteer, read creation myths and then decided to write one of their own.

Forestry Challenge Provides Outdoor Classroom
– Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Local students recently had the opportunity to turn science into a competition. For the last 15 years Diane Neill has been conducting the El Dorado Forestry Challenge as a way to help students get excited about and have fun with forestry science… Golden Sierra High School as well as other schools from the Northern California region were involved with the academic activity. While several of the students from Golden Sierra might not pursue careers in environmental or recourse fields, their love of their environment brought them to this program.

The Center Welcomes Francie Heim Back to Their Board of Directors
– Placerville News Wire - The Center for Violence-Free Relationships is thrilled to announce the return of Francie Heim to our Board of Directors. "Francie first served on the board over 20 years ago, when she first moved to El Dorado County. As Deputy Superintendent of El Dorado County Office of Education, she  welcomed the chance to serve as a liaison between the Center and the education community. Francie's second stint serving on the board ended in 2012, when her family's  health issues caused her to re-prioritize time and commitments." 

Young and homeless in America
– EdSource - More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released Wednesday. The study, “Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America,” was based on random phone surveys of 26,000 young people ages 13 to 25, and represents one of the most accurate, wide-ranging overviews ever conducted of homeless youth, a group whose numbers have long eluded researchers, educators and social workers, homeless advocates said.

Legislative Analyst predicts healthy state revenues next year for schools, community colleges
– EdSource - Uncertainty over the impact of a proposed Republican tax cut on the state’s economy and budget is hanging like a cloud over California, but at this point, the Legislative Analyst’s Office is projecting robust growth in state revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges in the coming year. The LAO is predicting that the schools and community colleges will get $3.2 billion more in 2018-19 under Proposition 98, the constitutional formula that determines minimum school funding.

Larger tragedy averted, but Rancho Tehama must be a call to action
– EdSource - ecause of a quick response from teachers and other staff to a gunman on a shooting rampage, an unimaginable tragedy at a California school was averted yesterday. Just barely. In an instant, Rancho Tehama Elementary, with an enrollment of just over 100 children in a tiny rural community north of Sacramento, could have joined the list of school-site massacres alongside Columbine and Sandy Hook, which are branded into the national consciousness.  But remarkably, teachers were able to move children from the playground into the school and lock the doors when they heard shots being fired.

Understanding how schools serve homeless children in California : a quick guide
– EdSource - As California’s housing shortage intensifies, the number of homeless children is expected to climb. Since 2014, the number of homeless youth in California has jumped 20 percent, to more than 202,329, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of the overall public school population. Homeless children are enrolled in nearly every district in the state, according to the California Homeless Youth Project. An EdSource special project explored the issue in detail, and includes a map showing the number of homeless students in California schools.

California has millions of good-paying jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree
– EdSource - Workers who want to earn at least $35,000 a year increasingly need to have some training beyond high school but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. That’s the conclusion of a Georgetown University study on the nation’s workforce that goes beyond the narrative that all students need to aim for a four-year college degree. While the nation has lost more than a million good-paying blue-collar jobs, researchers have found that there is a restructuring underway, as new good positions that don’t require a bachelor’s degree have been created in California and elsewhere.

After hours of testimony, California state board rejects two history textbooks, approves 10 others
– EdSource - After hours of testimony, the state Board of Education Thursday rejected two history textbooks from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, but approved 10 others based on new history social sciences guidelines. Following nearly eight hours of emotional pleas from Hindus and Indian American, as well as advocates for the LGBTQ community requesting fair historical representations in K-8 textbooks, the state Board of Education endorsed the recommendations of an advisory panel.

State board alters criteria for rating school performance on new state dashboard
– EdSource - Citing methodology flaws, the State Board of Education on Wednesday revised criteria for rating performance on standardized test scores on the new color-coded California School Dashboard. The unanimous decision will reduce the number of districts and schools rated red, the lowest performing of the five color categories, but board members and state administrators insisted that was not the motivating factor (see previous story).

Free FKCE Workshop on Special Education – SELPA
– Placerville Newswire - Is your child struggling in school? Wondering about an Individualized Education Plan? What if your child doesn’t qualify but still needs help? Join us for information. Come find out more about an important resource: the El Dorado County Special Education Local Planning Agency (SELPA). Includes:- The evaluation process, - Eligibility, - Student rights and protections, - Documentation, Procedures, - Handouts will be provided on foster youth education rights, DATE: Thursday, November 16th, 2017 6:30pm-8:30pm. 

Jail inmate receives high school diploma
– Windfall Magazine (attached), Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Adult Education programs offer instructional programs that touch adults wherever they are in their education or life circumstances. The wide range of educational options is especially beneficial for adult learners who have been confronted with life challenges. Raymond Martin, a current inmate at the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville, attends classes within the jail and recently celebrated a significant step in his rehabilitation by earning his high school diploma.


Tails wag in this Ponderosa High class
– Mountain Democrat - One lucky group of high schoolers gets to bring dogs to class instead of homework. These students are enrolled in Julie Gilroy’s Animal Health Careers course at Ponderosa High School, and they recently brought the dogs to practice canine restraints for various veterinary procedures. The class is one of many offered to juniors and seniors as part of the Central Sierra Regional Occupation Program. “We have multiple Career Technical Education programs, including culinary, auto, cosmetology, medical and dental,” Gilroy said. “Kids from all over the district, as well as those in the public charter schools, can do CTE programs at any of the district schools.”

Buddy bench donation to Local School
[Photo] – Mountain Democrat - Ellen Barker, of Placerville, left and Marykay Haas, both representing The Pizza Factory, sit together on a bench the company donated to Gold Oak Elementary School in conjunction with a No Bully Program presentation in the cafeteria led by Principal Shirleen Hernandez, center, on Nov. 3. Six benches have been donated to schools in the county. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

It is time to fill those Empty Bowls
– Mountain Democrat - On Saturday, Nov. 11 come and support the Empty Bowls Supper to help reduce local and global hunger and malnutrition. The supper is open from 4-8 p.m. at St Patrick Catholic Church, 3109 Sacramento St. in Placerville… Empty Bowls Week took place at El Dorado, Ponderosa and Union Mine high schools this fall. Art teachers Michelle Kite and Bridget Bourque at El Dorado and Mary Rich at Ponderosa have been making bowls with their students for the past decade. Sue Denega, long time art teacher at El Dorado and now retired, introduced these teachers to Empty Bowls long ago.

Forestry challenge provides outdoor classroom
– Mountain Democrat - Local students recently experienced the opportunity to study science in a competitive outdoor situation… Golden Sierra High School as well as other schools from the Northern California region were involved with the academic activity. While several of the students from Golden Sierra students might now pursue careers in environmental or recourse fields their love of their environment brought them to this program… The highest scoring team presentation was awarded to Sacramento New Technology and the Pacing Contest went to Golden Sierra.

Concert hits high notes to help students feeling low
– Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County Youth Commissioner and Oak Ridge High School student Tifany Wong invites everyone to the first Healthy Mind, Happy Life Concert on Thursday, Nov. 9. The music, performed by pianist Wong as well as other Oak Ridge and professional musicians, will be lively. The cause that ticket sales support is more serious — mental health and suicide prevention programs at ORHS. “In summer 2016 I established (the) Tifany Wong Mental Health and Teen Suicide Prevention Initiative after one of my school mates and one of my fellow summer campers expressed to me that they were emotionally troubled,” Wong explained.

Divide Chili Cook-off boils up fun on Halloween
– Georgetown Gazette - Sponsored by Red Line Engineering Inc. and hosted by the Hay Lady, residents and visitors will enjoy the camaraderie and sample six delicious chilis on Tuesday, Oct. 31. The last chili cook-off was held in January. The event started as part of the PTA fundraising efforts for the Black Oak Mine Unified School District organized by Michaela Johnson, owner with husband Matt of Red Line Engineering. “Our kids have unique challenges on the Divide but the heart of our community is huge and our kids deserve just as much opportunity to learn and to create the life they want. All of the proceeds from the chili cook-off will go to the kids on the Divide,” said Johnson.

ACSA’s Adult Education Administrator and Confidential Employee of the Year
– EdCal - Impacting adult learners: Gary Sutherland, principal of Adult Education Programs at El Dorado COE: Gary Sutherland was motivated to become a school administrator by a desire to positively impact the lives of the students and teachers he serves. It is evident ACSA’s 2017 Adult Education Administrator of the Year found the right calling. “Mr. Sutherland is an exceptional administrator whose experience, leadership and compassion have played a significant role in the development and implementation of a robust range of high quality adult education programs throughout El Dorado County,” said County Superintendent Ed Manansala.

Lake Forest School to honor veterans
– VillageLife - Lake Forest Elementary School invites area veterans to be honored at the Celebration of Freedom assembly on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 9:15 to 10 a.m. in the multi-purpose room at 2240 Sailsbury Drive, El Dorado Hills. Veterans from local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and friends and relatives of Lake Forest students will be present. A reception will follow the assembly. “We value the importance of teaching our students about the sacrifices our veterans have made and how they have helped preserve the freedoms we enjoy in the United States today,” said Bruce Peters, Lake Forest School principal.

Good Grief: Charlie Brown and pals on Oak Ridge stage – EdSource - While autumn is a time for carving pumpkins and watching leaves fall, it is also a time for the Oak Ridge High School Drama’s fall play. This year’s production features some of America’s most beloved characters — the bossy Lucy, who can’t take her eyes off piano-playing Schroeder, plus blanket-toting Linus, perfectionist Sally, adventurous Snoopy and, of course, classic Charlie Brown.

Michelle Koopman achieves gold
– VillageLife - Oak Ridge High School senior Michelle Koopman has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her efforts to raise awareness about the importance of joining the national bone marrow registry, a topic that has extra meaning for the 17-year-old. “I chose this project because when I was 4 I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, which is when the body stops producing blood cells,” Michelle explained. “Three months later my mom and I moved to Wisconsin so I could have a bone marrow transplant. I had several potential matches, but they were all in Europe.”

Ripples of friendship at MVMS
– VillageLife - El Dorado Hills resident and north side inspiration Wally Richardson, 94, and his wife, Jenny, hosted Marina Village Middle School’s fourth annual Friendship Day last Thursday during the school’s three lunch periods. As students streamed by they collected two inspirational bookmarks, an instructional card that reads “energy follows thought” and a colored pebble.

South Tahoe’s Buchholz wins Nevada state cross country title
– Tahoe Daily Tribune - South Tahoe sophomore Carissa Buchholz was ahead of the pack Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Nevada State High School Cross Country Championships. She had a solid lead over her nearest competitor just after the halfway point, but was worried about holding that advantage. She was battling fellow sophomore Jazmin Felix, the state's top-ranked Class 3A runner from Desert Pines, who had a better personal record for the distance.

Update on viral meningitis cases in El Dorado County
– Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division, has received a number of reports of viral meningitis infection in the county over the past two weeks. Regionally, cases have also been identified in Susanville, California and Washoe County, Nev. As of Nov. 2 a total number of four confirmed cases of viral meningitis have been identified at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs and one confirmed case has been identified at El Dorado High School in El Dorado. The school district has notified parents of the situation and extra cleaning has been done at the schools. Public Health is working closely with school staff and has notified county health care providers.

Public input sought on mental health plan
– Mountain Democrat - The Behavioral Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency invites the public to provide input on the county’s Mental Health Services Act three-year plan annual update for fiscal year 2018-19. Community members can provide input by email, online survey or at an upcoming community meeting. Community meetings to receive input for the MHSA plan are scheduled as follows…

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson Criticizes Federal Actions that Weaken Protections for Sexual Harassment and Assault Victims – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson criticized U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Secretary Betsy DeVos for repealing guidance letters under Title IX that made it easier to protect the rights of victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment. “Victims of sexual assault and harassment must know that they will have a fair chance at justice when they come forward with serious accusations,” he said. “California has changed our laws to make our system more just and to make certain victims are heard. The actions by the federal government take us backward.”

California moves to curtail expelling children from preschool — yes, preschool
– EdSource - After successfully reducing expulsions in its K-12 schools, California is now moving to restrict the practice with even younger children — at the preschool level. To that end, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation last month that bars state-subsidized preschool programs from expelling kids unless an exhaustive process aimed at supporting the child and family is followed first. Children can be expelled from preschool as a result of any number of aggressive behaviors that could jeopardize the safety of other students, such as biting, kicking and shoving, or even for verbal classroom disruptions such as screaming.

State board alters criteria for rating school performance on new state dashboard
– EdSource - Citing methodology flaws, the State Board of Education on Wednesday revised criteria for rating performance on standardized test scores on the new color-coded California School Dashboard. The unanimous decision will reduce the number of districts and schools rated red, the lowest performing of the five color categories, but board members and state administrators insisted that was not the motivating factor (see previous story).

Latino students in California face steep inequities compared to white peers
– EdSource - Latino youth in California make up a majority of the student population but face daunting obstacles in schools, including less access to quality preschools, honors classes and college counseling than their white peers, according to a report by Education Trust-West released this week. The study, “The Majority Report: Supporting the Success of Latino Students in California,” found that in every California county, a majority of Latino students were not proficient in math or English language arts, based on Smarter Balanced test scores.

Hindus urge California state board to reject textbooks due to negative images
– EdSource - As the State Board of Education prepares to adopt recommendations for new history social science textbooks on Thursday, it is being flooded with written comments – including many expressing concerns about negative portrayals of Hindus. A coalition led by the Hindu American Foundation and other community groups that includes elected officials, nearly 40 academics and about 74 interfaith organizations is urging the board to “only adopt textbooks that are culturally competent, historically accurate and equitable in their representations of Hinduism, Jainism and Indian culture,” said Samir Kalra, foundation senior director.

Democratic candidates for governor declare support for California's signature education reforms
– EdSource - he four leading Democratic candidates vying to be the next governor of California say they are committed to continuing landmark education reforms initiated by Gov. Jerry Brown, who will be termed out of office next year. In early comments on the Local Control Funding Formula, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, State Treasurer John Chiang, and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin all say they support the Local Control Funding Formula — with some caveats. They will all be on the June 5 primary ballot next year.

Cal State trustees leave intact remedial education reforms while officials warn of tuition hike
– EdSource - The governing body of the Cal State University system on Tuesday in effect upheld an education reform plan that eliminates non-credit remedial courses and overhauls math requirements, despite faculty claims that the changes are happening too quickly and without enough study.

California state board asked to reject textbooks that fall short on LGBT contributions
– EdSource - For the first time, the State Board of Education on Thursday will consider recommending history social science textbooks that include ‘fair, accurate, inclusive and respectful representations’ of people with disabilities and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Point Break teaches students to break down walls – VillageLife - Shark attacks on land were just one part of Rolling Hills Middle School seventh-graders’ experience of developing more empathy for their peers while also boosting their own resilience as part of a recent Point Break day-long workshop. “Point Break is a workshop designed to break down educational and social barriers that exist between students on middle school and high school campuses. Through high-energy activities, interaction with caring adults and relevant discussion (regarding bullying, painful life experiences and emotional expression), Point Break draws students together, focusing on empathy and respect.

CHP officer assaulted in Grizzly Flat; man arrested (School and Community Resource Officer Ian Hoey)
– Mountain Democrat – An area resource officer from Placerville’s California Highway Patrol on routine patrol Monday morning in Grizzly Flat reportedly was assaulted by a man found passed out in a vehicle that matched one that had been reported driving recklessly in the rural area in recent weeks… Neighborhood residents would stand by the injured officer until help arrived… Hoey was taken to Marshall Hospital where he received medical attention before being sent home, where he is expected to make a full recovery.

California gubernatorial candidates take on — or don't — the issue of teacher tenure
– EdSource - In one of the first debates among the four leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates, only one — former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — expressed enthusiasm for taking on controversial teacher tenure and seniority laws in California. “Yes, I would reform it as governor, because we have to address the fact that system is broken when so many poor children and so many children of color are not making it in this state,” Villaraigosa said in the debate sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle at the City Club on Tuesday.

Until poverty eliminated, schools won't graduate 100 percent of students, expert says
– EdSource - California has made higher graduation rates one of its key measures for assessing school performance as part of its new accountability system. Graduation rates have increased steadily in California in recent years, now reaching an average of 83.2 percent for the class of 2016. But just how high can or should graduation rates go? 

Time children spend on mobile devices has tripled in four years
– EdSource - The amount of time young children spend on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has tripled in the last four years, according to a nationwide report that measures technology use among children 8 years old and younger. Children in that age group, on average, currently spend 48 minutes per day on a mobile device, compared to 15 minutes per day in 2013 and 5 minutes in 2011, according to the report released Thursday, by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that reviews media and digital products for children.

In strategy shift, Gates Foundation to spend bulk of education dollars on 'locally driven solutions'
– EdSource - In a significant shift in strategy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the nation’s largest charitable foundation, will invest the biggest share of its education philanthropy dollars over the next five years to support networks of teachers, schools and districts that come up with their own “locally driven solutions” to improving student achievement.

Watch the new Elevate to El Dorado video! (produced with EDCOE assistance/various students and Dr. Ed Manansala pictured) >>

EDCOE Charter College and Career Prep Provides New Opportunities for Students
– Mountain Democrat, VillageLife - The El Dorado County Office of Education’s Charter College and Career Prep began this school year with a myriad of new services that emphasize early college participation and success with hands-on learning experiences.  The charter alternative program, located on EDCOE’s main campus in Placerville, combined their college and career programs to create more opportunities for students. “This new school is truly remarkable and provides several engaging programs that will help students succeed in the future, regardless of whether they plan to go to college or straight into the workforce,” said Principal Fred Mier. “We are proud of our new Advanced Education Program and the many applied learning courses available to students in our state-of-the-art school facility.”

Lake Tahoe Unified School District adopts ‘green’ resolution – Tahoe Daily Tribune - The South Lake Tahoe Unified School District is getting a little greener. Earlier this week, the board unanimously adopted a resolution supporting expanded energy efficiency programs and sustainability improvements, according to a press release. The resolution also supports green building practices, greater biking, walking and transit options for students, school lunches with more locally sourced and organic foods, additional school gardens and landscaping practices that minimize water and chemical use.

STMS 7th grade boys and girls cross country teams win league championships
– Tahoe Daily Tribune - The South Tahoe Middle School seventh grade boys' and girls' cross country teams each captured Tah-Neva League championships Thursday, Oct. 12, at Kahle Park. Over 450 athletes came together for the championship races. The girls had six runners finish in the top 11 out of a field of 131.

County elementary schools compete in finals meet
– Mountain Democrat - Local elementary school harriers competed their cross country final meet of the season Tuesday afternoon at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. A total of 949 runners from 34 local schools with students from third grade to eighth ran in the in the El Dorado County cross country sports league finals. In the large school category William Brooks school of El Dorado Hills captured the league championship in two of the 10 grades at the meet taking first place in the third grade boys and fifth grade girls groups.

Announcements and back fence
– Mountain Democrat - The Union Mine High School Spanish 3 classes recently held a Torneo de Cocinar (cooking contest) where students brought in foods they prepared from different Hispanic countries around the world. On the day of the contest parents and Union Mine staff judged the taste and the presentation of the food while students explained in Spanish how they prepared their dishes as well as something about the culture of the country they selected…Oct. 19: BloodSource will hold a community blood drive to meet the need for blood and blood products on Thursday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center, 6699 Campus Drive in Placerville.

Student of the Month: Nolen Koehler
– VillageLife - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recently celebrated Nolen Koehler as Student of the Month. The Valley View Montessori School sixth-grader was called an “exceptional student who holds himself to high standards,” said teacher Travis Danz. He compared Nolen’s personality to that of a marigold — a plant that thrives while helping others thrive.

Freshmen find their footing
– VillageLife - New faces, new classes, new rules … how are Oak Ridge High School freshmen handling the culture shock after making the transition from being a middle schooler to a high schooler? Village Life’s high school correspondent Jacob Bassett spoke with the underclassmen about their experiences so far. Freshman Brianna Dinh said the biggest change is her studying habits. In middle school, Dinh said she would get by with relatively little studying, but in high school you “have to know it backward and forward.”

El Dorado County Announces Ready, Set, Ride Campaign
– EDC Press Release - El Dorado County encourages residents to drive alone less during the last full week in October by walking, biking, using transit, riding in a carpool or vanpool, or teleworking. Residents can participate in the Ready Set Ride campaign by registering at ReadySetRideChallenge.com and logging trips this Sunday, October 22nd through Saturday, October 28th. “There are many benefits to putting the brakes on driving alone for one week,” said El Dorado County Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “Saving wear and tear on your personal vehicle, saving gas, lightening the load on our local roads and freeways, and contributing to a better air quality index are just a few.”

Preventing Substance Use Among Teens in  El Dorado County
– EDC Press Release - National Red Ribbon Week is October 23-31, 2017, a time for communities across El Dorado County to join together to prevent substance use. Numerous schools and school children, parents and teachers across the County will wear the red ribbon during the awareness week, hear guest speakers on campuses and conduct other symbolic activities to raise awareness and emphasize the importance of being drug-free. "Coming together as a community to support drug-free youth is important," said Nora Mays, program assistant with El Dorado County Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP).

Jeanne Amos earns statewide honor
– VillageLife - El Dorado County Library Director Jeanne Amos doesn’t revel standing in the spotlight. As a CalPERS 2017 Spotlight on Excellence Award recipient, she has little choice. “I’m overwhelmed,” Amos said during a special presentation at the Oct. 10 El Dorado County Board of Supervisors meeting… For more than 20 years Amos has worked to improve El Dorado County’s libraries — El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Placerville, Georgetown, Pollock Pines and South Lake Tahoe — plus the Bookmobile program and the El Dorado County Historical Museum, an addition to her department as of 2008. “I do believe that libraries change lives,” Amos said.

Local authority speaks out on domestic violence
– VillageLife - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but for victims physically abused by an intimate partner it can be a daily way of life — a nightmare that never ends… The Center’s Executive Director Matt Huckabay recently talked about supporting behavior change among people who harm during a Facebook live stream facilitated by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence…  study by the Kaiser Foundation and Dr. Vincent Felitti shows direct correlations between the number of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and long-term mental and physical health outcomes, he said, referring to the ability to have relationships, to effectively communicate and so forth.

Some school districts allow employees to carry guns. California says they need to stop
– Sacramento Bee - For years, Folsom and Rancho Cordova schools have allowed some employees to carry guns on campus because district leaders believed their students were safer that way. Come Jan. 1, those guns have to stay elsewhere. Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed legislation preventing school districts from allowing non-security employees to carry guns on campus.

School districts should decide what students can wear at graduation, Jerry Brown says
– Sacramento Bee - Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday vetoed a bill that would have allowed California students to wear items of cultural significance on graduation day. Assembly Bill 233, by Democrat Todd Gloria of San Diego, would have allowed on a statewide basis a custom that has been prohibited by some school districts in California.

California will provide a year of free community college for new students
– Sacramento Bee - California community colleges will provide a year of free tuition after Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that aims to boost declining enrollment and address a shortage of college-educated workers in the state. Assembly Bill 19 waives the first year of fees for any first-time student who enrolls full-time at one of 114 community colleges in the state. About half of the system’s 2.1 million students already receive fee waivers because of financial need.

Poor students will get free tampons and pads at California schools
– Sacramento Bee - In an effort to keep poor students attending class during their periods, California schools will provide free tampons and pads. Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed Assembly Bill 10, requiring middle and high schools where at least 40 percent of students meet the federal poverty threshold to stock half their campus restrooms with free menstrual products.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Encourages High School Seniors to Join the "Race to Submit" for College Financial Aid
- CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today encouraged all California high school seniors to fill out applications for college financial aid and also to join the “Race to Submit,” which aims to increase the number of students applying for college financial aid. The California Student Aid Commission oversees the competition, which urges high school seniors and their families to fill out the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

In aftermath of fires, schools brace for newly homeless students
– EdSource - Debra Sanders has spent the past five years providing guidance and comfort to Sonoma County’s homeless students, helping them navigate the school system and claim their rights to an education. Then, last week, she became homeless herself… Sanders returned to work Monday at the Sonoma County Office of Education, where she is the coordinator for homeless education and foster youth, and is now busy helping the thousands of Sonoma County families suddenly left homeless by the fires — all while trying to secure housing for her own family.

Poll: Public schools must do more to prepare non-college going students for the workforce
– EdSource - California’s public schools should be doing much more to prepare students who don’t go to college to enter the workforce, according to registered voters who responded to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll. But they are divided in their assessment of how well schools are doing in providing that preparation. They also expressed strong support for community colleges and other institutions to offer more vocationally oriented apprenticeship programs that may not lead to a college degree but prepare students for specific jobs.

Children whose parents speak a language other than English less likely to enroll in preschool
– EdSource - Young children with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English at home are less likely to be enrolled in quality early childhood programs, although it is most critical for those students, according to a national report that includes a 30-state analysis on how different policies affect dual language learners.

To help those who need to stay close to home, state tells CSU to favor local students in admission
– EdSource - Thousands of potential CSU students have to attend college close to home because of family responsibilities, jobs or financial constraints. So getting rejected by a nearby campus or a major at that local school can have devastating consequences. Now, however, help appears to be on the way. State legislators have ordered the CSU to expand admission preference to so-called place-bound students when campuses and popular majors are over-crowded.

Gov. Brown's signed bills include about 100 related to education or children's issues
– EdSource - Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law about 100 bills related to education or children’s issues and vetoed 26. That’s based on an EdSource tally of the bills that made it to his desk this year. Oct. 15 was the deadline for the governor to take action. In total, Brown considered 977 bills and signed 859, vetoing the rest. Most of the education bills originated in the Assembly, which has 80 members. Both the Assembly and the Senate have to approve a bill to make it to the governor’s desk. Bill list provided.

California voters strongly back expanded K-12 science and computer education, poll shows
– EdSource - alifornians overwhelmingly support expanding science and computer education starting in elementary school, according to a Berkeley IGS/EdSource poll. The online survey of 1,200 registered voters in California found that 87 percent favored schools putting “greater emphasis on integrating science as part of the entire public school curriculum.”  Although by far the majority of respondents said they had never heard of the  Next Generation Science Standards, the new science standards adopted by the state in 2013, 68 percent support the concept once the standards were described to them. 

Gov. Brown signs bill to end 'meal shaming' in schools
– EdSource - Students in California whose families owe money for school lunches will no longer be given only a snack — a cheese stick, an apple and a glass of milk — or nothing at all, until they’re all paid up. They’ll get the same meal as all the other students. That’s because Gov. Brown signed SB 250, authored by Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles.  The law will ensure that children are not denied a full lunch because of their parents’ debt. 

California joins trend among states to abandon high school exit exam
– EdSource - This week Gov. Jerry Brown made official what has been state policy for several years: he signed a bill abolishing the California High School Exit Exam. Known by its initials as CAHSEE — and pronounced KAYSEE by educators and students — it had been in place as a graduation requirement for about a decade, until administration of the exam was abruptly suspended as a result of bureaucratic snafu in the summer of 2015.

Photo gallery: Back to the books – Mountain Democrat - Allison Cimmaruti, left, and Brooklyn Wright, both 5, listen to Aurora Wright read and trace letters in an alphabet book on the first day of kindergarten class at Georgetown Elementary School on Wednesday.

New stamp commemorates the total eclipse
– Mountain Democrat - The U.S. Postal Service celebrated the release of the first-of-its-kind U.S. stamp in commemoration of the first coast-to-coast total eclipse of the sun in nearly a century at a dedication ceremony Friday at the Community Observatory in Placerville…Approximately 50 guests attended the dedication ceremony including Candi Cheathon, customer relations coordinator for the USPS, Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools and Community Observatory Chief Docent, Jim Gabler, who said what a tremendous honor it was to have the ceremony at the Observatory.

Solar Eclipse Stamp
Channel 2 (Video) - A forever stamp heralding the 2017 solar eclipse was dedicated and unveiled in a ceremony at the Community Observatory in Placerville, CA. Attending were officials from the US Postal Service as well as local dignitaries.  A Channel 2 Exclusive!

Students discover the arts and themselves at Sugarloaf
– Mountain Democrat - This year, Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp was home to more than 200 campers who traded their phone, tablet and TV for instruments, cameras and paintbrushes. For one week campers explored the arts and enjoyed the surrounding environment of fresh air and pine trees…County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala attended the first of two final performances and said, “Thank you to our team members, volunteers, donors, educators, Sugarloaf Station Foundation, Community Observatory and Placerville Kiwanis Club for making this experience of a lifetime possible for our students.”

Local theater groups earn Elly nominations
– Mountain Democrat - Four hundred twenty Elly nominees for the 2016-17 season were announced at an informal nomination reception on Sunday, Aug. 13, at Pioneer Church located across from Sutter’s Fort in midtown Sacramento. During the 2016-17 season 244 shows were submitted by 77 theaters; 57 theaters and 114 productions received nominations. The seven community theaters receiving the most nominations were: El Dorado High School in Placerville (24) (all youth productions)

Northside School gets beloved teacher as new administrator
– Georgetown Gazette - New administrators for Northside and Georgetown/Otter Creek schools are in place for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. Wendy Westsmith, has been the administrator in charge of both Northside and Georgetown schools since March, but effective July 1 she will serve as the director of TK-6 education and as the primary administrator at Georgetown and Otter Creek schools. Leaving the principal’s position at Northside open, Carrie Arnett has taken on those duties. “I am very fortunate to be part of an administrative team who has a strong positive vision for our school district,” Arnett said. “We are going to do some great things for Black Oak Mine. The staff at Northside is talented, dedicated and I am honored and grateful to be working with them. The support I have received from the Northside community fuels my desire to do great things for our school.”

Westsmith takes new helm in Black Oak Mine Unified School District
(attached) – Georgetown Gazette – With changes in the Black Oak Mine School District’s administrative model, former principal of Northside School, Dr. Wendy Westsmith, is taking on the duties of Georgetown and Otter Creek. Westsmith came to Black Oak Mine district in 1990 when she was invited to join the staff as a first grade teacher at Creekside School, “From the moment I met the staff and leadership, I was hooked,” she said. “In my humble opinion the Divide and BOMUSD is the best private school that public money can buy.”

Valley View Charter Montessori opens
– Village Life - Children were greeted with fist bumps and smiles last Wednesday morning as Valley View Charter Montessori’s first students started the 2017-18 school year. Valley View is the newest school in the Buckeye Union School District, though the site was built in 2012 and 75 percent of its staff came from Blue Oak Charter Montessori, including Principal Paul Stewart. The Valley View campus served as the district office as the Blackstone community continued to be built out. School district officials waited year after year for the magic number of students to open the school’s doors.
New Assistant Principal at Camino Elementary School and Camino Polytechnic Charter School – Placerville Newswire - The Camino Union School District would like to announce the selection of Deborah Atkins as the new Assistant Principal of Camino Elementary School and of Camino Polytechnic – A Science and Natural Resources Charter School (previously known as Camino Science and Natural Resources Charter School). “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the students, families, and educators of Camino Union School District,” Atkins expressed. “I look forward to promoting the exciting educational opportunities that the district offers through Camino Polytechnic and the traditional school.  The science and natural resources charter offers a choice for almost everyone, from a home school option, to a hybrid program where students attend a few days a week, to a full on-site program that is focused on hands-on learning.” 

Ashby marks 20 years at New Morning
– Village Life - This month New Morning Youth & Family Services celebrates the 20th anniversary of Executive Director David Ashby, who has spent his last two decades tirelessly supporting the county’s runaway, abandoned and homeless youth. Ashby started his career in higher education working at California Polytechnic State University and Doane College.

Understanding the Common Core State Standards in California: A quick guide
– EdSource - Although the State Board of Education adopted new Common Core standards in math and English language arts nearly seven years ago, some school districts are still in the process of implementing them… This FAQ explains the new standards, while also touching on the national controversy that continues to swirl around them based on fears that the federal government has pushed the standards on states and concerns over the use of test scores in teacher evaluations outside California, among other reasons.

Voter initiative opens door to expansion of popular dual language immersion programs
– EdSource - As an initiative approved by California voters last November clears the path for districts to increase opportunities for students to become fluent in more than one language, the Fresno Unified School District is creating an educational track that will provide dual language instruction from preschool through 12th grade. The goal of the program is for English learners and native English speakers to start mastering two languages earlier in their school careers, and to maintain those skills through classes at every grade level.

National group sharply criticizes state's plan for Every Student Succeeds Act
– EdSource – A national education nonprofit that is evaluating states’ plans for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act praised California’s vision for a high-quality education for all students but mostly panned how it proposes to implement its goals in a report it issued Tuesday. Bellwether Education Partners gave California low ratings of 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale in six of nine categories, and a high score of 4 in only one. The state ranked particularly low in how it will identify the lowest-performing schools needing help and then measure how those schools are improving. It got a high score for high-quality assessments and academic standards, tied to preparing students for college and careers.

UC faculty mentors will help the growing ranks of first-generation students
– EdSource - The growing number of University of California students who are in the first generation of their families to attend a university will be able this fall to easily find role models and mentors close at hand: UC faculty who have the same background. Their need for help could run deep. About 42 percent of UC undergraduates are first-generation students, compared to the 36 percent average at all four-year institutions nationwide. And among UC’s incoming freshmen, the numbers are even higher — 45 percent.

California wants to simplify its $2 billion-a-year college aid programs
– EdSource - California wants to find a simpler and less confusing way to distribute more than $2 billion in Cal grants and other annual aid to about 400,000 students. The state agency that administers the state’s myriad aid programs recently started a search for a consultant to study the current system and come up with reform ideas. Students long have complained that they are baffled by the various forms of the grants and their eligibility rules.

Spanish-speaking teachers getting special training to meet California's demand for more bilingual teachers
– EdSource - Native Spanish speakers who have been teaching in English-only classrooms are the focus of specialized training in many districts across California to meet the increased demand for bilingual teachers. “We have a lot of teachers who at one point were bilingual who are now teachers of English-only classes,” said Maria Maldonado, Fresno Unified’s assistant superintendent for English learner services.  “Our bilingual teachers need a lot of support. Many are native speakers of Spanish, so their Spanish is quite casual. We want high-level academic language.”

Dyslexia, once the reading disability that shall not be named, comes into its own in California
– EdSource - Jamie Bennetts created a spreadsheet of every child’s reading scores in the small Knightsen Elementary School District a few summers ago, identified the laggers and greeted them in the fall with state-adopted reading interventions. She was new to her job as a reading interventionist, a position she sought after the unnerving experience of teaching 7th-graders, many of whom she’d taught as 1st- or 2nd-graders, and discovering that the 6- and 7-year-olds she’d known as poor readers were still reading poorly at 12 and 13.

Understanding transitional kindergarten: a quick guide
– EdSource - Transitional kindergarten is an option for younger children, who are not old enough for kindergarten, to gain social and academic experience. The program, like kindergarten, isn’t mandatory but children must have their 5th birthday by a certain month to even qualify. EdSource has compiled the following FAQ to highlight the top things parents should know about transitional kindergarten programs.
School Supt. reports on state of county’s schools  – Mountain Democrat, Village Life, Georgetown Gazette - Saying that El Dorado County students are doing well, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala gave a presentation on the state of the schools to the board of supervisors at its July 25 meeting… In an interview following the presentation to the board, Manansala said, “We have an exceptional educational system in El Dorado County. We have students going to some of the most high performing universities in California and the United States. We have a very vibrant zero to 5 child development program in our county and everything in between.”

Scholarships awarded to South Tahoe High students – Tahoe Daily Tribune - The winners of this year's Ed Cook Tree and Crane Service scholarships for South Tahoe Highs School's Industrial Arts Academy have been announced. The scholarships are part of the "Woodchips for Scholarships Program." This year Jorge Reyes and Jovian King were awarded the Automotive Repair Scholarship, a $500 shopping spree at Napa Auto Parts that was donated at cost.

Compassion and poem inspire Christmas Parade theme
– Mountain Democrat - Ariana Cooper, 13, is the winner of the 2017 Hangtown Christmas Parade theme contest. The Charter University Prep student submitted ‘A Child’s Dream’ while enjoying ice cream at the Hangman’s Tree Ice Cream Saloon on Main Street in Placerville. The ice cream shop and the city of Placerville are sponsoring the 2017 parade.

Rural districts need support to implement Common Core standards
– EdSource - Limited resources for teacher training have made it difficult for some rural districts in California to fully implement Common Core standards in math and English language arts, according to a new study… The study is based on work by Timar and the nonprofit Pivot Learning educational consulting organization, which created a Rural Professional Learning Network in 2015 that now includes 29 districts and the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Homeless Children Matter Fund makes a difference right here in El Dorado County
– Placerville Newswire - Each year, the Child Support Directors Association of California (CSDA) raises funds to help support a non-profit charity selected by the CSDA president. Next year’s funds will support El Dorado County students identified as homeless by the McKinney-Vento Act through a charity called the Homeless Children Matter Fund…“We are thankful for CSDA and the El Dorado Community Foundation for taking these crucial steps to help create the support systems necessary for every child to succeed,” County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, expressed.

Master Showmanship - Just one of the Awards with ROP
– Placerville Newswire - [Career Technical Education: El Dorado Union High School District] A big Congratulations to Sienna Smith on Finishing 4th in the State for Master Showmanship! She told her teacher. " What is the scientific name for a goat? Caprine! One of the hardest questions for everyone, and I got it thanks to you and ROP Animal Health!" ABOUT the ROP programs offered in EDC…

Speech and Debate National Championship Tournament
– Placerville Newswire - The Ponderosa High School (PHS) Speech and Debate Team recently competed in their 20th consecutive qualification at the Speech & Debate National Championship Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Two students were both elected as Presiding Officers during their preliminary rounds of Congressional Debate. This honor is achieved by only 4 students in each chamber. Senior Liam Gerety became the Capitol Valley District Champion in the House of Representatives and senior Reese Springer (who recently placed 4th in the State of California in Congressional Debate) became the District Champion in the Senate.

Oak Ridge grad scoops on tech start-up
– Village Life - After discovering a void in the workout supplement market, military veteran and Oak Ridge High School graduate Benjamin Lowry is launching Scoop, which will allow users to customize their own workout supplements online. Lowry, 26, served five years in the Navy and completed three deployments to Afghanistan on a counterterrorism mission. A lifelong athlete, Lowry holds the military sit-up record in Florida with 812 sit-ups in 33 minutes.

David Ashby’s 20 Years of Service to New Morning Youth & Family Services
– Windfall Magazine (Page 2) – This August, we celebrate the 20th year anniversary of David Ashby as the Executive Director of New Morning Youth & Family Services. Making David the longest standing Executive Director for New Morning and in El Dorado County. David has spent the last 20 years tirelessly supporting the county’s runaway, abandoned and homeless youth.

Jail library program engages inmates
– Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County Library and Friends of the Library volunteers have delivered more than 500 books to the El Dorado County Jail in Placerville over the last five months. The newly created library is utilized by many inmates, according to Lt. Jon Eslick with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. Donated books are brought from the library to the jail by Friends of the Library volunteers at least once a month.

Teen Court in Placerville invites new participants
– Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County students in grades eight to 12 are invited to take an active role in the juvenile justice system through the Teen Court program. New Teen Court participant training will be conducted on Aug. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. in El Dorado County Superior Court, located at 495 Main Street in Placerville. After completing the training, teens will serve as court personnel for real cases in which a minor has committed an offense, admitted to that offense and chosen to be judged by his or her peers.

Back-to-school childhood immunizations
Georgetown Gazette - The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Nursing is reminding parents to plan now for the coming school year by ensuring their child is up-to-date on required immunizations. For families without a health care provider, Public Health Nursing offers low-cost back-to-school immunizations to children who are eligible. Public Health can provide all childhood vaccinations required for school entry, as well as other vaccinations recommended to keep children healthy.

Homebuilders want high school students for construction jobs
– Sacramento Bee - Sacramento homebuilders are trying to deal with a severe shortage of construction workers by training high school students in summer internships. They want the teens and their parents to consider the possibility that a construction career might be a good alternative to college, though that can require some convincing. “There’s a negative stereotype about dirty jobs,” said Rick Larkey, executive director of the North State Building Industry Foundation. The group is leading the effort to recruit 5,000 new workers over five years in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties.

CSU eliminates remedial classes in push to improve graduation rates
– Sacramento Bee - Aiming to help thousands of students who get sidetracked in developmental courses that don’t count toward their degrees, California State University will do away next year with traditional remedial education. In an executive order issued Wednesday night, Chancellor Timothy White directed the 23-campus system to overhaul by fall 2018 its curriculum for students found to be unprepared for college-level English and math. About 39 percent of CSU’s incoming freshmen, or 25,000 students, are required to take remedial classes for no credit before they can begin their general education.

Teachers’ pension fund posts highest returns since 2014
– Sacramento Bee - California’s second-largest public pension fund rode a booming stock market to post its best year of investment returns since 2014. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System gained an investment return of 13.4 percent for the budget year that ended June 30. The earnings eclipsed the 1.4 percent net return that CalSTRS reported a year ago, and the 4.8 percent gain the pension fund notched in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2015.

Watchdog agency's new CEO warns of impact of dwindling school revenue
(interview) – EdSource - EDSOURCE: These are relatively good times yet we hear that districts are cutting back programs, laying off teachers and other district personnel. Why is that happening after several years with good revenues for districts? MIKE FINE: We are at the tail end of a fairly dramatic expansion period. We’re in transition to a slowing of year-over-year revenue growth while at the same time costs are not necessarily slowing.

Cal State drops intermediate algebra as requirement to take some college-level math courses
– EdSource – A new policy from the California State University system will soon allow some students to take math classes with pre-requisites other than intermediate algebra to satisfy the math requirements they need for graduation. The new rules go into effect starting in the fall of 2018 and will apply to both CSU freshmen and community college students transferring into the 23-university system.

Record high vaccination rates of 7th-graders reported in first year of stricter requirements
– EdSource - Vaccination rates for California 7th-graders reached their highest recorded levels, the California Department of Public Health reported, in another sign that a stricter vaccination law is having an effect in its first year. The increase in 7th-grade immunizations follows previously released record-high levels of kindergarten vaccination rates.

Understanding social and emotional learning: a quick guide
– EdSource - To improve education, California is asking schools to improve the way they meet the emotional as well as the academic needs of students. Among the strategies is what’s known as social and emotional learning, which refers to an organized method of teaching students behavioral expectations, self-management and relationship skills.

Expanding their taxing power would be one way to provide school districts more money
– EdSource - Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for nine Assembly Speakers. Now recently retired, he’s pitching a tax proposal that would liberate schools from Prop. 98’s constraints.

South Tahoe High alumna showing girl power in NASCAR – Tahoe Daily Tribune - Elizabeth Prestella has been blazing her own path since graduating from South Tahoe High School in 2007. Prestella didn't go the traditional route of attending university after graduating, but rather followed her dream of working in the racing industry and, eventually, NASCAR. Prestella attended NASCAR Technical Institute after graduating and hasn't looked in the rear view mirror since. She is now a pit crew member for JTG Daugherty Racing and specializes in just about anything related to tires.

New university center to bring more 4-year degrees to Lake Tahoe Community College - Tahoe Daily Tribune - Thanks to a sizable donation by a local philanthropist, Lake Tahoe Community College broke ground on a new university center this week — a move that the school hopes will bring on more opportunities for four-year degree programs. On Wednesday, June 21, South Lake Tahoe resident Lisa Maloff was honored for her $5.8 million donation at the groundbreaking ceremony for the 7,000-square-foot building... The new building, however, will open up opportunities for additional four-year programming through partnerships with other public and private universities. LTCC is currently in talks with California State University, Sacramento, and Washington State University.

Students enjoy fun activities at the fair
 – Mountain Democrat (Written by EDCOE Leadership & Communications Intern, Kaitlyn Fly - On the first day of the El Dorado County Fair more than 25 kids of all ages participated in the 1K Kids’ Fun Run where they raced against County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala along a course that weaved around the fairgrounds. For some runners it was their first time, for others they had been participating for years.

Best of Show
- Mountain Democrat - Amelia Kovach is your typical 11-year-old girl. She goes to school, does her chores and plays sports. The only difference is, she commands the respect of a 1,300 pound animal. Kovach, of Rescue, and her Angus-cross steer were named Supreme Champion Market Steer at the 2017 annual Junior Livestock Auction held Saturday at the El Dorado County Fair where her steer sold for $4.50 a pound... She attends Buckeye School and has been part of the Rescue Up “n” Coming 4-H group for the last two years.

Sac City college lineman from Union Mine HS commits to UC Davis
 - Placerville Newswire - 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.

Snyder Victory is 6th Straight in Women’s Wheelbarrow Race
 - Placerville Newswire - Makenzie Snyder captured her record sixth straight women’s championship in the 73rd annual John M. Studebaker International Wheelbarrow Race held at the Grandstands of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds on Sunday evening... In the Men’s Championship Division Levi Schnetz took first place with a payload of 60.6 pounds of weight from the ore pile, making this his second straight victory... The Youth Girl’s division ages 10-12 was won by Serena Connelly of Golden Valley School. She carried 26.7 pounds to the finish line while Tanner Carroll won the Youth Boys with 27.5 pounds. For the Teen Boy’s category, Caleb Peterson took first place. In the Boy’s High School division, the winners were the Ponderosa team of Jake Chaney and Jose Sanchez. In the Senior’s division, Erik Peterson was victorious over the four-man field. Sunday’s event was produced by Placerville Kiwanis.

Solid Gold Leadership Advances at GTUSD – Placerville News Wire - After serving more than 35 years at Gold Trail Union School District (GTUSD) as a teacher, principal, and superintendent, Joe Murchison deservedly entered retirement at the end of June. He has spent the last several decades cultivating a culture of family at their two school sites – Gold Trail Middle and Sutter’s Mill Elementary Schools… Joe is not leaving GTUSD to just anyone, however, as two local educators with long-standing ties to the district will take the reins. Scott Lyons was the Principal of Gold Trail and accepted the position as GTUSD Superintendent/Principal of Sutter’s Mill, effective July 1… Returning home to become Gold Trail’s new Principal is GTUSD alumni, Boyd Holler. Principal Holler began his GTUSD career in kindergarten at Sutter’s Mill and graduated from 8th-grade at Gold Trail.

Showtime at the county fair
- Mountain Democrat - Jake Boudreau, 17, a senior at Ponderosa High School, showed his 13-month old steer Bobby Q a 1,284-pound Black Angus mix... Eleanor Davis, 10, of Placerville, said the best thing about the fair is “learning to be a farmer.” Davis attends Gold Trail Middle School and showed her swine, Miss America... Anabella Rodriguez, a 2017 graduate of Ponderosa High School, showed her 1,052 steer, Journey, during Wednesday evening’s judging. “This is my first time showing and it’s fun,” Rodriguez said. “It’s rewarding to be part of FFA.”

Bingham among select few in Scouts
– VillageLife - When there’s a will there’s a way and El Dorado Hills Eagle Scout Ty Bingham, 18, kept his eye on the prize, earning all 137 Boy Scouts of America merit badges, well beyond the 21 needed to earn his Eagle Scout award and placing him in the company of a very select few…The 2017 Oak Ridge High School graduate set his goal to complete all of the merit badges two years ago, knowing it must be done by his 18th birthday. Both his father and grandfather were Boy Scouts and had earned 36 and 34 merit badges, respectively, personal records Ty wanted to beat.

EDCOE Charter students receive regional and national honors
– Georgetown Gazette - The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter students recently received regional, national and local awards at a dinner hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association for their exceptional writing. Each year the reserve sponsors a writing contest for seventh- through 12th-grade students to promote the spirit of American patriotism among the country’s youth.

Sun Safety Campaign at El Dorado Union High School District
– Placerville Newswire - 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.”

Area produced 6 Lacky award-winners
– Mountain Democrat - The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section recently awarded $30,000 in scholarships to 48 winners of the A. Dale Lacky/CSEA Scholarships for outstanding athletic performance, community service and academic success during their four years of high school. Six local athletes: Lexi Perry, Cameron Stone, Kylee Neidigh, Chris Volek, Cassidy Pensa and Michaela Yack — an unprecedented number were selected from this area. Below is the info released by the CIF with additional reporting.

Denner of Oak Ridge leads regional haul in CIF State track finals
– Sacramento Bee - Maddy Denner logged a lot of laps in Clovis on Saturday night and returned home to El Dorado Hills weighted down a bit with medals. The Oak Ridge High School junior won the CIF State girls 1,600-meter championship, pulling away at the 800-meter mark and finishing in 4 minutes, 44.89 seconds, the fourth fastest time in the country this season.

Boys and Girls Club selected as a nonprofit of the year
- Georgetown Gazette - It didn’t take long for the beautiful new Boys & Girls Club facility in Placerville to attract more than just local attention, as it has now earned the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope the honor of being named Nonprofit of the Year... Asked why this organization was chosen, Assemblyman Bigelow said in an email, “I have chosen the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope as 2017’s Nonprofit of the year because of all they do for the community. This local club was founded upon the goal of providing young people in El Dorado County a safe place with a well-known and trusted organization as its backbone."

Board of Supervisors Approve FY 2017-2018 $536 Million Recommended Budget
– EDC Press Release - El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved a $536 million Recommended Budget Tuesday that funds general government, law and justice, land use, health and human services, and contingencies. It is a $12.7 million decrease from last year’s adopted budget, includes a decrease of 40 full-time-equivalent positions and fully funds the County’s General Fund contingency, general reserve and capital improvement funds. "The Board of Supervisors had some challenging decisions to make in approving this Recommended Budget,” said Chief Administrator Don Ashton. “However, they approved a balanced budget that meets State mandates, upholds the Board’s priorities and is consistent with the County’s Strategic Plan.”

Governor signs 2017-18 budget allocating more money to schools
– EdSource - Gov. Jerry Brown signed the $183 billion state budget on Tuesday, after announcing he had reached an agreement on the details with legislative leaders earlier this month… The 2017-18 budget allocates more money to K-12 schools and community colleges, expected to increase by $3.1 billion over the 2016-17 level to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will include $1.4 million more for the Local Control Funding Formula, bringing its full implementation to 97 percent complete.

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Praises New State Budget with Increases for Education Funding
– CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today thanked Governor Brown for signing a 2017–18 state budget that increases funding for kindergarten through twelfth grade public schools, after school programs, early education and child care, and teacher recruitment and training. “The Legislature and Governor clearly showed their strong and ongoing support of high-quality public education in California,” Torlakson said. “When we invest more in our students, we help them succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college.

If you’re eligible for CSU, you’ll be guaranteed a slot under California budget deal
– Sacramento Bee - More than 30,000 students who meet California State University admissions requirements are turned away each year because there is no space for them in the system’s most popular programs. Under a state budget deal unveiled Tuesday, CSU will soon have to offer those applicants a slot somewhere at one of its 23 campuses statewide.

CalPERS just lost a lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision will cost Californians
– Sacramento Bee - CalPERS lost a big case at the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The decision will cost California government retirees a shot at recovering tens of millions of dollars. The court voted 5-4 to dismiss a lawsuit CalPERS filed against a slew of investment banks over the notorious collapse of Lehman Brothers, whose 2008 bankruptcy triggered the stock market crash.

Transitional kindergarten boosts school readiness in math, reading
– EdSource - California students who attended transitional kindergarten were more engaged in the learning process and better prepared for math and reading when they entered kindergarten than children who did not, according to a new study by the American Institutes for Research. The study, released Wednesday, compared the skill levels of kindergartners who had attended transitional kindergarten with those who had attended preschool or had not been in formal preschool the year prior.

How half of California's future workforce can earn college degrees at higher rates
– EdSource - Though often outshone by their coastal neighbors, California’s central and eastern regions are home to millions of potential college students who could make the difference between the state boasting a thriving economy — or not. A new report identifies a handful of successes and some hurdles these regions must overcome to bring more of their students to and through college.

Trump's proposed cuts to education funding creates friction in charter school community
– EdSource - In remarkably frank comments earlier this month, Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, acknowledged in advance of her organization’s annual conference in Washington D.C. that “the Trump administration’s policies have put us in a difficult spot.” The difficulty, she wrote, is that the Trump administration is proposing a $168 million increase in funding for the Charter Schools Program, on top of the current level of $333 million, while at the same time cutting other education funding.

5 resources to help LGBTQ youth
– EdSource - Pride Month is coming to a close but creating safe and inclusive school environments for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) students, and students with LGBTQ family members, is more than a single-month effort. According to a recent survey from research firm RTI International, LGBTQ students are two to three times more likely than their peers to be physically assaulted or threatened at school, and are “in urgent need of safe and tolerant environments.”

National arts scores are in, and the western U.S. lags behind
– EdSource - Only a third of 8th-graders in the western U.S. took an art class last year and only 17 percent played in the school band, the lowest figures of any region in the country, according to a recently released national arts assessment. The assessment, given to a random sampling of 8th-graders once every eight years by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, looked at how many students were enrolled in visual art and music classes at their schools, how well the students understood basic art and music principles and other criteria intended to measure the quality of arts education in the U.S.

Supreme Court rules on church playgrounds; are vouchers for religious schools next?
– EdSource – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and other supporters of school choice are hailing a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday as one more step toward tearing down states’ opposition to tuition vouchers for private and religious schools. Opponents in California and in other states whose constitutions ban using taxpayer money for religious schools, while disappointed with the ruling, are warning not to read too much into it.

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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