Local Education News

California Program Debuts Fully Inclusive Playground – National Head Start Association - Staff at the Camerado Springs Middle School (CSMS) Head Start in Cameron Park, California debuted their new fully inclusive playground ahead of the new program year. CSMS Head Start is home to a fully inclusive preschool classroom that provides services to children with special needs. The fully inclusive playground is engineered for children with varied disabilities and has fully accessible ramps and walkways.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District starts process of hiring new superintendent – South Tahoe Now - The Board of Trustees from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) heard a presentation Tuesday about searching for the next superintendent… Rich Fischer, former LTUSD superintendent and current El Dorado County Board of Education (EDCOE) trustee, outlined what the LTUSD board members could expect about the process most of them are facing for the first time… “The El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) believes that the selection of the Superintendent will be the most important decision of the Board. EDCOE fully supports the decision of the LTUSD Board to identify the best strategy to recruit the highest quality candidates and future leader of LTUSD.” Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools

Crews working to get Sierra House Elementary open by start of school – South Tahoe Now - …With the beginning of school just around the corner, crews have been beefed up and are working overtime to try and get the doors open for all students on August 26.…"In catastrophes like this you see strength come out of it, the teachers and kids were phenomenal," said Superintendent Dr. Jim Tarwater. "I am very proud of both the kids and teachers [of the moves to STMS and Al Tahoe]," added Tarwater. "I know where they wanted to be, but they adapted. They kept their focus." He said test scores actually increased this past year though exact details have not yet been released. He also said he appreciated the support of the community during this process and said the school's principal Karin Holmes did a "superb job."

Boys & Girls Club proposes idea of new home to LTUSD – South Tahoe Now - 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.,, Al Tahoe, which closed as an elementary school in 2004 due to declining enrollment, reopened shortly afterward as home to several non-profits and agencies as well as BGCLT. The District wants to slowly reopen classrooms there that will focus on robotics and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math). They began the new focus this year with daycare facilities for children of their employees.

Pleasant Grove welcomes new principal – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Pleasant Grove Middle School in Rescue just got itself a new principal. Meet Principal Vera Morris, who told Cameron Park Life she “loves middle school.” “It’s such an in-between part of kids’ lives. They don’t know who they are but they think they do,” she explained. Growing up in Pollock Pines and Cameron Park, where Morris currently resides, she already has a connection to the community… Rescue Union Superintendent Cheryl Olson added, “We are very excited to have her join our team. She comes with great experience at the middle school level, she has a deep love and passion for middle school students and she is very excited to give back to the community in which she lives.”

Marshall Medical Center reports community benefit report – Mountain Democrat - Living out its mission to improve health in El Dorado County, Marshall Medical Center has invested in community benefit programs to enhance access to behavioral health services, prevent and better manage chronic disease and increase primary care access. These actions were based on the findings of a Community Health Needs Assessment conducted in 2016.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Efforts Underway to Make Major Revisions to Improve Ethnic Studies Curriculum Draft – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined with leaders of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus at a special news conference today to address concerns and talk about revisions to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum. Thurmond stated in the meeting that greater balance was needed in the curriculum to more accurately reflect the experience and contributions of Jewish Americans and to address anti-Semitism that has existed historically and that continues to persist in modern-day times.

Criticism of draft curriculum for ethnic studies in California intensifies – EdSource - California lawmakers will decide this month whether to make ethnic studies a high school graduation requirement. Yet the first draft of a proposed ethnic studies curriculum has drawn strong criticism from top state education leaders, as well as some ethnic organizations that say their stories are mischaracterized, underplayed or ignored. Thursday is the final day for the public to comment on the proposed curriculum that already has drawn more than 5,000 responses, mostly from critics who describe the 350-page document as politically slanted and insensitive to Jews and other groups.

Students return to dramatically different Paradise – EdSource - Schools reopen in Paradise today, but nothing is the same. The Camp Fire changed everything nine months ago when it roared through the town and neighboring communities, killing 86 people, destroying thousands of homes and four schools. Many of the 1,000 students who are expected to return — about a third of the student population of a year ago — will be coming on buses from their new homes in Oroville, Chico and Durham. Many of their former classmates and teachers have moved away.

Federal government to restrict green cards for immigrants who could use food stamps or other aid in future – EdSource - Low-income immigrants will not be able to get green cards if government officials believe they might use food stamps, public health insurance or public housing in the future, after a new rule goes into effect in October. The Trump administration had originally proposed this change last fall, spurring opposition from numerous nonprofit organizations and individuals, who submitted comments opposing the policy change.

New push in California for later middle, high school start times – EdSource - fter former Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill last year that proposed starting middle and high school times later to give teens more time to sleep, the bill’s author started working to bring it back again this year. Although the bill originally banned both middle and high schools from starting before 8:30 a.m., Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-San Fernando Valley, agreed to amendments in May that would allow middle schools to start at 8 a.m. while keeping high school start times at 8:30 a.m., to give districts more flexibility in scheduling buses.

Nationwide project provides free science materials to meet California’s new standards – EdSource - While California students began taking a new statewide science test this past spring, school districts were still struggling to get teaching materials aligned to the state’s new science standards into classrooms. A new nationwide effort is trying to speed up that process by offering free, open source science materials to teachers and schools.

Special Education Resource Connectors – CCEE Connection Newsletter (attached, authored by Michelle Magyar, Ph.D. CCEE Senior Manager, Continuous Improvement, Tamara Clay, Director, El Dorado County SELPA, Ginese Quann, Director, El Dorado County Charter SELPA) - In order to maximize the support and commitment of resources to special education provided by California's leadership, as well as respond to the needs of LEAs, CCEE is highlighting a suite of web modules designed to provide a foundation for improving outcomes for students with disabilities… These resources were developed by the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) Charter Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) (to support charter schools and charter authorizers… LISTEN NOW >> Tamara Clay, Director of the El Dorado County Office of Education SELPA, talks about collaborating with the CCEE and other agencies to offer statewide resources on special education. .. Understand the differentiated levels of support that will be provided to LEAs and schools in order to improve student learning and outcomes. LISTEN NOW >> Episode 12 of the California School Field Trip to learn about Differentiated Assistance (DA) -- a technical term that describes what happens when a district in California is identified for needing extra support under the state's new approach to school improvement. Education leaders from the Mother Lode Union School District (Marcy Guthrie) and the El Dorado County Office of Education (Kevin Monsma and Tamara Clay) reflect on their two-year experience, share progress made, lessons learned, adaptions in strategies, and the work ahead.   

Highlighting El Dorado County High Schools – Serrano Magazine (attached) - Summer is an exciting time for educators, as we have the opportunity to highlight our high school graduating class of 2019, and their achievements. Their years of hard work and dedication culminate in celebration, as they enter a new chapter in life. Some students will pursue higher education while others will take the skills they learned in high school to begin a career. We are fortunate in El Dorado County that students have opportunities to gain lifelong skills, preparing them to succeed on both paths, owing to our exemplary educators and schools. In South Tahoe High School (STHS), their Viking Graduate Profile program emphasizes critical thinking, collaboration, curiosity, communication, character, and healthy independence.

Sugarloaf Camp demands and rewards the best – Mountain Democrat - In under a week at the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp, students are pushed to their limits to improve skills in drama, music, art and more in ways that they didn’t think possible. Students arrived at the simple setting full of trees and full of life in Pollock Pines on Sunday and for the next five days, they are trained in a single major of study for about six hours a day by top professionals in their respective industries. All of that leads up to a performance at the campground on Saturday for parents, friends and family.

Hands4Hope clubs launching in Placerville this fall – Mountain Democrat - The Hands4Hope Placerville Steering Committee announces that Hands4Hope — Youth Making a Difference will be launching clubs at both El Dorado High School and Edwin Markham School this fall, thanks to the generous support of the community… The Placerville Steering Committee is composed of several local community leaders, including school administrators at El Dorado High School and Edwin Markham School. “Edwin Markham School is looking to provide opportunities for our students to participate more fully in service learning and have avenues for them to serve their local community,” said Principal Terry Edinger.

Scroggins named Administrator of the Year – Village Life - Roles reversed for Dave Scroggins earlier this year and, he confessed, “It’s weird to be on the other side.” The Rescue Union School District assistant superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction typically hands out awards to deserving district employees. This time the trophy came to him as Scroggins was recently named the Association of California School Administrators Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year for the entire state. Humbled by the honor, not to mention feeling a bit awkward, Scroggins told Village Life, “People don’t set out to receive awards in this job. I’m used to recognizing everyone else.”

Bolivian exchange student heads home with suitcases, memories – Village Life - Matias Ovando shared thanks and tears at his final Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills meeting last month. The teen from Bolivia spent a year here as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, giving him first-hand American experiences. “It’s been a really great year here,” Matias said. “I’m really sad to leave.” Matias’ first day in El Dorado Hills started with a tour of Oak Ridge High School.

Hands4Hope honors steadfast volunteers – Village Life - Hands4Hope recently celebrated its incredible youth volunteers at the 10th annual Youth Recognition event. Themed Sweet Endings … New Beginnings, the event at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District pavilion recognized youth volunteers for their commitment and dedication to serving others. Over the 2018-19 program year, Hands4Hope youth logged 11,012 hours, organized and participated in 265 projects and outreach events, served 5,031 meals, collected and distributed 10,076 school supply items to students in need, collected and distributed 4,000 pieces of warm clothing to struggling families and raised $27,500 to support the mission of local agencies.

CalRTA Launching the 2019/20 State Teacher Grant Program - The budget approved by the Delegate Assembly includes money to continue the very successful Teacher Grant program. We'll launch the first round of grants for the 2019/20 school year in mid-August. We'll hold 3 rounds during the school year and will provide 50 grants to teachers during each round. Application dates are attached.

Plan to expose all students to physics missing one element — teachers – EdSource - As California schools move to implement new science standards, they are under pressure to offer more physics instruction, creating a demand for teachers in a subject area where there is already a severe shortage. The California Science Framework, adopted in 2016 by the State Board of Education to support the Next Generation Science Standards, recommends that all high school students take biology, earth/space science, chemistry and physics.

California Teachers Association names interim executive director – EdSource - The California Teachers Association has named Gail Gregorio as the interim executive director to replace Joe Nuñez, who was abruptly terminated by the CTA’s board of directors last week.

A new battle against soda brews in California – EdSource - Doctors, dentists and public health advocates are gearing up for another battle with the soda industry. Several organizations, including the American Heart Association, the California Medical Association and the California Dental Association, among others, announced Wednesday that they are joining forces to push for a statewide tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Educators learn early results of Gates initiative to improve student outcomes – EdSource - It’s been almost two years since Bill Gates announced a major shift to locally driven solutions in the education funding strategy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the nation’s largest charitable foundation. Gates said he remains “driven by the same guiding principle we started with: all students — but especially low-income students and students of color — must have equal access to a great public education that prepares them for adulthood.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo gallery: Celebrating the class of 2019 – Mountain Democrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘See That Girl, Watch that Scene’ it’s time for ‘Mama Mia’ – Mountain Democrat - Get ready to brush up on your ABBA playlist  as “Mama Mia,” the musical, hits the El Dorado High School stage beginning March 28. Favorites like