Local Education News

Inconsistent vaccine supply, lack of state coordination complicate vaccinating school staff – EdSource - El Dorado, a county east of Sacramento, with a total population of 193,000 people and 3,500 school employees, is further ahead than many in the state. School staff in the county began receiving their first doses of the vaccine last week. While it will likely take until mid-February to vaccinate all school employees who want it, county Superintendent of Schools Ed Manansala is optimistic. “The sense of hope and promise in El Dorado County, it shifted this week,” he said. “When you start seeing people having access to vaccinations within our sector — the education sector — this is good news.”

To achieve excellence, reassurance and hope, rest on communication and empathy – Studor Education - In this ever-changing climate, continuous improvement is more vital than ever, and it’s something today’s guest, Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools at El Dorado COE, and the President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association are deeply committed to. Listen as Janet and Ed discuss how to engage people in continuous improvement, 5 bold steps for implementation, and why it makes a difference in critical times.

GTUSD Board Appoints Keri Phillips as New Superintendent/Principal – Placerville News Wire - The Gold Trail Union School District (GTUSD) is pleased to announce that Keri Phillips has been appointed the District Superintendent and Sutter’s Mill School Principal, effective January 25, 2021. Keri’s personal and professional background validate the decision of the Board. Keri was raised in a family that values education, as both of her parents were teachers. Following in their footsteps, she began her career in education, teaching for almost a decade, before transitioning into administrative roles. She served as Assistant Principal at Folsom High School for three years, and as Principal at Sutter Middle School in Folsom for 15 years.

Care Solace selected by EDUHSD for Mental Healthcare Services – Placerville News Wire - El Dorado, CA - Care Solace, an organization determined to calm the chaos of mental healthcare coordination, has been selected by the El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) to support behavioral and mental healthcare referrals for its approximate 7,200 students, families and staff members. Care Solace equips school districts with a web-based tool that makes it easier for students, families and staff to connect with mental healthcare resources and providers in their communities.

Youth athletes, parents tell Legislature ‘Let Them Play’ – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - High school athletes across the state gathered to appeal to the California Legislature to reassess guidelines for high school sports in more than 130 rallies Friday afternoon, with El Dorado Hills Town Center being the epicenter for one event. “Our goal is to stand together and show the state that we want youth to start immediately in a safe manner,” said Oak Ridge High School parent Kristen Roeder. “Thirty states played their basketball seasons and 35 states played their football season. The science shows that sports can be played without spreading COVID.”

Teens in need can rely on MJ’s Project – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Growing anything by more than 700% in two years is a milestone dream for most businesses or nonprofits. MJ’s Project made that goal a reality. MJ’s Project began when its founder, MJ, a student at Ponderosa High School, needed feminine products but couldn’t take enough from her school to last. She had none at home and her family didn’t have much money to buy more.

Gurrola honored for excellence in education – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – At the Jan. 14 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees, El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy and School Resource Officer Andrew Gurrola was honored with an Excellence in Education Award for his outstanding service to the students, families and staff at Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School.

Teen drivers can ‘Start Smart’ – Mountain Democrat - The Placerville office of the California Highway Patrol urges local teens to sign up for its upcoming Start Smart class.

No bad reactions to Moderna vaccine in El Dorado County – Tahoe Tribune - State Department of Public Health officials have asked providers to halt administering doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after reports that some people suffered allergic reactions. Monday El Dorado County officials said so far no residents have reported abnormal side effects.

Nonprofits invited to apply for 2021 Endow El Dorado grants – South Tahoe Now - The El Dorado Community Foundation is pleased to announce the 2021 Endow El Dorado Grant Cycle will open on February 1, 2021. Endow El Dorado is open to all nonprofits serving the residents and communities of El Dorado County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors getting virtual applause – Mountain Democrat - Two Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra volunteer mentors will receive the title of Bigs of the Year in a virtual event, 6-7 p.m. on National Mentor Day, Jan. 29.

How California schools can help undocumented middle and high schoolers receive legal aid – EdSource - Hazel Piñon, an immigrant who moved to the Bay Area from the Philippines as a child, was 20 when she found out she may have qualified for a visa as a teenager that would have given her a path to permanent U.S. residency. By the time she found out, it was too late to apply.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

More school organizations urge revising Gov. Newsom’s reopening plan – EdSource - Five statewide organizations representing school districts and county offices of education that had refrained from commenting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to entice school districts to begin reopening are urging major revisions they say would make the plan feasible.

California education news updates – EdSource

How one California preschool program is helping youngest learners with math – EdSource - Teaching math remotely to kids who might literally throw a tantrum onscreen would be laughable in a typical year. But California preschool providers are attempting the seemingly impossible.

What's Ahead in U.S. Education Webinar – Corwin - Please join us for a discussion on the future of U.S. Education under the Biden administration. Peter DeWitt, author, blogger, and host of the EdWeek Show “A Seat at the Table,” will facilitate the discussion with international and U.S. policy experts, Drs. Michael Fullan (OISE, U of Toronto), Andrew Hargreaves (Boston College), Pedro Noguera (USC), and Patricia Gandara (UCLA).

Immigration reform proposed by Biden could alleviate anxiety, fear for thousands of California children – EdSource – A path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden could benefit hundreds of thousands of California children, alleviating anxiety and fear they, their parents or other family members could be deported.

In inaugural address, Biden says it is possible to teach children ‘in safe schools’ – EdSource - While President Joseph Biden spent most of his inaugural address pleading for unity, he also touched on an issue of deep importance to many American families: getting children back to school during the pandemic.

San Diego superintendent will bring years of teaching to deputy education secretary post – EdSource - On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to select a teacher to be his secretary of education. Just before Christmas, in a surprise choice, he named Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to the post. Cardona has been a teacher — albeit for only about five years before becoming a principal and district administrator.

To achieve excellence, reassurance and hope, rest on communication and empathy. – Studer Education Podcast - In this ever-changing climate, continuous improvement is more vital than ever, and it’s something today’s guest, Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools at El Dorado COE, and the President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association are deeply committed to. Listen as Janet and Ed discuss how to engage people in continuous improvement, 5 bold steps for implementation, and why it makes a difference in critical times.

California schools struggle to pay for ventilation upgrades, key to safely reopen campuses – EdSource - Upgrading ventilation systems is a key way schools can reduce the spread of the coronavirus when campuses reopen, but some districts in California are finding the cost of those upgrades to be insurmountable… “Conditions matter,” Superintendent Marcy Guthrie said. “For family morale, for staff morale, for student safety. Schools are people-driven. People need to feel safe, respected, comfortable. We’re talking minimal stuff — heating and cooling.”

Stories from the Pandemic – UC Davis - The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have spread across the world, impacting all areas of life. Here, alumni from multiple fields share their experiences… Schools not only educate, they help children grow socially and emotionally, and support the local economy by caring for children while parents are at work, said Ed Manansala, Ed.D. ’11, El Dorado County superintendent of schools.

South Lake Tahoe teachers and staff start to receive vaccines – South Tahoe Now - A major step in preparing to open schools back up to in-person classes, teachers and staff from Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) are receiving the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The news of the available vaccines came earlier than the District expected. They hope to have all staff members receive the first vaccine within the next two weeks, and the second required injection within the next six weeks.

Kiwanis of Tahoe Sierra helping children in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - The Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra has been busy this winter with helping the children of South Lake Tahoe. Club members started the season by providing snow pants and boots to children in the Tahoe Head Start program, knowing that every child deserves the opportunity to keep warm as they play in the snow. The club would like to thank Cheryl the K-Mart store manager for her support of the project.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District seeks developer fee increase – South Tahoe Now - Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) is seeking an increase of developer fees that go to the district from $2.24 per square foot to $3.20 per square foot. They plan to use the increase in revenue to support its program to reconstruct existing facilities, funds that are needed due to rising costs in South Lake Tahoe.

When Will BOMUSD Educators Receive the COVID Vaccine? – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Superintendent Jeremy Meyers had the opportunity to hear Dr. Nancy Williams, El Dorado County Public Health director, at a recent meeting of the El Dorado County school superintendents. Vaccines were obviously a topic of conversation. County superintendents are pushing to make educators a priority in receiving vaccination.

Golden Sierra Wellness Center serving community – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – through a partnership with other high schools in El Dorado County and Sierra Child and Family Services, Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School now has a Wellness Center on campus in Garden Valley. The purpose of the Wellness Center is to assist students and families with navigation to community resources, to offer a safe space on campus and to improve the overall health and well-being of students.

Women’s Fund scholarship applications available now – Mountain Democrat - Applications are now available for Women’s Fund El Dorado’s Wickline Scholarship. The Wickline Scholarship Fund was established to assist women older than 25 in overcoming personal difficulties by pursuing post-secondary education. Since 2012, WFED has awarded $39,000 Wickline Scholarship dollars, making a difference in the lives of 27 women.

Hands4Hope boutique helps families stock up – Village Life - COVID-19 did not stop Hands4Hope – Youth Making A Difference from hosting its annual Warm and Fuzzy Drive and Winter Boutique this season. It definitely provided challenges, but despite these, more than 5,800 warm clothing items were collected, 169 no-sew blankets were made and 703 individuals in need were served.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Experts Discuss Approaches to Understanding and Countering Islamophobia – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today joined leaders from the Islamic Networks Group (ING) in a virtual classroom session on understanding and countering Islamophobia.

Newsom opens one-stop Covid information ‘hub’ on reopening schools – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday the creation of one online spot where school districts can find technical information and resources, and parents can find answers and lodge concerns on reopening schools during the pandemic. It includes a website that will launch later this month that will list Covid outbreaks by school and district and permit parents to file complaints online and through a hotline telephone if their schools are not following safety protocols.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

California school officials push for standardized testing waiver amid Covid-19 spike – EdSource - As Covid-19 cases continue to soar in California, a majority of the State Board of Education is now in favor of pursuing a waiver from the federal government that would remove the obligation to carry out standardized testing for the second year in a row.

In the right direction? Perspectives on Gov. Newsom’s education budget – EdSource - EdSource asked leaders representing all segments of California’s education system to comment on Gov. Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal. This year, we’ve presented their responses in reverse alphabetical order, which seemed apt for these topsy-turvy times.

California education news updates – EdSource

California’s ’cradle-to-career’ data system in line to receive $15 million for next phase – EdSource - Ending speculation as to how much California will invest in building an ambitious “cradle-to-career” data system, Gov. Gavin Newson is proposing to spend $15 million for the next phase of creating a data system that will shed light on effective strategies contributing to student success and to provide useful tools to students trying to plan their education careers.

Some California teachers and staff to receive Covid-19 vaccines beginning this week – EdSource - Teachers and school employees in Mariposa County are expected to be among the first of California’s 1.4 million teachers and other school staff to be vaccinated for Covid-19 when they roll up their sleeves for the shot on Monday.

California governor takes steps toward expanding transitional kindergarten – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is making strides toward realizing his vision of preschool for all the state’s 4-year-olds in the proposed budget he released Friday for the coming fiscal year.

Officials talk COVID-19 at virtual town hall – Georgetown Gazette - Following the greatest increase in COVID-19 cases reported in El Dorado County since the onset of the pandemic in March, officials held a virtual town hall Nov. 19 to discuss impacts of the virus on the community… Next to speak was El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, who talked about COVID-19 and its impact on county schools.

Excellence in Education Award – John Ledo – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – John Ledo, Lead Maintenance II, was awarded and Excellence in Education Award at the November 12, 2020 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees. Supervisor Mark Koontz honored Ledo for the “Stand Out” performance and ingenuity in developing a plexiglass fabrication workshop for made-to-order shields as part of the PPE needed to reopen district schools.

Swine barn brings convenience to Union Mine students – Mountain Democrat - Swine raised by Union Mine High School Agriculture and Future Farmers of America students have new digs to call home. After two years of fundraising, the school recently built a new swine barn that can house about 20 hogs — a much needed addition for students who don’t have access to land where their project animals can live a healthy life.

ORHS students back in class – VillageLife - After seeing a COVID-19- spike amongst staff and students, Oak Ridge High School officials canceled in-person classes last week. “The move to distance learning was a precautionary move to prevent a large increase in quarantined students who would then miss the last two weeks of school,” explained Principal Aaron Palm in a letter to parents. “Over the course of this week we continued to (have) positive student cases of COVID-19 reported to us. These cases would have resulted in hundreds of students having been quarantined at no fault of their own.”

#CASTEAM20 Keynote Speakers and Early Registration Prizes Announced! – CDE press release - Give yourself the gifts of community, inspiration, and revitalization by joining us at this year’s California STEAM Symposium on December 11–13, 2020! As we wind down 2020, we look forward to collaborating with educators from around the world at the California STEAM Symposium to prepare for a wonderful launch into 2021 and we are excited to announce our keynote speakers who will rejuvenate, energize, and motivate you!

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Additional Educator Trainings and Grants to Address Equity and Learning Gaps – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Tuesday that the California Department of Education (CDE) is launching additional virtual educator trainings and mini-grants designed to accelerate ongoing efforts to address equity gaps, strengthen distance learning, and support students’ social emotional wellness during the pandemic.

California education news updates – EdSource - A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California has revealed considerable pessimism toward the future and immediate economic distress particularly among lower-income Californians interviewed in the grip of the pandemic.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Another step toward universal preschool in California? – EdSource - Long a goal of early childhood advocates, universal preschool came a step closer to becoming reality this week.

California Assembly leaders press for all districts to resume in-school teaching in the spring – EdSource - Looking beyond the state-ordered Covid lockdown that has shut down all but essential services in all but a handful of counties in California, three Democratic Assembly leaders proposed legislation Monday that would require public school students to physically return to school in stages by early spring, after public health officials lift closure orders.

New Master Plan for Early Learning and Care points way to California for all – EdSource - As public servants and mothers whose life work is dedicated to maximizing the potential in all children from birth through young adulthood, we stand together as partners in an effort to transform how we provide every infant, toddler and preschooler a successful start that carries them through school and life.

A Destination for Education by Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools – EDH CSD Recreation Guide (page 27) - In El Dorado County, our vision is to create the conditions for every student to succeed in college, a career, and in their community. School districts and the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) maximize resources with a strong commitment to recruiting innovative educators, building better schools, and developing stronger partnerships with government, private industry, community-based organizations, non-profits, and small businesses.

Transition on BOMUSD Board of Trustees – Georgetown Gazette - At the Nov. 12 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees outgoing trustee Joe Scroggins was honored for his 10 years of boardsmanship. Superintendent Jeremy Meyers thanked Scroggins for his dedicated service to families and students in Area 2, which includes Cool, Pilot Hill and Greenwood. He recognized the tough decisions that have challenged Board members, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oak Ridge returns to distance learning – Mountain Democrat - Oak Ridge High School has moved back to full distance learning this week after 10 positive COVID-19 cases were reported there Monday morning… “We fear that the number of students testing positive will increase and trigger hundreds of more students being required to quarantine following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” Carruth said. “If this were to take place, in-person final exams may not be possible.”

Community Hub 2 feeds families – Mountain Democrat - Community Hub 2 hosted a food and diaper distribution event last month at the Cameron Park Library that benefitted approximately 200 families in need. This effort was made possible by the Hub 2 team, Placer Food Bank, Feed El Dorado and volunteers from El Dorado County Office of Education, Placerville Kiwanis and the community.

Officials talk COVID-19 at virtual town hall – Mountain Democrat - Following the greatest increase in COVID-19 cases reported in El Dorado County since the onset of the pandemic in March, officials held a virtual town hall last week to discuss impacts of the virus on the community… Next to speak was El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, who talked about COVID-19 and its impact on county schools. He noted almost all the schools are operating using an in-person/hybrid model although distance learning is still an option.

Lake Tahoe, Sierra and El Dorado County roadwork November 30 - December 5 – South Tahoe Now - The following is a list of the long term and short term projects the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled for the week around Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra and El Dorado County.

Road closure near Camino for next several months – South Tahoe Now - Many from the South Lake Tahoe venture to the Camino area to visit apple and tree farms, but an upcoming road closure may affect normal routes. A section of westbound Carson Road will be closed for several months due to bridge work as part of the U.S. Highway 50 Camino Safety Project.

How to know when that smoke you see is from prescribed burns around Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - South Tahoe Now, the US Forest Service and the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team communicate to the public whenever there is a prescribed burn operation planned for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

New education center coming to Wakamatsu Farm – Mountain Democrat - American River Conservancy will break ground on a new education center at Wakamatsu Farm during Open Farm Day at noon Saturday, Nov. 21.

CSU extends application deadlines, citing student coronavirus hardships – LA Times - More than a million students who apply to the 23-campus California State University system annually will now have 11 extra days to submit their applications after the deadline was extended to Dec. 15 to ease the burden on those facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor’s office said Tuesday.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement Applauding Release of Master Plan for Early Learning and Care – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s release of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California for All Kids, a roadmap for building a more equitable, comprehensive early learning and care system in California.

Inside California’s new master plan to reshape early education and child care – EdSource - California’s long-awaited roadmap to reshape early childhood care and education in the state took a critical first step on Tuesday with the release of a first-ever 10-year master plan, but some advocates say more specifics are needed to ensure progress.

California education news updates – EdSource

Pandemic’s spread in California casts dark cloud over return to school in January — or beyond – EdSource - The surge in Covid-19 cases in California is coming at exactly the wrong time for school districts contemplating reopening schools for in-person instruction.

Early data on learning loss show big drop in math, but not reading skills – EdSource – A national testing organization that predicted school closures last spring would leave students far behind where they should be academically as they entered schools this fall released data Tuesday showing the reality, while worrisome, was less dire.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Less siloed, more inclusive: Changes to special education teacher preparation expected to have big impact on schools – EdSource - As the pandemic has drawn more attention to the needs of students in special education, the state is moving forward with changes to teacher preparation programs intended to improve learning conditions for California’s nearly 800,000 students with special needs.

School districts try out different strategies to boost immunization rates for non-Covid diseases – EdSource - Even as public health officials face the challenge of how to vaccinate all or most people to protect them from the Covid-19 virus, school administrators are having to come up with innovative ways to ensure that students get immunized against more familiar diseases like measles and whooping cough.

Distance learning stokes fears of excessive screen time – EdSource - Christine Whalen has a spirited 5-year-old who started kindergarten in the fall. It’s not going well. Ella gets so bored on Zoom that she quickly squirms, wiggles and tries to flee.

El Dorado County schedules COVID-19 Town Hall meeting with health and education panel – South Tahoe Now - El Dorado County is hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting with a panel of experts from the health and education fields to explain the current COVID-19 situation on November 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Those on the panel: Ed Manansala - County Superintendent, El Dorado County Office of Education…

Change in store for Lake Tahoe Unified School District Trustees – South Tahoe Now -  The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) Board of Trustees will have a change December 15 with a changing of the guard on the Area 4 seat. Trustee Troy Matthews decided to not run for reelection so he could spend more time with his family which includes a new baby girl.

Kudos: Goal Club and Lady Vikings thank community – South Tahoe Now - The South Tahoe High Goal Club and Lady Vikings would like to extend their appreciation to Grand Central Pizza & Pasta for hosting their recent "Pizza With A Purpose" fundraiser. They would also like to thank the amazing South Shore community for supporting them at the event on November 4.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District moves back to all distance learning – South Tahoe Now - Due to the continued dramatic rise of COVID-19 cases in the community, Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) has moved all schools and programs to distance learning starting Thursday, November 19.

Schools consider full days for second term – Georgetown Gazette - Dear Black Oak Mine families, We are nearing completion of the fifth week of our transition to face-to-face instruction, five days a week. The transition has gone about as well as we could have possibly hoped. At the outset, I want to say a huge thank you to our students, families, staff and community for your help and support. We simply could not have done this without your support.

Newsom’s COVID ’emergency brake’ to move many EDC businesses to outdoor-only operations – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County will be moved to the most restrictive purple tier this week…“El Dorado County schools are following comprehensive plans for providing in-person instruction that are in alignment with state and local health guidance,” said Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala. “Due to their thoughtful implementation, partnerships with students and their families, and the dedicated efforts of our educators, El Dorado County schools have demonstrated that they are among the safest places for students to be at this time.”

Toys for Tots gift registry creates ease in donating toys for South Lake Tahoe youth – South Tahoe Now - Walmart is hosting a COVID-free virtual shopping event for Toys for Tots of South Lake Tahoe until November 30. From the ease of a phone or computer, select any of the items listed on the registry, add to your "cart" and the toys will come directly to South Lake Tahoe.

Toys for Tots on the Divide collecting – Georgetown Gazette - As part of the 2020 campaign Toys for Tots collection boxes have been distributed on the Divide for collection of new and unwrapped toys.

Fifth-graders can visit forests free now too – Mountain Democrat - The U.S. Forest Service has expanded its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fourth- and fifth-grade students and family members fee-free access to more than 2,000 sites on national forests and grasslands for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Academic support scholarships offered for children of essential workers – Mountain Democrat - To help ensure all families have access to quality academic support throughout the ups and downs of this school year, El Dorado Community Foundation has partnered with Wayfinder Expedition Learning to provide scholarships for middle and high school students of essential workers for partial and full-day in-person instruction.

Schools eye return to full-time – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - The El Dorado Union High School District announced Thursday it is moving forward with bringing students back to school full-time and is considering four days of in-person instruction to begin Jan. 11. The decision came at Tuesday’s EDUHSD Board of Trustees meeting.

Charlie Downs joins El Dorado County Board of Education – Mountain Democrat - On Nov. 10 Charlie Downs was officially appointed to the El Dorado County Board of Education by the county Board of Supervisors after being interviewed and selected by Board of Education trustees… “I am honored and excited to be joining the El Dorado Board of Education,” Downs expressed.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Educators Discuss Approaches to Teaching Native American Studies During First Event in Education to End Hate Virtual Classroom Series – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today hosted the first event in a series of ongoing virtual classroom and professional development sessions as part of the Education to End Hate initiative, a multifaceted effort to use the power of public education to drive change and confront racism and bigotry.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Scholars Present Latest Recommendations to Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was joined Wednesday by leading scholars and advocates for ethnic studies as the California Department of Education (CDE) presented its latest recommendations to the draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, a resource that once adopted will help educators to design coursework that elevates the stories and voices of historically marginalized populations who have contributed to our state and nation’s history.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces New Publication: Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the release of the new California Department of California (CDE) publication, Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students: Research to Practice.

California Department of Education Releases New Attendance Data to Help School Districts Address Chronic Absenteeism – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has released, for the first time, statewide absenteeism data that provides information about the types of reasons students are absent.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

In ‘remarkable’ turnaround, California schools can expect huge one-time windfall next year, LAO says – EdSource - n uneven recession savaging low-income Californians, but a surprisingly fast economic rebound advantaging higher-income Californians, will create a huge unexpected state budget surplus that will provide an unexpected $13.1 billion in one-time revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2021, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported on Wednesday.

How school discipline — and student misbehavior — has changed during the pandemic – EdSource - Student misbehavior hasn’t vanished during distance learning, but schools are finding that imposing discipline in a virtual environment is a complicated and often murky process, and that current laws don’t neatly apply to online behavior.

California schools chief Tony Thurmond: 'This is the time for an abundance of caution' – EdSource - EdSource’s Louis Freedberg talked with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Nov. 16, just hours after Gov. Newsom announced that California was pulling the “emergency brake” on reopening schools and other businesses and institutions in the face of a dramatic surge in Covid-19 infections.

Work on new ‘cradle to career’ data system accelerates, amid concerns about continuing state financial support – EdSource - Organizers of an ambitious “cradle to career” education data system for California are preparing to wrap up an intensive year-long effort and send key recommendations for its design to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature for the next phase of its development — one that could take another five years and millions more dollars to complete.

Education leaders look at Divide schools’ COVID protocol – Georgetown Gazette - How did your district accomplish reopening five days a week? That was the question put to Black Oak Mine Superintendent Jeremy Meyers Oct. 15 by superintendents from around the region including Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Office of Education; David Gordon, Sacramento County Office of Education…

Students take lessons in nature area – Georgetown Gazette - American River Charter Homeschool teachers Anne Thomas and Nicole Graves offered a field trip for their homeschool families in the Georgetown Nature Area Oct. 23. Approximately eight families with 20 or so children joined the teachers and nature area guide Susan Whittington for a hike and tour of the trails, ponds, forest and native village.

New locations this week for Bread & Broth 4 Kids food bags – South Tahoe Now - Due to the Veterans Day holiday, Bread & Broth 4 Kids food bags will not be distributed by school buses Wednesday. Since there is no school, the following schedule for South Lake Tahoe area students will be followed: Kids food bags can be picked up at St. Theresa Grace Hall, 1041 Lyons Avenue, on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Lake Tahoe, Sierra and El Dorado County roadwork November 8 – 14 – South Tahoe Now - The following is a list of the long term and short term projects the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled for the week around Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra and El Dorado County.

State Board of Education Approves Shorter Standardized Tests to Give Schools Flexibility Amidst COVID-19 Uncertainties – CDE press release - The State Board of Education on Thursday unanimously approved the use of shorter standardized tests in English language arts and math this spring, creating a path for collecting critical student data amidst COVID-19 uncertainties.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Forthcoming Release of Recommendations to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) will release today its latest recommendations to the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which will contain expanded resources that reflect California’s diversity, promote critical thinking, and empower educators to lead courageous conversations that are relevant to students of all backgrounds.

Linda Darling-Hammond removes herself from possible consideration as Secretary of Education – EdSource - Ending considerable speculation in media and education circles, Linda Darling-Hammond, the president of the California State Board of Education, says she is committed to staying in California, and is not interested in becoming the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

California voters pass most school construction bonds, parcel taxes on ballot – EdSource - While voters statewide likely defeated Proposition 15, which would raise taxes on commercial property to increase funding for schools, voters in dozens of districts agreed by wide margins to raise their own taxes to support local schools.

How California teachers are making bilingual education work online – EdSource - Stuck behind a screen for distance learning, California teachers in dual-language classrooms are trying to come up with new ways to immerse their students in two languages.

How P.E. teachers are trying to get students off the couch during the pandemic – EdSource - Imagine trying to work out in a crowded living room, with no exercise equipment besides rolled-up socks and soup cans.

Here’s how Biden’s win could help California school districts, teachers and students – San Francisco Chronicle - After four years of school voucher talk under the Trump administration, the education community across California was giddy in the wake of Joe Biden’s presidential win, with his platform of more money for teachers, increased pandemic support and free college tuition.

President-elect Joe Biden’s expansive education agenda expected to draw greater scrutiny – EdSource - As education institutions — and young people’s lives — continue to be upended by the coronavirus pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden’s proposals will raise hopes for longer-term reforms of the nation’s schools and colleges.

Podcast: This Week in California Education (minute 17) – EdSource - Listen to this podcast and hear El Dorado County Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala explain EDCOE’s COVID-19 surveillance testing system that is available to all EDCOE and school district team members.

Students getting in-person instruction at accelerating pace in California – EdSource - Superintendent Jeremy Meyers said his district has been able to bring students back because of the low number of positive Covid-19 cases in the county, as well as strict rules requiring masks and other health and safety precautions. He said that the “transition to face-to-face instruction was an incredible amount of work,” but once it was set up, it “has been going as well as we could have hoped.”

Vote 2020: El Dorado County Election Night returns – Mountain Democrat - Unofficial election results as reported by the El Dorado County Elections Office: Votes cast: 79,097 of 135,554 (as of 1:09 a.m. on 11/4), Precincts reporting: 202 of 202 (100.00%)

Lane closure in South Lake Tahoe for pilot project as Caltrans paints bike lane green – South Tahoe Now - Caltrans is advising motorists of a lane closure on U.S. Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe later this week for a pilot project to paint a section of the bike lane green.

Work completed on $14.1M Echo Summit bridge replacement project near Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - Work is complete on a two-season project to replace a bridge that served motorists for more than 80 years with a new structure that meets current safety and seismic standards.

La Niña expected to dictate winter 2020 – Mountain Democrat - Craig Shoemaker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento, said this year there is an equal chance of it being either slightly drier or slightly wetter than normal.

CASA reimagines annual fundraising gala – Mountain Democrat - CASA El Dorado is redoing its 28th annual gala fundraising event this year to a virtual evening titled “Reimagined: A Night of Celebration” in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Grant applications now available – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County nonprofit agencies serving the Western Slope of the county are now invited to apply for grant funding from Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED).

Prop. 16: California voters reject measure to restore affirmative action – San Francisco Chronicle - California retained its ban on affirmative action for government agencies and public universities, with voters rejecting a ballot measure that would have again allowed the consideration of race and sex in state hiring, contracting and admissions decisions.

California to consider shorter Smarter Balanced tests this spring – EdSource - Teachers, administrators and parents wondering about the status of California’s annual standardized tests can expect to get clarity this week.

California’s Proposition 15, to raise commercial property taxes, in tight race – EdSource - California’s Proposition 15, the first ballot attempt to amend Proposition 13, the ever-popular 1978 constitutional amendment limiting property tax increases, was trailing early Wednesday. With partial results from nearly all precincts,

Proposition 15 to loosen California’s business property tax rules is trailing –LA Times - Proposition 15, an effort to remove high-value business properties from the low-tax protections enacted by California voters more than four decades ago, was trailing on Wednesday morning, after an expensive and fierce campaign over how much to spend on government services and the economic effects of raising taxes.

Live election results for Propositions 15, 16 and 18 – EdSource - Three measures on the California ballot for the Nov. 3 election have implications for California’s public education system and young people:

Leading school superintendents ask Gov. Newsom to impose a ‘common standard’ for reopening schools in California – EdSource - Seven urban California school districts, including the state’s four largest, have called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to adopt and pay for more stringent, uniform health and safety requirements they say should be in place before bringing students back to school during the pandemic.

California school districts revert to A-F grades this fall — with more flexibility for some students – EdSource - While many high schools and middle schools adopted pass-fail grading at the start of the pandemic in order to hold students harmless as they adjusted to distance learning, districts have largely reverted back to the traditional A-to-F system.

How college dreams helped me kick my habit – EdSource - This is my drug addiction story: Three years ago, I crawled out of a hole I dug deep inside myself. I quit using drugs that were killing me and pursued an education I never thought I deserved.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Map: In-Person Instruction and Distance Learning in California – EdSource

With test scores out, college essays count more – EdSource - For generations, high school seniors have fretted over writing their essays for college applications, worrying how to make their personal stories stand out in the crowd and avoid hurting their acceptance chances with mediocre compositions.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces $45 Million in Grant Funding to Support At-Risk Students and Their Families at Community Schools – EdSource - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced today that all California-based school districts, county offices of education, and classroom-based charter schools can apply for the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP), a $45 million grant-funded initiative to support and expand existing community schools.

LTUSD - Tuesday meeting to discuss leadership restructure, back to school progress, enrollment – South Tahoe Now - There will be a meeting of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) Board of Trustees on Tuesday, October 27 starting with a closed session at 5:00 p.m… The Board, staff and public will hear from Superintendent Dr. Todd Cutler on a proposal to structurally align the requirements, titles and salaries within the Leadership of Lake Tahoe Unified School District.

Red Ribbon Week focuses on harm tobacco and vaping have on youth – South Tahoe Now - In 2020, Red Ribbon Week, the nation's largest and longest running drug-use prevention campaign, turns 35 and will be observed October 23-31… Lake Tahoe Unified School District was part of the California Healthy Kids Survey that also measures risk-related behaviors.

South Tahoe grad Furrer enrolls in Utah’s Honors College – Tahoe Tribune - South Tahoe High School graduate Summer Furrer has enrolled in the Honors College at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for the fall semester. The U has had an honors program for more than 50 years.

EDCOE’s Gigi Marchini wins statewide award – Mountain Democrat - In recognition of her significant contributions toward county offices of education statewide, Gigi Marchini, El Dorado County Office of Education’s director of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability, was honored with the California County Superintendent’s Educational Services’ 2020 Student Programs and Services Steering Committee Star award.

Red Ribbon Week puts the focus on nicotine use – Mountain Democrat - … The El Dorado Union High School District was part of the California Healthy Kids Survey that also measures risk-related behaviors. The 2018-19 survey found that 28% of 11th graders reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days but only 4% report using traditional cigarettes.

Matt Ray brings winning ways to Union Mine – Mountain Democrat - When Matt Ray sat down to interview with Union Mine High School Principal Paul Neville for the school’s vacant athletic director position earlier this year, he was intrigued immediately by how much his vision for the future meshed with Neville’s.

Return To On-Site Instruction a Resounding Success – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – After eight months of planning and with a green light from county health department officials, all Black Oak Mine USD schools returned to five-day-a-week on-site instruction on October 5. Much looks “the same” with COVID-19 safety measures in effect.

Golden Sierra Junior High students win essay contest – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – The inspiring theme for the Fleet Reserve Association Essay Contest for 2019-20 was, What My Vote Will Mean to Me? Lauryn Wood took first place and Ethan Caruthers took third.

Camino Safety Project Roadwork to begin late this month, last through spring 2021 – EDC press release - In partnership with El Dorado County's Department of Transportation, Caltrans will perform work on Carson Road at the intersection of Carson Court beginning in late October and continuing through April 2021 to construct a new undercrossing.

Survey finds 28% of local 11th graders use e-cigs – Mountain Democrat - … The survey found that in California more than 42% of high school students reported having tried e-cigarettes and more than 18% reported using currently. More than 7% reported currently using smokeless tobacco.

Congratulations Dina Gentry – Georgetown Gazette - Congratulations to Cool resident Dina Gentry for being installed as the new president of Placerville Kiwanis.

High school teachers in California wary of taking on contentious Biden-Trump election – EdSource - With student activism on the rise and so much at stake on Nov. 3, this year’s presidential election offers an opportunity of a lifetime for history and government teachers in high schools across California.

California districts hoping voters will allow them to borrow $13 billion – EdSource - Sixty school districts throughout California are doing the unthinkable — asking homeowners to vote to impose a property tax for school improvements in the middle of a pandemic when many have lost jobs.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

Academic testing looks very different in California during distance learning – EdSource - Even simple quizzes aren’t immune to the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Some teachers are finding it difficult to replicate in-person assessments in an online classroom during distance learning.

Dropping affirmative action had huge impact on California’s public universities – EdSource - California’s 24-year ban on affirmative action has had a staggering impact on underrepresented students seeking admission to the state’s public universities.

LTUSD passes student-led climate literacy resolution – Tahoe Tribune - Since Sept. 2019, when kids around the world walked out of school for a climate strike, students and activists have been fighting to bring the issue of climate change to the forefront for the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. After a year of work, the students experienced a win when on Sept. 22, the LTUSD School Board unanimously approved Resolution No. 2020/21-07 in support of climate literacy.

Operation School Bell supplies clothes to hundreds of South Tahoe students – Tahoe Tribune/Mountain Democrat - An El Dorado County nonprofit held events the past two weekends to help disadvantaged and homeless middle and elementary school students in South Lake Tahoe… Each year Operation School Bell helps both recurring and new students. The events were held in collaboration with the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Ag in the Classroom reviewing its role – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom has brought innovative hands-on learning through agriculture to county students for more than 20 years. The year 2020 has presented never-before-encountered challenges and Ag in the Classroom is facing those challenges head-on.

Friegang honored with Excellence in Education award – Georgetown Gazette - At the Oct. 8 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees, Mischa Friegang, district Information Technology Technician, was awarded an Excellence in Education award for his exemplary service to staff, students, and the community.

Carolyn Brooks and crew make things happen at El Dorado County’s libraries – Mountain Democrat - Carolyn Brooks spent her early childhood in several U.S. states, including Colorado, Utah, and New Jersey, but the majority of her life has been here in California. She described the women in her life as important role models, women who taught her, “… education is vitally important.

State librarian takes a close look at El Dorado County’s success – Mountain Democrat - Oct. 7 State Librarian Greg Lucas spent the afternoon learning about the ways in which the El Dorado county libraries have adjusted to the pandemic. 

CalTRANS to begin road work at Carson Rd. for US 50 safety project – EDC press release - In partnership with El Dorado County's Department of Transportation, Caltrans will perform work on Carson Road at the intersection of Carson Court beginning in late October and continuing through April 2021 to construct a new undercrossing. Traffic control and informational message signs will be posted in advance of the construction and will remain throughout the duration of the project.

Retired teachers make positive impact on California – Mountain Democrat - After years, sometimes decades in the classroom giving back to their students, California’s retired teachers continue to give back through their pocketbooks and their passion for volunteerism.

California education news updates – EdSource - The California Department of Education has followed up on the settlement in February of the “Ella T v. California” lawsuit  that 10 student plaintiffs attending struggling schools in Los Angeles, Stockton and Inglewood had brought against the state for failing to provide them quality reading and writing instruction.

Length of live teaching varies in California even in the same grade level and same district – EdSource - Back to school is well underway in California, but how much live teaching time kids are getting with their teachers online varies depending on their school district and its distance learning program.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

For first time, heads of all California’s public education systems are Black or Latino – EdSource - California is the most diverse state in the nation, so having a diverse leadership of its schools and colleges shouldn’t be that notable. But it is. Even for California.

Quick Guide: What California’s color-coded county tracking system means for schools – EdSource – Q: What is the color-coded county tracking system and how does it affect schools? A: Gov. Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” on Aug. 28 that changed the way the state monitors counties to determine when schools can open for in-person instruction. However, its principal impact is on when businesses can reopen.

California schools see big jump in number of homeless students – EdSource - C California’s escalating cost of living has led to a 48% surge in the state’s homeless student population over the past decade, according to new research released today by researchers at UCLA.

How some California school districts deal with students absent from virtual classrooms – EdSource - D deep into the pandemic, some districts are finding an alarming percentage of students are missing from the virtual classroom — with the worst absentee rates occurring among homeless students, foster youth, English learners, Black students and high school seniors.

Schools shouldn’t reopen without adequate safeguards, California voters say – EdSource - Most California voters want schools to require safeguards like face masks, proper ventilation and social distancing in classrooms, and Covid-19 testing and tracing before schools return for in-person instruction, according to poll released Thursday by the California Teachers Association.

The County School Superintendent – UC Davis Magazine (attached) – Few things have underscored the importance of education like closing public schools. Schools not only educate, they help children grow socially and emotionally, and support the local economy by caring for children while parents are at work, said Ed Manansala, Ed.D.  

How a 23-year-old became one of the top STEM innovators in the world – KCRA 3 - A lifetime of love for the great beyond and wanting to understand the mysteries of the universe led Elizabeth Gabler to this moment… When she was younger, Gabler posed some tough questions to the Placerville Community Observatory.

Students will soon return to in-person instruction with LTUSD moving into Phase 2 – Tahoe Tribune - Students in South Lake Tahoe will soon return to the classroom... “We had excellent public participation and board discussion in preparation for the shift to Phase 2 of the Pandemic Educational Plan,” said Superintendent Todd Cutler in an email.

Latrobe School District enters a promising school year – Mountain Democrat - The Latrobe School District, located south of El Dorado Hills, is home to two small school sites — Latrobe Elementary and Miller’s Hill schools… “I am so proud of our team and their commitment to our schools,” said Natalie Miller, LSD superintendent. “These are uncertain and challenging times and LSD has stepped up to enhance our facilities.”

BOMUSD schools return to face-to-face instruction – Georgetown Gazette - The Black Oak Mine Unified School District is committed to returning to face-to-face instruction and at the Sept. 24 special meeting of the Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote, students were given the green light to go back to school five days a week starting Oct. 5.

Student of the Year: Taylor Strange – Village Life - Valley View Charter Montessori student Taylor Strange received the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills’ Student of the Year award last week. The third-grader received the honor during a Sept. 23 Zoom presentation. She was commended for her “grit” and ability to get things accomplished, not to mention her wide smile and positive attitude. Principal Paul Stewart called her a role model for other students.

Cruise for a cause this Saturday – Mountain Democrat - Hands4Hope – Youth Making A Difference hosts a one-of-a-kind fundraising event — Get your kicks on Route 66 … California style. From 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, the Serrano Village Green (4525 Serrano Parkway, El Dorado Hills) will be transformed into a mini road trip filled with fun and quirky surprises from a big blue whale to a pirate’s den.

Placerville Kiwanis installs new officers – Mountain Democrat - On Sept. 30 club members met via Zoom for the installation of officers for the 2020-21 school year. The new officers include: President Dina Gentry, Past President Jerry Galloway, President-elect Brian Veerkamp, Vice President Bob Verzello, Secretary Tom Hinshaw and Treasurer Kate Switzer. Community leader Paul Zappettini will serve as advisor to the president.

Soroptimists seek grant applications – VillageLife - Women who serve as the primary earners for their families and seek financial assistance to continue their education or receive training can now apply for the Soroptimist Live Your Dream Education and Training Award for Women. Applications are available at bit.ly/LYDA-apply. The application deadline is Nov. 15.

Georgetown Gazette centralizing operations – Mountain Democrat - The Georgetown Gazette will be relocating its office to Placerville as of Monday, Oct. 12. The impact of COVID-19 on the Gazette during these past several months makes it necessary to centralize operations with the Mountain Democrat, its sister newspaper based in Placerville.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Launch of Second Ethnic Studies Virtual Series and Creation of Online Resources for Teachers in Distance Learning – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Thursday that the California Department of Education (CDE) will build on the success of this summer’s ethnic studies virtual classroom series with the launch of a second round of programming that will be broadcast live for thousands of students, families, and educators—and be provided to teachers across California as a package of online lessons that can be used in distance learning.

Schools need additional funding to cope with pandemic crisis, voters say – EdSource - C California voters overwhelmingly say schools need additional funding to implement safety practices critical to reopening classrooms for in-person instruction, according to a just-released EdSource poll.

Gov. Newsom gets strong support among California voters for handling of education – EdSource - A t a time when the coronavirus pandemic has completely upended education at all levels, the majority of California voters support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handling of education issues, according to a just-released EdSource survey.

California voters, including parents, have deep concerns about distance learning – EdSource - A s most public and private school students in California continue to study from home, distance learning gets a definite thumbs down from the state’s registered voters, including parents, according to a new EdSource poll.

Teachers struggle to recreate language-rich classes for English learners online – EdSource - W hen schools across California canceled in-person classes in the spring, some students lost crucial opportunities to learn and practice their new language — English.

Quick Guide: What California’s color-coded county tracking system means for schools – EdSource – Q: What is the color-coded county tracking system and how does it affect schools? A: Gov. Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” on Aug. 28 that changed the way the state monitors counties to determine when schools can open for in-person instruction. However, its principal impact is on when businesses can reopen.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

Special education funding should be less isolated, have more accountability, report finds – EdSource - Special education funding should be more transparent, more flexible and more integrated with other streams of school funding, according to a report published Monday.

LTUSD shares next phase of South Lake Tahoe school reopening plans – South Tahoe Now - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) will be adopting their previously released Pandemic Educational Plan with some modifications as they move into Phase 2 starting October 12, 2020… "The District is extremely thankful to the community members and staff members who’ve expressed their interests and concerns throughout the reopening process," said LTUSD Superintendent Dr. Todd Cutler in an email Tuesday.

Letter from LTUSD Superintendent on reopening plans; Special meeting Monday - I wish to thank you for your patience as the District continues to work through some of the challenges involved with moving to Phase 2 Hybrid learning model. We’ve received a great amount of input from the community through emails to myself and Board members, as well as public comments at Tuesday’s Board meeting, and want to assure you that your interests and concerns are being heard.

STMS receives Toshiba grant for its Maker Lab program – South Tahoe Now - South Tahoe Middle School (STMS) has received a $2,676 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation. These funds will support the 7th and 8th grade students in the year-long Maker Lab elective. "My students will receive take home maker kits including a micro:bit microprocessor for coding and electronics for learning simple circuits on a breadboard," said Maker Lab teacher Jackie Tan as she described the project make possible with the grant.

LTUSD board supports student-led climate initiative – Tahoe Tribune - Former Climate Crew co-president Anthony Pedigo introduced a resolution in support of school district climate literacy to the LTUSD board members on Sept. 22. It was the culmination of a year of passionate student organizing, writing and mobilizing. The resolution passed unanimously.

Students will soon return to in-person instruction with LTUSD moving into Phase 2 – Tahoe Tribune - Students in South Lake Tahoe will soon return to the classroom. The Lake Tahoe Unified School District on Monday night during a special board meeting decided to move into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 Pandemic Plan where students will return to campus part time for in-person instruction.

El Dorado Union High School District going hybrid – Mountain Democrat - Last Tuesday the El Dorado Union High School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to open schools for hybrid learning Oct. 8. Hybrid learning, the next step in the district’s three-phase guidance to reopening, alternates between distance learning and in-person instruction with students attending school twice a week. Students will be divided into two cohorts where approximately 50% of students attend on assigned days.

Divide students return 5 days a week – Mountain Democrat - The Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees decided at a special meeting Sept. 24 in a unanimous vote to return to face-to-face instruction. Students will go back to school five days a week starting Oct. 5. Transitional kindergarten through third-grade students will be on a 230-minute daily schedule and fourth through 12th graders will be on a 240-minute daily schedule.

Akin stepping down from Board of Education – Mountain Democrat - After 22 years of service to students in the community El Dorado County Board of Education Trustee Debbie Akin will in December step down from her role after representing Area 3 for nearly a decade, according to a news release from the Office of Education.

Fork Fire brings incident command to Georgetown School – Georgetown Gazette - Georgetown School is the site of the command center for firefighters battling the Fork Fire in the El Dorado National Forest. Setting up at the school is Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4, an interagency team of the USDA and U.S. Forest Service comprised of over 256 individuals from Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and South Dakota, was called to manage the Fork Fire.

Local Former Student Receives World-wide Award – Windfall Magazine/Mountain Democrat (attached) - Elizabeth Gabler was recently named one of The Mars Generation’s 24 Under 24 Leaders and Innovators in STEAM and Space Award recipients… Growing up, Elizabeth attended the El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Charter Home Study Academy and was part of El Dorado High School’s (EDHS) Class of 2015.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces “Tools for Teachers” Instructional Resources Website for California Educators – CDE press release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond today announced the availability of Tools for TeachersExternal link opens in new window or tab. from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. This easy-to-use website features lessons and strategies to support instruction, save teachers time in developing quality lessons, and help prepare students for college or career success.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces More Than 500,000 Additional Computing Devices Made Available to California Schools Amid Worldwide Technology Shortage – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Wednesday that the California Department of Education (CDE) has worked closely with technology companies to make available more than 500,000 more computing devices for California students in need.

Gov. Newsom vetoes requirement for ethnic studies course in high school – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom unexpectedly vetoed a bill Wednesday to mandate a course in ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement, starting in 2029-30.

How Prop. 15 would increase K-12 districts' funding – EdSource - The Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates Proposition 15 would raise between $6.5 billion and $11.5 billion annually by assessing commercial properties every three years; 40% of revenue would go to K-12 schools and community colleges.

Quick Guide: Proposition 15, the proposed ’split-roll’ tax on commercial property – EdSource - California voters will decide on Election Day what’s been perpetually talked about for decades but never, until now, put on the ballot: amending Proposition 13, the anti-tax initiative that has molded tax policy and school funding since voters passed it by a nearly two-thirds majority in 1978.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Quick Guide: What California's color-coded county tracking system means for schools – EdSource – Q: What is the color-coded county tracking system and how does it affect schools? A: Gov. Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” on Aug. 28 that changed the way the state monitors counties to determine when schools can open for in-person instruction. However, its principal impact is on when businesses can reopen.

Even when the smoke clears, schools find student trauma can linger – EdSource - For some students, the fire is only the beginning. The nightmares, the grief and an all-consuming dread can persist for months or even years.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District saves taxpayers $3.3M by refinancing bonds – South Tahoe Now/Tahoe Daily Tribune - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) was able to refinance $15.15 million in general obligation bonds in September, saving property owners in the district $3,335,698 in property taxes. With low interest rates brought about by the pandemic and economic uncertainty, LTUSD refinanced two series of their Election of 2008 General Obligation Bonds.

Tahoe Valley School creates Family Literacy Garden – South Tahoe Now - A summer-long project at Tahoe Valley Elementary School is now open to the public and the tree at the center of the love-filled efforts is in memory of student Marianna Zepeda. The quiet, reflective garden area includes seating, a lending library and a tree dedicated to Marianna, a 4th grade student who passed away June 19.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District revamps food delivery bus schedule – South Tahoe Now - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) Meal Delivery schedule for Phase 1 Distance learning is being changed starting Monday, September 14. At the beginning of the school year there were seven buses and, based on figures from the first two weeks, routes have been adjusted and there are now five buses.

Learning at a distance: Families take on COVID-19 challenges in education – Mountain Democrat - Distance learning brings both challenges and triumphs for students and their families since school campuses in spring closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic…. Megan a seventh-grader, Mary a freshman and Timothy a junior, attend Charter University Prep on the Charles Brown Elementary School campus in El Dorado.

BOMUSD seeks feedback on reopening schools – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Letter from Jeremy Meyers: The Black Oak Mine Unified School District is committed to face-to-face instruction at the earliest possible date. Oct. 5 appears to be that date. As was mentioned in earlier communications, we are surveying students and families regarding the manner in which we return.

Low-cost Community Flu Clinics Announced in El Dorado County – EDC Press Release - The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division in partnership with Marshall Medical Center, El Dorado County Community Health Center and Barton Health will begin conducting low-cost community flu vaccination clinics starting on September 24, 2020, with additional clinics offered through October 2020.

For California’s new head of special education, ‘nothing is insurmountable’ – EdSource - Special education in California may face vast challenges — funding shortfalls, teacher shortages and distance learning, to name a few — but Heather Calomese is undeterred.

Calomese, the state’s newly appointed director of special education, has an ambitious vision to improve equity and outcomes for the state’s 800,000 students enrolled in special education.

Families face the demands of online and hybrid learning – EdSource - As the coronavirus pandemic surges into autumn, California’s students, teachers and families are embarking on an extraordinary school year. Most of the usual back-to-school traditions have been scrapped.

First big reform of California’s education funding law awaits governor’s signature – EdSource - The first significant change to the state’s 7-year-old K-12 funding system, the Local Control Funding Formula, is a signature away from becoming law.

Embracing ed tech tools can help level the playing field for all students – EdSource - The shift to remote learning to stem the coronavirus pandemic revealed enormous disparities among students in terms of access to Wi-Fi and digital devices, as well as the ability to learn the technology needed to complete class assignments.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Quick Guide: What California parents and students should know about the coronavirus (Q&A) – EdSource – Q: What challenges do schools face to delivering online learning to all students? A: One of the biggest challenges to switching to distance learning for many districts has been little to no access to computers or internet at home.

Blue Ridge School at South Lake Tahoe JTC awarded Barton grant – South Tahoe Now/Tahoe Tribune/Mountain Democrat - For 16 years the youth at the Juvenile Treatment Center (JTC) in South Lake Tahoe have been educated by the Blue Ridge Court School, a court school offered through the El Dorado County Department of Education. The South Lake Tahoe JTC Blue Ridge Court School was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Barton Foundation during their annual distribution this August.

Applications open for EDC youth commissioners – Mountain Democrat - Attention El Dorado County high school students who are interested in making a difference in the community: The El Dorado County Youth Commission is now accepting applications for the 2020-21 school year.

Students explore all El Dorado County has to offer — from the comfort of home – Mountain Democrat - Normally, starting in the fall teachers are excitedly planning field trips to expand curriculum offerings… Sierra Community Access Television (SCA-TV2) provides an extensive list of YouTube play-on-demand virtual field trips, featuring many of the historical, cultural and scientific hot spots in the county.

Young leaders thrive at camp – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - No matter rain or shine or global pandemic, Hands4Hope put on an amazing leadership camp with 63 youth in attendance. The camp was themed Retreat Island and had both a safe, in-person component plus virtual workshops and team-building activities.

Kiwanis Family House pantry drive supports hospital patients, families – Mountain Democrat/Windfall Magazine - It was a beautiful Friday morning when Kiwanis Club of Placerville members hosted a drive-through pantry food drive to benefit the Kiwanis House in Sacramento. The drive took place in the El Dorado County Office of Education’s parking lot and both Kiwanis and EDCOE team members donated non-perishable food items including canned vegetables and fruit, noodles, pasta sauce, Cup O’ Noodle and more.

LivingWorks Virtual Youth Summit Shines a Light on Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention – CDE Press Release - On September 15, actress Lexi Underwood from the popular Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere” and International Slam Dunk Champion Kenny Dobbs are among a handful of high-profile personalities who will speak to California middle and high school students at the LivingWorks Youth Summit with one main message: Together, we can save lives from suicide.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to President Trump's Threats Directed at California Schools – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s recent announcement that he would seek to withhold funding from California schools that choose to use a curriculum that reviews the impacts of slavery and how it has contributed to racism in our nation:

California superintendents navigate how to reopen campuses while keeping students, teachers safe – EdSource - No issues are vexing superintendents more this fall than decisions about distance learning and reopening school campuses for in-person instruction. Each must weigh a complicated set of high-risk, competing factors, with the lives and health of students, staff and their families at stake.

The next big hurdle: California schools grapple with how, when or if to reopen campuses – EdSource - Just as students and teachers across California are adjusting to distance learning, many districts are bracing for a new challenge, one that may be even more daunting: How — and when — to re-open campuses safely.

Many California high school seniors still want to take SAT/ACT even though they are optional at many colleges – EdSource - Many high school seniors are scrambling to schedule SAT and ACT tests this fall even though most private and public colleges, including both of California’s massive state university systems, say they are not required during the pandemic.

How one Southern California desert town has reopened its classrooms to hundreds of elementary school students – EdSource - Inside classrooms, sneeze guards are set up at each desk and many students wear masks. On the playground at recess, students must stick to their designated play area in groups of up to 12.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

LTUSD school breakfast and lunch program free through December – South Tahoe Now - Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) will be able to offer free meals to all students through December due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers. Earlier this week they had issued instructions on how to pay for meals and submit income verification applications for free or reduced price meals, but these are no longer required.

Bread & Broth 4 Kids moves from summer program to school year bags of food – South Tahoe Now - Now that the Bread & Broth 4 Kids (BB4K) summer program came to an end on August 26, the backpack school program resumes and will once again provide weekend food bags to Lake Tahoe Unified School District children. Bags will be available to qualified families at four school sites (Sierra House, Bijou, Tahoe Valley and South Tahoe Middle School) and school bus stop locations every Friday beginning September 4.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District informational letter to families – South Tahoe Now - Hello Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) friends and families. We’re down to the wire and the District is very excited to welcome you back to another school year! With all of the changes and challenges the year is sure to bring, rest assured that every staff member at LTUSD is wholeheartedly embracing them all, and looking forward to making this year cheerful, engaging, inclusive, and academically rewarding for every single student. Welcome back!

Kiwanis Family House pantry drive supports hospital patients, families – Mountain Democrat - It was a beautiful Friday morning when Kiwanis Club of Placerville members hosted a drive-through pantry food drive to benefit the Kiwanis House in Sacramento. The drive took place in the El Dorado County Office of Education’s parking lot and both Kiwanis and EDCOE team members donated non-perishable food items including canned vegetables and fruit, noodles, pasta sauce, Cup O’ Noodle and more.

Kathleen Hall to serve in new role for the Women’s Fund El Dorado – Mountain Democrat - Kathleen Hall, an administrative assistant with El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), was appointed as co-chair of the Education Committee of the Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED) for a two-year term. WFED is a collective giving organization created in 2007. Through a simple grant-making process, the annual proceeds from WFED membership provide financial support to nonprofits that address pressing issues facing the communities of the Western Slope of El Dorado County.

Blue Ridge Court School Receives Grant from Barton Foundation – Placerville Newswire/South Tahoe Now - In August, the Blue Ridge Court School at the Juvenile Treatment Center (JTC) in South Lake Tahoe, was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Barton Foundation. The grant will help the program address mental health and substance use issues that are prevalent among the students.

District Investment in Generators Saves Frist Day of School – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – No one could have imagined that after a summer of planning for the 2020-21 school year, power would go out in Garden Valley at 6:00 am on the first day of school. This meant that Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School was without power, that is until the newly installed generators were put to their first school day test.

El Dorado County moves to next reopening tier Sept 21 if COVID-19 cases remain low – South Tahoe Now - El Dorado County will be able to move to the next colored tier on September 21 if COVID-19 cases remain under four cases per day average and test positivity stays below five percent for two consecutive seven-day periods.

Choices for Children is now Catalyst Community – South Tahoe Now - Since 1976, Choices for Children has been serving the South Lake Tahoe community with support for children, families, and childcare providers. They now have a new name, Catalyst Community, a name that emphasizes their dynamic commitment to community and change.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Major Step to Assess English Language Proficiency During Distance Learning – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced this week that the assessment used to determine a student’s English proficiency has successfully transitioned online, giving educators a powerful tool to reach and support English learners while school campuses are closed.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

Lawmakers fail to pass bills reducing number of tests for teachers by legislative deadline – EdSource - The end of the legislative session Monday meant the demise of three bills that would have allowed teachers to take fewer tests to prove they are ready to teach. But the Legislature also approved a trailer bill that will allow more teachers to take advantage of an executive order postponing tests.

Legislature fixes funding problem for growing districts and some charter schools – EdSource - Anticipating that the coronavirus would create a turbulent and financially unstable year, the Legislature agreed in June to fund schools at the same levels of student attendance in 2020-21 as in 2019-20. Most school districts welcomed the predictable funding.

University of California must stop all use of SAT and ACT in admissions, judge orders – EdSource - University of California must suspend all use of SAT and ACT scores in admissions, a judge ruled, siding with attorneys representing students with disabilities who argued that those students have not been able to access the tests during the coronavirus pandemic.

California to require ethnic studies to graduate high school under bill headed to Gov. Newsom – EdSource - California would become the first state to require that all high school students pass a one-semester ethnic studies course to graduate if Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a bill that the Legislature passed on Monday, the last day of the legislative session.

Quick Guide: What California's color-coded county tracking system means for schools – EdSource - A new system to track Covid-19 cases by county went into effect on Monday. Gov. Newsom released the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” on Aug. 28 that changed the way the state monitors counties to determine when schools can open for in-person instruction, although its principal impact will be on when businesses can reopen.

USDA allows school districts to resume serving free grab-and-go meals through 2020 – EdSource - After pressure from lawmakers and districts, the US Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it is extending the federal waivers that allow schools to offer free grab-and-go meals to any student, regardless of eligibility.

11 students, teacher quarantined after child tests COVID-19 positive – KCRA 3 - In El Dorado Hills, a fifth grader has tested positive for COVID-19 in a school district where thousands of students are physically on campus to take their classes.

Student at El Dorado County elementary school tests positive for coronavirus – ABC 10 - A student at Lakeview Elementary School in El Dorado County has tested positive for coronavirus, the school district announced Monday.

Barton Foundation doubles community health grant funding - Tahoe Daily Tribune - The Barton Foundation has awarded $100,000 in community health grant funding. The record funding was awarded to 13 Lake Tahoe-based organizations that shared Barton Health’s commitment to addressing the area’s most urgent health needs: mental and behavioral health, substance use and access to care. The organizations selected for a grant serve the area’s most vulnerable populations and those in need including… El Dorado County Office of Education: For learning programs supporting children in need.

Union Mine grad captures Emmy - Mountain Democrat - 2009 Union Mine High School graduate, Spencer Bruttig, was honored with an Emmy award on Saturday, Aug. 8 by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at its televised 62nd annual Emmy awards ceremony in Bethesda, Md.

First week of school: Rescue students return to campus in hybrid model – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - As Friday marked the end of an unprecedented first week of school, an unusual sight started the morning. Every single student arriving at Marina Village Middle School is masked…“It’s been a big shift but our staff has such a desire to provide an excellent program and to support students that they’re working really hard and doing a great job,” Cambridge said. “They’re being innovative and creative and our students are happy to be here.”

EDH Rotarians deliver more than a meal – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills’ meetings might look more like “The Brady Bunch” intro these days but its mission has not changed — serve the community… “We are glad to be able to donate and help,” said EDH Rotary Club President Aaron Palm.

Teeing Off – Mountain Democrat (photos, attached) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra held its eighth annual Golf for Kids’ Sake fundraiser at Serrano Country Club in El Dorado Hills earlier this month.

COVID-19 test results now in 2-5 days in El Dorado County – South Tahoe Now - Results from COVID-19 testing at the two state-sponsored, free sites in South Lake Tahoe and Placerville are currently expected to come back in 2-5 days. These tests are available for any El Dorado County, Alpine County, or State of Nevada resident wanting to be tested for the virus.

Active coronavirus cases dropping in El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - COVID-19 seems to be leveling out a bit in communities in El Dorado County. El Dorado County Public Health officials on Monday reported 28 new coronavirus cases over a three-day period, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and 26 assumed recoveries. One resident is hospitalized in the intensive care unit.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Affirms Support for Schools Impacted by Wildfires and Outlines Guidance for Distance Learning – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Wednesday affirmed the California Department of Education’s support for schools reeling from the impacts of wildfires burning across the state, and said during a virtual news media briefing that the CDE will ensure schools have the flexibility they need to focus first on the health, safety, and well-being of their educators, students, and families.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Additional Tools to Support Educators in Strengthening Distance Learning Instruction - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has released a new tool—Guidance on Best Practices for Distance Learning Instructional Planning—to support educators that are implementing distance learning instruction.

Tighter federal rules end free meals for students in California and nationwide – EdSource - Millions of students and families in California and nationwide who have come to rely on free grab-and-go meals during the past five months of the pandemic may no longer qualify for the food service.

Using distance learning to forge better parent-teacher relationships – EdSource - As educators, we’ve long felt a deep desire to engage families in their child’s schooling, but our efforts often go amiss.

California schools ordered to close in-person instruction after counties were put on watch list - EdSource - Conflicting direction from the state added to confusion over whether schools could continue in-person instruction in Mendocino County.

California issues rules for opening schools to high-needs students – EdSource - The California Department of Public Health on Tuesday published rules for opening school campuses to small numbers of students with disabilities and other students who need in-person support and services that can’t be met through distance learning.

On or off? California schools weigh webcam concerns during distance learning – EdSource - As school districts across California move forward with distance learning, many are navigating the complicated realities of this year’s essential back-to-school item: webcams.

 

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.”

 

Good to know

 

Local

 

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

 

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.

 

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.”

 

Good to know

 

Local

 

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

 

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.

 

LTUSD takes advantage of bond market and saves taxpayers $6M over next 10 years – South Tahoe Now - A move on Wednesday as interest rates in the bond markets dropped saved South Lake Tahoe taxpayers over $6 million over the next ten years. Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) refinanced some of its general obligation bonds to take advantage of low-interest rates in the municipal market and lock in savings for taxpayers. LTUSD refinanced approximately $24 million of outstanding bonds and the financing will close on August 28, 2019. The bonds were issued with a combined interest cost of approximately 1.3 percent, which was achieved due to demand for the LTUSD bonds and their strong credit rating (A1 from Moody’s Investor Services).

 

Backpack giveaway to 80 TRiO ETS students at STMS Kickstart Day – South Tahoe Now - Backpacks stuffed with needed supplies will be given away to the first 80 students to turn in a completed application for the first time with TRiO ETS in grades six to eight at South Tahoe Middle School. This 2nd annual Backpack Giveaway is on Thursday, August 22 during the school's Kickstart day from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. During Kickstart, students will also be getting their class schedules, class pictures, photo I.D. and much more. The Backpack Giveaway is hosted by Gladys Garcia, student advisor of the TRiO Educational Talent Search Program (ETS), at South Tahoe Middle School.

 

School district strives for appealing food options – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado Union High School District Nutrition Services Department wants to give students options. Gone are the days where students have just a couple of choices. This year, students will have about 28 options each day. Almost the entire menu will be the same each day, however, each day of the week will also have at least one different item on it. At a professional standards training for workers in the high school district and other schools in El Dorado County nutrition services employees learned how much food a student needs, how being nice to a student can be what the student needs and how to properly cut foods during the day-long seminar.

 

Foster Youth summer program empowers youth – Mountain Democrat - This summer 12 high school foster youth gained professional skills and hands-on experience during an innovative internship program through the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE). Initiated in 2009, this annual program provides at-risk youth with meaningful guidance, training and employment opportunities…. Outstandingly, 11 interns completed the program this summer using the professional and soft skills they learned along the way.

 

Ponderosa High School grad’s art makes a statement, wins award – Mountain Democrat (attached) – Sometimes you never know what fortuitous event will take your life im a completely different direction. It was a fluke on Gary Gorans’ part when he brought home a welding tool – nobody in his family knew how to use it. One day his son Daniel decided to give it a try, teaching himself the basics of welding by watching YouTube videos… Daniel’s sculpture is on display at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

 

Welcome Back Students of Georgetown Divide – Georgetown Gazette (attached) -  On Wednesday, August 14, the Black Oak Mine Unified School District welcomed welcomed back students to all six district schools. This marks over 75 years of educational service to the families of the Georgetown Divide, a unique rural area where approximately 1275 Students travel throughout 412 square miles to reach their neighborhood schools. Yellow school buses, driven by CHP certified drivers, were out on roadways as far north as Volcanoville, south as Kelsey, and as far west as Pilot Hill and Coll early on Wednesday.

 

First Day of Fun (Photo Gallery) – Village Life (attached) – Parents rejoiced and students were all smiles (well, mostly) at the first day of school. Principal Arron Palm greets students on the first day at Oak Ridge High School. Classes started August 12. Oak Meadow Elementary School kindergarten teacher Chris Nyquist greets incoming kindergartener Lyaaz Akhunzada, who offers a small grin during his first day photo shoot.

 

Good to know

 

Local

 

10 years of hope: Run with 3Strands Global Foundation to save a life – Mountain Democrat - Over a decade ago a 17-year-old Ponderosa High School student was taken from the El Dorado Hills Safeway parking lot and trafficked for eight days. Her family and friends, one of whom was Ashlie Bryant, mobilized immediately. This September the community has a chance to prevent tragedies like this from happening around the nation by participating in the 10th annual Break Free run…The Break Free 5K and 10K Run/Walk will be held Sept. 28, starting at 8 a.m. in Folsom. To register for the Break Free Run or for more information text BFR19 to 41411 or visit 3SGF.org.

 

State

 

California may tighten background checks, credentials for charter school teachers – EdSource - California charter school teachers don’t always have a teaching credential or the federal background checks required of teachers in traditional public schools. Currently, 1,118 California charter school teachers do not have any type of teaching credential or permit, including a Certificate of Clearance, according to the California Department of Education… A new bill making its way through the Legislature, Assembly Bill 1505, would set restrictions on the approval process for new charter schools. 

 

Gender, name changes could be required on California high school diplomas after graduation – EdSource - California school districts could soon be required to update records if graduates have changed their name or gender since leaving high school. Introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, AB 711 would ensure that transgender and nonbinary individuals who are no longer in school can have their legal name reflected on school documents such as high school diplomas and transcripts. Nonbinary individuals are those whose gender identity is not strictly male or female.

 

National

 

Support grows nationwide for paying teachers more – EdSource - Most Americans believe that K-12 schools deserve more money, the federal government should chip in a bigger share of education costs and a college education — especially at community colleges — should be tuition-free, according a nationwide education poll released Tuesday. The annual poll by Education Next, an education journal that encourages school choice and charter schools, found a record level of bipartisan support for higher pay for teachers.

LTUSD takes advantage of bond market and saves taxpayers $6M over next 10 years – South Tahoe Now - A move on Wednesday as interest rates in the bond markets dropped saved South Lake Tahoe taxpayers over $6 million over the next ten years. Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) refinanced some of its general obligation bonds to take advantage of low-interest rates in the municipal market and lock in savings for taxpayers. LTUSD refinanced approximately $24 million of outstanding bonds and the financing will close on August 28, 2019. The bonds were issued with a combined interest cost of approximately 1.3 percent, which was achieved due to demand for the LTUSD bonds and their strong credit rating (A1 from Moody’s Investor Services).

 

Backpack giveaway to 80 TRiO ETS students at STMS Kickstart Day – South Tahoe Now - Backpacks stuffed with needed supplies will be given away to the first 80 students to turn in a completed application for the first time with TRiO ETS in grades six to eight at South Tahoe Middle School. This 2nd annual Backpack Giveaway is on Thursday, August 22 during the school's Kickstart day from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. During Kickstart, students will also be getting their class schedules, class pictures, photo I.D. and much more. The Backpack Giveaway is hosted by Gladys Garcia, student advisor of the TRiO Educational Talent Search Program (ETS), at South Tahoe Middle School.

 

School district strives for appealing food options – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado Union High School District Nutrition Services Department wants to give students options. Gone are the days where students have just a couple of choices. This year, students will have about 28 options each day. Almost the entire menu will be the same each day, however, each day of the week will also have at least one different item on it. At a professional standards training for workers in the high school district and other schools in El Dorado County nutrition services employees learned how much food a student needs, how being nice to a student can be what the student needs and how to properly cut foods during the day-long seminar.

 

Foster Youth summer program empowers youth – Mountain Democrat - This summer 12 high school foster youth gained professional skills and hands-on experience during an innovative internship program through the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE). Initiated in 2009, this annual program provides at-risk youth with meaningful guidance, training and employment opportunities…. Outstandingly, 11 interns completed the program this summer using the professional and soft skills they learned along the way.

 

Ponderosa High School grad’s art makes a statement, wins award – Mountain Democrat (attached) – Sometimes you never know what fortuitous event will take your life im a completely different direction. It was a fluke on Gary Gorans’ part when he brought home a welding tool – nobody in his family knew how to use it. One day his son Daniel decided to give it a try, teaching himself the basics of welding by watching YouTube videos… Daniel’s sculpture is on display at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

 

Welcome Back Students of Georgetown Divide – Georgetown Gazette (attached) -  On Wednesday, August 14, the Black Oak Mine Unified School District welcomed welcomed back students to all six district schools. This marks over 75 years of educational service to the families of the Georgetown Divide, a unique rural area where approximately 1275 Students travel throughout 412 square miles to reach their neighborhood schools. Yellow school buses, driven by CHP certified drivers, were out on roadways as far north as Volcanoville, south as Kelsey, and as far west as Pilot Hill and Coll early on Wednesday.

 

First Day of Fun (Photo Gallery) – Village Life (attached) – Parents rejoiced and students were all smiles (well, mostly) at the first day of school. Principal Arron Palm greets students on the first day at Oak Ridge High School. Classes started August 12. Oak Meadow Elementary School kindergarten teacher Chris Nyquist greets incoming kindergartener Lyaaz Akhunzada, who offers a small grin during his first day photo shoot.

 

Good to know

 

Local

 

10 years of hope: Run with 3Strands Global Foundation to save a life – Mountain Democrat - Over a decade ago a 17-year-old Ponderosa High School student was taken from the El Dorado Hills Safeway parking lot and trafficked for eight days. Her family and friends, one of whom was Ashlie Bryant, mobilized immediately. This September the community has a chance to prevent tragedies like this from happening around the nation by participating in the 10th annual Break Free run…The Break Free 5K and 10K Run/Walk will be held Sept. 28, starting at 8 a.m. in Folsom. To register for the Break Free Run or for more information text BFR19 to 41411 or visit 3SGF.org.

 

State

 

California may tighten background checks, credentials for charter school teachers – EdSource - California charter school teachers don’t always have a teaching credential or the federal background checks required of teachers in traditional public schools. Currently, 1,118 California charter school teachers do not have any type of teaching credential or permit, including a Certificate of Clearance, according to the California Department of Education… A new bill making its way through the Legislature, Assembly Bill 1505, would set restrictions on the approval process for new charter schools. 

 

Gender, name changes could be required on California high school diplomas after graduation – EdSource - California school districts could soon be required to update records if graduates have changed their name or gender since leaving high school. Introduced by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, AB 711 would ensure that transgender and nonbinary individuals who are no longer in school can have their legal name reflected on school documents such as high school diplomas and transcripts. Nonbinary individuals are those whose gender identity is not strictly male or female.

 

National

 

Support grows nationwide for paying teachers more – EdSource - Most Americans believe that K-12 schools deserve more money, the federal government should chip in a bigger share of education costs and a college education — especially at community colleges — should be tuition-free, according a nationwide education poll released Tuesday. The annual poll by Education Next, an education journal that encourages school choice and charter schools, found a record level of bipartisan support for higher pay for teachers.

EDC school leaders educate Gov. Newsom on PSPS impacts – South Tahoe Now/Placerville News Wire – On Thursday, October 31, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited El Dorado County and Blue Oak Elementary School to learn about the impacts of the recent PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). Gov. Newsom and Superintendent Thurmond met with El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, Buckeye Union School District (BUSD) Superintendent Dr. David Roth, and several BUSD officials to hear first-hand about the challenges that school officials encounter when making decisions regarding school closures.

 

Just 6,700 PG&E customers still in the dark. ‘We are turning the corner,’ Gov. Newsom says – Sacramento Bee - The lights were on this week at Blue Oak Elementary School in Shingle Springs. But the students and staff didn’t have Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to thank. Blue Oak Elementary was opened with the help of a custodian who brought a generator from home to help bring power to the school on Monday. Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond visited the school Thursday to meet with administrators, staff and students who lost power due to PG&E’s power shutoff.

 

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - This week at South Tahoe High School, students dressed up for Spirit week and seniors on the volleyball and soccer teams played their last home games. To celebrate Halloween, the STHS Leadership and Yearbook groups created a Spirit week, where students dressed up in different themes, including angels versus devils, 80’s day, E-boy/girl versus VSCO girl, Halloween costumes, and blue-and-gold gear. Points for dressing up increased this week compared to previous Spirit weeks, which helped drive up participation.

 

Get ready to race at Apple Hill Harvest Run – Mountain Democrat - What’s a better way to reward yourself after a race than to treat yourself to seasonal goodies from the farms of Apple Hill? The Apple Hill Growers Association is encouraging runners, walkers and anyone who enjoys fall in the foothills to come out and support the Camino Union School District at the 40th annual Apple Hill Harvest Run on Sunday, Nov. 3. “The Apple Hill Growers have supported the Apple Hill Harvest Run since it started back in 1979 and we are excited to be able to help benefit Camino School and the community we’ve been a part of for more than five decades,” said Chris Delfino of Delfino Farms and president of the Apple Hill Growers Association.

 

Students learn about fire safety planning – Mountain Democrat – Pioneer Elementary School District began its Fire Prevention Week projects at the start of October. The projects were chosen to correlate with this year’s theme “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” Under the supervision of Mountain Creek Middle School Science and Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher, Amanda Eskildsen, the middle school students assisted the Pioneer Elementary School students with fire prevention projects. Fourth- and fifth-grade students in Alyson Huston’s class made plan your escape house plans with escape routes.

 

Local students monitor high-country watershed – Mountain Democrat – For the past 22 years the Watershed Education Summit has brought together students and teachers from local high schools with resource specialists in an extensive watershed monitoring project in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area of the Eldorado National Forest. El Dorado, Ponderosa, Union Mine, Foresthill and Golden Sierra students set out for the forest on Sept. 25 and spent three nights under the stars. “We’ve been collecting data for over 22 years,” explained Golden Sierra High School’s Brad Mason. “Not only is that an amazing amount of information but it’s also had an amazing impacted on a lot of kids.”

 

School dazed — lights go out in local classrooms – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Office of Education has been coping with PG&E power shut-downs. Many local schools were closed this week as outages persisted with strong winds forecasted for the foothills. “The superintendents of the county’s 15 school districts are diligently managing these power shutoffs, including working at all hours of the weekends and I applaud their dedication and steadfast leadership,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala. “These are uncertain circumstances and our educational leaders provide anchors that our communities may count on.”

 

Student of the Year: Caleigh Crisafulli – Village Life – There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills honored Caleigh Crisafulli as the Rolling Hills Middle School Student of the Year last Wednesday. Standing at the podium after receiving the award, the eighth-grader tearfully thanked her mother for all her support and sacrifices. Just a few feet away — though thousands of miles away — was Caleigh’s father … watching via FaceTime. He was recently deployed to Iraq. Caleigh’s younger brother and sister also attended the breakfast event. Rolling Hills Principal Debbie Bowers commended Caleigh for her commitment to the school and her community, calling her a kind young woman. Caleigh received an illustrated dictionary, plaque and $50.

 

EDCOE Bigs Make A Difference – The Windfall – El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) team members are volunteering their time to make a positive impact through Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County (BBBS). In September, six Indian Creek Elementary School students walked across the street to EDCOE, located on Green Valley Road in Placerville, and enjoyed lunch with six EDCOE Big Brothers and Big Sisters. After eating, the matched pairs participated in fun activities and games until their lunch break ended, and they returned to school.

 

Boys and Girls Club opens in Georgetown – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – On Oct. 14 the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope held the official ribbon cutting for the new facility, opening the 5,000 square foot club at Georgetown Elementary School. The Club currently serves 75 youths a day, and the new facility with have a capacity for 150 children with morning programs available.

 

Good to know

 

State

 

As fires rage, pressure mounts to train California’s next generation of forest stewards – EdSource - While some California schools shut their doors in October during a blackout intended to prevent wildfires, lessons continued outdoors for a group of students tucked away high in the Santa Cruz mountains. There, high school students from Sacramento to Los Angeles gathered at Forestry Challenge, a statewide program and competition that aims to train students in technical forest skills and management.

 

Shorter, clearer (but maybe not more transparent) school accountability plan coming – EdSource - With marching orders from the Legislature to create a parent-friendly document, the California Department of Education is in the final throes of designing another version — its fourth in 6 years — of the form that districts must use to explain how they’ll use funding from the Local Control Funding Formula. The formula covers about 80 percent of money they get from the state.

 

Reading scores drop in California, most states in much-watched national test – EdSource - In 2017, California education leaders heralded the significant increase in the state’s 8th-grade reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress as a sign that the state’s investment in education and its adoption of the Common Core standards had taken hold.

 

In-school suspensions the answer to school discipline? Not necessarily, experts say – EdSource - More California schools are allowing disruptive students to serve suspensions on campus instead of sending them home. But experts said educators need to provide those students with high-quality behavior counseling for that approach to be successful.

 

Mandating later school start times in California impinges on local control – EdSource - Under California’s system of local control of its schools, when to start the school day seems like a basic decision that should be left to local school boards and superintendents.

 

The value of social and emotional learning; Q&A with Tim Shriver – EdSource - Tim Shriver, a leading figure for three decades in social and emotional learning, is optimistic about the burgeoning interest in the field. “This is the most opportune time I’ve seen for us as educators to make significant improvements in the quality of life for children and the quality of learning outcomes for all children,” he said in an interview with EdSource.

 

California Teachers Association posts membership decline of about 15,000 – EdSource - he membership of California’s largest teachers’ union, and by far the largest state-level teachers’ union in the nation, has declined by about 15,000.

 

California rural schools struggling to hire teachers could get help from $9.4 million in grants – EdSource - Two federal grants totaling over $9.4 million will help California recruit teachers and mental health professionals to rural schools.

EDC school leaders educate Gov. Newsom on PSPS impacts – South Tahoe Now/Placerville News Wire – On Thursday, October 31, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited El Dorado County and Blue Oak Elementary School to learn about the impacts of the recent PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). Gov. Newsom and Superintendent Thurmond met with El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, Buckeye Union School District (BUSD) Superintendent Dr. David Roth, and several BUSD officials to hear first-hand about the challenges that school officials encounter when making decisions regarding school closures.

 

Just 6,700 PG&E customers still in the dark. ‘We are turning the corner,’ Gov. Newsom says – Sacramento Bee - The lights were on this week at Blue Oak Elementary School in Shingle Springs. But the students and staff didn’t have Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to thank. Blue Oak Elementary was opened with the help of a custodian who brought a generator from home to help bring power to the school on Monday. Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond visited the school Thursday to meet with administrators, staff and students who lost power due to PG&E’s power shutoff.

 

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - This week at South Tahoe High School, students dressed up for Spirit week and seniors on the volleyball and soccer teams played their last home games. To celebrate Halloween, the STHS Leadership and Yearbook groups created a Spirit week, where students dressed up in different themes, including angels versus devils, 80’s day, E-boy/girl versus VSCO girl, Halloween costumes, and blue-and-gold gear. Points for dressing up increased this week compared to previous Spirit weeks, which helped drive up participation.

 

Get ready to race at Apple Hill Harvest Run – Mountain Democrat - What’s a better way to reward yourself after a race than to treat yourself to seasonal goodies from the farms of Apple Hill? The Apple Hill Growers Association is encouraging runners, walkers and anyone who enjoys fall in the foothills to come out and support the Camino Union School District at the 40th annual Apple Hill Harvest Run on Sunday, Nov. 3. “The Apple Hill Growers have supported the Apple Hill Harvest Run since it started back in 1979 and we are excited to be able to help benefit Camino School and the community we’ve been a part of for more than five decades,” said Chris Delfino of Delfino Farms and president of the Apple Hill Growers Association.

 

Students learn about fire safety planning – Mountain Democrat – Pioneer Elementary School District began its Fire Prevention Week projects at the start of October. The projects were chosen to correlate with this year’s theme “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” Under the supervision of Mountain Creek Middle School Science and Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher, Amanda Eskildsen, the middle school students assisted the Pioneer Elementary School students with fire prevention projects. Fourth- and fifth-grade students in Alyson Huston’s class made plan your escape house plans with escape routes.

 

Local students monitor high-country watershed – Mountain Democrat – For the past 22 years the Watershed Education Summit has brought together students and teachers from local high schools with resource specialists in an extensive watershed monitoring project in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area of the Eldorado National Forest. El Dorado, Ponderosa, Union Mine, Foresthill and Golden Sierra students set out for the forest on Sept. 25 and spent three nights under the stars. “We’ve been collecting data for over 22 years,” explained Golden Sierra High School’s Brad Mason. “Not only is that an amazing amount of information but it’s also had an amazing impacted on a lot of kids.”

 

School dazed — lights go out in local classrooms – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Office of Education has been coping with PG&E power shut-downs. Many local schools were closed this week as outages persisted with strong winds forecasted for the foothills. “The superintendents of the county’s 15 school districts are diligently managing these power shutoffs, including working at all hours of the weekends and I applaud their dedication and steadfast leadership,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala. “These are uncertain circumstances and our educational leaders provide anchors that our communities may count on.”

 

Student of the Year: Caleigh Crisafulli – Village Life – There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills honored Caleigh Crisafulli as the Rolling Hills Middle School Student of the Year last Wednesday. Standing at the podium after receiving the award, the eighth-grader tearfully thanked her mother for all her support and sacrifices. Just a few feet away — though thousands of miles away — was Caleigh’s father … watching via FaceTime. He was recently deployed to Iraq. Caleigh’s younger brother and sister also attended the breakfast event. Rolling Hills Principal Debbie Bowers commended Caleigh for her commitment to the school and her community, calling her a kind young woman. Caleigh received an illustrated dictionary, plaque and $50.

 

EDCOE Bigs Make A Difference – The Windfall – El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) team members are volunteering their time to make a positive impact through Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County (BBBS). In September, six Indian Creek Elementary School students walked across the street to EDCOE, located on Green Valley Road in Placerville, and enjoyed lunch with six EDCOE Big Brothers and Big Sisters. After eating, the matched pairs participated in fun activities and games until their lunch break ended, and they returned to school.

 

Boys and Girls Club opens in Georgetown – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – On Oct. 14 the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope held the official ribbon cutting for the new facility, opening the 5,000 square foot club at Georgetown Elementary School. The Club currently serves 75 youths a day, and the new facility with have a capacity for 150 children with morning programs available.

 

Good to know

 

State

 

As fires rage, pressure mounts to train California’s next generation of forest stewards – EdSource - While some California schools shut their doors in October during a blackout intended to prevent wildfires, lessons continued outdoors for a group of students tucked away high in the Santa Cruz mountains. There, high school students from Sacramento to Los Angeles gathered at Forestry Challenge, a statewide program and competition that aims to train students in technical forest skills and management.

 

Shorter, clearer (but maybe not more transparent) school accountability plan coming – EdSource - With marching orders from the Legislature to create a parent-friendly document, the California Department of Education is in the final throes of designing another version — its fourth in 6 years — of the form that districts must use to explain how they’ll use funding from the Local Control Funding Formula. The formula covers about 80 percent of money they get from the state.

 

Reading scores drop in California, most states in much-watched national test – EdSource - In 2017, California education leaders heralded the significant increase in the state’s 8th-grade reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress as a sign that the state’s investment in education and its adoption of the Common Core standards had taken hold.

 

In-school suspensions the answer to school discipline? Not necessarily, experts say – EdSource - More California schools are allowing disruptive students to serve suspensions on campus instead of sending them home. But experts said educators need to provide those students with high-quality behavior counseling for that approach to be successful.

 

Mandating later school start times in California impinges on local control – EdSource - Under California’s system of local control of its schools, when to start the school day seems like a basic decision that should be left to local school boards and superintendents.

 

The value of social and emotional learning; Q&A with Tim Shriver – EdSource - Tim Shriver, a leading figure for three decades in social and emotional learning, is optimistic about the burgeoning interest in the field. “This is the most opportune time I’ve seen for us as educators to make significant improvements in the quality of life for children and the quality of learning outcomes for all children,” he said in an interview with EdSource.

 

California Teachers Association posts membership decline of about 15,000 – EdSource - he membership of California’s largest teachers’ union, and by far the largest state-level teachers’ union in the nation, has declined by about 15,000.

 

California rural schools struggling to hire teachers could get help from $9.4 million in grants – EdSource - Two federal grants totaling over $9.4 million will help California recruit teachers and mental health professionals to rural schools.

EDC school leaders educate Gov. Newsom on PSPS impacts – South Tahoe Now/Placerville News Wire – On Thursday, October 31, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond visited El Dorado County and Blue Oak Elementary School to learn about the impacts of the recent PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). Gov. Newsom and Superintendent Thurmond met with El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, Buckeye Union School District (BUSD) Superintendent Dr. David Roth, and several BUSD officials to hear first-hand about the challenges that school officials encounter when making decisions regarding school closures.

 

Just 6,700 PG&E customers still in the dark. ‘We are turning the corner,’ Gov. Newsom says – Sacramento Bee - The lights were on this week at Blue Oak Elementary School in Shingle Springs. But the students and staff didn’t have Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to thank. Blue Oak Elementary was opened with the help of a custodian who brought a generator from home to help bring power to the school on Monday. Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond visited the school Thursday to meet with administrators, staff and students who lost power due to PG&E’s power shutoff.

 

Viking Corner: This Week at South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - This week at South Tahoe High School, students dressed up for Spirit week and seniors on the volleyball and soccer teams played their last home games. To celebrate Halloween, the STHS Leadership and Yearbook groups created a Spirit week, where students dressed up in different themes, including angels versus devils, 80’s day, E-boy/girl versus VSCO girl, Halloween costumes, and blue-and-gold gear. Points for dressing up increased this week compared to previous Spirit weeks, which helped drive up participation.

 

Get ready to race at Apple Hill Harvest Run – Mountain Democrat - What’s a better way to reward yourself after a race than to treat yourself to seasonal goodies from the farms of Apple Hill? The Apple Hill Growers Association is encouraging runners, walkers and anyone who enjoys fall in the foothills to come out and support the Camino Union School District at the 40th annual Apple Hill Harvest Run on Sunday, Nov. 3. “The Apple Hill Growers have supported the Apple Hill Harvest Run since it started back in 1979 and we are excited to be able to help benefit Camino School and the community we’ve been a part of for more than five decades,” said Chris Delfino of Delfino Farms and president of the Apple Hill Growers Association.

 

Students learn about fire safety planning – Mountain Democrat – Pioneer Elementary School District began its Fire Prevention Week projects at the start of October. The projects were chosen to correlate with this year’s theme “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” Under the supervision of Mountain Creek Middle School Science and Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher, Amanda Eskildsen, the middle school students assisted the Pioneer Elementary School students with fire prevention projects. Fourth- and fifth-grade students in Alyson Huston’s class made plan your escape house plans with escape routes.

 

Local students monitor high-country watershed – Mountain Democrat – For the past 22 years the Watershed Education Summit has brought together students and teachers from local high schools with resource specialists in an extensive watershed monitoring project in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area of the Eldorado National Forest. El Dorado, Ponderosa, Union Mine, Foresthill and Golden Sierra students set out for the forest on Sept. 25 and spent three nights under the stars. “We’ve been collecting data for over 22 years,” explained Golden Sierra High School’s Brad Mason. “Not only is that an amazing amount of information but it’s also had an amazing impacted on a lot of kids.”

 

School dazed — lights go out in local classrooms – Mountain Democrat - The El Dorado County Office of Education has been coping with PG&E power shut-downs. Many local schools were closed this week as outages persisted with strong winds forecasted for the foothills. “The superintendents of the county’s 15 school districts are diligently managing these power shutoffs, including working at all hours of the weekends and I applaud their dedication and steadfast leadership,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala. “These are uncertain circumstances and our educational leaders provide anchors that our communities may count on.”

 

Student of the Year: Caleigh Crisafulli – Village Life – There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills honored Caleigh Crisafulli as the Rolling Hills Middle School Student of the Year last Wednesday. Standing at the podium after receiving the award, the eighth-grader tearfully thanked her mother for all her support and sacrifices. Just a few feet away — though thousands of miles away — was Caleigh’s father … watching via FaceTime. He was recently deployed to Iraq. Caleigh’s younger brother and sister also attended the breakfast event. Rolling Hills Principal Debbie Bowers commended Caleigh for her commitment to the school and her community, calling her a kind young woman. Caleigh received an illustrated dictionary, plaque and $50.

 

EDCOE Bigs Make A Difference – The Windfall – El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) team members are volunteering their time to make a positive impact through Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County (BBBS). In September, six Indian Creek Elementary School students walked across the street to EDCOE, located on Green Valley Road in Placerville, and enjoyed lunch with six EDCOE Big Brothers and Big Sisters. After eating, the matched pairs participated in fun activities and games until their lunch break ended, and they returned to school.

 

Boys and Girls Club opens in Georgetown – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – On Oct. 14 the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope held the official ribbon cutting for the new facility, opening the 5,000 square foot club at Georgetown Elementary School. The Club currently serves 75 youths a day, and the new facility with have a capacity for 150 children with morning programs available.