Local Education News

NSPRA’s 35 Under 35 Class of 2018-19: Dina Gentry (El Dorado County Office of Education, Placerville, CA) – National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) News - Dina is one of 35 professionals, age 35 and under, who is part of the Class of 2018-19. These 35 individuals are emerging leaders who are making a difference in school public relations. Questionnaire: …What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed – either one of your own or one you saw nationally? “One of our schools recently became part of the national New Tech Network and was renamed the GT School of Innovation, located in Georgetown, Calif.. Their educators harnessed engaging, project-based learning and promoted their activities across multiple platforms, like social media, to successfully reach their audiences.

Day of the Young Child to be held in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - The annual Day of the Young Child will be held at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Complex on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This free event is for all ages. There will be activities, games, booths opened by local youth-oriented groups and vendors, and information about jobs in the early childhood education field… Hosted by Choices for Children and Parks & Recreation, Day of the Young Child is also sponsored by First 5 El Dorado, Kiwanis, South Tahoe Refuse, High 5 For Quality and the El Dorado County Office of Education.

Changes Coming for Junior High at GSJSHS – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Exciting changes are planned for 7th and 8th graders at Golden Sierra Junior High this spring and fall. Teacher leaders from both the junior high and high school, school counselors, and student peer advocates have met with Superintendent-Principal Meyers and Assistant Principal Morris to design programs and activities that will enhance student engagement by emphasizing the unique identity of middle school students.

Golden Sierra Travel Club to hold benefit dinner – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - A tri-tip dinner fundraiser benefit will be held on March 30 at the Cool Community Hall to benefit Golden Sierra High School Travel Club. Doors open at 6 p.m. The students at Golden Sierra Junior and Senior High School have been given the opportunity to travel to New York and Boston in April.

EDUHSD partners with Cenergistic, will implement sustainability program – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) is partnering with Cenergistic to implement its Sustainability Solutions. EDUHSD is a public ninth-12th grade school district with an enrollment of 6,740 students across six campuses which total more than 700,000 square feet. Cenergistic expects EDUHSD to reclaim approximately $800,000 during the next five years.

Folsom Cordova Unified high schools will no longer report student ranking to universities. – Sacramento Bee – Video: The three high schools in Folsom Cordova Unified School District have chosen to do away with student rankings because they felt brilliant students were getting left out.

California gets boost from federal government to expand early learning – EdSource - Though California has been at odds with the federal government on many fronts, the state is getting a boost from the Trump administration to lay the groundwork for expanding preschool and child care programs. California was one of 45 states to receive a Preschool Development Birth through Five Grant this year for improving access to child care and early learning for infants and children. California received $10.6 million.

Gov. Newsom signs legislation requiring charter school transparency in California – EdSource - Underscoring the high priority he has placed on the issue, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill approved by lawmakers at lightning speed that will require more transparency in charter school operations.

Oakland school board cuts $20.2 million from budget, including 100 jobs – EdSource - After discussing for months how to make budget cuts to pay for teachers’ raises and balance its budget, the Oakland school board on Monday voted to slash $20.2 million next year and lay off more than 100 employees.


Lessons from the Los Angeles and Oakland teachers' strikes – EdSource - After two teachers’ strikes in as many months in California, it is too soon to tell whether the labor disputes in Oakland and Los Angeles presage a new era of school-based activism. But regardless of what comes next, this year’s strikes had much in common, and yielded valuable lessons and insights for other districts where labor troubles may also be brewing.

Student athlete safety laws going into effect – K-12 Daily - Although the impending summer heat may be the last thing on the minds of administrators during this rainy season, legal experts are calling on districts to be mindful of upcoming deadlines related to ensuring student athlete remain safe on hot days.

Back in session: Pollock Pines schools reopen after week – KCRA 3 - Power is back on at many places in Pollock Pines, including Pinewood Elementary School… “We were like, ‘Yes! Praise God, it’s on,’” she said. “We’re finally back. It was an amazing moment.” Nielsen’s daughter, 9-year-old KyrieAnn, is a student at Pinewood Elementary. She said she’s ready to go back to class. “I miss my friends,” KyrieAnn said. “And, I kind of want to do some work.”

Local students beam up with NASA – Mountain Democrat - Students from William Brooks Elementary and Buckeye Elementary schools had the opportunity of a lifetime Feb. 5 of  when they spoke to astronaut Anne McClain, a crew member on the International Space Station. Hosted in Brooks’ school gym, and broadcast live on nasa.gov/ntv, kids, parents and the community were able to be a part of this historic event. This out-of-this-world call came via Skype and NASA’s education downlink.

Students bring Gold Rush history to life – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Local eighth-graders traveled back to the Gold Rush and brought history to life for fellow students last week, hosting a Gold Rush Fair in the Rolling Hills Middle School multipurpose room Feb. 7. Oak Meadow and Silva Valley elementary school fourth-graders walked to Rolling Hills to listen to presentations about the groups that migrated and settled in the West during the 1800s. The eighth-graders worked in groups of three to four to create posters and speeches about 49ers, Mormons, missionaries, African-Americans, California Indians, pioneer women, Chinese, explorers and Californios.

It is a three-peat for the Trojans – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - In a display of academic brilliance the Oak Ridge High School Trojans pulled off a three-peat to win the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon. The Trojans scored 35,502.80 points in the victory at Union Mine High School on Feb. 2. “The euphoria I felt after the third consecutive victory is indescribable,” Jeff Hassian, Oak Ridge coach. “I am so happy for these students and the efforts that went into being the first time in the history of Oak Ridge High School to win three times in a row.

Academic Decathlon 2019 winning essay – Mountain Democrat - By Ryann Fox, Ponderosa High School. Essay prompt: Literature Essay Prompt: There are many examples of doubles or parallels in “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” Discuss some of these examples and explain what they all add up to. What is the point of having them in the play… As Forrest Gump observed, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” The unpredictable nature of existence has been noted by humans throughout their history…

Hands4Hope plans to expand program to Placerville — support still needed – Mountain Democrat - Hands4Hope of El Dorado County is expanding it’s youth program to Placerville through a new Placerville-based steering committee. Jennifer Bassett, of El Dorado Hills, is the founder and executive director for Hands4Hope, a nonprofit, youth-driven organization based in El Dorado Hills. With the help of the new committee, she is currently working to secure funds to expand the program into two Placerville schools: Markham Middle School and El Dorado High School. Additionally, Bassett said they are working to open a Placerville location for a satellite Hands4Hope Youth Center for kids to use after school.

Technology Initiative Approved (attached) – Georgetown Gazette - A long-awaited 21st century classroom technology initiative was unanimously approved by the Black Oak Mine Unified School District’s Board of Trustees on January 10.  Superintendent Jeremy Meyers and Chief Business Oficial Sid Albaugh provided the Board and community members with a detailed presentation outlining the steps to achieving this major goal of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to infuse technology into district instructional programs.

New Morning Youth and Family Services to host Battle of the Badges – 911 Cook-off – Mountain Democrat - New Morning Youth and Family Services will host the second Battle of the Badges – 911 Cook-off fundraiser event from 4-8 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in the Forni Building. This impressive event will include more than 20 county first responder agencies battling it out for the “Best Culinarian in El Dorado County” trophy.

How to understand your child's CAASPP individual student score report – Sacramento Bee - This video from the California Department of Education shows how to understand your student's California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test results for the year 2017-18.

Full replay: Here's Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State of the State address – Sacramento Bee - Governor Gavin Newsom delivers his first State of the State address before a joint session of the California Legislature on Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

In his own words: Gov. Newsom on education in his State of the State speech 2019 – EdSource - This is what Gov. Gavin Newsom said about education in his first State of the State speech on Jan. 12, 2019, delivered in the Assembly chambers in the State Capitol.

Gov. Newsom names new head of State Board of Education in California – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom has named Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University professor emeritus and one of the nation’s most prominent education researchers, to head California’s State Board of Education.

Kamala Harris’s stance on truancy resurfaces as she launches presidential campaign – EdSource - California Senator Kamala Harris’s tough stance on truancy, her signature education issue while she was a local and state prosecutor, is again attracting attention as she embarks on a campaign for president and schools statewide are facing increased scrutiny on chronic absenteeism.

Only a fraction of California children eligible receive subsidized child care – EdSource - As Gov. Gavin Newsom pushes to expand subsidized childcare in California, a new report indicates that the state still has a long way to go to reach a substantial share of its neediest children.

California quietly publishes list of 781 lowest-performing schools – EdSource - Without fanfare or advance notice, the California Department of Education released the list of the state’s poorest-performing schools last week for the first time in four years… In their work with districts, county offices of education do “root-cause” analyses that look beyond low dashboard scores to teacher turnover patterns, labor management issues and principals’ experience, said El Dorado County Superintendent Ed Manansala, who is president of the organization representing the state’s 58 counties, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. “That’s why coherent work with districts and schools becomes important.”

Talented Golden Sierra artists dazzle community – Georgetown Gazette (attached) - “How did they do that?” and “That’s gorgeous!” were just a few of the comments by the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board and community members when viewing an art display in the Board Room. Erica Phillips, Visual Arts teacher at Golden Sierra, is very proud of her students. And the Board Room isn’t their only venue. In 2018, GSJSH students were invited to a showing competition at Folsom Lake College’s Harris Center Art Gallery and took home honors, were published in Style Magazine and have been invited to participate again this year.

Local yard duty saves Sierra School student – Mountain Democrat - While eating a peach one afternoon at Sierra Elementary School, 11-year-old Ashden Berg, of Placerville, learned that asking for help is always the right thing to do. I was eating a peach and didn’t chew very well and started choking,” Ashden said. “I started choking and hit my friend’s arm to get his attention. He called Mrs. Delgado our yard duty over to help. She stood me up and performed the Heimlich maneuver on me and then I got everything out.” Etelia Delgado, 57, of Placerville, said to her, it was just another day at work and she was glad she was in the right place at the right time.

Exchange students bringing the globe to El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - Learning about other countries may seem like it requires traveling thousands of miles. But some families in El Dorado County have figured out how to experience other cultures from across the kitchen table, by hosting international exchange students. While it’s not clear how long international exchange students have been coming to El Dorado County from across the globe, it’s been at least since Janice Reese and Bridget Wright were students at El Dorado High School about 30 years ago. Reese and Wright, who now work with the Center for Educational Travel USA (CETUSA) to place exchange students in the county, fondly remember their peers from other countries.

Harms named cross country coach of the year – Mountain Democrat - The National Federation of State High School Associations has named El Dorado High School’s cross country coach Dwayne “Peanut” Harms the 2018 California Coach of the Year for both boys and girls cross country. Harms began volunteering at El Dorado High School as a freshman girls basketball assistant coach in 2000-01 and has been coaching there for the past 18 years.

Leaders in the making – Mountain Democrat - More than 100 local teens had a chance to hone in on their leadership skills this week, through a day of discussion, development and dancing at Markham Middle School. Students from Markham, Sierra Ridge and Herbert Green middle schools, along with the Camino School, met Wednesday for a presentation from the California Association of Student Leaders (CASL). The CASL organization travels statewide to help build positive leaders at elementary schools all the way up through high schools.

Registration is now open for Gold Trail Union School District – Mountain Democrat - Parents will have the opportunity to register their children for the 2019-20 school year in the Gold Trail Union School District beginning Tuesday, Feb. 19. Registration information and forms will be available in school offices. Currently enrolled students do not need to enroll again.

Ponderosa Hands4Hope Club helps local dogs – Mountain Democrat - The Ponderosa Hands4Hope Club raised $557.97 during a December bake sale and last week the group presented the funds to Foothill Dog Rescue. With the donation of these funds, Foothill Dog Rescue can fully vet eight new dogs rescue to adoption.

Photo: Pondo soccer raises money for cancer awareness – Mountain Democrat - The Ponderosa High School boys soccer team, pictured before winning their league opener with Rio Linda Tuesday, will host their third annual Breast Cancer Awareness Match Jan. 15. The Bruins will play Nevada Union High School and proceeds from snack bar sales will go to the El Dorado Pink Ribbon fund. There will also be a half time penalty kick shootout sponsored by Chick-fil-A.

Indian Creek Kindergarten registration opens Feb. 11 – Mountain Democrat - Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK) registration packets will be available in the Indian Creek front office on Feb. 11. There are many items required to enroll a child in school for the first time and school officials want to ensure families have plenty of time to get the necessary documents together for registration.

New art curriculum adds vibrance to area schools – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado Hills artist and teacher Jamie Lentzner spent years discerning what would make the ideal elementary school art program, first as a parent volunteer in her own children’s schools. When she was approached by the Lake Forest Elementary School Parent Teacher Council to help create a new art program in early 2018, Lentzner got right to work, writing her ideas down to make the Color Wheel Art Curriculum currently being piloted at Lake Forest.

Photo: Students talk “Freedom of the Press” – Mountain Democrat (attached) - At the 82nd annual Student Speakers Contest, El Dorado High School senior Jake White won with his speech on “Freedom of the Press: What does it mean?” From the left, participating students Abby Loomis, Emmet Wilson, Joshua Fiak, Jake White and Carlo McCallick prepare to read their speeches on the same topic.

Photo gallery: Crab feed fun with EDH Rotary – Mountain Democrat - Matais Ovando, El Dorado Hills Rotary Youth Exchange student from Bolivia who is attending Oak Ridge High School this year, has some fun with the Lucky Hat and event guest Rex Everett of Shingle Springs. Democrat photo by Noel Stack

STOPit app keeps Oak Ridge Safe – Village Life - Oak Ridge High School has become a little safer since a new app called STOPit was implemented by Principal Aaron Palm last January. The app allows students to report threats made against the school as well as inappropriate or dangerous behaviors observed or experienced… “I am glad that students have a way to communicate and help to maintain a safe environment,” Palm added.

Students getting an out-of-this-world experience – Village Life/Mountain Democrat - From 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, Brooks and Buckeye elementary school students will connect live with astronauts orbiting Earth in the International Space Station. The community is invited to tune in and witness this historic event that will broadcast live from Brooks Elementary School’s gym on NASA TV at nasa.gov/ntv… “We are ecstatic for the opportunity our students have to make the real-world connection between learning in the classroom and what scientists actually are doing,” said Jonathan Lee, principal of William Brooks Elementary.

Photo: Welcome, Future Trojans! – Village Life (attached) – Marina Village Middle School students Abby Love, 13, and classmate Estella Roseveare, 14, pose for a photo at Oak Ridge High School’s open house for incoming freshmen Jan. 26. Abby is looking forward to playing Trojans softball and Estella wants to play tennis.

Academic Decathlon: Is Oak Ridge ready for a three-peat? – Village Life - On Jan. 30 at Union Mine High School, the Speech and Interview portion of the 2019 High School Academic Decathlon will commence… Oak Ridge junior Harleen Bal, the team’s co-captain with Melissa Gomes, said, “This year is about getting everyone excited, to get information out to the team and to teach actual content about the 1960s.” Harleen, whose favorite topic is history, said that starting in November, she puts in about 14 hours of studying a week.

Student of the Year – Village Life (attached) – The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recently celebrated the accomplishments of lakeview Elementary School student Chloe Griffith, who earned the title of Student of the Year. Principal Kathy Miracle commended Chloe, a fifth-grader, for all of the academic effort she put into receiving straight A’s. She called Chloe the kind of student who steps up to volunteer and is accepting of others.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Applications for Summer Meal Programs – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that applications are available for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children eighteen and younger when school is out of session.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Commends New K-12 California Arts Standards – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond praised the recent adoption of new California Arts Standards by the State Board of Education, stating it is a critical step in enhancing creativity in students and preparing students for California’s “creative economy.” The last update to the state’s arts standards was in 2001.

Gov. Newsom and his school spending ideas are popular with Californians, poll finds – EdSource - Californians overwhelmingly support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent proposals to increase funding for all levels of education and are optimistic that he and the legislature can work together to accomplish a lot, a new poll found. An eye-opening 70 percent of California adults favor Newsom’s budget ideas in general, according to the survey by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan statewide research and policy organization.

Database: California's lowest-performing schools – EdSource - For the first time since the 2015 federal education law was enacted, California identified 781 district and charter schools for 'comprehensive support and improvement'; 481 are schools receiving Title I federal aid selected for poor performance under the California School Dashboard (CSI Low Perform); 300 are high schools whose two-year graduation rate averaged less than 67 percent (CSI Grad).

Trump renews call for 'school choice' legislation in State of the Union speech – EdSource - Kicking up on an issue that has virtually disappeared from his policy agenda, President Donald Trump called on Congress in his State of the Union speech to approve “school choice” legislation — without providing any details about what he has in mind.

Gov. Newsom asks to review impact of California charter schools on district finances EdSource - In one fallout from the recently settled strike of teachers in Los Angeles, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to establish a panel of experts to examine the impact of charter school growth on district finances.

Gun violence in schools and college affordability highest priorities for California voters, poll finds – EdSource - In a poll released Monday, 2,000 registered voters ranked making schools safe from gun violence and college affordability the most important education issues in California, far higher than early education, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top priority on his children’s policy agenda.

Chronic absenteeism in California schools up slightly, new data show – EdSource - It is the most obvious and important contributor to student success and yet something many California school districts are not doing well: getting students to show up for school. More than 1 in 10 students statewide were chronically absent from school in 2017-18, meaning they missed at least 10 percent of the school year, according to recent data released by the California Department of Education.

Vote now for Tahoe Daily Tribune Student of the MonthTahoe Daily Tribune – Poll

Union Mine to honor memory of Sky Mote – Mountain Democrat - A special presentation honoring former Union Mine High School student Sky Mote will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, between the girls varsity and boys varsity basketball games. Associated Student Body President Kierstin Parker and ASB Vice President Cassie Regan will present a plaque in the Marine’s honor, which will be on display that night for those who want to see it.

Photo gallery: Backtrack Vocals performs at Ponderosa High School – Mountain Democrat - Singer Johnny Bufalo performs freestyle beatbox during a recent El Dorado County Community Concert Association student outreach performance featuring the award-winning a cappella group, Backtrack Vocals. The group performed for Ponderosa High School jazz and choir students last week at the high school.

Academic Decathletes prepare for their Olympics, community volunteers still needed – Mountain Democrat - t’s that time of year again, and El Dorado County decathletes are preparing for the 2019 El Dorado County Academic Decathlon Regional competition hosted at Union Mine High School at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. The event is open to the public and will take place in Theatre at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane in El Dorado. Teams from Union Mine, Ponderosa, El Dorado and Oak Ridge high schools will compete for the opportunity to represent El Dorado County at the California State Academic Decathlon.

School field dedicated to late teen – Village Life - The restored field at Marina Village and Lake Forest schools was dedicated to former Marina Village student Erin Hauge during a celebration on Jan. 12. The 14-year-old was killed in 1990 by a classmate’s younger brother, one month after walking across the same field during her eighth-grade promotion ceremony. Erin lived in Shingle Springs with her older brother and parents, Dave and Cindy, and attended Rescue Union schools since kindergarten. She would have started Ponderosa High School that fall.

Kindness bagged up: Oak Ridge club lends a caring hand­ - Village Life - Student Katie Kenny started the Oak Ridge High School Care Package Club after she had an epiphany while volunteering at Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento. “I came to the realization that many homeless people in our area are in need of items beyond the meals, which are offered at shelters,” the high school junior shared with Village Life. “After sending out numerous care packages to my sister, who is in college, I wanted to make something similar and give it to the homeless. Everyone can relate to the feeling of happiness after receiving a package in the mail and I thought that other Oak Ridge students might be excited (about) such a concept.” ­

Amgen Tour of California returns to South Lake Tahoe – Mountain Democrat - The Amgen Tour of California, America’s premier cycling event, returns to South Lake Tahoe for the Men’s Stage 2 finish from Rancho Cordova at Heavenly Mountain Resort, May 13, 2019.

See how the 2018 teacher salaries compare across CaliforniaSacramento Bee (video)

This Week in California Education­ (Podcast) - EdSource - This week Louis and John discuss the dramatic plans for early childhood development and education that Gov. Gavin Newsom presented in his initial budget this month.

Required tests roadblock for many aspiring California teachers – EdSource - Nearly half of California’s potential teachers struggle to pass a gauntlet of standardized tests required for them to earn a credential, making it more difficult for the state to put a dent in a persistent teacher shortage. But that could change soon, as officials at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing look to reform the entire landscape of tests that teachers have to take to enter the profession.

Soroptimists honor South Tahoe High and Whittell High girls - Ten senior girls at South Tahoe High School and Whittell High Schools were honored by the Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe club on Wednesday for their service to the community and their leadership, athletic and academic achievements… South Tahoe High - Emily Dilts, Summer Furrer, Rita McCann, Megan McGill, Kylie Pilkinton, Zyena Tolhurst

GT School of Technology invites the community to Tinker Night (attached) – Georgetown (attached) – The community is invited to a free event to use their imagination to tinker, test and build. The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 25. Some of the projects include retractor cars, foil art, puff rocket, critter capsule, connect-a-pult, colors of light, buzz off, simple motor plus, gravity defying frog and more. What you make, you get to take home.  

Local teacher exhibits photos at Cameron Park Library – Mountain Democrat - El  Dorado Union School District instructor Chris Plewa has been selected as one of the photographers to exhibit his photographs at the Cameron Park Library. His photo series is titled “California” and represents scenes from around the state which evoke memories of growing up in Scotland. Plewa grew up in Scotland where he became accustomed to expansive landscapes and unpredictable weather as he ventured out into the hills in all seasons.

Women’s Fund Scholarship applications available now – Mountain Democrat - Applications are now available for Women’s Fund El Dorado’s (WFED) Wickline Scholarship. The Wickline Scholarship Fund was established to assist women over the age of 25 in overcoming personal difficulties by pursuing post-secondary education. Since 2012, WFED has awarded $27,000 Wickline Scholarship dollars, making a difference in the lives of 20 women.

Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony celebrates 150 years with summer festival, tickets on sale now – Mountain Democrat - Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony is celebrating 150 years of Japanese-American heritage, arts and cuisine this year and will hold a special Sesquicentennial Wakamatsu Farm Festival this summer. The WakamatsuFest150 will take place June 6-9 and be hosted at Wakamatsu Farm, site of the first Japanese colony in the country. This four day festival will celebrate the historic date of the first Japanese colonists’ arrival at Wakamatsu Farm on June 8, 1869.

Art and Wine With Something MORE returns Saturday – Village Life - For those looking for unique artwork with a positive effect on the community, Art and Wine With Something MORE has just the ticket. The 15th annual Art and Wine With Something MORE, hosted by Placerville’s Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises, Inc. (MORE), will be from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the Forni Building at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. “This event is meant to teach people about our clients here at MORE,” said Susie Davies, MORE’s chief executive officer. “We don’t want our clients seen as people with disabilities; we want them seen as artists.”

Should children attend full-day kindergarten? California law may soon require it – Sacramento Bee - California may soon require that all the state’s kindergarteners attend a full day of school, if a bill introduced last week becomes law. Under the legislation, schools must transition from half-day programs to full-day programs by the 2021-22 school year. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, introduced Assembly Bill 197, which proposes that the minimum school day for full-day kindergarten be “the same number of minutes per schoolday that is offered to pupils in 1st grade.”

California Receives Nearly $11 Million Federal Early Childhood Education Grant – CSE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award for $10,620,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. It was one of 45 states/territories that received the grant award.

Trauma in Paradise: A California school system focuses on mental health after devastating fire – EdSource - The flames have long since died down, but Fiona Roberts, a high school senior, remains haunted by the memory of being trapped with her mother in a slow-motion race for their lives on the morning of Nov. 8, the day the Camp Fire swallowed Paradise. Driving from their home in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the left-hand side of the road, they gasped at the pop of backyard propane tanks exploding and the sight of embers the size of butterflies swirling in the air.

Help EdSource shine a light on challenges in rural education – EdSource - There is nothing more fundamental to a student’s success in school than his or her ability to be there…  We at EdSource see it as our responsibility to shine a light on issues like this and search for solutions as part of our mission to cover all aspects of education throughout California. We want to tell the stories of teachers, students and their families who are overcoming challenges to educate the state’s next generation.

Just days into governorship, Newsom a master of complexities of California budget – EdSource – “I love this stuff,” Gov. Gavin Newsom gushed during the presentation in Sacramento this week of his first state budget — which, at $209 billion, is larger than that of most countries. As Newsom dissected virtually every cranny of the huge public enterprise that is California, the differences between his leadership and the lack of it in Washington, D.C., could not have been clearer.

El Dorado County's newly-elected officials sworn in – South Tahoe Now - Two El Dorado County Supervisors and eight other elected officials were sworn into office on Monday, January 7 during a ceremony in the Board of Supervisors meeting room in Placerville. El Dorado County Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne N. Kingsbury administered the oath. Elected officials taking the oath of office were: Philip Mosbacher, newly-elected Surveyor; John D’Agostini, re-elected Sheriff; Joe Harn, re-elected Auditor/Controller; Vern Pierson, re-elected District Attorney; Karen Coleman, newly-elected Treasurer/Tax Collector; Janelle Horne, newly elected Recorder Clerk; Karl Weiland, re-elected Assessor; and Edward Manansala, re-elected County Superintendent of Schools. 

Measure C provides enhanced schools at MLUSD – Placerville Newswire/Mountain Democrat - After their generous community passed Measure C in 2016, Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) students came back to class this fall with a renewed sense of pride made possible by massive efforts to enhance Indian Creek and Herbert C. Green Schools. Superintendent Marcy Guthrie expressed, “This was a long and thoughtful process that ultimately accomplished our mission to improve facilities for our students, staff, and community. I’m thankful for all of the hard work invested over several years, and grateful for the opportunity to work with partners to save taxpayer dollars.” 

PUSD takes major steps to support children affected by trauma – Mountain Democrat – During a recent in-service day at the Placerville Union School District (PUSD), all district team members convened in the multi-purpose room at Markham Middle School to gather comprehensive knowledge and tools to help students who may be facing traumatic challenges. More than 300 people participated and included school administrators, teachers, nurse faculty, bus drivers, maintenance, custodial, coaches, yard duties, and more. PUSD Superintendent Eric Bonniksen welcomed the large group and expressed, “I’m glad to see you here this morning. Everyone connects with our students in some manner, so it’s important for our entire district team to hear this message... 

Community mourns coach Clark’s death – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - “A true gift,” “a shining example,” “an inspiration” — words of praise and heartbreak poured from the community at the news that esteemed Oak Ridge High School football coach Jason Clark, 40, died Jan. 4… ORHS Principal Aaron Palm said the Trojan community is in “a state of shock” at the sudden loss. “Coach Clark was the kindest man who really had a heart for kids,” he said. “I simply cannot overstate the positive impact he has had on our campus. It will be a long time before our school recovers from his loss.” 

Now recruiting judges for Poetry Out Loud 2019 season – Mountain Democrat - Do you love poetry? Do you like to help high school students enrich their learning experience? Then Poetry Out Loud might be for you. El Dorado Arts Council is seeking interested individuals to volunteer as poetry recitation judges for the Poetry Out Loud 2018/19 season. What does a judge do? Attend school-wide competitions at local high school campuses where they will evaluate students’ poetry recitations.

School Districts Bus Runners to California International Marathon – Mountain Democrat/Placerville Newswire – It was an extremely cold morning in December when more than 9,000 runners participated in the California International Marathon (CIM). To help transport individuals to the start line at Auburn Folsom Road in Folsom, Rescue Union School District (RUSD) donated seven buses and seven dedicated drivers. RUSD Superintendent Cheryl Olson said, “It is a privilege to be part of this annual celebration, and I’m proud of our drivers who went beyond the call of duty to make this possible… 

Life Changer of the Year Nominee Profile: Delrene Tschida – National Life Group – Delrene Tschida was nominated by her spouse, Paul Tschida. Mrs. Tschida has spent her life fighting to improve the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Her mission is personal—both her parents are deaf, and American Sign Language is her first language. Growing up, she learned first-hand the daily struggles deaf people face in society. But that’s only part of the picture. The other, more vital parts are her innate gift for teaching and passion for helping people. 

EDCOE’s Coleen Johnson Receives Statewide Award – Style Magazine (attached) – Coleen Johnson, the executive director of personnel services at the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) was honored with an award recognizing contributions to county offices of education, leadership within their committee, and services to students in California. The California County Superintendents Education Services Association presented the Personnel Administrative Services Steering Committee’s Star Award to Johnson, who began her career in education in 1992 as a teacher before moving onto administration. (see attached) 

Hope blooms in wake of Paradise burning as local students pitch in – Mountain Democrat - A lovely phoenix rose from the ashes of the November fire in Paradise — in the form of actual roses — beautiful white blooms that on Saturday, Jan. 5, graced the wedding of a young woman and her groom, courtesy of a group of Ponderosa High School students and grads… That hope manifested in a fragrant room at Ponderosa High in Shingle Springs on Friday, Jan. 4, as students and former students gathered to create beauty. Not only did the volunteers work on the bridal bouquet consisting of plump white roses, wax flowers, eucalyptus and hypericum berries, but the same scented wonders were used in artfully designed decorations that would bring the wedding venue to life. 

Congrats, coach Yates – Mountain Democrat - Ponderosa High School coach Mike Yates, center, was inducted into the Optimist Hall of Fame for his dedication and commitment to encourage and train youth to take their volleyball skills to the next level. The ceremony was held Dec. 8 at the 35th annual Optimist High School Girls’ Volleyball All Star games at El Camino High School. Yates is seen here with Matt MacDonald, Optimist girls volleyball assistant coordinator, from Bear River High School, right, and John Grix, Optimist girls volleyball coordinator, from Rio Americano High School. 

Golden Sierra Grizzlies Succeed in California’s First Cyber Robotics Coding Competition – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Finals were held for California’s first Cyber Robotics Coding Competition in Stockton Dec. 15. Alex Marshall, Tyran Hamlin, Kyrtis Peoples, Nikiah Terra, Cannon Siracusa, and Dylan Bingham represented Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School (GSJSHS). 

The Jeepers Jamboree scholarship – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – The Jeppers Jamboree Scholarship is a career, technical scholarship including computer tech, truck driving, building trades, engineering, HVAC, visual arts, mechanics, welding, firefighting, woodworking, drafting and more. The scholarship is available to Golden Sierra High School seniors, with a 2.0 GPA or higher, who will be attending college or trade school following high school. 

Student of the Year: Mateo Medina – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills recognized Mateo Medina as William Brooks Elementary School’s Student of the Year at a breakfast meeting earlier this month. The fifth-grader was commended for his work ethic in the classroom and on the basketball court. “He gives his best ever in all areas,” said teacher JenniBeth Diaz, adding that Mateo is kind and has a great attitude. 

Don Semon Named New Director of Health and Human Services Agency – EDC Press Release - The Board of Supervisors today appointed Don Semon as the County's Director of Health And Human Services Agency, effective February 2, 2019. Semon was previously Director of Child Support Services since 2014. "We are delighted that someone of Don's caliber and experience will guide the County's various and far-reaching efforts on health and welfare issues to help residents stay healthy and self-sufficient," said Don Ashton, Chief Administrative Officer. 

Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal adds money for pensions, increases COLA – CSBA - Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first state budget proposal was unveiled today, bringing with it expected investments in early education and in health care as the state finds itself with a hefty budget surplus of more than $21 billion, as reported by the Associated Press. Despite modest growth to the Proposition 98 guarantee, the budget proposal is overall encouraging and demonstrates a commitment from the new Governor to uphold the Local Control Funding Formula with a 3.46 percent COLA and to addresses the issue of CalSTRS contribution increases with a total investment of $3 billion. 

School districts will be required to verify they’re fixing California’s lowest-performing schools – EdSource - y the end of January, the state will publish the initial list of hundreds of low-performing California schools that must receive intensive help under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which Congress passed in late 2015. On Wednesday, the State Board of Education approved how districts with any of those schools must verify what they’re doing to turn those schools around. 

Gov. Newsom proposing to expand services for babies and toddlers – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce plans to spend big on babies and toddlers, significantly expanding a range of programs, from helping parents care for their small children at home to identifying developmental delays early. In his first budget proposal, which is due to the Legislature by Thursday, Newsom plans to propose $100 million to expand a home-visiting program — in which nurses and social workers visit young, low-income parents to give health and parenting advice — and another $100 million for developmental screenings, according to a document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team. 

Michael Kirst's parting advice: more teacher and principal training is critical to success of local control – EdSource - Michael Kirst retires this week after eight years as president of the State Board of Education, satisfied that the key pieces of Gov. Jerry Brown’s education policies he helped create are solidly in place. But in an interview, he expressed worry that a failure to sufficiently fund training for teachers and principals in the new academic standards, school climate and other supports for students could undermine expectations for achievement and erode the public’s faith in the new system. 

Gov. Newsom wants universal preschool for low-income children in California to be phased in over three years - Within days of being sworn in as California’s chief executive, Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to put forward a three-year plan to achieve universal preschool in California for all low-income 4-year-olds, in an attempt to implement a campaign promise pledging a major expansion of early education programs. 

With new hires, California's teaching corps becomes more diverse – EdSource - When Rachel Valdivia-Ornelaz attended elementary school near Oxnard during the 1950s, none of her teachers were Latino. Later, over the course of a decades-long career as an elementary school teacher in Oxnard, she watched that pattern change, especially during the last few years. 

Landmark reforms championed by Gov. Brown leave deep imprint on California education – EdSource - When Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office he will leave behind a set of sweeping education reforms that occurred during his governorship, representing what many education leaders consider the most extensive shakeup of California’s K-12 public education system over any comparable period in the state’s history. 

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces Guide of Social Emotional Learning Resources – CDE - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today the release of “Social Emotional Learning in California: A Guide to Resources.” The guide was developed by a multi-agency team that included experts in the field and members of the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Social and Emotional Learning State Team, a group that has been meeting since 2016 with the goal of advancing social and emotional learning. 

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Calls Governor Newsom's Budget a Home Run – CDE - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20. “Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said. 

Lupita Cortez Alcalá Sworn In as Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 9 – CDE - Lupita Cortez Alcalá was sworn in as Chief Deputy to California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond on Wednesday, January 9, at the State Board of Education meeting after the board approved her appointment. She will be the first Latina to serve in the position. “Lupita is a proven education leader with the experience, dedication, and talent to serve effectively as Chief Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education,” said Thurmond. “She has deep knowledge of education policy and a record filled with achievements.”

Measure C provides enhanced schools at MLUSD – Placerville News Wire/Mountain Democrat - After their generous community passed Measure C in 2016, Mother Lode Union School District (MLUSD) students came back to class this fall with a renewed sense of pride made possible by massive efforts to enhance Indian Creek and Herbert C. Green Schools. Superintendent Marcy Guthrie expressed, “This was a long and thoughtful process that ultimately accomplished our mission to improve facilities for our students, staff, and community. I’m thankful for all of the hard work invested over several years, and grateful for the opportunity to work with partners to save taxpayer dollars.” 

Photo gallery: EDHS woodshop toy event – Mountain Democrat - Maya Ballesteros, 3, of Placerville is super excited to receive a wooden toy truck at the annual El Dorado High School wood shop class holiday party on Dec. 10. 

Board of Supervisors Welcomes El Dorado County Youth Commission – Mountain Democrat/Georgetown Gazette (attached) - In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission. Each school year, students are appointed to the Youth Commission by the County Board of Supervisors to help develop and express the opinions, ideas, and vision of El Dorado County youth by working with local government and community decision-makers. 

Join the Peer Council – Village Life - The El Dorado County Peer Council in Placerville is currently inviting new student volunteers to participate. Students in grades 8 to 12 who attend public or private schools in El Dorado County can take an active role in the local juvenile justice system. Peer Council is a collaborative program of the county’s Probation Department and the Health and Human Services Agency… Students interested in participating in the Peer Council program in Placerville are asked to sign up and apply online by Jan. 4 at sites.google.com/edcgov.us/peercouncil-pv/. Students accepted into the program will be notified regarding next steps and training. 

Folsom State Prison refurbishes record number of bikes – Folsom Telegraph - …The local organizations that picked up bicycles to donate included New Morning Youth, for 45 foster youth in El Dorado County; Big Brothers/Big Sisters in El Dorado County, for 45 youth; Powerhouse Ministries in Folsom, for 23 recipients; Union Gospel Mission in Sacramento, who will be taking 70 bicycles to Camp Fire victims in Paradise; Alameda County, for 100 foster youth; Green Valley School in El Dorado County, for five youth; Shingle Springs Montessori, for five youth; Child Advocates of El Dorado County, for 13 recipients; and El Dorado County Office of Education, for six recipients.


Good to know


State Superintendent Torlakson Criticizes Safety Commission for Ignoring Gun Control, Seeking to Eliminate Policy to Make School Discipline More Fair – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on the report of the federal School Safety Commission. The commission was put together as a response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 14 students and three teachers, while injuring dozens of others.


Paradise High seniors lost almost everything in Camp Fire, but are determined to salvage their final year – EdSource - Last weekend Paradise High School seniors were supposed to don ties and shimmering dresses and dance the night away at their Winter Ball. This week would have been Christmas Spirit Week, with activities like an ugly sweater contest and Christmas sock and pajamas days. They would have been enjoying their final year of high school together.


Los Angeles teachers plan to strike Jan. 10, union says – EdSource - United Teachers of Los Angeles has announced teachers intend to strike Jan. 10, after what the union called “20 months of fruitless bargaining and lies and manipulation on the part of LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner.”


Trump administration’s school safety report met with harsh criticism in California – EdSource - The long-awaited report from the Trump Administration’s school safety commission is being met by a chorus of criticism from the California education community, with state officials and representatives for school administrators joining youth advocates and union leaders in decrying some of the report’s key recommendations.


With sparse state funding, California districts get creative in addressing student health – EdSource - As pressures grow on schools to address students’ physical and mental health, including the stress and trauma they may experience in their homes and neighborhoods, many California educators are acknowledging that they don’t have the resources they need to respond appropriately.


Brown appointees to comprise majority on California's state board of education after Newsom takes office  - EdSource - California’s governor appoints all the members of the State Board of Education, a powerful force in shaping education policy in the state. But when incoming governor Gavin Newsom is sworn in on Jan. 7, the majority of the 11-member board, all appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, will remain.


What California can learn from universal preschool in other states – EdSource - s momentum builds in California to expand early childhood education programs, the state has the opportunity to look outside its borders and learn from other states and cities that have moved in the direction of offering universal preschool.

Rural Professional Learning Network Seminar
– Policy Analysis for California Education - Rural school districts face unique challenges in procuring funds, recruiting staff, and obtaining high-quality technical assistance. This environment creates challenges in implementing best practices, including in mathematics instruction… In this seminar, based on a recent PACE report, Dr. Tom Timar, Dr. Arun Ramanathan, and leaders from El Dorado County Office of Education will discuss lessons learned from a rural network in El Dorado County… Friday, January 11, 2019 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm, The Citizen Hotel, 926 J Street Sacramento, CA 95814, RSVP through this link >>

Guest column: Introducing The 1974 — Lake Tahoe Community College’s new student newspaper – Tahoe Tribune - For the first time, Lake Tahoe Community College has a student newspaper — The 1974, named in honor of the year of LTCC's founding. This publication, created by the new student Journalism Club in partnership with the Office of Student Life at LTCC, will come out once per quarter crammed with interesting stories, feature articles, interviews with interesting Coyotes from around campus, advice from the Coyote columnist, student club updates, and much more. The 1974 welcomes contributions from community members, including story ideas or finished pieces to share with our campus and community. We'll also have advertising space available for getting the word out about great deals and opportunities to our students.

PUSD Takes Major Steps to Support Children Affected by Trauma – Placerville News Wire - During a recent in-service day at the Placerville Union School District (PUSD), all district team members convened in the multi-purpose room at Markham Middle School to gather comprehensive knowledge and tools to help students who may be facing traumatic challenges. More than 300 people participated and included school administrators, teachers, nurse faculty, bus drivers, maintenance, custodial, coaches, yard duties, and more. PUSD Superintendent Eric Bonniksen welcomed the large group and expressed, “I’m glad to see you here this morning. Everyone connects with our students in some manner, so it’s important for our entire district team to hear this message.”

Board of Supervisors Welcomes El Dorado County Youth Commission – Placerville News Wire - In a continued effort to positively enhance our community and empower our future leaders, the County Board of Supervisors (Board) partners with the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) to facilitate and support the El Dorado County Youth Commission…. “We are privileged to partner with our school districts and County Board of Supervisors in supporting the development of our young adults,” noted Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools. “We are confident that El Dorado County students will emerge as strong leaders at the local, state, and national levels.”

UMHS Honorary Football Captain Shines – Mountain Democrat/Windfall Magazine (attached) - The Union Mine High School stadium roared with applause as Csilla Pesko took to the field during a Diamondback’s home football game this fall. The team proudly made their fellow student with special needs the Honorary Football Captain for the evening and filled her heart with pure joy. She remained a beaming focal point during the game, and the cheerleaders surprised Csilla when they included her during cheers to inspire the crowd. UMHS Varsity football coach, Chic Bist (Coach), spearheaded the Honorary Football Captain program that fosters the inclusion of all UMHS students. “It’s important for our students, educators, and the public to understand that including all students is the right thing to do,” Coach expressed. “It strengthens social skills for everyone involved, and I am proud of our students who lead by example.”

UMHS junior earns his Eagle Scout – Mountain Democrat - After moving up the ranks from a Cub Scout at 7 years old, to boy scout and all that’s in between, 17-year-old Joel Martin of Pleasant Valley has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The Union Mine High School junior purchased and installed 16 powder-coated steel metal benches under four shade trees at Louisiana Schnell Elementary School in Placerville. “The principal of Schnell school is one of my scout masters and he told me there was a need for more seating in the play area,” Joel said.

Charter Home Study Academy Craft Faire celebrates 20 years – Mountain Democrat - In November, the El Dorado County Office of Education Charter Home Study Academy (CHSA) program celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual Student Craft Faire, where student entrepreneurs peddled their wares to customers of all ages. Each booth, staffed by a student crafter between transitional kindergarten and eighth-grade, sold handmade products such as jewelry, toys, cuisine and decorations. By having students create and run their own business, the craft faire aligns to CHSA’s mission of building and applying foundational skills in ways that make learning engaging, relevant and fun.

American River Charter School Invites the community to their Holiday Market Place – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – The American River Charter School Middle School Program will host its WinterFest Holiday MarketPlace from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 14. Each year students are asked to put together a mini-business plan that illustrates how they make their creations. These creations are put through a “Shark Tank” like process with their peers to brainstorm product betterment. Students will be selling their crafts or items at the WinterFest event, giving students an opportunity to run their own mini-business for the evening.

Georgetown School is accepting donations for annual Holiday Boutique – Every year the students at Georgetown School earn currency so they can shop for gifts for their families using school currency. The currency is earned by doing their very best work or helping out at the school. The school is looking for gently used or new items for the boutique. They could use like housewares, jewelry, home decorations, toys, fishing equipment, coffee mugs and caps. Homemade items are also wonderful. Every item is then wrapped before it is sent home… Last year the school sent home more than 1,000 gifts.

Christmas comes early for area’s neediest – Village Life - At its monthly meeting at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park on Nov. 28 Assistance League of Sierra Foothills members presented staff from the El Dorado County of Education with more than 100 coats and pajamas for infants and toddlers who are homeless or facing homelessness in the county. Director of EDCOE’s Child Development program Jenny Pettit and mental health & disabilities coordinator Stacia Ponce were present to accept the donations.

Warm jackets, unicorns bring smiles to children’s faces – Mountain Democrat - “Oh, my gosh — it’s a unicorn!” El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy Devon Rumbaugh marveled as 8-year-old Abriella Navarro modeled a white, furry jacket with a golden horn on the hood and golden wings sparkling across the back. Rumbaugh checked the price of the jacket and the two high-five when they found it is $15 less than the other furry jacket. “We’re bargain hunters!”…  This holiday tradition pairs more than 200 at-risk children enrolled in programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County, CASA, New Morning Youth & Family Services and the Center for Violence-free Relationships with adult volunteers, including officials from every branch of law enforcement as well as first responders and the community, to shop for warm winter clothing and other items they would otherwise go without.

El Dorado County Peer Council invites new student volunteers – Mountain Democrat - he El Dorado County Peer Council in Placerville is currently inviting new student volunteers to participate in the program. Students in grades eight to 12 who attend public or private schools in El Dorado County can take an active role in the local juvenile justice system through the youth Peer Council program. Peer Council is a collaborative program of the Probation Department and the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) of El Dorado County.

Final election totals certified for county – Mountain Democrat - Election results from the Nov. 6 consolidated gubernatorial general election were certified by the El Dorado County Elections Department on Dec. 4. A total of 90,730 votes were cast for a participation rate of 74.86 percent. The results for the state are only semi-official as counties have until Dec. 7 to complete their work and only include West Slope totals.

Placerville Rotary Club presents $100,000 check to Paradise Rotary Club – Mountain Democrat - Placerville Rotary Club President Kurt Raffetto traveled to Chico last week with Rotarians Ron Thompson and Gordon Vicini to present a check to the Paradise Rotary Club for $100,000. Accepting the check on behalf of the Paradise Club was President Brian Grey. More than 90 percent of the Paradise Club members were directly impacted by the fire. The presentation was met with profuse thanks and applause.

State Superintendent Torlakson, Washington and Oregon Education Officials Oppose Federal Changes Redefining the Concept of Gender – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson  partnered with the top education officials from Oregon and Washington to send a letter opposing federal attempts to redefine the concept of sex and gender government-wide, making that definition purely biological. The joint letter was sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today in coordination with Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill and Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

New location found for California high school destroyed by wildfire – EdSource - Paradise Unified School District officials have found a location that will, for the foreseeable future, serve as the district’s high school while campuses in the fire-ravaged town of Paradise are rebuilt. Beginning in January, 9th- through 12th-graders at Paradise High School will attend classes in a 30,000-square-foot building in the northeast section of Chico. The building, which at one point was a satellite campus for Facebook (based in Menlo Park), will be retrofitted to make it feel as much as possible like a typical high school, officials said.

School suspensions continue downward trend in California, new data show – EdSource - The number of suspensions reported by California schools continue their steady decline, with about half as many students sent home for disciplinary reasons during the 2017-18 school year as had been at the beginning of the decade, according to recent data released by the California Department of Education.

In push for universal preschool, lessons to heed from California's class size reduction program – EdSource - The rapid rollout of a hugely ambitious plan to reduce elementary school class sizes in California over two decades ago should serve as a cautionary tale for how quickly the state should implement universal preschool, a long-sought-after goal of children’s advocates and their allies in the Legislature.

Final count shows Thurmond winner of California schools chief race by 187,000 votes – EdSource - In a powerful display of how millions of uncounted ballots changed the final tally, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, has decisively won the race for the state superintendent of public instruction by about 187,000 votes, after trailing his opponent Marshall Tuck by about 86,000 votes in the Nov. 6 election day count.

California Launches Updated 2018 School Dashboard with More Information, Parent-Friendly Upgrades – CDE Press Release - The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) today launched the second version of the California School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students and educators access to valuable school and district data… “Whether rural or urban, low-income or affluent, all school districts have strengths and challenges and all school districts can do more to improve student learning,” said El Dorado County Office of Education Superintendent Ed Manansala, incoming president of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association. “Our goal with the System of Support is to help districts build the skills and knowledge needed to understand and address student needs. County offices of education are well-positioned for this work because we understand the local needs.”

CDE and CCEE announce selection of Special Education Systems Improvement Leads within State System of Support – CCEE Press Release - The CA Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) is a different kind of statewide agency that partners with the CA Department of Education (CDE) to help build the state's groundbreaking System of Support which is designed to provide as many resources and supports to school districts as possible so they can continually improve teaching and learning for all students… The SELPA Special Education Systems Improvement Lead Agencies are: El Dorado County SELPA, Riverside County SELPA, West San Gabriel SELPA.

Christmas comes early for area’s neediest – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - At its monthly meeting at Faith Episcopal Church in Cameron Park on Nov. 28 Assistance League of Sierra Foothills members presented staff from the El Dorado County of Education with more than 100 coats and pajamas for infants and toddlers who are homeless or facing homelessness in the county. Director of EDCOE’s Child Development program Jenny Pettit and mental health & disabilities coordinator Stacia Ponce were present to accept the donations. ALSF president Julie Quinn said the idea came one year ago when she was talking with a past ALSF president about needs in El Dorado County.

Valley View gains STEAM – VillageLife - Earlier this month students at Valley View Charter Montessori enjoyed a day of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) activities in the school’s newly constructed STEAM Lab and multi-purpose room. Teacher Bonnie Hampton is a co-advisor for the school’s STEAM team. She and others have organized activities for parents and teachers to take, housed in bins in the STEAM Lab. There are lessons with all materials included for children in grades 2-5 and for grades 6-8. “One of the challenges with bringing STEAM activities into classrooms is that they are material heavy,” Hampton explained. “But now teachers and parents can just pick up a bin with everything they need for a lesson, including directions and they are ready to go. This has been a big team effort.”

Photo gallery: Virtual Academy hits the runway – Mountain Democrat - Ava smiles to the crowd in her sweater, hat, jeans and necklace offered from Ambiance during the Virtual Academy's fifth annual Fashion Show. Democrat photo by Gray Baker

UMHS Winter Dance Concert opens Friday – Mountain Democrat - Join Union Mine High School dancers for the annual Winter Dance Concert at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 and at 2 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Theater at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane in El Dorado. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $6 for students and ASB and free for children 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

10 years of youth making a difference – Village Life - Hands4Hope was founded 10 years ago by El Dorado Hills resident Jennifer Bassett to inspire youth in leadership and service while helping those in need in the community where they live… Soon after, a new youth committee was also formed in partnership with the Placerville Unified School District to take over the School Supply Drive and distribution for students in need.

Camino School Modernized Thanks to Measure H – Windfall Magazine (attached) - The Camino Union School District was transformed after School Bond Measure H provided funding for a massive renovation project that took place this summer. In 2016, the community overwhelmingly supported the $4 million bond with 71% of the vote and provided the resources needed to enhance the campus which was built in 1952.

Amgen Tour of California returning to South Lake Tahoe in 2019 – Tahoe Tribune - The Amgen Tour of California will return to Lake Tahoe in 2019 with stage 2 of the men’s race. Amgen owner and presenter AEG announced the schedule for both the men’s and women’s races Wednesday morning. Stage 2 of the 14th race will start at Rancho Cordova and finish at Heavenly Mountain Resort on May 13.

Sacramento schools offer support to Butte County after devastating Camp Fire – Sacramento Bee - School leaders from across Sacramento County announced a joint partnership Wednesday to provide support to Butte County schools in the wake of the deadly Camp Fire. More than 32,000 students are returning to classes next week, and many of them have been displaced by the fire. (Press conference included.)

State Superintendent Torlakson and Superintendent-elect Thurmond Celebrate the Reopening of Schools in Butte County – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond praised Butte County school leaders and community members for working selflessly and heroically so that their students could return to school on Monday, December 3, less than a month after the worst fire in California history.

State Superintendent Torlakson Announces Study Showing Success of CDE Tobacco-Use Prevention Programs – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that schools funded by the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Office have lower rates of tobacco use than other schools, according to a comprehensive study by the University of California, San Diego. The findings were based on two statewide surveys, the 2016 California Student Tobacco Survey and the 2016 California Educator Tobacco Survey.

New push underway to expand preschool for low-income children in California – EdSource - Even before California’s next governor takes office, the pressure is already mounting for him to follow through on campaign promises to improve access to preschool for the state’s 4-year-olds. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom made expansion of early education programs a major part of his campaign, but what form that will take will become clearer when he releases his proposed budget for the next fiscal year in January.

Tears, hugs mark reunion of Paradise students and teachers – EdSource - As soon as the bus rolled to a stop in front of Bird Street Elementary in Oroville Monday morning and the driver opened the door, the kids came bursting out. They bounded across the schoolyard and into the open arms of their teachers. It was a reunion nearly a month in the making — in an unfamiliar place and under the most difficult of circumstances. But all that mattered in the early morning moment was that Paradise Elementary was back together again.

’There’s going to be a lot of very nervous public employees:’ Court to hear pension – Sacramento Bee - The California Supreme Court this week will hear a lawsuit that could unravel a piece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s marquee pension law by reinstating a perk he eliminated five years ago. The high stakes case tests the so-called California Rule, the legal precedent that forbids California government agencies from reducing retirement benefits without offering workers some kind of compensation to offset a loss in income.

Promised pension benefits in California can be cut, Jerry Brown’s attorneys argue – Sacramento Bee - Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration on Wednesday made an expansive legal case for allowing the state to adjust pension benefits for public employees. Brown’s lawyers, defending one of the outgoing Democratic governor’s signature laws at a California Supreme Court hearing, argued the Legislature can adjust retirement benefits offered to current public employees as long the workers receive a “reasonable and substantial” pension.

EDCOE’s Coleen Johnson Receives Statewide Award – Placerville NewsWire/Mountain Democrat - Coleen Johnson, Executive Director of Personnel Services at the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), was recently honored with the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) – Personnel Administrative Services Steering Committee (PASSCo) ‘Star Award.’ The annual Star Award acknowledges one member from each Steering Committee for their contributions toward county offices of education, leadership within their committee, and service to CCSESA and the students of California. 

Camino School Modernized Thanks to Measure H – Placerville NewsWire - The Camino Union School District was transformed after School Bond Measure H provided funding for a massive renovation project that took place this summer. In 2016, the community overwhelmingly supported the $4 million bond with 71% of the vote and provided the resources needed to enhance the campus which was built in 1952. As you walk onto campus, the first thing you notice is the bus yard was leveled and moved for contractors to expand the school’s main parking and drop off areas. 

Snow Dance to raise funds for EDHS snow teamMountain Democrat - Let it snow for the El Dorado High School ski and snowboard team at the first Snow Dance Fundraiser tomorrow. “All of the funds will go towards league fees and race facilities at Sierra-at-Tahoe, including training,” said Andrew Mathews, co-head coach of the high school team. “Transportation to Sierra-at-Tahoe runs $1,000 per day for a bus.” Mathews said the team carpools to practice on most Saturdays, but a bus is required on the six race days. Total costs for the season are about $20,000, he said, which are split between ski and board costs. 

Up in smoke: Air quality in El Dorado County – Mountain Democrat - Except for those at high elevations and on the other side of the Sierra, it’s been hard not to notice the bluish-brownish smoke blanketing El Dorado County lately, as it’s blown down from the Camp Fire in Butte County… Schools in Sacramento and Placer counties closed late last week, but El Dorado County schools remained open Thursday and Friday. The El Dorado County Office of Education said Friday morning that schools would be closed the week of Thanksgiving and that staff were monitoring air quality conditions. 

Charter University Prep presents ‘Sherlock Holmes’ – Mountain Democrat - Drama, mystery and laughs will be had by all in the upcoming performance of “Sherlock Holmes.” The show will be performed by the Charter University Prep drama program of the El Dorado County Office of Education, a preparation program for students to be successful at a university level. “The students here are very dedicated to perform the play and want to get the word out as much as possible. Many of them are very self-motivated and driven young people,” van Houtryve said. “They were fired up about making the trailer for the performance. I did not even assign that aspect and they did that all on their own… 

ARCS Kindergarten class visits Art on the Divide – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – The sound of young children stepping onto the old wooden sidewalk could be heard on historic Main Street in Georgetown. They lined up Oct. 29 to visit their local art gallery, Art on the Divide Cooperative known as AODC. The student reviewed the “manners” (or rules) for entering a public space with breakable items that belong to someone else, then filed in. Their teacher, Amy Hopkins, had previously contacted the cooperative gallery with an inquiry about her class of more than a dozen students coming to visit and learn a little more about various forms of art. 

Support EDHS students, buy your Christmas Tree Dec. 1 – Mountain Democrat - Students involved in the Natural Resources Program at El Dorado High School are ready to put their hard work on display for their annual Christmas tree sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3240 Pondorado Road in Camino. “The Christmas tree program began as a senior project and it has grown into a project for all students in the Natural Resources program,” said El Dorado High School senior Mason Cox, 17. The Natural Resources Program is a four-year course of study that promotes critical thinking and problem solving, environmental stewardship and community development through both project-based and place-based learning. 

Forestry Challenge 2018 – Mountain Democrat - Students from El Dorado, Golden Sierra and Ponderosa High Schools participated recently in the 2018 El Dorado Forestry Challenge, three groups of a total of 103 high school students from 11 schools from the Sacramento area and central California.  The event was October 24 to 27 at Leoni Meadows Camp, near Grizzly Flats.  All three schools qualified for the state championship event, to be held in Tuolumne County in April 2019. 

Holiday fashion show set to benefit Hope House – Mountain Democrat - Get ready to walk the runway with the “Head to Toe Holiday Fashion Show and Auction” presented by El Dorado Unified High School District Virtual Academy. Local clothing stores will help moms, students and others show their swagger on the runway with contemporary music for a good cause. Virtual Academy is a blended, face-to-face public school in El Dorado County. The academy offers a comprehensive, individualized and rigorous approach to high school education in a small setting. 

Oak Ridge’s first female football coach wraps up season – Mountain Democrat - Her blue eyes light up as she smiles, her hand stretched out in greeting. Looking barely older than her students, Megan Watson’s youthful appearance belies the years that have led her here. As Oak Ridge High School’s first female football coach she takes her new position in stride. Having grown up in El Dorado Hills, Watson is intimately familiar with both Oak Ridge’s academics and athletics  Her father, Mark Watson, began coaching at Oak Ridge in 1989, before she was born. 

Student of the Year: Ian Hunt – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills and Marina Village Middle School educators celebrated student Ian Hunt as Student of the Year at the Nov. 14 Rotary meeting. Teachers called Ian a true leader who volunteers to work with elementary school students as well as local senior citizens. He was also commended for his great sense of humor and his ability to bring people together. Ian thanked the Rotary Club, his teachers and his family, saying he is grateful for all the support he’s received. 

Vice Mayor of Paradise, Greg Bolin gets 67,000 dollars from Placerville Rotary Club Fundraiser – Placerville NewsWire - You came out in force, El Dorado County, for the Camp Fire Fundraiser put on by the Placerville Rotary Club. It was wonderful to gather as a community in support of our neighboring community of Paradise. We had the pleasure of meeting the Vice Mayor of Paradise, Greg Bolin, who talked about the immense devastation in Paradise. Here are a few things we learned… 

Johnson named new EDH fire chief – Mountain Democrat - Johnson is currently a Sac Metro Fire assistant fire chief and earlier this year was elected to serve on the EDH Fire Board. He must resign as a fire board member (after he’s sworn in next month) before he can take on the fire chief role.

 El Dorado County Sheriff emergency notifications – Georgetown Gazette - In light of the recent tragic fires in Northern California, particularly in Butte County, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office reassures county residents that the Office of Emergency Services (OES), fire departments,  Health and Human Services Emergency Preparedness and law enforcement (federal, state, and local) are prepared to deliver the best service possible.  The county’s emergency notification system, Code Red, is fully capable of utilizing the EAS (Emergency Alert System) and WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) through our Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS) partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

Hands4Hope – 10 years of youth making a differenceMountain Democrat - Hands4Hope was founded 10 years ago by El Dorado Hills resident Jennifer Bassett to inspire youth in leadership and service while helping those in need in the community they live. Bassett was motivated to start Hands4Hope by her two young boys (Andrew, now 22, and Jacob, now 19) and her desire to have them grow up to be compassionate individuals.

In limbo, DACA students look to Congress again for help – EdSource - The imminent Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives is renewing hope that undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children will get some permanent relief from the ongoing threat of deportation. “Now that we’ve put them in power, we hope they can do the right thing and use their leverage to pass something permanent,” said Melody Klingenfuss, a 24-year-old immigrant rights organizer who came to the U.S. from Guatemala when she was 9. 

California school districts to get ‘wake-up call’ with new absenteeism measures – EdSource - At least 40 percent of California school districts and charter schools have rates of chronic absence in grades K-8 that are high or very high based on new performance measures that will be unveiled next month as part of the state’s updated school accountability system, known as the California School Dashboard. The dashboard measures, which actually underestimate the extent of the problem because they do not highlight high schools, show that fulfilling the basic responsibility of getting children to school remains difficult in many places. 

Plans come into focus for California schools ravaged by wildfires – EdSource - With less than a week to go before their target date to resume classes, officials in the fire-ravaged Paradise Unified School District announced Tuesday they’ve secured three elementary schools that will house K-5 students through the end of the school year, while middle and high school students will be taught via a distance learning program until they return to school after the holiday break. 

California's graduation rate ticks up but, still, 1 in 10 high school students drops out – EdSource - California’s high school graduation rate crept upward, but so did its dropout rate, with about 1 in 10 students overall and nearly 1 in 6 African-American students in the Class of 2018 quitting school, according to new state data. The California Department of Education also published the latest data on student suspension rates, which declined for the sixth straight year, and on chronic absenteeism, which rose slightly in 2017-18. 

Tony Thurmond names second in command at California Department of Education – EdSource - Tony Thurmond has named a veteran California education administrator as his chief deputy superintendent in his first act as state superintendent-elect of public instruction. In January, Lupita Cortez Alcalá, 45, will return to the California Department of Education, where she was an administrator for a dozen years, including deputy superintendent of instruction and learning support. 

Paradise educators find resilience amid fire's destruction – EdSource - They can’t dwell on what the fire has taken from them, or the losses still to come. So they focus on Dec. 3. That’s the day people responsible for the Paradise Unified School District want school to be back in session. “What will it look like? We don’t know,” said Kindra Britt, a public information officer with the Placer County Office of Education and one of many from outside Butte County who’ve joined the recovery effort. “People are running on fumes — they’re running on less than fumes. It gives them a lot of hope to know there will be a date, that on Dec. 3 something will happen.” 

Webinar: Quality Preschool for all Kids in California: What Will It Take? – EdSource - A big gap in governor-elect Gavin Newsom’s goal of a cradle-to-career education system is the lack of quality preschool for all children. Join EdSource for a live webinar on Monday, Dec. 10 from 11 am to noon to explore what must be done to fill this gap. Deborah Stipek, a professor at Stanford, and Beth Meloy, an early childhood expert at the Learning Policy Institute will provide the California context; Ellen Frede, a professor at Rutgers University, will explain how New Jersey went about piecing together preschool programs, and there will be time for listeners' questions. 

State Superintendent Torlakson Announces 2018 Rates for High School Graduation, Suspension and Chronic Absenteeism – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the high school graduation rates for 2018 remain near an all-time high. Among students who started high school in 2014, 83 percent graduated with their class in 2018, an increase from 82.7 percent from the year before. The state's graduation rate has increased substantially since the class of 2010 posted a 74.7 percent rate. 

California Receives Grant in Partnership with California Tribal Child Care Association to Address Disparities in Early Learning and Child Care – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated the California Department of Education and the Tribal Child Care Association of California for securing funds to address early learning disparities in tribal populations. Their Project HOPE grant provides the State of California the opportunity to strengthen its partnership with the Tribal Child Care Association of California to engage and continue work with tribes to support early learning and child care. 

State Superintendent Torlakson Announces Inaugural International Education Conference – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will join leaders from China, Mexico, and Northern Ireland in the first International Education Conference which begins this week at the California Department of Education (CDE) headquarters in Sacramento. “It’s critical that we forge new partnerships and programs between California and educators throughout the world,” said Torlakson. “California educators must engage with global ideas and cultures to continue being a leading, dynamic, and innovative education system.”

Photo gallery: Thank you for your service – Mountain Democrat - Coast Guard veteran Kurt Owens gives advice to students at Herbert Green Middle School during the Veterans Day celebration Friday. 

Local art teacher shows works at student’s gallery – Mountain Democrat - t’s no secret El Dorado County has custody of a notable collection of award-winning artistic talent from all corners of the state, country and beyond. Artists who live here or have moved here claim they are drawn to the vortex of abundant creative energy in these here foothills…. Filippelli taught at El Dorado High School in the arts and crafts department. He started in 1962 and taught art at three local high schools and at a junior college. 

Women’s Fund El Dorado grant applications now available, due Dec. 10 – 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). In an effort to remain an effective grant making organization, WFED continues to expand their grant opportunities to cover a broad range of needs, from basic human needs, to children and youth development, to arts and culture. 

State Schools Chief Torlakson Writes Letter Opposing Federal Public Charge Proposal to Deny Immigrants Visas – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today sent a letter to the federal Department of Homeland Security opposing efforts to deny immigrants permanent residency or visas if their households benefit from aid programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid. 

New California coalition agrees on next steps to improve schools, student achievement – EdSource - In a document released Wednesday, a spectrum of prominent education organizations, leaders and supporters is calling on Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and the next Legislature to advance an extensive California agenda that includes increased, sustainable K-12 funding, expanded access to data systems and a fuller commitment to early childhood education. The Alliance for Continuous Improvement laid out an eight-point action plan with specific strategies on a new website it’s calling California Education GPS. 

Thurmond widens lead over Tuck in race for California schools chief – EdSource – I n what may be a pivotal moment in the race, Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, has widened his lead over Marshall Tuck in the contest for California’s state superintendent of public instruction based on the ongoing tallying of millions of uncounted ballots. Thurmond has not only erased the 86,000 vote lead Marshall Tuck enjoyed in the post-election day count, but now leads Tuck by 86,000  votes, according to the latest figures released Wednesday afternoon by the California Secretary of State. 

Trump's proposed regulations limiting benefits for immigrants could hurt many US-born children – EdSource - undreds of thousands of immigrant parents in California may disenroll their children from health insurance, food stamps and other federally subsidized programs because they fear that receiving these benefits will make it impossible for them to become permanent residents in the United States. Their fears have been triggered by new regulations proposed by the Trump administration that expand the number of benefits that immigration officers can take into account in deciding whether to deny an immigrant permanent residence in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Physical Education Teacher of the Year - Elementary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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