Local Education News

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

School Supt. reports on state of county’s schools  – Mountain Democrat, Village Life, Georgetown Gazette - Saying that El Dorado County students are doing well, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala gave a presentation on the state of the schools to the board of supervisors at its July 25 meeting… In an interview following the presentation to the board, Manansala said, “We have an exceptional educational system in El Dorado County. We have students going to some of the most high performing universities in California and the United States. We have a very vibrant zero to 5 child development program in our county and everything in between.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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