Thursday, June 30, 2016

MCOE's Ester Rubio takes part of Washington's Women's Summit

Esther Rubio, school climate coordinator for the Monterey County Office of Education, was nominated to attend the first-ever White House Summit on The United State of Women.

The summit brought together thousands of people working to change the future of women. Held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on June 14 and 15, females from across the world came together to celebrate the progress made and turn their focus toward the future with the goal of gender equality.

Rubio said her biggest takeaway from the experience was confirming that, no matter the situation a girl is in, education is the way out.

“Creating a positive school climate for girls is essential so they feel good about going to school and continuing their education,” she said in a statement. “Women and girls, if they are going to be successful and independent, education has to be a part of their life The schools in Monterey County will be better places for students and I am proud that I will have been a part of that.”

To watch the Summit in its entirety, click here

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Soledad credit card fraud allegations report

A fabulous reader just called to ask if there were any reports tied to the allegations of credit card abuse at the Soledad Unified School District. There is. You can find it here.

My apologies for not attaching it to the actual story. I'll try to get that corrected as well.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Monterey area students take part in Californial leadership conference

Montana Sprague, a homeschooled junior, and Michelle Vu, a sophomore at York School, attended the Edge Youth Leadership Conference at UC Berkeley earlier this month.

About 160 high school sophomores from all over California attended the three-day conference, designed to cultivate students’ communication skills, foster their capacity for teamwork, and help them build resilience in the face of obstacles.

Prague is a member of the board of directors for Star Riders, Aria Monterey Women’s Choir, and the Sea Sweepers underwater robotics team. She also works part-time at the Riding Academy and as a math tutor at Monterey Peninsula College.

Vu was chosen to represent York School by teachers and administrators as EDGE allows only one student per high school to attend its conference.

Over the past 14 years, EDGE has trained and encouraged thousands of young leaders in the region.
Each year, EDGE students participate in a variety of leadership exercises, including hands-on activities and opportunities to engage with well-renowned speakers.

Michelle Vu

Montana Sprague

Monday, June 20, 2016

Former Alisal administrator heads national education conference

If you've ever wondered what Carmella Franco is up to these days, wonder no further. She's helping put together a conference on women en education.

Franco, 65, is a search associate with Hazard, Young & Attea, where she assists with superintendent searches. She served as state-appointed administrator of the Alisal Union School District from May 2010 to May 2012 after the then board hastily removed its previous superintendent and appointed a new one without doing a search.

Franco teamed up with Darline Robles, and Maria Ott two write a book, A Culturally Proficient Society Begins in School: Leadership for Equity. This conference is the outgrowth of the book, which itself came out of years of having served as advisors and mentors to women working in a wide variety of school settings.

The conference will take place on July 31 and August 1 in Boston, and it's designed for K-12 education professionals to share strategies, learn from experts, and connect with colleagues. For more information, click here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Monterey officials ready to rule on Greenfield Unification

The Monterey County Committee for School District Organization is preparing to issue a decision regarding the Greenfield petition for unification, which would enable the Greenfield Union School District to take over jurisdiction of the local high school.

Greenfield High is now administered by the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District. If the unification is approved, it would create the Greenfield Unified School District.

The county committee will meet on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:30 PM at the Monterey County Office of Education to discuss the process.

Its members will issue a decision on the unification petition on Monday, June 27, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at the Monterey County Office of Education.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Students Learn to “Think Like a Scientist” in STEM Camp South Monterey County

South Monterey County students will explore science on projects such as windmills, robots, and hovercrafts at the second annual Monterey County Office of Education STEM Camp, a week-long summer learning program that will be held Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17, 2016 at San Ardo Elementary School, 62428 Center Street, San Ardo.

During the camp, students in grades 3-8 who are looking to strengthen and expand their scientific knowledge and have fun will get hands-on experience in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math
(STEM), using a variety of science and engineering concepts introduced through hands-on experiments.

To register a student from Bradley, King City, San Ardo, San Antonio, or San Lucas (for free), click here.

STEM camp is funded through a donation by Chevron, in partnership with the Monterey County Office of Education, and school districts in South Monterey County. Chevron’s donation is part of its initiative to invest in education in areas where the company has operations.

Young readers recognized for the work helping their siblings

The Read to Me Project recognized more than 500 students throughout different schools in the Alisal Union School District for their work reading to their siblings at home.

Last October, more than 500 4th, 5th and 6th grade students in  Oscar F. Loya, Martin Luther King Jr., Alisal Community, Bardin, Monte Bella and Virginia Rocca Barton elementary schools made a commitment to read aloud to their siblings ages 8 months to five years at home throughout the 2015-2016 school year. The students were taught about the early brain development, the importance of reading to young children and were coached on “The 9 Best Ways to Read to Young Children.”

Classroom teachers were provided with guidelines and information to help motivate student participation and facilitate the Project’s success.

Read to Me Project students received a certificate and books to encourage continued reading to their siblings during the summer. The goal for every student is to read to younger brothers and sisters at least one hundred days during the school year. Students who achieved the goal received a “Super Star” medal in addition to the Certificate during the ceremony.

Research has shown that the more language and vocabulary children are exposed to at an early age, the greater their academic success in school. Read to Me has been developed in order to increase exposure of low income young children to books and the love of reading.
Hartnell College administrators and Community of Caring Monterey Peninsula welcomed 1,200 Alisal Union School 4th graders on June 3 for a one-day event introducing them to the possibilities of post-secondary education.  

This is the second time that Hartnell partners with Community of Caring early career and college exploration to expose the younger generations to college life and careers offered locally.

  “What we have enjoyed seeing is the impact made when elementary students interact with Hartnell College students throughout the day," said Romero Jalomo, vice president of student affairs at Hartnell.

Seaside native Terry Maurice Poole, an offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, returned home on June 2 to encourage and motivate graduates as the keynote speaker for the Monterey County Office of Education Alternative Programs Commencement Ceremony. Poole’s message focused on how students can create a positive image of themselves, become active, positive citizens, and find their place in society.

A 2010 graduate of Monterey County Office of Education’s Alternative Program at Salinas Valley Education Center for incarcerated youth, Terry has returned to Monterey County several times to meet with at-risk youth, tell his story, and provide encouragement. His message – that teens who make poor decisions can recover – is a personal one, mirroring his own high school struggle with incarceration.

After graduation from Salinas Valley Education Center, Poole attended Monterey Peninsula College and San Diego State University, majoring in Criminal Justice with the intention of working in a career to assist at-risk youth in turning their lives around. In 2015, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Seattle Seahawks.

Garth Brooks co-manager Randy Bernard gives commencement at King City High

Randy Bernard, co-manager of country superstar Garth Brooks, was the keynote speaker for the King City High Graduation on June 3 at the school's War Memorial Stadium.

Bernard, 49, grew up in San Ardo and graduated from King City High School in 1985. Prior to co-managing Garth Brooks, Bernard was the Chief Executive Officer for Professional Bull Riders, INDYCAR and RFDTV. He was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2014.

A total of 203 students graduated from King City High during the celebration.

Chili Cook-off Competition to Benefit MPUSD Teachers

The Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club will host its “Chili for Children” Benefit Cook-off to raise funds for 2017 grants for teachers in the Monterey Unified School District. The event  is intended to help defer costs of special projects, class trips and other “extras” so teachers don't have to reach into their pockets to pay for them.

Funds from last year’s fundraising event enabled the Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club to award in modest education grants to more than 35 teachers in January.

“Our Rotary Club is pleased to support education, and especially our local teachers, through these grants, which will help enrich the learning experiences of many students on the Monterey Peninsula,” John Byrne, the club’s president, said in a statement.

The event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the YMCA in Monterey, 600 Camino El Estero, at the corner of Webster Street. Tickets are $25, and include a gourmet chili dinner, two beverages and more. Everyone's welcome. There will be live and silent auctions, a 50/50 drawing and prizes. For tickets, contact John Byrne at (831) 884-3944, or click here

Friday, June 3, 2016

Mission Park raises money for art with Color Run

Students and teachers of Mission Park Elementary in Salinas held their first ever Color Run on May 27, an event to raise funds for the school's arts program.

When children donated $25 they were given a Color Run shirt to color, as well as sunglasses to wear during the event.

 "The event was a huge success as we were able to raise enough money to fund our art teacher/program for the entire 2016-17 school year," said Christine McCuistion, one of the parents in the school.

And the kids had fun doing it.

Dual Language Academy promotes first graduating class

A big shout out to the first graduating class of the Dual Language Academy of the Monterey Peninsula. It seems like yesterday when a group of parents stood strong to keep their bilingual school together, and fought to extend it from a K-6 to K-8. And here you have it, the fully bilingual students heading to Stevenson, York, Marina High, Seaside High, Monterey High and the MAOS program at MHS.

Congrats to you all! And to all the Monterey County graduates, high school, community colleges and four-year universities. Your talents make our community strong. I wish I could go to every one of the ceremonies... if only I could clone myself and not forget to write dates down on my daybook...

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Steinbeck Elementary hosts annual art show

Like they're been doing for 18 years, teachers and students at Steinbeck Elementary in Salinas held their annual art show on Wednesday, a chance for parents to see their children's creations displayed gallery-style.

"We're one of the first schools with a full-time arts teacher," said Marissa Miranda, art instructor for six years.

All students starting in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade take an hour of art every other week. At the end of the year, they pick two of their favorite pieces, which is on display for the art show. Since the school has nearly 700 students, nearly 1,400 are on display.

"Our whole cafeteria is almost wall-to-wall," Miranda said.