Friday, January 19, 2018

Everett Alvarez students advance to statewide Cyberpatriot competition

The computer science team of Everett Alvarez High School is participating in the top tier of the state round of CyberPatriot-X. It's believed to be the only one in Monterey County which made it this far in the competition.

The team is led by Chief Warrant Officer Edward Lawson and coached by math teacher James Clayton. Student members are Lenny Aleman, Ricardo Alvarez, Jose Lopez, Jasmine Montith, Xavier Avila and team captain Darren Osais. The team's performance earned it a spot on the state round, which concludes on Sunday.

“The team is currently in the middle of the state competition as I type,” Clayton wrote in an email. “Darren is working on Ubuntu 14, Jasmine is on Windows 2008 Server, Lenny and Xavier are on Windows 10 and Jose and Ricardo are working on the Cisco Quiz and Packet Tracer. It's a six hour marathon of fixing computer vulnerabilities. It's pretty exciting when they repair a vulnerability, a bell goes off indicating points being scored.”

The CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was established by the Air Force Association to inspire students to pursue careers in cyber security and other careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The main competition challenges teams of two to six students across the United States, Canada and Department of Defense teams abroad to find cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated scenarios.

The Everett Alvarez team also has a friendly competition with other Monterey County teams, and for the second year in a row it's kept the ceremonial throphy that commemorates besting them all.

Good luck on the competition, guys and gal. Break a leg!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

How the California School Dashboard works

I love writing. It is my passion and my joy, but it's also my darling, and as a wise person once said, your darlings will be your demise. Or something like that.

When it comes to explaining complicated stuff, writing is often the least appropriate medium, and when it comes to the California School Dashboard is definitely not advisable. The Dashboard, with all its colors and student subgroups and priority areas make for a dry, boring, unhelpful story. So I decided to do a video about it, in the hopes that parents and the public in general will get a sense of what this is about. Check it out! Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Salinas gets $135,000 grant to improve pedestrian safety

The Monterey County Health Department has been awarded $130,000 from the California Office of Traffic Safety to bring pedestrian safety education to schools in Salinas. The grant will benefit three elementary schools in East Salinas – Bardin Elementary, Cesar E. Chavez, and Dr. Oscar F. Loya Elementary.

Safe Travels Via Salinas, as the program is called, aims to encourage more students to walk or bike to school. Walking to school is an activity that benefits parents and students by including physical activity and getting to know other parents. Safe Travels also aims to reduce pedestrian injuries in the City of Salinas, which had a total of 50 between October 2016 and September 2017.

Safe Travels will bring bike safety education directly to the students through assemblies and bike rodeos. Topics will include watching out for unsafe drivers, bike safety, and helmet usage.

The grant will allow for children to practice their bicycle skills within a bike rodeo brought to their school. Students will work with pretend traffic situations, such as cars backing up in driveways and distracted drivers, learning to recognize the problems and how to protect themselves.

Special walk to school events will be held throughout the year to encourage students and parents to walk instead of drive to school. Stay tuned for dates!