Ripon Unified teachers also in fight for contracts

If you’ve missed today’s paper, I wrote about contract negotiations between Lodi Unified and the Lodi Education Association, which represents teachers. That can be found here.

Further down south in San Joaquin County, Ripon Unified teachers are also in the fight for fair contracts.

In an email sent by Susan DaBranca, a RUSD official, the district (with eight elementary schools and one high school) participated in fact finding on April 10 and currently are waiting 30 days with hopes it “will provide clarity and a path for all of us to move forward.”

On the district’s negotiations update page, in 2015-16 there was an offer of a 3 percent raise on the salary schedule but no agreement was reached.  An additional 2 percent was offered for 2016-17 for a total of 5 percent over two years (and 13 percent over three years).

DaBranca stressed that Ripon Unified receives much less funding per student than most neighboring districts, and they are already spending out of reserves, on top of facing the CalPERS and CalSTRS increases in contributions.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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Calaveras Unified kindergarten registration

Below is information regarding how to enroll children in kindergarten and transitional kindergarten in Calaveras Unified for the 2017-18 school year:

2017-18 Kindergarten Registration Poster

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31st annual San Joaquin County Science Olympiad Division B/C Results

More than 600 San Joaquin County students participated in the 31st annual San Joaquin County Science Olympiad Competition for Division B (middle school) and Division C (high school) at McNair High School in Stockton over the weekend.

According to the SJCOE, the Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events in the format of popular board games, TV shows, and athletic games, with questions ranging in topics such as biology, earth science, chemistry, physics, computers, and technology.

Division B (middle school)

  • First Place: Wicklund Elementary (Black Team), Lammersville Unified
  • Second Place: Elkhorn School (Gold Team), Lodi Unified
  • Third Place:  Elkhorn School (Blue Team), Lodi Unified

Division C (high school)

  • First Place:  Tokay High School (Purple Team), Lodi Unified
  • Second Place: Mountain House High School (Blue Team), Lammersville Unified
  • Third Place:   Franklin High School (Chlorine Team), Stockton Unified

Eight teams will represent San Joaquin County at the NorCal State Finals in Turlock on April 1:

Division B (middle school)

  • Wicklund Elementary (Black Team), Lammersville Unified
  • Elkhorn School (Gold Team), Lodi Unified
  • Lodi Middle (Blue Team), Lodi Unified
  • Questa Elementary (Red Team), Lammersville Unified

Division C (high school)

  • Tokay High (Purple Team), Lodi Unified
  • Mountain House High (Blue Team), Lammersville Unified
  • Franklin High (Chlorine Team), Stockton Unified
  • Lodi High (Red Team), Lodi Unified

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Winners of the 59th annual San Joaquin County Science and Engineering Fair

The San Joaquin County Office of Education announced Friday the winners of the 59th Annual San Joaquin County Science and Engineering Fair at the Community Science Night and Awards Ceremony.

Judges spent two days reviewing 166 individual, group, and whole-class projects submitted by more than 445 K-12 students in the county. In all, 15 schools from five school districts, three private schools, and one charter school participated in the fair.

Awards were determined by volunteer judges’ evaluations. This year, 35 professionals from the community helped judge the projects and conduct interviews to determine the winners.

The SJCOE Office of STEM said it seeks to promote science and engineering exploration and understanding for students. Each year, SJCOE awards thousands of dollars to students and teachers who exhibit and articulate superior levels of understanding in the areas of science and engineering.

Five project winners of the Fair will represent San Joaquin County in the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles on April 24 and 25:

Kindergarten through second grade:

Class winner: Mrs. Hoptry’s Class for “Ice Ice Baby”Bethany Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

First-Place: Aniston Hunt for “Soaking Through” Dent Elementary School, Escalon Unified School District

Second-Place: Cade Reisenbeck for “YETI vs. RTIC” Dent Elementary School, Escalon Unified School District

Third-Place: Dara and Aviana Reese for “How Pure is Rainwater in My Backyard?”  Montessori Elementary and Middle School of Tracy, a private school

Third through fifth grade:

First-Place: Jordan Prawira for “Turbines, a Wind-Wind Design” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Second-Place: Julia Sorenson for “What Temperature is Your Lunch?” Wicklund Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Third-Place: ­­­­­­Roen Magbanua and Madden Harada for “Jingle Bells, Needles Fell” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Fourth-Place: Rylan Koops for “Straw Rocket Flight” Dent Elementary School, Escalon Unified School District

Sixth through eighth grade:

First-Place Science: Jacqueline Prawira for “Rice Plasticity:  The Effect of Amylose and Amylopectin in the Formation and Tensile Strength of Rice-based Bioplastic” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

First-Place Engineering: Vishnu Matta and Ayush Sheth for “i-Therapy, Robotics Companion for Physical Therapy” Bethany Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Second-Place Science: Alicia and Ashlyn Roice for “Hidden Sugar Strikes Back, Investigating Hidden Sugars (Glucose and Sucrose) In Food, Using Invertase” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Second-Place

Engineering: Arsh Muhib for “My 4th Step Towards a 360deg. Periscope” Wicklund Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Ninth through 12th grade:

First-Place: Nathaniel Chien for “Analyzing Proteins of the BCL-2 Domain” Lincoln High School, Lincoln Unified School District

Second-Place: Meigan Loomis for “Purell vs. The Contenders” Kimball High School, Tracy Unified School District

Environmental Awards 

Environmental Award recipients receive cash prizes donated by the San Joaquin Audubon Society and their teachers receive gift cards donated by Acorn Naturalist.

Paton Pungchai for “The Effect of CO2 on the Temperature” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Avitha John for “Got Water?  How to convert salt water into useable water” Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

Lizzie Su for “Growing with Greywater” Wicklund Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District

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Torlakson: State law protects transgender students’ rights

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released a statement Wednesday, reiterating his support for the rights of transgender students and reminded all Californians that state law requires public schools to allow students’ access to the restroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.

The statement came shortly before it was announced by the Trump administration that federal protections on transgender bathrooms in schools would be withdrawn.

“All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration,” Torlakson said.

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice revoked federal guidelines adopted by the Obama administration that protect the rights of transgender students at schools by allowing them to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity.

According to the press release, California became the first state in the nation to enshrine certain rights for transgender K–12 students in state law in 2013, including the right to choose the bathroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.

Torlakson said action announced by the White House does not roll back protections for California students and educators.

“California students will continue to have their civil rights protected,” he said. “In California we move forward, not backward.”

Governor Brown signed AB 1266 in 2013 and created protections for transgender students.

 

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More on Mable “Jimi” Choice

Record reporter and colleague Roger Phillips recently wrote about the possibility that during a recent City Hall meeting, it was suggested that when east Stockton’s Fair Oaks Library reopens in two months, it should renamed to honor Mable “Jimi” Choice.

You can read the rest of that story here, but for those who are curious to learn more about Ms. Choice, the first teacher of color at Stagg High School, you can find her profile.

“They hired me sight-unseen,” Choice told me right before her 80th birthday in January, “right on the telephone.”

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SUSD students featured on Notre Dame “First Time Fans” series

It was a trip of a lifetime: Taylor Leadership Academy fourth-graders and their teacher, Allison Silva, finally stepped foot onto the campus of their adopted school, the University of Notre Dame.

I’ve covered Silva and her class a few times as they prepared their trip east to South Bend, and the excitement that these kids had for a university and program that they adopted as their own, was incredible. In addition, the support and love that the Notre Dame community showed, there are no words.

Catch up on their incredible journey here, when they finally touched down, and when they came back to Stockton to share their experience.

 

 

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Three Manteca Unified schools named to 2016 list of “America’s Healthiest Schools”

Three Manteca Unified elementary schools will be awarded and recognized in Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s 2016 list of “America’s Healthiest Schools” this weekend in San Diego at the Healthiest Schools Summit.

Brock Elliot, Joseph Widmer and Lathrop elementary are among 328 schools nationwide to be on the list of the country’s healthiest schools.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Kaiser Permanente will honor 37 schools from California, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia named to the 2016 list.

Published by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, these schools are based on a rigorous set of criteria – from availability of nutritious foods to access to quality physical education opportunities, as part of the healthy schools program.

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Holiday shopping event at Barnes & Noble Weberstown

On Saturday, Dec. 3, Barnes & Noble bookstore at the Weberstown Mall in Stockton will celebrate a special day of shopping, savings and personalized service for teachers in pre-K to 12th grade.

Those with a B&N Educator Discount Card can take 25 percent off on books, toys, games, music, movies and 10 percent off café items at the annual Holiday Educator Shopping Event.

The store is also offering 10 percent off select NOOK devices and free gift-wrapping for holiday gifts.

The Educator Shopping event also features all day demonstrations and activities including:

9 a.m. – Appreciation breakfast

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – “Tech Tools” demonstration

11 a.m. – “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” story-time & activities

11:30 a.m. – Free cheesecake decorating (with the purchase of a slice of cheesecake)

Noon – Teacher spelling contest with holiday words

1 p.m. – “Elf on the Shelf” hide and seek, story-time, and prizes

2 p.m. – “NOOK in Education” presentation

Shoppers can also enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 gift baskets valued at $60, $40 and $30.

 

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Titan Drama to launch at Aspire Langston Hughes Academy

Aspire Langston Hughes Academy drama department Titan Drama, is gearing up for a reveal of its newest crowd-fundraising compaign, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. on campus, 2050 N. West Lane, Stockton.

Titan Drama includes four sections: Titan Drama Club, Titan Productions, Titan Tech Team and Titan Drama Boosters. Titan Drama is poised to reveal its own website and crowd-fundraising campaign.

Website can be found here: http://www.titandrama.net.

The funds raised are in support of LHA’s first musical production, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which will take place at the University of the Pacific’s Long Theatre in early Feb. 2017.

The launch party is an informal gathering of supporters including staff, cast members and alumni. Organizers hope that the event becomes an annual tradition and that eventually Titan Drama Boosters can help to support graduating seniors with scholarships among other related opportunities as the department continues to grow.

Aspire Langston Hughes Academy is one of 40 Aspire Public Schools whose commitment is college for certain in underserved populations – college is the expectation not the exception.

For more information, contact Jody Sampley at (209) 662-2008 or email jody.sampley@aspirepublicschools.org.

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