Sacramento City Unified School District students showed progress in mastering the challenging Common Core State Standards last year, according to statewide testing results released Wednesday.
Student scores in English language arts improved 4 percent over the previous year — from 35 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards to 39 percent. Scores in math rose 2 percent from 29 percent to 31 percent.
The first day of school is just around the corner on Thursday, September 1. SCUSD teachers and staff are ready and excited to welcome back returning students and greet new families.
New this year: On Thursdays, students will be released an hour earlier than last year to accommodate teacher collaborative time. This new schedule begins on the first day of school. Be sure to check with your school to learn the Thursday dismissal time.
Some tips for getting students ready for school from www.kids.gov:
Space is still available in the Early Kinder programs at John Sloat and Tahoe elementary schools.
Early Kinder is a unique program for students who will turn 5 years of age between September 2 and December 2. The program is designed to give these children an extra year of learning before they start traditional kindergarten.
“We consider Early Kinder a gift of time,” says John Conway, coordinator of the Early Kinder programs. “Kindergarten can be challenging for students who are not truly prepared for the rigors and routines.”
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To improve our service to families and students, SCUSD is giving teachers dedicated time every week to get together and plan. Research shows that educators who collaboratively discuss and plan their work are more effective in the classroom. SCUSD is proud to bring this successful strategy to the community.
To accommodate this collaborative time, we are adjusting fall bell schedules. Students will be released early on Thursdays, including the first day of school on September 1.
SCUSD and the Sacramento City Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement on wages and compensation.
Pending union ratification and Board of Education approval at Thursday’s meeting, the tentative agreement provides a salary increase for SCTA members and gives teachers dedicated time every week to get together and develop plans to improve student achievement and outcomes.
A Rosemont High School math teacher and a Phoebe Hearst Elementary School kindergarten teacher are SCUSD’s 2016-17 Teachers of the Year.
The teachers will be honored by the Board of Education on Thursday along with 14 Classified Champions.
Daniel Crenshaw of Rosemont has been teaching for 10 years. He says his pedagogy is driven by a belief that every child can succeed. “I have learned that all students want to learn, all students want to succeed, and all students want to have your respect and love,” he says.
The East Sacramento community turned out in record numbers on Mother’s Day weekend for the East Sac Garden Tour benefiting David Lubin Elementary School.
This year was a banner year for the tour, bringing in the highest attendance yet.
Lubin Principal Richard Dixon expressed his appreciation to the homeowners, designers and florists who donated time and talent to the event. “I continue to be amazed at the magnificent support we receive from the community we serve, and the Garden Tour is the ‘jewel’ in our fundraising crown,” Dixon said.
Sacramento City Unified School District is asking the community to help keep its 76 schools safe and secure over Summer Break, which begins Monday, June 20. School resumes on Thursday, September 1.
Most campuses will be busy this summer with programs ranging from enrichment (SummerQuest and Summer of Service) to academic classes to credit recovery. All campuses will be locked and alarmed in off hours and security cameras will be monitored.
Mykel Jones, an 8th grader at John Still K-8 School, won second place for middle school in a national competition among participants in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program by the Intercultural Development Research Association.
Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped the students they mentor to perform better in school as well.
SCUSD is expanding its successful Early Kinder program to Tahoe and John Sloat elementary schools this fall.
Early Kinder is for students who will turn 5 years of age between September 2 and December 2. The program is designed to give these children an extra year of learning before they start traditional kindergarten.
“We consider Early Kinder a gift of time,” says John Conway, coordinator of the Early Kinder programs. “Kindergarten can be challenging for students who are not truly prepared for the rigors and routines.”
The International Baccalaureate organization this week officially authorized Kit Carson as an IB World School. Kit Carson is now the first SCUSD school authorized to offer IB’s highly respected Middle Years Programme.
Kit Carson has been transitioning to an IB school since 2013, when a community team first forwarded the idea of a campus redesign. In the years since, staff has received extensive training and worked together on curriculum focused on the five essential IB elements: Knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action.
Students, parents, staff and community partners gathered Monday at Theodore Judah Elementary to officially mark the start of construction on a new two-story classroom wing.
“This new beautiful building will add to Judah’s legacy and help our students learn and grow for decades to come,” said Superintendent José L. Banda, noting that Theodore Judah is the oldest continuously used elementary school in Sacramento.
Rosa Parks K-8 School hosted a Social-Emotional Learning Showcase and Spring Band Concert last month.
The evening celebrated the school’s social-emotional learning initiatives, including buddy classroom art work, performances by the Rosa Parks Beginning and Advanced Bands and a slide show highlighting the SEL Superstar celebrations held throughout the school year.
SEL Superstar students were also recognized for their outstanding SEL skills with special buttons and a huge round of applause from the audience.
School of Engineering and Sciences student Gabriela Vargas is featured in a June 6 Forbes.com article.
A senior, Vargas began at SES in seventh grade. “For the past six years I’ve learned the ins and outs of design and manufacturing processes through my school’s integrated curriculum, participating in internships and after-school robotics,” Vargas says in the article.
Crocker/Riverside Elementary School is one of only 20 schools across the country to win a $10,000 grant from the organic gardening company Seeds of Change.
The funding will be used to transform a water-thirsty lawn area into a space for enriched learning.
Plans call for a vegetable garden with raised planters, a compost area, rainwater collection barrels and tables with seating to be used as an outdoor classroom in front of the cafeteria. Produce will be offered to the community.
I Got Caught Attending School is a joint effort among SCUSD, KSFM 102.5 and Natomas Walmart to increase attendance rates in our elementary schools. Recently, students at Camellia and Elder Creek were surprised with T-shirts and a classroom visit — awards for exemplary attendance.
Those “caught” are: Daymoni Finley, Son Phan and Gerardo Romero from Elder Creek; and Desiree Grady, Tylie Vue and Aeruy Jiang from Camellia.
Two seniors in C.K. McClatchy High School’s Humanities and International Studies Program were accepted into every top tier college to which they applied, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Brown and Cornell.
“I’ve been privileged to teach these young men,” says HISP Coordinator Ellen Wong. “They are amazing.”
Tony Hackett applied to Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Cornell, USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of Washington. He got into them all.
Students from Albert Einstein Middle School attended the annual “Dinner with a Scientist” event at McClellan Air Force Base last month.
Over dinner, students Sasha Stanley, Nha Thanh and Christian Orr discussed careers with various scientists from the Sacramento region, including a genetics specialist, a molecular biologist and Sacramento State professor Ronald Coleman, a fisheries researcher.
Dinner With A Scientist is a STEM series produced by the Sacramento Area Science Project and the Powerhouse Science Center.
Participate in the district’s LCAP survey and make your voice heard.
The LCAP, or Local Control and Accountability Plan, sets out district goals and an action plan for ensuring that every student gets the support they need. Share with us your thoughts on how we can best prepare each and every student for success in school and life.
Students at Edward Kemble and Cesar Chavez schools came together this morning to learn about the importance of fitness from runner Lea Wallace, a former Sacramento State All American who is training for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“When I started running, I was just like you,” Wallace told the assembled students. “I was a little girl who would play tag on the blacktop. I wasn’t always this fast. But I wanted to get better every day so I worked hard.”
Albert Einstein Middle School students attended the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo last weekend. Students toured the exhibits and interacted with new technologies, art and science to help strengthen and build ideas for expanding Einstein’s current after-school Makers Club program.
Governor Jerry Brown has a reputation for being frugal and a bit of a curmudgeon. But during his internship in the Governor’s office this year, Sacramento Accelerated Academy student Austin Kropp says he saw another side to the state’s highest ranking elected official.
“He’s a really nice guy,” Kropp says of the Governor. “And the people I worked for paid for all my lunches and threw me a going-away party.”
The third annual Sacramento Black Book Fair (June 3-5) will feature more than 50 authors and eight venues in Oak Park. The free event includes a panel discussion among four featured authors, book signings, talks by writers, cultural goods and food vendors, children’s activities, poetry readings, art displays and much more.
C.K. McClatchy High School student Justin Poon has won a jersey design contest sponsored by Rugby NorCal and Canterbury North America, a sports clothing company.
After Poon’s design was selected as one of the top three submitted, the selection of the winning design was put to a public vote. The CKM faculty, staff, students and neighbors pulled together to support Poon and his design won.
All members of the CKM rugby team — undefeated for the season – will get free jerseys with the stunning black and red design.
Hiram Johnson High School students Luck Vuong and Elsa Esperanza are featured in a new Sacramento Kings video about the importance of exercise.
The students are shown playfully interacting with Kings mascot Slamson. The video was posted to the team’s Facebook page and shown to fans at a recent game. It was created in partnership with The California Endowment.
If you have trouble viewing YouTube videos while connected to the SCUSD network, login into YouTube with your SCUSD email and password.
Two teams from California Middle School were among the top five finishers at last weekend’s C-STEM Day competition held at UC Davis.
Sixty-three teams competed in the day’s RoboPlay Challenge Competition, which is aimed at building enthusiasm for computing and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Teams were tasked with creating code and running 10 operations with their robots.
Teams from Cal finished fourth and fifth. Go Bears!
To address a budget shortfall, Regional Transit is proposing making changes to service routes. The changes, which include combining and deleting some routes, will go into effect next January. Students who rely on the bus or light rail to get to school may be affected by these changes.
A list of the proposed changes can be viewed by going to www.sacrt.com, clicking on “Open Houses Scheduled” and clicking on “Draft Service Changes.”
Classified school employees are the everyday heroes who play crucial roles in our schools. From transporting and feeding students to teaching them vital skills and ensuring that schools are working - classified employees are integral to public education.
This week, please join us in celebration of the great team of SCUSD classified school employees who keep our schools running smoothly.
All 14 student-led Green Teams participating in Project Green 2016 were awarded funding for water conservation projects at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Initially, only the teams that scored highest on a Project Green rubric were to be awarded funding. But because some of the schools proposed fairly inexpensive projects — Bret Harte Elementary asked only for mulch and planter boards — the district decided to fund all 14 proposals, said Project Green Specialist Rachel King.
Luther Burbank High School students constructed a tiny house last weekend that will be donated to Kavanah, a nonprofit dedicated to helping provide affordable housing.
The students are enrolled in Burbank’s Construction and Design Small Learning Community. They competed against other local construction academies in the 30th annual Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange Jim Lambert Design Build Competition at Cosumnes River College.
Students from George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science, Alice Birney Public Waldorf K-8 and Health Professions High School showcased civic learning projects at a video conference coordinated by the Sacramento County Office of Education last month.
SCUSD students also helped moderate a panel discussion with politicians and other officials, including California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Students from Los Angeles joined in the conversation via video conferencing.
Students from Luther Burbank High School and Sutter Middle School won prestigious SEVAs (Student Educational Video Awards) during a gala held last night at Sacramento State.
Burbank junior Joseph Gonsolis won the SEVA for Best Instructional Video for “How to Be Secure.” Seniors Derek Love and Ariel Ruano earned Honorable Mention (second place) for their documentary “Sleep Paralysis.” The Burbank winners are students in teacher John Hull’s Media III TV Production class.
Efforts to build a competitive weightlifting program at C.K. McClatchy High School paid off last month when student Ricardo Ramirez won first place at the Whitney High School Open Championship in Rocklin.
Teacher Paul Bowling, a former national weightlifting champion who now coaches at the club level, starting laying the groundwork for a program last year with the help of colleague Roscoe Ahn and Athletic Director Rob Feickert.
Due to the high volume of applications received, SCUSD’s Youth Development Support Services has extended the deadline for notifying parents/guardians regarding their child’s enrollment into SummerQuest.
All parents will be notified no later than Friday, May 20, if their child has either been successfully enrolled in the program via the lottery or if they have been placed on the waiting list. If you have questions, email email@example.com.
The 2016 Project Green Awards will be presented during a celebration beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, at Leataata Floyd Elementary School, 401 McClatchy Way.
Winners of the first-ever Green Apple Awards will be revealed at the event as well.
Fourteen schools are competing for $1 million in project funding. With Project Green, student-led Green Teams perform sustainability audits of their campuses, research ways to improve energy and water conservation and make recommendations for upgrades.
Today is National School Nurse Day, a time to celebrate the specialty practice of school nursing.
According to the National Association of School Nurses, school nurses help improve student attendance and academic achievement. They also save time for teachers, principals and staff, support the general health of adults at a school and help campuses prepare for emergencies.
Planning on visiting Sacramento waterways this summer? While the rivers offer the perfect way to cool off, Sacramento County Department of Regional Parks want to remind all river goers to wear their life jackets.
For kids under 13, it’s required by law.
To become part of the county’s social media awareness efforts, post photos in life jackets with the hashtag #SacRivers. Learn more at www.lifelooksgoodonyou.org.
Albert Einstein Middle School’s girls softball team won the SCUSD middle school championship last week, edging out Sutter 6 to 5 in a close game.
Here’s the recap by Principal Garrett Kirkland: “We hit a home run on the first pitch of the game. Sutter came back and scored four in the bottom of the first. We tied it in the fourth, only to have Sutter regain the lead by one in the bottom of the inning. The Eagles scored two runs in the last inning to take the lead by one and then held Sutter scoreless to win the championship.”
A reception will be held at Sol Collective Arts and Culture Center on Saturday to celebrate teacher Xico González’s inspiring photos of The Met Sacramento’s Class of 2016.
The photos will be on display at Sol Collective through the end of May.
“Fotos y recuerdos” features film and digital photographs taken by González of his students in their final year together. This exhibit is a commemoration of the time that they have spent together, and to acknowledge their close relationship before they part ways on June 16 at their graduation.
“Freedom Writers” teacher Erin Gruwell will appear at John F. Kennedy High School on Friday, May 13, to screen a new documentary that tells the story of her students in the years after the movie was released in 2007.
May is Mental Health Month, an opportunity for the community to learn about the damaging effects of stigma. Wear green on Thursday, May 5 – National Child Mental Health Day – and throughout the month to show your support for erasing stigmas.
Here, SCUSD’s Student Support and Health Services Director Victoria Flores discusses student mental health support and the role it plays in education.
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and SCUSD Superintendent José L. Banda visited John F. Kennedy High School on Monday to promote legislation that would increase state funding to after-school programs.
Others on the JFK tour included Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Michael Funk, director of the state’s After-School Division. Cooper is the author of AB 2663, which would add $73 million for after-school programs.
Earl Warren Elementary School will host its annual Health and Safety Fair on Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be several stations with valuable information on hand washing, blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and much more.
Dental and vision screenings will also be available. Kids will be entertained with games, prizes and a bounce house.
Earl Warren Elementary School is located at: 5420 Lowell St., Sacramento, 95820.
John F. Kennedy High School junior Autumn Luna received the Dean’s List award at the 2016 FIRST Robotics World Championship competition in St. Louis last week.
Rosemont’s robotics team also traveled to Missouri for the competition. Although they didn’t land in the top three, coach David Stafford says just being at the championship had a big impact on the teens.
It’s time to dust off your bikes, pump up your tires and join your neighbors and co-workers in bicycling for work, school, shopping, recreation or training this May during the Sacramento region’s annual May is Bike Month campaign.
In addition to the health benefits of bicycling, you can also pedal to avoid traffic congestion, save money on gas, help reduce air pollution, and enjoy the beautiful May weather.
Athletic signing days – opportunities for young sports stars to commit to a college – are a high school tradition. On Tuesday, other seniors enjoyed their time in the spotlight as well.
The Sacramento Pathways to Success partner organizations hosted a Reach Higher College Signing Day on Tuesday at Rosemont High School. At the morning celebration, graduating Rosemont Wolverines joined other college-bound teens across the country as they sat down to sign commitment certificates to colleges and universities they will attend in the fall.
Ethel I. Baker Elementary School is hosting a free job and wellness fair on Saturday. More than two dozen partner organizations will participate in the fair, including Sacramento City College, Sacramento Public Library, Elica Health Centers and American Medical Response.
Community members can practice resume writing, get job interviewing tips and learn how to get a job with the state. Free wellness check-ups, vaccinations and eye exams will also be provided.
The Sacramento Kings rolled out their new logo to Bret Harte Elementary School students on Wednesday. Bret Harte was one of nine local schools selected by the Sacramento Kings to preview the new design, which was officially celebrated at a Golden 1 Center gala.
Representatives of the Kings organization handed out T-shirts, stickers and signs to students. They also sponsored a dance contest with some of the students and gave a new basketball with the new logo to the school.
Rosemont High School’s LEAD Program is celebrating a major accomplishment for the Class of 2016: Every senior in the program who applied to a four-year college received an acceptance letter in the mail.
This is LEAD’s first graduating class. The program – Leadership and Enrichment through Academic Development – was founded in 2012 and focuses on a commitment to both the classroom and the community.
The California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section has awarded scholarships to C.K. McClatchy High School athletes Kelsey Wong and Kweku Djan.
The A. Dale Lacky/CSEA Scholarships are awarded students who demonstrate outstanding athletic performance, community service and academic success during their four years of high school. The award is named after former Section and State CIF President A. Dale Lacky.
This year, 48 students were announced as winners. Wong was awarded $1,000 and Djan received $500.
Learn about SCUSD’s draft updated Strategic Plan at a meeting this spring.
Five more meetings are scheduled with district leaders and school Board members, who are very interested in hearing feedback from all members of our community.
Please join us at one of the “listening sessions” listed below. We want your understanding and your commitment to moving our district to prepare all kids academically, socially and emotionally – for life.
SCUSD has scheduled a meeting to discuss the future of the former Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (1619 N St.) for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 28. The meeting will be held at Washington Elementary, 520 18th St.
The first Jefferson Primary School at 16th and N streets was built between 1869-70 at a cost of $8,800. The original building was replaced in 1923. The school served students until the 1950s, when it became the district’s administrative offices.
Hollywood Park Elementary School has partnered with Sacramento State this school year to provide Social Emotional Learning during PE classes every Monday.
A team of Sac State student facilitators come to Hollywood Park each week to work with students at the school. Students are presented lessons on the five SEL competencies: Self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, healthy relationship skills and responsible decision-making skills.
A debate team from Sutter Middle School bested 55 other teams from Northern California, Oregon and Washington last Saturday to win the Northwest Region Middle School Public Debate Program Championship.
Coached by Sutter teacher Michael Baradat, the team of Ella Christiansen, Ethan Pham and Emma Johnson won all five preliminary rounds and defeated San Juan Unified’s Churchill Middle School in the finals.
The topic for the final round was: ”Schools should require cameras in the classroom.” The Sutter team scored a unanimous-decision victory.
Caleb Greenwood Elementary School’s Wellness Committee is hosting a screening of the documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the River Park school.
Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston’s movie documents her quest to uncover how digital media might impact development of her children.
George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science student Alyssa Gnos won $450 in the Caring for Our Watersheds proposal writing contest co-sponsored by the Center for Land-Based Learning and Agrium, an agriculture products supplier.
Gnos also won a matching amount for her class at Carver.
The Caring for Our Watersheds contest challenges students to
research their local watershed, identify an environmental concern and come up with a realistic solution.
Students from Sunnyside High School in the Fresno Unified School District staged an anti-bullying assembly titled “Don’t Laugh at Me” for Crocker-Riverside Elementary School students on April 8.
“It was quite powerful and led to great follow up discussions in the classrooms with our students and their teachers,” says Principal Daniel McCord. “We’re looking forward to having them return next year.”
O.W. Erlewine School will hold its ninth annual Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 22.
Staff and volunteers will set up activity stations throughout the bucolic campus. Students and teachers will also enjoy walks through the school’s adjacent Nature Area, which was established in 1965, and learn about the many types of animals that live on the American River Parkway.
Fly fishing, smoothies and pine cone bird feeders are also on the agenda.
New Joseph Bonnheim Community Charter School is reaching out to the Colonial Village neighborhood this weekend with a health-themed community event.
My Community Matters! is aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and empowering community members to advocate for the neighborhood’s needs, said Principal Christie Wells-Artman. “Our goal is to help our community become stronger and healthier,” Wells-Artman said.
Nick Brunner, host of Capital Public Radio’s Blue Dog Jam, is the master of ceremonies for SCUSD’s “The Art of Caring,” an evening event to build support for arts integration and social emotional learning.
Tickets are still available for the event, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday (April 14) at the newly renovated Clara Midtown arts center at 24th and N Streets.
The keynote speaker is Oakland painter Milton Bowens, an arts educator whose works hang in galleries and the new Levis Stadium.
C.K. McClatchy High School cross country coach Julie Watkins — a science teacher – has been named Northern California Rookie Coach of the Year for 2015-16 by the California Coaches Association.
In Watkins’ first year as head coach, the Lady Lions qualified for the CIF State Championship — the first SCUSD team to do so. To qualify, the Lions defeated such traditionally strong teams as Oak Ridge, Sheldon and Folsom at the sectional championships.
Watkins will be honored at a reception on June 18 in Fresno.
O.W. Erlewine Elementary School students raised $1,217.90 collecting pennies for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The funds will go to research and patient aid in support of the society’s mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
Teacher Grace Bartlett and her students were in charge of the collection.
The Sacramento Police Department donated more than 60 bicycle helmets to students at Earl Warren Elementary School. The students also received special reflective wrist bands to help increase their visibility getting to and from school.
Nine cadets from Hiram Johnson High School’s Law Academy competed in the SkillsUSA state championship last weekend in San Diego, and two returned with medals.
SkillsUSA is a nonprofit partnership of students, instructors and industry founded in 1965 and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. The SkillsUSA state championships are competitive events showcasing the best career and technical education students in California. Contests begin locally and continue through the state and on to the national levels.
The fledgling Rosemont High School robotics team has created a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising $15,000 needed to pay for its upcoming trip to the FIRST Robotics World Championship April 27-30 in St. Louis.
The Wolverines secured a trip to Missouri by becoming the first SCUSD team to win top honors at the qualifying Sacramento Regional Competition held last month at UC Davis.
West Campus High School students captured several first-place medals at the 2016 Preliminary MESA Day competition held March 19 at UC Davis.
More than 400 high school and middle school students from the greater Sacramento area competed in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) challenges to qualify for Northern California Regional MESA Day at UC Davis on April 30.
Oakland painter Milton Bowens, an arts educator whose works hang in galleries and the new Levis Stadium, will be the keynote speaker at The Art of Caring: A Social Emotional Learning Summit and Student Showcase on April 14.
Bowens’ work uses familiar images and historic text to question such topics as race and celebrity in American culture. Click here to view his website.
Come learn about Old Marshall School and hear ideas for its future use at a community meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5, at Washington Elementary, 520 18th St.
Marshall School was built in 1903 and designed by Rudolph Harold, a locally prominent architect who designed City Hall. Located at 2718 G St., it was used as an elementary school until 1976, when it was closed due to concerns about its ability to withstand an earthquake.
Students will thrive when their needs are met. Taking steps toward equity will ensure excellence in our district for all students. An updated Strategic Plan for our district will outline a road map for student success.
Seven meetings are scheduled this spring, with district leaders and school Board members, who are very interested in hearing feedback from all members of our community.
Students from C.K. McClatchy High School’s Brown Issues Club, along with Principal Peter Lambert, participated in Saturday’s 16th Annual March for Cesar Chavez Day, which began in Southside Park and ended with a rally at the Capitol.
Hundreds of teachers, parents, garden advocates and others met last month at Luther Burbank High School for the two-day Garden in Every School Symposium coordinated by Soil Born Farms.
The symposium featured workshops designed to help teachers use school gardens as outdoor classrooms where students can get hands-on lessons in such subjects as plant biology, environmental sustainability and climate change. Other workshops focused on building butterfly habitats, harvesting and cooking fruits and vegetables, creating career pathways in the agriculture industry.
Rosemont High School’s robotics team is headed to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, the result of a first-place win at last weekend’s Sacramento Regional Competition held at UC Davis.
The Wolverines are the first SCUSD team to win first-place at the annual Davis tournament.
Teams from four SCUSD schools (Rosemont, Kennedy, C.K. McClatchy and School of Engineering and Sciences) battled it out with 60 other teams from around the state (and Hawaii) in the two-day qualifying competition.
Students in John F. Kennedy High School’s Men’s Leadership Academy enjoyed snowboarding over Spring Break, a trip sponsored by Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Probation.
“The weather made the trip more challenging with a steady snowfall all day, but I think it added a unique experience for the young men that went to the snow for the first time,” says School Resource Officer Adam Feuerbach, one of the chaperones.
The excursion was funded by the Sacramento Police Foundation.
Award-winning pianist David Gonzalez Ladron de Guevana from Guadalajara, Mexico, performed for students at Nicholas Elementary School before Spring Break.
In addition to his accomplishments as a pianist, Gonzalez Ladron de Guevana is an advocate for the disabled. He was born with Miller syndrome, a very rare genetic condition that causes distinctive facial characteristics and limb abnormalities.
Editor’s note: The following article was written by Nicole Staggs, a fifth grader at Genevieve Didion K-8 School.
Genevieve Didion just finished a three-week fundraiser called Pennies for Patients. The fundraiser started on January 25 and went until February 12. They raised $8,580.37 for kids who have cancer called leukemia.
Save Mart Grocery Story on Folsom Boulevard has generously donated their food and time to help support David Lubin Elementary School’s Girls-on-the-Run Team. John Biggs, store manager, provides fruit and vegetables every week to encourage healthy eating practices.
As well as supporting this program, Save Mart supplies ice chests, water bottles and sponsorship support to numerous local organizations throughout the East Sacramento area.
Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who was an early member of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.
Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for the rights of workers, immigrants and women. She is a recipient of the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The West Campus High School boys basketball team defeated the Half Moon Bay High School Cougars Tuesday night to move on to the Nor Cal CIF Division IV finals.
The team will now play the Palma High School Chieftans of Salinas for the Nor Cal championship title. The winner of that game will play for the state championship against either Harvard-Westlake of Los Angeles or Viewpoint of Calabasas.
The playoff game against Palma is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday (March 19) at American Canyon High School near Vallejo.
The students in Anna Rudolph’s fifth grade class at Nicholas Elementary School are raising money to provide children in Flint, Michigan, with clean drinking water.
The money donated goes to a website which in turn provides bottled water to the Flint community. The Nicholas students are a part of the school’s Project Green team and have been looking into the drought and water crisis around the world and in the community.
Says Principal Rachel Lane: “This is one way to give back to the community!”
Governor Jerry Brown announced last week that he has appointed C.K. McClatchy High School student Olivia Sison, 17, to the California State Board of Education.
Sison, a junior, has served as CKM’s student government secretary since 2015. She has held several positions at the Sacramento Youth Commission since 2014, including events coordinator and treasurer. She is a member of the California Scholarship Federation.
A ballet dancer, Sison has performed with the Sacramento Ballet and as a soloist with the Crockett-Deane Ballet Company.
Sacramento City Unified School District is asking the community to help keep its 76 schools safe and secure while school is out.
To help reduce the high costs of vandalism, theft and arson, neighbors are asked to be on the lookout for suspicious activity on SCUSD campuses and to report it. “The schools belong to the community,” said SCUSD Safe Schools Office Manager Nina Delgadillo, “and we need the entire community to help us guard them.”
Congressional Representative Doris Okada Matsui was born in 1944 in the Poston War Relocation Center internment camp in Arizona, where her parents had met and married.
Her father ran a seed business prior to World War II, and her mother came from a successful farming family. Doris grew up in Dinuba, south of Fresno. She attended UC Berkeley and graduated with a degree in psychology. At Cal, she also met law student Robert Matsui, a graduate of C.K. McClatchy High School. The two were married in 1966.
Earl Warren Elementary School students raised $10,301.32 during the campus’ annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser. All of the money goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
It took the combined efforts of Earl Warren students, staff, and the entire community who joined together for this cause. The Pennies for Patients fundraiser was led by sixth grade teacher, Arlette Garcia, who organized the effort.
Ray-Bernice Alexandra Kaiser Eames was an American artist, designer and filmmaker. Along with her husband, Charles Eames, she is responsible for groundbreaking contributions in the field of architecture, furniture design, industrial design, manufacturing and the photographic arts.
Eames was born in Sacramento in 1912 and as a young child attended Sierra School (now the Sierra 2 Center for the Arts and the Community) in Curtis Park.
Sacramento City Unified School District is pleased to announce its second annual Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Summit on Thursday, April 14, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the transformative power of a whole-child education.
“The Art of Caring” will include inspiring student performances on themes of relationship building and social concern aimed at building support for the district’s groundbreaking SEL initiatives.
Parents of sixth graders: You must provide proof that your child has received the whooping cough (or Tdap) vaccination and two measles (or MMR) vaccinations to school before the start of seventh grade.
Spring break is a great time to schedule health related appointments. Please take this time to schedule your child’s appointment today. Well child checks and vaccines help keep students healthy and ready to learn.
Rosemont High School’s PTSA will host its first-ever Rosemont Crab Feed from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, at St. John Vianney Church, 10497 Coloma Road, Rancho Cordova.
In addition to dinner and beverages, there will be dancing, a silent auction, a raffle and the sale of amazing student artwork. Please contact the PTSA or log on to www.Rosemontcrabfeed.com to purchase tickets.
On Friday, April 15, Rosemont hosts the annual “Essence of Rosemont” community celebration from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
John Still K-8 School recently hosted an exciting Black History celebration.
Student performances were the highlight of this great event. The program began with “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” often called “the Black National Anthem,” and continued with students recounting the histories of celebrated African Americans through dance performances, skits, poetry and art.
Keynote speaker was Dr. Alan Rowe, founder of the United College Action Network, Inc. (U-CAN).
The David Lubin Dinosaurs won the SCUSD elementary basketball league final against the John Still Tigers last Friday. With a 43-33 win in the finals, the Dinosaurs finished the season with an undefeated record.
The SCUSD elementary basketball league is a co-ed intermediate league for fourth through sixth graders. At least one boy and one girl must be on the floor at all times for each team. This year, 10 schools in two five-team conferences played against each other, traveling to each others schools and enjoying friendly competition.
Teachers at Camellia Basic Elementary School recently hosted the second Camellia Academic Teacher Team (CATT) meeting of the school year, an event that left parents feeling empowered to help their students.
Camellia faculty spent the evening teaching parents academic activities and games to use at home with students. Academic Parent Teacher Teams are a model of parent engagement brought to Sacramento City Unified by the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project, a national nonprofit focused on building trust between schools and families.
Fern Huston Bacon, for whom Fern Bacon Middle School is named, was a teacher, principal and superintendent who dedicated 40 years to the students and families of the Pacific School District, which was annexed by SCUSD in 1958.
The Association of California School Administrators created a touching video about the experiences of Luther Burbank High School Principal Jim Peterson for a campaign designed to shed positive light on those who serve in public education.
Peterson began at Burbank as a substitute in 1994 and contemplated quitting in his first week.
Each year, schools across the country celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday (Wednesday, March 2) as Read Across America Day, an opportunity for community members to demonstrate the joys of literacy by reading to kids.
At Bret Harte Elementary School, pajama-clad students were treated to a morning read-in with Superintendent José L. Banda, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and other volunteers from the community.
Interns from the UC Davis Family Medicine Residency Program taught Health Professions High School Medical Science 9 students how to suture pigs feet last week.
Teryn Heckers, Community Liaison from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UC Davis Health System, brought in more than 15 medical resident interns to help with the lesson, connecting classroom instruction to workplace application.
Get a head start on college by earning college credit while you are still in high school – and California residents (and some non-residents) pay no enrollment fees!
Qualified high school students are invited to take classes and earn college credit at any of the four Los Rios Colleges through the Advanced Education program. The grades earned in Advanced Education courses will be reflected on a student’s permanent college transcript.
Parents, students and other stakeholders are invited to the third Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) workshop offered this year: Data Boot Camp.
This workshop will help community members understand the measures by which the district must show annual progress in the LCAP. It will be conducted in an interactive format and there will be ample time for questions. This will be of interest to School Site Council and ELAC members.
The California Department of Education has named Sacramento City Unified School District a California Green Ribbon Gold Medal winner for exemplary achievement in conserving resources while promoting health and environmental literacy.
The district’s work with Soil Born Farms to develop school gardens and implement garden curriculum was a contributing factor in the district’s win.
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) has been asked by federal and state education policy makers to provide a list of local community stakeholders interested in providing feedback and input on the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The act requires the engagement of public stakeholders, including advocates, parents and family members. Topics of discussion might include:
Isador Cohen Elementary School hosted the UC Davis/Sacramento State Elementary MESA Math Competition last month. More than 100 local students from more than a dozen schools competed on grade level tests for the honor of bringing home medals to their schools.
In addition to individual awards, students competed with their fellow classmates to form teams that worked cooperatively to score trophies.
Ernest Houston Johnson was the first black student admitted to Stanford University and a member of the prestigious college’s first graduating class in 1895. But his story was unknown for more than 100 years, until a student uncovered the photo of Stanford’s first football team.
FIRST Robotics Competition teams across the district are getting busy building robots in anticipation of the 2016 qualifying contests next month.
This year’s competition’s theme is “Stronghold.” Teams will be tasked with creating robots that can storm an opposing team’s castle by overcoming obstacles and launching foam boulders into a scoring tower.
John F. Kennedy High School alumnus Cornel Ronald West (class of 1970) is an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author and public intellectual.
West was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and grew up in South Sacramento. His mother, Irene B. West, was a teacher and principal in the Elk Grove Unified School District, where a school is named in her honor. His father, Clifton Louis West, was a general contractor for the Defense Department.
Students across SCUSD embraced No One Eats Alone Day last Friday as an opportunity to show how much they care about their peers.
At Hollywood Park Elementary School, intermediate grade students in the Leadership Class made posters about inclusion and tolerance and led class discussions on those subjects. They also decorated the multi-purpose room with balloon bouquets.
Students participating in Hiram Johnson High School’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program prepared tax returns for 150 families during a “Super Site” event on Saturday.
VITA, established in 1997, is a partnership with Hiram Johnson, the IRS, the California Franchise Tax Board and the United Way that provides tax help to low-income families. Under the guidance of teachers Marcia McAllister and Jason Dauenhauer, approximately 20 current students and additional former students have been assisting tax filers annually.
In celebration of African American History Month, PG&E invites high school students throughout its service territory to submit a photo and short 300-word essay demonstrating how they are helping build a better California.
One winner will receive a prize package that includes a MacBook Pro laptop, an iPad Air 2, Beats headphones, a Herschel Supply Co. backpack, an iTunes gift card and a Barnes and Noble gift card.
Learn about Positive Behavior Support and Intervention (PBIS), Social-Emotional Learning and “whole child” learning at a Community Advisory Committee for Special Education workshop on February 16.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave. Free childcare for children ages 2 and older will be provided. A Spanish-language translator will also be available for parents.
Nathaniel Sextus Colley Sr. was the first African American attorney in Sacramento and the first African American to be appointed to the California State Board of Education. Active in the NAACP, he was instrumental in eliminating bias in federal housing regulations.
“I felt I had a mission to try to make the world a better place through law,” Colley once said. “Those who believe in the system are going to try to make it work. And if it won’t work, no one can say we didn’t try.”
Parents, students, staff and community members are invited to bring budget questions to a hands-on workshop on SCUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).
The LCAP is the plan every California school district writes to outline goals to support students, and the actions and services to achieve those goals. Planned expenditures are detailed in the LCAP, as well.
Hey middle school students: Make a difference on your campus by ensuring that everyone is included at lunch.
No One Eats Alone Day is February 12. During this student-led lunchtime initiative, students sit with new friends and classmates to reinforce a message that all students are valued and accepted by their peers.
With the help of volunteers and community donations, a school orchard destroyed by vandals was replanted on Saturday.
Fourteen young fruit-bearing trees were destroyed at Pacific Elementary School on November 15. Vandals ripped off branches and pulled trees from the ground, dragging some across campus. The orchard was only about a year old, installed in the fall of 2014 by the group Common Visions in partnership with The California Endowment, Soil Born Farms and SCUSD.
Sarah Mildred Jones was the first African American woman in Sacramento to become principal of a fully integrated elementary school — Fremont Primary School at 24th and N streets.
Born in Palmyra, Missouri, Jones was a graduate of Oberlin College who came to Sacramento in 1873. She passed the California Teacher Certification Exam that year — scoring in the 95th percentile — and was hired to teach children at Ungraded School No. 2 — Colored, a segregated school on Ninth Street.
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, state Senator Richard Pan, SCUSD Board Member Jay Hansen and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer met with students at C.K. McClatchy High School on January 19 to launch a signature-gathering drive aimed at raising the tobacco tax.
The initiative calls for increasing the tax on cigarettes by $2 a pack. It would also extend tobacco taxes to electronic cigarettes, whose use by teenagers tripled between 2013 and 2014.
Sutter Middle School’s MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) class visited the the Caltrans TransLab facility in Sacramento last month.
The students toured the concrete, flexible pavement, chemistry, electrical testing and structures materials labs. Caltrans professionals shared their academic and professional experiences with the students.
When Stanley Echols was stationed in Guantanamo Bay with the National Guard, he received a most welcome gift: 75 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
“The Girl Scout cookies that I received and dispersed in Guantanamo Bay was such an uplifting experience and gesture for so many soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and coasties,” says Echols, a reserve officer who is a director in SCUSD’s Student Hearing and Placement Office.
SCUSD’s Parent Leadership Pathway program – free workshops offered at schools over the course of 10 weeks — is featured in a National Journal article.
The article quotes Matsuyama Elementary School Principal Judy Montgomery (“Schools can’t run without parents”) and parent Susana Bravo, who says the program “helped us understand that there are ways to get help…We’re not alone.”
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Chief United State District Judge Morrison England visited Sutter Middle School on Friday to answer student questions about the court system.
Cantil-Sakauye and England, both alumni of C.K. McClatchy High School, encouraged students to stay curious and keep learning throughout life.
“Everything I have has come from asking questions,” said Cantil-Sakauye. “And I’m still learning.”
Five students from The Met Sacramento High School presented plans for local watershed protection to representatives of the Center for Land-Based Learning at a competition held this month at Jesuit High School.
The Met has participated in the Caring for Our Watersheds program for several years. Participating teams write proposals for providing environmental protections for watersheds and have an opportunity to receive project funding.
Health Professions High School welcomed students from West Sacramento’s Stonegate Elementary School last Thursday — Junior Jag Day.
Stonegate’s AVID class students had the opportunity to experience the life of an HPHS Jaguar, learning basic CPR skills, participating in a lung lab in a Medical Science class and preparing a poem on health and wellness.
The school has also scheduled Shadow Days from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on February 1, March 7 and April 4.
Sutter Middle School teacher Dan Bunz, who played inside linebacker for the 49ers (1978-1984), is the subject of an episode of “The Faithful,” a documentary series by 49er Studios.
Narrated by two-time Super Bowl champion Dwight Hicks,”The Faithful” takes viewers into the lives of the greatest 49er players. Bunz, 60, made the most famous tackle in 49ers history when he brought down Cincinnati Bengals running back Charles Alexander in Super Bowl XVI.