Focus on Education (1-28-14)

January 27, 2014 


The Salida Union School District Board will meet at 5 p.m. today for a study session on the 2014-15 budget at the boardroom, 5250 Tamara Way, Salida. Trustees also will vote on enrollment guidelines for Independence Charter School. See the agenda at


The Manteca Unified School District board will meet at 7 p.m. today at the district boardroom, 2271 W. Louise Ave., Manteca. Trustees will discuss the district technology plan, “Going Digital,” and will be asked to approve contracts for the design, pre-construction services and drafting for the plan. The board will discuss by-area trustee elections and an after-school program in the Weston Ranch community.


This week is Catholic Schools Week, with a national theme of “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service.” Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School, 505 W. Granger Ave., will hold Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day today. Wednesday will be Parent Appreciation Day. Thursday will be Learning Appreciation Day.


Modesto Junior College will present “American Muslims on Love and Relationships: A Discussion with Ayesha Mattu & Nura Maznavi“ at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in Forum 110, East Campus, 435 College Ave. The free event is put on by the Civic Engagement Project and Literature and Language Arts Division. Campus parking is available for $1 in student parking lots. The editors of “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” and “Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy” will read and discuss selections from the two anthologies, and also will answer audience questions. The Civic Engagement Project series also will include screening and discussion of the following documentary films: “Tough Guise 2” on Feb. 20; “Dirty Wars” on March 6; “Two American Families” on March 20, “Precious Knowledge” on April 3 and “Chasing Ice” on April 17. All are at 7 p.m. in Forum 110. For more, on MJC’s Civic Engagement Project, email Jason Wohlstadter at


Stockton Collegiate International Schools, two public charters in downtown Stockton, has gained K-12 recognition from International Baccalaureate, according to the school. The elementary grades program was authorized by IB last week. Stockton Collegiate schools opened in September 2010, one serving kindergarten through fifth-grade, the other sixth-grade through high school. The charter opened offering an IB Diploma. The Middle Years Program was authorized by IB in April 2013.


Turlock schools will be collecting coins for Camp Taylor, hoping to send 30 children with heart disease to the camp this summer. Students raising at least $30 will also be entered in a raffle to meet 49er quarterback and Pitman High graduate Colin Kaepernick at the camp, said camp founder Kimberlie Gamino. This week several schools will hold kickoff assemblies for the drives. The “Coins 4 Kap’s Heart Warriors” fundraiser will include T-shirts with Kaepernick’s number 7 and $2 caps for Kap’s campers. The goal of $24,000 would pay expenses for 30 youngsters to go to the special camp, adapted for the needs of heart patients.


The Modesto High International Baccalaureate program will hold an information night at 7 p.m. Thursday in the campus library. There will also be information nights in the library 7 p.m. on Feb. 4 and Feb. 12. For more information, call IB Coordinator Leilani Johnson at (209) 569-2705.


The Sylvan Educational Foundation will hold an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 for its Sunrise to Sunset Read-a-Thon to support the arts in Sylvan Union schools in north Modesto. The meeting will be at the staff development room of the district office, 605 Sylvan Ave. The team reading event will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 12 at Savage Middle School. For more, contact Naomie Rodrigues at (209) 574-5000 ext. 202, or foundation President Mitch Wood at (209) 552-3300.


Winners of the Merced County Speech Festival have been announced by the Merced County Office of Education. The competition was held earlier this month for fourth- through eighth-grade students. Some 18 schools participated. Students gave speeches about any subject using selected categories from the Writing Festival. The speech selections were: Persuasive, Tall Tale, Legend, Fable or a Report of Information. Fourth-grade first- through third-place winners were Harmony Tinley of Elim Elementary in Hilmar, Devrie Barstow of Ballico Elementary and Morgan Oliveira of Elim. Fifth-grade winners were Camille Herrera of Elim, Zachary Pickle of Peggy Heller Elementary in Atwater and Emalie Brasil of Merquin Elementary in Hilmar. Sixth-grade winners were Alysia Herrera, Alexis Parra and Noemi Lara, all of Westside Union Elementary in Los Banos. Seventh-grade winners were Lucca Lorenzi of Our Lady of Mercy School in Merced, Andrew Pettygrove of McSwain Elementary School in Merced and Samantha Strobel of Los Banos Junior High. Eighth-grade winners were Faateh Mukhtar or Livingston Middle School and Jaira Mendoza and Sophia Castro, both of Los Banos Junior High.


High school juniors are invited to apply for a one-day Sacramento FBI Teen Academy. Application packets, due by March 7, are available online at The class and a lunch are free, sponsored by the Sacramento FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Students must provide their own transportation to Sacramento division headquarters for the day, April 11. Teens selected will spend an interactive day with FBI agents, learning what it takes to be one and some of the federal violations the FBI investigates.


NBC News has a Spanish-language version of its digital Parent Toolkit “Education Nation” Summit. The Toolkit is produced by NBC News and sponsored by Pearson. It is designed to educate and empower parents to navigate their child’s development in today’s school system. The entire website and mobile app have been translated into Spanish. Parents can access grade-by-grade academic benchmarks in math and English language arts, a guide to parent-teacher conferences and school counselor meetings, and tips for ways to encourage their child’s learning outside the classroom. To view a welcome video of the Spanish-language Parent Toolkit, and to download the app, visit


California Virtual Academies will hold an information event for families 2-4 p.m. Friday at Columbia College, 11600 Columbia College Drive, Sonora. It will focus on post-high school opportunities. The event is timed to coincide with this week’s National School Choice Week 2014. California Virtual Academies are public charter schools serving students in kindergarten through high school. For more, visit


Central Valley Opportunity Center is offering $1,500 scholarships for six students in each of the three counties it serves: Stanislaus, Merced and Madera. The application deadline is April 4. For applications and information, high school students may contact their high school counselor, visit, or contact Alicia Chavez at or (209) 357-0062, ext. 123.


Manteca Unified’s junior- and senior-only high school,, will hold a dessert event and open house at 7 p.m. Thursday to celebrate National School Choice Week 2014. Tours of the facilities will be offered. A district charter school, randomly selects students who are juniors and seniors in high school for project-based learning to help with entry into the work force. For more information about the school, visit


Merced College’s summer program, College for Kids, is seeking instruction proposals through Feb. 7 for the 2014 summer program. The sessions, for kids going into fourth- through eighth-grade, begin mid-June and conclude in late July. Most classes are two weeks long and include performing arts, aquatics, sports, fitness, cooking, math, science, career exploration and more. For information and applications, visit

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