On Campus

The latest on local schools and education

ON CAMPUS: Color-coded IDs and other tidbits

05/21/2013 5:19 PM

06/20/2013 1:07 PM

A letter to the editor complaining about high school IDs being keyed to grade point average struck me and several others who called as just wrong.

So I started asking around. The letter writer did not identify the high school, but lives in Escalon. So I started by calling Escalon Unified Superintendent Ron Costa.

Not here, Costa told me. The only color coding he's ever heard of are the Renaissance cards, given out to kids as incentives for high grades. Escalon schools use a different system, without the color coding, he said, but in any case the official high school identification cards are uniform.

A mom whose kids went to Modesto high schools said the Renaissance cards, not IDs, were color coded by grades and used for prizes from different businesses or fast food restaurants. The higher GPA colors rated better deals, like a B student might get a free drink with purchase, but the A student would get a free hamburger with purchase.

It does seem like having different colors on ID cards would defeat the safety-first purpose of identification, kind-of like letting folks design their own drivers licenses. I'd like a soft-focus glamour shot with a scenic beach in the background for mine.

The original letter can be seen at http://www.modbee.com/2013/05/13/2713891/grade-point-averages-create-school.html.

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May is schools' appreciation month, which these last few years has made for some irony as school boards passed resolutions telling how irreplaceable and wonderful their employees are just before passing another resolution to lay them off.

The first week of May is Teacher Appreciation Week and School Nutrition Employee Week, perhaps more recognizable as cafeteria workers week. As a PTA mom I spent the first week of so many Mays putting cards and candy bars in office mailboxes and arranging lunch for a hungry horde that usually only had 15 minutes to eat. It was good preparation for having teenagers.

Week two was National Children’s Book Week, according to the California Department of Education newsletter that keeps everyone apprised of these essential affirmations. I didn't see any resolutions on youth literature, but children's books remain one of my favorite genres.

Week three is Classified School Employee Week, the folks I usually call support staff since certificated (teachers) and classified labels tend to confuse folks (like my editors). Classified workers include bus drivers, school secretaries and classroom aides.

They also include janitors, who clean schools, and custodians, who clean schools and do maintenance on equipment. I was kindly corrected this week after getting that wrong for Modesto City Schools custodian (not janitor) Aaron Castro, whose wearing of knee-length shorts on hot days has cropped up in union negotiations.

Week three is also National Educational Bosses’ Week, an odd pairing of folks making the most and the least in any school district.

Most of us will celebrate Memorial Day, May 27, before sending May off without a puff or a spit on World No Tobacco Day, May 31.

About This Blog

Bee staff writer Nan Austin provides insights into the latest on local schools and education. @NanAustin

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