Tag Archives: school

‘Sport Stacking’ comes to Westfield school

Third graders at Westfield Village Elementary School intent on ‘sport stacking’ in the school auditorium Thursday morning, November 13   (News-Ledger photo)

Third graders at Westfield Village Elementary School intent on ‘sport stacking’ in the school auditorium Thursday morning, November 13
(News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 19, 2014 —

News-Ledger Staff

Several grades of kids at Westfield Village Elementary School took part in a ‘Sport Stacking’ exercise last week. They worked in shifts in the school auditorium, for an event that was designed as an attempt at a Guinness world record. The maker of the specially-designed “Speed Stack” cups hoped to have 600,000 people across the world doing the activity at the same time. Last year, they had 555,932.

At the Poplar Avenue school, Principal Michele Giacomini led the program, timing the kids as they reconfigured their cup stacks for speed and precision.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Holy Cross School hosts chili cook-off

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 19, 2014 —

Holy Cross Academy, a Catholic private school in West Sacramento, will bring back its annual chili cook-off fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22. Among the competitors will be Broderick roadhouse, Capitol Dime, De Vere’s Irish Pub and Pour House. There will be a beer garden.

Open to those 21 and up; $10 in advance or $15 at the door (or $20/$30 for admission plus a beer garden pour card. Purchase tickets at the school, 801 Todhunter Ave., or at http://holycross-westsac.org/support/chilicookoff.

Comedian Jack Gallagher will emcee the event. There will be a silent auction and Christmas bazaar. For information on entering the chili competition, email holycrosschili@gmail.com.

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Norma Alcala hopes to become ‘most accessible’ school board member

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 15, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

  Editor’s note: during every local election, the News-Ledger newspaper endeavors to present to you an interview with each of the people running for office in West Sacramento. In this edition of our print newspaper, we carried an interview with city council candidate Jeff Lyon, as well as this talk with a school board candidate. Enjoy.

NORMA ALCALA News-Ledger photo

NORMA ALCALA
News-Ledger photo

Norma Alcala hopes to get elected to a West Sacramento school board that she feels is already doing a great job.

“I’m proud of everyone on the school board,” she told the News-Ledger last week. “We have an excellent school board.”

If she’s voted in, Alcala said she would concentrate on sharing ideas with both the schools and the community.

“I want to be the most accessible school board member,” she commented. “I give everyone my cell phone number, 916-821-9639. People have to feel – parents, especially – that somebody is reaching out.”

That meshes with her view on the fundamentals of a school board member’s job duties.

“I think accessibility is the most important thing – the willingness to listen to what people have to say, to learn from what people have to say, to invite people into the conversation and find out what their concerns are and what great ideas they might have,” she said. “As a board member, I plan on visiting every one of the schools at least once a month and making myself available to hear what the parents have to say, the teachers have to say and the kids have to say.”

Alcala, 53, is married. She and her husband own (but don’t themselves run) a business that distributes “interlock” systems which can be installed on cars to prevent the ignition from working if the driver fails a breathalyzer test for alcohol.  The couple lives in The Rivers, a north-city subdivision.

Alcala doesn’t currently have any children or grandchildren in Washington Unified School District schools. But her kids went to school locally and have earned college degrees. Alcala holds an Associates of Arts degree in Sacramento before having to leave college and help support her family.

Alcala is the president of the local Democratic club and is active in the Chicano-Latino caucus of the state Democrats. Earlier this year, Alcala unsuccessfully challenged local Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas for his seat.

Her community involvement also involves volunteer duties with Holy Cross Church..

“I’ve always been involved in the schools since my children were young, and I’ve always been on the board of the PTA for my children’s schools,” she explained. “I continued that with my grandchildren.”

Last year, when a grandchild was attending Westmore Oaks Elementary School, Alcala helped out there, wielding a broom and mop to refurbish a school room.

“I went in there and swept windows, I cleaned window boxes that hadn’t been used. It became a beautiful functional room that everybody could use. I helped my daughter with a (school) carnival, with movie nights they had, with a library affair, and with every (school) function.”

Alcala supports Measure V – the school bond on November’s ballot. She believes local student test scores are headed up, and local teachers are dealing well with the new “Common Core” curriculum mandates. She also believes Washington Unified is responsibly managing its money.

“My understanding is it’s probably the best fiscally maintained district in Yolo County,” said Alcala. “It’s been very carefully managed. . . the majority of the monies are going to the children.”

The local teachers union has endorsed Alcala along with incumbent board member Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez (who is a teacher working in a different district).

“I’ve been endorsed by the teachers as well as Sarah, because they know of our strong commitment to education,” said Alcala. “She’s a teacher, but I’ve always been involved in the schools at a lot of levels.” (Her teachers’ endorsement comes from the local teachers’ union.)

Alcala doesn’t wish to change the district’s priorities, but she does allow that she would like to see more programs in the arts and “perhaps more labs” to prepare local kids for jobs of the future. And she would like to find more grant money and more private partners – perhaps, as an acquaintance in another school district reports, to provide local children with refurbished computers they can take home.

Alcala also said West Sacramento – despite the honors it has received for promoting “universal preschool” – doesn’t really have universal preschool. Not every family is choosing it.

“We have wonderful (preschool) programs here, but we don’t have universal preschool,” she explained. “Universal preschool would mean that every child of that age would have it. We have to do that outreach. The (educational) foundation is so important.”

Alcala finds herself on the November 4 ballot facing off with Kirby-Gonzalez and Joshua Alves.

Voters will be asked to pick two of them for the board of trustees on Washington Unified School District.

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  You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605).

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Flood Preparedness Week kicks off in West Sacramento

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — OCT 20, 2014 —

Officials from the State Department of Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of West Sacramento will come together to kick off “California Flood Preparedness Week” at a West Sacramento school on Tuesday.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Oct. 21 at Westmore Oaks Elementary School.

After a news conference, there will be a chance for students, parents, teachers and business owners to talk to experts about flood protection, flood insurance and related issues. There will be representatives from FEMA, the National Weather Service, California Office of Emergency Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The event will also kick off a student poster contest that promotes flood protection.

 Copyright News-Ledger 2014