Tag Archives: wusd

Several school district ‘special needs’ educators to receive honors

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 16, 2014 —

“SELPA,” a Yolo County agency that covers special needs education locally, will hold its annual awards ceremony on May 12.

Several “special needs” educators in West Sacramento’s Washington Unified School District will receive honors.

They include paraeducator Elizabeth Felix and teachers Debra McDaniel and Claudia Parks.

The event will take place from 6-7 p.m. at the Office of Education, 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 120, in Woodland.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Two from Washington Unified School District are honored by county officials

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — March 26, 2014 —

The Yolo County School Boards Association honored a number of educators throughout the county at its annual dinner on March 17.

From the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento, the association singled out for excellence Julie Hoskins, an “ELD” and categorical programs administrator, and the “BEST” program, led by Jerry Smith.

For local efforts of the Los Rios Community College District, the association gave honors to chemistry professor Dr. Bruce Zenner at Sacramento City College and the college’s program involvement in the West Sacramento Early College Prep Charter School. The college’s involvement in the charter school is led by Elizabeth Altschule.

Awards were presented by State Senator Lois Wolk and Assembly Member Mariko Yamada.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

West Sacramento school board plans special, strategic meeting

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 7, 2013 —

West Sacramento’s public school district announced yesterday they will hold a special strategic session on Saturday. The meeting will cover “governance team building” as well as “goals, objectives, policies and priorities” for the school board and district.

The special session begins at 9 a.m. on June 8 in Room 75 at the Washington Unified School District office, 930 Westacre Road. It is a public meeting.

A facilitator from the California School Boards Association will assist the discussion.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Turned down by West Sac school board, language charter school will appeal

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 17, 2013 —

A proposed charter West Sacramento charter school will appeal to the Yolo County Board of Education after being denied a charter by the school board of the Washington Unified School District.

The staff of Washington Unified School District opined that the school was unlikely to succeed partly due to a lack of understanding of school finance.  The school has appealed.

[adrotate group=”9″]   The Northern California Language Academies project will be on the agenda for 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the county office of education, 1280 Santa Anita Court #120 in Woodland.

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Latest in West Sacramento youth sports

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 10, 2013 —

To those of you that see me out and about, thanks for letting me know you read these articles! I appreciate it.

The latest youth sports news:

Stonegate Elementary is champion of the boys division in Washington Unified School District basketball.

BY DON SCHATZEL: Don is a former city parks director & occasional News-Ledger columnist

BY DON SCHATZEL: Don is a former city parks director & occasional News-Ledger columnist

Riverbank was the host site, with cheerleaders, banners, and dragon mascots from Westmore Oaks.

Southport squared off against  Riverbank in the third place game and Southport was victorious, 44-33.

Southport raced off to a  21-12 lead and never looked back.

Nate Cornell and Kamron Johnston provided highlights for Southport and Shawn Shields had a great game for the hard-working River Otters.

The championship game featured the very tall Stonegate team, with an impenetrable 2-3 zone defense, against  Westmore Oaks. In the end, the Stonegate height was too much and they won the championship 38-28.

Isiah Peraa, Eric Creer, Sahil Gil, Miguel Martinez Brisyn Saludares, Lorenzo Burks were all pointed out as having outstanding games and season for Stonegate.

Elijah Fields lead the Westmore Oaks charge!

Evidently, there are lots of terrific players on their way to River City High School next year.

Youth softball, Baseball, volleyball and swimming are now underway in town, It’s the busiest sports season of the year.

Plans are being made now for next season’s metro soccer program, for those interested. Alberto Terrico is the organizer to call 510-673-7871 to play metro – the ‘best of the best’ soccer!

Softball and soccer at River City are having historically successful seasons, as the wave of young players continues moving into high school. It’s great fun to watch them play and represent West Sac.

The Attack, the Hitterz, Hooligans, Pumas, Saints, Dolphins, Tigers, and Arsenal youth sports teams in West Sacramento all continue their march to high school success.

One of the great opportunities provided to youth sports teams here is access to UC Davis and Sac State sports. The university games have very family-oriented pricing and  great quality of play in any sport. I happened to see what seemed like the entire West Sacramento softball family at the recent Sac State game vs Cal in women’s softball.  Cal is number 5 in the country, and won the game 1-0 on  a home run. Great seats, great facility, actually the highest attendance in Sac State softball history. Both Sac State and UC Davis have great programs and are perfect for teaching young athletes through example.

For the horse fans: West Sacramento Trail Riders Association is hosting their annual  dinner, raffle fundraiser on May 11. You can call me for tickets at 371-1513.

Hey, the sun is out finally, and this is the time of year to go outdoors.

Until next time.

 

  You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledge newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Using a brain to make a point:

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAR 27, 2013 —

GUEST COMMENTARY
from Edwin Garcia, Kaiser Permanente

Dr. Victor DeNoble, a former tobacco research scientist who became a whistleblower against his company – and the entire industry – spoke to hundreds of students in a series of school assemblies in West Sacramento earlier this month, explaining the dangers of smoking.

Among the attention-grabbing props he displayed were the frozen brains of a monkey, and also of a human, that he held in his glove-covered hand as he worked the multipurpose rooms showing what he learned long ago about the effect that the drug nicotine has on the brain.

Dr. Victor DeNoble uses a frozen human brain to make a point about nicotine addiction and smoking, in a presentation to 4th and 5th grade students at Bridgeway Island Elementary School (photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia, Kaiser Permanente)

Dr. Victor DeNoble uses a frozen human brain to make a point about nicotine addiction and smoking, in a presentation to 4th and 5th grade students at Bridgeway Island Elementary School (photo courtesy of Edwin Garcia, Kaiser Permanente)

DeNoble’s presentations were part of an anti-smoking effort called “Don’t Buy The Lie,” which is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente in partnership with the West Sacramento-based Health Education Council.

He spoke at Bridgeway Island, Riverbank and Stonegate elementary schools.

In addition to presenting dozens of school assemblies each March in the Sacramento region,

“Don’t Buy The Lie” includes a poster contest for students in the 7th-through-12th grades who submit drawings and messages with an anti-smoking theme. The winners receive prizes and their artwork is displayed on billboards.

[adrotate group=”7″] DeNoble tells a riveting story about how he was secretly hired by Philip Morris to create a safer cigarette that wouldn’t lead to heart disease. But much of his time was spent researching something the company didn’t authorize and later fired him for: he used laboratory rats to investigate the addictive nature of nicotine.

More than 10 years after he was fired, the federal government asked DeNoble to testify in Congress against the tobacco industry. His testimony and other evidence prompted major fines against the industry and significant reforms, including the banning of cigarette advertisements from billboards.

After the Bridgeway Island Elementary School assembly, Principal Grace Chin said the presentation will have a lasting effect on students because Dr. DeNoble is a scientist and his work lends credibility to his message.

 

Copyright News-LEdger 2013

 

School board election recap: comments from Castillo, Kirby-Gonzalez & mayor

SARAH KIRBY-GONZALEZ: Voters’ top choice to fill empty school board seat (News-Ledger photo)

SARAH
KIRBY-GONZALEZ:
Voters’ top choice to fill empty school board seat
(News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 13, 2013 —

Teachers unions and school reform groups choose sides with their checkbooks in record-setting race —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento voters last week elected a teacher to the school board —  after a record-setting campaign battle between the two top candidates.

Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, a Southport resident who teaches in the Folsom-Cordova school district, was picked to fill the remaining 18 months or so of a school board term in the local Washington Unified School District. She received 2,794 votes, or 51.2 percent of the ballots cast in the all-mail election on March 5.

Following her was Francisco Castillo, a public affairs executive with the school reform group StudentsFirst.He pulled in 1,425 votes, or 26.1 percent of the vote.

Rounding out the field were Linh Nguyen, with 782 votes (14.3%), Katherine Gales with 258 votes (4.7%) and Nicholas Scott Turney, with 202 votes (3.7%).

[adrotate group=”9″] 5,520 ballots were cast, or 23.9 percent of local registered voters.

The race – even though it was for only a partial school board term – appeared to set some spending records. Castillo approached $60,000 in campaign contributions as the election neared, with notable contributions from charter school advocates and entities connected to StudentsFirst, a school reform group.

At the same time, Kirby-Gonzalez was approaching half that amount – with strong support from area teachers’ unions.

The campaign contribution numbers may go up further as campaigns finish reporting them after the election.

FRANCISCO CASTILLO Leading fundraiser in election, with a second-place finish (News-Ledger photo) (News-Ledger photo)

FRANCISCO CASTILLO
Leading fundraiser in election, with a second-place finish
(News-Ledger photo)
(News-Ledger photo)

“I think it’s time for us to rally around the candidate who won,” Castillo told the News-Ledger after the ballots were counted. “It’s time to congratulate Sarah, who ran a great campaign.”

“I’m going to continue to stay involved,” he added. “I want to start some kind of parent advocate network in West Sacramento. I want to talk to the business community and see if they will get more involved in education in West Sacramento. We don’t need to be a school board member to implement some of these ideas.”

Kirby-Gonzalez, the winner, will be sworn at Thursday’s board meeting by her father, Auburn city councilman Dr. Bill Kirby, who will visit for the occasion.

What will she try to accomplish from Day One?

“Right away, it’s just about working well with everybody, establishing relationships in town and on the board,” said Kirby-Gonzalez. “My first goal is to make connections.”

As far as policy:

“My biggest focus is always on curriculum, first and foremost,” she said.

The News-Ledger asked Castillo whether the public made its choice based on a perception of him as a “school reform” candidate and her as a “teachers’ union” candidate.

“I think voters made a choice, but this wasn’t about reform voices versus teachers’ unions,” Castillo answered.

“I think he’s right,” Kirby-Gonzalez said after being told of Castillo’s comment. “I talked to hundreds and hundreds of voters. None of them brought up StudentsFirst. We didn’t talk about the opponents, we just talked about us. They wanted to know why I was running.”

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon supported Castillo – as did various city council members, school board members and Yolo County Supervisor Michael McGowan. He agreed that the “teachers versus reformers” characterization didn’t fly among local voters, although similar school board election battles were occurring all over the country.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (News-Ledger file photo)

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
(News-Ledger file photo)

“I think that (perception) was largely in the minds of mostly-outside pundits,” Cabaldon commented. “Within this community, it was a local election, with the candidates describing their qualifications and not attacking each other. We had a crop of good candidates step forward to run.”

Was Cabaldon shocked by the amount of money in this WUSD campaign?

“Yes and no,” he answered. “As mayor of our city, yes. To say it’s impressive is a vast understatement for a school board race in our community.”

But he said similar battles are now being raged around the country.

Though Castillo lost, Cabaldon said he had confidence in Kirby-Gonzalez.

“Sarah is a very good candidate and she will be a good board member,” he said.

This special election resulted from a citizen’s petition which the mayor had supported, while others decried the election’s cost. Citizens unhappy about how the school board had initially filled the vacant seat called for the election.

Cabaldon said he is pleased at the outcome, despite the fact that the candidate he supported didn’t win.

“The key was that the voters got to make the decision, and the community and district are all better off for having this discussion about the issues in our district,” said Cabaldon.

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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 2013