The Fillmore Unified School District would like to announce an additional information night that will be held for perspective families to discuss the State Funded Preschool Program. We will be sharing the benefits of a preschool experience, program locations, qualification criteria, and family fee.

Please join us at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday December 15 at San Cayetano School Cafeteria located at 514 Mountain View St.

Please contact the Child Development Office at 805-524-8312 or 805-524-8311 for more information.

 


 
San Cayetano ASB Students are ready to kick off their “Spirit of Giving” Canned Food Drive.
San Cayetano ASB Students are ready to kick off their “Spirit of Giving” Canned Food Drive.
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San Cayetano ASB students visited each class on Monday, November 28th to help kick off our Spirit of Giving Canned Food Drive. ASB student leaders spoke to the students about helping the hungry of Ventura County by donating canned foods and other nonperishable food items such as canned soups, canned or dried fruit, canned vegetables, dried beans, rice and cereal, peanut butter, Jelly, pasta and rice.

Dole Packaged Foods is celebrating their 2017 Rose Parade® float, SPIRIT OF HAWAII by partnering with FOOD Share (a Feeding America partner) to sponsor a food drive to promote the SPIRIT OF GIVING.

Over 300 schools throughout Ventura County are invited to participate.

Each participating school will receive a brightly colored, FOOD Share labeled collection bin that will be placed in a designated location so food items* can be dropped off beginning November 28th.

The food drive will conclude on December 14th.

The six elementary schools that collect the most pounds of food during the food drive will each be awarded a Project Learning Garden from Dole Packaged Foods and the Captain Planet Foundation in partnership with FOOD Share.

Families and community members may drop off donations at the San Cayetano Office.

 


 
Fillmore High School Marching Band and Color Guard competed last Saturday in both Moorpark and Oxnard. They received 2nd place in their division at the  Moorpark competition and then went on to win 1st place in their division in the Oxnard competition . Job well done band!! A big thank you to Mr. Godfrey, Jerry , parent and student helpers as well as the attendance and support of FHS principal Mr. Ito.
Fillmore High School Marching Band and Color Guard competed last Saturday in both Moorpark and Oxnard. They received 2nd place in their division at the Moorpark competition and then went on to win 1st place in their division in the Oxnard competition . Job well done band!! A big thank you to Mr. Godfrey, Jerry , parent and student helpers as well as the attendance and support of FHS principal Mr. Ito.
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Principal, Tom Ito of Fillmore High School announced today that Luke Myers has been name a Commended Student in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for the exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Tests (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.

 


 
Rio Mesa School is celebrating Red Ribbon Week all the students and teachers form together a giant heart.
Rio Mesa School is celebrating Red Ribbon Week all the students and teachers form together a giant heart.
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SAN FRANCISCO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released Ready for School: Recommendations for the Ed Tech Industry to Protect the Privacy of Student Data, a report which outlines best practices for the education technology industry (“Ed Tech”) to ensure that student privacy is respected, protected, and prioritized as the education technology industry brings innovation into our schools. The recommendations cover the collection and use of student information acquired through educational technology companies’ systems.

In developing the report, the Attorney General’s Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit consulted with Ed Tech providers, educators, privacy advocates, members of the business community, and consumer advocates. Ed Tech includes administrative management systems, such as cloud services that store student data; instructional support, such as testing and assessment; and content, including curriculum and resources such as websites and mobile apps.

“Technology in the classroom can unlock countless new opportunities to educate students for the workforce of tomorrow,” said Attorney General Harris. “At the same time, we must protect our children’s privacy as they learn. The recommendations outlined in this report will help companies whose products enter the physical or virtual classroom protect students’ personal information and ensure that its use is only for educational purposes.”

Many companies provide online services to aid classroom teaching but they require students to create accounts that capture a wide range of students’ data and personal information. In some instances, companies are mining data from schoolchildren beyond what is necessary for their education. The data on students collected and stored by Ed Tech can be very sensitive, including medical histories, social and emotional assessments, child welfare or juvenile justice system involvement, progress reports, and test results. Ed Tech companies also often collect new types of data, like a student’s location and the type of device being used, that generally fall outside the scope of longstanding federal laws protecting the privacy of students and minors.

In 2014, parents and policymakers in California worked together to enact two student privacy laws in response to growing concerns about privacy risks and the gaps in existing law. One of the new laws (AB 1584, Buchanan) applies to local educational agencies (such as school districts and charter schools). It addresses a lack of appropriate controls over student data in the hands of third parties, particularly cloud storage providers, by requiring specific terms to be included in contracts for services and software that store or collect student data. The other law (SB 1177, Steinberg) is the Student Online Personal Information Privacy Act (SOPIPA), which imposes obligations on the companies that provide Ed Tech services.

To help ensure the efficacy of these laws, this report was developed to chart a high road of best practices aimed at protecting student privacy. The report’s recommendations focus on: 1) minimizing data collection and retention to include only the student information necessary; 2) keeping the use of data strictly educational; 3) contractually requiring service providers who receive student information not to disclose it or sell it; 4) instituting policies that enable parents and legal guardians to fully understand the student data collected and maintained; 5) implementing reasonable security measures to protect data; and 6) ensuring transparency by providing meaningful privacy policies.

Upholding Californians’ right to privacy and data security is a top priority of Attorney General Harris. Earlier this month, Attorney General Harris announced the release of an online form—https://oag.ca.gov/reportprivacy—to help consumers report websites, mobile applications, and other online services that are in violation of the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). A website or app operator may violate CalOPPA by failing to post privacy policies or posting incomplete or inadequate policies. This new form is one of several initiatives Attorney General Harris is undertaking to protect Californians’ privacy, especially in light of technological advances and the growth of the “internet of things.”

In February of this year, Attorney General Harris released a data breach report detailing the nature of reported breaches in the last four years, accompanied by recommendations for business and lawmakers including pointing to standards regarding “reasonable security” for protecting personally identifiable information. The office recently conducted a set of workshops for small businesses in conjunction with security experts from the Center for Internet Security.

Attorney General Kamala Harris developed the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit with the mission of protecting the inalienable right to privacy conferred by the California Constitution. The Privacy Unit enforces state and federal privacy laws and develops programs to educate individuals, businesses and organizations on privacy obligations, rights, and best practices.

The publication is available online at https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/cybersecurity/ready-for-sc...?

 
 

Principal, Tom Ito of Fillmore High School announced today that Luke Myers has been name a Commended Student in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program. About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for the exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Tests (PSAT/NMSQT).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

 

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued the fourth annual statewide report on elementary school truancy and chronic absenteeism in California, In School + On Track 2016. The report, part of the work of the Department’s Bureau of Children’s Justice, finds that an estimated 210,000 K-5 students in California missed 10% of the school year in 2015-2016, making up 7.3% of elementary students in the state. The report also confirms earlier research on the disproportionately high rates of absenteeism among African American, Native American, and Pacific Islander elementary school students, special education students, and foster and homeless youth. The report does highlight that significant progress is being made, with school districts increasingly taking action to ensure children are in school, on time, every day.

Improving school attendance has long been a centerpiece of Attorney General Harris’ public service. As District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General Harris first drew the connection between chronic absenteeism, third grade reading levels, dropping out of school, and future involvement in the criminal justice system (as a perpetrator or victim of crime). In the past decade, she has brought this issue to the forefront of state and national conversations about how to keep our communities safe and develop a thriving workforce. Recently, the federal Department of Education launched Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism, which is modeled on Attorney General Harris’ longstanding work on this effort.

“To be smart on crime and invest wisely in California’s economic future, we must eliminate elementary school truancy,” said Attorney General Harris. “Chronically absent children are far more likely to drop out of school and enter into the criminal justice system. This is a solvable problem: with better data, monitoring, and communication with parents, we can continue to make significant strides toward ensuring students are in school and on track to meet their full their potential.”

Drawing from four years of longitudinal data—a sample of almost half a million kindergarten to 5th grade students from nearly 200 school districts—In School + on Track 2016 includes the most comprehensive analysis to-date on the high rates of absenteeism among California’s elementary school students. The report finds that California continues to face an attendance crisis, with an estimated 210,000 K-5 students missing 10% of the 2015-16 school year, and that this crisis disproportionately affects African American, low-income, special education, and highly mobile students.

School suspensions also severely exacerbate the attendance crisis and have an inordinate impact on boys, low-income students, and students with special needs. In fact, 55% of students in this study who had more than one suspension were also chronically absent. Low-income students accounted for 82% of all suspensions and 30% of all suspensions involved students receiving special education services. Further, boys were suspended at three times the rate of girls, and foster children were suspended at two and a half times the rate of all other students. The report also finds that African American students, while making up just 5% of the elementary school student population, represent 22% of all suspensions.

Early attendance patterns also have a significant impact on academic achievement. The data from this year’s report revealed that three-quarters of students who were chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade did not meet the California state standards in math and English language arts in the third grade.

Despite persistently high rates of absenteeism and suspensions, however, California school districts have taken significant steps to improve elementary school attendance over the past several years:

• 99% of districts surveyed for this study reported that they have implemented or plan to implement policies and programs to improve elementary school attendance this year.

• In the 2012-13 school year, just over half of school districts surveyed said that they tracked student attendance data longitudinally (over time). This year, 85% of districts reported that they track attendance longitudinally, allowing teachers and administrators to understand individual student attendance patterns, craft targeted interventions, and evaluate the success of those interventions.

• Since the 2013-14 school year, 163 school districts (34% of those surveyed) have changed their discipline policies so students do not miss as much school for suspensions, or have reduced their overall number of suspensions.

In addition, the report highlights the progress being made at the state level in collecting and tracking student attendance. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, all local education agencies in California will for the first time be required to submit to the California Department of Education data on student absences, excused and unexcused, as well as out-of-school suspensions as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Chronic absence rates will also become part of the state’s new accountability system.

Attorney General Harris’ 2013 In School + On Track (https://oag.ca.gov/truancy/2013) report contained the first statewide statistics on California’s elementary school truancy crisis and directly linked public education and public safety.

The 2014 In School + On Track report (https://oag.ca.gov/truancy/2014) released updated data and looked specifically at gaps in state infrastructure for collecting attendance information and disparities in student attendance and discipline by race, income, and other subgroups such as foster youth.

In School + On Track 2015 (https://oag.ca.gov/truancy/2015) allowed for an in-depth look at chronic absence rates by gender and at suspension rates across subgroups, revealing that absence rates tend to vary more by race than by gender, boys have significantly higher suspension rates than girls, and African American boys in particular have the highest elementary school suspension rates.

As District Attorney of San Francisco, Attorney General Harris started a citywide elementary school truancy initiative in 2006. In the course of investigating factors contributing to the city’s violent crime rate, she found that 94% of San Francisco homicide victims under age 25 were high school dropouts. Then-District Attorney Harris formed a partnership with the school district to inform parents about their legal duty to ensure that their children attended school, provide parents of chronically truant students with wrap-around services and school-based mediation, and prosecute parents in the most severe cases where other interventions did not work.

The initiative also served as a model for SB 1317 (Leno), which defined "chronic truancy" for the first time under state law and established the initiative's model of combining meaningul services with smart sanctions in the California Penal Code. The bill was sponsored by then-District Attorney Harris and enacted into law in 2010.

The report is available in its entirety online at: https://oag.ca.gov/truancy/2016

 
Last week was Higher Education Week at Fillmore High School. Class of 2017 and 2018 attended a Higher Education College Day presentation at the High School Gym. Fillmore High School was complimented by various reps on their behavior and inquisitive nature. CSU and UC reps from as far as Syracuse were in attendance along with FIDM and various other Vocational Schools.
Last week was Higher Education Week at Fillmore High School. Class of 2017 and 2018 attended a Higher Education College Day presentation at the High School Gym. Fillmore High School was complimented by various reps on their behavior and inquisitive nature. CSU and UC reps from as far as Syracuse were in attendance along with FIDM and various other Vocational Schools.
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Event to show support, gratitude and recognition toward Veteran students

Ventura, CA - In honor of Ventura College Veteran students, the Ventura College Veterans Resource Center and Ventura College Foundation invite the campus community as well as Veteran students and their families to its Third Annual Veterans Day Celebration and BBQ from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Ventura College Veterans Resource Center, 4667 Telegraph Rd, Ventura, Nov. 10. The event is free. More than 150 people are expected to attend.

“We are holding this event to show our appreciation and commend the perseverance and strength that each Veteran student brings with them to Ventura College and to civilian life in general,” said Norbert Tan, Executive Director. “Our Veterans Resource Center, now in its second year, provides essential tools and access to resources for veterans and their dependents, while helping remove some of the barriers to higher education and creating a path from veteran to student.”

The Veterans Day Celebration, sponsored again this year by California Resources Corporation (CRC), begins with a short program and remarks from the VCCCD Chancellor, the Ventura College Veterans Program Advisor, a Veteran scholarship recipient, CRC and more.

Established in 1983, the Ventura College Foundation provides financial support to the students and the programs of Ventura College to facilitate student success and grow the impact and legacy of Ventura College as a vital community asset. The Foundation also hosts the Ventura College Foundation Marketplace, an outdoor shopping experience held every weekend on the Ventura College campus east parking lot. For more information, contact Norbert Tan at (805) 289-6160 or ntan@vcccd.edu. Also visit www.venturacollege.edu/foundation, and the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter (@VC_Foundation).

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Ventura County Office of Education
Ventura County Office of Education

The Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously during the October 11 Board of Trustees meeting to enter into a purchase and sale agreement for the 38,893 square feet office building located at 761 East Daily Drive, Camarillo, CA, for the relocation of the District Administrative Center. The building is situated on a 20-acre professional office zoned and master-planned seven building site. VCCCD Chancellor Bernard Luskin and Vice Chancellor Business Services David El Fattal negotiated the purchase price of $7 million. Approximately $1 million more will be expended for closing costs, appraisal and inspections, interior building renovation and improvements, furniture and equipment, and signage and moving costs.

The facility is centrally located in Camarillo within the VCCCD service area and provides improved ease of access for students, faculty, staff and community members. It also assures adequate office and storage space, training and conference rooms, a board room and sufficient parking. In addition, there are long-term lease agreements with four tenants that will provide the District with approximately $272,000 in annual lease payments, along with the annual savings of $420,000 from the elimination of the District’s current monthly lease obligation.

The District has leased its current offices of 24,000 square feet at 255 West Stanley Avenue, Ventura, CA, from the Ventura Unified School District since 2006. The current lease agreement ends on January 31, 2017. The Board of Trustees also voted to extend the lease agreement through April 2017, at which time the district administrative and support center is presently scheduled to relocate.

“In addition to the cost savings and future growth opportunities, this building is conveniently located,” said Larry Kennedy, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “It will allow the district to better serve the needs of our students, employees and the community.”

Escrow is anticipated to open immediately with a $150,000 deposit. Close of escrow is expected to occur on or near November 10, 2016, at which time interior renovations should begin.

The Ventura County Community College District is a member of the 113-campus California Community College system, and serves more than 50,000 students annually. The District’s three colleges- Moorpark, Oxnard, and Ventura- offer programs in general education for degrees and certificates, transfer to four-year colleges and universities, career technical education, and provide opportunities to engage in co-curricular campus activities. For more information, please visit www.vcccd.edu.

 

High tech hijinks paired with old time carnival tricks will underscore how much fun a science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) career can be.

The inaugural “STEM-tastic!” event aimed at helping the community promote STEM learning in Ventura County will take place Friday, Oct. 21 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Lundring Events Center on the California Lutheran University Campus at 60 W. Olsen Dr. in Thousand Oaks.

The public is invited to the presentation, which will include speakers from area universities, PK-12 education, businesses, non-profits and others who will speak about ways to promote and enhance STEM education from pre-school through the topmost rung of higher education.

“We will highlight excellent STEM programs happening in our community,” said Phil, Hampton, Ph.D., Director of the Ventura County STEM network (VC STEM) and Professor of Chemistry at CSU Channel Islands (CI).

CI is leading VC STEM as an initiative of the P-20 Council. The P-20 Council (VC P-20) is a group of decision makers from education, business, government, community and parent groups who are dedicated to strengthening education in Ventura County.

Hampton says a highlight of the event with be the introduction of a new self-assessment called a VC STEM 3-D: Discover – Dream - Design tool.
“This tool is designed to let schools and other educational settings do a self-assessment of their STEM programming,” Hampton said. “It’s a guide so educational settings can gauge their programming against teaching methods that the VC STEM has identified as high quality STEM learning. The settings can discover and implement other ways they could enhance their STEM learning.”
The keynote speaker, who sports a flame red Mohawk, is Los Angeles entrepreneur Eric Gradman, who helped found a company called “Two Bit Circus.”

“Two Bit Circus” is a cross between a think tank and an incubator where inventors, intellectuals, builders and other colorful characters create presentations to entertain and inspire STEM learning for all audiences.

The innovative business fuses the whimsy of a turn-of-the-century carnival with the magic of 21st Century technology to demonstrate just how imaginative STEM learning can be.

“My desk is filled with electronics and mechanical parts and software that I’m running,” Gradman said in an interview with PathSource.com. “I kind of live at the intersection of all these different engineering disciplines.”

Bushnell and Gradman use everything from lasers to robots to carnival stunts to entertain their audiences. Gradman, who has a degree in computer science, also has a colorful history as a circus performer and a professional whistler.

Gradman co-founded the start-up with engineer Brent Bushnell, who called the company “a big band of nerds” during a recent TED talk.

CI President Erika D. Beck and California Lutheran University President Chris Kimball will welcome the audience, after which guests will hear from Hampton, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth and representatives from Oxnard College, among other presenters.

STEM-tastic! is the annual recognition ceremony for the VC STEM Network, which is a leadership hub for regional companies, universities, government agencies, parks, schools, museums and a host of other local organizations working together to improve educational outcomes in STEM for all students throughout Ventura County.

Photos courtesy Two Bit Circus and Wall Street Journal

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

 

CSU Channel Islands (CI) is currently accepting admissions for the fall of 2017. Enrollment staff members advise high school seniors and transfer students to apply early at www.csumentor.edu

“The college application process can be stressful for students,” said CI Assistant Vice President and Director of Admissions & Records Ginger Reyes. “Applying early ensures a student can receive assistance with their questions, the application website is less crowded with applicants, and it allows for a student to possibly receive a decision early.”

CI began accepting applications Oct. 1 with the deadline for admissions at midnight Nov. 30. Those who get their applications in early could get a decision as soon as November.

Some students wishing to transfer from Ventura College to CI lost no time getting their applications in. Every seat was taken at a Ventura College Transfer Workshop held Oct. 4 on the Ventura campus.

David Oros, 21, of Oxnard, is getting his application in early because he wants to attend CI as a Math major.

“I heard many great things about the math program at CI,” Oros said. “Specifically, I want to teach math. I’m a tutor here at Ventura College and I love it.”

CI experiences an increase in student applications every year, with fall of 2017 applications expected to go above 10,000.

Admissions officials encourage applicants to apply to more than one campus to increase the likelihood of admission. All 23 CSU campuses began accepting applications for the fall 2017 term on Oct. 1.

That’s exactly what Ventura College student Ellie Mora, 20, plans to do. The Ventura student wants to apply to CI’s Business program but also plans to apply to CSU Northridge, where she would pursue Accounting.

Prospective fall 2017 students can scroll through the comprehensive degree database on the CSU Mentor website to learn about all of the undergraduate and graduate degrees offered at each campus, including CI. Applicants can also learn about the campus community, student housing and campus life in general.

After applying to CI and/or any other CSU, visit the financial aid website to apply for financial aid or learn more about financial aid options.

About 80 percent of CI undergraduates receive financial aid. More than half of the undergraduates across the 23 CSU campuses receive enough financial aid to cover the full cost of their tuition.

For more information about CI and the admissions process, visit www.csuci.edu/admissions.

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.

 
Pictured: Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, Holly Harvan, Program Director – Child Development, FUSD Board Clerk Sean Morris, FUSD Board President Virginia de la Piedra, FUSD Board Member Kelli Couse, FUSD Board Member Lucy Rangel, and FUSD Board Vice President Scott Beylik.
Pictured: Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, Holly Harvan, Program Director – Child Development, FUSD Board Clerk Sean Morris, FUSD Board President Virginia de la Piedra, FUSD Board Member Kelli Couse, FUSD Board Member Lucy Rangel, and FUSD Board Vice President Scott Beylik.
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Superintendent Adrian Palazuelos officially opens the Pre School class at Mountain Vista Elementary School.
Pre School classrooms opened at four Fillmore Unified School District schools this week: Mountain Vista Elementary School, Rio Vista Elementary School, Piru Elementary School, and Sierra High School.

 
On Saturday October 1st, from 9am – 12pm Fillmore Middle School hosted a Community Service – School Beautification Day. Over 100 students, parents and staff gathered to make School Beautification Day a success.
On Saturday October 1st, from 9am – 12pm Fillmore Middle School hosted a Community Service – School Beautification Day. Over 100 students, parents and staff gathered to make School Beautification Day a success.
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On October 1, 2016, Fillmore Middle School held a fall community service and school beautification day. The event, which ran from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, was open to all students, parents and staff. Over 115 students, 20 parents and 10 staff members participated in the event. At the end of the event all participants were served a pizza lunch complements of the Fillmore Middle School ASB. Several projects were highlighted in the event which included the spreading of mulch into all of the landscape areas of the school, the aerating and reseeding of the quad grass areas, the painting of motivational words in the pavilion (“Integrity”, “Strive to be your best”, “Respect”, etc.), washing of windows, sweeping, raking, litter pick up and gum scraping.

The Fillmore Middle School AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teachers strongly encouraged their students to attend, so that students would be able to begin accumulating community service hours, which help students when they apply to colleges and for scholarships. The students, parents and staff worked very hard and at the end of the morning Fillmore Middle School looked better than ever. It was definitely a pride building activity for the school!

Fillmore Middle School students and staff would like to thank Gama Aguilar for arranging for the mulch, Javier Magana for gathering the tools for the day, Bill Dewey of the Fillmore Lions Club for providing the gum scraping tools and expertise, Deputy Leo Vasquez and the Explores, and all of the parents who came to help out.

 
Cutting the Grand Opening ribbon with Ms. De La Piedra is the new Preschool Director Holly Harvan.
Cutting the Grand Opening ribbon with Ms. De La Piedra is the new Preschool Director Holly Harvan.
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Fillmore, CA – The first ever Fillmore Unified School District preschool program is slated to open with a ribbon-cutting kickoff at Mountain Vista Elementary School on Wednesday October 5 at 10 a.m. Funded by the $2.6 million grant awarded to the District in the spring of 2016, the FUSD preschool program will welcome upwards of 100 preschool students into six separate classes at Piru Elementary, Mountain Vista, Rio Vista Elementary and Sierra High School, with two additional classes to open at San Cayetano Elementary and the Fillmore District Office by the end of this year. The program, the first of its kind ever offered by the District, will provide full and partial-day services to families. Certain program fees may be subsidized through the grant depending on individual parent need and qualification factors. Contact Child Development Director Holly Harvan at hharvan@fillmoreusd.org for questions or more information.

 
Ventura County Office of Education
Ventura County Office of Education

Three Ventura County Schools were named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016 today by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. The Blue Ribbon Schools are selected based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The Ventura County winners are among just 279 public and 50 private schools to be selected nationwide. The local winners are:

Environmental Academy of Research Technology and Earth Sciences
Conejo Valley Unified School District

Vista Elementary School
Simi Valley Unified School District

Westlake High School
Conejo Valley Unified School District

“This honor belongs to the hard-working teachers, students and administrators who make educational excellence a top priority,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth. “We congratulate them on their dedication and join them in celebrating this achievement.”

The U.S. Department of Education will formally recognize the winners at an awards ceremony in Arlington, Virginia on November 7 and 8, 2016. The honored schools include public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools, including traditional, charter, magnet schools, parochial and independent schools in 42 States, the District of Colombia as well as Department of Defense Education Activity schools.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the success of educators, students and families in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. Now in its 34th year, the U. S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools.
A list of the winning California schools is below and the complete list of all of the honorees is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/2016/national.pdf.

About the Ventura County Office of Education
The Ventura County Office of Education provides a broad array of fiscal, training and technology support services to local school districts, helping to maintain and improve lifelong educational opportunities for children, educators and community members. VCOE also operates schools that serve students with severe disabilities and behavioral issues, provides career education courses, and coordinates countywide academic competitions including Mock Trial and the Ventura County Science Fair. Learn more at: www.vcoe.org.

 
Programs will target Latino and low-income students

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded California Lutheran University a $4.63 million grant to support students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Most recipients of the highly competitive grants for Hispanic-Serving Institutions are public colleges. In 2011, the last time the grants were awarded, only two of about 40 recipients in California were private universities like Cal Lutheran.

The university will receive $855,132 this year, and the annual award amount will increase each year of the five-year grant.

The funding will enable Cal Lutheran to hire four staff members, start several new programs, provide paid student research fellowships and internships, and transform a building on campus into a hub for services to the rapidly increasing number of STEM students.

The main goal is to improve retention rates for the increasing numbers of Latino and low-income students. Latinos make up 28 percent of Cal Lutheran’s STEM students, but those who start out in these majors as freshmen are less likely to graduate in the majors than other students.

The grant will fund a STEM Academy, which will provide continuous summer programs for cohorts of students called STEM Scholars. Incoming freshmen and transfer students will attend a three-week residential program on campus before classes begin. During subsequent summers, they will participate in paid research fellowships, internships and professional development activities.

Faculty mentors will meet regularly with students to advise them on completing their degrees, building their resumes and planning their career paths. Studies show that faculty mentors are particularly important in retaining minority students.

Peer tutoring will be centralized and expanded, and student-led review sessions for tough STEM courses will begin, benefiting all of the university’s students when they take science and math courses. Workshops for faculty, staff, tutors and peer mentors will cover best practices for teaching and advising underrepresented students.

Cal Lutheran will also work to increase the pipeline of incoming students. A new transfer outreach coordinator will work directly with Ventura County Community College District students, counselors and faculty. The coordinator will help students interested in the STEM fields transition to Cal Lutheran and set themselves up for success. STEM Scholars will present activities at elementary, middle and high schools, and K-12 and community college students will have opportunities to participate in programs at Cal Lutheran.

 
1st grader Natalie Zepeda is an “Upstander”
1st grader Natalie Zepeda is an “Upstander”

The staff and students of San Cayetano celebrated Be a Buddy Not a Bully week September 23-27 with various activities each day such a writing contest, door decorating and culminating the week with a Be a Buddy not a Bully rally. The Fillmore High School Cheerleaders led the students in cheers and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place essay contest winners at each grade level were announced. The goal concept works well with PBIS (Positive, Behavior, and Intervention Support) a district initiative in year two of implementation at FUSD. Be a Buddy motivates kids of all ages to find within themselves, Confidence, Compassion and 20 seconds of Courage. Children are taught to use the three C’s and believe anyone can Stand Up! and Step In! when they are witness to, or are the victim of bullying. With the majority of bullying still taking place at school, children should feel safe, knowing they are surrounded by a "no-tolerance" environment and that an adult will support them when needed. Be A Buddy Not A Bully initiates peers to come together and pledge to themselves and each other, that bullying will no longer be tolerated and that they will Stand Up! and Step In! for each other.

The San Cayetano students in Mrs. Bennett’s class room 18 found out exactly how mean words can hurt you. Mrs. Bennett explained, “First, the my students brainstormed things a bully might say and wrote them on a blank paper doll body. Then, we drew the face that we would make if someone called us those mean things. We were very sad! Next, we tore the bodies in places where the words were. When someone says mean things it hurts us. We tried to fix our bodies by using band aids to repair the broken pieces. We said things like, “I’m sorry I said that," and "Please forgive me." Sadly, even with apologies, we never were the same. Our bodies were whole again but the mean words left long lasting effects or “wounds”.

The next step was to brainstorm nice things we can say to our friends. We wrote them on new bodies and drew the face we make when someone is nice to us. We were so much happier!”

This is just one example of how the students of San Cayetano understand that the “Be A Buddy Not A Bully” Message is not just a week long focus, but rather a message that must be the focus each and every day.