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.

Area health care providers to offer health information and testing to attendees

Bone density screenings and flu vaccinations will be the focus of the free Health Fair from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the Ventura College Foundation’s weekend Marketplace, an outdoor shopping experience held on the Ventura College campus east parking lot at the corner of Telegraph and Day roads. Walgreens will be providing 200 flu shots to at-risk individuals.

Ventura County Health will conduct glucose, blood pressure and BMI screenings. Clinicas del Real will be available to test bone density, which can help identify signs of osteoporosis.

Information will be available in English and in Spanish on Cal Fresh/Food Share of Ventura County and MediCal, along with programs related to men’s and women’s health, domestic violence, senior services, mental wellness, cancer and employment. There will also be information on home health care, nonmedical care, and palliative and hospice care.

Additional participating agencies expected to attend include the Promotoras y Promotores Foundation, Gold Coast Health Plan, Walgreens, Center for Employment Training, County of Ventura Area Agency on Aging, Mexican Consulate of Oxnard, Mixteco Indigina Community Organizing Project, Pacific Preferred Insurance Agency, Sahaja Yoga Meditation and Ventura County Public Health.


Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) and the Ventura County Human Services Agency, Children and Family Services (VCCFS), recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to share information on foster youth for the ease of verifying students who register for classes and request services at either of the three colleges in the VCCCD, i.e. Moorpark College, Oxnard College, and Ventura College. Beginning July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, a list of former or current foster youth will be generated by the VCCCD, based on student’s self-identification status as a foster youth with CCCApply. VCCFS will verify the students and provide the VCCCD with a letter that includes the most recent dates that students entered and exited foster care. The MOU with the VCCFS will automatically renew for subsequent one-year periods unless terminated by either party upon 30 days prior written notice.

“We are working with the Ventura County Human Services Agency and Children and Family Services Department to provide access and support to foster youth,” said VCCCD Chancellor Bernard Luskin. “By using technology and the resources available through the county, we can streamline our processes and remove the burden of proof from the students. This allows us to more efficiently provide academic, career and mental health counseling to this special group of students,” stated VCCCD Board Chair Larry Kennedy.

Every year foster youth “age out” of the system when they turn 18, unless they meet certain criteria such as being enrolled in a postsecondary or vocational education institution.1 In addition to a full range of degree and certificate programs, Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura Colleges teach independent living skills and provide a variety of services to support the development of foster youth.

“The VCCCD is at the forefront of collaborating with the county to help foster youth students succeed. Vice Chancellor, Educational Services, Rick Post worked diligently with his team to expedite this agreement,” said Luskin. “The Ventura County Office of Human Services and the Ventura County Community College District are increasingly working closely together in serving our county,” added Barry Zimmerman, Director of the Ventura County Human Services Agency.


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.

Students, educators, therapists and entrepreneur featured
Keynote Speaker Andreas Forsland
Keynote Speaker Andreas Forsland

After more than 400 people from throughout the country flocked to California Lutheran University’s first autism conference early this year, a second event was organized for Saturday, Oct. 8.

Cal Lutheran’s Autism and Communication Center will present The Spectrum of Opportunity Conference: Autism, Inclusion and Community from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Gilbert Arena on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The event will highlight communication strategies. Educators, families and professionals will learn how to support and include people with autism who experience complex communication challenges in school and community settings. Between 30 and 40 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders speak minimally or not at all.

Andreas Forsland, the CEO of Smartstones, will give the keynote address, “Think to Speak: The Future of Communication.” The Santa Barbara resident is working on a wireless headset that would analyze brainwaves to help nonverbal people speak.

Elizabeth Vosseller will give a presentation titled “Changing Assumptions About Autism and Communication.” A pediatric speech-language pathologist, Vosseller in 2009 launched a private practice in Virginia called Growing Kids Therapy Center for children who have difficulty communicating because of autism or other disorders. Since 2013, she has focused her practice on “spelling to communicate” using letter boards and keyboards.

Dillan Barmache, Debbie Spengler and Amanda Johnson will discuss “Instructional Approaches and Accommodations in the Classroom.” Barmache is a teen with autism who learned to communicate by typing out his thoughts on an iPad and using an augmentative and alternative communication app to read them out loud. Spengler, a Verdugo Hills Autism Project supervisor, is Barmache’s therapist and communication partner. Johnson, a behavioral therapist with Children’s Developmental Milestones, serves as a communication partner to a boy with autism who types to communicate in a general education classroom.

Ali Steers, Adie Buchinsky and Sarah Salazar will give a presentation titled “Working With Teachers, Parents and the IEP Team to Support Alternative Communication at School.” Steers, a speech-language pathologist, and Buchinsky, a special education teacher at CHIME Institute’s Schwarzenegger Community School in Woodland Hills, founded Communication and Learning Consultants. Salazar is a general education teacher at CHIME.

Two college students with autism who communicate by typing will share their experiences. Samuel Capozzi attends California State University, Channel Islands, and Kayla Takeuchi goes to Clovis Community College.

Registration is $85. Discounted tickets for students and people with autism are $25. Registration is requested by Oct. 1. For more information, email autismcenter@callutheran.edu or visit CalLutheran.edu/autism.

Volunteers Needed for Science Fair, Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon and Robotics Competitions

Ventura County students have a long, proud tradition of excellence in local, state and national academic competitions. This is only possible through the strong commitment and partnership of our local volunteers. On average, more than 400 volunteer judges are needed to support the 2,500 students that annually participate in Ventura County Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, Science Fair and VEX Robotics competitions. These high profile competitions are coordinated by the Ventura County Office of Education and provide hands-on learning experiences that go beyond what’s taught in the classroom. Many Ventura County participants have advanced to state and national levels of these competitions.

Unless indicated below, no special training is required to volunteer. Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to register online using the provided links.

VEX Robotics
Location: VCOE Conference & Educational Services Center in Camarillo
Date: Saturday, November 5, 2016
Time: 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM - Inspectors, referees, field reset people, on deck managers and award judges
Register to volunteer at: https://goo.gl/Vo7it9

Academic Decathlon
Location: Pacifica High School in Oxnard
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Time: • 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM - Speech and Interview judges and test proctors
• 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Super Quiz proctors
Register to volunteer at: https://goo.gl/n18jzr

Mock Trial
Location: Ventura County Superior Court in Ventura
Date: Monday, February 27 to Thursday, March 2, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM - Scoring attorneys (law degree required)
Register to volunteer at: https://goo.gl/rGdUhL

Science Fair
Location: Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura
Date: Friday, March 24, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM - Judges with science background
Register to volunteer at: https://goo.gl/ptwUYN

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.

Students and Public Welcomed at Gibbs Truck Centers

In a unique public-private partnership, Ventura College, with the help of Gibbs Truck Centers, has launched a new Diesel Mechanic Program where students can pursue a certificate of achievement and an associate of science degree in diesel mechanics. Officials will hold a grand opening on Sept. 22 from 3-4 p.m. at Gibbs Truck Centers, 2200 Auto Center Dr., Oxnard, adjacent to Costco, and the public is invited to attend. Ventura College officials along with representatives from the Foundation and Gibbs Truck Centers will showcase the new state-of-the-art Diesel Mechanic Program to students and community members.

Gibbs is investing nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind equipment and support to establish the Diesel Mechanics Program at Ventura College. Two of the company’s service bays have become lab instruction facilities for students to gain hands-on, work-based training experience. Students in the program will also complete classroom coursework required for careers in diesel electronics and diagnostics, and in diesel engines and repair. Curriculum will be approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.

“The Gibbs Truck Centers team provides critical expertise and experience, such as hands-on training, logistical support, internships and job placement,” said Norbert Tan, Executive Director of the Ventura College Foundation. “This is a great opportunity for students to prepare for a career that is in-demand and pays well.”
Ed Gibbs, Sr., president, has operated the company for 47 years. His son, Ed Gibbs, has been its general manager since 2010 and noted, “Educated workers with technical expertise, as well as problem solving and ‘soft’ skills, are now required for most diesel repair facilities, and we’re delighted this program addresses these skill requirements to help students achieve a good livelihood.”

The program’s first students have just started classes a few weeks ago. Over the next five years, campus officials expect between 100 and 150 students will complete their diesel technician training. Diesel technology is a growing industry, with job growth expected to increase nine percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with starting salaries ranging from $40,000 to $50,000.

According to EMSI, an educational and career data research company, there’s expected to be a 7.5 percent increase in the job market between now and 2022 between Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and Kern counties. Over 7,000 bus and truck mechanics are employed annually in the five counties, with a median salary of $25 an hour.

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).

September 14, 2016

Moorpark College is hosting an open house to provide solutions for students who may be displaced as a result of the recent closure of ITT Technical Institute. The open house is Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 6-7:30 pm, on campus (7075 Campus Road, Moorpark, CA) in Fountain Hall. Moorpark College offers similar associate degree and certificate programs as ITT, including, but not limited to, Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Networking Systems Engineering, Computer Science and Criminal Justice.

“This is an opportunity for all students, including those who attended ITT, to evaluate the programs and services available at Moorpark College,” stated Moorpark College Executive Vice President Julius Sokenu. “Our team of academic counselors and financial aid advisors are ready to use their resources to empower these students to overcome this challenge.”

Late start classes begin Monday, September 12, 2016, and early October and November. Admissions, academic counselors, program faculty, and financial aid staff will be available to meet with students and help them prepare a plan for moving forward.

“We are working with the three colleges and communicating with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to determine all of the options that are available to students” stated Ventura County Community College District Chancellor Bernard Luskin. “With more than 40,000 students needing placement nationwide, we look forward to assisting students locally to successfully transition into programs that meet their educational goals,” added Board of Trustees Chair Larry Kennedy.

For more information about classes and to RSVP for the open house, please contact Dr. Jesus Vega at (805) 553-4754 or email jesusvega@vcccd.edu.

Piru Elelmentry student is all smiles about the school’s new iPads.
Piru Elelmentry student is all smiles about the school’s new iPads.
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The Sept. 1 roll out began at 9 a.m. at the school with a school-wide assembly and ribbon cutting ceremony. Staff immediately integrated the technology into the instructional day by teaching pre-planned lessons using the devices. All students will eventually be prepared to use their devices at home to expand and extend learning. The school won the award in October 2014 through a competitive grant funded by Apple ConnectED. Piru Elementary, the oldest school in the Fillmore Unified School District, was one of 114 schools nationwide and one of only 11 in the entire state of California to receive funding.

Fillmore High School News

Athletes in Action
Our new Athletic Director of Sports Medicine, Breanna McLain working with a new athlete on setting a baseline for concussion assessment. Basically, all athletes are surveyed about health concerns and given several short assessments before their season starts. In the event of a suspected concussion injury they are given the assessments again in real time to determine the probability of a concussion. There is clear CIF protocol regarding concussion assessment and return to practice procedure. Player safety is of the highest priority. We are very fortunate to have Breanna as a full time certified athletic trainer. She is already making huge in roads into injury prevention, assessment and rehabilitation

PBIS Information
by the PBIS Committee

The following has been adopted from the KQED program “Mind/Shift” (https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/04/21/20-tips-to-help-de-escalate-in...)
Students’ behavior is a form of communication and when it’s negative it almost always stems from an underlying cause. There are many reasons kids might be acting out, which makes it difficult for a teacher in a crowded classroom to figure out the root cause.

A National Institute of Health study found that 25.1 percent of kids 13-18 in the US have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. No one knows how many more haven’t been diagnosed. Additionally between 8 and 15 percent of the school-aged population has learning disabilities (there is a range because there’s no standard definition of what constitutes a learning disability). 9 percent of 13-18 year-olds have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (although the number one misdiagnoses of anxiety is ADHD), and 11.2 percent suffer from depression.

‘We are 50% of every interaction with a child, so we have a lot of control over that interaction.’
“So basically we have this gap in teacher education,” said Jessica Minahan, a certified behavior analyst, special educator, and co-author of The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students. Often, Minahan argues, teachers are trying typical behavioral strategies for a group of kids for whom those strategies don’t work.

Your PBIS committee will be providing short weekly articles within the FFF every week to offer a positive behavioral technique for your consideration and use. We are excited to present them to you and hope they will be profitable to you in your craftwork of shaping minds and futures. Teach on fellow pedagogue, teach on!


Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Children’s Justice (BCJ), the California Department of Education (CDE), and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) have jointly developed statewide guidelines for school districts, county offices of education, and child welfare agencies to better assist them in the secure sharing of data and information that is critical to the success of students in foster care.

“Too many foster children in California are falling through the cracks, not meeting their full potential, and ending up in the criminal justice system. Schools and child welfare agencies must communicate effectively in order to provide children the services they need,” said Attorney General Harris. “This collaborative effort between the Bureau of Children’s Justice and the California Departments of Education and Social Services is a positive step toward improving the ways we support vulnerable children, particularly foster youth.”

Under the law, foster youth are entitled to a range of services, including enhanced academic counseling regarding graduation eligibility requirements and mental health counseling. But many eligible youth are not receiving the services they need because schools don’t know which students should be receiving additional support. This guidance makes clear that schools and child welfare agencies can share information to keep children on track.

The guidance will help local educational and county welfare agencies by providing clarity on the scope of information which can be shared under the law, including critical information that school districts, local county offices of education, and caregivers need to identify and coordinate supports and services for foster youth. In addition to providing clarity on the state of the law, the guidance encourages local educational and child welfare agencies to collaborate with each other to create joint data systems for the continued sharing of information regarding foster youth between and within their respective agencies.

“Providing clear statewide guidance is vital for strengthening the relationship between foster children, caregivers and educators,” said Will Lightbourne, Director of the California Department of Social Services. “This allows the focus to shift away from administrative hurdles and directly to the educational needs of each foster child.”

“I deeply appreciate the joint effort by the state social services and education agencies, and the Bureau of Children's Justice, to create this guidance,” said Martha Matthews, Directing Attorney of the Children's Rights Project at Public Counsel. “It will help school districts and county child welfare agencies here in Los Angeles County and statewide to share information and work together to support foster youths' educational success, while respecting their dignity and privacy.”

“The only way we can significantly improve education outcomes for children in foster care is through strong collaboration between schools and child welfare agencies, and that can only occur when they have the ability to share essential information,” said Molly Dunn, Senior Policy Attorney at Alliance for Children’s Justice. “The joint guidance cuts through a labyrinth of federal and state laws to provide a clear path for the communication and collaboration necessary between agencies to support the education success of children in foster care.”

“The release of this guidance is huge step forward in California's efforts to close the achievement gap for students in foster care. It answers important questions about what data may and must be shared, who should be permitted to see what information and for what purpose,” said Michelle Francois Traiman, Director of FosterEd at the National Center for Youth Law. “Effective, thoughtful sharing of information across systems is critical to ensuring that the adults that are charged to support young people collaborate meaningfully, work as a team, and put the needs of each young person at the forefront of their practices and policies so they can succeed in school.”

In February 2015, Attorney General Harris formed the Bureau of Children’s Justice, a unit within the California Department of Justice that works to support and protect children and ensure they are on track to meet their full potential. The Bureau works to enforce California’s civil and criminal laws with respect to California’s foster care, adoption, and juvenile justice systems; discrimination and inequities in education; California’s elementary school truancy crisis; human trafficking of vulnerable youth; and childhood trauma and exposure to violence.

Earlier this year, the Bureau made public its active civil rights investigations on issues related to juvenile justice, the child welfare system, and education across the state. More information is available at http://oag.ca.gov/bcj/investigations.

Attorney General Harris’s office is leading the California Defending Childhood State Policy Initiative—a collaboration of state agencies including CDE and CDSS—in its work to address the impacts of violence and trauma on children across the state, including enhancing the secure sharing of data to inform supports and services. Under Attorney General Harris’s leadership, California was one of three states nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to be a part of its national Defending Childhood Initiative.

Attorney General Harris has pioneered the use of data to inform public policy and pushed for greater transparency and more effective collaboration and data-sharing between state agencies in order to better serve the public. She announced OpenJustice, a first-of-its-kind open data criminal justice initiative, in September 2015. Since its launch, OpenJustice has published additional analysis and plans to release new juvenile justice data in the coming weeks. Her office also is collaborating with the Children’s Data Network at the University of Southern California to link the administrative records of youth involved in the justice system in order to better understand their early experiences, trajectories through systems, and factors that may increase the of risk involvement, all with an eye toward preventing involvement altogether.


One of our parent/community Site Council members is not able to serve this year. If you would like to serve, please let me know. We will have an election at Back to School Night on September 8th.

The responsibilities of the FHS School Site Council are described in detail in Board Policy 1260. In summary of Board Policy 1260, the School Site Council is responsible for developing a three year School Improvement Plan which will address the following topics: instructional strategies, curriculum, and instructional materials which will lead towards student achievement of basic skills, develop knowledge in other aspects of the curriculum and assist them in pursuing educational interests and the development of their self-esteem; supplemental services to meet the special needs of non-English speaking students, educationally disadvantaged students and pupils with exceptional abilities; a professional development component for teachers, other school personnel and volunteers; the improvement of the school environment and climate; and other objectives established by the site council. Annually the site council is responsible for reviewing, evaluating and modifying the school improvement plan and establishing a new school improvement budget.


Fillmore, CA — The Fillmore Unified School District is pleased to announce two information nights that will be held for perspective families to discuss the new State Funded Preschool Program. We will be sharing the benefits of a preschool experience, program locations, qualification criteria, family fee, and upcoming enrollment dates.

Please join us at 6:00 p.m. on September 6 at Mountain Vista Elementary School Cafeteria located at 918 Fifth St. or at 6:00 p.m. on September 8 at Rio Vista Elementary School Cafeteria located at 250 Edgewood Dr.

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

Enrollment Now Open for Cutting Edge Career Courses

Cybersecurity, engineering, medical science, and video game design are some of the leading edge courses being offered to Ventura County high school and adult education students at the new Career Education Center Moorpark. A ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon marked the official opening of the facility, which is operated by the Ventura County Office of Education. The Moorpark center is the second campus for the Career Educations Center (CEC), which is headquartered at its original location near the Camarillo Airport.

“We are very excited to bring innovative career and technical education courses to students in east Ventura County,” said CEC Executive Director Dr. Tiffany Morse. The campus has been upgraded to include a digital media lab, a music and sound production lab, and a certified nursing assistant training facility. Classrooms feature the latest technology and innovative designs, such as lounge areas intended to encourage student collaboration. The center will serve as a model of innovation for teaching in Ventura County by piloting advanced technologies such as virtual reality.

The new facility is located at the former site of Community High School on Condor Drive in Moorpark. The continuation high school buildings had been vacant since last year when Moorpark Unified School District moved its students to classrooms at Moorpark High School. The district is leasing the facility to VCOE for one dollar per year for the next five years. The deal allows the district to expand its career and technical education offerings. It also gives CEC the ability to serve students who are unable to commute to Camarillo and helps relieve space constraints at the Camarillo site.

Enrollment Now Open for Classes Beginning August 30

The Moorpark campus will offer courses Monday through Thursday afternoons beginning August 30. The offerings include honors level courses, some of which earn college credit. In addition to providing career and technical education, the Moorpark site is home to adult education services.

Students who wish to enroll should contact their school counselor. Adults who are interested in taking courses should call the CEC at 805-437-1420. Transportation to the new facility is available from high schools in the Moorpark, Simi Valley and Conejo Valley Unified School Districts. The new campus is holding an open house and offering classroom tours August 23 to August 30 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

A complete list of courses offered this year at the Career Education Center Moorpark is available at www.vcoe.org/cec.

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.