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December 2009 • Volume 63, Issue 4 • San Joaquin County Office of Education • WWW.SJCOE.ORG

Schools open students’ eyes to farm life On October 29, students from Aspire Port City Academy set eyes on a variety of animals during the School-to-School Adoption program. Venture Academy Family of Schools’ Durham Ferry in collaboration with San Joaquin Delta College, George Perry and Sons, and AgVenture brought goats, sheep, ducks, and many other farm animals to Aspire Port City Academy for its first Fall Farm Festival. “Many of these kids have never seen farm animals,” said Shonna Beam, Agricultural Education Instructor at Durham Ferry. “We hope this exposes them to

something new and makes them more aware of where things come from.” The students visited different animal stations where they learned farm facts, brushed the hair of donkeys and horses, and hand-fed animals. “It was amazing to see how excited the kids were to feed and touch the animals,” said Larissa Founts, teacher at Aspire Port City Academy. “Some of them never would have had this opportunity otherwise.” To learn about Venture Academy Family of Schools, visit

New SUSD school honors namesake

Preschool students make new discoveries through science

Alex G. Spanos Elementary School honored its namesake during its ribbon cutting ceremony held on September 16. Although Mr. Alex G. Spanos could not be there, his wife, daughter, and grandchildren welcomed the community to the state-of-the-art school.

San Joaquin County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent, Gary Dei Rossi, helped Village Oaks First 5 preschool students make play dough during a science experiment. Science is an activity that occurs daily in Lincoln Unified School District (LUSD) Early Childhood Education classes. “It is a time for the children to hypothesize and make discoveries,” said Rena Damele, preschool specialist for Lincoln Unified.

During the ceremony, students presented research projects and artwork that depicted ideals held dear by Mr. Spanos. The principles include a love of heritage, leadership, giving back to the community, and reaching for one’s dreams. For information on the new Alex G. Spanos Elementary School, visit its website at

Lincoln Unified serves 400 children and their families through the state and First 5 funded preschools. “We are proud of the impact we are making in our community and as research shows, excited that all children leave our programs ready for kindergarten,” said Damele. For more information about LUSD Early Childhood Education programs, visit edSvc/ece. Pictured below are Lincoln Unified preschool students with Assistant Superintendent of SJCOE, Dr. Gary Dei Rossi and Lincoln Unified teacher Joshua Garcia.

SJCOE • December 2009 • page two •

Helicopter lands at Nightingale delighting students

The Ultimate Career Day was an exciting day at Nightingale Elementary School as students learned about the various public service occupations. Pre-kindergarten through eighth-graders watched in awe as the Bell JetRanger Helicopter landed on the soccer field of Nightingale Elementary. After each student sat in the pilot’s seat, they scurried along to receive an introduction to paramedics from the American Medical Response, police work from the Stockton Unified police office, and firefighting from the Stockton Fire Department and Montezuma Fire District. “I want to be a firefighter,” said second-grader, Luis Sanchez, as he received an autograph from Firefighter Jon Smith. The Ultimate Career Day was part of the Adopt-A-School program. The landing was made possible by the generosity of helicopter owner and pilot Don Ratcliff, who provides these services at no cost to make the impossible, possible for the community. For information about Nightingale Elementary, visit www.stockton.

one. students build strong bonds and find themselves during the annual Tahoe Honor Quest On September 29, students and staff of one.Alternative Education traveled to Lake Tahoe for a two-day camping trip, called Honor Quest. All quests have unique challenges for the participants to overcome, and Honor Quest was no exception. It started out with a 26-mile bike ride along the Truckee River to Homewood and back to Squaw Valley.

L Leon had a chance to strengthen h his newfound friendships during th the second-part of Honor Quest, w which was a hike through the T Tallac Historic Site, Taylor Creek, aand Rainbow Trail. The U.S. F Forest Service preserves the h historical sites and homes that o once belonged to Tahoe’s rich aand famous settlers the Baldwin, P Pope, and Heller families.

JJeff Bisby, a student from one. Expressions stated, “If there is Students and staff celebrate their completion of Honor E Quest (pictured from left to right): Curtis Mannah, teacher at another Quest like this one, I will For students like Jesus Leon, one.Expressions, Omar McPherson, Jesus Leon, the bike ride provided him an sign up for it. I really enjoyed the Stephen Navarro, and Jeff Bisby. opportunity to bond with peers. time spent there!” “The food was really good, and I liked communicating with the kids from other schools,” said Leon. For information about one.Alternative Education, visit

Special Education students adapt to the community Students in Special Education classes for young adults, ages 18 to 22, enjoy getting out in the community, and learning skills that will help them live and work upon completing school. “We try to provide as much exposure to experiences in the community as possible,” says Instructional Assistant, Terry Mead. Monthly field trips to the grocery store allow students to learn how to use public transportation, pay for groceries, and be responsible for a shopping list. Helping students increase their independence is a priority for special education teachers like Traci Suyeyasu. “Social skills, handling money, ordering in a restaurant, and transportation are all abilities that they develop best by doing.” Suyeyasu went on to share that the final goal of all of these activities is for the students to leave the program ready to be fully integrated, productive, and successful members of the community. For information on Special Education, call 468.4925 or visit SJCOE • December 2009• page four •

Welcome home Astronaut Jose Hernandez Astronaut Jose Hernandez recently returned to his hometown of Stockton, after venturing into space aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery. The Reaching for the Stars Foundation organized a myriad of events for Hernandez as part of the Hometown Hero’s Welcome Home Celebration. The celebration kicked-off with a reception held on Friday, October 9, where the winners of the Astronaut and Space Exploration Poetry and Essay Contest read their poems and essays, and had dinner with Astronaut Hernandez. The three winners were selected from more than 200 submissions from throughout the county. In first-place was Erika Jane B. Albinto, from Middle College High of Lodi Unified; second-place was Raelin Tamargo, from Rio Calaveras Elementary of Stockton Unified; and the third-place winner was Peacha Sokk, from Colony Oak Elementary of Ripon Unified.

On Saturday, San Joaquin Delta College hosted the re-opening of the George H. Clever Planetarium. Hernandez was presented with a Key to the City of Stockton from Mayor Ann Johnston, and gave the keynote address at the ribbon cutting ceremony. He emphasized the importance of supporting children’s goals and staying involved in their education. “We must empower and challenge our children, so that they can do whatever they dream to do,” said Hernandez. The Jose Hernandez Reaching for the Stars Foundation inspires youth to find passion in science, technology, engineering, and math by establishing a family commitment to education, and develop support networks through community engagement. For more information about the Reaching for the Stars Foundation, visit

Astronaut and Space Exploration Poetry and Essay Contest winners were recognized at the Reaching for the Stars Foundation Hometown Hero’s Welcome Home Celebration. The winners are pictured above with city and educational advocates from left to right: City of Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston; Astronaut Jose Hernandez; first-place winner, Erika Jane B. Albinto, Middle College High School of Lodi Unified; San Joaquin County Office of Education Deputy Superintendent Mick Founts; third-place winner, Peacha Sokk, Colony Oak Elementary of Ripon Unified; second-place winner, Raelin Tamargo, Rio Calaveras Elementary of Stockton Unified; San Joaquin Delta College Superintendent/President Raul Rodriguez; and University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck.

Educator Tip of the Month: Communicating with Parents

Students nationwide participated in Lights On After School, an event held on October 22 in celebration of after school programs. The annual event aims to emphasize the importance of after school programs for children and their families.

Effectively communicating with parents is an integral part of being a successful teacher. Here are a few tips on how to communicate with parents from Bob Loux, program manager for Project IMPACT. •

Nora Hana, After School coordinator for San Joaquin County Office of Education, says that after school programs are an essential part of students’ development. “Programs like this provide a safe learning environment for students to get the extra support they need.” The Boys and Girls Club of Tracy sponsored the official Region 6 legislative visit at North Elementary School in Tracy Unified. After School was recognized as an exemplary program with a proclamation presented by Assemblymember Cathleen Galgiani. North Elementary ensures that each day more than 150 students receive help with their homework, are provided with a snack, and take part in fun activities such as games and cooking lessons. “We hold a variety of activities to keep students learning outside of the classroom,” says Robert Pane, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Tracy. “After all, our main goal is to enrich the lives of students.”

• •

Lay positive groundwork. Occasionally call parents to mention something positive that their child has done. This will condition parents when they get a call regarding a problem with their child. Be specific when addressing the problem and do not get side tracked with other issues. It is important to resolve an area of concern as soon as possible. Remain calm. If the conversation becomes heated, be sure to keep your composure and if need be, take a break to cool off. Listen to parents. Be involved in what parents have to say and listen to their concerns.

Additional information can be found on Teaching SMART, a series of podcasts that give teachers tips on classroom management. Teaching SMART and “Educator Tips” are part of San Joaquin County Office of Education Teacher Development’s efforts to help educators enhance student learning and understanding. To listen to podcasts, visit

Community Advisory Committee announces December Presentation • Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of San Joaquin SELPA will hold a program for parents of children with special needs on Monday, December 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at San Joaquin County Office of Education, Education Service Center, Chartville 1. The program topic is How to Work Towards Lasting Behavior Change presented by Allyson Moore, M.S., BCBA, of Therapeutic Pathways. The presentation will feature strategies that teach and identify basic communication and language skills to promote lasting behavior change. Parents will learn how to implement these tactics with their children, making behavior change a lifelong success. Contact Patti Farhat at 468.4928 for more information.

2010 CASEL Conference • Capitol Area Science Education Leaders (CASEL) will hold its 13th Annual Science For Life Conference on January 21 at 8 a.m. at San Joaquin County Office of Education, Education Services Center (2707 Transworld Drive). The conference is for teachers, curriculum directors, and school nurses who wish to receive information and professional development in the area of biomedical science. The conference will feature keynote speaker Eric Chudler, Ph.D., who will address emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as H1N1 and the West Nile Virus. The conference will also include breakout sessions and free curriculum.

SJCOE •December 2009 • page six •

For more information or to register, visit Conference.html.


Region celebrates After School programs with Lights On After School

Outlook: Calendar DECEMBER Dec. 1 Dec. 1 Dec. 3 Dec. 5 Dec. 7 Dec. 7 Dec. 9

AVID Tutorology for Teachers - Part II 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. • 468.9189 Middle School Honor Choir Nomination Meeting 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. • 468.4973 Middle School Honor Band Tape Auditions 4:30 - 6 p.m. • 468.4973 San Joaquin County Mock Trial Invitational 9:15 a.m. - 3:15p.m. • 468.9030 Elimination Round of the County Spelling Bee 4 - 5 p.m. • 468.9030 CAC December Presentation 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. • 468.4928 San Joaquin County Spelling Bee Final Rounds 3 - 6:30 p.m. • 468.9030

JANUARY Jan. 5 Jan. 7 Jan. 7 Jan. 8 Jan. 8 Jan. 9 Jan. 9 Jan. 9 Jan. 11 Jan. 14 Jan. 14 Jan. 21 Jan. 26 Jan. 30

High School Honor Choir Rehearsal #2 5:45 - 9 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Band Rehearsal #2 5:45 - 9 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Choir Rehearsal #3 5:45 - 9 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Band Rehearsal #3 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Choir Rehearsal #4 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Band Rehearsal #4 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 High School Honor Choir Rehearsal #5 8:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 San Joaquin County High School Honors Concert 7:30 - 9 p.m. • 468.4973 CAC January Presentation 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. • 468.4928 AVID Coordinator Workshop 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.9189 CTEL Wheatland Spring 2010 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. • 468.4978 CASEL Conference 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • 468.4880 SB1292 Stockton Spring 2010 4 – 7 p.m. • 468.4865 Academic Decathalon Competition 7:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. • 468.9030

FEBRUARY Feb. 6 Feb. 9 Feb. 9

Feb. 17

Feb. 18

Feb. 20 Feb. 22

Feb. 23

Academic Decathalon Competition, Day 2 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. • 468.9030 CAC February Presentation 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. • 468.4928 Middle School Honor Band/Choir Rehearsal #1 5 - 8 p.m. • 468.4973 CTEL Stockton Spring 2010 Prep Course 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. • 468.4865 Middle School Honor Band/Choir Rehearsal #2 5 - 8 p.m. • 468.4973 Mock Trial Competition, Rounds 1 & 2 8 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. • 468.9030 Mock Trial Competition, Championship Round 6:45 - 9:30 p.m. • 468.9030 Middle School Honor Band/Choir Rehearsal #3 5 - 8 p.m. • 468.4973

MARCH March 2-6 March 4

March 6 March 6 March 6 March 6

March 8 March 11 March 12 -15 March 19 - 21

San Joaquin County Science Fair Varies by date • 953.2119 Middle School Honor Band/Choir Rehearsal #4 5 - 8 p.m. • 468.4973 Middle School Honor Band Rehearsal #5 1 - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 Middle School Honor Choir Rehearsal #5 1 - 3 p.m. • 468.4973 Middle School County Honors Concert 7 - 9 p.m. • 468.4973 Science Olympiad B/C Regional Competition 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.. • 468.9030 CAC March Presentation 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. • 468.4928 AVID Coordinator Workshop 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. • 468.9189 Academic Decathalon State Finals 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. • 468.9030 Mock Trial State Finals 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. • 468.9030

Fredrick A. Wentworth, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

San Joaquin County Officee of Education Public Information Office 2901 Arch-Airport Road Stockton, CA 95206

Mick Founts, Ed.D., Deputy Superintendent, Student Programs and Services

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Stockton, Calif Permit #681


Jim Thomas, Deputy Superintendent, Business Services Gary Dei Rossi, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services James Mousalimas, Assistant Superintendent, County Operated Schools and Programs Kathleen Skeels, Assistant Superintendent, Special Education / SELPA Director

Outlook is published monthly, September through May of each year, by the SJCOE Public Information Office. Submissions and story ideas are welcomed and must be received by the first day of the month prior to the month before publication. Fax: 209.468.4987 • E-mail: • Jacqueline Ratto, Editor • Karla Caldwell, Tera Garcia, Denise Irvin, and Nou Vang, Assistant Editors •

Foundation Golf Shootout raises money for students Supporters of education and civic leaders from throughout San Joaquin County gathered on August 7 to participate in the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) 21st Annual Educational Foundation Golf Shootout held at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton. Four-member teams participated in the competition to raise money for education and a chance to win a variety of prizes. This year, the tournament raised nearly $40,000 for countywide student activities such as the Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, Academic Pentathlon, Spelling Bee, Science Olympiad, and Fine Arts Day. For information about the Annual Educational Foundation Golf Shootout, contact Greg Clark at For information about SJCOE Educational Foundation, visit

Pictured above are the 2009 winners of the SJCOE Educational Foundation Golf Shootout (left to right): John Brophy, Augie Scornaienchi, Fredrick Wentworth, Kevin Wentworth, and Dave Sorgent.

A special thank you to the generous sponsors! San Joaquin County Office of Education Educational Foundation 2009 Golf Shootout Honor Roll of Sponsors PLATINUM LEVEL SPONSOR ($5,000 - $9,999) Legacy Enterprises Tru-Tech Roofing and Waterproofing

SILVER LEVEL SPONSOR ($1,500 – 1,999) Aeko Consulting, Inc. Diede Construction, Inc. Quick’s Glass Service

CORPORATE LEVEL SPONSOR ($3,000 – 4,999) John Minaudo Construction, Inc. Keenan & Associates First Student

BRONZE LEVEL SPONSOR ($1,000 - $1,499) Atkinson, Andelson, Loya Ruud & Romo Law Offices Dave Cavagnaro Electric Mark Jacobs Plumbing Signature Reprographics Stanley P. Mathews Concrete Top Flight Café & Catering (Tommy Joyce) Windsor Management Group

GOLD LEVEL SPONSOR ($2,000 - $2,999) CDI Commercial Flooring Comfort Air Design Building Systems, Inc. EMCOR Hartford Insurance Legend’s Apparel Premier Community Credit Union SAC, Inc.

EXECUTIVE LEVEL SPONSOR ($500 - $999) Hewlett Packard Korean Janitorial Service PVS Vending

Shade Structures, Inc. Transworld Printing Services CENTURY LEVEL SPONSOR ($250 - $499) American Fidelity Assurance Black Oak Casino Delta Dental Disneyland Resorts Doug Martin First Commercial Real Estate Greg Clark Henry + Associates Architects Judith Buethe Communications Northern California Officials Oak Ridge Winery Rainforth & Grau Architects Sonitrol Vision Service Plan Warden’s – the total office solution Western Electrical Contractors

FRIENDS LEVEL SPONSOR ($1 - $249) Angelina’s – Stockton California’s Great America Delicato Family Don Simonich EMERSON Infinity Communications Jackson Rancheria Joe Cirimele Laurie Bartlett Mamie Starr Modesto Nuts Neilsen’s Mobile Detailing Office Depot Planet Beach of Manteca/Modesto Precision Automotive Roger Dunn Golf of Stockton San Jose Sharks Stockton Grand Hilton Stockton Thunder University of California, Berkeley WINCO – Stockton

Outlook: December 2009  
Outlook: December 2009  

The December 2009 edition of Outlook is now available! This issue features a sneak peek at how schools are helping other schools open stude...