Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017

Congratulations go to Granite Bay High School.  US News and World Report awarded the school a gold medal and ranked them 76th in State and 423 nationally.  The rankings are based on State tests, AP/IB participation and college readiness.  Granite Bay is the only public non-charter school in the region to receive the gold medal!

It is Academic Merit Award season and it is always a treat to see how many of our students are achieving at really high levels.  I was at the Woodcreek High School AMA’s Monday night and they had over 70 seniors who have a GPA of 4.0 or higher!  It is also interesting to see how many students are choosing colleges from all across the country.  At Oakmont High School, over 60% of the junior class earned recognition!

The Antelope High School Stunt team not only won the CVC League title, they went on to claim the first Sac Joaquin Section title for the sport!  Great job!

Granite Bay High School hosted a screening for FREE – A SURF DOCUMENTARY, on Wednesday night.  The film was produced by a group of students as part of teacher Zach Weidkamp's film production class. I was so impressed with the quality of the film.  It is the story of a Santa Cruz surfing legend, Nathan Acker.  Nathan is now a parent at Granite Bay High School and his daughter was part of the production team.  This project is another example of the power of project based learning.  As the students described their experiences in completing the project, you could see the pride, level of engagement and the mastery of so many work and life skills.  It was awesome!
The impact of Measure D is being felt everywhere.  On Tuesday, the board approved 10 different construction projects, including replacement turf and tracks for the stadiums at Granite Bay High School and Antelope High School,  softball field refurbishing at Oakmont High School and Granite Bay High School, a new roof for Woodcreek High, and a new security system for Roseville High.  The plans for the 6th high school are at the Division of State Architects and we are working on identifying a builder for the new performing arts center at Antelope High School. 

Finally, today is Director of Classified Personnel Sherie Surwillo’s last day of work.  Sherie is retiring after 23 years in our district.  She started at Oakmont High School as an attendance clerk in the early 90’s and moved over to the District Office as the Superintendents Secretary in 1998.  As a new principal to the district in 1995, she provided wise counsel and support to me on countless occasions as I was learning to navigate the district.  She moved over to her current position in 2010.  Sherie is a tireless worker who handles extremely complex and sometimes emotional personnel issues with tact and grace.  She will be sorely missed! We had a very cool celebration on Thursday that brought back Bob Tomasini, Tony Monetti, Larry Brubaker, Larry Peterson and a host of other legends of the district.  Everyone wanted to pay their respects to Mrs. Surwillo!

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017

Recognition and awards have been arriving almost daily for the past few weeks! 

Gold Ribbon – Oakmont High School, Antelope High School, Granite Bay High School and Roseville High School have been selected as State Gold Ribbon Schools.  This program replaced the old California Distinguished School program.  The schools were recognized for academic excellence and for their work in promoting equity with our partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS).  Woodcreek High School qualified to compete for the award but chose not to participate this year as they were in the middle of their WASC accreditation process.  The CTE programs at Granite Bay and Antelope were recognized as well as the Performing Arts program at Granite Bay.  Check out the link to see the other schools around the State who received recognition.  The site validation committees who visited each campus were blown away by the work being done in our schools!

Honor Roll Schools – Antelope High School and Granite Bay High School received notification this week that they have been selected as State Honor Roll Schools.  The 2016 California Honor Roll is presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE). Honor Roll schools will receive recognition in the press as a leader in student achievement and will be provided with a free banner to display on campus.
The 2016 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, Honor Roll recognition includes high college readiness in students. This year, the California Honor Roll recognized 1,866 higher performing, higher poverty schools that are distinguished for their academic achievement and for closing achievement gaps.

Sac Bee article by Joe Davidson
Athletics – Woodcreek High School Coach Paul Hayes was selected as the NorCal Coach of the Year for Boy’s Basketball!  Paul, Joe Mazucca and the rest of their staff did an amazing job leading Woodcreek to the State Finals.  Junior Jordan Brown was named the NorCal player of the year and was selected to the All-State first team.  The team had a magnificent season, but I was most proud of the character and class the coaches and players exhibited at the Golden One Center as they came up just a little short in the State Finals.  How we deal with adversity is the real test of character.  The sportsmanship this team demonstrated all season should be celebrated.

I am sad to announce the passing of a great friend to our school district, Rob Maxey.  Rob worked with Campus Life and was instrumental in bringing PointBreak anti-bullying assemblies to our schools.  He was one of the most selfless people I have ever known and he impacted the lives of thousands of high school students. 

(EQ)2 was a huge success!  Thanks go to keynote speaker John Eich and to the scores of people who set up, presented, managed technology and managed the event.  Building trust and strengthening relationships have always been the keys to great schools.  We are discovering that our work around equity is complex and emotional.  But, it is also critical if we are going to prepare every student for success. 

Our AP signups for next year are remarkable.  As one example, AP Human Geography was introduced as a new course just a few years ago.  In 2014-15, we had 93 students take the course.  Next year, there are 739 students signed up!  Amazing!

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7, 2017

(top) The Unfortunates, (bottom) Once on An Island
We are blessed to have amazing theatrical arts programs in our district.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Roseville High School production of Grease.  Director Ashley White has a young, talented crew who lit up the stage.  The Woodcreek High School production of Once on an Island was spectacular. Director Adrienne Mars and her cast created a magical musical experience for the audience.  For those who have been around the district a while, former Granite Bay High School principal Mike McGuire's son Evan McGuire does an incredible job playing a lead in the Theatre@Granite Bay production of The Unfortunates.    I still remember when Evan was born!  It is cool to see our kids grow up and display their gifts.

The Woodcreek High School girl’s 4X100 relay team set a new school record and won the Stanford Invitational!  This event draws the most talented athletes from Northern California so this is quite an achievement.

Former Granite Bay baseball player Andrew Knapp is the school’s first player to make a Major League roster, joining the Phillies as a catcher.    Coach Esposito has had some tremendous athletes come through his program and many have gone on to college scholarships and even minor league contracts.  It is fun to see our students on the big stage like this.

Congratulations to Roseville High School teachers Cari Oberreuter and Debbie Sidler.  They were featured at the national conference for the ASCD, the largest Curriculum and Instruction organization in the country.  They shared the 20 Percent/Global Citizenship Project with peers from across the country.  The Director of ASCD was so impressed, she invited them to be presenters at next year’s conference!

Last Wednesday, I attended Woodcreek High School’s final WASC meeting, where the visiting committee read highlights from their report.  The report was glowing!  The chairman, who has done scores of WASC visits, said it was the first time in his career that the committee made no additions to the schools areas of growth.  The school nailed the report.  Congrats to Becky Rood, WASC chairperson Lori Ann Donnell and the whole Woodcreek staff.

Last week was crazy busy with a number of site visits.  In addition to the Woodcreek WASC, the other four comp schools all received validation visits for the Gold Ribbon SchoolAwards.  The program replaces the California Distinguished School Program, recognizing excellence in schools.  It was fun to watch the visiting teams react to the amazing data and incredible work our sites have done with EOS, AVID, Project Lead the Way and in the arts.  We will hear final word on the awards in May. 

Kudos go to our counselors and AP/IB coordinators.  We have another record signup for AP and IB courses for next year!  Antelope, Granite Bay and Woodcreek are within a handful of kids of reaching equity in their signups as well!  Since we started partnering with EOS four years ago, almost 2500 more students are now getting an AP/IB experience.  Amazing!

Three of our students have been recognized by Style Magazine as Top 20 Under 20, for students who are making their mark.  Deonna Robinson (OHS), Miriam Mars and Jay Tapadia (WHS) were selected for their unique contributions.  Check out the link here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful spring break!

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 31, 2017

Twitter: @oakmont_cheer                                           @AntelopeCheer                  
What a weekend for our cheer programs!  Competing at the USA Cheer Nationals in Anaheim, Woodcreek High School finished 9th in their division.  After a quick romp around Disneyland, they donned their uniforms and flew back to Sacramento, arriving just in time to cheer on the Timberwolves in the big game at the Golden One Center!  The Antelope High School squad qualified for finals out of a very competitive pool and finished second in their division.  The Oakmont High School show cheer team finished second as well.  Topping of the weekend, the Oakmont High School large varsity show cheer team won their division and the USA National Title!  All of our teams performed well and represented our community with grace and class.  Congratulations!

Roseville High School represented our region well at the State Academic Decathlon Competition last weekend.  Tiger Marc Chappelle claimed the gold medal in the Interview part of the competition!

The Black Mob was out in full force for the State Basketball Open Division final on Saturday night.  The students filled up two and a half sections of the arena!  I have received rave reviews from section officials who were impressed with the enthusiasm and class of the Woodcreek High School fans.  The whole community turned out too!  We had graduates, retired teachers, and a host of students and staff from the other schools in the district who made their way to Golden One for the contest. 

The Woodcreek High School varsity boy’s lost a hard-fought game to Bishop Montgomery, the #4 ranked team in the nation.  A cold start (down 14-0) would have crushed most teams.  Instead, Jordan, Tyrell, Jackson and company battled back and the fourth quarter was a slugfest.  It is still the greatest season in the history of our district.  Coach Paul Hayes, Joe Mazzuca and the rest of their staff did a remarkable job all season. 

In a unique fundraiser, the Granite Bay High School staff played the Del Oro High School Staff in a basketball game Tuesday night.  Although the level of play was significantly below that which was observed at the State Playoffs, it was a fun evening and a great message to everyone that the schools we compete with are our opponents, not our enemies.  The game was a fundraiser for the Mustard Seed School, a program for homeless children that is sponsored by Sacramento Loaves and Fishes.  It was cool to come together for such a great cause!

The Roseville High School Culinary Program competed for the first time in the Pro Start Culinary Cup, a State competition held in Pomona this weekend.  Angie Ash was proud of her teams performance in their first venture of this type. Check out the video below!
Click to watch video

Congratulations to our Girl’s and Boy’s State winners this year.  Students selected include: Jillian Arizcuren & Bronson Vanderjack (GBHS), Peighton Ohlmeye-Dawson and Joseph O'Hair (OHS), Emily Taketa and Reece Brown (RHS), Alyssa Gaeckle and Dylan Pyburn (WHS), Zion Cobb and DaeZhane Day (ANHS)

Woodcreek High School junior, Jordan Brown is in the running for Mr. Basketball player of the year for Cal-Hi Sports. You can vote for him on Twitter for until 10:30AM Saturday, April 1st. Click here to vote!

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24, 2017

Lisa Voss
Lisa Voss has been selected as the new Principal of the RosevilleAdult School.  Lisa has been serving as the assistant principal of the adult school for the past year and a half. Prior to coming to RJUHSD she spent six years at Innovative Educational Management Schools (a charter organization)  as their Title II, LCAP and WASC Coordinator. Lisa also has six years' experience as a middles school and high school math teacher.  She brings great passion and vision to the position and will be a valuable member of the district leadership team.  Congratulations Lisa!

Congratulations go to Antelope High School seniors Makenna Orel and Hailey Brooks and Woodcreek High School senior Sarah Turner.  The young ladies are enrolled in PCOE's ROP Medical Assistant Program. As part of the class they created an Autism App and it was the winner at a local competition.  They were invited to compete at the California Health Care Students of America (HOSA) convention.  Their group received the Silver medal in the Medical Innovation category and they have been invited to the National HOSA convention in Florida!

Two Granite Bay High School film students, Jack Armstrong and Shianne Dingeman will be premiering a video they submitted to the Sacramento Food Film Festival that features Granite Bay teacher Anthony Davis.  Mr. Davis and his family grow most of the food his family eats at their house in Citrus Heights.  The students and Mr. Davis will be speaking at the Festival on April 1st.  Check out the video
The Roseville High School AVID program was showcased Thursday as educators from around the region and as far away as Washington state had a chance to see the program up close and personal with a visit to the campus.  A student panel made up of all grade levels answered questions and shared stories. The visitors came away impressed and in awe!

On Saturday night at Santa Clara University, the Woodcreek boy’s basketball team was down by 14 points with just a couple of minutes left in the third quarter.  To turn the tide, Assistant Superintendent Jess Borjon turned his hat inside out and put it on backwards, a classic “rally cap” maneuver.  The team outscored Sheldon by 21 points over the last 10 minutes of the game to claim the victory.  Although the rally cap was vital, Coach Hayes and Coach Mazzuca’s decision to go man to man defense with full court pressure may have been the more important adjustment!   And, Jordan Brown stepped up to show everyone why he is considered one of the top  players in the nation.  It was a spectacular performance no matter how you view it.  The Timberwolves are ranked 4th in the State, and made the top 25 nationally in the latest rankings!  On Saturday at 8pm, the boys play Bishop Montgomery for the State Open Division Title at the Golden One Center.  This is an historic moment for the school and our district. Tickets are available here.

There are some amazing theater experiences coming our way this spring!  Here is the schedule of performances: 

Thank you to everyone who contributed feedback for our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).  Because of improvements to the economy, our percentage of targeted students has dropped from almost 30% two years ago to about 24% this year.  That results in a decrease in funding of over $600,000.  We have been working for the past two weeks to reduce the budget to meet the allocation.  We will be presenting our plan for next year at a public meeting on Wednesday night next week for community input and each site will be collecting input over the next few weeks.  It felt odd to be cutting budgets again after three years of bounty.  

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017

Last Friday evening Antelope High School, Oakmont High School and Woodcreek High School choir students participated in the district's 2nd Annual Choral Festival! The students did a fabulous job. Congratulations to teachers April Bean, Jennifer Fulkerson and Pavel Kravchuk for hosting an amazing event!

On Monday night, Chico State advanced to the Elite 8 in the Division 2 Basketball playoffs. Robert Duncan, Granite Bay High School Alumni and Antelope High School Alumni Isaiah Ellis are key members of the team.  Isaiah was named MVP of the Western Regional tournament!  Oakmont High School Alumni J.T. Adenrele plays for UC Davis who won their game against North Carolina Wednesday. They play tonight against Kansas at the Golden One Center. 

Congratulations to our Teachers of the Year!  At the board meeting on Tuesday, we recognized the individuals who were selected by their peers at each site to represent their school.  Congrats go to Cami Cordell (Roseville Adult School), Jennifer Hill (Granite Bay High School), Christine Rossmiller (Oakmont High School), Mike Purvines (Roseville High School), Terri McKillop (Woodcreek High School), and Dana Duncan (Antelope High School).  Jennifer Hill and Dana Duncan will be representing the district in the county teacher of the year competition.  These are all amazing educators who make a difference every day! 

The Woodcreek High School boys basketball team won a hard fought game Tuesday night against perennial power De la Salle High School.  We had a board meeting that night, but many of us were checking our devices and smart phones to keep track of the game.  As Woodcreek was clinching the victory, Steve Williams forgot to turn off the sound on his phone and the roar of the crowd filled the Board Room!  It was hilarious!  So, I announced the score and we were able to get back to business.  Woodcreek plays Saturday night at Santa Clara University in the Nor Cal finals.  It is a rematch of the section Division 1 final with Sheldon High School.  It is also the first time in memory that two public high schools are playing for the Open Division Championship.  The game is at 8pm!  The winner will play in the State championship game the following Saturday in Sacramento.
Tonight, several of us are cooking for the Celebrity Chef Chili Cook-off.  The proceeds support Campus Life anti-bullying assembly program.  The event goes from 6P.M. -8:30P.M. at the Maidu Community Center. Click here for details, tickets will be available at the door. 

Our Learning Support Specialists gave a spectacular presentation on Tuesday morning highlighting the impactful work they are doing with our most at risk students.  Each site is different in their approach, but the tutoring, home visits, emotional support and regular check in/check out procedures they use are changing kids lives.  I was inspired!

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017

(EQ)2 is but a few weeks away! The Curriculum and Instruction department is working with a huge team of district teachers on planning an amazing day of learning and professional development for staff and administrators centered around Emotional Intelligence and Equity.  It is the Monday we get back from Spring break.   

Former Granite Bay basketball standout Robert Duncan has had a great career at Chico State.  Here is a cool article about his post high school career.  Click here for article

Click here to play video
The Woodcreek High School boys basketball game against Sheldon High School at UOP last Saturday night was one for the ages!  Sheldon has an amazing team and the Timberwolves were in foul trouble early.  Down by 12 points in the third quarter, Tyrel Roberts and Jackson Hughes started raining threes and got us back into the game.  After taking the lead with but 35 seconds to go on a long 3 pointer from reserve guard Tyrell Roberts, Sheldon retook the lead with a basket after a bizarre bounce of the ball with only 9 seconds left.  Superstar center Jordan Brown was fouled right before the buzzer.  Down by one, two shots, no time left..  Every basketball players biggest dream…..and worst nightmare.  Watch the attached video to see how it went down!  Woodcreek plays at home against Capitol Christian in the NorCal open division tonight at 7. 
Granite Bay High School senior, Jack Ramalia finish 2nd in the State at the CIF State Wrestling Tournament this week. Ramalia has had an incredible career as a student athlete and has been a regular at the State Meet for four years.  Congratulations!  Jake is headed to Stanford University to continue his wrestling career.

On Wednesday night the Roseville High School girls basketball team traveled to Santa Rosa to play Montgomery HS in the first round of the NorCal Regional Tournament.  The game went back and forth for four quarters, with the Tigers make a final run to claim the 58-51 victory.    They will face the #1 seeded Vanden HS at 6pm at Vanden.  Good luck ladies and Coach Errecart! 

The Woodcreek High School girls soccer team lost a hard fought championship game to Davis High on Saturday.  It was still the best season in school history.  The Roseville High School girls varsity played the #1 seeded Whitney Wildcats to a draw in the section Division 2 finals.  The game came down to a penalty kick shootout.  Check out this video of Goalie last stop and the ensuing celebration!  

Click to play video
Congrats to coach Paul Stewart and his team.

Last year, we approved an AP Human Geography course for the district curriculum.  To say it has been a hit would be an understatement.  We have seen hundreds of signups across the district.  We are madly arranging to train teachers to take on this amazing course.

Measure D – Scott Davis and our facilities team have been working feverously to identify architects, prioritize projects and to get projects lined up for the summer to improve our facilities.  The 6th high school plans are at DSA for approval and the architect for the Antelope Performing Arts facility has developed renderings to give us an idea what that facility will look like.   We will be meeting with the 6th high school steering committee next week to generate ideas for the name, mascot and school colors for the new high school.  After broad public input, our board will be making decisions on those issues in late April or May.  Exciting times!