Trojan Hub
Weekly Update
July 30th Update
Bell Schedule Approved
Using the process identified in the MOU between the District and Faculty Association a bell schedule for the year was approved for Oak Ridge.  Please visit the August Reopening tab above to view it.

July 24th Update
August Reopening 
The Faculty Association and the District have an agreement in place that they are close to finalizing.  This agreement now provides us with the specifics we need to put a site plan in place with all the necessary details.  Here is the process I envision for Oak Ridge:
  • We will follow the guidelines for creating a bell schedule that is approved by the FA.
  • I will bring a Reopening Plan to our Leadership Team.  As a team we will work to improve it.  The plan will include everything from how the school day will operate to how we sanitize.
  • I will set meetings with the Faculty Association Reps, Leadership Team and Management Team as soon as possible to complete our plan.
August Reopening Page
I have created an August Reopening page here on the Trojan Hub.  As information becomes available I will be posting it here.  I feel it will be better to have one repository of information than a bunch of emails.  I will let you know as it starts to populate with information.  The first thing I have put on the page is a Q&A section.
  • Over the last week I have been receiving questions. Most of the questions are global in nature and good for everyone to know.  I have shared them on a Q&A page under the August Reopening tab above.  
Parent Communication This Week
This week we have sent several communications to our parents I wanted to make you aware of.
  • The district sent on to families and staff on returning in Distance Learning.
  • Another was sent to parents with an update on the CIF's announcement that athletes are being delayed until December.  We will have two athletic seasons fit into the final five months of school. 
  • We also sent parents an update on our Wellness Center.  We let families know that the Wellness Center will still be available to them this year. However, it will be online.
  • We also sent a survey to families today.  This survey will determine which students need access to a device or an internet hotspot.   
Faculty Need
You will receive an email on Monday asking you what your technology needs are.  We have the ability to support teachers with a Chromebook and/or hotspot if you do not have access to one of these.

How Distance Learning Affects Classified
I really wish I had news to share about this but I don't.  The CSEA and the District are in negotiations about how Classified employees will do their work and where they will do their work.  We won't have an answer until that negotiation is complete.  

March 6th Update
Student Successes
In the last two weeks, we have had Oak Ridge students find success outside of school.  Victoria Kolanski and Elizabeth Ramin won second and third place in the Fred Wynn Democratic Party Essay Contest.  And Harleen Bal won the El Dorado Hills Rotary Speech Contest.  Congratulate them when you see them.  

Master Schedule Update
We have had to hit pause on the master schedule momentarily.  In the wake of our district's tough financial times, we are having to reduce our master schedule by 5 sections. However, actual student enrollment has come in 110 students over projection.  We currently have 2483 students enrolled for 2020-21.  I am not positive but that might be the highest number we have ever had.  

However, over the last years, we tend to lose 20-30 students over the course of the summer.   The District in light of this new data has acknowledged that we can't run a school with sections projected for 110 fewer students.  They are currently calculating how many additional sections we need to meet the needs of these additional students.  Once we have that we can complete the master schedule.  Department Chairs are finishing their first drafts for us as we speak.  I want to ensure everyone that all section losses will be absorbed through retirements or cutting extra teaching assignments above 1.0 FTE when possible.  

February 28th Update
Events Not To Miss
Girls Basketball Section Playoffs: 
  • Tonight at Golden 1 @ 6pm
  • Music Department Fundraiser tomorrow night
State Academic Decathlon: 
  • March 26-29
Women's Soccer Section Playoffs: 
  • Sat @ 4 at Whitney
Solar is Almost Done
The solar contractor is just about done.  All of the major work has been completed.  They are now finishing a lot of small things.  You will start to see them less and less. I will let everyone know when we are ready to go live with them.

New Youth and Government Officers
Our Youth and Government students finished their year.  They had bills make it all the way through the process and pass.  At their banquet last Sunday they swore in their new leaders for next year's team.  You can see who the new leaders are below.

School Wide Collaboration Date Switch
Please reference the Meeting at a Glance 2019-20 (under the meeting tab above) to see that the March 9th school wide has been moved to March 23rd.

February 21 Update
Steve White Earns 600th Win
Steve White earned his 600th win yesterday in the playoffs as the Girls Varsity Basketball coach.  This is a huge milestone and a difficult achievement to earn.  Steve has committed a large part of his life to coaching girls basketball in order to achieve this level of success. Please congratulate Steve as you see him around campus. 

Oak Ridge Admin Honored
Last night Don Azevada (Assistant Principal) and Joyce Walker (Food Service Director) at Oak Ridge were honored for the amazing work they do.   Don was honored as Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year.  Joyce was honored as the Classified Leader of the Year.  Both have had their nominations picked up by the region and will be honored for their positions in ACSA Region 2.  This is a big honor in the leadership world.  Please congratulate them when you see them. 

Staffing Update
We were able to get all of our student requests entered into the system.  We held our staffing meeting with the district yesterday and received our allocated sections for next year.  Jon and I are reviewing the numbers.  We hope to have section allocations to departments next week.  At that time Department Chairs can begin to design their master schedules. 

Big Thank You
I want to extend a big thank you to Matt Hodgins for continuing to bring high-quality guest speakers to our school.  Matt holds these events after school and the social science department encourages their students to attend.  This month alone Matt had Assemblyman Kiley and Congressman McClintock come speak to our students.  I don't take for granted that most schools don't have opportunities like this for their students.  Thank you Matt.

February 14th Update
Cheer First in Nation
In case you haven't heard yet the Oak Ridge Cheer Team took first place in the D1 Varsity league at the biggest cheer competition in the nation.  Please congratulate them as you see them around the class.  

CAASPP Testing Schedule
Through a lot of collaboration with our leadership team we have completed the final version of our CAASPP testing schedule.  We defined the dates for the test at the end of last year and shared them with everyone.  However, now we have the details for those dates.  Due to changes in the science test we have had to move that test into its own week.  So we have added testing dates on top of what was already proposed.  Your department chair has more information about why there are changes if you are interested.  Anyone in administration would be happy to answer questions as well.  You will need to be logged into your Google account to view this testing doc.  

Youth and Government
Although Y&G is not an official Oak Ridge activity, the local team is 99% OR students and they practice on campus.  So we have a special relationship with this group.  Our students will be missing some class time today (and yesterday) and will be at the Capitol all day tomorrow taking part in simulated government activities.

Empty Bowls
Don't forget that Steve Seely and his service learning class will be holding their big empty bowls fundraiser next Friday. Please consider supporting them. 

February 7th Update
Academic Decathlon 4-Peat
Jeff Hassian and the Academic Decathlon team won our county for the 4th year in a row.  This accomplishment cannot be overstated.   Coach Jeff Hassian has shown tremendous effort and strength coaching our team for about two decades.  Please congratulate them as they move on to the State Championship.

FCCLA Medals
Our FCCLA students were in our region's culinary competition.  Every student that competed took home a medal and will be moving on to the state championship down south.  Teacher and Coach Sharon Varozza and her students have built a strong program that is consistently competing at the highest levels of culinary excellence.  Please applaud them as they go to state for FCCLA. 

Master Schedule Update
We are entering the time of year when we start to build the master schedule for next year.  We have received all of the student registration information.  Our counseling office is working intensely to enter all of the information.  We are hoping to have all of the raw numbers from this registration in the computers in two weeks.  Shortly after that, we will receive our staffing allocation from the district office.  This will allow us to reach out to the Department Chairs in early March in order to start building the master schedule.  I will keep everyone updated as we move along.  

January 24th Update
Thank You for a Hard Week
I want to thank everyone for coming together and talking with students and supporting our students with the suicide that occurred.  As we continue to move forward I want to share a few points to guide our conversations on the topic.

1. We should never bring undue attention to suicide and give it more time than it deserves.  We don't want potential victims to see how much attention it gets you.

2. Students need to understand that suicide is wrong and not something that we condone.  

3. They need to know that they can access mental health services whenever they need to in the Wellness Center via the Counseling Office.  

Wellness Center
As with anything new, I prefer to start small and simple and grow it over time.  We will take the same approach with the Wellness Center.  Counselors will refer and bring students there to start.  Once we are comfortable that we have the logistics of the computer systems done, and the space is functioning as predicted. we will open it up to students at break and lunch.  But we are not there just yet.  I need to be able to guarantee that when students walk in, they get the service that they are expecting.  I estimate that we will have this space completely up and running as envisioned in a few months.  

Power Out Tomorrow
PG&E will be doing work with our solar panels tomorrow.  To complete this work the power could be off for a better part of the day tomorrow.  This means that computers will need to be restarted Monday morning.  The district has a power outage protocol in place that we will run on Monday morning to ensure the servers are working correctly. 

January 17th Update
French Honor Society
Some French Honor Society students visited Lake Forest Elementary School and taught the students some French.  This is an amazing opportunity for our students and the elementary school students.  But it also builds interest in the French language and our program.

Elective Fair Success
I would like to thank our counseling department and everyone who participated in the Elective Fair on Tuesday.  It was another huge success.  I want to specifically thank Mandy Fiedler and Alyce Rogers for taking the lead on the project.  A heard a number of students speak to feeling better prepared to pick the right elective for them next year. 

Measure A Update
Measure A is the official name for the EDUHSD school bond measure. It will be on the March 3rd ballot.  If you would like to learn more about Measure A or how the ballot is being promoted, you can attend an information meeting on Tuesday, January 21st in the Oak Ridge theater at 6:30.  

Student Safety Concern
Last Friday we had a brief safety concern after school that turned out to not be an actual safety concern.  We received a call from the FBI about a concerning chat room that an Oak Ridge student was a part of and some posts they followed.  The FBI, our SRO and one of us met with the student and their family.  After learning more of the context as to why the student was there and the timeline around when they were there, the FBI determined that the student was not a threat.  It was a good example of multiple agencies coming together to ensure the safety of our school.  

CSD Pool Repairs and Potential Impact on OR
The CSD has discovered that their swimming pool is in need of major repairs.  Oak Ridge has a joint-use agreement with the CSD for its pool.  Our Life Fitness classes use the pool in the fall and our swim team and water polo teams use the pool in season as well.  The CSD is working with us to ensure that the repairs to the interior of the pool do not have an impact on our programs.  However, at a time not yet determined the pool will need major repairs to its decking.  This will likely have an impact on at least one of our programs.  When the CSD has a better handle on when that will happen they will let us know.  But we are in communication with them to mitigate this when it does happen.

Boys Basketball Team Update
It will become public knowledge later today that our Varsity Boys Basketball coach will not be at the next two games.  I am very limited as to what I can say surrounding personnel matters.  But we will be publicly stating that an issue has come forward and the coach is stepping away for two games while the school and coach work through a personnel matter.  

January 10th Update
Wellness Garden Update
Phase one of the Wellness Garden in between the R-Building and the creek is complete.  Please walk by and look at what Steve Seely and the student vision for this space created.  It is truly beautiful.  The next phase will be working with an Eagle Scout to add benches.

Open House
Open House is Monday, January 27th.  Please click this link to see the schedule and handout.  Please verify your location and the time of the event on the handout.  Thank you.

Bell Schedule Working Groups Set Up
Our End Time Working Group is set.  Julia Madsen is the chair and the first meeting has been scheduled.  The Tutorial Working Group is chaired by Paul Kuzmich and the members have been invited to the first meeting.  Both are poised to bring some really good ideas forward to the staff.

Proposed Intersession Model
Our new Intersession model has two Intersessions in the summer as opposed to one at the end of each semester (thus the shorter winter break.)  The Leadership Team (Management Team and Department Chairs) discussed the best options for doing this.  Below is the schedule that is proposed by Leadership.

·         Intersession Semester 1: June 1 to June 4 (June 1 and 2 after makeup days)

·         Intersession Semester 2: June 8 to June 11

Energy Conservation Success
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who set back their room for winter break.  we had 97% of our classrooms properly set back for winter break and conserving the most energy possible.  That is a big improvement from the norm and saving our school a lot of money and the environment a lot of carbon.  Thank you again!

Three New Portables Ready
It has happened with amazing speed, but the three new portables on the blacktop are in place and almost complete. There are a few minor wiring issues to be completed.  Margaret Crannell and her Study Skills classes have already moved into their room.  The Wellness Center is furnished and will be open with a few weeks.  

Solar Update
No new updates on the solar.  It continues to be slow work as the drill to connect the solar arrays to the main power hub in the middle of campus.  At this time we are just eagerly awaiting the completion.   

December 20th Update
Seniors and Sundaes
The Oak Ridge Choir and Jazz Band took part in an annual tradition.  Our community honors our seniors once a year by hosting a Holiday lunch (put on by the CSD Senior Center and served by the EDH Fire Department) topped off with ice cream sundaes (provided and served by EDH Rotary.)  Each year our Choir and Jazz Band provide the musical accompaniment to this special occasion.  Every year they do a fabulous job representing our school and this year was no exception.  

Drama Hosts Elementary Schools
Drama teacher Kate Rolls and her students put on short plays for the local elementary schools.  Elementary school teachers brought their students to Oak Ridge and filled our theater.  It was fantastic to provide our students with an audience and the elementary students a growth experience in the arts. 

Wellness Garden
The garden in between the R building and the creek portables has been prepared and cleared for the incoming garden. The concrete planters and slab have already been completed.  When you return from winter break the next phase of the project will be in place.  You will see plants and pavers beautifying the area.  The next phases of the project will be getting benches and student are in place.  

Wellness Center
Last weekend the new portable for the Wellness Center was delivered onto the blacktop along with two additional classrooms.  Construction will continue on those buildings over the break.  We hope to have the Wellness Center functioning by February.  But this is all contingent on construction.  The other two rooms will follow shortly after.  

December 12th Update
French Caroling
Forty-Three French students from Kristina Argueta's French 3, 4 and AP classes caroled for the 3rd year in a row at the El Dorado Hills Senior Care Village on Tuesday after school.  We are really proud of our French program and the French students for brightening the day of seniors with French carols. You can watch the video here .

Schedule Working Groups
When we return from break we will pull together our first meetings of the Tutorial Working Group and End Time Working Group.  I am thankful for everyone who volunteered and for the collective energy around this effort.

FCCLA Makes Gingerbread Houses for Children's Hospital
Sharon Varozza and our FCCLA students took a trip to Cordova High School and their Culinary II class.  They baked and assembled a gingerbread village together.  The village will be displayed a the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum until December 21st.  After that, it will be donated to the Children's Hospital. 

Various Construction Updates
 There are days where Oak Ridge feels more like a construction zone than a school.  We will have three different construction projects happening over the next few weeks.
1. You will see portables being brought in this afternoon.  Crews will work over the next several weeks to assemble our new Wellness Center, Connections Classroom and extra classroom. 
2. Over winter break our new garden will be installed between the R-building and the portables along the creek. This project has been happening in phases.  There will be one more phase after this one being completed for an Eagle Scout project.  I want to thank Steve Seely for spearheading this project for our campus. 
3. The solar workers continue to struggle to get under the school and to our power mains.

December 6th Update
Dine in Day
On December 3rd French Club and FCCLA culinary students worked together to make sweet and savory crepes after school for national Dine in Day. Students exchanged cooking and cultural knowledge and had a fun meal.
Leadership Meeting on Monday
In Leadership on Monday, we are going to approve proposals for the first week back from winter break.  We are coming back on a Wednesday this year which is creating an awkward need to adjust the bell schedule for Wednesday. We will also approve the Open House schedule. I will be sharing those items with you as soon as they are approved.

Reducing the Number of Scantron Machines
We have spoken in the past about how expensive it is to maintain Scantron machines and pay the GradeCam license.  In our Leadership meeting, it was determined that we no longer need four Scantron machines on our campus.  To reduce the cost for this year, we are sending three machines back to Scantron and will maintain one Scantron machine in the Copy Room effective immediately. 

The results from the Leadership survey indicated that 85% of teachers are either using GradeCam or are willing to convert over to GradeCam to have to sustain the financial burden of two systems.  The Leadership Team will be discussing the results of the survey and charting a path forward. 

Superintendent Lunch with Staff
If you are free please come to the MPR on Tuesday and have lunch with Dr. Carruth. He is bringing food for everyone and is looking forward to breaking bread and visiting. 

Today is the Last Day to Sign Up
Today is the last day to sign up for the Tutorial or End Time Working Groups.  Please make sure to submit your name in the proper form if you are interested. 

November 22nd Update
Monday AM Staff Meeting Cancelled
We have no pressing need to hold an AM staff meeting when we return on Monday the 2nd.  So we are canceling this meeting.  I hope this will help everyone make a smoother transition back from break.

Schedule Next Steps
We have two immediate next steps for implementing the new schedule next school year and one long term step.  Our immediate steps will be putting together two groups upon returning from Thanksgiving break.  

One group will consist of staff interested in trying to bring our end-time closer to 3:30.  The second group will be around the logistics of our Tutorial time. Once these groups have completed there work, we will begin educating our community on the changes.  

Model Trojan Awards
Thank you to everyone who nominated a student for our Model Trojan Awards luncheon today.  The students and parents are so thankful.  One of the parents commented that these character awards mean more to them than all the other accolades their son gets.  If you have a student who lives our values or motto please nominate them at the link below and join us for lunch at the next ceremony.  I also want to give a big thank you to Life Fitness for sharing the MPR with us today for the luncheon.

Thanksgiving Break
Thanksgiving break is upon us.  It is that time in the school year where we are all in desperate need of a break.  So please take this time to rest and rejuvenate for a strong finish to the first semester.  It will be over before you know it.  I am also reminded that this is the time to be thankful for everything good in our lives.  There is just something very special about our school.  And it is all of you.  I am thankful to work with each and every one of you.  I am thankful that we are able to work in such a special place with gifted and kind students.  I hope you all can take time to connect with those you love.

November 15th Update
Updated Bell Schedule Proposal
On Monday we will hold a faculty election for the updated bell schedule proposal.  We will hold a faculty discussion in the MPR from 2:00 to 3:00 about the schedule.  Then we will vote on it from 3:00 to 3:15.  The proposed schedule is below.

Join Us For Dessert
I know that all of our schedules are tight.  But we hope you can join us on Wednesday in the Library for lunch.  We are encouraging everyone to bring their lunch and enjoy each other's company.  We will have Thanksgiving style desserts and beverages available.  I want to thank Donna for opening up her space to us.  We will see everyone there.  

November 8th Update
Special Olympics Game
The Oak Ridge special education students have practiced for weeks at lunch.  And today they took part in a Special Olympics basketball game at Ponderosa and won.  They are so excited that they are moving on to the finals.  The Best Buddies club was there to support them along the way.

District Marching Band Showcase
Last night all four marching bands from our district performed in the Oak Ridge stadium to a packed house.  We were also treated to the Sac State Marching Band as well.  All four bands did a great job.  Paul Varoff and his team needs to be complimented on the quality of the show the Oak Ridge band put on.  They stole the show in my opinion last night.  

Grease at Oak Ridge
The Oak Ridge Theater is putting on Grease this weekend and next.  I encourage everyone to come out and support them.  Their first show tonight is already sold out.  You can get tickets here.
Bell Schedule
When the Scheduling Committee was finally ready to share the proposed schedule we knew it would be tough to have a change happen.  I honestly did not think there would be a way forward if it didn't pass.  We also have a hard deadline of early December to print student registration forms for next year.  A schedule change would obviously impact that.

I personally did not believe that a change could be made to the proposal in that time.  I was unsure that we could squeeze in a second vote this year.  But after the vote, enough people convinced me to reach out to everyone and inquiry if there was an easy fix to people's apprehension.  So the survey was put out.

The survey came back with some interesting feedback on how a small change or two would ease people's concern.  So the Schedule Committee is willing to meet one more time to look at the survey feedback and decide if a new proposal can be put forward or not.  We will be meeting next week to discuss this.  

November 1st Update
Monday's Meeting Schedule
Change is scary.  Our deepest most primal instinct is to fear change.  But sometimes change is necessary and change is unavoidable.  I wanted to share how proud I am of the work the Scheduling Committee did.  Physically visiting and finding tutorial models that work, spending months scouring through the options and research of late starts.  

Students today are growing up in a very different world than we did, and it is having a negative impact on them.  It feels good to know there is proven science around how we can help.  The number of suicidal students we all see on a monthly and weekly basis is unacceptable.  

Monday Morning
You will meet with your department Monday morning at 7:45 at the location in this link.  The purpose of this meeting is to be able to ask questions of a member of the Scheduling Committee in a small group setting.  The second purpose is to have a department discussion on the schedule.

Mandatory Monday After School
We will meet in the MPR for as long as it takes for everyone to cast an anonymous and private ballot.  I am thinking 3:00 to 3:10.  We will leave the voting open on Tuesday for those who were absent on Monday.  On Tuesday you can vote with Stephanie Davis in classroom G-1.  Stephanie and I will count the votes at the end of the day on Tuesday and share the results via email.  Remember, it takes 52 yes votes to pass. 

Day of the Dead
Melinda Velasco in O-2 had her students celebrate Day of the Dead and to prepare the classroom for it.  She was very generous to offer up her room to all of us.  

Solar Update
Solar construction is still underway.  Unfortunately, they had to do some jackhammering on the interior of the campus this week we had not anticipated.  I want everyone to know that the project is now going to involve the interior of the campus where needs be.  At this time they are working at the power panels behind the cafeteria.  We will try to keep everyone apprised of what is happening.  

Board Moves Forward with Bond
And I know it is likely common knowledge to everyone now but I wanted to state it in writing for everyone.  The School Board did vote to put a school bond for our district on the March 2020 ballot.  School bonds always have the promise of exciting times for schools and the improvements they can bring.  

District CTE Advisory Committee At ORHS
Oak Ridge was happy to host the district CTE Advisory Committee in our new Culinary Classroom Tuesday night.  The Advisory Committee is made up of industry leaders who help focus our programs and ensure that they stay relevant.  

October 25th Update
Potential Power Outage Monday
Most of us have heard that PG&E will again be shutting down the grid for the vast majority of El Dorado County tomorrow afternoon.  There is a high likelihood that Pondo, Eldo and UM will still be down on Monday.  However, Oak Ridge will likely not be affected at all.  Dr. Carruth is currently working with the Faculty Association and CSEA on whether it would be wise for Oak Ridge to open on Monday if the other sites are down.  Please check your email or Parent Square account over the weekend.

New Schedule Proposal
Your Schedule Committee has been working for a year and a half on designing the right schedule for Oak Ridge and the mental health of our students.  We believe we have a very healthy and logical schedule that we are excited to share with everyone on Monday.  If we are shut down due to the power outage on Monday, then we will reschedule the presentation for the following Monday.

Model Trojan Awards Banquet
We held our Model Trojan Awards banquet for October today.  We had several faculty and classified honor 11 students.  The staff, students and their families met in the MPR and had lunch while watching their students being honored.  If you want to nominate a student for being a model Trojan that lives our motto or values for November follow the link.

Youth and Government Bill Hearing Night
Our Youth and Government Students have worked all year so far to research and write their bills.  Last night they presented them to a panel of judges (which included yours truly.)  The top four bills go on to the regional Youth and Government event.  

October 18th Update
Monday Reminder
Just a reminder that Monday will be a department collaboration day.  We will push our school wide collaboration to the following Monday.  

School Board Meeting on Campus Tuesday
The School Board will hold their meeting at Oak Ridge on Tuesday.  They will get to hear our drama students perform a song from their upcoming musical Grease in open session.  And before the board meeting, they will get to sit down with a group of our peer tutors and learn more about what they do at Oak Ridge.  These peer tutors have become an integral part of our intervention system.  It is truly amazing to see how effective and inspirational these tutors can be with their peers. 

Safety Update
We unfortunately are moving forward with two expulsions this week.  We had one student who has violated their behavior contract.  So due to a long list of offenses, we are moving forward with the expulsion process.  

In another case, we have an extremely autistic student who gets very frustrated with his peers at times.  This week his frustration turned to threats.  At this time, we are struggling to determine if this is his disability talking or if he is a real threat.  To be safe, we are entering into the process where a manifestation will determine if the threats are a part of his disability or not.  

October 11th Update
Big Thank You's
While Wednesday and Thursday were "wait and see" for a lot of us.  Those two days off made a tremendous amount of work for some people.  I want to publicly recognize their efforts. 

Joyce Walker in the Cafeteria had to make room in our cold storage for food from the other three schools.  She even helped to pack and transport it.  Once the food arrived her our maintenance team lent a hand and helped.  Travis Walker from the maintenance team played a big role in that effort. 

Jen Slinger had her world turned upside down with Homecoming this week.  Jen and Terri in Finance put plans together to work long hours today and make sure every student could buy a dance ticket today.  Our front office staff has also been on the run today trying to process all of the guest passes and answer everyone's questions about today and tomorrow.  I hope I haven't missed anyone.

Potential School Bond
Our site has finished looking at our needs for not and into the future.  A group of teachers, classified and parents attending a two meeting process of determining what our needs are.  All schools will now share their needs with the school board on October 22nd.  The school board will take all of this information and determine if they need to place a bond on the March 2020 ballot.  

This potential bond has taken on a new level of importance for our district.  Last week the state announced that the state school facilities bond will be on the March 2020 ballot as well.  But this will be given to schools as a matching bond.  So we don't have a bond passed we will not be able to supply matching money to access the state bond.  We will literally be able to double our money on some projects if our bond and the state bond pass.  

PSAT Schedule Next Week
Please don't forget that we have a unique bell schedule next week due to Monday being a school holiday and the PSAT.  Please follow this link to reference the schedule.  

October 4th Update
Monday Morning Staff Meeting
Monday morning at 7:45 we will hold our next staff meeting in B-3.  Dr. Carruth will be present to share his updates for the district and to take your questions.  The agenda for this meeting and the rest of October's meetings are in the meeting tab above like always.

Homecoming Next Week
A big thank you to Jen Slinger and the Leadership students who have put together all of the Homecoming festivities.  Don't forget, if you have a future Trojan (child) they can be part of the Homecoming parade.  Those of us with children meet in the admin parking lot after school and pile into the back of pick up trucks.  We drive the kids around in the parade and let them throw candy to people and wave.  They love it.

After the parade Oak Ridge Football and the Administration invite you to a Staff Appreciation event.  During the football game we will have seating for you on the turf.  And we will make sure you are fed like always.  I want to thank Eric for hosting us every year.   The Homecoming Dance will cap the week on Saturday night.  

Bell Schedule Committee Continues to Work
Your Bell Schedule Committee is very close to being ready to present their ideas for a future bell schedule to the staff.  Governor Newsom has until October 13th to decide if he will sign the late start legislation on his desk or not.  We will finalize our plans after his decision.  We plan on sharing what we have with the faculty at our October 21st collaboration meeting and everyone else shortly after. 

September 27th Update
PSAT Bell Schedule
Because the PSAT lands on a four day week this year the Leadership Team had to come up with a creative solution for the bell schedule.  We typically switch the PSAT day schedule with the Monday schedule.  Because that option is not available we have decided to make Tuesday and Wednesday a modified Monday schedule. Please follow the link below for this schedule. 

Pancake Breakfast Monday
Don't forget that Sharon Varozza is hosting a free pancake breakfast to invite everyone to her new culinary classroom.  It is between 7:45-8:45 Monday morning.  Her room is PL-3 on the blacktop behind the large gym.  

Oak Ridge Student Makes the News
There are so many good things happening in our school every day.  Here is an example of a project one of our students has taken on.  He is teaching financial literacy to middle school students.

Student Model Trojan Awards
We had our first student Model Trojan Award this week.  We were able to recognize students who live our motto and values.  Thanks to all your nominations, we were able to invite all the nominating teachers, the students and their parents to a nice lunch in the MPR.  Kate and Terri did a phenomenal job of designing a really professional event. 

We had students who earned awards for everything from befriending a new EL student with no English skills to a student who felt bad for the contractor fixing our water link by hand and bought him a Gatorade.  We are truly fortunate to have the students we do.  

School Needs Committee Meets
Our school board is contemplating a school bond for some of the district needs that we have.  In working with bond companies we have learned that El Dorado County has one of the lowest bond tax burdens on its residents.  And our district has a really low tax burden on our residents comparatively speaking.  So the board is pulling together a group of stakeholders at each site to determine the needs of each campus.  These stakeholders are made up of faculty, staff and parents.  If the board determines that our needs are greater than our district can afford.  They will push to pass a school bond and get it on the March ballot.  Our stakeholder group met last night and did a good job of summarizing our needs for the present and into the future.

Student Life This Week
Our students were really busy this week.  One group, inspired by the visit from the Secretary of State last week, held a voter registration drive this week.  And a big thank you to Matt Hodgins for Democracy Day in the quad Thursday.  And Club Day was a big success last week.  

Challenge Success Training
Five members of our Challenge Success Team will be at the annual Challenge Success Training tonight and all day tomorrow at Stanford.  We look forward to continuing our Challenge Success work.  On that note, the shared calendars have arrived.  I want to thank the 35 teachers who are helping us pilot this.  I am really excited to see this in action on a larger scale.  

September 20th Update
Thank You Teacher Leaders
I am simply inspired by all the teacher leaders doing great work on our campus.  I know I can't mention everyone but I want to highlight some recent work being done.

Sanger Trip: We have three teachers who have stepped up and are traveling and staying overnight to learn about Sanger High School and how they have strengthened their Tier 1 and Tier 2 elements.  I am very hopeful they will bring back some great ideas for us.  Thank you to Casey Rhyan, Mary Di Stefano Weis and Wade Ness for their leadership. 

Universal Design for Learning: We had a number of teachers volunteer to attend this 2 year class on UDL.  We could only send three teachers but had 10 teachers volunteer.  Danielle Sayles, Alicia Gray and Kelly Bettencourt have agreed to report back to the staff what they are learning.  UDL is a form of unit/lesson design that makes teaching accessible by all.  In other words, it strengthens our Tier 1 "first instruction."  But I want to thank everyone who volunteered.

I also want to thank all of the teachers (35) who attended the PLC training on Wednesday.  I heard a lot of positive reports from the day.  I want to thank all of them for implementing our PLC practices in order to strengthen our Tier 1 "first instruction."

Non Student Days (Oct. 14th & March 16th)
This will be the first year that we have Non Student Days on 10/14 and 3/16 right before the end of the grading period.  People are asking what we are doing on these two days.  And the answer is complicated.  For classified staff the answer varies based on your position.  Your supervisor has already reached out to you with your options for these days.

For the faculty, these are designed as days for you to stay home and complete your grading.  However, you can spend these days however you see fit.  You can spend it grading, sleeping, playing, etc.   

 "The Rock" was Vandalized
Yesterday and tonight's games against Folsom has been dedicated to Coach Jason Clark who tragically passed away last year.  Our students painted the rock with #ClarkStrong.  Unfortunately, someone vandalized the painting last night.  We have no way of knowing who it was.  However, I was very impressed with Folsom High School and their support for #ClarkStrong.  

1. Folsom's Principal called me and said they don't know if it was their students that did it, but they were going to make it right.  Several Folsom football players and leadership students repainted the rock today back to its previous grandeur.  

2. Folsom will also be joining us tonight in celebrating Coach Clark's life.  Their cheer team will be wearing black in unison with our school.  

September 13th Update
Schoolwide Collaboration Monday
Please check the meeting tab above to see the agenda for the collaboration meeting after school on Monday.

PLC Training Wednesday
Several of our PLC teams will be meeting with PLC Trainer Alisa Simeral on Wednesday.  She will be working with whole PLC teams (some, not all) to further assist in our implementation of PLCs at Oak Ridge.  I will have more on this topic in Monday's meeting.  

Interact Took Over the Meeting
Our schools Interact club, which is an affiliate of Rotary International, took over the El Dorado Hills Rotary meeting last Wednesday.  They ran the meeting and shared their experiences at the RYLA leadership camp.  

Powder Puff Football Game Tonight
If you are around don't forget to come by and watch the Powder Puff Football game tonight at 6:30 in the stadium.  The ASB and Varsity Football Team Players work hard to put this event on and it is always entertaining.  

CA Secretary of State Visits Monday
Secretary Alex Padilla will be visiting with students in the Theater during 4th period on Monday. Matt Hodgins has worked to put this together for our students.  Remember to thank Matt when you see him for bringing this opportunity to our students.  And thank you Kate Rolls for being flexible with the theater (aka her classroom.)  

September 6th Update
Solar Update
Like I stated in a previous email, the underground boring will begin from the upper parking lot to the main panels behind the cafeteria any day now.  When they complete this they will begin in the lower lot.  

Varsity Game Tonight Cancelled
We will still have a J/V football game at Oak Ridge tonight.  But Bishop Monogue from Nevada who we were playing had their whole team suffer food poisoning from their team dinner last night.  Since this is a non-league game it will not be rescheduled.  

Staff Meeting
Please don't forget that we have a staff meeting Monday morning at 7:45 in B-3.  You can see the agenda in the Meetings tab above.  

Final Day
Today is the final day to nominate yourself to be the faculty representative on the school Site Council. 

Facility Committee Being Formed
As many people have heard our school board is contemplating bringing a school bond to our community. Our district has already polled the community and found support for a potential bond.  In order to determine if a school bond is necessary, they are pulling together a Facility Committee at each site. The Facility Committee will determine what each sites needs are presently, and in the future.  The committee will mostly be made up parents who do not have easy access to district leadership.  We will work in our next Leadership meeting on getting site feedback.  The committee will be made up of 2 certificated members, 2 classified members and 5-7 parents.  They will meet twice, once in mid-September and again in early October.  Administration is still working on identifying the members of this team.  

September 1st Update
Solar Update
Solar is continuing on schedule now.  They are still in the process of wiring the panels.  Once they complete wiring the panels they will start the horizontal drilling.   We will let you know when that will begin.

Water Update
We were lucky that our water leak, which added a gas leak, was completely fixed in 48 hours.  The leaks were fixed that day.  And the hole was filled and concrete poured the following day.  I again want to give kudos to our maintenance team for getting us back up and running so fast.  

Site Council Members Needed
It is time to launch our School Site Council for the year.  As every year we need 3 faculty members to sit on the council. The school Site Council is either an elected or selected group of parents, students and faculty members.  The Site Council meets to approve the schools categorical budget expenditures, help form school goals and provide input for the schools LCAP (local funding) report.  The group meets after school once a month during the school year.  Please submit the form below by the end of the week (Friday) to be a part of the team.
Fire/Evacuation Drills Thursday
Please be looking for additional information on our school Fire and Evacuation Drill this Thursday.

August 16th Update
First Week
It has been a better first week than most.  I know the 1-7 schedule every day was a bit trying for most folks.  But from a logistical stand point, there were no major issues.  The school year has really started off well.  I can't thank everyone enough for how professionally you did your jobs this week.  The new parents are impressed with how well our school operates.  I also want to thank Jen Slinger and the ASB students for putting on Welcome Back week that culminates with the Welcome Back Aloha Dance tonight.  Thank you everyone.

Solar Update
We received updates on the solar project this week.  The project has 2 phases.  The first phase is installing the solar panels in the parking lot.  The second phase is boring a hole to the main power source on campus.  Each solar array needs to be connected to our main power boards in the fenced off area behind the school cafeteria.  The companies will be employing horizontal drilling to reach that location.  With the amount of rock under our school there will likely be complications.  The complications will likely cause them to have to pop up every so often on campus.  If this happens we will need to fence off spots on campus for them to drill.  The totality of the project will take to Mid-October.  

Model Trojan Awards
Don't forget if you see a student or staff member living our school motto or values or norms, nominate them for a Model Trojan Award.  The link can be found on the Resource page above or HERE.

Other Updates
Clocks: We are sorry that the clocks were off today.  Someone has come out and repaired the problem.  But the fix won't take hold until midnight tonight when the clocks reset. 
Staff Meeting: Don't forget there is a staff meeting Monday at 7:45 in B-3.  There will be 3 sign up sheets in the back of the room. 
Leadership Meeting: Our first Leadership Meeting of the year is also Monday at 3:20 in N-1. 
Back to School Night:  Monday August 26th

August 8th Update
Construction Projects
Unfortunately, two of our summer construction projects fell behind.  One will still be ready for school but one  will not be completed on time.  The new culinary classroom on the blacktop behind the gym was completed but very late in the summer.  Poor Sharon Varozza only had two weeks for room set up.  The solar project fell behind from the beginning due to the amount of rock under the upper parking lot.  We are also in the process of installing two additional portables behind the O-building.  One of these spaces will be home to our new Wellness Center.  This project was not scheduled to be completed over the summer and is currently on track.  We project those rooms will be available by the end of the fall semester.  

May 24th Update
Hiring Update
I have one update and one announcement pertaining to hiring.  We are proud to announce that Katelyn Hewett has been chosen as the new Administrative Assistant.  Katelyn is currently an Administrative Assistant at SELPA (the El Dorado County Special Education Office.)   The folks at SELPA could not say enough great things about her.  We are very lucky to have her.  She will start training with Robin on June 24th. 

We have also been granted a second full time ISP teacher for next year.  So we have flown the position and Don and I will work on filling it over the summer.  

ATI Summer Training
If you are interested, please don't forget to sign up for the ATI Summer Training August 5th and/or 6th.  I will need everyone's sign up before we leave for the summer next week.             Sign Up Here

Schedule for Tues & Wed

Have a Fantastic Summer
I again want to thank everyone for a tremendous year.  This year really was one of my favorites. We had the opportunity (and will continue next year) to work on some really innovative ideas for our school.  

I had the opportunity to see phenomenal teaching this year visiting all of your classrooms.  I always learn so much about teaching and learning in my walk thoughts and observations. 

It is a great honor to teach young people every day but it is a very demanding job.  I hope all of you can get the rest and relaxation you deserve.  Make sure to recharge those batteries and do things you find passion in.  Again, it has been the honor of the Administrative Team to support all of you this year. 

May 17th Update
Hiring Update
We were able to complete our hiring for the athletic secretary position this week.  We look forward to introducing Amber Heinlein to everyone next year.  And we interviewed for Robin's position all day today and should know more next week.  

Military Send Off
We held our third annual Military Send Off Recognition ceremony today at lunch.  Three years ago Joey Monforte and Jim Tomaino (former campus monitor) came up with this great idea.  Today we are in year three and the ceremony is spreading rapidly into schools all over the area.  I want to thank these amazing students for their service and Joey and Jim on a successful addition to the Oak Ridge culture of recognition.  

Stories for Comfort Dogs
Some of our special education students have been working on writing and illustrating their own stories.  Today they were able to read their stories to comfort dogs.  The dogs got the added bonus of receiving endless pets when the stories were all done.  A big thank you to Donna, Rita and the Special Education Department for making this happen.  I know it took coordination and work.

Staff Luncheon
Don't forget that next Wednesday at 1:00 we will hold our annual end of the year staff luncheon.  Come to celebrate together, break bread together and honor our retirees.  

Finalized Documents
If you click on the Meetings tab above you will find the final version of two documents.  We have the final Meetings at a Glance for 2019-20 and the final School Calendar for 2019-20 available.  The bell schedule for the two make-up days is also available there. 

Professional Development Opportunity
Please don't forget to sign up for ATI training at the end of summer if you have not already.  Currently, 61 teachers have attended the Beginner Training and 10 more are signed up for this summer so far.  Please click here to sign up.

Challenge Success Parent Presentation
We will be ending the year next Monday night with our last Challenge Success Parent Night.  Parents are being invited to come listen to the "Right Fit College" presentation.  This presentation will inform parents on the best way to pick a college for their student and dispel college myths.  

Challenge Success Multi School Collaboration
A Challenge Success collaboration was held at Oak Ridge yesterday between Oak Ridge, Folsom High School and Vista Del Lago.  All three schools shared out on how they are using Challenge Success.  It was refreshing to hear that we are all on the same page and working on the same goals.  We left so enthused that decided to meet again in the Fall.  All of our future Challenge Success Parent Nights will be joint ventures between the three schools.  The presentations will rotate schools and be sponsored by all three of us.  Our team looks forward to working with them to bring balance back to our students lives.  

May 10th Update
Hiring Update
Like I shared last week all of our faculty positions have been filled.  We are still working through the Athletic Director Secretary Position unfortunately.  And we will be holding interviews for the school Administrative Assistant next Friday.

Bell Schedule Update
We want to thank the faculty for their input on the bell schedule survey this week.  We had almost 100% of all faculty members provide their input on the bell schedule.  I will be taking the same survey to the classified staff soon. The survey has provided us a clear direction on some of the items.  Our Bell Schedule Committee will meet one more time this year and build the feedback from the faculty and classified into our work with the schedule.    

We will bring new ideas back at the start of next year for everyone.  I know there was some concern that we didn't inquire about Tutorial Periods on Monday.  But we want all of you to know that we are still committed to bringing that idea to you.  We just needed your feedback on the items we discussed on Monday, to know what form to bring Tutorial ideas to you in.

Challenge Success Multi-School Collaboration
Folsom High School and Vista Del Lago High School are also committed to Challenge Success.  Members of the three Challenge Success teams will be holding a collaboration this Thursday.  The three schools will be sharing their plans with each other and learning from one another.  

AVID Visit
We will have our final AVID visit on Monday.  The AVID program prepares several visits a year to AVID schools to check on your progress and to ensure you are implementing the program with fidelity.  So we look forward to working with them on Monday.  I want to thank our AVID Team that has put a lot of work into preparing for the visit.

Scholarship Award Night
Next Thursday, May 16th we will be holding our annual Scholarship Award Night in the Theater at 6:30 if anyone is interested.  

May 3rd Update
May Meeting Agenda's Posted
The agenda for Monday's school wide collaboration and all other agendas for May have been posted on the Meetings tab above.

OR Students Win at FCCLA  State Competition
Sharon Varozza brought several of her FCCLA students to their state compeition down south.  Tristan Cazares took first in Food Innovations, Alaina Baxter first in Advanced Cakes, Sophia Abbas not only took first in Wedding Cakes but Best of Show overall! Tristan Cazares is eligible to compete at Nationals in Anaheim in July!Great job Sharon!

Oak Ridge Wins Large CTE Grant
Max Foorman, Chris Moore and Teri Lillywhite worked hard on a new CTE grant presented by the state.  This week we discovered that our proposal was accepted and Max's manufacturing lab will receive a $431,000 grant.  The lab is one of our jewels but it was getting dated.  This grant will allow us to bring the lab back up to industry standards again.  I want to thank Max for all his hard work on this.

Hiring Update
We were able to fill our last faculty position in science this week.  Emily Yialouris accepted the position and we are excited to work with her. We also interviewed for the Athletic Secretary position today. We haven't settled on anyone yet, but will soon. Our next hire will be for the Administrative Assistant position.

April 26th Update
Classified Employee of the Year
Terri Moore was recognized as the Classified Employee of the year for Oak Ridge at this weeks school board meeting.  Terri is a tremendous asset to our school and we are lucky to have her.  No one knows school finance better than her.  And personally, I am truly lucky to be able to partner with Terri in managing this crazy Oak Ridge budget every day. 

Dress Code Update
I don't need to remind everyone that spring has sprung and with it comes dress code infractions.  Please remember that dress code is the responsibility of everyone.  Not all of the students violating the code can be caught at break and lunch.  

In that spirit, I want to remind everyone that by our (still) fairly new policy, the person reporting a dress code violation remains anonymous.  All students sent to the office are addressed.  They should not be sent back in the same condition they arrived. And all students will get the consequences according to the dress code.  You can find the dress code and link to the referral form below.
Sharon Varozza Selected at Mentor Adviser
Sharon has been selected as a Mentor Adviser of FCCLA for her accomplishments in the profession of Family and Consumer Sciences.  Nationwide there are over 6,000 chapter advisers.  This year during the National Conference 92 new Mentor Advisers were chosen.  Due to Sharon's hard work and commitment she was awarded.  Congratulate Sharon when you see her.

Oak Ridge Art Show
Hopefully everyone had an opportunity to get down to the art show today in the MPR.  Every year I feel like the quality of the work improves.  This year I was impressed with the clear and powerful messages being portrayed through the art.  I have two examples of the art below.

April 12th Update
Spring Break
I hope everyone has a restful and fulfilling spring break.  When we return it is the sprint to the finish line.

Summer School
The district was planning on holding a remediation summer school with the one-time dollars we received from differentiated assistance.  But we could not find enough teachers to staff it.  So the summer school has been canceled.  There was a deadline for our district to continue to receive the funds.  So we made a quick pivot and every site will be receiving additional Chromebooks next year.  The number of Chromebooks schools receive is a ration of student enrollment.  So Oak Ridge will be receiving 5 additional Chromebook carts next year.  

Hiring Update
Last week we did Spanish interviews and are in the process of hiring someone.  The week we return, we will interview for two social science positions and one science position.  We will be interviewing for the Athletic Secretary's position soon as well.  

School Garden Happening
Student Shelby Engdall, Steve Seely and John Dawson are working together on a school garden.  I have been amazed at how much work they have put into this.  The obstacles they have had to overcome with our soil issues have been huge.  But they are finally ready to begin putting in the garden over break.  They will be using the ground between the R-building and the portables along the creek.  They will be installing concrete flower beds and eventually ground cover and benches with tables.  It should be great to see this garden take shape over time.  

April 5th Update
Policy Updates & Proposals
We have approved new policy updates for the school.  The school policies can be viewed under the School Policies tab above, or at the link below.  There is one new proposal written in green (p. 2) that will be discussed at the next Leadership Team meeting.  

Staff v Students Basketball Game
As you know, the staff brought home the win in overtime last week.  But the real winners Friday night were the Paradise High School/Campfire victims.  The event generated $3000 to support them.   I want to thank all of the students and staff who played.  But I also want to thank the Trojan Pride Sports Marketing team who organized the entire event.  It was beautiful event thanks to them.  

Hiring Updates
I wanted to provide everyone updates on the hiring front.  Two of our positions will be filled with district transfers we are really excited about.  Patricia Hardy from Ponderosa will be joining our special education department next year.  And Christina Schults from El Dorado will join our social science Department.  

We still have two additional social science positions, one science position and one Spanish position to fill.  We spent this week screening applications and setting up interviews.  We should be complete with all of our faculty hiring by April 26th.  

Schedule Change Next Week
Please do not forget that the schedule for next week is flipped.  We have exchanged Monday and Fridays bell schedule.  So please plan on meeting with your departments after school on Friday.

April 1st Update
Calendar Updates 
The meetings at a glance schedule below was a difficult one for next year.  There were no ideal dates for several of the big events.  However, the draft below has been reviewed by the Management Team and Leadership Team.  The Bell Schedule for the additional days of school has also been reviewed by the Management Team and Leadership Team. 
Last week the Italian Honor Society inducted a new class for 2019.  If you see any of these students in your classes please congratulate them.

Oak Ridge Civil Rights Museum
The Oak Ridge Civil Rights Museum put on by Suzanne Everett, Jonathan Owens and their students this year was tremendously impactful.  There number of people who attended was overwhelming.  A big thank you to everyone who made this a reality again this year.  

Thank You to Culinary Students
I know I speak for everyone when I pass a big thank you to Sharon Varozza and her culinary students for their pancake breakfast last week.  It is the little things that get us through this long stretch to spring break.  The pancakes were incredible, and definitely lifted my spirits.  

Eagle Scout Beautifies Bridges
Two of the bridges on campus got a face lift recently.  Aruj Bhargava made the beautifying of the bridges his eagle scout project.  He repaired the bridges and added the school logo to them.  I wanted to thank Aruj for his work.  I also want to thank you Max Foorman for helping him with the metal work for the bridge.  

Placerville Parklet Dedicated
The Placerville parklet designed by Emily Bobrowski in Mr. Foorman's class was dedicated today.  The dedication reminded me of the power young people have.  This parklet truly is amazing.  

District Band Showcase
Our update for the week would be incomplete if we did not include the amazing night of music the districts bands put on at Oak Ridge last week. The variety of music and the talent displayed was incredible.  I want to thank Paul Varoff for all the extra work he did to ensure the event went off without a hitch at our site.

March 22nd Update
Anthony Williams New Energy Specialist
Cenergistic, in conjunction with EDUHSD, have hired Anthony Williams to be our district energy specialist.  Anthony is a full time employee of Cenergistic but will be working with all of us to improve our energy efficiency.  The goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and save money.  Anthony has a background as an energy specialist at other schools.  Anthony we start coming around campus and introducing himself to everyone and sharing how he can help us.  I got to meet him the other day and he is very nice and energetic.

Culinary Building Delayed
We have hit another unfortunate delay in the installation of the new culinary classroom.  It will no longer be coming in this Monday.  The new date has not been rescheduled yet.  But I will keep everyone in the loop when we learn the date.

Pasta Making Class
Sharon Varozza has been very busy this month.  Not only is she very generously making pancakes for everyone on Monday, but her students put on a pasta making class for little kids last Saturday.  I know that my daughter and her friend thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Main Street Parklet
Some of you might remember that a few years ago, student Emily Bobrowsk, working with Max Foorman entered a parklet designing competition.  The winner would have their design built in downtown Placerville.  Well Emily won and her design has actually come to fruition.  They will be dedicating the new parklet,  located at 451 Main St, on April 1st at 9am.  A big congratulations to Max and the assistance he gave Emily in this project.

District Band Showcase
All of the district bands performed in a showcase at Oak Ridge Wednesday night. It was fantastic to see the large gym filled for the event.  Dr. Carruth was in attendance and loved seeing all of the bands.  It truly was a beautiful showcase of talent from around the district.

Master Schedule Update
Today we will receive all of the department master schedules.  Jon will now work over the next week or two to put them all into one comprehensive master schedule for the school.  Meanwhile we received transfer requests today for open positions  on our campus.  We will work with those departments on this next week.  Then we will be waiting on upcoming interviews to fill the remainder of our positions.  

March 15th Update
CAASPP Talking Points
There is a strong felt feeling that last years dip in test scores had more to do with the structure of the testing schedule and our students not putting their best foot forward.  In order to get back on track we will be asking our English, Math and Science teachers to speak with their students about the need to take the test seriously.  We have created the following talking points for them to use.  

Adding Two School Days
As we have all seen from Dr. Carruth's message, we will be adding two days to the school year.  To view the whole message please click here.  Over the next couple of weeks we will design two minimum days with the fewest number of minutes that we can.  I will run the schedule past Leadership and then to all of you.

Reflections on the College Admissions Scandal
Our Challenge Success Partners at Stanford have written an article to emphasis the teachable moments we can pass on to students and families about the recent college admissions scandal.  There are a plethora of lessons to focus on, some right, some wrong.  But what is the right message for our families to hear.  
I also highly recommend reading their white paper on whether big name schools are actually worth admission.
Solar/Parking Update
We have been working on trying to have the solar installed in the parking lots in phases.  We wanted to have access to one lot at all times.  Over the summer our sports teams host camps and tournaments as fundraisers.  Unfortunately, they will need the entire summer to get both parking lots completed.  So we will be without both parking lots starting on June 4th.  

Culinary Classroom Update
We finally have a completion date for the new culinary classroom going on the blacktop.  On Monday 25th, a crane will be on campus delivering the new building.  They will continue to work on the assembly of the building up to and including spring break. Our hope is that the building will be completed by the end of spring break.  

French Immersion Day
Kristina Argueta and her students were on campus last Saturday holding French Immersion Day. They did a lot of different French activities. But I have included video of one dance that they learned.

YouTube Video

District Choir Showcase
Wednesday night the choirs from all four comprehensive high schools in our district held a night of choir music.  The show was really well done and entertaining.  It is amazing how talented our students are.  I also want to congratulate the choir teachers who do amazing work with our students every day.

More School Visits
We had another group of Oak Ridge teachers and counselors visit a school down south.  This school is a model in the state for their Advisory/Tutorial that they have.  We continue to explore and learn about tutorials and they can benefit our school.  We are looking forward to sharing some potential models for Oak Ridge at an upcoming meeting.  

PLC Training
Our PLC trainer from ASCD, Alisa Simeral, will be back on campus Monday. She will be meeting with all of our PLC Facilitators as we continue to work on what PLCs need to look like for Oak Ridge.  We are going to continue to ensure that our PLCs strictly focus on struggling learners and how to improve their educational outcomes.

March 8th Update
Monday is WASC
If you are part of a team meeting with WASC on Monday we look forward to seeing you in there.  For the rest of us, the WASC committee will be visiting as many classes as they can on Monday.  

Summer English/Math Remediation
Because our district is in Differentiated Assistance (Needs Improvement) the state has provided us with one time money to support struggling students.  Unfortunately, as with everything from the state the last few years, the money comes with the expectation of a plan being submitted almost instantly.  Our district has decided to hold a modified summer school with this money.  The classes offered will be:
  • Algebra 1 (both semesters)
  • Geometry (both semesters)
  • English 1 (both semesters)
  • English 2 (both semesters)
Each semester will be 3 weeks long.  You can view all of the details for the program here

La Serna High School Visit #2
We will have a group of four going down to La Serna High School to visit Monday and Tuesday.  This group will be following the group that went down in November.  This group will be looking for more concrete details about how they do what they do.  We continue to be interested in how they utilize tutorial time, run their Link Crew program and run their intervention classes.  

Master Schedule Progress
We are moving full speed ahead with the master schedule.  All of the student registration forms have been entered into the system.  Jon Pratt and I met with Human Resources and had our sections allocated to us.  We are now moving and adjusting numbers to make everything fit correctly.  We will be meeting with the Department Chairs in the next week or so to provide them with section numbers.  

Color Guard Congratulations
Oak Ridge Colorguard attended their first Wintergard performance at Rosemont High School and took second place out of 5 schools.  Please congratulate these students when you see them.
February 22nd Update
Solar Update
For anyone interested, I will be providing a solar update in B-3 at lunch on Tuesday (2/26.)  I will show the latest drawings we have and the timeline for implementation.  I will also be answering questions.

Model Trojan Awards
This month we had a variety of winners, Louis Borromeo, Soyoung Cho, Nolan Russell, Cameron Litvinchuk, Angelo Axtell, Justin DeGuzman and Isaac Koehn.  Their accomplishments spaned from growth mindset to kindness and empathy for others.  Make sure to congratulate these students when you see them.

Distracted Driving Winners
The Oak Ridge Friday Night Live club (dedicated to a sober lifestyle) won the Allstate Distracted Driving contest with their Distracted Driving Outreach efforts.  When you see the students below ask them what their project was about.

We Are The World Day
I want to thank ASB for putting together We Are the World Day.  Our students got to sample food from around the world and watch different cultural dances.  

CTE Grant Proposal
The school and district are working with Max Foorman in Manufacturing on winning a $400K Strong Workforce grant.  Our manufacturing facility is incredible, but getting old.  This $400K will bring it back up to industry specs.  Max is working really hard with Chris Moore to write this grant by mid-March.  

February 8th Update
Varsity Cheerleading
The Varsity Cheerleading team had a good week.  The went to Florida because they qualified for a national Cheer competition.  Out of this national competition they placed 3rd.  I cannot say enough good things about the team and their amazing coaches.   Congratulate the team when you see them.

WASC Mid-Cycle Report/Visit
As we get closer to the mid-year visit on Monday, March 11th we will be sharing more information with you.  But for now, we want to plant two seeds with you.

     1. The WASC Mid-Cycle Report is here

     2.  The three member WASC Visiting team will spend the             bulk of their time visiting classrooms.  They will likely            want to ask students what they are learning and ask              you what you're teaching.

Academic Decathlon 3xPeat
For the third year in a row, Jeff Hassian and the Oak Ridge Academic Decathlon team has won the County contest.  They will be moving on to the state championship to represent El Dorado County in March.  The time and sacrifice that Jeff and these students put into Academic Decathlon are huge.  I can't thank them enough for how well they represent our school.  

ORHS FCCLA Has Bright Showing
Oak Ridge FCCLA and their coach, Sharon Varozza, attended the Spring Region 4 Qualifying Competition at Cordova High last weekend.  Below is a list of how they did:
  1. Elayna Kelly, 2nd in Patisserie Category
  2. Alaina Baxter, 1st in Adv Presentation Cakes
  3. Sophia Abbas, 1st in Wedding Cakes
  4. Tristan Cazares, 3rd in Food Innovations
  5. Maya Silber, 1st in Child Development

Rotary Speech Contest Winner
The El Dorado Hills Rotary held their annual speech contest this week.  Four students from Oak Ridge participated.  I am happy to say that I am glad I was not a judge.  All four students were so strong it was hard to determine a winner.  But the panel did award Varuna Singh with first place.  Make sure congratulate Varuna when you see her.

Poetry Out Loud Competition Winner
Oak Ridge junior, Paula Rabell, won the El Dorado County Poetry Out Loud competition this week.  She will represent the county at the state finals in Sacramento in March.  This marks the 6th time in 10 years that an Oak Ridge student has competed successfully against the district, charter, and private schools in the county. Congratulations to Paula and her coach Mark Coovelis.  

Sophia Barden Honored at Capital
Over the summer Sophia Barden placed 7th in the whole world for baton twirling.  She was honored at the state capital for this accomplishment by Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.  

Administration Update
Two of the things we are working on right now is LCAP feedback and class registration for next year.  As soon  as all class registrations are collected and entered we will begin to get a picture of next years master schedule.  Hopefully, in two weeks we will have some preliminary data on just total numbers of student requests for departments.  We are also going to the Site Council, Leadership Team and ASB and collecting input for the district LCAP report to the state.  

February 1st Update
NFHS Coach of the Year
Steve White has been selected as the 2017-18 Girls Basketball Coach of the Year.  A big congratulations to Steve for continuing to represent the pinnacle of coaching year after year.  It an honor to be recognized by your coaching peers for your work.  Congratulations!

Oak Ridge Interact Helping in the Community
There seems to be no end to the positive impact that the Oak Ridge Interact students have on our community. I was fortunate enough to see them volunteer their time to be servers at the Rotary 2019 Crab & Tri Tip Fundraiser last weekend.  And in what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, they again danced to Footloose.  The song they all learned to dance to in Life Fitness class.

YouTube Video

Student Registration Well Under Way
The Counselors have been out to the Middle Schools and working with Oak Ridge students for the last two weeks on class registration for next year.  They still have work to do with students next week.  

We are rolling out a new Challenge Success tool for registration this year. Students are being asked to estimate (using a provided worksheet) the amount of time they are committing to with the schedule they have asked for.  They are also being asked to map our all of the other activities and responsibilities they have.  Th goal is to make families realize that time needs to be left for sleep and being a kid. 

January 25th Update
Safety Update
I wanted to make sure that everyone received the email update today about the safety concern related to Oak Ridge today.  If you have not seen it yet, please reference the email I sent this afternoon titled Safety Update. 

AVID Interviews Underway
Three teachers have stepped up and volunteered to be AVID teachers for next year.  We will have an opening in the Freshmen AVID class next year as we add a senior class and complete our 4-year AVID pathway. 

Every year has been an embarrassment of riches with those who apply.  We ultimately have the impossible task of picking one person to join the AVID team when everyone who steps forward is remarkable and deeply caring. 

PLC Facilitator Training on Monday
ASCD trainer Alisa Simeral will be joining our PLC Facilitators again this Monday.  The focus of our work continues to be how to facilitate PLC's that can close the achievement gap in our school.  Most importantly, we want to close the gap with our special education population and get closer to our similar schools. 

Friday Music in the Cafeteria
If you have the chance, please take the time to thank Steven Sanchez for providing live music in the cafeteria on the occasional Friday.  He loves doing it and we love having him.  It really changes the mood of the cafeteria when he performs.  Thank you Steven.

Coconut Club Success
Last Saturday, I had the honor to attend our music department's Coconut Club fundraiser with Dr. Carruth.  The music boosters and department set up a fun and entertaining event for all.  From all of the solo acts to the food and auction items, it was a success.  A special thank you to Paul and Natalie for all the work they put into it.  

January 18th Update
Energy Initiative with Cenergistic
EDUHSD has entered into an agreement with a group called Cenergistic.  This group has a 30-year track record from around the country of helping schools make significant power savings a reality.  I met with this group today and they believe they can save our district over $800K in the first five years.  These savings will mean more money in the classroom and hopefully paychecks.  

The implementation timeline for this program will be about 90 days starting next week.   An energy expert will be on campus sometime in the next two weeks.  This person will analyze all of our power data.   They will visit every room in the school (after school.)  From their in-depth analysis of each school, we will get a recommended plan.  Today, they emphasized that their goal is not to make power usage changes after hours and not to what we are doing during the school day.  This along with the solar panels should have a significant positive impact on our district's bottom line. 

Successful ATI Collaboration
I want to thank the 25 teachers who were able to come to the ATI collaboration yesterday.  I appreciate everyone who was willing to share how they use ATI.  We also had some good ideas come out for how we can improve the collaboration in the future.  We will have more of these ATI collaborations coming up, so stayed tuned. 
Differentiated Assistance Survey
I want to thank everyone for taking the survey on Monday.  I know it was lengthy but I feel it is important for us to be properly represented in the survey.  I still have a few other groups who need to take this survey then I will share the results with everyone.  

Challenge Success Update
Our different Challenge Success committees continue to make progress and push forward.  We are hoping to have concrete ideas and plans for the faculty to vote on by the end of the year.  This would put us in a place of taking next year to train and plan how to implement any new ideas approved by the staff.  

January 11th Update
Friday Night Live Club Recognized
The Friday Night Live Club was recently recognized for winning First Place in Northern California in a statewide distracted driving contest. The students won $1,000 for their club as well as two other gift card prizes for their distracted driving awareness activities on campus during the month of October. 
R-103 Lab Out of Circulation
Unfortunately, the R-103 computer lab will not be available for checkout for the rest of the semester.  Our plan was to have the new culinary building in place over winter break.  This would free open an additional classroom for us.  As we all know, that did not happen.  So our new Spanish teacher is temporarily in R-103 until the new culinary lab can be installed thus opening up a room.  I am very sorry for the inconvenience. 

Culinary Building Update
So what is the new schedule for the installation of the culinary building?  As I previously shared the company building the new culinary lab took on too many projects and exceeded their bond and could not insure our project.  They now have room in their bond to begin our project.  The lab will not be ready for use until the end of the year but you will start to see a lot of action out there this semester.  I have included a picture below of them preparing the foundation for concrete. 
January 4th Update
Happy New Year and Improved Facilities
I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.  As we celebrate all the great things that will happen in 2019 I want to bring everyone up to speed on some campus repairs that happened over the break.  The rain finally cooperated and the hole in the quad was repaired.  And the track was repaired and re-striped over the break as well.  

Welcoming New Baby Trojans to the World
Congratulations to Katie Hewitt and her husband who welcomed their son Wade Russell Hewitt to the world on December 26th at 7:01 am.  Wade was born 8 lbs, 2ozs, and 20 inches.  Katie wanted everyone to know that they are all healthy and doing great. 

And congratulations to Alyce Rogers and her husband also had their baby boy. Dawson Ray Rogers on December 26th.  He was 8lbs, 6 oz, and 21 inches. Mom and baby had a rough birth and recovery but are home and good now.  

Our Football Family Needs Our Support
As we all know our incredibly talented Freshmen Head Football Coach, Jason Clark has passed away.  This is extremely tragic news.  He has been the coach for 4 years, which means every football player in the school has a relationship with him.  He also has two children at Oak Ridge, Aden, and Desiree Clark.  We will have grief counseling on campus all day on Monday in the Counseling Office.  We are obviously going to need to support and be patient with all of these students as they grieve.  The grief counselors will also be available to all staff members as well.  This is truly a sad day for Oak Ridge.  

Another Successful Intersession
Intersession was again another success this semester.  And as always we have to thank the people that made it happen.  I can't thank the people who made this Intersession happen enough.  Here is a big thank you to Cassie Tuller, Rob Skaggs, Breanne Wymore, Rob Slinger, Erin Arthur, Jen Slinger, Kim Doyle and Jessica Womack. 

Welcome a New Spanish Teacher
I am proud to announce that we have added another great teacher to the Oak Ridge family.  I would like everybody to welcome Mr. Fidel Zelaya to our World Language Department.  He will be teaching Spanish 1 and 2.  Mr. Zelaya has a lot of teaching experience.  His previous department chair was very sad to lose him and noted he was a true professional.  Please say hello when you see him on campus.  He will be in R-103 for the remainder of the semester. 

Sharon Varozza Honored
Oak Ridge received a very nice letter from the California Department of Education FCCLA Advisor Melissa Webb congratulating Sharon Varozza on holding an excellent FCCLA Leadership Conference at Oak Ridge for the whole region.  This was a huge task, but Sharon put on an excellent day for all the students and teachers.  

December 14th Update
Happy Holidays
From all of us in Administration, we want to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  I hope everyone can find the time to spend with family and loved ones.  Rest, relax and recharge, we look forward to seeing everyone for the second semester.

Spanish Position
We still have a precarious situation with our Spanish hire for the second semester.  As I explained a few weeks ago, we have five teachers who took on an extra class with the caveat that we would do everything in our power to find someone for the second semester.   We have found someone, but the negotiation continues to get them released from their contract in Roseville.  We should know more by early next week.
Open House Reminder
Just a friendly reminder that Open House will be on Monday, January 28th this year.  When we return from break we will have a complete schedule for everyone.

Facility Work Over the Break
We will have some facility projects completed over the break.  We will again try to pour concrete and fix the quad over break.  And the track will be closed for several days as a company repairs some significant wear and tear.  

December 7th Update
Making Up Days
I am currently learning so much about ADA and school days and instructional minutes.  Over the last two weeks, I have been going back and forth (in a good way) with our district and the CDE.  And here is what I currently understand about the day we missed due to the PG&E outage and our low attendance days. 

PG&E Outage Day: Schools need 180 school days. Missing this day moved us to only having 179 days.  We have asked for a waiver and not received it.  We are in the processing of appealing that with most schools in the area.  If the State does not grant the appeal we will need to come back the first day of summer. The logistics of that or the total impact of that has not been defined yet.  

Low Attendance Day:
November 5th: 15% Out of Sdchool
November 16th: 13% Out of School
December 5th: 7% Out of School

For the three low enrollment days we will just be stuck getting a low ADA rate and less money.  But we will not have to make the days up.  

French Caroling 
Our French 3 and 4 students went to two assisted living facilities in EDH last week and did christmas carols in French for the residents.  I want to give a bigg thank you to Kristina for getting her students out and helpnig the community.  If you want to see a video or photos from the event click on the links below.
Swastikas Spray Painted
I want to thank Chris Mirell for stepping up and handling a tough situation in the moment.  Some young people, unfortunately, decided to spray paint a swastika in one of the bathrooms.  Chris caught them and got them all to the office so we could handle the situation.  Needless to say, I am extremely upset that our students could do this.  This is not simply vandalism, this is hate and it's unacceptable.  It makes me reflect more on how we can build Respect for All back into what we are doing. 

Choir & Band Perform Holiday Songs for Senior Citizens
I was honored to watch our choir and band perform Christmas songs for senior citizens today.  The performed at the CSD's holiday party for seniors.  The seniors were served lunch by the fire department and ice cream sundaes by Rotary.  I lost count of how many thank you's I received from the seniors.  Thank you Paul and Natalie for making this event so special every year.  

November 30th Update
La Serna High School Visit
I want to thank Patrick Sanders, Denise Root, Alison Lishman and Darsy Arburn for joining me on a school visit to La Serna High School.  La Serna is a model school for their advisory model.  They are also a model school for all of the systematic interventions they have in place for struggling students.  They are so successful that they have reduced their numbers of IEPs and 504s and greatly increased their student achievement across the board (CAASPP, AP tests, A-G rate, Grad rate, etc.)  We look forward to sharing what we learned and how we can apply it to our Challenge Success work.  
Concrete Work
The concrete repair in the quad was delayed due to the rain over the Thanksgiving break.  We are still waiting for a new date for the repair work.  So for now, we will just have to keep walking around the hole in the ground.  

Staff Lunch With Dr. Carruth
Dr. Carruth willing be buying everyone lunch on Tuesday, December 11th.  He is hoping everyone will come out and break bread with him and talk about life and school.  We are hoping everyone can come out to the MPR and mingle. 

New Culinary Room
The new culinary room for our campus continues to be delayed.  It was originally scheduled to be completed sometime in September.  Then the completion date was pushed to Winter Break.  Now it is indefinitely delayed. 

We are working with a reputable portable company that has a new concept.  They are making custom portables for labs.  So we contracted a custom culinary lab with them.  But they have had endless delays in their plant.  So at this point, we are hoping for Spring Break but will not be surprised if it's installed over the summer.  

New Spanish Hire
Because the new culinary room is not complete we do not have a room for our new Spanish hire who should start on January 7th.  So unfortunately,  we need to find a room sharing arrangement for her.   Alison will be working on this. 

November 26th Update
Public CAASPP Testing Schedule Version
In the link below is the official and pretty (thank you Robin) version of our CAASPP testing schedule for 2019

Check Out Our New Model Trojans
Our new Model Trojans for November have been updated on the right side of this page.  We look forward to honoring them this Monday at the School Wide Collaboration and getting them a free lunch in the cafeteria. 

New Semester Hire
As we all know, we had a Spanish teacher move late in the summer.  Our fantastic Spanish teachers picked up the extra slack and were willing to take on an extra class as opposed to hiring someone so late in the summer. With credentialing programs completing in December and new candidates looking for jobs we interviewed two candidates to pick up all of the extra positions.  I am happy to say that we have offered the position to Kimberly Helms.  We look forward to Kimberly starting the second semester with us.

November Meeting Page Update
The meetings tab above has been updated with the minutes for all of the meetings that happened in November.  if anyone is interested you can review past agendas and minutes that came from those meetings.

November 15th Update
Low-Performing Students Block Grant
Oak Ridge and the district qualify for the LPSBG grant based on the low performance of our special education students.  To qualify for the grant the board of trustees needs to approve a plan.  Our district will be working on a plan for the estimated $230K through December and January.  They will likely bring it to the board in February.  

Proposed Updates to School Policies
I will be asking the school Leadership team to consider proposed changes to some of our school policies.  I have highlighted these proposed changes in our policy book on pages 2, 8, 11 & 12.  To view this policy book you can click on School Policies in the drop-down menu above or click this link.  

CAASPP Testing Schedule Finalized
Please follow the link to see the finalized version of the CAASPP testing schedule.  I will be updating it into a friendlier format over the break.   But the raw data can be found here for now.

ORHS Signing Day
On Wednesday 19 Oak Ridge athletes committed to a variety of impressive colleges.  The ceremony in the large gym was beautiful and dignified as always.  I want to thank the Athletic Department for honoring the work and achievements of these young people.  

Italian Honor Society Inductions
What is most impressive about our school is the endless parade of accomplishments.  I want to thank Ivana Arostegui for having an Italian Honor Society and all the work she puts into maintaining it.  Her program inducted a large number of new students this year.  Congratulations to Ivana and all of these students for meeting the rigorous requirements to get accepted.

Fines/Fees Accountability
Through a series of lawsuits in California brought on by the ACLU, some rulings have come forward on how schools can hold students accountable when it comes to fee/fines.  Previously, students could not attend dances or register for sports until they had cleared their fees/fines.  But through some recent clarification of these past court rulings, we can no longer do that. In fact, we are not sure if there is any way to "make" families pay for damaged and lost books, etc.  Because we cannot deny their diploma based on this either.  So this will likely present new challenges for us when it comes to replacing lost or damaged textbooks.

Quad Repair
John Dawson and the team will have the quad repaired (concrete poured) over the break.  So we all should come back to a nice pretty quad with no hole in it. 

November 9th Update
Water Update
All of the tests came back from the lab and our drinking water is clean and safe to drink.  I had faith in EID's process but having the good lab results definitely provides a piece of mind and closure to this event.  Now we are working to get the concrete repaired as quickly as possible.  

Energy Conservation
On top of the new solar arrays coming to our schools, we are beginning to explore ways to save money through energy conservation.  Our district will be speaking with several companies that bring energy saving strategies, technology and practices to schools.  I look forward to what we can implement to save energy and money.  

Academic Champions
I am so proud of our athletes, coaches and athletic department.  Every one of our Fall teams has qualified with the CIF as an Academic Champion.  The combined GPA of all our Fall athletes is 3.39.  

November 2nd Update
Meetings Next Week
1. Monday Morning Staff Meeting in B-3 @ 7:45
2. Monday: PLC Facilitator Training in R-103
3. Monday: Leadership Meeting 3:15 in N-1
4. Wednesday: Site Council 3:15 in CCR

Challenge Success Coaching Meeting
Our School Challenge Success Team met with our Challenge Success Coach from Stanford today.  It was a powerful session that really helped us focus even more on what it important and what direction we are going.  We can't wait to share out with everyone.

Best Buddies Club
I had the privilege of visiting with the Best Buddies club this week.  This club is focused on connecting non-special education students with special needs students.  The students serve as mentors and buddies for some of our special education students.  It is truly a special club.

I can't thank Jen Slinger and her ASB students enough for a great Homecoming week.  The activities were good the rally and the new schedule was a success.  And the dance was one of the best I have been to in a long time.  And Eric earned his 100th win as the Head Football Coach.  I also want to thank Janet Hallare for her orchestration of the Homecoming game and Natalie's students for singing the national anthem.  And a special thank you to Natalie for organizing the Future Trojans this year.  The little ones loved it.  Thank you to everyone who played a role in it.  

Model Trojan Awards
We had about 10 students today that we honored at lunchtime for being model Trojans who live our Oak Ridge values and motto. Their parents were invited to the luncheon and the staff member who nominated them was able to say nice things and hand them the award.  It was another rousing success.

October 26th Update
ORHS Confessions Promoting Cyber Bullying
Unfortunately, a new Instagram account has been created called ORHS Confessions.  It has over a 1000 followers, most of which are Oak Ridge students.  This page has set up a link to a Google Doc that is asking students to write down embarrassing things about other students.  This account is currently the biggest source of cyberbullying for our students right now.

James Wrede and SRO Russ Adams have been working on this issue for weeks now.  Instagram has finally taken the account down.  But as soon as the account was deactivated unknown students created three more.  So this is a tidal wave we can work on, but I fear can't stop.  This further solidifies that we need to continue our respect for all work.  Meanwhile, James and Deputy Adams continue to try and identify the owner of the original account.

Racially Insensitive Costume
On Tuesday we had a student wear an inappropriate costume for Trick or Trick spirit day.   The costume caused some alarm because it offended several students of Asian descent.  It was also problematic because just three years ago our school made the news for inappropriate and racist language demeaning to those of Asian descent at the McClatchy basketball game.  

This student was wearing a stereotypical Asian conical hat with a fake mustache.  The student was using stereotypical language between classes and using stereotypical language that was insensitive and demeaning to the Asian culture.  This student was also taking videos of herself doing this and posting them online while at school.   

James Wrede was able to track this student down and issue appropriate consequences.  The student also will be required to do restorative work and learn more about cultural awareness.  

FCCLA Region Meeting at Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge is lucky to be hosting the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of Americaregional meeting all day on Saturday in the MPR.  This meeting lets the FCCLA faculty and students meet and hold a variety of break out sessions to further grow and promote their field.  So you will see a lot of students and adults in red all day on Saturday.  (Actually, I hope you are not here on a Saturday.)

Leadership Update 
The driving work in our monthly Leadership meetings continues to be around setting new policy.  We want to ensure that there is one unified policy about how decisions and initiatives are decided at Oak Ridge.  When I ask ten different people on campus how decisions are made at our school and I get ten different answers, that is bad.  In fact, it is bad for the culture of the school.  So we are going to be finalizing some language around that this semester.  

We are also discussing the dilemma around a school having two logos.  We are also discussing the legality of having a school logo (the Trojan head) that is trademarked by USC.  The conversations have been very fruitful and we are clearly identifying a process for how to examine this issue.

October 19th Update
Important Leadership Meeting Next Week
We are doing a lot of work in Leadership around how decisions are made at our school.  So we are doing work around norming and publicizing that process.  Please remember that everyone is invited to Leadership and it is open to all.  Please hit the meeting tab above to see the agenda for that meeting (and all meetings.)

Rob Skaggs: Apple Slayer

The staff versus students apple bobbing contest was held during today's lunchtime rally.  The rally had the Drumline, Dance Team, and Cheerleaders perform.  The rally reached its climax with an apple bobbing contest between students and Rob Skaggs, Jennifer Slinger, Jason Tenner and myself.  Well, Rob Skaggs destroyed everybody and walked off crowned the Apple Bobbing Champion for 2018.  Ask him to see his sceptre.  

Just Talk
An Oak Ridge club has made a large impact at a small school in Taiwan.  Student Ethan Huang was visiting Taiwan when he learned about how hard it was for students in remote areas of Taiwan to learn English.  He decided to start a club called Just Talk.  Just Talk meets after school once a week.  They get on the chrome books and use Google Hangout to essentially "skype" with a student in Lukang Junior High School.  Ethan works with the teacher in that school to set up objectives.  Our students spend their time in this club speaking English with these students related to what they are learning in class.  I recently received a letter from the Principal stating how incredibly beneficial our students have been to theirs.  And thank you to Stephanie Davis for advising them and assisting.  

Academic Recovery Redesign
We have been talking about it for a while and are now ready to take the next step.  The four core subjects are redesigning their Academic Recovery programs.  These programs have been working for a small number of students but not reaching their potential.  

The biggest hole in our academic program is what is called a tier 2 intervention.  We have incredible tier 1 "first instruction" with all of our students.  But if a student struggles we don't have a highly effective systematic response.  So desperate parents jump straight to a 504 or IEP for their struggling student.

The reality is that if we had a robust second tier response that helped struggling students we would all be attending a lot less 504 and IEP meetings.  An effective second level response (assist students when they first struggle) will prevent a lot of students from getting to the 504/IEP level.  I am excited to see the designs these departments come up with.  

October 8th Update
FCCLA Visits Columbia College
Our FCCLA students were able to visit the culinary program at Columbia Community College in Sonora recently.  And even though they were there for the culinary facility they got to tour the whole campus.   A special thank you to Sharon Varozza for bringing her kids there.

Thank You for Touchdowns Against Cancer
Oak Ridge has done it again. We set a goal of $5000 and beat it with $5232.  Oak Ridge is proudly a top 3 fundraiser in the nation for the 3rd year in a row.  Thank you to everyone who donated and helped.  

Solar on its Way
The EDUHSD entered into an agreement with a solar company at the last board meeting.  A rigorous search was done with many companies and it was narrowed down to one very experienced solar provider.  Sometime over the next 4 months, we should start to see solar panels going up as covered parking in our lots.  As the designs are completed and sent to each site for approval I will share them with you.  

Active Minds Speaker Ross Szabo
I want to thank our school's Active Minds club for bringing national guest speaker Ross Szabo to our school last week.  Student Tiffany Szu and Jason Tenner spearheaded the event. Ms. Szabo had a powerful message about mental health and how to live a balanced life.  It was perfectly aligned with our Challenge Success Work.  

Mock Election 
I want to thank Heath Jenkins for taking it upon himself to carry out the state's student mock election at Oak Ridge.  Thank you to all of the teachers who worked with your students and had them take part in the election.  Heath believes when all is said and done over half the school will have voted.  Our results will become part of the state's mock election totals. 
September 21st Update
Meeting Reminder
I wanted to remind everyone that the meeting tab above is fully functional.  I have the agendas for all past and upcoming meetings for the current month loaded on the site.  I also have the minutes for all past meetings where minutes are kept loaded as well.  This way everyone has access to the information for all meetings on campus.

Project Citizen
Project Citizen is up and running again this year.  The Social Science Department (with a lot of leadership and work from Matt Hodgins) sets up speakers after school for our students to come and listen to.  I truly appreciate the academic dialogue that Matt is bringing to our school. As one example, we had Congressmen McClintock speak after school yesterday.  The thoughtful and insightful questions the students asked were an inspiration.  Thank you Social Science Department and especially Matt Hodgins. 
Club Day
Club Day was another huge success this year.  I want to thank student leadership, Jen Slinger and all the club advisers for putting it on.  We work in a very special school when students have 66 different clubs they can choose from.  There is truly no shortage in ways that students can find their passion and connect with our school.  And we could not do this without the passion of our students and all of the generous advisors who give of their time.  And I want to thank Leadership for the work they put into setting it up.

September 14th Update
Athletic Discipline Update
We have been going through a complicated process this week of looking at how we punish student-athletes who use a vaping device with tobacco on campus.  The district sets the guidelines put forth in the athletic handbook.  SChool sites do not make their own policies pertaining to how athletes are disciplined.  In my opinion, the current handbook has subjective language about athletes caught with vaping devices.  Oak Ridge was giving students with tobacco-based vaping offenses a 30-day suspension from the team.  This is the same consequence as any other illegal substance on campus. But there is some subjective language about tobacco based vaping only getting a 2-day suspension (not game but day) from the team.  When we called the other school sites they were doing 2 days and that is the district interpretation of the language.  So we are going to maintain 30-day suspensions for alcohol and illegal drugs. But move to a 2-day suspension for tobacco offenses and comply with the rest of the district's interpretation of the handbook.

Touchdowns Against Cancer
It is football season again and thus the time of year to make your pledge to fight pediatric cancer.  If you like, please make a pledge for every touchdown our team scores.  The procedures go to St. Jude's and their fight against pediatric cancer.

Grade Level Information Night
I want to thank our Counselors and Alyce Rogers in our College and Career Center for putting on a tremendous Parent Information Night on Tuesday. The Parent's packed our school and learned grade level specific information about how to prepare their students for college and/or careers.  They even assembled a panel of college and career representatives in the theater and over 200 parents attended.  
PLC Training on Monday
On Monday we will have two PLC training is happening in R-103.  Half of our PLC leaders will be in the morning session.  The second half will attend the afternoon session.  The session will end in time for our Schoolwide Collaboration on Monday in the MPR at 2:00.  The agenda can be found at the meetings tab above as always. 

Democracy Day a Big Hit
We also need to thank Matt Hodgins and his students for their work on Democracy Day on Tuesday.  It was inspiring to see so many students using their lunch time to learn about our country and how it works.  I can't thank Matt enough for his continued contributions to our school. 

September 7th Update
Bathroom Closures
Unfortunately, a small group of students has taken it upon themselves to vandalize our bathrooms this week in a big way.  In the boy's restrooms, they have been trying all week to break the sinks off the wall.  They were successful in the cafeteria bathroom.  Thus we have shut it down until we can replace it.  They have tried but been unsuccessful in the other restrooms.  And the girls are putting pro-vaping graffiti in their bathrooms.  All of this vandalism would appear to be a response to our dramatic crackdown (thank you James and Campus Monitors) of vaping in the restrooms.  Please encourage your students to report anything they know about this to the Stop!t app.  Thank you.

Campus Clean Up Day
Tomorrow will be our second campus cleanup day.  The Foundation decided they wanted to develop more ways for our community to give back and help the school.  They reached out to our maintenance department and asked them how they could help them.  Our new maintenance team, which is dynamite, said they really needed help with the stadium.  The stadium was suffering from a lot of years of neglect and it was too big of a job for them to tackle alone.  So the Foundation has put together two cleanup days to rally our parents to help them with the stadium.  I want to thank John and Bret for being out there on a Saturday to help.

PA System and Bells
The PA system and bells are obviously an ongoing issue that are unacceptable to me.  I have been frustrated with the continued work to repair the system by outside vendors.  I was able to voice my frustration with our new district leadership, Bob Whittenberg and Dr. Carruth and they agreed that something drastic had to change.  They have authorized a large sum of money and a new approach to solving the problem.  

Yesterday we had a large meeting with the District and Site Facility Management and two contractors.  These two contractors are going to work together to resolve this issue.  So over the coming weeks, you will see a large number of outside electricians roaming our campus, tracing wire and making repairs.  Any work that needs to be done in classrooms will happen after school so instruction is not negatively impacted.

What Leadership Will Be Working On
The Leadership Team has started this year by revisiting and norming what the purpose of the team is and how we do our work.  We are going to work on two new things in September and October which you will hear more about.   We are going to be working on a decision-making process for schoolwide decisions.  We are also going to be talking about how we can consolidate from two logos to one this year. 

Powder Puff Football Tonight
I wanted to remind everyone that our annual Powder Puff Football game is tonight at 7 pm in the stadium.  The teams have been practicing hard for tonight's game.  Come on out and cheer them on. 

Challenge Success Update
Challenge Success is moving forward rapidly.  All of our sub-committees have set dates and have met or are going to meet.  The Advisory/Bell Schedule Committee has met twice and that Sub-Committee has broken down into three smaller sub-committees to complete the research, school visits and logistical work necessary to complete their task.

August 31st Update
Model Trojan Awards
We had three Oak Ridge students win a Model Trojan Award at lunch today.  Their teachers and parents were invited to come down and have lunch on us and hear about the good things their student is doing.  Today's Model Trojans were Katherine Hampton (compassion), Olivia Soloman (Pride in School) and Andrew Rosenberg (Generosity.)  

School Site Council
Thank you for voting for our site reps on the School Site Council.  This year the faculty will be represented by Lauren Alazzawi, Brooke Rhyan and Stephanie Davis.  I want to again thank Lauren, Brooke and Stephanie for taking an interest and stepping up.

Master Schedule Balancing
We started week 4 with the master schedule balanced.  But as the week went on we fell out of balance in Adv. Algebra 2 due to students dropping the class.  The Counseling Office worked diligently on Thursday and we were able to move two students fairly easily and get the schedule back into balance.  With the drop deadline now passed we should remain balanced for the remainder of the semester.  

Powderpuff Football Game
Don't forget to mark your calendar to come out and watch the Powderpuff game next Friday at 6:oo.  

Labor Day
Enjoy your well deserved three day weekend.  

August 27th Update
Changing the Format of these Updates
I've decided to leave the dates out of the weekly update and just give you a general update about what has past and what is upcoming.  It feels like this will be a better format for these updates.

Back to School Tonight
I look forward to seeing everyone tonight.  Don't forget to come by the Admin Lounge to grab some dinner (pizza) beforehand.  I was recently reminded of the purpose of Back to School Night when I went to my daughters.  In the end, I found myself simply asking, is this person a good person.  Obviously, the school has decided they are a good teacher.  I just wanted to know if this teacher was a good person. And she was.  

Culinary Classroom Update
The date to complete the culinary classroom has been moved back again by the vendor.  We will be bringing in a prefabricated culinary facility.  The demand for this building is so great the company is making more of them than they are bonded to cover.  Our district has rightfully told them that we only want a portable that can be insured by their bond.  So that means they need to wait 30 days when they have cleared room under the bonding to continue with our specific room.  The interior is made to order to the exact specs we need.  They are telling us it will still be ready for the start of the second semester.  

Dr. Carruth CTE Tour of Oak Ridge
Dr. Carruth took a tour of our four CTE programs at Oak Ridge this morning.  He was able to see Foods 2 in action.  Then we were able to see a Manufacturing Class and AP Computer Science A.  Then we finished off the tour with Bob Wright showing us how the Auto Shop program runs.  I want to thank Sharon Varozza (Foods,) Allen Jarrett (Comp Sci,) Max Foorman (Manufacturing & Engineering,) and Bob Wright (Auto) for their hospitality today.  

August 13 - August 17
Campus Clean Up Day
Thank you to the Foundation for organizing a campus clean-up day with a lot of our students and parents.  We had about 35 people work all Saturday morning.  They made a huge difference in the appearance of the stadium.  Another one will be planned for September.  
Lunch Bunch
If you haven't had a chance to visit the lunch bunch outside of C-1 you should one day.  A special group of students and their aids have lunch over there every day.  Over the weekend John and his team put in a picnic table for them.  They finally have an appropriate place to eat now. 
Master Schedule Balancing
As everyone knows we had the master schedule balanced and in compliance by the first day of school this year.  However, as students have dropped classes the balance has been repeatedly upset. 
Our counselors are great at not adding students to any class that would put it out of balance.  But we cannot anticipate students dropping classes.  The Counselors did a great job of putting everything back in balance by Friday, short two courses.  Our counselors are going to work today on the puzzle and try and get this resolved as soon as possible. 

Challenge Success Resumes
Our School Challenge Success Team held their first meeting of the year last Thursday.  And our sub-committees will start to meet again very soon.  While our sub-committees get underway our school team will be heading to a Challenge Success training in a month at Stanford to help take the next step in our journey. 

August 6 - Aug 10
School Size
At the end of week one, we are in a good place with our enrollment numbers.  We have every new student enrolled and all of our no-shows dropped.  As of Friday, our student enrollment is 2465.  Last year at the end of week 1 our enrollment was 2454.  This puts us only 11 students ahead of where we were last year.  And last year we had 443 sections of instruction and this year we have 446.  So we are in good shape. 

I am happy to say that we are starting our year completely staffed.  We don't have any unfilled positions at this time.  It feels good to be starting the year without temporary positions or positions that we could not fill.

Music Booster Embezzlement Parent Meeting
Many of us saw that an Oak Ridge parent was arrested last Friday for the embezzlement of almost $50,000 from the Oak Ridge Music Boosters.  So now I can state publicly that the Music Booster Treasurer Gloria Rodrigues has been charged with the crime.  As we work to recover from this tragedy we are focusing our energy on her two children here at Oak Ridge.  We want to make sure they suffer no ill will from this.  All of their teachers have been notified about the situation.

We also met with all of the concerned Music Booster parents Thursday night.  The parents were obviously frustrated and upset about losing the money they had earned last year.  Part of my message was sympathizing with them, but making it clear that the booster group is not a part of the school and we do not manage the group or their funds.  They had also requested that the money Ms. Rodriguez paid for graduation seats be returned to the Music Boosters.  I shared with them that the school does not sell any seats at graduation.  We provide booster groups with graduation seats that they can auction.  Unfortunately, Ms. Rodrigues had purchased her graduation seats from the booster group.  We did work with them around costs the school and district might be able to pick up one-time to help with this difficult time.  I will share more as this story continues to develop.

Facilities Update
I wanted to take a minute and share all of our facility updates in one place.  As I believe everyone knows, our new turf was successfully installed over the summer.   We will delay the repair of our track until winter break because the vendor doing the work overbooked themselves.  Our new portal PL-4 on the blacktop behind the locker rooms was completed by Monday but without any technology.  With every day the room gets closer to being done.  Our cafeteria has a new walk-in freezer room added to increase our cold storage capability. And our new culinary classroom being built on the blacktop will be ready for the start of the second semester.  

July 30 - Aug 3
PLC Leadership Training
This year our PLC leaders will continue the PLC development work they started with ASCD PLC expert and author Alisa Simeral.  This Tuesday they will have their first training of 2018-19 with Alisa.  Alisa is helping us make School Goal 4 a reality by ensuring that our PLC focus on student data in order to increase student achievement. 

New Teachers
Our new teachers will be meeting with the district Monday morning.  Monday afternoon they will be meeting with Don and myself to bring them onboard. Our new teachers always talk about how incredibly accommodating and willing to share our staff is.  I can't wait to bring these new teachers on board and show them the Oak Ridge way.

ATI Training
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will have ATI training on our campus.  Previous to this summer we have trained 23 teachers in ATI's formative assessment strategies and mastery teaching philosophy.  This summer we have 40 teachers signed up to attend this weeks training.  I am blown away by the teacher commitment to ATI.  By the first day of school, we will have 63 out of our 101 teachers successfully trained in ATI and thus getting us closer to achieving school goal one.  Below is some fun we had after last years ATI training.

Welcome Back
The administrative team looks forward to welcoming everyone back this week.  It will be good to break bread and hear about everyone's summer at the district welcome back breakfast here at Oak Ridge on Thursday.  It will also be most people's first chance to see our new Superintendent, Dr. Ron Carruth in action.  Then after lunch, we have a nice welcome back planned for everyone in the MPR at 1:00.  Friday will be a teacher workday and we will provide lunch for everyone in the MPR at noon.  

Model Trojan Awards
Nicole Trevino
Teamwork / Collaboration / Communication
The new attendance reports she started to sending to the Counselors and AP's has been incredibly helpful.  The Counselors and AP's mentioned how much easier it is to do their jobs with this information.  Since attendance is the number one predictor of student success, they are closely watching these lists and calling students in to try and get them back on track.
Ashley Tillman
Care for Others / Teamwork / Collaboration / Creativity
Ashley worked tirelessly for our kiddo's who participated in Special Olympics. She created t-shirts for the staff and students. She came in early, stayed late and sacrificed a lot of lunches to make sure that we looked like the stellar group that we are. Our kids looked like champions. Thanks Ashley you reminded me every day what a model Trojan looks like and you are very appreciated.
Ashley showed warmth towards our kids and humor all the way until game day when we were running around like crazy people making sure everyone had a shirt!

Haley Rodriguez
Be Real / Dare to Question / Care for Others / Find Balance / Growth Mindset / Balanced Lives / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Collaboration / Communication / Integrity / Authenticity / Creativity / Respect / Inquiry / Being Together / Working Together
We recently had a difficult IEP meeting. Haley was professional, direct, compassionate, and knowledgeable. I don't know how many people really know what she does, but she's a major asset to our school.
Haley is kind, down-to-earth, professional, reliable, compassionate, and real.

Julia Madsen
Be Real / Teamwork
At one of our football games we were short help and Julia was one of the teachers on duty.  Everyone noted that she really stepped up and took ownership of the back side of the stadium and made sure that the administration didn't need to worry about that.  She took ownership of the space and managed it all night long.  We were very appreciative.

Jordan Lampenfeld
Be Real / Teamwork
Jordan has gone above and beyond at Oak Ridge.  He takes his after school supervision very seriously and is dedicated to doing what he does well.  He has volunteered to be a part of the LINK Crew program and has gone all in on it. He also stands outside his room before every class period and welcomes students to his room.  Jordan is a bright light at Oak Ridge.

Jordan Lampenfeld
Be Real / Teamwork
Jordan has gone above and beyond at Oak Ridge.  He takes his after school supervision very seriously and is dedicated to doing what he does well.  He has volunteered to be a part of the LINK Crew program and has gone all in on it. He also stands outside his room before every class period and welcomes students to his room.  Jordan is a bright light at Oak Ridge.
Chris Hoverstein
Be Real / Care for Others / Find Balance / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Collaboration / Communication / Integrity / Authenticity / Respect / Being Together / Working Together
Chris cares about the students and students can relate to him because he shows he cares.  He is able to find humor in the daily struggles.  He is real in sharing his own life stories, and being honest about his life. Chris jumps in to help anytime we need it, and takes his own time to keep our water jugs filled for our dept. use.  We all just appreciate him being a part of our department team. Thanks Chris! 
Chris shows compassion for struggling students, teamwork with all the aides/teachers, collaboration by discussing various issues he sees, integrity and honesty, and respect for all those he interacts with.
Chris does the things listed in the Oak Ridge Way and does them with a kind and fun spirit.

Trish Hardy
Be Real / Care for Others / Growth Mindset / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Collaboration / Integrity / Authenticity / Creativity / Respect / Being Together 
The compassion she has for the students is contagious.  Her energy and happiness spreads throughout the campus. 
Trish is always thinking of new and creative ways to give her students opportunities that they may not experience if wasn't for her and thinking outside the box.
As I have stated above, her warmth, humor compassion and collegiality is not only for students but spread to everyone she comes in contact with.

James DuBose
Be Real / Care for Others / Find Balance / Balance Lives / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Integrity / Authenticity / Respect / Being Together / Working Together  
James is a good man.  He has such a warm, kind soul.  He seems genuinely happy to see you and always takes time out of his day to make meaningful conversation with you. 
James is authentic.  He makes you feel valued and important and I always enjoy my conversations with him.  We are lucky to have a colleague like James on our campus.
Bo Cheli
Be Real / Care for Others / Teamwork 
Bo is extremely passionate about education and being a part of our school.  he is always volunteering to help wherever he can.  He stays to the very, very end of football games and won't leave until all of the work is done.  He went above and beyond his football duty and was happy to help supervise the snack bar area.  He has been a really positive and upbeat addition to the staff.  

Hayley Rodriguez
Be Real / Dare to Question / Care for Others / Find Balance / Growth Mindset / Balanced Lives / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Collaboration / Communication / Integrity / Authenticity / Creativity / Respect / Inquiry / Being Together / Working Together 
We recently had a difficult IEP meeting. Haley was professional, direct, compassionate, and knowledgeable. I don't know how many people really know what she does, but she's a major asset to our school.
Haley is kind, down-to-earth, professional, reliable, compassionate, and real.

James DuBose
Care for Others / Compassion / Empathy / Teamwork / Collaboration / Being Together / Working Together
James exemplifies "care for others" in the way he lives his life.  Every time I run into him, he has a smile on his face.  He always takes the time to ask about the family and remembers the stories from the last time we talked.  His positive energy is contagious!  I'm so glad we have James on our staff! 
Helpful, connects with others.

Silvia Arredondo
Care for Others/Teamwork/Communication/ Being Together
Silvia always talk to me on a personal level to the point we've become friends because she truly cares. I know I'll feel a pick-me-up after talking to her because she's very positive and complimentary of others.
Without Silvia, I would be much busier. She not only makes all my copies but without complaint (even when I send her a book to copy a ton of stuff from), and she makes things perfectly and on time (or early). She will make things quickly at the last minute when needed and deliver it personally if necessary. If she knows she's going to be out, she makes a ton of copies in advance. She is also great at communicating with staff so we know when she's here or not. She continues to amaze me with the great work she does to make my classroom and life easier. Great team mate!
She is very personable, so she displays warmth, humor and compassion and really gets to know individuals. She also loves to share stories of what works for different teachers that might help others out.
Don Azevada & Noel Villalpando
Care for Others
I feel they cared for others in they created a workspace in the teacher lounge.  For me, I can work, print, input grades etc during my prep while I am without a classroom.  I am able to get things done and the computers are very speedy too!  Thank you so much!!

Katie Hewitt
Be Real/Dare to Question/Care for Others/Find Balance/
Growth Mindset/Balanced Lives/
Compassion/Empathy/Teamwork/Collaboration/ Communication/Integrity/Authenticity/
Not only is Katie a skilled science teacher, she is a skilled stand-up comedian without even trying.  When we're all together, the one-liners and comments she throws in context have us all rolling.  When you talk to Katie casually for just a few minutes, her infectious spirit cheers you up immediately.  She is always looking for a cohesive and innovative way to do things, and she always tries to connect the department.  She is also the best at "finding balance" in her life as a mom of two babies and a full-time teacher and knows how to weave some fun activities into her life here and there.  If she's ever having a hard time, you would never know it! She is a role model on many levels, and I feel she needs to be acknowledged ( to other staff besides just us!)  
Matt Hodgins
Care for Others/Compassion/Empathy

Matt cares for students and staff by constantly thinking of ways to engage and involve. As the long-time adviser of Interact, he moves students to make a difference at the school and in the community. As a teacher, he's constantly connecting kids to the larger community through guest speakers and relevant, hands-on projects. And he shares--inviting other teachers to bring their students along to experience learning beyond the classroom. Even though he's truly a stand out educator, he's not flashy or attention grabbing. He just does the work, caring for others for its own sake. 
Matt doesn't get paid more to make other's lives better. He does it because he cares.  

Kate Hewett

Katelyn did an excellent job on the 504/IEP project I asked her to complete this summer. She went above and beyond and did even more than I asked. It’s so organized and clear.

Julie Giordano
Be Real/Dare to Question/Care for Others

Deniz Sert felt you were one of the most influential teacher in his development. He thanked you for your time, patience, expertise, love, discipline, and everything else that made you a great teacher. 

Deanna Yates
Care for Others

Deanna overheard a student saying he could not pay for homecoming ticket and he had been asked to dance...she offered to pay for his ticket.

Donna Martin

Sandra Kelsey, the Librarian at the EDH Library stated: "I have worked with Donna for nearly 5 years and cannot speak enough for her dedication to the students of Oak Ridge. As co-lead of Y.E.L.L. (Youth Executive League at the Library), she attends weekly meetings on her own time to meet with middle school and high school students interested in providing support to the library. She is a skilled librarian, but also a patient collaborator, working with students to help them succeed and providing them support beyond the walls of her library. I admire her greatly and believe Oak Ridge is very lucky to have her". 

Don Azevada
Be Real/Care for Others

Don displayed incredible patience, professionalism and compassion in dealing with a very distraught, volatile student. He calmly listened and spoke in such a way that the student felt "heard" and understood. 

Darsy Arburn
Be Real/Care for Others/Balanced Lives/ Compassion/Empathy/Teamwork/ Communication/Integrity/Authenticity/Respect

Darsy came into the AP office to diffuse a difficult situation with a very upset student. She spoke to the student with kindness and respect which made him feel heard and helped to calm him down.

Dalisa Sanford
Care for Others/Compassion/Empathy/ Teamwork/ Communication/Respect 

Dalisa attended a a504 meeting for a student that had been struggling with anxiety. She was incredibly supportive, kind and understanding with the student and the family. The parents commended her on her organization and her ability to connect with such a troubled student.

Erin Arthur
Care for Others/Find Balance

Staff was working to help a student "lighten her class load" but could not find a location for her to go during "open time". Erin stepped up and volunteered to open her room during her prep so that the student would have a safe place to do her homework and have some quiet time.

Suzanne Everett
Be Real/Care for Others/Integrity/Authenticity 

Ms. Everett has arranged for professionals in many fields to come and address her English classes. As part of her "What I Want to be When I Grow Up" project the classes have been able to speak with adults who are in the fields many of the students are interested in. This program has resulted in Job-shadowing opportunities and greater understanding of future possibilities.

Jennifer Szelenyi
Be Real, Dare to Question/Care for Others/Find Balance

Jen consistently works towards the betterment of ORHS in all areas. She supports teachers, and fellow staff members through her initiative, care and compassion. She is incredibly helpful and handles it all with grace.

Mike Eisenhart
Care for Others

One of our students parents notified her counselor to compliment Mike. Mike had sent a handwritten note to the student to let her know of her excellent math score on an assessment. This brought tears to the eyes of the parent and a smile to the student. 

Denise Bonal
Care for Others, Collaboration, Creativity

Denise shows a good deal of initiative. She took on the responsibility of "Parent Square" messaging very seriously. She worked to make the system clearer in its communications to parents. Without being asked, she tried different templates within the system to come up with a more clear, concise and effective communication tool.

Michelle Kite
Dare to Question
Michelle wanted her students to perform puppet shows for children. She made arrangements with the EDH Library to do several shows, along with a stage and baskets of handmade puppets much to the delight of the Library families. She goes above and beyond to provide her classes with opportunities to learn and succeed. 

Jessica Womack
Care for Others, Compassion/
When you call the AP office about an issue or in need of help, Jessica is always willing to do whatever it takes to help you. She is friendly and professional and does her job well!

Silvia Arredondo
Care for Others, Teamwork
Silvia is friendly to everyone and goes above and beyond to get everyone's copy requests done in a timely manner. She helps with last minute requests and always has a smile on her face. She is a treat to work with.

Renee O'Banion
Care for Others
Renee is always ready & willing to step up to help our teachers.  She will help get supplies to their rooms, and volunteers regularly to help get teachers their work from the copy room in a speedy fashion. She embodies the kind of Teamwork/Care for others that is fundamental to ORHS.

Julie Ornelas
Be Real/Care for Others/Dare to Question/Find Balance/All School Values
Michelle Kite believes that Julie is the best department chair ever. She is fun, caring and professional. She worked really hard to make her feel welcomed this year. And she is always open to new ideas. 

Mandy Fiedler
Care for Others/Teamwork/Collaboration
Mandy was approached by our department to find a way to change the schedules of 23 kids, all for the good of my Geometry 11-12 (remedial) class. In the eye of the storm that is scheduling season, Mandy made it happen without any questions. She added this task to her very full plate, all for the good of the students who need it most.

Julie Giordano
Care for Others/Teamwork/Collaboration
Julie recognized the need for more one-on-one help in my Geometry 11-12 (remedial) class. She brought up the idea of collapsing her 3rd period Geometry, which only had 23 students in it, in order to co-teach with me in my class of 25 students, primarily students with IEPs and 504s. It was a tremendously selfless act!

Donna Martin
Donna is a fantastic librarian. She is friendly and approachable, and she loves working with both students and teachers. If she knows your class is going to be doing a project, she quickly offers to assist and offer her expertise. She truly goes above and beyond. She keeps the library organized, and she gives kids a safe space to hang out during break and lunch, too.

Carmela Sabatano
Be Real/Communication/Inquiry
A parent and student wanted me to know how incredible a teacher Ms. Sabatano was. They can't believe that nothing was lost in transitioning from Mrs. Hewitt to Ms. Sabatano. Their daughter is excited about how much she is learning from Ms. Sabatano. 

Megan Watson
Care for Others/Growth Mindset/Compassion
Quote from an Oak Ridge student, "I've never been in a school where the teachers show they care so much. Miss Watson spent so much time with me- making sure I knew the math concepts to help me be successful in math. I'm a junior and I've never had a teacher sit down with me and actually teach me one on one. She didn't even know me and she was straight up nice to me. I really like it here". 

Heath Jenkins/Jonathan Owens
Be Real/Care for Others
Quote from an Oak Ridge mother, "Our son Wesley really struggled academically his first two years at Oak Ridge. Mr. Pratt and Wesley's teachers have gone above and beyond to encourage Wesley to do his best work and not to give up. Wesley has mentioned often about how much his teachers, especially Mr. Owens and Mr. Jenkins really care about him. This has made all of the difference."

Kristina Argueta
Care for Others/Creativity/Compassion
Students rom Kristina's French classes and French Honor Society sang carols for two assisted living places in EDH this week for the second year in a row: El Dorado Hills Senior Care Village and El Dorado Estates. Thank you Kristina for providng this opportunity for our kids and community. 

Julie Prather
Be Real/Care for Others/Growth Mindset/ Teamwork
Julie has worked tirelessly with a 9th grade student who receives Special Education services. As a new member of the staff, Julie has been authentic, creative, flexible, cooperative, communicative and supportive. As she learns the ropes of being a "Trojan" she is working with her peers in her department, the Special Education department, Counseling, the family, and a reluctant learner who does not believe in his own abilities. Julie believes in the student, his skills, and genuinely wants him to succeed.

Casey Rhyan
Care for Others
Casey is a model coach with the lifelong relationships he forms with his wrestlers. Casey is currently working with a young man, 25 years old, who was a past player of his. This young man is experiencing great challenges in his life and his father passed away when he was young. Casey has stepped up and is there for this young man and helping him get all of the appointments that he needs. Casey is a coach that cares beyond the lines.

David Warren/Tony Diaz
A parent of a student in Dave Warren's class happens to be the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum in another district. He became very interested in how Dave was grading his classes. His curiosity over the ATI practices that Dave had in his class ended up with him asking Dave a lot of questions and setting up a collaboration between some of his teachers and Dave and Tony Diaz. I want to thank Dave and Tony for taking time of their day to work with teachers from another district. I admire their desire to help all students and teachers, even those not at Oak Ridge. 

Kim Doyle
Be Real/Care for Others
Kim recently shared with my Financial Analysis classes her struggles with debt. It was a powerful demonstration of being real and caring for others. She pulled no punches. In doing so, she laid out for my students in very real terms what the consequences can be from living with large amounts of debt. This also demonstrates caring for others. Kim hopes none of the students have to experience what she did. 

Jordan Lampenfeld
Be Real/Care for Others/Being Together 
I was supervising at the MPR and noticed when the bell rang that Mr. Lampenfeld was standing outside his door shaking the hand of every student as they entered the classroom and greeting them. It was clear this made the students feel welcome and important. I have no doubt that every student in that classroom knows that Mr. Lampenfeld cares about them and is glad they are in his class!

Kim Hassian
Care for Others/Teamwork/Collaboration
3Strands is a national organization based in El Dorado Hills. 3Strands is dedicated to ending the practice of sex trafficking. Many years ago a concerned community member came to Kim and asked her how they could teach students at Oak Ridge how to protect themselves from sex trafficking. At that moment, the PROTECT program was born. Kim was the first teacher in America to teach the PROTECT curriculum to her Health students. Now, Governor Brown has written into law that every student in the state must be taught the PROTECT curriculum. It has reached into other states as well. I was recently reminded that Kim was one of the pioneers of the program and showed that it could be done and that it was effective. 
Jeff Hassian
Care for Others/Teamwork/Collaboration 
Jeff excels at inspiring young people and making them reach beyond what they thought was possible. Jeff is also a silent leader. When Academic Decathlon needed a coach he stepped up. When he learned there was a Cyber Patriot National Cyber Defense Competition he started a team. He wanted to provide a place where our students could be challenged and improve. He does the same with Academic Decathlon.
Nicole Lucidi
Be Real/Compassion/Empathy/Care for Others
Nicole had unprecedented success with her EL class last year. Upon testing her returning students this year they all experienced a one level increase in their proficiency. In the EL world this is unheard of. Nicole goes beyond the curriculum with these students. She takes them under her wing and becomes a case manager for them. She always goes the extra mile and it shows. The phenomenal success of her students can be linked back directly to the work she is doing and the heart she has for her students. 
Cathy Kauffman
Be Real/Care for Others/Compassion/Empathy 
Cathy did not want to be recognized in a meeting. But I still felt it appropriate to recognize her publicly in this format.Parent Letter:
My daughter, Lindsay, became ill at the end of her junior year with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) and Papilledema. In short, the increased spinal fluid around her spine, optical nerves, and brain caused Lindsay to be put on Home and Hospital.
Struggling to heal from her conditions and complete all of her classes by the end of the school year proved to be impossible. Lindsay finished all of her classes with the exception of chemistry.
Both Lindsay and I reached out to her chemistry teacher, Cathy Kauffman. I expressed my concern that when Lindsay applies for colleges in November that an incomplete may affect her acceptance. Cathy immediately eased Lindsay's and my worries. When Cathy volunteered to come to our home during her summer and work with Lindsay, I was shocked since most teachers would probably never do this. Sure enough, she came multiple times!
THANKS to Cathy, Lindsay completed chemistry and her junior year successfully!!! We are so overwhelmingly appreciative for the dedication, kindness, commitment, and compassion that Cathy has shown to our daughter. It truly touched our hearts that Cathy would take time out of her own well-deserved vacation to help my daughter.
My daughter is super lucky to have had Cathy as her junior year chemistry teacher. Cathy truly cares about her students and went the extra mile to help my daughter through a very difficult time and that means the world to us. Oak Ridge is so fortunate to have such a terrific teacher who, out of the goodness of her heart, goes above and beyond and makes a true difference and positive impact on her students' lives.
I hope you and your staff will recognize what an amazing teacher Cathy Kauffman is and give her kudos that she so rightfully deserves!

Denise Bonal
Care for Others/Team Work/Collaboration/
Working Together
Denise took the ball and ran with a big job that needed to be completed right before school started (student information for Lifetouch.) She cared for me in a big way, I was overwhelmed and saw there was no way I could get the task at hand completed that day. She looked at me with confidence, and said "I've got this! don't worry!" 
 - Marty Wagner
Alison Lishman
Care for Others/Teamwork/Respect/Being Together/Working Together
Alison came in on a Saturday to put together the furniture for C-4 to make sure our Special Education Department had a beautiful space ready for them the first day of school. It showed the paraprofessionals that we value them and care about making their workspace comfortable and functional. Alison gave up her personal time to make this happen and I, as the admin who oversees Special Education, really appreciated her going the extra mile to make this happen before school started. – Kim Doyle

Dann Lealos
Be Real/Care for Others/Integrity/
Authenticity/ Respect/Compassion/Empathy/Being Together
Dann was picking weeds in the upper parking lot before school one morning. Something I have been meaning to do, but his actions speaks louder than my intentions. We teachers lead by example. Doing kind things for the sake of kindness shows our students what being real and caring for others (and our environment) mean. Thank you, Dann, for inspiring me personally today. – Anonymous 
Dave White
Be Real/Teamwork/The Oak Ridge Way
I want to recognize David White for all his work with Link Crew this summer. Their work culminated with one of the best Freshmen Orientations I have ever seen. It was clear that a tremendous amount of time and deep consideration went into planning the event. I want to honor Dave for going above and beyond for our freshmen class. He was determined to give them an amazing introduction to Oak Ridge. I want to honor him for his care, teamwork and willingness to be real with his Link Crew team.
Denise Root
Be Real/Compassion/Empathy/Care for Others/Teamwork/Collaboration
Denise was honored by the El Dorado Hills Rotary as the Oak Ridge Teacher of the Year.  Denise was recognized for her incredible commitment to her students and the passion she brings every day.  There is no one that cares more deeply about their students than Denise.  Beyond that, she spends countless hours dedicated to her department.  Student achievement among special education students increase last year and Denise is a big part of the reason why.