Trojan Hub
Weekly Update
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
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 phenominal 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.