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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 18, 2017     Feather River Bulletin
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October 18, 2017

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 5A al iscusses easure Roni Java Staff Writer rjava@plurnasnews.corn The Plumas Unified School District's Governing Board of Trustees voted on PE credit for sports participation, heard a new proposal for upgrading Portola High School ball fields and honored local students, among other business at its busy Oct. 11 meeting. Students and staff honored Convening first as the PUSD Board of Education, trustees Leslie Edlund, president; Joleen Cline; Dwight Pierson; and Dave Keller welcomed a new student representative and honored exemplary student conduct at the meeting held in the Portola Junior Senior High School library. Trustee Traci Holt, clerk of the board, attended by laptop on Skype. Edlund administered the oath of office to senior Jordan Herbert, who will serve as the student representative to the board for PJSHS. C. Roy Carmichael Elementary Principal Melissa Leal introduced the board to sixth-grader Liam Bowling for his "Principal's Recognition Award." Listing his impressive accomplishments and student conduct, Leal said, "Liam is kind, respectful and he excels every day at our school." Portola High Principal Sara Sheridan was also pleased to introduce her "Principal's Recognition Award" winner, llth-grader Austin Griffin, with help from popular teacher Karen Miller who told the board about Griffin's exemplary work. "Austin arrives at school at 7 a.m., taking the most difficult classes we offer, "Miller said. "He is an exceptional writer and academic thinker." Sheridan then presented Miller, a PJSHS English teacher, to the board as. her featured educator. "With 26 years of teaching, Karen is an exceptional teacher who gives 100 percent to her students and her scores are among the highest at our school," the principal said. "She mentors new teachers, tutors after school, advises for the junior class winter formal, spearheads our fall festival and much more. She also volunteers her summer vacation to do classroom makeovers for her fellow teachers and they love the transformations." PE credit for sports Reconvening as the Governing Board of Trustees, the school board finished up an item from the September board meeting, voting 5-0 to approve a change in board policy that will now allow 10th- through 12th-graders to earn PE credit for being in school sports. The credit will work out to one semester of PE credit for one semester of full participation in a school sport. The previous policy only granted two semesters of PE for three full school sports. Portola ball fields proposal The school board also heard a special presentation from local parent Mark CaUahan who shared a proposal to upgrade Portola High's current baseball field. Callahan, a Class-A golf course superintendent at Plumas Pines Golf Resort in Blairsden-Graeagle, brought forward a request to consider using Measure B funding to create a softball playing field that could be incorporated into the high school's existing baseball field. The goal would be to enhance sai playing surfaces for student athletes and Title IX requirements to offer access for female athletes who play softball. In addition, Callahan suggested such a project could result in a multi-use area suitable for PE classes, outdoor classroom opportunities and community events. "Portola High has no softball field and kids have to play off-campus for practice and games," Callahan said as he clicked through a PowerPoint presentation with images of ball fields located throughout Plumas Count . He added that improving the Portola field would benefit all schools in the district because the teams play games at one another's campuses. Callahan's family is an avid supporter of youth sports. He has 30 years of experience in the sports industry and was on the Feather River Little League board for over five years as both the safety officer and vice president. His son, Cody, is a sophomore who plays baseball and basketball for PJSHS. "I'd also like to suggest to the board the possibility of offering a turf management class at Portola High," he said. "It could help meet the needs of Plumas County golf courses and I've taught this subject myself, so I know there is a definite need." Attending the board meeting with Callahan was Mike Warden, president of Garden Shop Pro's landscape division in Reno. Warden and Callahan are volunteering their services on the ball fields proposal. Board President Edlund and trustee Dwight Pierson expressed interest in seeing the proposal come back with timeline information. Pierson also asked if showers and locker room facilities might be part of the plan. Callahan estimated the improved fields would continue using Portola High's existing facilities for ,those needs. Trustee Cline asked if the school coaches had seen it yet and Callahan explained he wilt show it to coaches so,on. Warden commented that he had already done "a couple of rough designs" and said that he is able to put together a rough site design and preliminary budget information for the board and ,district. Warden would provide the service at no charge and would include input: from a landscape architect and civil engineer. Edhmd replied that she would like to see how potential project costs and a timeline could fit into the board's overall plan for Portoht schools. PUSD Superintendent Terry Oestreich offered, "We'll need to have J.K. Associates architects meet with you." Measure B updates Reviewing Measure B projects and funding updates with staff, the board heard informational items on repairs and work change orders. Additional remediation and abatement work on the GHS gym was approved in the amounts of $43,490 for unforeseen mold and $52,463 for moisture barrier work in the gym floor crawlspace. Superintendent Oestreich reported that the district's contracted architectural firm has "walked all of the Measure B project sites," and the next step is to sit down with the school board trustees and prioritize each project by community. The trustees also heard a progress report about purchasing new 21st Century classroom furniture. Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Kristy Warren told the board that teachers involved in the PUSD pilot program for the furniture upgrades had made their selections and most favored either of two designs featuring rolling diamond-shaped desks with interchangeable student supply trays. Chairs with wheels are preferred, as well, to enable different configurations that make full use of the classrooms as learning spaces. The board gave staff direction to obtain a contract to purchase $134,642 in new furniture that teachers will test and evaluate during the rest of the school year. Classrooms participating in the pilot program include Quincy Elementary kindergarten and sixth-grade classrooms; a Greenville Elementary second-grade class, a Chester Elementary sixth-grade class, a C. Roy Carmichael third-grade class, a Quincy Junior Senior High School class and a Chester Junior Senior High School class. School calendar decision The Board made quick work of selecting a school instructional calendar for the 2018-19 year, choosing option C that provides a week at Thanksgiving, a Friday off before winter vacation and a four-day weekend in February. Plumas Charter School In other business, the board received a petition from Plumas Charter School to renew its charter. PCS Site Director Patrick Joseph submitted the petition and supporting documentation to the board and provided information pertinent to the application. "PCS was authorized in 1998 and renewed three times," Joseph said. "We are now beginning our 20th year and our facilities updates are being planned for 2018-19." Joseph added that several changes have taken place for PCS over the last five years, including significant growth in enrollment and having successfully submitted high school classes for approval. emocra me The Plumas County Democratic Committee will meet tomorrow night, Oct. 19, from 6:45 to 8 p.m. in the Quincy Library conference room, 445 Jackson St. in addition to its regular agenda, the group will go over the recently revised by-laws. The public is invited. Richard IL Stockton, CI.U 0hFC, Agent, Lic# fOB68653 65 W. Main Sb'eet, Quincy, CA 95971 Bus: 530-283-0565 Now that's teamwork. Call me for your insurance needs and see how it feels to be on a #1 team. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there? CALL ME TODAY. A weekly highlight of the programs of Plumas Unified School District and supported by the County Office of Education Chester Elementary Teachers for Outdoor Core/NGSS Rollout Over the last few years, Chester teachers, Kellie Bainbridge, Meghan Whalen, Aletha O'Kelley, Brooke Geer, Nicholle Crowther, Susan Tantardino, Camille Klimek, and Janae LaGroue (not pictured) have taken on a huge responsibility in our district, by agreeing to pilot Next Generation Science Standards ( NGSS).They have been the pioneers willing to dissect and deconstruct NGSS to create a curriculum guide and instructional plans that are specifically suited to Plumas County. In 2013, the California Department of Education adopted new science standards to update and improve the framework for educating generations of science-literate students. However, the NGSS framework and core ideas were created with the flexibility for local educators to adopt a unique strategy to best fit their school's needs and strengths. Plumas Unified's NGSS strategy is Outdoor Core, which builds upon Plumas Unified's thirty-year history of formal outdoor education. This history includes well established outdoor learning environments and partnerships that make PUSD well-situated to create an innovative program linked to our outdoor environment. At the Kindergarten, through the 6th-grade level, Outdoor Core is designed to use our northern Sierra Nevada homeland as the integrating focus for learning. Employing a project-based learning structure, students progress through 7 thematic years, as they become "Mountain Kids". Kindergarten- Gardens, First Grade- Insects & Invertebrates, Second Grade- Reptiles & Amphibians, Third grade- Mammals, Fourth Grade- Fish &; Aquatic, Fifth Grade- Birds, and 6th grade-Watershed. As of now, there is not a publically published NGSS book for educators to purchase. While some schools in other districts are simply waiting for a book to be created, Chester teachers have taken on the challenge of creating their own Outdoor Core Units, with resources and lesson plans for all PUSD teachers to utilize. They have worked in combination with Rob Wade, to carefully construct a, year that takes students on a journey that is based on real-world experiences and real-world applications, specifically directed at using our local environment and community resources to do hands-on science projects. The beginning two years of the pilot were spent understanding the new standards, focus areas, NGSS framework, and gathering resources. This preparation culminated over this past June and July, where teachers dedicated 300 plus hottrs to create their own Outdoor Core units, for each grade level, complete with monthly plans, instructionaJ[ activities, resources, links, field trips, service learning projects, and alignment documents. To do this they utilized lessons from Project Wet, Project Wild, and Adopt a Watershed to create lessons and put them into the NGSS model. They reviewed hundreds of curriculum guides - put out by various publishers related to hands-on science- and pulled from these different resources to decide on the best lessons. This meant reading through each lesson, chapter by chapter, book by book to decide what was best, based on NGSS standards and grade-level focus. While the teachers did receive compensation for their time putting together the curriculum and resource guides, many of them went above and beyond their allotted paid time. Kellie Bainbridge shared that she read close to 250 children's science themed books to decide which ones, would work best for her students, the framework, and her grade level standards. In August, CES teachers, along with Rob Wade, facilitated training for their grade level counterparts throughout the district. They each led grade level peers in understanding NGSS and the role of Outdoor Core in the curriculum. They walked teachers through the units, demonstrating hands-on outdoor activities .for teachers and the details of each project they planned, recommended best materials, and distributed supplies. Going forward CES teachers will continue to help their colleagues throughout the district and continue to improve the implementation of units. Plumas Unifmd is incredibly grateful for the hard work and hundreds of hours of commitment and dedication that these eight teachers have put into helping our whole district implement Outdoor Core and build a brand new way of teaching science, using our local resources and environments to engage and inspire students. For more information about PUSD, follow us on Facebook -- Plumas Unified School District or our district webpage at