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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #12-39
May 4, 2012
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

Education Roundup for Week Ending May 4, 2012

SACRAMENTO—The California Department of Education (CDE) today issued this week's Education Roundup of education-related announcements of public interest.

California Students Named Delegates to Prestigious Science Camp

The CDE selected two California students as delegates, and another two as alternates to attend the prestigious National Youth Science Camp - Initiatives & Programs (NYSC).

The delegates are: Nhi Ho of Los Angeles, a student at Santa Monica High School; and Virup Gubba of San Jose, a student of Lynbrook High School.

The first alternate is Chuxi Pan of Novato, a student at Novato High School. The second alternate is Jason Liu of Sacramento, a student at Mira Loma High School. The alternates would serve only if the delegates are unable to participate.

The NYSC is a residential science education program that honors and challenges two graduating high school students from each state. All the educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage are free to the delegates.

The NYSC will be held at a facility in the Monongahela National Forest near Bartow, West Virginia. Delegates must attend the entire program between June 27 and July 21, 2012. Students will listen to lectures, participate in hands-on seminars, visit the nation’s premiere science facilities, as well as participate in recreational activities.

All four students were selected because of their superior academic proficiency in math and the sciences, leadership abilities, and social maturity.

Six California Students Named U.S. Presidential Scholars

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulates six California students named this week as 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars [http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/141-students-across-country-named-2012-us-presidential-scholars] External link opens in new window or tab. by the U.S. Department of Education.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. The Scholars are comprised of one young man and woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts. The 2012 ceremony will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

The six California students are among 141 high school seniors honored in the 48th class of Presidential Scholars.

  • Fairfield: Michelle Ang*, School of the Arts, San Francisco; Most influential teacher: Phillip Rayher, Oakland.
  • San Francisco: Kelsey L. Lauritano*, School of the Arts, San Francisco; Most influential teacher: Lois Roberts, San Mateo.
  • San Jose: Kathryn I. Siegel, Harker School, San Jose; Most influential teacher: Susan King, Scotts Valley.
  • San Jose: Laila M. Smith*, Novato High School, Novato; Most influential teacher: Kerry Marsh, Antelope.
  • Aliso Viejo: Emma H. Townley*, Smith, Orange County High School of the Arts, Santa Ana; Most influential teacher: James Blaylock, Santa Ana.
  • Rancho Palos Verdes: David L. Wang, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates; Most influential teacher: Jill Verenkoff, Rolling Hills Estates.

* Presidential Scholar in the Arts

New Publication Highlights California Common
Core State Standards for Grades Seven and Eight

The CDE is offering a new online publication entitled, A Look at Grades Seven and Eight in California Public Schools: Transitioning to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics (PDF; 1MB).

The free publication is a resource for teachers, administrators, and parents to help them transition to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in grade-level curriculum. A "standard" is the knowledge, concepts, and skills students should acquire at each grade level. The CCSS is a state-led initiative to establish consistent and clear educational standards nationwide for English language arts and mathematics to prepare students for college and careers.

The publication arranges chapters by grade-level with overviews about each subject matter followed by the content standards. A "Support for English Learners" section in each content area identifies a few of the difficulties English learners may face and recommendations to help them gain access to the curriculum. Other sections include information on instructional resources, assessment, accountability, universal access, and closing the achievement gap.

This new document continues the guidance on implementing the CCSS provided for earlier grades in the publication, A Look at Kindergarten Through Grade Six in California Public Schools.

New Science Safety Handbook

The CDE is also offering a new, downloadable, publication designed to provide science students with a safe learning environment. The Science Safety Handbook for California Public Schools (Handbook) can help teachers, students, administrators, and other school staff to understand and avoid situations that may lead to accidents in a science classroom, laboratory, or other learning environment.

The Handbook is designed to be used by science teachers in elementary to high school. The publication offers common sense safety tips, legal safety requirements, and information on the proper handling of substances. Also, some sample materials include parental consent forms and student safety agreements to help teachers communicate with students and their families.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education are key areas of learning that engage students in rigorous academic concepts, coupled with problem-solving, and performance based lessons that can help prepare students for the global economy. To download a free copy, please visit Science Safety Handbook for California Public Schools (PDF; 3MB) on the CDE Web site.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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