News 10/2/09

STIMULUS SPENDING DETAILED

By Ashley Cabrera

Editor-in-Chief

The Sierra County Office of Education and Sierra-Plumas Joint Unified School District received a total of $321,766 in federal government stimulus money last summer and those entities are quickly spending it on technology and other needs.

The county received $60,063, and the school district received $261,703 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as the stimulus bill.

Most of the money has already been spent.  According to SPJUSD Business Manager Rose Asquith the bulk of the funds, $283,091 has been spent or budgeted for a greenhouse project, technology equipment, teachers’ salaries and walk-on coaches. Some $78,332 of additional money has been spent on SMARTBoards and training for teachers. SMARTBoards are the new interactive, computerized whiteboards in many classrooms around the district.

Other amounts were spent on or are planned for the following:

  • $8,539 for after-school training and preschool materials and supplies.
  • $4,681 can be spent on projects related to homeless students. The district has yet to determine how to spend that money.

Asquith explained that some of the money is going toward a shortfall in revenue created by the state of California. The stimulus money fill in for this revenue shortfall in the district—money needed to pay teachers’ and other employees’ salaries.

Three priorities were set for the spending: intervention and related teacher training, career technology and preschool programs.

Within the intervention parameters, money will be spent on the Language! program that will help students read and comprehend better, on SMARTBoards and related training and on a new health and wellness curriculum.

Within the career and technology priority, funds will go toward a partnership with Feather River College for college and career awareness, toward green technology training, and toward computer and business programs, which could include virtual, small business, Junior Achievement and software presentation budget items.

Preschool funds will include search efforts, early intervention programs, teacher training and additional services.

TECH ERA FOR LHS ROAR

By Alex Folchi

News Reporter

The Grizzlies’ Roar has been around for more than 60 years, but this year is the first year that the Roar staff has expanded the paper to include an online version.

Online Editor-in-Chief Niecea Freeman and Managing Editor Emily Loveridge have put in a great amount of work to get this online blog ready for LHS student, parent and faculty use.

Already on the blog are the last issue of

The Grizzlies’ Roar stories as well as current ones, plus photos and features.  Freeman and Loveridge will add the stories from every print Roar to the blog, so that students will be able to view those stories at any time.

The online blog includes a poll about topics that are important and relevant to LHS students. The first poll question on the online Roar was “How did Michael Jackson’s death affect you?”  Also new to the Roar will be many more pictures than the printed version can accommodate.

The online Roar staff is trying to get video clips onto the blog for events such as sports games, interviews or any LHS-related trips.

The home page of the blog, https://lhsroar.wordpress.com/, offers the daily school bulletin as well as all those on The Grizzlies’ Roar staff, the poll relating to the current print issue and a drop down list of all the print issues of the Roar.  Also along the top of all the pages are different tabs including News, Sports, Opinions and Editorials and Features, all of which will lead to the stories in that category.

Another tab along the top is the About tab, which gives information and history about the Roar and its new online look.

The newest feature is the College Info link, with changing information about various colleges of interest to LHS students.  This week the University of Nevada, Reno, is featured.

One important feature of the site is that viewers are able to comment on any story that has been written by the Roar staff.  Also, on every page there is a link to the LHS website itself, which also holds information key to LHS students, faculty and parents.

AP HONORS FOR TWO LHS STUDENTS

Two Loyalton High School students have earned AP Scholar Awards in recognition of their exceptional achievement on Advanced Placement exams—Niecea Freeman, a current senior, and Madison Turner, a 2009 LHS graduate.AP Scholar

The College Board Advanced Placement Program provides highly motivated and academically strong students with the opportunity to take challenging, college-level courses while still in high school. All AP courses that a high school offers are scrutinized by the College Board through a syllabus approval process.

Loyalton High School currently offers eight AP courses: AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP U.S. History, AP Government and Politics, and AP Studio Art. The two English classes are offered on alternating years, as are the two science courses. AP Studio Art is a new class this year, taught by Laura Calabrese. All Loyalton AP teachers have received training to teach their courses.

Students earning the AP Scholar Award have gotten a passing score of three or higher in three or more exams.

Loyalton’s AP program is also growing in popularity with students. In May 2009 32 LHS students took a total of 67 AP exams.  In this current school year 35 students are enrolled in 63 exams.

LHS Academic Advisor Janet McHenry is proud of Loyalton High’s program. “We currently have more AP offerings than the other small schools in our area. This directly correlates with our high rate of college attendance directly after graduation. Between a third and a half of our graduates attend four-year universities straight out of LHS. That’s very high for a school with our demographics. Additionally, our students are finding they are better prepared for the rigors of college because of the AP work they did at Loyalton High.”

McHenry noted that students should not feel they must take every single AP course LHS offers. “College admissions officers are now saying that’s not necessary—but that instead students should take the most rigorous courses offered in the areas of study that they plan to pursue in college.”

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