CCS Students Advance to State Tournament PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 12 March 2015 15:52


Students from Chinese Christian Schools were big winners at the Odyssey of the Mind San Francisco Bay Regional Tournament.

The students of Chinese Christian Schools couldn’t be more excited as three of the four teams placed either first or second in their divisions at the Odyssey of the Mind San Francisco Bay Regional Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 28 in Concord, Calif.

They will now advance to the State tournament to be held at UC Riverside later this month.  Depending on the teams’ placement at State, they may move on to the 2015 World Finals competition as the previous teams have the last three years.

Odyssey of the Mind lets students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition.


Firefighters Love Corvallis PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 26 February 2015 15:03

022615schAlameda County Firefighters recently visited Corvallis Elementary School to help the kids make hearts out of old fire hoses in honor of Valentines Day. Joining in the fun was San Leandro City Councilman Lee Thomas, top center.


SLHS Business Students Innovate PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2015 12:58

021915schFour teams from San Leandro High School’s Academy of Business and Finance won awards in the 2014 World Series of Innovation.

The competition is open to students nationwide and is put on by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a non-profit that encourages young people to start their own businesses.

Juniors Maggie Mehari and Lauren Adona won first place in a restaurant redesign category with their plan to turn a 4-star Indian restaurant into a Bollywood-style nightclub with street food after hours, in their project “Joonan Nightlife.”

Juniors Laura Friedlund, Angelo Belenson and Diana Grande won the GoDaddy Business Builder Challenge with their app design to connect entrepreneurs and businesses world-wide.

Sophomores Keturah Fluker, Kardiere Johnson Hale, Vaijon Hortan and Abril Rubalcaba won the Mircosoft school improvement category for their app “My Look Out,” which helps people who find themselves in a dangerous situation get help.

And seniors Sharon Pham, Kamarri Williams, and Marielle Lopez  won the People’s Choice Award for their app CONNECTTeen, which is designed to help students new to a community find friends and places that meet their interests.

CAPTION: Seniors Sharon Pham, Kamarri Williams, and Marielle Lopez  were among four winning teams from San Leandro at the 2014 World Series of Innovation.


Say Hello To Principal Petersen PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 12 February 2015 14:10

021215sch1Assumption Catholic School recently welcomed a new principal, Joe Petersen.Petersen came to San Leandro from 13 years as principal at St. Elizabeth’s in Oakland.

As the school’s first new principal in nearly a decade, Petersen – himself a graduate of Catholic school – has proven to be a strong presence at the school, according to Assumption parent Allison Pretto, who interviewed him recently.

Petersen grew up in a family with ten kids.  His  dad was a teacher/principal/superintendent in a public school system where they consolidated two school systems.  After his father was laid off, Petersen’s mom, who was a stay-at-home mom for 30-plus years, went into the work force as a bank teller.

Petersen said he is excited about being the principal at Assumption and that he is inspired by the community on campus. He says he has big plans for Assumption.

“In the classroom, I would like teachers to meet individual kids,” said Petersen. “It shouldn’t be where 30 kids have to figure out the one teacher.  It should be the one teacher figuring out the 30 kids. Also, if students are not socially and emotionally in a safe place, they are not going to learn.  So how do we as instructors or educators generate and create and facilitate that social and emotional place so our kids know, ‘I’m going to be okay.  I can make a mistake, and I’m going to be okay.’”

CAPTION: Joe Petersen recently took over as principal at Assumption School.


New San Leandro Students Have a One-Stop Shop for School Enrollment PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 29 January 2015 13:27



The Department of Student Services, Special Education and Community Services staff, including Myrna Hernandez, Cordula Dokes, Theresa Gonzalez, Sandra Bueno-Salas and Consuelo Zuluaga, will be working on centralized enrollment.

The San Leandro Unified School District announced that, beginning Feb. 23, the district will launch centralized enrollment for students new to the district for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Families registering new students will be able to make appointments at the new offices of the Student Services, Special Education and Community Wellness Department, which will open in February at 2255 Bancroft Ave. (formerly the offices of the San Leandro Adult School), directly across the street from San Leandro High School and adjacent to the new San Leandro Health and Wellness Center, which is currently under construction.

Funding for the renovation is through the Measure B and Measure M school facilities bonds. Measure B also supplied some funding for the Health and Wellness Center.

“We are excited about bringing our families the benefits of centralized enrollment, which allows one-stop shopping with resources at their fingertips,” said Victoria Forrester, Director of Student Services, Special Education and Community Wellness. “Although our school office managers do a phenomenal job registering new families, it is impossible for every school to know which resources are available for throughout the district.”

Currently, SLUSD enrollment occurs at all school sites, with 1,300 new students projected for the 2015-2016 school year.   Centralized enrollment streamlines and improves the process for families, said Forrester.

Centralized enrollment will greatly benefit foster youth, families with housing instability, students with special needs and English language learners, the district says.

According to Sonal Patel, Director of Teaching, Learning and Educational Equity, centralized enrollment is especially critical for initial identification of native language and program placement for English Learners.

“All families fill out a home language survey,” said Patel. “Our families need the survey with instructions in their primary language, which the online component will also offer. Currently, we may be under-identifying English Learners. The online format, along with an appointment-type setting will help us present families with our most current program options available at all of our schools and track their choices in order to monitor placement.”

Forrester commended her staff for doing the heavy lifting on the design of the new centralized enrollment process.

“This work has been fast and furious, but incredibly thorough, thanks to my department,” said Forrester. She also noted that the location change itself creates a more central location for families, as Bancroft Avenue is centrally located and a major thoroughfare with multiple bus routes.

For more information on centralized enrollment, call Student Services at 510-667-6427.


Use Technology to Study Smarter PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:07

012215pSchool can seem like a whirlwind for kids, and it’s important for parents to get them organized and put them in a position to succeed.

Thankfully, new developments in education are making it easier for students to keep organized, study smarter and achieve better results.

These days, technology has the power to dramatically improve how kids digest, retain and apply information — if you know how to use it. Check out these great study tips that can help your student achieve the grades they strive for.

Quit Cramming

“All-nighters” are a relic of the “Saved by the Bell” era. Research now shows that students who cram the evening before a test or quiz are less likely to perform well the following day. Rest is critical for academic success.

Instead of packing learning into marathon sessions, students should maintain a regular study schedule leading up to their tests and should make sure to get plenty of shuteye.

Jump Around

When prepping for a test, most students review course materials in chronological order. While this approach may seem logical, research suggests that studying out-of-order helps students retain standalone knowledge more effectively. This allows them to recall information in a randomized fashion (the way it appears on tests).

If your children apply themselves and use these tips to guide their studies, they should have a leg up on the curriculum this school year. Whether it’s digital learning products, or just a good night’s sleep, a dynamic, modern approach to education can help your child thrive.

If your student has struggled in the past, or if you think he or she isn’t reaching his or her true potential, try some new techniques to help make this school year the best of your son or daughter’s academic career.

Create a Digital Tool-Kit

“Be prepared” is the simple motto of the Boy Scouts, and it applies to almost every facet of life. You wouldn’t try to build a tree-house without a hammer, saw and nails — you shouldn’t study with an empty tool kit either.

These days, there are unique tech tools available that make the studying process more efficient, engaging and effective.

One such tool is LearnSmart from McGraw-Hill ( that continuously assesses students’ knowledge and skills and provides personalized recommendations that help them master content over time, helping students focus their study time more on learning what they don’t know and less on what they already know.


Start Early When Teaching Children About Traffic Safety PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:05

012215p6It’s never too early to start teaching your children about traffic safety. Traffic accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Here are some traffic safety tips for you and your children to remember.

Car Safety: Everyone should use seat belts, and children should always be in a properly fitted car seat.

When reversing out of parking spaces, drivers should be on alert for small children, and parents should always hold their child’s hand and watch for speeding. And, while it may be convenient to leave a trunk open when loading or unloading items, children are naturally curious and may get trapped inside if left unattended. So, be sure to teach your child that trunks are for cargo, not hide-and-seek.

Bike Safety: Make sure your, and your child’s, bike helmets sit low across the forehead with no more than two finger-widths above the eyebrow. And make sure the chin strap is buckled snugly. Children should also ride on bike paths or sidewalks — never in the streets.

In low-light conditions, make sure that you and your children wear brightly colored clothing and reflective materials. Everyone’s bike should be equipped with a white front light and a red rear light.

— StatePoint

Students: Speak Out Against Bullying PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:04


With classes, sports, homework and other activities, weekdays are action packed for kids. Unfortunately, some students deal with an unwelcome addition to their daily routine — bullying. An estimated 13 million students are bullied annually, according to government statistics.

With online social media so widely available to kids today, bullying doesn’t necessarily stop after school, and often takes place round-the-clock. The repercussions can be missed days of school, depression and even suicide.

Fortunately, kids are getting more help these days as bullying prevention efforts are growing nationwide.

Cartoon Network has been a pioneer in this space and its  “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign has been empowering bystanders to put a stop to bullying since it launched in 2010. On average, more than 100,000 people visit the initiative’s website monthly to learn prevention strategies.

“Speaking up to a trusted adult is the safest, most effective way for victims and bystanders to bring an end to a bullying situation,” says Alice Cahn of Cartoon Network. “Bystanders in particular can be powerful agents for change when they report incidents.”

Support for Cartoon Network’s award-winning pro-social effort has come from diverse organizations. President Obama even invited Cartoon Network to the first Bullying Prevention Summit at the White House, and later introduced the initiative’s first documentary, “Speak Up.”

Any time is a great time to review ways that adults and kids can stand up to bullying. Here are a few strategies:

• Cyberbullying: Don’t contribute to the problem by sharing, saving, forwarding or reposting information. If you’re on the receiving end, resist the urge to get back at the person or fix the issue online — both can make the problem worse. Get offline and deal with it in real life. Parents can help prevent cyberbullying by monitoring kids’ use of computers, mobile phones and tablets.

• Don’t stand by: Research has found that when bullying occurs and a bystander intervenes by speaking up, more than half of bullying situations stop within just 10 seconds.

• Listen: Parents should check in with kids periodically to make sure they’re safe and happy at school, on the playground and online. If you’re an adult and a child tells you about a bullying situation, listen. Either let the school know about the issue or talk to the other children’s parents about putting a stop to the behavior.

Whether you’re a victim, a bystander or a concerned adult, don’t sweep bullying under the rug. By speaking out against cruelty, you can help end bullying.


Pediatric Cardiomyopathy and Your Child PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 16:00



Whether kids are in school or on the sports field, it is important for parents to understand the symptoms and risk factors of pediatric cardiomyopathy.

When thinking of heart disease, older adults typically come to mind, but children also can have heart disease, often with more devastating outcomes.

Pediatric cardiomyopathy is a potentially life-threatening disease and the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in children.

Cardiomyopathy is a chronic disease of the heart muscle that affects the heart’s ability to pump blood. Some children who have the disease can be symptom-free and are unknowingly at risk for SCA. Approximately 2,000 people under 25 die of SCA every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are preventative measures for families.

“In many cases, if cardiomyopathy is detected early and managed properly, sudden cardiac death can be prevented,” says Lisa Yue, a parent who lost two children to cardiomyopathy and founder of the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF).

The Foundation is working to call attention to the disease. “Knowing the symptoms and risk factors for cardiomyopathy can help save lives.”

Know the Symptoms

Currently there is no formal cardiac screening process for children. While pediatricians can respond to more obvious symptoms, identifying pediatric cardiomyopathy can be challenging because some affected children are symptom-free. It is not uncommon for cardiomyopathy to be missed or misdiagnosed as a cold, flu or asthma.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, fainting, chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations and fatigue. Infants may experience poor weight gain, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating or lethargy. It is important for parents to communicate concerns to the pediatrician.

Know the Risk Factors

“Cardiomyopathy can occur in any child and be inherited or acquired through a viral infection or from cancer chemotherapy,” explains Steven Lipshultz, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief of Children’s Hospital of Michigan and chair of CCF’s medical advisory board.

Since the majority of cardiomyopathies are inherited, understanding a family’s cardiac history is the best way to prevent premature death.

Hereditary risk factors include having a family member who is disabled by heart disease, has died of heart disease before age 50, or was diagnosed with Long QT syndrome, cardiomyopathy, Marfan syndrome or a heart rhythm issue.

Those who exhibit symptoms such as chest pain, fatigue, fainting or high blood pressure should be evaluated by a cardiologist.

Protecting At-Risk Youth

Adolescents with an underlying heart condition like cardiomyopathy are at a higher risk for SCA due to increased physical activity and certain body changes. SCA is the top cause of death on school property; and, according to the American Heart Association, these deaths occur most commonly during high-intensity sports.


Art in the Classroom Gains ‘STEAM’ PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 15:59

012215p1Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — known collectively as STEM — has been the buzz phrase for educators for some time. But, with many school districts eliminating art, music and other humanities classes, there has been a recent push by educators to change the focus from STEM to STEAM, and add arts back into the mix for a more well-rounded education.

“Many experts agree that STEAM education is a great way to engage children of all ages in creative play, discovery and learning,” says Dr. Eric Klopfer of VTech age-appropriate and developmental electronic learning products for children.

Whatever the present academic focus of your local school district is, you can help support a more comprehensive education for your children at home, while making it fun. Here’s how to incorporate STEAM learning into your children’s playtime:

Art Time

The school day may not offer daily opportunities for creativity to flourish, but you can turn the playroom at home into an artists’ studio. Keep on hand arts and crafts supplies such as glue, construction paper, glitter, scissors and paint. Take a trip to a museum or gallery and learn about different artists and styles to get kids inspired.


Participation in music education has been proven to improve grades in STEM subjects. Not only that, it’s a ton of fun.

If your school offers, encourage your kids to get involved in opportunities such as band or chorus, and invest in a keyboard or guitar for the home. Even if private music lessons are out of the budget, there are plenty of online tutorials that can help with the basics.

New Technologies

Handing over your expensive, breakable mobile technology to your young children may not sound ideal for on-the-go learning, but there are durable tablets, such as VTech’s InnoTab Max, built for children that support learning apps combining STEM subjects with the arts.

The apps feature a wide curriculum of language arts and reading, math, science, social studies, problem solving and creativity, that have been reviewed by a panel of education and child development experts.


Make Playtime Educational, Fun PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 15:56

012215p5Playtime should be fun, but who says it can’t also be beneficial to kids? From imaginative play that expands creativity to toys that develop crucial motor skills, kids’ play can be a time when learning and fun go hand in hand.

“Children don’t need to be in a classroom for quality learning to take place,” says Dr. Lise Eliot, early childhood development expert and author. “In fact, opportunities to promote mental and physical development can happen anywhere, anytime.”

Here are a few ideas for maximizing playtime:

• Make Music: Playing music can help kids be creative and expressive, as well as promote coordination. But some kids may be reluctant to participate if it feels like work. If there’s resistance to formal music education, don’t nix the idea entirely. Stock your playroom with a keyboard, tambourine and other kid-friendly instruments and let kids explore music on their own terms.

• Cool Toys: “Look for fun toys that encourage problem-solving, engage children in imaginative play, and develop fine motor skills and spatial reasoning,” says Eliot.

• Outdoor Games: For some fresh air, and at the same time to encourage hand-eye coordination and learning number fun, get outdoors to play some classic games like hopscotch, jacks or marbles. Encourage kids’ creative side, by having them come up with an idea for their own game, complete with rules and a scoring system.


Eliminate Homework Hassles PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 22 January 2015 15:54

012215p3Do your children consistently make excuses for not doing their homework? Is your peaceful family time cut short by a homework tug-of-war?

If so, you are not alone. Many parents often lack the skills to effectively deal with this conflict and motivate their children to do their homework. Fortunately, these skills are not difficult to learn.

According to Education Specialist Dr. Mary Mokris there are seven motivation skills that parents can learn that will make homework time easier:

1. Set up a proper study area — a place that is quiet, well lit and free from distractions.

2. Institute a daily homework time, preferably at the same time each day — if possible, before or right after dinner. Children need a solid eight to nine hours of sleep daily.

3. Encourage children to do homework on their own. Read directions together, provide examples and help organize, but help with the assignment only after the child attempts it on his or her own.

4. Praise, praise, praise your child. Praise effort, not perfection. Tell your children the things you like about what they are doing or have done. For children to succeed, parents must send a message that they have confidence in them.

5. Choose an incentive that the child will appreciate, such as stickers, a certificate, a special treat or one-on-one time with parents.

6. Communicate assertively and tell your children that you expect them to do their homework. Repeat your expectations in a clear, firm voice. Let them know there are consequences — including failing grades — for not completing homework. Consider taking away privileges like television or computer time if they do not comply.

7. Form a partnership between parent and teacher with open communication between home and school.

Through setting goals, positive parenting and effective communication, parents can help motivate their children to take homework seriously, develop skills, and benefit from the discipline that homework provides, such as hard work, perseverance and the confidence to overcome challenges.