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PALSS Update June 5, 2012 Meeting 1.

Ripon High Grads Jordan Carmona (freshman at UOP), Lindsey Perkins (Graduate of UOP), and Aimee Souza (Graduate of UC Santa Barbara) talked to PALSS about their high school experience. They are said Ripon High prepared them well for college. Aimee was recently hired as a winemaker for a local winery and Lindsey is in graduate school at San Jose State. All three took AP coursework at the high school. One of the parents asked if they passed the AP tests and received credit from their colleges. They all said no but felt the rigor of the coursework was helpful. Aimee emphasized that despite not earning college credit for AP courses her and Lindsey still graduated in 4 years. Aimee was in the AVID program at Ripon High and received lots of help in applying to colleges through her AVID class. Jordan said he utilized the counseling office for help on college applications and applying for financial aid. Lindsey received help from her AP teachers in her application process. One parent asked if there were parent workshops offered for parents to guide their children through this process and Mr. Morrow said yes there has been in the past and he believed one was held this year. Lindsey credited her teacher, Mr. Meyers, with helping her with note-taking skills. A skill she still uses to this day. 2. Jen and Karina presented a sample survey to the group and asked for feedback. Dr. Johnson said that we could use Survey Monkey to put out the survey and it can go out in Notify Me as well as hard copies in the schools offices. One parent suggested that the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary also be notified so we can ensure a good response from the community. Craig Macho said he can publicize it in the Ripon Record as well. We will be posting a sample survey soon on our Facebook page as well as emailing it to our contacts. Please feel free to make suggestions. We will have the survey ready to go in August and present results at a future PALSS meeting. 3. We updated the group on what has happened since our April PALSS meeting. Jen and Karina presented at the school boards May meeting. We asked the board to consider increasing the current high school graduation requirement in Mathematics from 2 years to 3 years. Jen shared an article from the Modesto Bee showing that large numbers of Central Valley students are testing into remedial math and English classes at the CSU and the community colleges. Stats from the community college show that 85% of students that attend a California community college test into a remedial math class and 57% that attend a CSU test into remedial classes. Ripon is known for its quality education. If a student does not take math after his/her sophomore year it is highly unlikely that they will be testing into college level math at the community college. Kids are still required to take 3 years of math through Algebra 2 (Adv. Algebra) to be eligible for a CSU/UC. We also talked to the board about offering Pre-AP courses at the junior high level. Mr. Tyhurst asked us to look at surrounding districts to see who was offering those courses and report back.

We talked to two schools in the area that offered Pre-AP courses; Oakdale Jr. High and Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Lodi. Both schools design their own curriculum because they felt SpringBoards curriculum was too limiting. However, McAuliffe does send its teachers to the Pre-AP summer institute for training. Amie Carter, Colony Oak principal, asked why we wanted the Pre-AP program. We responded that since GATE was cut it seems like the focus is on raising the underperforming students test scores and there are no enrichment programs for the higher performing students. Ms. Carter said that all the schools are working on raising the rigor and relevance of the curriculum and Colony Oak was focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Weston is looking at having a technology focus. Lastly, we discussed promoting a college-going culture in our school district. Larry Dextraze, San Joaquin A+ Teacher of the Year, from Tully C. Knowles School in Stockton, gave me a list of terrific ideas of what is done at their school. Our goal would be to help implement some of the following ideas at our elementary schools. Dr. Johnson suggested we talk with Ripons Alumni Group about donating college pennants and banners. We also thought the PFCs could help with this. The following is a list of what is done at Tully C. Knowles;

-Each room on campus has adopted a particular college campus and flies a flag or banner. I chose Boston College to further the idea that not only is college in your future but possibly a new state as well. -TCK has a 10 foot banner in the cafeteria that says TCK=Those College bound Kids. -We have around 100 college banners from colleges all over the country lining the cafeteria perimeter. -We have a Dream Writing Wall in the cafeteria that shares ideas and feelings of students in relation to future careers via college or technical schools. -Banners selling the idea that every TCK student is a scholar. -Teachers are encouraged to display their college diploma in a frame on the wall of their classroom for everyone to see. -We occasionally have public speakers talk to our breakfast crowd of about 250 students about their careers, school experiences and need for education. -We have a school experience migration wall beginning at preschool to elementary to high school to college to a job you love. The poster is labeled "The Life Cycle of a TCK Scholar". -Finally the students publicly share goals set and attained everyday which relates to a large part to our reading emphasis and literacy. Our next meeting will be scheduled for the end of August. We dont have an exact date yet since we are talking with PFC presidents in order to not conflict with their meetings. Please email us with any questions/comments. We appreciate Dr. Johnson (Superintendent), Mr. Morrow (Ripon High Principal), and Ms. Carter (Colony Oak Principal) attending our meeting. We hope that more elementary principals will be able to attend our next meeting. Thanks! Jen Brogan and Karina Ilardi