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School board receives updates on district programs

Programs include Walnut Grove extended day care, culinary programs, Response to Intervention

The Pleasanton school board heard updates about a variety of programs offered within the Pleasanton Unified School District during its meeting Tuesday night.

District staff gave reports about the Extended Day Child Care (EDCC) Program at Walnut Grove, culinary programs, and Response to Intervention (RTI) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Walnut Grove EDCC staff, along with three students, provided trustees information about the program and services offered to parents and students.

EDCC's mission is to be the "best in the valley" by maintaining a thriving, well-organized child care and enrichment learning center which is highly respected, at full enrollment and valued by all.

The non-profit organization collaborates regularly with school and district staff to continue alignment and support for all school and district programs and goals.

In addition, EDCC staff said students have opportunities to do hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) activities while in the program.

Staff also noted that some of their teachers and aides attended EDCC when they were children, one of them being Marin McElhany-D'Acquisto, vice-president of EDCC and daughter of EDCC founder/president Cheryl McElhany.

The students ended the presentation with a poem about how much they enjoy EDCC and that "EDCC rocks."

Also during Tuesday's meeting, coordinator of Career Technical Education (CTE) Glen Sparks and CTE teachers provided trustees a report on the culinary courses offered in the middle and high schools.

Sparks noted that the courses focus on college and career readiness, with a great focus on career.

CTE teachers gave an overview of their classes, with some of the highlights being that students have the opportunity to receive their safety food handler certification and the new Farm to Fork course being offered at Village High School.

Both staff and trustees agreed that these culinary courses teach kids more than just cooking skills, but also life skills.

Student board member Sabrina Luk, a Foothill senior, spoke about her experiences with the culinary program and how it has opened doors for her in the hospitality industry.

"I've just been so lucky to have a resume that's already been built," Luk said.

The last program discussed at Tuesday's meeting was the Response to Intervention (RTI) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Staff provided board members information about research based interventions, collaboration, professional development and multiple levels of support in regards to early literacy and supporting all students.

In other business:

• The school board approved 4-0 the new 2015-16 mathematical courses, with trustee Joan Laursen absent.

• Trustees recognized six Pleasanton students for showing the character trait of respect during the recognition portion of the meeting.

The following students were recognized at the meeting: Jayden Sood, Paige Jackson, Amanda Bilter, Soraia Bohner, Jaxen Gurley and Olivia Larsen.

The next school board meeting is scheduled on May 12 at 7 p.m. in the district's boardroom, 4665 Bernal Ave.

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