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Monday, 14 July 2008 02:41

Pioneer Montessori School Not Closing

slide19.pngIt all started with a letter to parents stating that after 18 years, Pioneer Montessori School would be closing.  Owner and operator Ellen MacDonald had planned on retiring early due to family medical problems. “With my husband’s recent health problems and my own, I was overwhelmed and thought that closing the school was my only recourse.” The news sent a shockwave throughout the school’s family of kids and parents, some of which had sent multiple children there over the years.  Within days, two teachers at the school stepped up to keep the school open. 

slide15.pngLast Friday marked the end of another school year in Amador County, and for many the beginning of a new and exhilarating chapter in life. The senior classes of both Amador and Argonaut High Schools celebrated their final year of high school through the weekend; fortunately with no party-related injuries or accidents were reported. Of the graduates surveyed by TSPN after graduation, the outstanding majority plan on leaving Amador County for higher-level schooling. “I have a lot of friends and family here, so leaving will be tough for me. But there is just no outlet in Amador County for what I want to do with my life,” said one student who plans on attending UC Davis in the fall. 

slide27.pngThe School Board has just re-qualified for the Carl Perkins Vocational Education Fund, a federal program established to improve career-technical education programs on a three year cycle. The grant money is allocated to a specific program after input is received from principals and school staff. For the past 3 years the grant monies have been given to the business program, however, the cycle has ended and now the money will be utilized in the Agricultural Departments. 

Monday, 24 March 2008 02:32

School Board Night of Awards

slide15.pngAt the last School Board meeting, Superintendent Mike Carey enthusiastically congratulated and awarded the Block “A” Community Service Award to Dalton Brown, a freshman at Argonaut High School. This multi-talented young man is the first freshman ever to win this award.

The presentation wasn’t the only moment of pride for Superintendent Carey. Amador will be sending 2 champions to the State Spelling contest. This year’s Amador County Public Schools’ “Spelling Bear” had 30 participants. Chew successfully won the Spelling Bear earlier that afternoon by successfully spelling ‘embarrass’.  The winner, 6th grader Krista Chew of Pine Grove, is a returning champion. She finished 10th in the state at last years State spelling contest. Joining Krista this year will be Haley Capitanich, a student from the Ione Junior High school.

On the opposite end of the academic spectrum, concerns were also voiced by board member David Dutra regarding the failing grades of some high school students. Earlier this year, an administrative directive was created to try to

encourage more parental involvement in their children’s educational success. Dutra was concerned that there was no follow-up to this directive. He suggested that the parents of students with failing grades be surveyed to see if they had been contacted regarding their children’s grades. Board president Mary Walser felt that contacting parents was not the role of the board, but rather the responsibility of high school principals. The board agreed and Dutra reiterated that principals should be making random calls and include the results in their report to the board.


Monday, 11 February 2008 01:08

New School Calendar Pending

slide10.pngA hot issue at last Thursday’s School Board meeting was the still unapproved school calendar. The board voiced their disappointment in the California State Employees Association and the Amador County Teachers Association for not yet voting on the proposed school calendars for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The board decided to table the matter for one more meeting, even though talks have been delayed twice previously. Although union negotiators accept the proposed calendars, the members of each union must still vote on whether to adopt the calendar. The board can approve the proposed calendar based on acceptance by the other two unions, however, if all four unions are not in agreement, Amador County Schools could end up with 2 calendars - a predicament they would prefer to avoid.
Monday, 10 December 2007 14:20

Amador Learning Center Class Schedule

The Amador Learning Center has announced its spring schedule of Cosumnes River College classes in Amador County. The Amador Learning Center, which holds classes at Independence High School at Sutter Hill, will be offering Business English, Beginning Word Processing, Introduction to Electronic Spreadsheets, Basic Emergency Medical Technician, and Plant Propagation. Classes begin in January. For more information on the Amador Learning Center or to register for classes, call 916-691-7411 or go online to
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 23:36

ACUSD to Receive National Award for Program

slide6Amador County Unified School District will receive its fourth and fifth “Promising Practices” awards in four years from the Character Education Partnership (CEP). This is an organization devoted to character education in schools world-wide.  The awards will be presented to the District at the organization’s annual conference, November 1-3.  Character Education Partnership, CEP, is located in Washington, D.C.. with the conference occurring in  Arlington, Virginia.  The District –as in the past –will not be attending the event and will receive the award shortly after. The awards will be one of 116 being presented at the conference. 
Friday, 13 June 2008 00:34

Firsthand Health Experience

slide23.pngThis past school year, local students found out that not all learning takes place in the classroom. Amador and Calaveras County teens in the Regional Occupational Program, or ROP, received health care work experience firsthand at Sutter Amador Hospital . Thirteen of these young adults were honored recently at a Student Appreciation Day Breakfast at Sutter Amador Hospital. During the reception, Doug Archer, Executive Recruiter for Sutter Health and former employee of Sutter Amador Hospital, congratulated the students and shared with them the benefits of having a career in health care. School representatives presented certificates to each of the students who participated from their schools.

Anne Platt, CEO of Sutter Amador Hospital concluded the reception by sharing with the students the many rewards working in health care has in store for them. The ROP program is offered to all high school seniors and allows those who participate to gain valuable hands-on experience in a variety of health care fields. “Students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care reap many benefits from this program,” says Barbara Wells, Education Manager. Enrolled students dedicate, on average, about 8 – 10 hours per week throughout the school year working in select departments at the hospital or at one of our off site health centers.

Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:15

Scholarship Essay Announced

The Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility has announced its 2008 High School Scholarship Essay Contest, open to high school seniors in Sacramento and surrounding counties. More than $10,000 in total scholarship money will be awarded to the top 10 winners in the contest. To enter the contest, students must submit an essay of 500 words or fewer describing their thoughts on the quotation from US Marine Corps Medal of Honor winner Major General Smedley Butler, “War is a racket…in which the profits are measured in dollars and the losses in lives.” The deadline for submission of entries is Wednesday, March 5, 2008. For more details, go to the PSR/Sacramento website, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 916-955-6333. Essays may be submitted online via the PSR/Sacramento website.

If you, or a student you know, wants to go to a California State University campus for the first time this fall, the deadline to submit your application was just moved up by about 6 months. CSU Chancellor Charles Reed has moved up the freshman application deadline to Feb. 1 for all 23 CSU campuses in anticipation of $386 million in proposed state budget cuts. Last fall, the deadline to apply at Sacramento State University was Aug. 10. CSU officials say the big cuts proposed in Gov. Schwarzenegger's 2008-09 budget plan will force the university system to reduce the the number of students by about 10,000.