Your weekly recap of student success
VIDEO: Oak Chan student now one of school's teachers 
Oak Chan Elementary school student Kira Montinola so loved her time in school, that as an adult, she jumped at the chance to begin teaching there. 

In fact, she now runs her own classroom next door to one of her former teachers, Mary Heth. 

Heth, who teaches third grade at Oak Chan Elementary School, has fond memories of Montinola as a young student. 

"She had a great sense of humor and had a wonderful smile," Heth said, adding that she couldn't have been more thrilled when finding out that her former student had the desire to come back and teach at Oak Chan. "Yes, in the back of my mind she's my little third grade student that I'm teaching with, but she is my coworker".

The bond they have created over the long years has helped them become better teachers and support each other. 

"This school and Mary is the reason that I am a teacher," Montinola said. 

Watch the video here!

Igniting Young Minds: Middle schools challenge students with IB and STEM programs
When Shayla Nuttall enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Mitchell Middle School, she felt it was a perfect fit. "It was a great change for me," says Shayla, now a junior at Cordova High. "It felt much more challenging and rigorous."
 
She gives an example of a Spanish course at Mitchell, where they learned the language but also focused heavily on Spanish culture. "That was totally cool," she says, adding as an international program, there is always a global perspective in IB work. But in Rancho Cordova, this perspective is intensified by the cultural diversity among her classmates: "It's so interesting to walk around and see all cultures. And it will definitely help me go out to the workforce and work with people from different backgrounds."
 
Shayla also feels her committed classmates add to the richness of the coursework. "What I find in IB is students are very engaged in their learning," she says. "And you really learn something because you are with other students who want to learn. It's great to continue on with them."
 
The other middle school in Rancho Cordova - Mills - offers another intriguing academic option: a special STEM Academy (science, technology, engineering and math). "This program is asking kids to embrace all the subjects all at one time in an investigative and exploratory manner," says Mark Arnez, an eighth grade math teacher and the math division lead for STEM. "And what we find is the smartest kids - the straight-A kids - struggle with this. 'What do I do? Where are the instructions?' We tell them, 'There aren't any.'"
 
Click here for the full story! 
TONIGHT: Folsom Middle's STEAM Forward Convention 
Folsom Middle School's STEAM Forward Convention 2.0 is speeding towards us THIS Wednesday, Nov. 9th, from 6-8 pm at Folsom Middle School.
FMS is showcasing over 20 exhibitors who represent STEAM education and industries (i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). They will be providing hands-on, interactive stations and live performances. The event is sponsored by the Folsom Middle School PTO and it's FREE to everyone.
We have the Season 2 Winners of BattleBots, Hardcore Robotics, joining us and they will be showing off their winning robotic creation, Tombstone. They will also have a giveaway raffle for various HexBug BattleBot toys.  Check out their BattleBots record, and a clip of their final battle that led them to be the winner of Season 2.
Also, we will have an outside astronomy exhibit provided by Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society, who will be bringing 4-5 high-powered telescopes to allow visitors to star gaze, as well as educate them on what they're able to view in our night's sky.
We're very excited to share this amazing event and look forward to families enjoying all that our STEAM Forward Convention 2.0 has to offer them. For a complete list of our evening's lineup you can visit our STEAM Forward Convention webpage,  You can also check out film coverage of last school year's event here
Girls take on engineering with GEM club at Vista
Story by  Nahya Pelito, Vista 
Voice Staff Writer, Vista del Lago High School 

One of Vista's new clubs this year, GEM Club, aims to break the barrier between boys and girls in the engineering field. At Vista del Lago, engineering classes consist of boys being the majority and girls as the minority; however, GEM Club intends to change that.
 
"Our club will be offering many different opportunities to girls to make them feel more comfortable to pursue a STEM field," said junior Afrah Eusuff, an officer of GEM Club. "We will have guest speakers, little seminars to teach basic coding - basic skills that we would offer. You don't have to have any prior knowledge. You can come and join because you should start to look into fields and see what you're good at or what doesn't fit you."
 
See the full story in the Vista Voice, Vista del Lago High's student news site! 
Discover myriad STEM opportunities throughout FCUSD!
It's more important than ever for our students to gain skills necessary to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of the information that surrounds them. The subjects collectively known as STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - help prepare these young minds for success beyond school - whether they are future engineers, architects or artists

Learn about our special STEM magnet programs in Rancho Cordova and Folsom at www.fcusd.org/STEM !  
 
Students don't only have to attend a magnet program to get a rich STEM education! 
  • Folsom Cordova schools have created a STEM Lead Teacher, who works directly with schools and teachers to help bolster their STEM-related curriculum.
  • Several of our schools - including Russell Ranch Elementary and Folsom Middle School - use Project Lead the Way curriculum, an innovative, hands-on approach to classroom instruction.  
  • For high school, we have several rigorous, STEM-related career pathways, including computer science and engineeringLearn more here
Learn more about the programs supporting student discovery at www.fcusd.org/STEM!
PHOTOS: Community member gives the gift of reading
Many thanks to community member, Cindy Mongan who for her 70th birthday asked for new children's books. Why? To give to the students at Williamson Elementary! 

Mongan's own children attended Williamson many years ago, and the family has deep roots in Rancho Cordova - dating back to Paul Hagan for whom Hagan Community Park is named. "Reading is crucial " Cindy says. "A good reader has an easier time in school. My mother was a librarian and taught us very early the value of the written word. Reading is gift that keeps on giving."

Students at Williamson who participate in our Community Readers program, got to choose a book (and plush toy) with Cindy and her husband Kevin present. Every student in Community Readers  not only gets a volunteer reading tutor, they get books to keep. Interested in learning more about this program or ways to get involved? Please visit our website  or contact Angela Griffin Ankhelyi at agriffin@fcusd.org

Go to our Facebook page to see more pictures!

INFOGRAPHIC: Our spending plan for student success
The state of California directs a greater share of public education funding to high-need schools, and requires districts to plan for and show how these funds are spent in a document called a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
 
Our new infographic is intended to provide an easy-to-use guide and quick reference for how Folsom Cordova Unified is using public money to improve student achievement. 
 
Download a copy: Visit www.fcusd.org/LCAP to see English and Spanish versions of our spending plan and student achievement goals. Or, click the links below:
California's landmark reform of public school financing, called the Local Control Funding Formula, greatly simplifies how public schools are funded and provides school districts greater control and flexibility in the budgeting process.
  
Every school district in the state receives a base amount of funding, then additional funding based on their percentages of English learner, low-income and foster youth students.
In other news ...

                                                                                                                                       
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Hometown celebrates CHS alum Chris Bosio on World Series win

Chris Bosio, now 50, pitching coach and World Series Champion with the Chicago Cubs, was once a young athlete who dominated his craft at Cordova High and Sacramento City College in the 1980's.

With a long history of successes and moments of greatness in the big leagues, Bosio is becoming a great symbol of pride for his fellow classmates and baseball fans around the Sacramento region. 
The comments on social media demonstrate fans' pride with tweets like "You did the deed Chris Bosio!, Congratulations on your World Series Championship... Go Lancers!" or
See the full story from Sacramento Bee here.

IN THE NEWS: Sacramento County honors volunteers

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors honored 14 people Tuesday for their volunteer work. 

The 10th annual Heroes of Human Services Awards served as a recognition for people who have given countless hours to help others. It's often said, one person can make a difference in their community, and h onorees like Mike McAtee, is one of those people. He volunteers with an afterschool program in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.

"I was helped by families who took me in as a foster child, coaches who helped me a great deal, school teachers who helped me. I probably would have never gone to college without their efforts," said McAtee. 

Click here to see the full story. 
Board of Education Update: Nov. 3, 2016  
 
The FCUSD Board of Education held its regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Education Services Center, 1965 Birkmont Drive in Rancho Cordova. 

Agendas are posted the Fridays before each regular meeting and can be found here.
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FCUSD Communication and Community Engagement Office
(916) 294-9000 ext. 104530