February 2015

Center Aim

-Scott Loehr

With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, you have likely seen and will continue to experience noticeable changes in what and how your child is learning in school. The new state standards will better prepare all of our students for 21st century college and careers. The new state standards

· help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to think and work at that deeper level

· create opportunities for all students to excel at reading, writing, speaking, listening, language and math

· support students to think critically about what they read and the math that they do

· allow teachers and students to focus on fewer critical concepts in mathematics more deeply

· build students' abilities to apply what they have learned to the real world

· ensure that all students can communicate strong ideas and arguments in writing and react powerfully to what they read

I am proud of the work being done in classrooms across the district. Teachers are diligently preparing students for spring assessments that will assess student achievement of the new standards in a new way. With these changes, your student may likely struggle more on this year's assessment than in previous years. This is expected and should not be cause for alarm. With continued support of teachers, parents and the community, students will achieve at a higher level.

As we continue with our first year of implementation of our CJUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), I am happy to say that we are making some real progress in attaining the goals we have established. As required, we will be annually reviewing our plan to ensure we are on the correct path to bring success to the students of our district. To know if we are still heading in the right direction, we would like your input.

Please go to and click the LCFF/LCAP button or clickk the link below to provide your input or thoughts on our current plan.


Healthy Play at Spinelli Elementary

-Kris Schmieder

On January 12, 2015, Spinelli Elementary students had the opportunity to participate in a Healthy Play day with program creators Charlie Steffens and Spencer Gorin. Healthy Play has been a part of the curriculum at Spinelli Elementary for the past four years.

Healthy Play is a character education program designed to teach students empathy and compassion for others, while giving them tools for managing or prevent intimidating, aggressive, bullying and/or violent behaviors. All of this happens through the social interactions of play.

The purpose of Healthy Play is to promote healthy social skills, manage aggressive behaviors, increase self-esteem, develop social relatedness, maximize participation, promote positive life values, increase emotional and physical health, and develop a positive peer culture.

Healthy Play allows students to be creative, innovative and humorous. It gives them permission to take risks and bring joy to learning so they may succeed in school, and in life. It’s all about preparing them for adulthood by becoming good learners, friends, workers, and neighbors.

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Why.....It's Grease Lightnin'

Center High’s Performing Arts Center is proud to present: Grease!

Here is Rydell High's senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical. Head "greaser" Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their "Summer Nights" as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as "Greased Lightnin'", "It's Raining on Prom Night", "Alone at the Drive-In Movie"

Show times are the weekends of March 21st, 22nd and March 27th , 28th.

All shows are at 7:00 PM

Prices are:

General Admission: $7.00

Senor Citizens 65 and over: $5.00

Children 3 and younger and students with an ASB sticker: $5.00

If you have any questions please call Mrs. Purdy at 916-339-4702 or email at


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DAVID FRENCH, McClellan High School Principal, shares his journey

I was first hired in 1989 to teach 7th and 8th grade English at the old Center Junior High (behind the high school, where our charter schools are now). I worked there and then moved to Wilson C. Riles Middle School when it opened in 2005, where I continued teaching English until 2010. I also spent 14 summers teaching summer school English, primarily to high school freshmen and juniors. In addition to teaching, I was English department chair for 12 years at the junior high and middle school, and was part of the leadership team. I mentored other teachers as a leader in the Peer Assistance and Review program, and ran a chapter of Club Live and a mountain bike club as well. Outside the district, I spent a year as a member of the school board in the district near my home. In the fall of 2010, I began as vice principal at Riles Middle School. All of this has prepared me for my current position as principal of McClellan High School.

Several people have helped me along this journey. Since high school, I have known God called me to be a teacher, but when I first began teaching, I was truly awful. My first principal and vice principal, Tom Wright and Dave Boucher, worked diligently with me, and thankfully they did not fire me. My students and their needs inspired me to become better, and I pushed hard to improve, going to hours of training and asking lots of questions of the veteran teachers around me. Slowly I developed into a strong teacher, and in 2006, I was honored to be chosen as Teacher of the Year at Wilson C. Riles, an honor I was given again in 2010. I avoided administrative duties until a former principal, Al Ramey, suggested I look at positions beyond teaching, and he appointed me as English Department chair. Another administrator, Jeff Ancker, encouraged me to get my administrative credential. Once I became vice principal, I learned huge amounts from Steve Jackson (current Dudley principal), and Joyce Frisch (Riles' principal) was an amazing mentor. I still call Steve and Joyce for advice.

I have only been principal at McClellan since August 2014, but I am proud of the work we as a staff have accomplished. We have revised many of the rules and procedures, changed our schedule, introduced new classes, and opened doors of communication with Center High School. Mike Jordan and his staff have been a great help in this, and we now have students enrolled both at McClellan and Center, so they are able to take advantage of programs offered in both schools. We are continuing to work on this, and hope we will be able to offer McClellan students more opportunities in the future. When I look at our students, many of whom I have known since 7th or 8th grade, and I am proud to see that, although they may have made some negative choices that brought them to McClellan, they are now making excellent decisions and are developing the skills that will allow them to be productive, successful, happy adults.

On the personal side, I have been married to my lovely wife Liz for over 23 years, and we have four extraordinary children. My older daughter, Hillary, just moved with her husband Shane and our new grandson, Micaiah, to Virginia, where Shane intends to enroll in Bible college. My older son, Marty, is at UC Davis, preparing to go to medical school; my younger daughter, Gwendolynn, has graduated Heald College and is working in a neurologist's office in Rocklin; and my youngest,David, is attending American River College, running track and pursuing studies in physical therapy. My wife and I live in Chicago Park, near Colfax (43 miles from school), where we share our home with 3 horses, 3 dogs, and a cat on 4 acres of property. Although I do not have a great deal of time for it, my passion in life is bicycling. I raced in college, and have ridden 100- and 200-mile rides. I hope to make more time for riding. I also love music and have a large collection of just about every type from reggae to classical.

If I had 3 wishes, I'd wish for a bunch more wishes. Seriously, I want very much for my own children to succeed and grow in their personal and professional lives, and I have tried my best to set a good example or admit when I have fallen short of the mark. Seeing their entrances in to adult life, I am more proud than I can express of the choices they are making. Looking at the students I work with daily, I want much the same for them, and do my best to guide them into patterns and attitudes that will enable them to achieve what is good in their lives. Last, I want to come finally to a place in life where I can retire and live happily with my wonderful wife.

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