Center Aim

-Scott Loehr

‘Tis the season for giving from the heart. Even the smallest gesture of kindness and compassion for others can make a difference. I am proud of the tradition of giving that starts at our elementary schools and continues through high school. These efforts to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need, teach compassion while giving students the chance to experience the satisfaction of giving to others while expecting nothing in return.

Each year Center High School Student Government and Student Leadership classes balance three charitable activities during November and December; Canned Food Drive, Dear Santa and Operation Santa. The Annual Canned Food Drive brings in over 5,000 non-perishable food items each year. These donations are delivered to the Sacramento County Food Bank and to families of CHS students who are in need. Through Dear Santa, student government and leadership students provide Christmas for families in need, including food and gifts. Through Operation Santa, leadership and government students spend the afternoon with selected elementary students. Together they make crafts and the children leave with a wrapped gift.

The McClellan High School Leadership class has established a site food bank that will support the needs of MHS families throughout the holidays and into the new year. Each year the MHS Staff partners with the Antelope Lions Club to provide Thanksgiving meals through the Feast for Families program. In December, the staff partners again with the Antelope Lions to provide a special gift to two MHS students through the Christmas for Families program. Each of the selected students will receive a $100 gift card from Walmart, generously donated by the Antelope Lions Club. Through the generosity of Roger Calhoun, Chris Collins, and the Antelope Lions Club Thanksgiving dinners will be provided to 14 McClellan families this year.

The staff at Wilson Riles will be spreading holiday cheer to a Riles family this year by providing personal gifts for each family member and a traditional Christmas meal. Utilizing the generous staff and community donations made year round to the Riles Food Closet, Riles provided Thanksgiving meals to 6 families and will provide Christmas meals to 3 families. The Riles Food Closet serves families throughout the Center District. It is open year round for donations and to fill the needs of families in the Center community

Each year students and staff at Oak Hill Elementary and North Country Elementary generously donate canned goods and non-perishable food items to the Kids Can Food Drive, benefitting families throughout the Sacramento area. This effort teaches even our youngest students the value of helping others less fortunate.

December is a busy time for families. Mark your calendar for these special events throughout the district:

Dec 2nd Riles Spelling Bee, 3pm - 4:30pm,Multi-purpose Room

Dec 2nd Riles Winter Concert featuring Guitar and Choir, 6pm - 7:30pm, Multi-purpose Room

Dec 3rd Riles Winter Concert featuring Band from 6pm - 7:30pm, Multi-purpose Room

Dec 4th Winter Dance, 5pm – 7pm, Multi-purpose Room

Dec 9th Riles Fall Drama Production 7pm - 8:30pm, Multi-purpose Room

Dec 12th North Country’s Annual Santa’s Breakfast, 8:30am

Dec 17th Oak Hill’s Kindergarten Winter Program, 6:30pm

Center JUSD schools will be closed December 21st through January 1st. School will resume on Monday, January 4th.

Much communication over the last two years has been around the CJUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCAP is a guiding document to ensure we are setting purposeful goals that address the needs of all student populations. We have three overarching goals with specific actions and services outlined to support progress toward each goal. Our goals are as follows:

· Center JUSD students will be challenged and supported to achieve academic success in a clean, safe environment

· Center JUSD students will be College & Career ready

· Center JUSD students and families will be engaged and informed regarding the educational process and opportunities

As we continue with the implementation and ongoing review of our LCAP, we seek input from CJUSD families. I invite you to tell us how we are doing. You can access our survey under the LCFF/LCAP tab at

I wish all of the families of Antelope a safe and happy holiday and best wishes for a prosperous new year.




-Marie Allred

The Do Something Club at Riles Middle School is encouraging everyone to write letters to Santa. For each letter that we send to the North Pole, Macy's will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (up to one million dollars). The Make-A-Wish Foundation's purpose is to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Letters will be collected at Riles Middle School, in the main office, up until December 18th, when they will then be mailed to the North Pole. You can make a big difference in the life of a child. All you have to do is write a letter to Santa, ask each of your family members, and friends to write a letter to Santa and you will be making a difference in the lives of children by helping to grant their wish as they struggle with a life-threatening condition. It is amazing how something so simple can have such a far reaching impact, but it can. So don't just sit there, Do Something.

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Help Feed Hungry Families

The KCRA 3 Kids Can Food Drive has been helping to feed hungry families in our community for more than 20 years.
This is the sixteenth year that North Country Elementary has participated in the KCRA KIDS CAN food drive. North Country collected cans and non-perishable food items from October 23rd through November 9th. This year, each classroom held a competition with one another to be named the top collector of cans. Mrs. Martin first grade was the front- runner with 425 cans. Our total collection was 2,070 food items. Our Student Lighthouse Team was in charge of posters and getting out the word that this community service project is a worthwhile event to help others in need.

Great job leaders.


SANTA's BREAKFAST, A North Country Tradition

The idea of a school wide Santa’s Breakfast began in 1990, the year North Country opened as the first year-round school in the district. Our thought was always one of giving back to the parents, students and community by gathering together to celebrate one of the happiest seasons of all. Santa’s Breakfast was never meant to be a fund raiser. The nominal fee covers food, grill rental and supplies. It is an opportunity for staff to join together to cook and serve breakfast for all who come. It is always scheduled on a Saturday morning in early December.

Through the years, we have become more savvy; fresh flipped pancakes as opposed to frozen, pre-sale tickets, pictures with Santa offered by PTO or a specific grade level and raffle tickets for the table centerpieces; all with precision and the organization it takes to feed approximately 300 people in two hours. Of course the highlight of Santa’s Breakfast is the arrival of Santa! He greets everyone as he makes his way up on stage to his favorite armchair where he listens to the wishes of many children and sends them on their way with a wink and a candy cane. Once Santa’s Breakfast has occurred, the Christmas season is well underway at North Country School.

This year’s Santa Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, December 12th from 8:30-10:30. Save! Call the school office to pre-purchase tickets. 338-6480


WCR College Tours

On November 6th, 2015, the 7th and 8th grade AVID classes from Wilson C Riles Middle School attended a field trip to UC Davis. Along with three chaperones, students gathered at the main visitor’s center and took a tour of the campus. Highlights of the tour included the major landmarks of the beautiful UC Davis campus, including the arboretum, Shields Library, and the famous “egghead” sculptures.

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Parent Teacher Conferences Evolve into Student Led Conferences

-Kathy Lord

Everyone knows about parent teacher conferences. Either you have been involved yourself as a parent, or you were the student who waited at home on needles and pins to hear what your teacher said about your performance. Most of us have experienced both. But in our classrooms at North Country Elementary in Center Joint Unified School District, we have a different model. Teacher conferences to team conferences is the thrust of the student led conference.

Our Leader In Me process lends itself to responsibility and accountability. All students have leadership or data notebooks that outline their goals and track their progress; yes, even Kindergartners.

Students learn how to set goals, track and articulate their progress. This helps them become e more accountable for school work and homework. During each trimester, students keep their own stats within their own data notebooks along with evidence of personal progress. Each student has at least one academic goal and one personal goal. Conference time becomes a business meeting between student, parent, and teacher, with the student acting as team leader. This dynamic has also led to an increase of attendance during parent conferences with fewer cancellations.

Like any successful business, after careful analysis of the data, the team sets measurable

goals for future progress. Conferences become a powerful tool not only in setting learning

goals for the student, but in respecting the student as the key element in his or her own


North Country is one of the fast growing members of the Leader In Me leadership models. As the motto for FranklinCovey Leadership schools state, “Great happens here” and we are proud of our students’ accomplishments.



Congratulations to the WCR AVID program for being recognized as an AVID Highly Certified Site for the 2015-2016 school year. This status is awarded to AVID sites that have met the AVID program Essentials and Data Collections documentation that supports program effectiveness and student progress. This self-study and validation process is designed to assist AVID sites with achieving desired benchmarks that are precursors for academic success in high school and college.


The New “Old School”: Back to Basics in Antelope, California’s Global Youth

-Matthew Schneider

The campus seems inviting, it’s older and meanders with wide open spaces, trees, and solidly-constructed buildings; occupied with groups of students - checking phones in between classes, throwing a football, talking and laughing - the school somehow seems larger. The classrooms are oddly familiar, with an austere comfort – class sizes are modest and intimate, which seem appropriate: not too large and not too small. The students know each other, there is a warmth and familiarity that somehow does not seem stifling or suffocating – this is a place where everyone knows your name. In the last ten years, the charter school movement has swept through American education like an unexpected wave, displacing familiar traditions and promising outrageously ambitious results. Some schools have delivered on their promise, while many others have faltered, choked on their unrealistic hubris. Those that have survived seemed to have made it through with the aid of a refreshing modesty and the application of traditional methods with tried-and-tested innovations. The things that seem to have worked have been blended into an effective, adapting curriculum that seems to adjust to student needs and determine expectations that can fluidly reflect a radically shifting demographic.

Welcome to Global Youth Charter School, a school serving the greater Sacramento and Antelope community, with classes in grades 7th though 12th. Located behind Center High School, in the former Center Middle School campus, Global Youth Charter School (GYCS) is affiliated with the Center Joint Unified School District, and is currently enjoying its 10-year anniversary. Founded with the goal of providing support and partnership to the Peace Corps, GYCS has evolved into an a-g, WASC-accredited program featuring a broad, rolling campus, a sports program, and limited class sizes. Neither a place of Independent Study, nor a Continuation School, GYCS recognizes that its primary objective to prepare students for college and professional careers may not represent an ideal approach for every student. Accordingly, GYCS focuses on creating a safe school environment with small class sizes, so that students experience academic challenges relatively free of the distractions and risks that plague other larger, conventional school programs. Class sizes average around 15 students, with a ceiling of 25 students enrolled in any particular class. Although students may not always appreciate it, their learning receives more attention and scrutiny at GYCS, as expectations are raised to reflect individual needs, personalities, and goals. Learning is tailored to reflect the individual interest and ambition of each student.

GYCS is an educational experience challenging students to push beyond perceived limits, raising expectations and demanding a level of quality many students initially believe themselves incapable of meeting. Through rigorous study, including research projects, writing exercises, public speaking and presentations, hands-on experiments, and challenging routines, the course of study at GYCS creates students with a wide range of skills, critical thinkers familiar with a variety of demands, and capable of adapting to a multitude of situations. In an era in which an unrealistic faith in the power of technology-based learning has led to expensively sophisticated Smartboards and applications that enhance uncritical consumption, GYCS employs a more traditional, rigorous approach incorporating limited technology towards a kinesthetic-style of learning with an emphasis on learning through doing or creating. Technology is harnessed as an engine driving a more personalized and individually-centered curriculum, with the objective of producing an example of learning that is valid and relevant to student lives and ambitions.

GYCS features a safe and secure environment, with a tight-knit community that can feel like family. The emphasis within the classes is on traditional academic methods emphasizing personal accountability and individual development, with equations and questions worked out by hand, and discussions and group activities featuring dry erase markers and whiteboards. Students develop as contributing members of their community through service activities during their matriculation, culminating in an intensive, demanding, and ultimately fulfilling Senior Project requiring 120 hours of community service with a detailed record of the project, including deep personal reflection, and concluding in a public presentation before a school assembly.

You can learn more about Global Youth by visiting the website: Better still, arrange a personal tour and visit to the campus by calling (916) 339-4680. Principal Doug Hughey and the committed staff at GYCS look forward to meeting you soon.