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In the News


Rocklin Unified School District, KCRA 3: "Rocklin schools begin hybrid learning model amid pandemic"
Rocklin High School, Good Day Sacramento: "Learning Curve - Rocklin High"
Whitney High School, CBS 13 Sacramento: "Whitney High Football Makes its Return to the Turf"
Ruhkala Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "Mommy Makeovers"
Rocklin Unified High Schools, The Placer Herald:
Whitney High School, The Placer Herald: "Whitney dance team virtually crowned national champions"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: "Whitney High School Dance"
Rocklin High School, KFBK (start time 39:32): "KFBK Weekend LIVE with Amanda Carroll"
Rocklin Unified School District, The Placer Herald: "Rocklin Unified Showcased in PBIS Video"
Rocklin Unified School District, Fox 40: "PBIS: Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports"
Rocklin Unified School District, Good Day Sacramento: "PBIS Video Competition"
Sunset Ranch Elementary School, Fox 40: "Switching up at-home learning"
Parker Whitney Elementary School, The Placer Herald: "Fourth-graders easily adapt to virtual instruction"
Rocklin and Whitney High Schools, Fox 40: "Family Focus: Coronavirus pandemic impact on students"

Spring View Middle School, Good Day Sacramento: "Mona Lisa Art Project"

Antelope Creek Elementary School, The Placer Herald: "Rocklin Unified teachers learn to use the virtual classroom right along with their students"

Rocklin Unified School District, The Placer Herald: "Rocklin Unified donates 10,000 masks to Sutter Roseville"

Parker Whitney Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "Reading Time!"


Parker Whitney Elementary School, Mix 96 Sacramento: "Facebook Live: Distance Learning Experience"

Rocklin Unified School District, Comstock's Magazine: "Learning a Lot"

Rocklin Unified School District, Style Media Group: "What's Up in March 2020"

Rocklin Unified School District, Murph and Mac Podcast: "2-25 The local kid Logan Webb shares what it's like playing for the SF Giants"
Rocklin Unified School District,  Placer Herald: "RUSD Superintendent named Administrator of the Year"
Rocklin Unified School District, Roseville Today: "Rocklin Unified's Roger Stock Recognized by ACSA"
Rocklin Unified School District, Good Day Sacramento: "Kinder Roundup"
Rocklin Unified School District, ABC 10: "Davis, Rocklin school districts suing Juul"
Rocklin Unified School District, Fox 40: "Local Schools Sue Juul"
Rocklin Unified School District, KCRA 3: "Several NorCal schools sue Juul over vaping epidemic"
Rocklin Unified School District, Gold Country Media: "RUSD files lawsuit against JUUL"
Rocklin Unified School District, KFBK: "Wellnesss Together: School Mental Health Services"
Rocklin High School, Engineering Program Highlighted by Prominent Company "Autodesk": "FTR CNC Unifies Design and Manufacturing for Superior Products"
Spring View Middle School, CBS Sacramento: "Rocklin Middle School Students Sew Pouches for Animals Rescued from Australian Wildfires" 
Antelope Creek Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "Breakfast with Santa"
Spring View Middle School, Good Day Sacramento: "Thriving with Disabilities" (Part One)
Spring View Middle School, Good Day Sacramento: "Thriving with Disabilities" (Part Two)
Rock Creek Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "We Club Helps the Homeless" (Part One)
Rock Creek Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "We Club Helps the Homeless" (Part Two)
Rocklin and Whitney High Schools, Fox 40: "Annual charity game between Rocklin, Whitney High Schools"
Rocklin and Whitney High Schools, Good Day Sacramento: "Doing Good: Charity Halloween Game"
Valley View Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "Costume Mom"
Parker Whitney Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento: "Camp Read A Lot" (Part One)
Parker Whitney Elementary School, Good Day Sacramento:"Camp Read A Lot" (Part Two)
Parker Whitney Elementary School, Fox 40: "Camp Read Alot at Parker Whitney Elementary"
Whitney High School, Fox 40: "First Day at Whitney High"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: "Whitney High School WOW"
Twin Oaks Elementary, Good Day Sacramento: "Kids Build Buddy Bench"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: " Whitney High Broadcast"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: "Whitney High Broadcast Part 2"
RUSD Adult Transition School,Gold Country Media: "Rocklin Student Wins 2 Medals at Special Olympics"
RUSD Adult Transition School, Good Day Sacramento: "Swimmer Earns Two Silver Medals"
Parker Whitney Elementary, Good Day Sacramento: "Little Bliss Cakery"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: "High School Art Wall - Part 1"
Whitney High School, Good Day Sacramento: "High School Art Wall - Part 2"


The Sharp Brothers Encourage Acts of Kindness

Sharp Brothers Intervew

Check out the Sharp brothers from Rock Creek Elementary: River and Ryder! Their Tower of Niceness project is so great, Fox 40 covered it!
1st Annual Broadcast Bootcamp
March 2017
Check out the latest from our Career Technical Education experts at Rocklin High School! 1st Annual Broadcast Boot Camp! Yeah! Our Whitney HS and Rocklin HS Broadcast Instructors are tops in their field and they are sharing their amazing knowledge daily with our high school students! Saturday, March 4th was an amazing day of fun and learning for our Granite Oaks and Spring View Middle School 7th and 8th graders! It was a day of digital film making/Broadcasting training & fun. HS Broadcast students were teaching sections and acting as team leaders with the 7th & 8th graders that Saturday. The Broadcast Boot Camp this year is all led under the direction of Jeremy Jeffreys, M.A. and RHS awesome Broadcast Instructor!
Check out TV coverage of the 1st Annual Broadcast Bootcamp:
Contact: Diana Capra
Chief, Communications and Community Engagement
(916) 757-4987
March 15, 2017

ROCKLIN, CA—The State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) today unveiled the California School Dashboard, a new Web site that provides parents, educators, and the public with important information they can use to evaluate schools and school districts in an easy-to-understand report card format.
The California School Dashboard is available at It is a critical piece of California’s new school accountability and continuous improvement system. The state’s former accountability system—the Academic Performance Index (API)—relied exclusively on standardized tests and gave schools a single score. That system was suspended three years ago. “The California School Dashboard provides local communities with meaningful and relevant information on how well schools and districts are doing,” said State Board of Education President Michael W. Kirst. “It will help in local decision-making by highlighting both the progress of schools and student groups, shining a light on disparities and helping stakeholders pinpoint where resources should be directed. “As exciting a development as this is, it’s important to understand that the California School Dashboard itself is a work in progress. It will be a far more valuable tool one year from now and three years from now than it is today as more indicators come online, as feedback is incorporated, and as improvements are made,” Kirst said.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson called the launch a “historic milestone” in preparing students for success in 21st century college and careers. “The California School Dashboard is a resource unlike anything we’ve ever had before. I think of it as a high-tech report card for our schools. Just as our children receive report cards with multiple grades in multiple subject areas, the California School Dashboard provides us with many different measures of a school’s performance— where it’s strong, where it needs to improve, how it’s doing over time. “The California School Dashboard is yet another example of the innovation and positive change taking place in our public school system, which is also evident in increased local control, more rigorous academic standards, cutting-edge online assessments, and billions of dollars in voter-approved school funding and school infrastructure improvement.”
The California School Dashboard incorporates six state performance measures and four local indicators (six local indicators for county offices of education). The six state measures are:
• Academic Indicator, which includes results on standardized tests
• Career/College Readiness
• English Learner Progress
• Graduation Rate
• Suspension Rate
• Chronic Absenteeism     
Information for two state indicators—Chronic Absenteeism and College/Career Readiness—and the six local indicators will be added as they become available. Local educational agencies and schools receive one of five color-coded performance levels for each state indicator for all students and for each student group. The performance levels are calculated based on how current performance compares to past performance. From highest to lowest, the five performance levels are blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.
The four local indicators are:
• Basic Services and School Conditions
• Implementation of State Academic Standards
• Parent Engagement
• School Climate
The two additional local indicators for county offices of education are:
• Coordination of Services for Expelled Youth
• Coordination of Services for Foster Youth
As an accountability and continuous improvement tool, the California School Dashboard will help identify schools and districts needing targeted assistance from the state, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
“The Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) is excited about the Dashboard and the new opportunities it provides for engaging with our students, families, and schools. This new system improves transparency by providing information on both academic and non-academic factors that contribute to a child’s education. Many of the RUSD findings validate the hard work that goes on in our classrooms everyday!  This tool also allows us to grow stronger in areas we need to as we continue to work very hard to help all our students succeed, ” said RUSD Superintendent Roger Stock. “California’s future success depends on tapping into the potential of all students, so they graduate ready for college, careers and life. For schools to reach this goal, teachers, parents and the community need clear and useful measures of progress. The California School Dashboard provides this tool as part of all our commitment to transparency and continuous improvement.”

To learn more about California's accountability and continuous improvement efforts, visit the CDE Dashboard Web page:

2nd Annual Unified RHS/WHS Basketball Game Attracts

Huge Supporting Crowd: Our Fantastic RUSD Family!

students playing basketball  students playing basketball
March 2017
We are so honored to show you some sights and sounds from this amazing event!  Our students, staff and families deserve a  huge thanks for making this and other Unified Sporting events happen in our District and throughout Placer County! One student proudly exclaimed: “I love basketball. It is so cool. I get to actually play and have fun with my friends playing basketball games. Oh yeah, it is cool!”   #rusdPROUD
students playing basketball  students playing basketball

Check out just some of the thoughts from our wonderful RUSD Family:

“ I was able to run the clock and had a good view of the court. It was the most fun that I have had at an event in a very long time. I want to thank Jenn Kaiser, Ryan Spears and their crew for putting on such a memorable game. It helped to remind me why I do the job that I do, and that it truly is 110% for the kids. To help them feel included  and loved within our community. That happened at the Unified Basketball Game. My most favorite part was hearing the kids, students and staff from both school chant and cheer for both teams! I have never been more honored to work at such a wonderful place.”  Louise Cranston-RHS RSP Teacher
students playing basketball  students playing basketball
“I am very excited! I am excited! I want to have fun at the game. I want to win.” Jackson-RHS student and Unified Athlete

“I want this really loud that way everyone can hear it. That way people out there who have a kid they would want to come.” Kamden-RHS student and Unified Athlete
students playing basketball  students playing basketball
“It means a world to them and the smiles on their faces and they talk about it… they talked about it for three months leading up to this… When is the game? When is the game? When is the game? … and they’ll be talking about it until the end of school”- Mike Gimenez-WHS Basketball Coach

Check out KCRA Anchor Mike Teselle Previews Unified basketball
Game Morning of the Big Night!

KCRA covers the actual event and anchors are amazing at their
compliments to our RUSD Family!  

Employee Recognition for Heroic Efforts-Preventing a Tragedy
for a 6th Grade Student
Mrs. Craft getting an award
February 2017
Safety of all our students is a top priority at the Rocklin Unified School District and we are honored to be able to tell you the story of how Instructional Aide/Cafeteria Monitor Lynne Craft recently put her safety training into action when she saw a 6th grader in distress at lunch!
On January 30th, it was a routine day at school during lunchtime until the unthinkable happened. Breen Elementary 6th grader Michael Connor began to choke on string cheese. He stood up from his lunch table and approached Mrs. Craft who, as with all staff, was proactively prepared for such an incident. The dramatic scene that unfolded next is something that truly makes Mrs.Craft an RUSD hero. Michael had his hand on his throat and shook his head when asked by Mrs. Craft if he could breathe. Mrs. Craft signaled to another monitor to call the office. Mrs. Craft then helped Michael turn around and she began to administer the Heimlich Maneuver. She administered two abdominal thrusts, but to no avail. She tried two blows to his back and still nothing. She then applied the Heimlich again and Michael was now able to speak. He reached inside of his mouth and pulled the cheese out. Michael was walked to the office. His mother was called and came to the school. She decided to take Michael home because they were both very emotional about what had happened.
Mrs. Craft getting an award  Mrs. Craft getting an award
Principal Chuck Thibideau arranged for a special plaque presentation for Mrs. Craft on Monday, February 13th with all staff and students present in the cafeteria to honor Mrs. Craft for her selfless and swift actions. The RUSD Board of Trustees, grateful to each and every one of our dedicated and trained staff members, also honored Mrs. Craft and Breen Elementary at their Board of trustee meeting on February 15th for the precision and cooperation with which this situation was handled. Special Thanks to Sharif jewelers for donating a beautiful heart ring to our hero. And also to our other community partners who honored Mrs. Craft with many gifts saluting her heroic actions: Green Acres Nursery, Leatherby’s Family Creamery, Cookie Connection and Abstractions Floral.  Leatherby’s Family Creamery even donated a coupon for one of their huge, fantastic ice cream sundaes to EACH Breen Elementary student to celebrate Mrs. Craft!
Mrs. Craft getting an award  Mrs. Craft getting an award
Rose bush   Vase of flowers on a table
Check out KCRA coverage:
This is Rocklin - a Generous Band Parent Gives a Surprise Gift
to a Grateful Rocklin High School Student and it All Goes Viral!

Special thanks to RHS Music Boosters Board member and Parent Volunteer Laura Tolladay for this fantastic write up!  

Luis Sanchez is a junior at Rocklin High School. He was first introduced to the trumpet at Rock Creek Elementary by Rocklin Unified School District Elementary Music Director Mike Hannickel (who has since retired). Mr. Hannickel played the the violin, clarinet, trombone and trumpet for all the 5th grade students, and the moment Luis heard the trumpet, he knew that was the instrument for him.

Luis told his Mom he wanted a trumpet, but she thought it would be a passing fancy, and the trumpet would end up under this bed collecting dust. But that wasn’t the case at all. Luis start playing with the school band in elementary school, then in middle school. And now in high school, Luis plays in the Marching, Symphonic and Jazz Bands at Rocklin High. With each school there was a different trumpet to play, a loaner from the school. But they were old, and worn out, and didn’t work very well.

The new trumpet, and his current loaner from the school
musical instrument boxes

Luis wanted a new trumpet to play, one with valves that worked, and with a mouthpiece that wasn’t too small. He realized a new trumpet was a lot of money, but knew if he saved his pennies, he would eventually be able to buy one. And he started saving, literally every penny. He has the penny jar, and takes the pennies to the bank once it gets full. The last bank trip he had $97.68 worth of pennies. A few years ago he took a trip to Disneyland with the Middle School Band, and a friend of the family gave him money to spend at Disneyland. He spent $25 in Disneyland, and brought home $25 to add to his trumpet fund, that’s how dedicated he is to saving.

Luis and his trumpet fund penny jar
Student holding coin jar

Since his Confirmation in 2011, he has been saving money for a trumpet. He’s helped move friends, gone door to door asking to clean people’s yards, all he asks is for donations to his trumpet fund. His friends and brothers have helped. He even taught trumpet lessons to an underclassman. He was on a mission!

Last year The Music Store in Rocklin donated a brand new Jupiter Trumpet to the Rocklin High Music Boosters fundraiser. Luis bid on the trumpet, but was out-bid by another family. He was disappointed, but kept up his ruthless savings. Last week at school he found out The Music Store had donated a trumpet again this year, and he was very excited!
student with horn posing with teachers  Student crying over open box containing musical instrument

The trumpet was the last item to be bid on that night. The Master of Ceremonies, Gian Montesini has a daughter who plays in the Jazz Band with Luis. Gian, and many of the other students and their parents, knew how long Luis has been saving. When the bidding for the new trumpet started, Luis was in the running, but was soon outbid. The bidding got past the $600 he’d saved. Amazingly, one parent gave him $100 so he could keep bidding. Another parent did the same, and a third parent gave him another $100 as well. Yet he was still out bid. The value placed on the trumpet was $1,200, and the bidding went up to $1,200, and that bid was from Gian, the MC. No one could go higher. So Gian bought the trumpet.

He paid for the trumpet (a donation for the Music Boosters donated by Rocklin’s Music Store). And Gian calmly walked over to Luis, put it down in front of him, and walked away. Luis couldn’t believe what just happened. He was in shock!
student hugging picture  Student with horn next to teacher

Luis says he will always treasure the trumpet Mr. Montesini gave to him. And his parents, Jose and Rosa are still in shock. Jose is a school bus driver for Roseville Unified School District, and Rosa is a cafeteria worker for Rocklin Unified School District. Luis is the third of four kids, he has two older sisters, and one younger brother who is also at Rocklin High. They moved to Rocklin from the Bay Area so Jose could spend more time with his kids. Family means everything to this close-knit family. And they are all overwhelmed by the generosity bestowed upon their family, and the way their story has touched so many strangers, who have commented so positively on facebook.
students posing for picture
Luis has never had formal lessons. He credits Tom Douglass, current music director at Rocklin High School, with a lot of his success. “I was in Mr. Douglass’ class at Spring View Middle School, and was so happy when he came to Rocklin High last year. He’s a great teacher!” Luis also learns various trumpeting techniques from watching YouTube videos, and his parents say he easily picks things up by ear.

He gets inspiration from his favorite trumpet player, Arturo Sandovol. He prefers Big Band over more contemporary jazz, and also enjoys Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

When he’s not playing the trumpet he’s doing school work. But he also finds time to dance with the Ballet Folklorico Nube de Oro, which he’s been doing since he was 5. And this year he tried something new. He had a role in the Rocklin High Musical, Footloose. Luis has also been asked to play with a local Mariachi band, but he needs to put that off until the summer so he can concentrate on school.

After high school he wants to go to college, and take his trumpet with him.

Thanks Photography by Ryan D. Middleton for the great pictures!

Check out Good Day live coverage:
Sierra Elementary Students Painting Vases for Patients
students posing for group photograph
January 2017
Rocklin Unified School District students are exposed to the Arts in many outstanding ways and at Sierra Elementary,  Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) expert Mrs. Cynthia Brown, found a special way for the community to benefit from art class!  She did this with the assistance of Petal Connection.  It is a unique volunteer run non proft that creates beautiful bedside bouquets for the hospice patients using flowers and vases that are donated by different organizations.  Jennifer from Petal Connection worked with the young students who created beautiful vases that no doubt made a difference in patient’s lives! The vases were delivered to hospice patients and care facilities throughout Sacramento and Placer counties. “We are doing this to help people who are on sad times to feel better,” said Carson, 6th grade student.
Students working at table  student painting glass ball  students painting
students in classroom painting glasses  students painting glasswear  students being interviewed
students being interviewed on camera  students being interviewed on camera  Teachers posing for photo
The Zuzu African Acrobats Entertain Students with High Energy
Performance and Inspirational Assembly at
Antelope Creek Elementary!
Adults doing dance moves.   Crowd watching as teachers line up to do activity at the front of the gym.
January 2017
The students and staff at Antelope Creek Elementary were treated to an exciting vibrant cultural performance by the Zuzu African Acrobats from Mombasa Kenya. You might recognize them from their fantastic appearance on “America’s Got Talent”! Brian Arcuri, Principal of Antelope Creek, invited this high energy traditional African performance group to educate students about African culture as part of the school’s ongoing cultural appreciation program. “We have Black History month coming up and I wanted to have an introduction to that…and the kids are starting the dance program of their own and this would be a great energy to celebrate all that," said Mr. Arcuri. Students and staff even joined in the performance as everyone cheered them on!
Adults doing dance moves at the front of crowd in the gym.   Dance crew in front of the gym.   Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing.
Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.   Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.   Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.
Zuzu Acrobats featured a mix of traditional high energy acrobatics such as fast pyramid building, chair balancing, limbo, comedy, tumbling, juggling, hoop diving and inspirational themed lecture. They told students what it was like to grow up poor in Mombasa and working very hard with the elders in their community to reach their goals. They taught the audience a few ki-Swahili words and shared their impressions of life in America!
Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.   teachers getting interviewed watching performance in the gym.   Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.  4 members standing on top of each other doing something acrobatic.
Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.  4 members standing on top of each other doing something acrobatic.   Teachers getting interviewed at performance.   Dance Crew at the front of the gym performing in front of a crowd.
Check out live Good Day show coverage:
Bite of Reality Financial Workshop a Success at
Whitney High School
gymnasium full of people  table presentation
January 2017
Whitney High School was selected to host a program called Bite of Reality for the senior class. This program teaches basic money management skills in a fun, interactive setting designed to provide teens with a taste of real-world financial realities, such as paying off student loans, getting medical insurance, and paying for basic necessities like groceries and utilities. Staff and volunteers served as mentors and played the roles of business people adults encounter in their financial lives. At the start of the session, teens were provided with a fictional identity, including an occupation, salary, family, credit cards and a checking account. They then visited a variety of table-top stations to purchase housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, daycare and other needs.
table presentation  table presentation  woman being interviewed
people talking in front of camera  table presentation  man being interviewed
This financial workshop, sponsored by Schools Financial Credit Union, was hosted at Whitney High School for all the 12th graders on campus free of charge. Thanks Schools Credit Union, all the supporters, parents and who volunteered to make the event awesome!
table presentation  woman being interviewed  table presentation
Thanks Reporter Brian Hickey of the KCRA 3 for covering this newsworthy event!
Clip from news feature titled Budgeting exercise  Clip from news feature titled Budgeting exercise  Clip from news feature titled Budgeting exercise
Students from China visit Sunset Ranch Elementary!  
  students in classroom  Students in classroom
September 2016
Imagine seeing Lake Tahoe for the first time, or the capitol building in Sacramento or even your first visit to San Francisco! Twenty six students from China got to experience that and much more as part of a fantastic program organized by Sunset Ranch Elementary.

The students from Yucai School in China are part of a unique foreign exchange program. They arrived on September 24th and are staying with 11 different families for 5 nights. Former Sunset Ranch Principal Jim Trimble opened the initial dialogue with the Yucai School last spring and set up the exchange for this year! Sunset ranch was chosen due to its status as a top performing and California Gold Ribbon School. Fox 40 came by to cover this amazing experience for the students and staff of both countries! (Thanks Photographer Nick and Fox 40)
students being photographed  students being photographed  Student speaking to faculty member
“Sunset Ranch staff and students are enthusiastic about meeting the students and hosting them in their classrooms.  Many teachers and students met the bus late Saturday night with signs, balloons, flowers, and other gifts for our guests.  Today, students worked collaboratively with Sunset Ranch students in the classroom.  Everyone was impressed with their can-do attitude and strong academic skills!” said Mr. MacDonald.
Host families report that they are having an incredible experience with the students. Many have taken the students on trips to see the beautiful area we live in including: the American River, Lake Tahoe, the capitol building in Sacramento, and San Francisco.
Camera with students around it  People posing for photograph  Students in classroom

“What a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience a friendship with someone from another culture, learn some of their language, to show them around our campus and community, and take them into their homes. I appreciate the Yucai Foreign Language School for coming this long way and making it happen. I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap.” said Cindy Smith, the amazing teacher at Sunset Ranch who is leading this wonderful effort!
Mr. MacDonald, also, said that Sunset Ranch is very interested in “having Yucai as a sister school in China and creating an ongoing staff/student exchange.  Mrs. Smith, a sixth grade teacher at Sunset Ranch, has already agreed to take the Yucai School up on their offer to bring her to China.  We are working with the Chinese group on setting up a trip for spring of 2017!”
Thanks Reporter Steve Archer of the Placer Herald who wrote a front page story in 9/29 edition of the newspaper.

Air Force Heroes and their Military Working Dogs Visit
Rocklin Elementary!
People in millitary uniforms  people in field
September 2016
The awesome 9th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog section showed Rocklin Elementary school kids their amazing capabilities and also educated the students on what they bring to the United States Air Force! It was also a great opportunity to provide a positive and approachable image to the community about the military and their amazing talent and dedication!
The demonstration had 6 phases of controlled aggression and a vehicle extraction which are:
 -Running Bite
 -Search with reattack
 -Stand off
 -Vehicle extraction
 -Field Interview

Special thanks to Rocklin Elementary School Dad and TSgt Kristopher W. Hall who brought this fantastic program to Rocklin Elementary Special thanks to TSgt. Hall and all the heroes at Beale Air Force Base.

Check out live TV coverage:
Granite Oaks Middle School
New Classroom Celebration/VIP Reception!
Students planting seedlings  People hanging banner reading "Granite Oaks Middle School, new classroom celebration/VIP Reception"
September 2016
Wow-what an amazing morning at granite Oaks Middle School! Celebrating new classrooms and the upgrades to campus grounds like the cool Schoolyard Habitat project!
Check out some of the pictures! Fun and educational for the VIP’s who attended this special unveiling to the public!
Man speaking to camera while holding microphone  Students planting seedlings  Students and faculty smiling
Student speaking to reporter  man being interviewed  students watching robot navigate maze
people being interviewed  Students orchestra playing music  man at podium speaking to crowd
Speakers included: Roger Stock, Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent,
Greg Daley, President, Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees,
Brianna Burns, ASB President - Granite Oaks Middle School and
Jay Holmes, Principal, Granite Oaks Middle School!
man at podium speaking to crowd  man at podium speaking to crowd  Woman speaking to crowd
man at podium speaking to crowd  Students and faculty outdoors  People standing around entrance to building, looking at door
Students and faculty walking alongside building  Man in suit speaking to students  Students and Faculty looking at building
Then guests were invited to take tours of our new classrooms and special CA shaped landscape area. Special student leaders served as wonderful tour guides! All the people listed below helped make this morning a success!
Students and faculty outside building  Students and faculty posing for photo  Students and faculty outside building
Man being interviewed in front of students  Reporter speaking to students  Man being interviewed
And thanks to Good Day Sacramento, FOX40 News and KCRA 3 for recognizing this very newsworthy event and covering it live all morning long! #rusdPROUD
Project construction partner Carter-Kelly Inc.
Project architect partner California Design West Architects
Russ Powell/Economic and Planning Services
Special Thanks:
RUSD Board of Trustees:
Greg Daley
Susan Halldin
Wendy Lang
Todd Lowell
Camille Maben
GOMS Teacher Justin Thayer (2016 Placer County Teacher of the Year)
GOMS Teacher Jeremy Waddell (2016 UC Davis C-STEM Teacher of the Year) UC Davis as the C-STEM teacher of the year
GOMS Honor band and Instructor Mary Dick
GOMS Parent Falcon Club
Craig Rouse, Senior Director-RUSD Facilities, Maintenance and Operations
Our Outstanding RUSD Facilities/Maintenance and Operations staff
Sue Wesselius/Former Director-RUSD Facilities, Maintenance and Operations
Juanita Fahnestock, Director-RUSD Nutrition Services
Our fantastic RUSD Nutrition Services Staff
Jeremy Jeffreys, M.A., Broadcasting Teacher, Rocklin High School
Jay Holmes, Principal-Granite Oaks Middle School
Jeff Christensen, Assistant Principal-Granite Oaks Middle School (2016 Placer County Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year)
The wonderful staff, students and families of Granite Oaks Middle School!
Granite Oaks Middle School students and teacher Jeremy Waddell

Summer Civic Program a Huge Success!
People posing for photograph under rocklin unified logo
September 2016
The City of Rocklin, RUSD and Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation (REEF) have partnered together to offer a unique program to engage our high school students. The Summer Civic Scholarship Program offers RHS, WHS and VHS students valuable hands on work experience that provides insight to possible future career choices. They basically helped run the City, with the help of the folks who already do that so well!
Board meeting  people watching presentation
Rocklin High School’s College and Career Director Amber Tillery worked with administration at the three high schools and City employees Jordan Pinkham and Corinne Heisler to organize this unique program. All, including the student participants were recognized by the RUSD Board of Trustees meeting recently!
people giving presentation to audience  	 people giving presentation to audience

Media Advisory
Video/Photo/Audio Opportunity
Contact:   Diana Capra
                Chief, Communications and Community Engagement
                Rocklin Unified School District
                (916) 757-4987 (mobile)
For Immediate release:
September 2, 2016
New Classroom Celebration Built for Vibrant

Learning at Granite Oaks Middle School!

15 New Classrooms and Schoolyard Habitat Program, an extensive student organized
campus improvement project, ready for special public unveiling!

Story:  The Rocklin Unified School District is unveiling 15 new classrooms at a special New Classroom Celebration and VIP Reception! The event also includes a special student outdoor/garden classroom project. Local community and school leaders will also be on hand for the presentation.

Date:  Wednesday, September 7, 2016 8am to 10am
Location:  Granite Oaks Middle School, 2600 Wyckford Boulevard
Parking in front for live trucks
Signs will guide you to event location on campus

  *STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) demonstrations-Students will work together and drive robots through a maze created with large colorful blocks
* Schoolyard Habitat Project-Students working on an area shaped like the state   of California where native species are being planted in this special garden/outdoor classroom.
*Students at work in the new classrooms
*Granite Oaks Middle School Honor Band performing

Interviews:  STEM demonstrations: Teacher Jeremy Waddell
Science Teacher/Team Lead Schoolyard Habitat Project: Justin Thayer Students
Granite Oaks Middle School Principal Jay Holmes
RUSD Superintendent Roger Stock
RUSD Board of Trustees
Before and after photos showing new grass field
Summer School Fun at RUSD
woman being interviewed  News crew posing with woman
Thank you Principal, Leza Davis!
August 2016
"Our Summer STEM Academy serves English Language Learners and students from Title 1 schools. Teachers attended a day of training by Engineering is Elementary (EIE) and learned instructional strategies for teaching the engineering design process. In addition to English Language Arts and math, students are receiving enrichment in science and engineering."
People posing for photograph
#rusdPROUD: Rocklin High Alumni headed to 2016
Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after he earns
his place on the Team USA Pole Vault Squad!
Cale Simmons
by Diana Capra
Communications and Community Engagement
July 2016
2009 Rocklin High School graduate Cale Simmons has landed a spot on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team in the Pole Vault competition! And to those who know him in our corner of the world, he is already considered RUSD Gold!
Athlete holding pole-vaulting pole
Cale, following graduating from RHS, went onto the US Air Force Academy where he graduated in 2013. Last September, he was able to leave his Air Force contracting unit at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to take part in the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program. This incredible opportunity allows superior athletes to train full-time for the Olympics. “It’s a great program. I’m super grateful to be part of that team,” Cale said during a phone interview from Colorado Springs, Colorado a few days after he officially made the U.S. Olympics Team on July 4th.  Amazingly, Cale had been removed from any kind of athletic involvement for almost 3 years at his contracting job so he has been rigorously training since September. His hard work paid off on Independence Day at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon when he made the U.S. Olympic Team by clearing the bar at 5.65 meters-18 feet, 6.4 inches in the men’s pole vault finals. “I am so excited! It was one of the most memorable moments I ever had in my life. My mom was crying, my sisters and my dad were there so my family surrounded me! It was so much to take in and so powerful,” Cale said. “Once you make the top three and you get to go to Rio they hand you a little American flag and tell you to do a victory lap. My family was in the stands and seeing them there was one of the greatest moments of my life! Super cool.” He is still getting hundreds of text messages and his Facebook page “keeps exploding!” “I am still so happy. I’m still on a high and I don’t think that’s ever gonna leave me!” He also gave a shout out to RUSD and specifically coaches like Matt Bumgardner for their guidance!
Ice climber wearing cold weather gear in snow.   People standing on beach with palm trees in background
Voices from RUSD family who knew Cale when…
RHS Coach Matt Bumgardner: "I couldn't be more excited for Cale. It was an honor and a privilege to coach him in the sprints while he was at Rocklin High School. To be honest, I'm not surprised at all by his making the U.S. Olympic Team. He was absolutely an elite, all around high school athlete. He ran with the sprint team at times and even with minimal sprint training (due to extensive pole vault training) he was also a member of the league champion 4x100 relay team and even picked up a 2nd place in the 200 meter dash at the league championship. I was always impressed by Cale's strong mindset. I am confident that this will be an asset for him as he competes in Rio. He always had fun, never seemed to get rattled in competition and always cheered on his fellow competitors.  It was so much fun coaching Cale because of how funny and energetic he was. I just can't say enough positive things about this tremendous young man. All of Rocklin and the rest of the United States will be rooting for him in the Olympics!!!"
Coach Pereira: “I coached Cale and Robbie for four years. I was their cross country coach, but I take no credit for the Pole Vault. They were also very good cross country runners, and Cale ended up becoming a very good sprinter in track so he was not just known for his pole vault. Great kid and family. My fondest memory of Cale and Rob was during a cross country meet at Folsom HS. Someone on the team had thrown a Frisbee on the roof of one of the classroom buildings. Any normal person would have needed to have a few people lift them up so they could get on the roof--not Cale. He just scaled the wall with ease and was up on the roof in a matter of seconds. This is how athletic, wiry, and strong he was. Really excited for him and I wish him the best at the Olympics!”

Antelope Creek Elementary Coach/Teacher Peter Davis: “I worked with the Simmons family at Antelope Creek when he was a student there. He began his "track and field" experiences on the field at AC with the flying Falcons. Adam Salinger, Jenn Dunn and myself coached the team for several years. He was a hard working and dedicated young man. Not surprised in the least to see him at the biggest stage for athletics. I'm certainly rooting for him.”

Antelope Creek 6th grade Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher Gloria Chesbro: “Cale was tall, quiet, great sense of humor. I also taught his twin brother and older sister Rachel. Wonderful family! So excited for Cale and the whole family.” This special note-Cale’s twin brother, Air Force 1st Lieutenant Rob Simmons also a standout athlete and pole vaulter is now a C-17 pilot stationed at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Their sister Rachel is also a pole vaulter and Air Force Academy graduate.

RHS Sr. English Teacher Angela Parker: “I’m so excited for Cale! I remember his quirky sense of humor and amazing work ethic! I also remember his dedication to the sport, so much so that he missed graduation to compete in the state championships. What an accomplishment for him!”

Antelope Creek Elementary Teacher Patricia Shier:  “I too am very excited for Cale. I was Cale's Kindergarten teacher. He was always a sweet, smart, fun loving, terrific student. He was always very creative and inquisitive. I have had the privilege of working with the Simmons family many times. I had Cale in my class as well as two of his younger sisters. They are a fabulous family and I am so thrilled for Cale!

Speaking of terrific alumni, all our former students are appreciated! Are you one? If you are, let me know a favorite memory, staff member, class, experience! We love to take trips down memory lane with good thoughts of appreciation for our staff who work so hard to provide the educational excellence RUSD is known for!!  Email me at Thanks!

And thanks Cale for providing the awesome pictures!

Check out the wonderful coverage Cale received in The Sacramento Bee:
Broadcast Media Coverage Highlight Reel
Multiple TV displays showing news feed
Did you miss some of our news coverage this Spring? Check out what our Rocklin High School Broadcasting Teacher Jeremy Jeffreys and his students produced! #rusdPROUD!

Mini Greek Olympics Live on Good Day!
Students dressed in togas  Students dressed in togas
June 2016
A vibrant way to learn Greek history! 6th graders and staff at Twin Oaks Elementary took a trip back in time with their Mini Greek Olympics! A morning filled with fun, Good Day reporter Deuce Mason and even Principal Sarah James was in on the toga fun! Congratulations again to Twin Oaks Elementary for achieving CA Gold Ribbon status! #rusdPROUD
Students dressed in togas  Students dressed in togas racing
faculty in Togas's being interviewed  Students dressed in togas in a field
Unified Sports Track Meet at Whitney High School
Showcases Special Achievements!
athletes on field
By Lilia Arnest
Communications and Community Engagement
May 2016
Special needs students from Whitney, Rocklin and Woodcreek high schools took part in another unified sports event: A Track Meet! The first event was a tremendously successfully and exciting basketball game involving our terrific kids!
camera on athletic track  man being interviewed on athletic track

The track meet brought the same kind of excitement! It was an exciting and emotional event! A day for special needs athletes to shine, showcase their skills and represent their schools. Through Unified Sports these amazing students are given a chance to show their peers that they can run and jump just like any other kids.  
people seated in bleachers  people seated on bleachers

“It was another great day in Rocklin Unified!” said Jennifer Kaiser, Special Education teacher and event coordinator. “We had 3 schools and about 45 special needs students participate in the first annual Rockwood Invitational Track Meet. Students of all abilities coming together to show off their skills in the long jump, javelin, and 100. The day ended with 7 relay teams being cheered on by students, parents, teachers, and community members.” The main goal for this event, of course,  was all about students. “So special needs students have the same opportunities as their other peers”, said Ms. Kaiser. “It is an all-ability sporting event, so kids in wheelchairs, kids with special needs, kids with learning disabilities, all types come together and do what they like to do, which is sports.”
athletes running on track  athletes running on track
“The 1st Annual Unified Sports Track meet was a great success!  With the help of Rocklin and Woodcreek High Schools we were once again able to provide a great sports experience for our Special Education students.  They were once again in the spotlight they so greatly deserve and we were so happy to give that to them!” said Nicholas French, Resource Teacher and also an event coordinator.  

Right now only RHS, WHS and Woodcreek participate in Unified Sports. The future goal is to involve as many schools as possible!  #rusdPROUD!
Check out live TV coverage:
McKinsey Greer from Rocklin Independent Charter
Academy named a Q58 Superstar! 
May 2016
Check out the special segment by Sports Anchor/Reporter Michelle Dapper:
Happy 50th Anniversary to Parker Whitney Elementary
School! Choir Performs on Live TV!
students standing in front of the CW31 building
May 2016
It started with the idea of one Mom eight years ago and has grown into a talented group of elementary singers in high demand at local events!  And recently the Parker Whitney Choir performed on live television on Good Day Weekend! The Parker Whitney choir works hard at practices weekly and regularly sing at the retirement center Casa de Santa Fe, the Veteran’s Day service on Veteran’s Day, the Rocklin Tree Lighting, River Cats baseball games and the Choir is part of the Music in the Capitol during the holiday season and sing in the rotunda.  “It has been a busy but rewarding 8 years as we’ve watched the choir grow in size and ability, and hopefully helped foster in the kids a love for music, said Director Emily Matthews. “What a fabulous adventure we had on Good Day. This will be a great memory for them.  What a highlight!”
Students standing in studio
students in studio
student holding balloons and giant check for "up to $20000"
May 2016
It was the surprise of a lifetime for Rocklin High School senior Dominic Navarro! And television crews were there to capture it all live!
Student smiling at front of class, next to film crew  student being filmed while receiving check and balloons.
On Friday, May 6th, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced Navarro as the winner of the PG&E Better Together STEM Scholarship. The program awards a total of $1 million in scholarships to local high school, community college and “non-traditional” students pursuing higher education in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Navarro will receive up to $20,000 per year for up to five years. Only 10 students are awarded this amazing scholarship. Several apply each year for the honor.
student being filmed while receiving check and balloons.  student posing with giant check and balloons.

“It’s an incredible feeling when you know the stakeholders at PG&E are investing in your future,” said Navarro. “This is life changing for me. I can’t thank them enough.”
The unsuspecting senior was caught off guard in his A.P. Statistics class when camera crews arrived, along with school, RUSD and PG&E officials. PG&E Division Leadership Team Senior Manager Jacquelyn Lewis announced Navarro’s name and handed him a huge cardboard check. Navarro has enrolled in Advanced Placement classes since his sophomore year at Rocklin High, is captain of the tennis team, a member of Drug Abuse Resistance Education, and works as a private tutor. Navarro will study mechanical engineering at UCLA.
Student and teacher holding giant check for up $20000  Student and teachers holding giant check for up $20000
Students posing with giant check for up $20000  faculty being interviewed

Check out how Fox 40’s crew aired the entire surprise during their morning show live as it happened!  Navarro’s Dad, a photographer for KCRA-3 was also there and also surprised!!! Dad thought he was covering a different story at Rocklin HS and everybody kept the secret and even had to hide Dominic’s Mom and sister until the actual check presentation!
PG&E features Dominic in their special ‘Currents’ news feed and then link it:

Whitney High Student Media Receives
National Recognition
people posing for photo
April 2016
Last week six students from Whitney High attended classes, seminars, training sessions and critiques at the National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles.
Our students brought home the following national awards:
NSPA Best of Show winner (First Place), Details yearbook
NSPA Best of Show Fourth Place, Special Edition magazine
2015 Pacemaker Award for Details yearbook (the 10th consecutive!)
First Amendment Press Freedom Award from the Journalism Education Association
Three WHS students placed individually in national contests on site:
Morgan Hawkins, Honorable Mention in Sports Photography
Rylea Gillis, Excellent in Sports Reporting
Rachel Marquardt in Review Writing
Our prize winners also attended festivities at the Staples Center Wednesday to report on Kobe Bryant's last game, interviewing fans and media professionals before the Lakers played that evening. On Thursday they met Jose Antonio Vargas (Pultzer Prize winner and most notable for his work with Undocumented), and students also reported live with photos, stories, video and dsocial media practice from Grand Park, the Fashion District, Disney Music Hall and other places around DTLA to get real-world journalism experience!
Special thanks to Sarah Nichols for the terrific information!
students posing for photo holding awards
Elementary Students Excited About Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)!
'Super Scientist' Presenters Inspire More Than 400 Students at
Valley View Elementary School's 2nd Annual STEM Expo
ballet shoes, x-rays of feet  FBI evidence response team display

“This is so cool!” “It was neat seeing the inside of the news van but it smelled funny!” “My favorite was the FBI crime scene set-up!”  Those were just of the comments from Valley View Elementary school students attending the school’s 2nd Annual Science-Technology-Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo. More than just a simple ‘science fair, the students were able to connect learning and real-life scenarios during visual demonstrations, meet and greets with STEM experts and hands on experiments. The goal? Expose and motivate the kids in STEM subjects and possible careers for their futures.  And the kids were captivated by each and everyone of the Super Scientist Presenters!
students posing with science presentation  student looking at robot
students watching speaker  students watching presentation
“The Valley View school community is committed to moving education forward by preparing our students with skills and knowledge for college and careers,” said Valley View Elementary School Principal Shari Anderson.  “We believe that the elementary years are the perfect time and place to spark students’ interests and develop passions for their futures in the 21st century.  The STEM Expo is an example of one of these.  Our PTC and families are amazingly, wonderful in supporting the goals for our students.  We continue to research ideas and programs that will lead students to think deeply and critically, foster collaboration, creativity and innovation, and allow for a variety of manners to demonstrate knowledge,” according to Anderson.
students watching science table presentations  students watching science table presentations
students watching science presentation  students watching science presentation

“Students were inspired and amazed by our wonderful Super Scientists (parents and local community members) who shared their careers and hobbies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, said Science Teacher and Expo Coordinator Julie Leppek.  “For the second year, I was again so impressed by the creative displays and demos that filled our multi-purpose room.  Students were able to dust for fingerprints with the F.B.I., learn how to build a dam with a civil engineer, observe a 3-D Printer in action, participate in a live 3D game of Mine Craft operated by mini Raspberry Pi computers, operate a telescope, see how a power plant operates and so much more!  I am so grateful for all the time and energy our super scientists donated to help make it such a fun event for our Valley View students,” Leppek said.
students looking at science presentation  students looking at science presentation
students looking at science presentation  students watching science presentation

This year there were eight returning presenters including RUSD Board of Trustee President and Pilot Greg Daley.  Daley kept the kid’s attention by showing them the science behind making a paper airplane and flying a real one!!  Many presenters decided to bring an assistant or in some cases (EvoKnow Software, Inc.), bring their entire office staff of software engineers to come and talk to the Elementary 430 students.  “It's exciting to see presenters want to return and continue to educate and inspire,” Leppek added.  RUSD Superintendent Roger Stock, Deputy Superintendent Kathy Pon, Board of Trustee member Susan Halldin and our fantastic Teachers On Special Assignment (TOSA) ‘Tech Guy’ Ryan O’Donnell also attended. (Thanks Mr. O’Donnell for helping out the RUSD Communications and Community Engagement Department share all the fun on social media!)
woman holding over sized dollar bill  students looking at science display
Students looking at science presentation  People posing for photo
Two people posing for camera  students looking at science display  students watching science table presentations

The complete list of presenters/companies include: Saint Francis High School Robotics team, Printrbot’s Brook Drumm,  EvoKnow Software, Inc., Astronomers Bob and Sondra Walczak, Pharmacists Dr. Brian Vu and Dr. Tricia Vu, Pilot Greg Daley, STEM animation expert Kate Hay,  Energy 2001, Inc. Owner/President Laura Rasmussen, Solar Energy’s Matt Stoll-Bisagno, Veterinarians Dr. Kaur and Dr. Singh, Kristina Lopez from Umpqua Bank, mathematician John Boysen, local FBI agents, Laser eye specialist Scott Smith, Security technology expert Yvonne Glenn, Electric and computer engineer A.J. Camber, Senior Engineer/Project Civil Engineer Al Pelly, Creative Arts and Science expert Sofia Stoll-Bisagno.
students watching presentation  students next to a news van
students being interviewed  students being interviewed

Check out live TV coverage! Good Day Cody Stark and Videographer Terry Haggard went live on Good Day’s popular morning show all morning and also served as presenters explaining how the weather is forecast as well as how the ‘live news truck’ works!
Contact: Diana Capra
              Chief, Communications and Community Engagement
              (916) 757-4987
For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2016
Valley View Elementary School's 2nd Annual STEM Expo
Makes Science Exciting!
Story: Valley View Elementary school is hosting it's 2nd Annual Science-Technology-Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo, an engaging and exciting morning making those important subjects more relevant learning! Rocklin Unified School District was just ranked #1 School District in the Sac Metro region in a new report ( and exposing students to a variety of real life learning situations is one of the reasons why! The elementary school students get a chance to connect learning and real scenarios during special, extremely visual demonstrations, meet and greets with STEM experts and hands on experiments. The goal? Expose and motivate the kids in STEM subjects and possible careers for their future in the 21st century. It's never too early to start preparing for college and careers!
Date/Time: Friday, April 8th 8-10am
Location: Valley View Elementary School, 3000 Crest Drive, Rocklin, CA
Multi-Purpose Room-Enter at the first large parking lot with the portable building off to the right.
Visuals/Audio: Elementary kids doing hands on science and technology related activities that are fun! Activities include a large 3D Mine-craft game using raspberry pi computers on stage, Robots called 'FEMbots' made by St. Francis High School's Robotics team, a 3D printer called the 'Prinrbot' kids can use and even a cool, life-like crime scene set up where students can learn about STEM and the connection to evidence discovery.
Interviews: Many of the children are excited about this annual event and can do interviews. Presenters and Science teacher and Expo Coordinator Julie Leppek is also available.
Background: The complete list of presenters/companies include: Saint Francis High School Robotics team, Printrbot’s Brook Drumm,  Evoknow (software engineer architect firm), Astronomers Bob and Sondra Walczak, Pharmacists Dr. Brian Vu and Dr. Tricia Vu, Pilot Greg Daley, STEM animation expert Kate Hay,  Energy 2001, Inc. Owner/President Laura Rasmussen, Solar Energy’s Matt Stoll-Bisagno, Laser eye specialist Scott Smith, Security technology expert Yvonne Glenn, Electric and computer engineer A.J. Camber, Senior Engineer/Project Civil Engineer Al Pelly, Creative Arts and Science expert Sofia Stoll-Bisagno.
A Teacher Affects Eternity; He Can Never Tell Where His
Influence Stops
Henry Adams
students making pottery
February 23, 2016 - Day in and day out our staff and teachers affect lives of our students and families! 
Sierra Elementary was the first International Baccalaureate PYP World School to be authorized in the greater Sacramento area. The difference between traditional teaching methods and IB methods is that Sierra students are taught through inquiry based lessons where the teacher does not provide answers, but guides her students to discovering them.  Sierra students are taught about subjects such as biographies, slavery, and art through guided inquiry. Instead of the teacher providing the students with answers, IB students are given some information and clues that they eagerly piece together by making connections between different areas of their curriculum. Sierra International Baccalaureate next Parent Information Tour/Meeting Nights will be held on Thursday, March 17 at 8:30 AM. Space is limited so please call 916-788-7141 to reserve a spot. Watch how Mrs. Brown taught her class and at the same time answered questions from Good Day (CBS 13/CW 31) Anchors Marianne McClary ad Ken Rudolph. 
Sister station CBS 13 also featured Mrs. Brown later that day in their newscasts!
Contact: Diana Capra
Chief, Communications and Community Engagement
For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2016
Students Walk in Shoes of a Slave Through His Art
Powerful lesson during Black History Month Resonates with Students
Story:  The biography lessons kids learn in the classroom are also being re-enforced with a more hands on approach in other classes like Art and Music. For many years, teacher Cynthia Brown’s Art class has been making beautiful ceramic pots; just as Dave the Potter did back in 1820. Dave is such an inspirational figure for elementary students to learn about because he created his art in spite of the fact that he lived in a society that threatened him with death for expressing himself through his art. The class always sparks lively conversation as students discover facts about an amazing artist who left clues about his life inscribed on his pottery. The students are inspired by Dave’s courage and positive attitude and as they strive to do their best with this project, in honor of a man who struggled and triumphed despite the incredible odds against him.

Date: February 23rd 7:50am to 10:50am or 11:40 to 2:20pm 

Location: Sierra Elementary School, 6811 Camborne Way, Rocklin, CA

Visuals/Audio:  Several kids making clay pots: preparing clay, shaping, inscribing poetry.

Interviews: Many of the children can speak articulately about this important lesson.  Art Teacher Cynthia Brown is also available.


Dave the Potter was born in 1801 in North Carolina. It is believed that he had 5 owners throughout his life.  Dave was an incredibly skilled potter. His pots, which were used for storing food, were remarkably large, sometimes as large as 4o gallons. The most important detail of Dave’s pottery however was the fact that he sometimes inscribed poetry and signed his name to his work during a time when it was against the law for slaves to learn to read or write.  It is not known how Dave learned to read or write but his moving poems and dates inscribed have left important clues to this amazing man’s life.  Dave lost his leg when he was around 35 years old. Another slave, whose arms were crippled, kicked the potter’s wheel for Dave so that he was able to continue his art.  Dave is such an inspirational figure for students to learn about as he created his art in spite of the fact that he lived in a society that threatened him with death for expressing himself through his art.

Kindergarteners Star In Their Own Live Television News
Segment - Making Science Fun at Rocklin Unified School
District's Valley View Elementary!
people posing for group photo  Student wearing safety goggles doing a science experiment.
February 2016 - Where does the froth on top of root beer floats come from? How can a balloon magically blow up? Is messy slime a solid or a liquid? Kindergarteners at Valley View Elementary, that’s right Kindergarteners, can actually answer those questions and many of Mrs. Jessica Penney’s students did during a live television broadcast featuring the school’s cool science lab on CW 31’s popular morning show: Good Day! The Valley View Kinders visit science lab twice a month and are currently studying ‘states of matter.’  According to the school’s science teacher, Julie ‘the lab lady’ Leppek, “kids get the opportunity to reinforce their classroom learning about solids/liquids/gasses with hands on experiments or activities.  Students  observe, predict, sort, classify, mix, measure, collaborate, and communicate their ideas and learning.” Parents also play a role volunteering and making the lab experiences possible. “The original setup of our Science Lab 5 years ago was a joint effort between the district and our Parent Teacher Club.  Now it is mainly sustained by the amazing fundraising efforts of our PTC.  We are fortunate to be able to offer students this unique science opportunity and hope that it ignites a scientist in all,’ says Valley View Principal Shari Anderson.
people posing for group photo Woman holding backing soda an vinegar

New this year to all popular Rocklin Unified School District Kindergarten programs is a full day Kindergarten program.  Experienced, enthusiastic teachers also include music, art, physical education and time for play based learning in classrooms at each of the 11 RUSD Elementary schools.  For more information on RUSD 2016-2017 Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten easy registration, log onto the RUSD website:  Register now and watch your children become our future success stories!
people posing for group photo

By the way-in case you didn’t know-the answer to the questions asked at the beginning of this  article: The froth is a result of a trapped gas after combining root beer and ice cream; a balloon expanded right before the mesmerized little ones after they mixed a solid (baking soda) with a liquid (vinegar). The result-gas filled the balloon to make it grow bigger and bigger!; This Slime concoction was both a solid and a liquid!  Squeeze it to solidify and release it to become a liquid!
Check out how Good Day Anchor Cody Stark had fun with our kids and learned a few things as well!

March 4, 2016 New Update
Court strengthens protections for student privacy
Recently a federal court order strengthened protections for student data. Due to such a high number of objections from families, U.S. Court District Judge Kimberly Mueller ordered the California Department of Education be able to maintain custody of the most sensitive of its data bases while running searches for information requested by plaintiffs in the case described below. The judge reiterated that no student's personally identifiable information may be released unless the plaintiffs can demonstrate that the method used to store the sensitive data is secure, according to a recent press release issued by State Superintendent of School Tom Torlakson. "The Court has heard loud and clear from California's families that they want their students' privacy protected," Torlakson said in the release. All parties are still litigating the extent of the disclosure of student data. Meanwhile, parents, guardians and students over 18 have the right to print out, complete and mail the "Objection to Disclosure of Student Information and Records" form (link below) by April 1st.
For Immediate Release
February 18, 2016         
Diana Capra
Rocklin Unified School District
(916) 672-3606 Work
(916) 757-4987 Cell

Pending Lawsuit Affects Release of Student Data Statewide – Objection Form Available

February 18, 2016 - A current lawsuit against the California Department of Education (CDE) is impacting all school districts across the state, including Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD).. The litigation is with two non-profit associations comprised of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. The plaintiffs in that litigation have requested numerous documents, as well as student data that is collected and stored by CDE, which may include personally identifiable student information.

The Rocklin Unified School District is not involved in the lawsuit and is not the subject of any of the suit’s allegations. Nonetheless, as part of the lawsuit, CDE has been ordered by the United States District Court to release all data it has collected on all K-12 general education and special education students since January 1, 2008. The private data will only be available to a handful of legal representatives. Examples of information that may be released includes student’s name, social security number, demographics, course information, statewide assessment results, teacher demographics, program information, behavior and discipline information, progress reports, special education assessment plans, special education assessments/evaluations, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), records pertaining to health, mental health and medical information, student statewide identifiers (SSID), attendance statistics, information on suspensions and expulsions, and results on state tests.

Parents/Guardians have the right to complete and mail in an Objection to Disclosure Form to prevent the release of student data: The objection form must be submitted via regular mail to the Court (address provided in form) by April 1, 2016. RUSD is not a party to the litigation and is not required to disclose any student information.

CDE has requested that all school districts, including  RUSD, post the following link to CDE’s website:

For more information or questions contact CDE directly at (916) 319-0800. To read the news release issued by State Superintendent Torlakson today regarding his strong support for protecting student privacy visit

RUSD goes to great lengths to protect the personal information of all its families. The district wants to do all it can to keep parents and guardians informed and protected. RUSD would like to reiterate that the release of this information is completely out of RUSD’s control, and out of concern for their student community they wanted to ensure that families know they have the option to protect their student’s private information.


RUSD Hosts National/State Privacy Experts at One of a Kind

Student Data Security and Confidentiality Workshop


 New laws put the spotlight on more than just Digital Citizenship for School Districts

January 2016 - The safety of students, staff and families has always been a top priority at the Rocklin Unified School District.  The introduction of technology like laptops and tablets for learning in the classroom now extends this priority to include educating staff and students about using the internet safely and wisely.  Currently,  leading our efforts is a talented team of administrators and teachers in RETT (Rocklin Education Technology Team.) They include RUSD Chief Technology Officer Mike Fury, Principal of Ruhkala Elementary School Melody Thorson, and two special assignment teachers Ryan O’Donnell and Kaili Bray. This group’s important goal is to keep the entire District constantly trained and updated regarding digital citizenship integrating concepts of cyber safety, security and ethics into existing technology standards and curriculum.
Student using laptop   Student using laptop

Recently, to build on this outstanding reputation, the District hosted the Gold Country CETPA (California Educational Technology Professionals Association) quarterly meeting which gathered national and state experts at the RUSD District Office.  “RUSD is hoping to lead local schools in this important arena.  More than 75 educators from 30 districts across six counties throughout Northern California attended this valuable all day workshop.  We hope to help everyone understand and respond to parent’s concerns and increase confidence in technical products we choose for students and schools.  Best practices, updates on student privacy and new legislation were also shared,” said Mike Fury, who also serves as current chair of the local CETPA chapter.

large group of People seated and talking with each other   People watching a presentation, using laptops
California passed several new student data privacy laws in 2014, including the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act  and AB 1584, which requires edtech service contracts to include specific provisions for pupil record protection and management.  These efforts are supported by the Rocklin Board of Trustees recent policy updates  which  strengthen student awareness and responsibilities when using digital resources as classrooms adopt more technology, accessing internet resources crucial for 21st century learning. “Rocklin Unified is working very hard to be on the forefront of digital safety. Events like these not only allow us to continue our own stewardship in this crucial arena but it allows us to help others throughout Northern California, all in the name of safety for our kids,” said Greg Daley, Rocklin School Board Trustee President.

Internationally recognized non-profit iKeepSafe also supported the important event as a presenter. They serve as a major leader and advocate in the field of cyber safety and work with policy leaders, educators, technology experts in tracking global trends and issues surrounding digitally connected products and their affect on children. Through this network of support , their research drives the continuous creation of positive resources for parents , educators and policy makers who teach youths how to use new media devices and platforms in safe and healthy ways.   “iKeepSafe recognizes exemplar leadership from Rocklin Unified School District and Gold Country CETPA. They have gathered key stakeholders engaged and invested in protecting student data privacy to work together to improve privacy practices and ensure products and contracts are compliant with new CA laws, " said Marsali S. Hancock, President, CEO iKeepSafe.

people seated at presentation, using laptops   People watching presentation while using laptops
The Gold Country CETPA brought an impressive list of other top experts in their respective fields. Presenters included: Michael B. Hawes, statistical Privacy Advisor with the U.S. Department of Education; JoAnne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy with California Attorney Generals Office; Elizabeth Wisnia, Education Program Consultant with the California Department of Education. Also in attendance: Mark Williams, Justin Simpson and Richard Yo from Fagen, Friedman and Fullfrost LLP “F3” legal firm.  “The eMatters legal team at Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost supports the thoughtful, responsible and effective integration of online tools and resources to amplify instruction and learning”, said Mark S. Williams, Co-Chair F3’s eMatters Practice Group. As legal counsel for the California  Educational Technology Professionals Association, F3 is  pleased to partner with CETPA and other digital education stakeholders at the Gold Country CETPA Regional Group’s Data Privacy Session.  We are proud to be involved in a cutting-edge effort to find a balance between data collection and data privacy."
“Educational technology opens doors new doors for teaching and learning…preparing our kids for life in a  global society and economy, said Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent.  “Teachers have many tasks they are responsible for: planning lessons, delivering instruction, grading assignments, managing a classroom of students!  The introduction of new technologies into the traditional  classroom can present opportunities and challenges. With this new legislation we are making sure to take important efforts  to learn how to best apply policies and developing best practices through a community of valued experts and colleagues,” said Stock.

Kids Prepare Special Annual Breakfast with Santa
A student with Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause 
2 students and an adult posing with Santa  Students eating at the event Breakfast with Santa
2 students at the hot chocolate bar
December 2015 - More than 300 came to Antelope Creek Elementary School in Rocklin for a fun filled morning planned and prepared by students! It's the 3rd Annual event. The kids are part of the Leader in Me program teach kids in Kindergarten through 8th grade skills for real life and their futures! The proceeds benefited the school's hardworking Leadership Club/Leader in Me. Many different students had leadership roles during this event from the set-up to the actual event. The kids helped with being greeters, selling tickets, making hot chocolate, clearing tables, etc.
Students at the event Breakfast with Santa  Students at a hot chocolate bar  Students in line for breakfast  
Check out Kid Run Breakfast on Good Day Sacramento>>
Diana Capra appointed Chief of Communications and
Community Engagement
Veteran television news journalist joins Rocklin USD management team
Diana Capra
October 2015 - Diana Capra (formerly Penna) has been named Chief of Communications and Community Engagement for the Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD). Capra was appointed by the RUSD Board of Trustees to fill the newly created position. “I am honored and grateful to be chosen to help continue this school district‟s successful mission of delivering education excellence for its families and students,” said Capra.
Capra devoted 19 years to CBS 13/CW 31, most recently as Director of Community Projects. For ten years, she served as the station‟s franchise health reporter. Over the last decade she spearheaded community campaigns touching lives throughout Northern California.
“Diana’s experience will allow our District to enhance our communication and engagement with families and the community. It will also allow us to share the great things our students and employees are doing,” said Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent.
Capra joined CBS13 in 1997 as the station‟s full-time health reporter. She has won numerous awards throughout her career including a regional Television Academy Emmy Award for „Outstanding Achievement: Community Service‟ as well as an Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement: Serious News Feature,” for medical story about a breakthrough brain surgery procedure.
Capra has been a featured speaker and master of ceremonies for many non-profits throughout Northern California. Many of these charities have also honored her for her service. Capra also wrote a monthly column for SENIOR Magazine for more than a decade.
Diana Capra earned her bachelor‟s degree in English and Communication Arts from Villanova University. Prior to moving to CBS13/CW31Sacramento, she worked as news anchor and reporter at various television stations (ABC, NBC and CBS) across the country. Her medical reports were also featured on more than 200 NBC television affiliates when she served as national medical correspondent.
Kathleen Pon appointed Deputy Superintendent,
Educational Services
 Kathy Pon 
Respected education leader joins Rocklin USD management team
October 2015 - Kathleen Pon has been named Deputy Superintendent, Educational Services for the Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD). Pon was appointed by the RUSD Board of Trustees to fill the position.
Pon moves from the Merced County Office of Education where she was Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services. As RUSD’s Deputy Superintendent, she will be responsible for leading a variety of educational services to support teaching and learning throughout the school district. Pon has directed and supervised district curriculum and instructional programs, school improvement and accountability initiatives.
“As a seasoned Assistant Superintendent, Kathy has extensive experience coordinating all professional and leadership development. She brings to Rocklin a successful track record of improving student learning and creating district systems to support schools,” said Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent.
Pon has served with the Patterson Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent and Director of Student Services overseeing special education and state and federal programs. She has also worked for the Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District serving as an Assistant Principal, Assistant Superintendent supervising professional development, assessment, and state and federal programs.
Kathleen Pon has received a number of awards and honors in addition to her Doctoral degree focusing on data analysis. In 2011, she was awarded the Association of California School Administrators Region VII Curriculum/Instruction Administrator of the Year.