The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

The Tehachapi School Board was treated to two student presentations at their May 9 meeting.

Tehachapi School Board Update

 

Destination Imagination team perform their skit for the School Board.

The Tehachapi High School Robotics Team 585 demonstrated their robot. Toastie, named for its color, and the Team completed a successful year of competition that took them to the International Finals in Houston, Texas. First Steamworks was the theme for this year and the group had six weeks to complete the robot for competition. The robot can pick up gears and climb a rope, two of the criteria for this year's competition.

First Team 585 received the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Sacramento competition. It was awarded primarily for the team's efforts throughout the community including their Lego Mindstorm Summer Camp as well as their Lego programs for grades 1 through 5. They teach an Hour of Code to 1st through 5th graders and hold middle school assemblies. They presented Engineering Inspiration Awards to each member of the Board and to each school principal.

The Team received the Imagery Award in Las Vegas and this award qualified them for the trip to Internationals. Board Chairman Leonard Evansic, who traveled with the team as a volunteer, received the Woody Flowers Award in Las Vegas. The volunteer award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design.

The Destination Imagination group from Cummings Valley School presented their program for the Board. Destination Imagination is a volunteer lead educational non-profit that teaches 21st century skills and STEM principles to elementary through university level students through creative and collaborative problem solving challenges. The Cummings Valley group was started by coordinator Kelly Keller and Team Manager Leslie Lipscomb. Keller said that she was active with a group in Texas and helped to start the one here when she moved to Tehachapi.

She said that the kids do all the work; coaches and parents are "hands-off". The Cummings Valley team created a solar powered police car, a battery powered electromagnet and a Tesla coil. They wrote at skit entitled "The Legend of .......", designed costumes and scenery. Their performance drew applause from the School Board and audience as well.

Of the five Kern County teams that competed in Sacramento, where they took second in the Elementary Level, they will be the only one to compete at the Global level in Tennessee.

WASC accreditation

Monroe High School received a letter from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges granting them a rare six year accreditation. Principal Steve Bsharah said that he was delighted and added that he was sure that the association looked at the activities of the Adult School and Cerro Coso Community College in making their decision.

Teachers approve new contract

Justin McKim, Blake Olson and Rocky Ramirez prepare their robot for a demonstration to the School Board.

On April 26, 2017 the Tehachapi Association of Teachers tentatively approved the eighth District Counter Proposal of April 3, 2017.

Basically, the seven page contract, which extends until June 30, 2019, includes a 3.5% salary raise retroactively effective July 1, 2016. Effective July 1, 2017 the workday for TK-5th grade will be 7.25 hours including a prep period. Teachers tenured as of July 1, 2016 can be exempt from this requirement. TK-5 teachers will be allotted 10 hours of flex time each school year. Annual instructional minutes by grade level shall not exceed those of the 2016-2017 school year by more than 180 minutes annually. Adjustments were also made to the Health and Welfare Benefits package.

The School Board approved the Tentative Agreement at their May 9 meeting.

 
 

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