Category Archives: Helpful Information

Help Your Student Succeed

It’s back-to-school time! Read on for a few tips to make this school year the best yet for your child:

  • Family engagement is the key to success – Decades of research proves that family engagement helps kids perform better in school and overall in their lives. Read with your child, help them with homework, stay connected with their teachers to help your child do their very best, ask questions about your child’s day and ensure they are prepared and on time for school each day. And join your local PTA! Parent engagement impacts student success and well-being far more than parents’ income, education or ZIP code.
  • Be prepared for the school year – Give your student the best head-start they can get by being ready for the new school year when school begins. Connect with local organizations and resources to ensure your child has school supplies, new clothes and anything else they need, be sure to know when their school day begins and ends, connect with other parents in your area and keep yourself organized to make school mornings easier on your family.
  • Engage with PTA – Join a local PTA at your child’s school or start your own! Download and print the “Why PTA” flier – available in six languages – to learn why your school needs a PTA. Encourage other parents at your child’s school to become more involved in their child’s education by joining the PTA. Learn more here.

Look Before You Lock – Important Safety Tips for Parents This Summer

As summer temperatures begin to rise, families will start making preparations for summer vacation and outings. For many, summertime is often the most fun, but unfortunately, it can also be the most dangerous – especially for children. Whether enjoying the outdoors, a road trip or a day of family fun, it’s important to keep in mind the dangers that are associated with kids in hot vehicles.
Heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children.Children can overheat up to five times faster than adults – leaving a child in a vehicle that can rise 20 degrees in temperature within only 10 minutes or 50 degrees in an hour can cause serious injuries and could turn into a tragedy.

While the outside temperature may be 60 degrees, the temperature inside your car can reach 110 degrees. On a 100-degree day, it can be 160 degrees inside.

Leaving a child alone in an unattended vehicle is illegal in California, and the consequences are serious — severe injury or death of child caused by heatstroke, being arrested and jailed, and a lifetime of regret. From 1998-2014, a total of 636 children lost their lives as a result of heatstroke in hot vehicles. Sadly, 2017 has already witnessed two child heatstroke deaths.
To avoid contributing to these astonishing statistics, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reminds parents, caregivers and other family members to keep the following important tips in mind this summer:
  • Get into a routine – develop a habit of always checking the backseat before you lock it and walk away.
  • Place a stuffed animal next to you, or your phone, briefcase or purse near your child’s safety seat – this will be a gentle reminder that your child is in the car.
  • Set a daily routine check – if others are in charge of dropping your child off, request that daycare providers contact you if your child is ever late to arrive or never arrives.
  • Do not assume that parking in a shaded area is safer or cooler. This can be equally as dangerous for your child.
  • Teach your child that vehicles are not a play area. Keep your vehicle locked and always keep your keys out of reach. Three in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gets access to a vehicle.
If you see a child left alone in a vehicle, call 911 immediately, get the child out of the car, spray the child with cool water, stay with them until help arrives, and have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them. Heatstroke can occur in outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees – do not assume that a lower outdoor temperature means they are safe.

Sacramento Bus Trip for Education

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
6:30 am – 5:00 pm
VTA Transit Center at Eastridge Mall, San Jose
For the 15th year, the Office of Santa Clara County Board Supervisor, Dave Cortese, is coordinating the Sacramento Bus Trip for Education which takes education advocates, parents, student, community leaders and residents from Santa Clara County to the state’s capitol to meet with their legislators.
Bus Trip participants gain an in-depth knowledge of K-12 public education and higher education issues. Participants receive updates on current legislative proposals, a status update on school funding and other key public education efforts. More importantly, those who participate have an opportunity to voice their interests and concerns directly to state legislators.
This year, we are expecting an expanded discussion to include immigration, health care, housing, civil rights and other topics in response to changes in the Federal Administration.
Buses will leave from and return to the same location. The trip is free and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
For further information or if you have questions, please contact Mario Lopez at (408) 299-5030 or via email

Check Your HS Graduation Rates by School or District

EdSource has created a database that families and educators can use to look up how well their districts and schools are doing in getting students their diplomas within four years. They can also search for dropout rates and measurements of how many students are taking more than four years to finish high school.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1 – 5, 2017

PTA Teacher Appreciation Week is just around the corner-May 1-5 (California) and May 8-12 (National PTA). This the perfect time to personally thank your students’ teachers and staff for their sacrifices and support for children throughout the year.
The California State PTA understands the importance of staff appreciation in building a stronger home-to-school connection. PTA resources may be used for this type of expense.
  • Acceptable expenditures may include a staff lunch as long as the expenses follow PTA guidelines and the expenses are approved by the membership.
  • Personal gifts or gifts for individuals cannot be purchased with PTA funds.
  • If the membership wishes to present teachers and staff with personal gifts, the individual members can make personal donations to purchase the designated items. These donations should not be commingled with PTA funds.
National PTA – Promotional Toolkit including digital and social media graphics

The New California School Dashboard

The new California School Dashboard was released to the public on March 15th. You will be able to see a report card on how your school and school district did last year on multiple measures. How did your school do? How are students doing?

Resources to learn more:
  • An easy-to-use online tool for navigating the state’s groundbreaking new accountability and continuous improvement system.
  • Because comparisons can be useful and helpful, EdSource has created a searchable and sortable chart that enables a user to see all of the schools by city, county and school district, with their color ratings on all available indicators. They can be sorted by level of performance, from red to blue – lowest to highest – or blue to red, to identify best performing schools.
CDE: Getting to Know the California Dashboard
CCEE: California School Dashboard Roadshow [Workshops]
  • Saturday, March 18, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm [Oakland]
  • Thursday, March 30, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm [San Jose]
  • Have you seen your colors? Confused about the multiple metrics? Not sure what this is all about? Learn about California’s new education accountability system by registering for free workshops on the Dashboard and the LCAP.