School board recognizes importance of Senior Capstone projects

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Winters Joint Unifed School District board president Robert Warren reflected on former Winters Express staff member Julia Millon at the start of the school board meeting and asked attendees for a moment of silence in her honor.

Millon, 27, was killed after her car drove off a county road on Memorial Day. She regularly covered school board meetings for the newspaper and had recently been promoted to the role of contributing editor. Trustee Michael Olivas also reflected on Millon and about how precious life is.

Special recognition of Winters Express staff

Superintendent Todd Cutler gave special recognition to Winters Express publisher emeritus Charles Wallace and former editor Debra DeAngelo for their many years covering school district happenings, and their partnership to help provide information to the community.

“Debra has had a commitment to working with out students,” Cutler said. DeAngelo not only regularly featured Winters students in the Winters Express, but also worked with Wolfskill High School students to create their own newspaper insert. DeAngelo commented about her passion and priority to make sure that Winters students had a presence not just in the community, but also in the newspaper.

“You don’t always see children on the front page in newspapers,” DeAngelo said.

Senior Capstone update

Andrea Hurst and Raena Lavelle, high school teachers and senior capstone co-chairs, presented on the 2018 senior capstone projects and shared updates for next year’s program. Hurst said the capstone provides a long term, independent learning situation similar to what graduating students will experience in college. The program also provides students with an opportunity to experience personal growth and gain life and career skills.

Lavelle said new requirements from this year included speaking in front of junior and sophomore students.

“Having to speak to junior and sophomores gives them a chance to think about their projects, and seniors are giving an opportunity to practice speaking in front of an audience,” Lavelle said.

Other new requirements included securing a non-relative community member as a mentor, writing a resume, requesting letters of recommendation and registering to a community college, trade school, four-year university or the Military to gain experience.

Hurst said new goals for next year’s capstone projects are to guide students to one of three categories; personal growth, community based or service based. They will also provide them a handbook to help them get started in the right direction. Lavelle said they hope to have seniors come back to share the challenges and positives from their own project experiences and to focus on parent education to help guide students to a meaningful project.

Trustees Olivas agreed the opportunity to experience these life and career skills were essential for today’s students.

“These skills are things being missed, and it’s important to experience them,” Olivas said.

Trustee Rudolph Muldong shared that he made rounds at the Capstone Showcase event and talked to students to get their feedback about the experience.

“The students said the project helped them solidify some future plans,” Muldong said. “The beginning to end project makes students feel proud and valued.”

Other items

~  Technology services coordinator Micah Studer took to the podium to present the draft of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) 2018-19 through 2020-2021. Studer presented the 154 page document and shared that it listed everything from an annual update to goals, actions and services to show that the money is going to intended areas and groups of students. The LCAP draft will return for consideration of Board approval on June 21. The LCAP draft is available for viewing online at

~  Director of Educational Services Sandra Ayón presented the Springboard curriculum was selected as the English language arts textbook for Winters High School. The web-based curriculum also provides English learner support. It is on display via chromebooks at the Winters Community Library and Winters JUSD office for public review. It will return for consideration of Board approval on June 21 with intent to have the materials available for the 2018-19 school year.

~  Lavelle reported for Winters Area Education Association (WAEA). She was invited to attend the CAPP Distinguished Educator Summit in Sacramento to gain information about intervention and bridging the educational divide between middle school and high school on Tuesday, June 26.

~  The board unanimously approved a Declaration of Need for Fully Qualified Educators.

~  The board unanimously approved Board Resolution No. 1068-18 – salaries of management, confidential and other unrepresented employees. It is an election year and three board member seats are open for election on Nov. 6. The open Trustee areas are Area 2, Area 3 and Area 4.

~  The board unanimously approved Board Resolution No. 1069-18 for the estimated 2018/19 Education Protection Account (EPA) revenues and accountability requirements and approved the estimated EPA expenditure budget.

~  The board approved to ratify the  Lease-Leaseback agreement and approved the amendment to Lease-Leaseback agreement for the Winters High School bleacher and stadium lighting replacement project.

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