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Santa Clara Education Desk: Nov. 6, 2013

Education Desk

Community Update Tonight on SCUSD’s Planned Agnews Property Purchase

There is a community meeting tonight (Nov. 6) about Santa Clara Unified’s and San Jose’s joint proposal to purchase 59 acres of the former Agnews Developmental Center property from the state. The district hopes to build a new K-12 campus to serve 2,800 students in the rapidly growing North Santa Clara and San Jose part of SCUSD. The plan has been in the works since 2009.

The San Jose City Council has zoned the land for public use, and endorsed SCUSD’s plan. In 2012, State Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski introduced legislation (AB 503) that would authorize the state Director of General Services to sell land to local agencies at less than market price for property intended for schools. The legislation also specifically enables the district to buy the Agnews property on Zanker Road. However, the DGS has so far rebuffed the district’s offer.


Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Don Callejon School Cafeteria, 4176 Lick Mill Blvd. For information, call (408) 423-2000.

County Offering Common Core Workshops for Parents

If you have children in school you may be wondering about the new Common Core standards. If you’d like to learn more and get some tips on how you can support your children, the Santa Clara County Office of Education is offering two workshops this month on Common Core. These sessions will review the standards’ key features, explain how the new system of assessment testing will work, and what you can you do to foster your children’s learning.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy will be offered on Nov. 9, and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics on Nov. 23. Both are free and offered at the COE headquarters, 1290 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Register online at For more information visit, or call or email Theresa Martinez (408) 453-4322,

If you want to get a quick overview, you can view the presentation slides (they’re in English and Spanish) at Scroll down the page to Workshop Videos.

Community Service Clubs Help Students Get New Year Off to Solid Start

Hundreds of SCUSD students started school this year with the right stuff, thanks to three local service clubs. At the Oct. 24 board meeting, SCUSD Trustees honored:

  • Santa Clara Elks providing dictionaries for all SCUSD third graders.
  • Rotary Club of Santa Clara’s Steps for Success program, which fitted more than 600 pairs of new shoes for students from Title 1* schools
  • Santa Clara Police Activities League’s Student Backpack Program provided backpacks filled with school supplies for 720 SCUSD students.

*Title 1, a provision of the U.S. 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, provides additional federal money to schools where at least 35 percent of students are low-income.

More State Money for School Construction

California schools will be getting $285 million more from the state for new construction and modernization from currently authorized bond debt, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported last month. The money will go to 112 current projects in 54 school districts across the state, with the top categories being modernization, overcrowding relief, and charter school sites. SCUSD doesn’t have one of those 112 projects. However, the County Office of Education will receive $7.5 million for new school construction.

New CA Schools Online Performance Dashboard

The California Dept. of Education recently released its new online dashboard of school performance (, the School Quality Snapshot. The report shows a wide range of information, from school demographics to test scores to student physical fitness.


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