Monthly News Article for January 2022

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

by Fabio Robles, Deputy Superintendent at TCOE

A New School-Based Program for Young Children Coming Soon!

California schools will soon be offering “universal prekindergarten” (UPK) for all four-year-old children, and will be expanding services for three-year-old children through the UPK and the “universal transitional kindergarten” (UTK) program. This will be offered to all 3-year-old children whose 4th birthday occurs by September 1st of that school year. Full realization of this program will be by the 2025-2026 school year, four (school) years away.

This new state program supports decades of research that shows that early learning is critical to the success of a child as they progress through school. Children who have good learning opportunities before kindergarten have an advantage in school and in life over children who do not, especially children who have suffered from different kinds of trauma. Additionally, children who attend quality preschool programs are more prepared for school in terms of having a jump on reading, language and math skills, and executive function skills (such as how to plan, focus, remember instructions, and use self-control), as well as social-emotional development (which includes such things as understanding their own emotions or those of others, expressing those feelings with words, listening to others, and other relationship skills). In some cases, preschool children are less likely to be identified for special education services or to be held back in elementary school than children who do not attend developmentally-informed preschool programs that include strong educational components.

All schools must develop a plan for children to be able to attend full-day learning programs the year before kindergarten that meet the needs of children and parents. This development process may include partnerships with other programs such as the After School Education and Safety Program (ASES), State Preschool programs, Head Start programs, and other community-based early learning and care programs for young children. In Trinity County our Local Childcare Planning Council (LPC), operated by the Trinity County Office of Education, meets four times a year and will be assisting our Office and School Districts in coordinating with the community and other childcare serving programs. Part of this process will be to develop plans for how Trinity County Office of Education will support school districts in considering options, making decisions, and constructing plans that address the needs of each community in Trinity County. The LPC will communicate out the types of information, resources, and technical assistance that will be provided to support the UPK planning and development process.

If you are interested in being part of the planning process, please contact Jennifer Comiskey, Local Childcare Planning Council Coordinator who can be contacted at (530) 623-2861 or at jccomiskey@tcoek12.org.

Monthly News Article for December 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

by Sarah Supahan

With the latest school shooting, it’s likely that the issue of school safety is once again on everyone’s mind. Everytown for Gun Safety (everytownresearch.org) reports 144 incidents of gunfire on school grounds so far this year, resulting in 28 deaths and 86 injuries nationally. There were only 10 recorded shootings in 2020. The vast majority of school shootings occur on K-12 campuses (63.2%) as opposed to colleges and universities (36.6%) or daycare (.2%). And 58% of the shooters are associated with the school, such as current or former students.

Could it happen here? How can we prevent it?

Research shows that 73-80% of the guns used in school shootings come from the home, or from relatives or friends, and 48% of those guns had not been securely stored. This data suggests that secure storage can be an effective tool in addressing the source of guns used in school gun violence. Securing guns means storing them locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition. It means not providing known or easy access to keys or combinations. Hiding guns where you think your children or others will not find them is not enough. Being lax and trusting your child to treat guns correctly doesn’t mean another child won’t take advantage of the easy access.

As we have reported in the past, it is important to note that for every school shooting, there are many more that are effectively prevented. Typically, attacks are averted because someone warned law enforcement or school staff. Particularly with school violence, there are often warning signs. The Secret Service and the US Department of Education studied school violence incidents and found that in 93% of cases there were behavioral warning signs that caused others to be concerned. Most attackers plan their attack, sometimes far in advance; rarely are they sudden, impulsive acts. In 81% of incidents, other people - most often the shooter’s peers - had some type of knowledge of the shooter’s plans.  

While the Trinity County Office of Education and county school districts, along with our community partners, work diligently together to keep students safe, we must always remind students to bring information about any concern to adults at their school. This will allow for a quick response to protect everyone’s safety. Parents can also help to keep students safe by reporting their own concerns directly to a school administrator, a counselor or a teacher so a thorough investigation can take place. A report can also be made to our county’s anonymous tip line by calling: 1-530-723-1TIP (1847).

Parents have another role to play to help prevent school violence besides storing firearms safely. It’s suggested that:

  1. Children’s online communications and postings, along with their general use of the Internet, should always be monitored
  2. Children’s rooms should be checked if there are any concerns about the child’s behavior
  3. Problems or concerns should not be denied or avoided and there should never be hesitation to get a child professional help or assistance

When we all work together, keeping children’s welfare at the forefront of our minds, we can keep our children and our community safe.

Monthly News Article for November 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

Trinity County Education By the Numbers
by Sarah Supahan

In Trinity County we have nine different and distinct school districts, governed by their own Board of Trustees. We have six, single elementary school districts: Burnt Ranch (BRESD), Coffee Creek (CCESD), Douglas City (DCESD), Junction City (JCESD), Lewiston (LESD), Trinity Center (TCESD); We also have three unified school districts which include high schools: Mountain Valley (MVUSD) located in Hayfork, Southern Trinity (STJUSD), and Trinity Alps (TAUSD) located in Weaverville. We also have the K-12 RISE Academy in Weaverville, and the California Heritage YouthBuild Academy Charter School (CHYBA) in Redding. Both fall under the auspices the Trinity County Office of Education. There are 22 active schools or educational programs under those nine districts and TCOE, including the charter and alternative schools, and adult education.

Read more: Monthly News Article for November 2021

Monthly News Article for October 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

COVID-19 Staff Testing and Vaccination Status by TCOE Staff

As we finally begin the 2021-22 school year and work through challenges related to fire danger, we wanted to take a moment to talk about where we stand as a county when it comes to the mandatory testing of unvaccinated school staff. It is important to remember that information like vaccination rates and positive tests fall under certain privacy laws. While our schools and communities are too small to share local data, we will be able to share countywide data in these areas. Be on the lookout for regular updates to be shared out through the Trinity County Office of Education (TCOE) website and Facebook page.

Read more: Monthly News Article for October 2021

Monthly News Article for September 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

Masking in Schools, By Sarah Supahan

Who likes wearing masks? No one! However, not only are masks effective at preventing disease, but they are also required in all schools by the state’s Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in addition to our own County Health Officer. Despite misinformation shared by some media outlets, schools cannot choose if they want students, staff and visitors to wear masks or not. Schools are only allowed to decide how they will enforce the mask mandate. In other words, they can only determine the consequences for not wearing a mask at school.

Failure to enforce the masking requirement doesn’t just jeopardize the health and safety of students, staff and families, it also carries a significant legal and financial risk to the school district, as explained by the state’s top health officer in a letter released August 23, 2021. The letter reminded all school leaders - of both public and private schools - of their legal obligations and the risks of not adhering to them.

Tomás J. Aragón, M.D., and the director of the CDPH, said schools could face “significant financial liability” if masking is not enforced and a student or staff member contracts COVID-19. Certificated staff — including teachers and school administrators — could also face disciplinary action, and school officials could be subject to fines or civil enforcement by local health officers. (https://newsroom.ocde.us/coronavirus-update/)

According to multiple studies, masks are one of the most important ways to help prevent disease, and were one of the reasons we did not have outbreaks last school year in Trinity County. This allowed us to keep our schools open even when other areas of the state did not.

  • A study of 11 school districts in North Carolina with in-person learning reported minimal school-related transmission even while community transmission was high. These schools strictly adhered to multiple prevention strategies, including universal masking.  
  • A study of the 94 schools in the Chicago Archdiocese, the largest private school system in the United States, reported that the attack rate for students and staff participating in in-person learning was lower than the rate for the community. The guidelines for these schools required such things as masking, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection.
  • A study of 17 rural Wisconsin schools with full in-person instruction found only seven cases among students. These Wisconsin schools required mask use (92% observed compliance) at a time of high community transmission.
  • A study of 20 schools in Utah, at a time of high community transmission, found low in-school transmission with mask requirements.
  • A statewide analysis of Florida schools showed that higher rates among students were seen in districts without mandatory masking.

 

  • A study of 58 schools with full in-person instruction in Missouri, where mask use was required, found that transmission was rare (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/transmission_k_12_schools.html#covid-19-children-adolescents).

On the other hand, there are well-documented instances in other areas where unmasked students spread COVID-19 within classrooms, resulting in outbreaks and high case rates on staff. We want to keep our schools open in Trinity County by keeping our students and staff healthy. Our districts are following the masking mandate.

Monthly News Article for August 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

Excerpt from “The Early History of Education in Trinity County From the Beginning of Formal Education to the Mid-Century” By Sarah Supahan

 The “First” Pandemic

The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history prior to COVID-19. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. The “Spanish flu” as it is sometimes referred, is likely a misnomer as there is no consensus about where the virus originated, but it spread worldwide during the years 1918-1919.  In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in the spring 1918, a year after the U.S. entered World War I. The year prior, in June of 1917, a draft was established to increase the number of soldiers who were housed at 32 large camps in the U.S., each housing between 25,000 and 50,000 men prior to deploying across the Atlantic. One can imagine how easily the virus spread throughout these crowded camps.

In September 1918, A second wave of the virus emerged in a naval facility located in Boston and at a US Army training camp just outside of Boston. This second wave was highly fatal and was responsible for most of the deaths attributed to the pandemic.[1]

Read more: Monthly News Article for August 2021

Monthly News Article for June

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 
TCOE Column for June, submitted by Ann Hill, TCOE Tobacco Use Prevention Director

In early 2021, Trinity County’s 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th graders participated in the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). The survey identifies risky student behaviors, school climate, safety, student wellness and youth resiliency.  The survey, which has around 130 questions, has been administered locally for over 20 years.  Data from the CHKS is collected and utilized across California. It is the most trusted and respected survey in the state. Although the CHKS began in 1985, by 1991 it was legally mandated to be administered in all California public schools every two years.  Student participation is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. 

What questions are students being asked and what are the current findings?

Read more: Monthly News Article for June

Monthly News Article for April 2021

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Trinity County Office of Education

Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

TCOE Monthly Article for April – by guest writer LuAnn Peitz on behalf of TCOE

As a child growing up in Trinity County, I was fortunate to call Coffee Creek my home.  Three years ago, I began the Master’s in Social Work Program at Chico State. I knew I wanted to use this educational opportunity to give back to the community that raised me. Over the past year, I have partnered with Susan Roll from Chico State and Sarah Supahan from the Trinity County Office of Education (TCOE) to conduct the Trinity County Needs and Opportunities Assessment.

Read more: Monthly News Article for April 2021

Monthly News Article for November 2020

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Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861

 

Schools Need Subs in All Job Categories!

Have you ever thought about becoming a substitute teacher, a substitute classroom para-educator (also called a classroom aide), or a pre-school instructor? Maybe you like to cook and would love to try your hand at making a great lunch for kids for a day, or you enjoy working outside and would love to do janitorial or maintenance work on a substitute basis. You’d earn some extra money and our schools really need you!

Our county regularly suffers from a shortage of school substitutes and this year is no exception. It’s possible that people don’t know about this opportunity for extra cash and part-time, flexible work, so we wanted to make sure the community knows and can spread the word!

Read more: Monthly News Article for November 2020

Trinity County Office of Ed | 201 Memorial Drive | PO Box 1256 |  Phone (530) 623-2861 | FAX (530) 623-4489

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