Kudos: Community support for youth development (opinion)

Tahoe Youth & Family Services would like to sincerely thank the following individuals and organizations for their amazing support of our "Girls Project" program which helped enhance the lives of many young girls in our community this past year.

Barton Hospital Foundation's generous donation assisted us with field trips and leadership programs, which helped promote continued education, self-esteem, and enhanced and improved the lives of many young girls in our community.

Kudos to the South Tahoe Public Utility District's donation of gifts during the holiday season for our underprivileged children. Due to their support many local youths wore a huge smile during this holiday season. This was also a wonderful lesson for our girls that giving is better than receiving.

Vail Resorts' Heavenly and Kirkwood ski resorts provided many wonderful complimentary days of skiing and snowboarding lessons and lift tickets to many young girls who would have never had this experience or opportunity. Their instructors taught them the fundamentals of skiing and snowboarding. The instructors were fun and full of energy, but more importantly were wonderful roles models.

The Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in Reno, Nevada opened their discovery planetarium and exhibits for us. They provided hands on classroom time teaching the girls many interesting technologies that may someday inspire their interest in a career in science.

This thank you would not be complete without mentioning Ms. Lisa Maloff and her wonderful donations to Tahoe Youth and Family Services this past holiday season. Her generosity in giving to our program and to our community's many other needs is truly inspiring.

We as a community are very fortunate and blessed to have individuals and organizations like these that help promote the growth and development of our youth every day. Thank you all for your amazing support.

Warmest regards,

Dee Dee Gooding

Girls Project Coordinator

Tahoe Youth and Family Services

Letter: STMS Club Live celebrates 25th anniversary (opinion)

South Tahoe Middle School will be celebrating its 25th anniversary during its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, from 6-9 p.m. at the South Tahoe Middle School Multipurpose Room. Over the years many hundreds of youth have been members of Club Live.

However there are a small number of youth who were very important in the development of the club as it is today. I'm seeking any information whether it be phone numbers, email addresses, or mailing addresses of the following former members:

Rosalie Annand, Erica Aquino, Samantha Barksdale, Tara Becker, Chrissy Benton, Luke Bobeda, Angelee Brown, Will Caglia, Shannon Chatfield, Molly Cocking, Cassie Constantine, Kyra DeSilva Kristin Heller, Zoe Fisher-Holden, Mekaela Hicks, Trevor Johns, Jaime Kennedy, Khloe Knight, Kiva Lefler, Karley Martinez, Zaira Monette, Josh Mitchell, Kylie Novasel, Celina Robinson, Veronica Rosales, Rochell Sawyer, Boris Shiloff, Christian Simental, Patrick Stimac, Ashley Sweeney, Wen Tiong, and Rebecca Wesson.

If you know the whereabouts of any of these former Club Live members I would like to contact them about our event.

Thank you,

Larry Lambdin

South Tahoe MS Club Live Advisor

530-318-5397

foursheep2@aol.com

Letter: There must be a difference between politics and administration in local government

Guest column: Nevada public schools need to protect students’ data (opinion)

More parents are beginning to understand the dangers of schools, states, and third parties; collecting, storing, sharing, and analyzing student data. What just happened between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is nothing compared to what's happening to our children, by design, in Nevada public schools.

INFINITE CAMPUS (IC)

Starting in kindergarten anything your child does in school may be documented in IC without your consent. To view the most sensitive, subjective, medical (including psychiatric), and discipline data in a student's IC account parents have to make appointments with two school officials.

Nightly, IC uploads the most sensitive data on all Nevada public school children to the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) via their System of Accountability Information in Nevada (SAIN). The most sensitive, subjective, medical, and discipline data stored on our children by IC and SAIN is never deleted! At this point we don't have answers from the NDE, IC, or local Nevada school districts to:

A) Why isn't the data ever deleted?

B) How will the data be used in the future?

EDUCATION SOFTWARE

If your child starts using free third-party education software typically second-fourth grade the software vendors will likely create profiles on your child without your consent. These profiles will likely be much more detailed than the ones Cambridge Analytica have created on Facebook users. Many of these third party vendors also will share your child's data with unknown fourth parties.

1:1 DEVICE

A 1:1 device is typically issued by a school to students. The only one who uses the device is the student it was assigned to. If your child takes a 1:1 device from the school it is likely that everything you child does on that device will be tracked by Google or Microsoft, and possibly others.

SBAC TEST

If your child takes the 10 hour, computer adaptive, secret, SBAC test in third through eighth grade consider:

A) Computer adaptive means the test "adapts" as students take it, in other words student A and student B take different tests; making the SBAC an invalid assessment.

B) At least during the testing window SBAC will be "monitoring" student's social media accounts, in the name of test security.

C) SBAC must share raw test data on the 10 hour test with numerous third parties including the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office and in Nevada the SAIN.

D) Parents get the least amount of test data after approximately 10 hours testing.

E) Since the only ones allowed to view the test are children, we can not be sure about this but many experts believe — the SBAC test is more of a student data mining tool for third parties than a true criterion referenced test. Some experts believe the SBAC will create psychological profiles on students who take the test.

In Protect Nevada Children's next two town hall meetings we will inform parents on what they can do to protect their children. The meetings will be in Cold Springs and Sparks, dates and locations will posted on our Facebook page, Protect Nevada Children, soon.

John Eppolito is president of Protect Nevada Children.

Letter: Thanks to Epic Promise Program (opinion)

The PTA members, as well as the students and teachers of the second and third grade classes at Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School would like to extend their thanks to Vail Resorts and the Epic Promise Program for the generous grant we received this year.

For the second year Vail and Epic Promise have generously supplied students with the amazing opportunity to learn to ski or snowboard. Every second and third grade student was given lift tickets, lessons and rental equipment for four days of wonderful fun and learning on the mountain at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Through this partnership with Vail many students who may never have had the chance to ski or ride were able to experience something new and establish a love for the mountains in which we reside. The ski days also provide a sense of camaraderie between kids who may never have spoken to each other on the playground. Thank you Vail for caring about our kids!

Emma Davies

South Lake Tahoe, California

On Politics: Flunking high school (opinion)

With "March Miracle" snowstorms hitting Tahoe I decided to visit coastal California to see blooming flowers and green deciduous trees.

I was not disappointed with the Golden State's early spring. However, I was struck by a front page San Francisco Chronicle story about a school occurrence that I hope never happens in any school district that serves Lake Tahoe. Here are the facts.

Washington High School is located in the northwest corner of San Francisco in a largely residential area called "Outer Richmond." It was built in 1936, has been well maintained and boasts a distinguished group of alumni including actor Danny Glover, pro tennis star Rosemary Casals and Grammy-winning singer Johnny Mathis.

The enrollment is about 2,000 kids, 59 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunch. US News and World Report reported that "minority enrollment" makes up 92 percent of the total student population at Washington. Yet, despite what the Chronicle called a failure "to close the achievement gap for black, Latino and Pacific Islander students," students at Washington substantially outperform, on average, other San Francisco high schools as well as those in the entire state of California.

The school offers 15 advanced placement classes in which 59 percent of its students enroll and 79 percent of enrollees pass, and 93 percent of its students graduate on time, according to US News and World Report. If the high ratio of poverty students and minorities seems inconsistent with solid academic performance let me add one other disclosure: 70 percent of the "of color" students are Asian.

What a surprise then to see a headline on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle reading: "A study in failure at city's schools" (the headline online is "A child left behind: SF student failed every class in high school"). The story described how Pat Scott, executive director of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, urged the city school board to make changes because of a Washington High School senior who had received no grade higher than "F" — "an F in biology, an F in world history, an F in Spanish, an F in P.E., all F's from grade nine to the first semester of grade 12. And no one intervened. He got a notice he wasn't going to graduate last week and nothing happened."

The student, identified only as a "Latino boy" took the notice and his transcript to Scott's agency and showed it to a social worker who couldn't believe her eyes. The Community Service Center was formed to help students transitioning out of foster care.

Washington High's principal Susan Saunders, citing confidentiality laws, declined to say how the student had been advanced from one grade to the next having failed every class, and what action, if any, the school took to intervene.

She also declined to speak even generally how school officials would handle a student who consistently failed classes, according to the Chronicle report.

John Trotter, Booker T. Washington Center's program director for college and career readiness, said: "74 percent of black students across the (San Francisco Unified School) District did not meet 2016-17 state assessment standards in at least one subject area, district data show. The same was true for 61 percent of Latino students and 65 percent of Pacific Islander students. Only 14 percent of whites and 16 percent of Asian Americans failed to meet standards . . . Nothing has changed in years and years; there's no help. There's no intervention."

The student has been placed in a continuation school by the Booker T. Washington Center where he is now working toward a GED. But he can never get back the years of his life wasted for lack of oversight by school officials.

This time the press got it exactly right. The media are right to shine a bright light on circumstances like this that threaten to ruin a young student's life for lack of caring.

Jim Clark is president of Republican Advocates. He has served on the Washoe County and Nevada GOP Central Committees. He can be reached at tahoesbjc@aol.com.

Letter: South Lake Tahoe’s 2nd annual People’s Climate March

Letter: South Lake Tahoe’s 2nd annual People’s Climate March

Letter: South Lake Tahoe’s 2nd annual People’s Climate March