Mountain View Voice

News - April 16, 2010

Education Briefs

High school district honors Latino student achievement

Latino students in the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District collected 145 awards on April 8 at the Latino Academic Achievement Recognition Awards.

Students received commendations for academic excellence, school service and for having a top-five grade-point average, among other things. Los Altos High School students Juan Arizmendi and Jose Villanueva won the principal's award for outstanding achievement, and Mountain View High School students Gerry Espinoza and Paola Tinajero won the principal's award for outstanding achievement and improvement.

The ceremony was organized by students from the MVHS Latino Movement and the LAHS Latino Student Union, and was sponsored by Microsoft. The event's guest speakers were Mountain View High School alumna and Santa Clara University student Ana Milagros Quispe, Principal Norma Rodriguez of Dorsa Elementary School, and Sgt. Dan Vicencio of the Mountain View Police Department.

Los Altos Junior Olympics celebrates 50 years

Students from seven Los Altos elementary schools will compete in events ranging from skipping and jumping rope to the 75-yard dash at the Los Altos Junior Olympics next Saturday, April 24, at Mountain View High School.

The event, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, offers a mix of activities designed to encourage good sportsmanship and healthy competition.

More than 1,400 students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades are expected to compete in events both silly and serious. The day kicks off at 8 a.m. with the long-distance race, followed by an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. that includes a parade around the track. The participating elementary schools are Almond, Covington, Gardner Bullis, Loyola, Oak, Santa Rita and Springer.

Mountain View High School is located at 3535 Truman Ave., Mountain View.

— Andrea Gemmet

Simitian bill would raise kindergarten cutoff date

State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has joined a chorus of child-development experts in calling for California children to be 5 years old before starting kindergarten.

On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee heard testimony on Simitian's proposal requiring that students starting kindergarten turn 5 by Sept. 1 of the school year. The current cutoff date is Dec. 1.

The new age requirement would be phased in over three years, beginning in 2012. Its effects would be positive both educationally and financially, Simitian said.

Last year, some 289 Palo Alto teachers sent a petition to Simitian requesting the change, saying many of the younger children they see simply are not ready for the increasingly academic rigors of kindergarten. California has one of the latest kindergarten cut-off dates in the nation, with about a quarter of children starting kindergarten before age 5.

— Palo Alto Weekly

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