The event includes a variety of Halloween-themed events for children of all ages and their families, including arts and crafts, exploring the farm's Dark Forest discovery area, bubble-making and following the story of Suzy Scare-a-crow on storyboards posted around the barn. Barns, pens and gardens will be spookily decorated.
Entry is $7 per person, $5 per costumed attendee and free for tots under 1 year old. All proceeds from the event will benefit the farm's Animal Fund.
School board OKs superintendent raise
Mountain View Whisman School District's board members unanimously approved a new three-year contract with Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph last week, granting him a 6.7 percent raise.
At the Oct. 19 meeting, board members agreed on the terms of the contract in closed session before voting to approve it in open session later in the meeting. The 6.7 percent salary increase, which is retroactive to July 1, brings Rudolph's annual pay to $234,700, up from $220,000 the prior year, and is commensurate to the 6.7 percent raise district teachers received earlier this year.
Other small changes in the contract include the elimination of leadership coaching services, which the district provided to the superintendent to prepare him for the job as the top-ranking district executive, to the tune of $57,000 each year. Rudolph had not previously served as a superintendent prior to taking the job.
The contract also states that the superintendent must give 90 days of advanced written notice if he wants to quit, a substantial increase over the 15 days required in the prior contract.
Student-run club's mentor program
Computer Engineers of the Next Generation (CENG) is a fitting name for the group of students who are transmitting their passion to younger students in their Junior Mentor Program.
The Junior Mentor Program's mission is to help develop the skills of young, motivated students in computer programming. According to the CENG website, the program serves underprivileged minorities.
"We started CENG because we knew that even in this area there are still people who don't have access to computer science education and are often ignored because it assumed that all people in Silicon Valley would have access to this kind of opportunity, when it is really not the case," said Anyka Chan, CENG president and founder.
According to Chan, program volunteers are generally high schoolers, but middle schoolers are allowed to join if their schedules permit.
"We handpick stand-out students from previous SCRATCH sessions to return and help their peers with their projects," Chan said. "We look for people who had a genuine interest in the subject and were able to grasp the concepts well enough that they are able to explain it to peers."
At first, the program only taught SCRATCH to students, but members have expanded to teaching other programs.
Overall, Chan is optimistic about the program's future.
"I hope that the Junior Mentor program helps these elementary school students develop their teaching skills and also grow in their love for computer science," Chan said. "And if they decide to join CENG when they enter high school, they will already be experienced and can contribute more to the program as seasoned veterans."
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