Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Winner of Special Education Learning Award - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)

Winner of Special Education Learning Award - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education):

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates Winner of Special Education Learning Award

SACRAMENTO— State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today congratulated the Rising Sun Transition Program in the Patterson Joint Unified School District on winning the 2017 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) award, which recognizes outstanding programs in special education.
Rising Sun Transition Program is an agriculture-based school that provides services to students ages 18-22 with moderate to severe disabilities.
“Rising Sun provides its students with 21st century skills that can help them succeed in life,” Superintendent Torlakson said. “These young adults are learning a vocation in addition to learning the kinds of tasks—shopping, cleaning and financial responsibility—that will allow them to live independently.”
The school opened in 2010 with the goal of teaching students to become self-sufficient, active, contributing members in their communities. These goals are in addition to the personal goals established by an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student.
“We call the young adults that attend our school, clients versus students,” said David Hodge, Executive Director of Special Education. “We do this because we are serving them and we want them to understand that they deserve to be treated and regarded with the same level of respect and maturity that their typical peers receive at this age.”
The school has seen its alumni achieve significant milestones. More than 45 percent of the students who have graduated have obtained paid, part time, or full time employment.
Rising Sun provides community-based instruction allowing students to assist at a business or organization. The school also enjoys a unique collaboration with agricultural professionals who share their time and expertise with the students on campus.
Rising Sun Transition Program serves between 16-21 students each year. In the last seven years, the school has quickly become an important landmark of the Patterson Joint Unified School District programs and initiatives.
California Department of Education Special Education Division Director Kristin Wright presented the prestigious $5,000 GOAL award to representatives from the Rising Sun Transition Program during the June 22 California Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) meeting in Sacramento.
The GOAL award was established in the 2005-06 school year and was funded by Hollywood producer Brian Grazer’s family to recognize exemplary practices in special education and to celebrate programs that serve California youth with disabilities along with the professionals who provide them.
For more information about the GOAL award, visit the ACSE on the CDE GOAL Web page.
For more information about Rising Sun Transition Program visit their Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100
 Winner of Special Education Learning Award - Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education):

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SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that he has appointed Sarah Neville-Morgan as Director of the California Department of Education (CDE) Early Education and Support Division.
Neville-Morgan will oversee a division that provides leadership and support to the early learning and care community, providers, and contractors statewide, ensuring high-quality early education programs for young children.
Neville-Morgan most recently served as Deputy Director of Program Management at First 5 California, and she worked as a CDE Child Development Consultant from 2011 to 2013.
“I am pleased to have such an experienced and dynamic early education leader back on the CDE team,” Torlakson said. “Sarah brings tremendous knowledge, dedication, and teamwork that will help provide top-quality services for our earliest learners.”
As State Superintendent, Torlakson has placed a priority on early childhood education and serving the whole child so that young students arrive at kindergarten prepared to learn and able to succeed in classroom settings.
“As CDE realigns its organization to meet the needs of students, teachers, and educators, Sarah will be able to foster deeper collaboration with our partners in early education,” Torlakson said.
At First 5 California, Neville-Morgan managed a team of professional staff and managers focused on closing the achievement gap and enhancing early brain development. She also worked as the Deputy Executive Director of the California Early Learning Council and as an Academic Child Development Specialist at the UC Davis Center for Child and Family Studies.
Neville-Morgan earned a B.A. in Psychology at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and a M.S. in Child Development at UC Davis.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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