New Moraga School District board member sought

The district is seeking applications to appoint a new governing board member to fill a vacancy left by former board President Dexter Louie who resigned in November.

Applications are available on the Moraga school district website at www.moraga.k12.ca.us and at the district office, 1540 School St. from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. The deadline to apply is noon, Dec. 19.

The board will interview applicants at a public meeting Dec. 20 and hopes to make the appointment that evening. They may call an additional meeting and request a finalist forum. Trustees could also call for an election if the majority of the board fails to vote in favor of an applicant.

Trustees report on litigation; reiterate apology

Moraga School District trustees reiterated this week earlier apologies for the sexual abuse of students by former teachers after giving an update of ongoing litigation between the district and victims.

Newly elected board President Charles MacNulty said at a meeting this week the district is keeping the cases and issue on their governing board meeting agendas to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the issues. He reported that since the November board meeting, officials have received a new claim alleging sexual abuse by former teacher Dan Witters in the late 1990s. That claim, like three others, maintains that the abuse could have been prevented by the district, MacNulty said.

The president said the claimant's attorney has agreed to join mediation scheduled in late January for three other claims, including one filed by Walnut Creek resident Kristen Cunnane. "We are pleased that these cases will be the subject of a collaborative attempt to find a resolution," MacNulty said.

The board then restated their apology for the abuse Cunnane and the other former students suffered in the 1990s. "This will always be a source of sorrow and regret," MacNulty said.

'A Road to Kindergarten'

The Lafayette School District will hold an informational session on transitional kindergarten for preschool parents Dec. 18, at Springhill Elementary.

The program is titled "A Road to Kindergarten." It begins at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room, 3301 Springhill Road.

For information, call 925-927-3500.

High school students can 'Direct Change'

Student filmmakers throughout California are invited to "Direct Change" by submitting videos for a statewide contest to prevent suicide and change minds about mental illness.

The contest is part of statewide efforts to prevent suicide, reduce stigma and discrimination related to mental illness, and to promote the mental health and wellness of students.

The initiatives are funded by the Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority, an organization of county governments working to improve mental health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Contest requirements:

  • Open to high school students in California

  • Asks students to develop a 60-second public service announcement about suicide prevention or eliminating mental illness stigma during the 2012-2013 school year

  • Awards the winning team and associated school a $1,000 cash prize

  • Enters each school into a drawing for a free suicide prevention program

  • Recognizes students and schools at an award ceremony in Sacramento at the end of the school year.

    Students can download an entry form at www.DirectingChange.org before submitting their PSA. For each Intent to Direct form that is submitted, the student's school is entered for a chance to win a suicide prevention program.

    Entry deadline is midnight March 1.

    For information or questions, email jana@directingchange.org.

    Transitional kindergarten sign-ups

    Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten registrations for the 2013-14 school year will be held Jan. 22-23 at elementary schools in Lafayette.

    Sign-ups will be offered both days at the following times and locations: 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Burton Valley Elementary, 561 Merriewood Drive; 8:30-11:30 a.m. Happy Valley Elementary, 3855 Happy Valley Road; 9 a.m.-noon Lafayette Elementary, 950 Moraga Road; 9-11 a.m. Springhill Elementary, 3301 Springhill Road.

    Registration packets can be obtained from schools beginning Jan. 7, but will not be accepted until Jan. 22, during registration times.

    Kindergarten is open to children born on or before Oct. 1, 2008. Transitional kindergarten is an optional program open to children born between Oct. 2, 2008 and Dec. 2, 2008.

    For information, visit www.lafsd.k12.ca.us.

    DVC looks for hosts for international students

    The International Education Center at Diablo Valley is looking for families to host international students on a temporary basis while they improve their English skills (all students already speak basic English).

    Long-or short-term placements are available.

    Host families are paid a monthly stipend of $825 per student.

    Requirements include providing two meals per day (three meals on weekends) and a private bedroom for the student; being involved in the student's life and treating them as a family member.

    For information, contact Fia Parker at 925-876-0080, or email fparker@dvc.edu.

    Send school news to Jennifer Modenessi at jmodenessi@bayareanewsgroup.com.

    Families sought to host exchange students

    Host families are needed for incoming foreign exchange high school students. Students are 15-18 years old, are English-speaking, have their own spending money and carry health insurance.

    Families can consist of a single parent, a childless couple or a retired couple.

    Host families are eligible to claim a monthly charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month they host a sponsored student.

    Families interested in learning more about the program or to arrange for a meeting with a community representative, can call Pacific Intercultural Exchange at 866-546-1402.

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