Monday, September 19, 2016

Student Council 2016-17

Student Voice Matters!

San Mateo Adult School Student Council

ESL and GED and High School Diploma Students at our school can express opinions, give suggestions, make decisions, raise and spend money, and take actions to improve our school, Adult Education, and our local community through Student Council.

Not every Adult School has a Student Council - but they should!  Student Councils are a great way for Adult Learners to have power in decision making and to learn leadership and civics skills.

We have two Student Councils - Day and Evening.  They meet separately.  But just like the California State Legislature and the United States Congress, both groups must be in agreement about decisions and spending money.

Student Councils have Student Leaders and Class Representatives.   They are elected by the students.

The leaders are President, Vice-President, and Secretary.  The candidates who are not elected serve on the Board.

There are two Class Representatives from each classroom.  These Class Reps brings ideas and suggestions to the council from their classrooms, vote on decisions, and bring information back to their classroom.

Student Council Advisors - Old and New

Student Leadership thanking Teacher Lisa
for all her help and support
at Valentine's Day event in 2015
In previous years, Teacher Lisa Dolehide was the Advisor to Student Council in the Day and for many years in the Evening.  Teacher Lisa helped make SMAS Student Council the powerful force it is today.  This year, Teacher Lisa is stepping down from this role.

New Student Council Advisor
English Learner Specialist
Marina Kravtsova

Marina Kravtsova, English Learner Specialist and Former Student Leader, is stepping into Lisa's shoes.  It is exciting for us to have an Advisor who understand Student Council from the inside out.  We know Marina will bring special skills and insights to her role as Advisor to the Council. 

Morning Student Council Election Process

Thursday, September 22nd, candidates for Morning Student Council leader positions will present their ideas at a Forum.  Students will listen.  They will think about who they want for their leaders.  This is the same process US citizens are doing now before they vote in November for new leaders, including president.

Candidates post campaign signs around campus
Here is Cristina's in 2015-16

Candidates give speeches at the forums
Here is Daniel giving his in 2014-15

Friday, September 23rd, day students will vote in elections for Morning Student Council leaders. The elections are done on computers.

Evening Student Council Process

This year the Evening Student Council will proceed in Townhall style with two volunteer leaders.  There were not enough candidates for an election.

Wednesday, September 21, the two volunteers will talk about their ideas and goals.  Students will vote by a show of hands to elect them to serve as leaders.

Meeting Day and Times

This year the Evening Student Council will meet on Monday evenings at 8 pm.

The Day Student Council will meet on Tuesdays at 12 noon.

Meeting dates for 2016-2017 are: 

                         MON (PM)    TUES (AM)
                            Oct 17         Oct 11
                            Nov 7          Nov 8
                            Dec 5          Dec 6
                            Jan 23         Jan 24
                            Feb 13         Feb 14
                            Mar 13        Mar 14
                            Apr 17        Apr 18
                            May 15        May 16
                            Jun  12        Jun 13

In the past, our leaders have done great things.  They have carried the message that Adult Education Matters to elected government officials locally and in Sacramento.  They have attended conferences and made presentations about the value of Student Voice and Leadership.  They have spoken to the press.  They have brought us better food choices and coffee in the Student Lounge.  They have organized and led events for unity, learning, and community engagement.   They have

We know that the 2016-17 SMAS Student Leaders will do great things, also.

Our school brings strength and spirit to all we do!

2014-15 Evening Student Council President
Maricruz with Advisor Teacher Lisa Dolehide
At San Mateo Spring Clean-Up
SMAS Students Celebrating Victory January 2015
Adult Schools regained funding thanks to student, teacher, union, CCAE, and other organizational and community action

2013-14 Day Student Council President Marco
visiting elected officials in Sacramento

Student Leaders at CCAE Bay Region Conference
Maricruz, Natalia, Marina
Marco, Hitomi,

The 2015-2016 Student Councils - Day and Evening
A big thank you to them for their hard and important work!

Monday, September 12, 2016

New! Parent Lunch Bunch - Fridays - 12 to 12:30 - Room 29

Are you an ESL or GED or High School Diploma Student?

Are you a parent or grandparent or caregiver?

Do you want to be involved in your children’s school life?
Do you want to know more about the California school system?
Do you want to support your children?
Then Parent Lunch Bunch is for you!
Please join us every Friday at 12 noon in Room 29 for Parent Lunch Bunch.
At our weekly meetings we will
* share our problems
* learn from each others experience
* learn about the California school system
* learn about local resources
* support each other
* ask questions
* get information
Marina Kravtsova
Bring your lunch and your questions every Friday from 12 p.m. to 12:30 pm in Room 29.
This group is led by English Learner Specialist Marina Kravtsova

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Meet Anne Adamson, Our New Executive Director of ACCEL

Meet Anne Adamson, Our New Executive Director of ACCEL

Anne Adamson is the new Executive Director of ACCEL, our Regional Consortium.   Adult Education for California is now divided into regions.  Each region has a consortium - a group of Adult Schools and Community Colleges - working together to provide Adult Education to that area.  In this way, everyone can think about the special needs and strengths of each area.
Anne is the first person to have this new job of Executive Director.  Until now, our Director Mr. T and Assistant Director Tim helped to run ACCEL.  Now they are free to focus on our school.
Anne will look at the big picture of Adult Education in San Mateo County.  She will visit all the schools and colleges that provide Adult Education and help them create pathways to success for adult learners.  
ACCEL Schools
Jefferson Adult School in Daly City near Serramonte Shopping Center

San Mateo County
La Costa Adult School  on the Western Coast of San Mateo in Half Moon Bay
Sequoia Adult School - in Redwood City near El Camino Real
South San Francisco Adult School - in South San Francisco
CaƱada College - in the countryside of San Mateo County, near Redwood City, off 280 
College of San Mateo - in the hills of San Mateo, near 280 and 92
Skyline College - in the hills of San Bruno
She will meet with staff and students to understand each school.  Each school has something special to offer.
She will put all the pieces together to understand how to lead ACCEL and provide the best Adult Education possible in San Mateo County.
Before She Came Here
Before Anne became the Executive Director of ACCEL, she worked as Academic Dean at Santa Barbara Business College in Santa Maria, on the Central Coast of California. Before that she was the Dean and Faculty for University of Phoenix in the Central Valley of California, and before that she was the Child Development Director for Early Head Start in Fresno, California. 
She has lived in different parts of California.  She has lived in the Central Valley and on the Central Coast and now she lives here on the Peninsula.  She knows that education is important everywhere because it opens the doors to new opportunities.
Anne's Door is Always Open
Anne’s own door is always open so feel free to stop to say hello.  She will be happy to hear about your experience at our school or to listen to your ideas for how Adult Education can be improved in our county. You can also share suggestions for places to visit and things to do in our area.  She loves water so ideas close to water are always welcome.
Her office is in the SMART Center next to the GED and High School Diploma program.




New! Career Exploration & Self-Development Class for Advanced ESL Students

Do you want to find the best job for you?

Are you enrolled in an Advanced ESL class?

Then the new Career Exploration & Self-Development Class is for you!

In this class you will:

* Explore different industries and careers
* Identify your skills, interests and values
* Learn about educational requirements and training
* Create a vision for your vision
* Develop a plan to reach your goals

You can take the class in the afternoon or the evening.

Afternoon schedule:

     *  Mondays & Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:30 pm
     * Session I:  August 29 to September 26
     * Session II:  October 3 to November 2

Evening schedule:

     * Tuesdays from 8:20 pm to 9:30 pm
     * August 30 to December 13

For more information contact College & Career Navigator Patty Villar at

Monday, August 29, 2016

SMAS Staff Meet in Retreat for Unity of Mission

On Monday, August 22nd, San Mateo Adult School did something new:

All the employees - ALL OF THEM - met together in a special retreat.

What is a retreat?  It is a special time to stop normal activities and think deeply about something.

Now is a time of big change for Adult Education.  To navigate these changes and provide our students with the best Adult Education possible is not always easy.  It is helpful if we know and understand each other.  It is helpful if we know and understand our students.  It is helpful if we know where we are going and why.  It is helpful if we work in a united way for the same goal

Discussing demographics
So on this day, everyone - EVERYONE - all the administrators, all the teachers, all the staff, all the aides, all the janitors - EVERYONE came together for a special day of thinking and discussion. 
Applauding SMAS
New ACCEL Executive Director Anne Adamson
and ESL Teacher Lisa

With all the new rules and requirements and opportunities for Adult Education, how can we give our students the best Adult Education possible?

Houry, Kelly, Guillermo, Lisa Dolehide

Lisa Sparks, Nita

We had activities to build connection and unity.  Some people were new to our school.  Some people had been at our school for many years.  Some people knew many people.  Some people knew only a few people  We introduced ourselves to each.

Laughing during a game
We played games to get to know each other better - to learn about our programs, what we do, who we are, as individuals and as a school.

Ellen knows the answer!

Former ESL Student & Advocate
and New English Learner Specialist
Marina Kravtsova

We broke into groups to think about what we are doing and where we are going.

We talked about our values. 

What are values?

Values are the things that are important to you.

When you are deciding where to go and how to get there, you must know your values.  You must know what you want, what is important to you.

We took a survey to discover the values most important to us.

The most important value to us was trustworthy.

What is trustworthy?  If someone is trustworthy, you can depend on them.  They are honest.  They are responsible.  They are helpful.  You can trust them.  They are worth your trust.

We divided into groups to discuss SMAS values.

Here are some posters the groups made to represent SMAS values:

What are your values as an Adult School student?

Where do you want to go?

Where do you want our school to go?

These are important questions.

Talk about them with your classmates and your teachers.

Together, we make the future.

To see all the photos from the retreat, click here.