Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Learner to Earner: Eriko Harada

As San Mateo Adult School Students gain knowledge, skills, and confidence, they join the work force, advance in their jobs, and engage in volunteer work.  The Learner to Earner page on the San Mateo Adult School website is about their success.  Here's another story in the series, told by Eriko Harada, in her own words.

I am a nurse in Japan and moved here almost five years ago for my husband’s job. I have several years of clinical experience as a nurse in my country. I wanted to keep my career going so I was hoping to take The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurse in someday. When we settled down in our new place, I realized that I really needed to improve my English before thinking about the exam. I could not make a phone call, did not understand what I was asking at the restaurant, and had difficulty filling out some forms. I encountered so many problems through my daily life.

Meanwhile I found the Distance Learning program at San Mateo Adult School. That was convenient for me as a stay-at-home mom and I started learning everyday English with Teacher Cynthia. She has helped me a lot not only with the English language, but also living and raising children in the U.S.A. I attended Distance learning for two years before I felt ready to add studying for the license exam.  For the next two years, I studied for the exam by myself while continuing Distance Learning. 

Last year I passed the exam and received the RN license in California. A few months after that, I was hired as a part-time nurse in a private clinic in San Mateo. Now I use both English and Japanese at my work. I am also serving as a member of Community Emergency Response Team in Foster City. 

I thank all my friends and family who have supported me and the teachers at San Mateo Adult School, especially Teacher Cynthia and Teacher Jay. I could not reach this achievement without their support.

My study of English and Nursing will never end. I am not sure how long I will  live in the U.S.A., but no matter where I live, I would like to continue my profession.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Send SMAS Student Leaders to AAACE Conference

AAACE is the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education organization.

This Fall, November 8 to 11, AAACE will have a National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  People will come from all over the United States to talk about Adult Education.  They will talk about why it matters.  They will talk about how to make it the best possible education for Adults.

Three San Mateo Adult School Student Leaders submitted a proposal to present a workshop about Student Council at the Conference.

SMAS Student Leaders

The three leaders are:

Cristina Munoz Ulrich
Marina Kravtsova
Denise Carrasco

Denise Carrasco - 2015/16 Day Student Council President

Cristina Munoz Ulrich - 2015/16 Day Student Council Vice President

Marina Kravtsova - Student Council Advocate in 2014/15.

Now Marina is our English Learner Specialist and the Advisor to Student Council.  She is not a student anymore.  She is part of the SMAS staff.  At the Conference, she will share from both her student and her staff experience.

These three leaders applied to present a workshop.

SMAS Leaders Going to Conference

Their proposal to talk about Student Council was accepted.

Not many Adult Schools have Student Councils or active student communities.  SMAS is a leader in this area.  AAACE wants other schools to learn about our programs.  Our leaders will explain how we do it.  Other schools can learn from us and create student councils and build active student communities at their school.

Other people will present workshops on other topics.  Our leaders can learn from them and bring back new ideas to help our school.  It is a interchange of information to make Adult Education the best it can be at our school and everywhere across the USA.


It will cost money for the leaders to go to this conference.

The Teachers' Union voted to give them 600 dollars.

The cost is higher than 600 dollars!

To raise money to go to the conference, they will be selling pizza meals - a slice of pizza, a cold drink, and a cookie for five dollars.  What a great deal!

Pizza Sales

The pizza sales will be:

Days by the Flag Pole

Wednesday, October 5  12 noon to 12:30 pm

Wednesday, October 19th  12 noon to 12:30 pm

Wednesday, November 2nd  12 noon to 12:30 pm

Evenings in the Student Lounge

Tuesday, October 18th   8 pm to 8:20 pm

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.