Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Union Mine appeals to undecided at back-to-school night

SeanTowLucyAndElizabethCarluccio

UNION MINE High School senior Sean Tow talks about life at the rural school with Lucy Carluccio and her mom Elizabeth at a recent presentation for prospective transfers from Oak Ridge or Ponderosa. The Carluccios live in the Oak Ridge boundaries but Lucy has decided to attend Union Mine. Photo by Mike Roberts

By
From page A3 | February 04, 2013 | Leave Comment

Union Mine High School Principal Tony Deville invited west El Dorado County families to the annual back-to-school night on Jan. 24, playing master of ceremonies for a special presentation beforehand that extolled the virtues of the district’s newest and smallest school to incoming freshmen and their parents and hoping to convince them to take advantage of recently softened district transfer policies and attend the underpopulated school.

Deville let his staff and students do most of the talking, interjecting salient commentary throughout a fact-filled presentation.

Assistant Principal Chuck Palmer and Counselor Mike Ziegler explained the school’s 4×4 block schedule, which puts students in four semester-long 90-minute classes daily, resulting in eight courses per year, as opposed to a conventional schedule, which typically has six year-long shorter classes that meet on alternate days.

The 4×4 schedule allows students to get more classes in any given year, thus allowing greater variety of coursework, the ability to take classes over again, add extra courses in an area of interest or even graduate early.

Palmer allayed concerns over the length of the 90-minute classes, explaining that the faculty rarely lectures for 90 minutes straight, and that class time is often dedicated to homework or related activities. Since each student is only taking four classes, students with a 4×4 schedule typically have less homework, he said.

A survey of Union Mine seniors found that 98 percent liked the 4×4 block schedule.

Senior Sean Tow, a Union Mine safe school ambassador who also plays varsity football and basketball, chatted comfortably with fellow ambassadors Tanya Gallagher and Conner Reed, each of which spent a few minutes describing life at Union Mine.

Tow told the parents and wide-eyed eighth graders, “I walk around this campus and feel like I know everyone.”

It was no stretch to imagine the muscle-bound Tow catching a bully in the act and delivering a two fisted response. The future Oregon State running back quashed the notion, however, saying, “I can’t remember the last time there was a fight here.”

Lucy Carluccio, 14, was there with her mother Elizabeth. They live within the Oak Ridge boundaries. Lucy currently attends a Montessori school, and thought a smaller school might be a better fit.

A close friend attends Union Mine, but Lucy didn’t seem entirely sold on the notion until sitting down with Tow.

He touted the merits of the 4×4 block schedule and confirmed that as a senior he’s already completed his core requirements and is taking a light schedule in his last semester before heading to Oregon State on a football scholarship.

The following day Elizabeth Carluccio confirmed that her daughter would attend Union Mine. “She can’t wait to graduate … she’s never been so excited about attending a school.”

Cynnie and Skip Thomas live in the Ponderosa High School boundaries with their granddaughter Cassidy Steele, who attends El Dorado Adventist School. She said she wanted something a little bigger, but not as big as Ponderosa.

Cassidy is a volleyball player. Her face lit up when she learned that the UM girls volleyball team took state in 2011.

Other UM facts in the presentation:

• The counselor to student ratio is 340 to 1, compared to a 800 to 1 state average.

• More than 400 computers are spread out in four different labs.

• Overall API is 838, highest of any similar sized school in the four-county region.

• 43 percent of students go on to a four-year college.

• 45 percent of students attend community college.

• More than $70,000 in scholarships are awarded annually.

• 77 percent of AP students pass their AP examination.

Ziegler explained that career and course planning are done on a flexible web-based program that encourages parental involvement.

Each year the school hosts a Cash for College night, which identifies scholarship opportunities, and a career night where more than 100 representatives of various fields explain real world working environments.

Each of the presenters mentioned the benefits of attending a small school. “Fewer students means more opportunity,” said Deville, explaining that lower enrollment not only makes for a friendlier campus, but lowers barriers to participation in sports and extracurricular activities.

Drama teacher Pete Miller has been at Union Mine since it opened in 1999. He emphasized the strong drama, music and dance programs, crediting the block schedule for providing students the extra time to participate in the arts without impacting their critical college prep or career technical courses.

He touted UM as “the smallest school in the district with the largest band.”

Deville closed by telling the assembled parents and students that the district has no bad schools. “You really can’t go wrong. They’re all great schools and they all do great things.”

The next day he added by e-mail that his goals for the evening were modest, just 10 to 15 transfer students. “We wanted to create a clear picture of life at Union Mine and I think we accomplished that.”

The deadline for applying for a transfer to Union Mine or El Dorado High School was Jan. 31.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 15 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 29 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments