Mahalia Magabo, SPED Teacher, during hands on teaching practice of the approach with Chartwell students.

Hollister School District partnered with Chartwell School of the Central Coast to train its Resource Specialists on the use of a highly specialized instructional approach for students who have learning disabilities, according to a recent press release.

“One of the district’s responses to improving special education is by providing staff workshops that are aligned with state mandates to improve instruction and supports in the classroom,” according to district staff.

The structured approach to literacy includes early identification, intervention and assessment of student progress for those students who are struggling readers or those who have Dyslexia. Teachers participated in the 32-hour intensive course of training.

“Our teachers are certain that this training will better prepare them to deal with the challenges of overcoming reading difficulties of the students they serve,” local educator Mahalia Magabo said. “As someone who is passionate about making a difference in students education and improving teachers ongoing education about reading, this will pave the way to better services and focused evidence based practices for all students.”

A major motivation for providing this training to special educators is the need to address the California Dyslexia Guidelines that were released in 2017, according to staff

“As a district, we have taken a proactive approach to utilize these California Dyslexia guidelines as a way of intervening to prevent students from falling through the cracks and strengthen student outcomes,” said Special Education Director Gwen Baquiran.

Some general education teachers from RO Hardin, Hollister Dual Language Academy and Calaveras also participated in the summer training program.

The  district will offer more training opportunities in the fall for its Intervention teachers, according to staff.

“Strengthening special education and early intervention are some of my key priorities for the Hollister School District,” Supt. Diego Ochoa said. “I believe that this type of training will improve reading levels across the district by changing the way students learn to read at an early age.”

SBHS alum makes MLB debut with Giants

Conner Menez

San Benito High School alumnus Conner Menez made his Major League Baseball debut for the San Francisco Giants in a Sunday, July 21 game against the New York Mets.

Menez is the second Baler alumni to pitch in the majors in the past 12 years, following Daniel Barone’s call-up with the Florida Marlins in 2007. Two other San Benito High School alumni are pitching in the minor leagues this season: Darin Gillies (Seattle Mariners, Triple A) and Hunter Haworth (Boston Red Sox, Class A).

Menez started on the hill, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six in a no decision. The Giants went on to win the game 3-2 in 12 innings.

“I feel like I’m still on cloud 9,” said Menez in an ESPN report on the game.

Community invited to grand opening

San Benito High School leaders will host a Grand Opening for its athletic stadium, aquatics center and softball field from 11am to 2pm Aug. 24 and is calling on local residents and organizations to make it a special event.

“Help us celebrate 13 months of work and the completion of the SBHS Stadium, Aquatics Center, and Softball Field,” the recent announcement states. “Join your fellow alumni and community members to tour and learn about the new facilities at San Benito High School.”

Attendees will meet in the new parking lot under the new “Home of the Haybalers” sign.

RSVP to Carol Heiderich at [email protected] or by calling (831) 637-5831 ext. 132 as refreshments and guided tours of campus will be available.

Free booths for community organizations, arts and crafts, music and entertainment are also available and will be part of the grand opening.

“This is a family friendly event that will be a great opportunity to reconnect, network and share information about your organization,” according to the announcement.

For more booth information, contact Derek Barnes at [email protected].

Student schedules, pictures Aug. 13-14

San Benito student pictures for the 2019-20 school year will be taken during the class schedule distribution August 13-14.

All 10th to 12th graders will be able to pick up their class schedules on August 13 at which time they will be required to take their school picture.

Students will have their student IDs printed on the spot and they will have to present their 2019-2020 student ID in order to receive their class schedule, according to San Benito High School staff.

All incoming ninth graders will receive their class schedules Aug. 14 when at Freshman Orientation. During the orientation, students will have their school pictures taken as part of the orientation schedule. Picture make-up dates will be available for students who cannot attend, according to staff.

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