VCSTEAMN Colloquium # 3 on SEARCH


The VCSTEAMN Colloquium # 3 on SEARCH was a great success. Mike Vollmert, our Director of Technology, pinch hit for Keynote speaker Andrew Schwab who was ill, and used Andrew’s presentation to set the stage for an excellent evening. We examined SEARCH as a 21st century Literacy, we learned some new Google SEARCH skills, and then we collaborated on a scavenger hunt to find the answers to some SEARCH Challenges. Educators from across the county were in attendance and we thank all for being there. VCSTEAMN is an emerging entity that we hope grows far beyond the Rio School District to offer educators, community and business partners opportunities to establish Ventura County as a premiere location for STEAM education and employment.

STEAM is the integration and connections between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

T.R.I.P. Meeting Update 11.21.13

The Rio Indigenous Project (TRIP) met successfully on 11.21.13. Representatives from the Rio School District, CSUCI, St. Johns Hospital, MICOP, Boys and Girls Club After School programs were in attendance with Dr. Faviana Hirsch Dubin attending via conference call.

As usual great dialogue and idea development took place including plans for college bound field trips for students and parents, the expansion of free immunization clinics, the development of after schools Indigenous community club at the middle school level, plans to improve translation service outreach for parent conferences, and the development of newcomer programs.

We are very excited about what TRIP has been able to accomplish in the last year + and we look forward to expanding these efforts to more participants and a greater focus on learning and technology utilization to achieve the aims of the group.

VCSTEAMN Colloquium# 3 “SEARCH”


Keynote Speaker: Andrew Schwab, CTO, Berryessa Union School District

VCSTEAMN search colloquium flier

Andrew Schwab is an educator, IT professional and 1:1 evangelist. As a member of the CUE Board of Directors, a CETPA Certified CTO and a Google Certified Teacher, he is active in supporting and growing the edTech community. Andrew can be found on Twitter @anotherschwab and blogging at

Andrew’s Presentation

During the presentation, I mentioned Dan Russell’s challenge – determining the phone number of the office from which a picture was taken. Here’s the story of that challenge, including a link to how it can be done!



Google Basic Searching Quick Reference

Google Power Search Quick Reference

Google Search Features (Improve your search experience)

Take the Google Power Search Course (an online, community-based course showcasing search techniques and how you can use them to solve real, everyday problems!)


Session tools / Instructions

After our keynote talk, we will divide into five groups, each organized around one of the five STEAM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics).  Each group will get four search challenges, each related to a different type of search (Power Search, Scholar Search, Image Search, Archive Search).  Do the searches in order – the challenge is for each group to complete as many of the searches as possible, and record on the results document both what they found and how they found it!  Good luck!


Colloquium Challenges – Click here for access to the search questions!

Challenge Results – Click here to access the challenge results page (shared Google Doc!)

Instructional Vision


Recently, the Rio School District has been working on developing our vision of Rio Instruction. Like many other Districts and organizations, we are pressed to do two simultaneous and daunting tasks;help learners build and develop basic literacies while helping them develop 21st century learning practices. The three charts posted above are a first tack at looking how we can do this. At Rio, we do know, that we don’t want to ask our learners to wait to become 21st century learners until they have the literacies as has been the case in many schools and Districts. Rather, we accept they are already 21st century learners and that our schools must work with them as individual and group learners, beginning with who and where they are as learners and growing from that unique place in time and space. For many of us at the Rio School District, this sounds like fun.

Quilts and Math

Quilting and Math are inexorably intertwined.

Here are some excellent links for educators to get learners working on both.

Math Quilts Explained

Tying Quilts to Montessori Math and Geometry (PDF)

QUILTING – Let’s Finish the Pattern (PDF)

CSUCI Science Carnival November 2nd

Bell Tower and CSUCI skyline

Our friends at CSUCI are holding their annual Science Fair this Saturday, November 2, 2013.

The Rio School District will be sending students and teachers to experience this excellent hands on learning experience.

New Mission, Vision & Goals

Greetings Students, Staff, and Families,

Recently the Board of Trustees of the Rio School District took three giant steps towards becoming a world class learning organization. We attended the annual Edleader21 conference, we adopted a new mission, vision, and set of long terms goals (Vision mission goals Adopted october 16 2013) and we approved the purchase of more than 1500 student netbooks on our goal of one to one computing for every child in the District. Please connect to the highlighted links to learn more.

John D. Puglisi, Ph.D.

Rio School District Superintendent

Successful Schools = Successful People

Recently, I read an article from the Journal of School Public Relations. It talked about the results of surveys of 20,000 students, parents, and schools and their thoughts on their schools. The findings of the surveys were fascinating and the author generated ten tips for various roles in the schooling process. I edited them a bit and changed the word “winning” to “successful.” Still, I think they serve as an excellent guidepost for all of us involved in American Public Schools; teachers, principals, administrators, board members, students, and parents. I am working on my thoughts for a top ten list for other categories of school employees, but until then I thought these were very useful.


  • Know their stuff.
  • Help students and parents know them as a professional and as a person.
  • Show parents the agenda.
  • Clearly communicate what they expect from both students and parents.
  • Make learning fun.
  • Address bad behavior.
  • Report progress twice as often as you think you should.
  • Coach your class one students at a time.
  • Keep homework and home projects reasonable.
  • Celebrate each child’s success.


  • Are champions of reading, writing, and technology use.
  • Make discipline fair and equitable.
  • Stand for something.
  • Keep the school clean, outside and inside.
  • Create a culture of competence and caring.
  • Exude enthusiasm.
  • Listen- really listen to staff, students, and parents.
  • Know people’s names.
  • Be on good terms with bus drivers.
  • Serve a good lunch and breakfast.


  • Have a vision.
  • Develop broad horizons and deep perspectives.
  • Are competent.
  • Are organized.
  • Think service, inside and out.
  • Anticipate.
  • Play defense and offense.
  • Champion children.
  • Know what’s happening in the schools.
  • Keep asking how your work is helping students achieve.


  • Know their role.
  • Are team players.
  • Are good listeners and hear what people say.
  • Ask questions to learn.
  • Explain their point of view.
  • Hold opinions about issues, not people.
  • Swear off hidden agendas.
  • Look and act professionally.
  • Conduct school business at board meetings only.
  • Understand the big things and don’t’ get bogged down by the little things.


  • Are prepared for class.
  • Look and act interested.
  • Participate, asking questions and contributing suggestions.
  • Give their best.
  • Ask for help when their best comes up short.
  • Volunteer.
  • Do their homework.
  • Show their manners.
  • Treat others with respect and dignity.
  • Read whatever they can whenever they can… just for the fun of it.


  • Know what’s going on.
  • Understand how their child is doing.
  • Set standards, expectations, and consequences for their child.
  • Open and maintain dialogue with teachers.
  • Are there when needed.
  • Are never apathetic about school.
  • Understand that schools can’t raise their child.
  • Model life-long learning.
  • Tell their children about the importance of education… every chance they get.

Public Hearing Williams Notice





September 18, 2013

The public is invited to provide input regarding the Sufficiency of
Instructional Materials whereby it has been determined the Rio School
District has sufficient textbooks or instructional materials in
reading/language arts, mathematics, history and science for every
student in the district and will be in compliance with the Instructional
Materials Funding Realignment Program (IMFRP) and certification of
provision of textbooks and materials.

The public hearing will be held during the Governing Board meeting of
the Rio School District to be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2013,
at 6:00 p.m. at the Rio School District Board Room, 2500 Vineyard
Avenue, Oxnard.


These paintings and photographs represent some of the artistic output of JP. They were requested for viewing at a recent career day by Gabby (student) at Rio del Valle Middle School.

PHI Four Fun Floating Threesome Love Formula tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo4_500 tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo5_500 tumblr_mj7mi7gZgX1s7slcdo6_500