Drive-through diploma days

Drive-through diploma days

Rebecca Neipp

As losses of life and livelihood are calculated during the COVID-19 pandemic, families of graduating seniors wistfully add to that list their moment to celebrate the culmination of a 13-year academic career for hundreds of local students. “Upon reflecting on all the unexpected change this . . . Read Full Story >>

Ridgecrest native graduates from Air Force Academy

Ridgecrest native graduates from Air Force Academy

Rebecca Neipp

When the U.S. Air Force Academy held its graduation ceremonies in April, many local residents tuned in to see one of their own honored during the virtual commencement exercises. Anne Ewbank, daughter of Beverly and Kenney Ewbank of Ridgecrest, received her bachelor of science in . . . Read Full Story >>

CCCC holds drive-through awards ceremony

CCCC holds drive-through awards ceremony

Renee Santamaria, Cerro Coso Community College’s Student of the Year for the IWV Access Program, accepts her diploma at the May 14 drive-through awards ceremony. Fifty Program students will graduate with associate degrees, and 24 with Certificates of Achievements this June. — Courtesy photo . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools  face 10-  percent  slash in funding

Schools face 10- percent slash in funding

Rebecca Neipp

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this month that COVID-19 measures yielded a projected $52 billion deficit in the state budget. Following analysis of his May Revise, public schools are expecting that shortfall to translate into a massive loss in funding. Proposition 98 requires that . . . Read Full Story >>

Board seat to go on Nov. ballot

Board seat to go on Nov. ballot

Rebecca Neipp

The unexpected death of Amy Castillo-Covert, a longtime trustee on the Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Directors, leaves a vacancy that would otherwise not be filled until late 2022. Dr. David Ostash, district superintendent, said he learned recently from SSUSD attorneys that given . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Drive-through’ ceremony set

‘Drive-through’ ceremony set

Rebecca Neipp

After weeks of monitoring state directives regarding COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, Sierra Sands Unified School District announced that any option for even a modified assembly has been ruled out. “While operating within the latest and foreseeable state and county guidelines, our graduation committee has . . . Read Full Story >>

‘Angels with stethoscopes’ graduate

‘Angels with stethoscopes’ graduate

Cerro Coso Community College announced that 22 students from Ridgecrest and the Kern River Valley have graduated from the nursing program. “The inability to hold a public capping and pinning ceremony due to the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home edict could not stifle the enthusiasm and pride these . . . Read Full Story >>

CCCC student-inmate published in national journal

CCCC student-inmate published in national journal

Cerro Coso Community College student Patrick Larmour is one of 26 members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to have his writings published in “Note Bene,” PTK’s online literary journal. The anthology, which draws its name from the Latin expression for “note well,” recognizes outstanding . . . Read Full Story >>

Learn about college credit for high schoolers

Learn about college credit for high schoolers

CERRO COSO COMMUNITY COLLEGE — Cerro Coso Community College will host Zoom meeting to instruct parents of juniors and seniors in high school who are interested in finding out how their child can earn college credit through dual and concurrent enrollment programs. A parent meeting . . . Read Full Story >>

Uncertainty continues. But so do our schools.

Uncertainty continues. But so do our schools.

Rebecca Neipp

As uncertainty relating to COVID-19 shutdowns and associated impacts continue, Sierra Sands Unified School District moves forward in its mission to educate by focusing on “teaching and reaching” students through the newly defined distance-learning model. Like all California school districts, Sierra Sands closed its campus . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools face funding slashes

Schools face funding slashes

Rebecca Neipp

As schools begin to regain footing in the new “distance learning” model dictated by closures to reduce outbreaks of COVID-19, the resulting economic losses relating to state mandates are generating new fiscal challenges. Dr. David Ostash, superintendent of Sierra Sands Unified School District, read a . . . Read Full Story >>

ICS senior receives leadership scholarship

ICS senior receives leadership scholarship

Immanuel Christian School senior Christian Kramer was awarded a $1,000 leadership scholarship from Mediacom’s World Class Scholarship Program. He wrote an essay titled “Leadership: The Necessity for Success” to earn distinction alongside 60 other recipients nationwide. The son of Ken and Kim Kramer, his plans . . . Read Full Story >>

Distance learning tests us all

Distance learning tests us all

Rebecca Neipp

As leaders across the state caution the public to get accustomed to a new normal, the “distance learning” model implemented this week gave the public a taste of just how different that might look for education. Working with guidance from the California and Kern County . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools work through spring break  to implement ‘distance learning’

Schools work through spring break to implement ‘distance learning’

Rebecca Neipp

Most students and families got a reprieve from the ongoing educational tumult for spring break, but some teachers in Sierra Sands Unified School District used the week to implement “distance learning” practices. “Everyone has been working overtime toward what we originally thought were temporary measures,” . . . Read Full Story >>

Cerro Coso to  hold virtual  open house

Cerro Coso to hold virtual open house

Cerro Coso Community College will hold a virtual open house April 20, in conjunction with the opening for summer and fall registration on April 14. The social-distancing friendly event will offer access to counseling, financial aid, admissions and other services of the college. A complete . . . Read Full Story >>

School sites will not reopen this term

School sites will not reopen this term

Rebecca Neipp

Schools in the Indian Wells Valley will finish out the year with the current home-learning model, as increasingly strict directives from California officials finally take off the table a return to campuses this spring. Although the Kern County Superintendent of Schools officially made the announcement . . . Read Full Story >>

College reports response to COVID-19

College reports response to COVID-19

Submitted by AMBER REED Cerro Coso Community College Cerro Coso Community College is much like the rest of the country’s educational institutions, when it comes to the next steps and decisions for its campuses in regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Within the past two weeks . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools now closed until May 5

Schools now closed until May 5

Rebecca Neipp

Sierra Sands Unified School District announced this week that, after consulting with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office, campus closures have been extended until May 5. Superintendent Dr. David Ostash sent out a message to staff, students and parents that, after consulting with the . . . Read Full Story >>

Schools rocked by turbulence of ‘social distance’

Schools rocked by turbulence of ‘social distance’

Rebecca Neipp

Sierra Sands Unified School District, along with educational institutions across the county, state and nation, is struggling to meet the conflicting demands of isolation and service in a landscape where mandates and directives are constantly evolving. “Everything is moving at warp speed,” said Dr. David . . . Read Full Story >>

Sierra Sands forms plans for future

Sierra Sands forms plans for future

Rebecca Neipp

In an update to the members of the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce, who heard about the latest developments in earthquake recovery and coronavirus preparation (see also related story, this page), Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent Dr. David Ostash also shared with the group some . . . Read Full Story >>