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Author Archives: WSS News

Journalism Organizations Send Joint Letter To President-Elect Trump

Dear President-elect Trump,

We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation’s capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation’s great strengths: our freedom of the press.

As the new leader of the free world, we expect that you will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president’s movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country, whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn’t about access for the press itself, it’s about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.

Being president is an enormous responsibility and working with the White House Correspondents’ Association to ensure journalists’ access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost via the press pool. 

We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people.

A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.

Thomas Burr
President
The National Press Club

Barbara Cochran
President
National Press Club Journalism Institute

Lynn Walsh
President
Society of Professional Journalists

Mizell Stewart III
President
American Society of News Editors

Mike Cavender
Executive Director
Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation

Delphine Halgand
US Director
Reporters Without Borders/RSF

Courtney Radsch
Advocacy Director
Committee to Protect Journalists

Sandy K. Johnson
President
National Press Foundation

Sarah Glover
President
National Association of Black Journalists

Brandon Benavides
President, Board of Directors
National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Bryan Pollard
President
Native American Journalists Association

Paul Cheung
President
Asian American Journalists Association

Jen Christensen
President
National Association of LGBTQ Journalists

Elisa Lees Munoz
Executive Director
The International Women’s Media Foundation

Allison Sherry
President
Regional Reporters Association

Fontana High School Achieves Re-designation as AVID National Demonstration School

FONTANA, CA- Fontana High School has been re-designated as an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration School, retaining the status it has held since 2006 as a high- achieving academic organization and exemplary learning center for other schools and districts across the nation to model after.

Fontana High is one of about 5,600 AVID schools in 44 states, the District of Columbia and 16 countries and U.S. territories to achieve the elite status, demonstrating its proven ability to employ AVID tools school-wide to boost the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities.

“It is a tremendous honor to be re-selected as a National Demonstration School and sustain a strong program that has helped catapult our students to post-secondary success and opened up a wealth of opportunities,” Fohi Principal Ofelia Hinojosa said. “We are proud of our teachers, counselors and staff who constantly work to engage and empower our students and are committed to ensuring a college- ready student body.”

Fohi was among 75 schools in the nation to be recognized earlier this year as a Schoolwide Site of Distinction, a new honor given to a select few AVID schools for their extensive commitment to providing students with college preparation resources. The distinction put Fohi’s college and career readiness program in the top 2 percent of all AVID programs in the nation.

“This re-designation is a testament to the flourishing culture of continued support Fohi nurtures to ensure our students are well-prepared for collegiate life,” Fontana Unified Interim Superintendent Randal Bassett said. “From guiding our teachers and staff with professional development to helping them refine AVID strategies in the classroom, Fohi continues to be a premier institution that positively influences our students’ dreams to pursue higher education. Congratulations to the Fohi team.”

The AVID program is designed to narrow the achievement gap between the lowest- and highest- performing students and increase the number who enroll in four-year colleges. At Fohi, 26.2 percent of students are in the AVID program, 50.3 percent of AVID students make up the total enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, 100 percent of AVID students apply to four-year universities and 98.6 percent are accepted. Additionally, all AVID tutors at the school are Fohi graduates.

Fohi puts AVID principles into practice in every class, implementing collaborative study groups, tutorials, self-assessments and focused note-taking techniques that promote quality reading strategies.

The school has implemented a college-going culture through rigor and high expectations for all students, all while providing motivation, guidance and support to students as they pursue post-secondary opportunities.

“Fohi’s AVID program effectively demonstrates the dedication our teachers and staff have to supporting all students, increasing access to high-quality educational programs and rigorous coursework, and providing our students an environment that is conducive to their academic growth,” Fontana Unified Co- Interim Superintendent Dr. John Porter said. “We are proud that one of our schools can continue to serve as a model of exemplary leadership.”

West Valley Water District Announces New Veterans Hiring Program

RIALTO, CA.– The West Valley Water District (WVWD) recently announced the modification of its recruitment practices to include a Veterans’ Preference component.

The program, modeled after the State of California’s program, will automatically place eligible veterans applying for WVWD jobs in the top ranking for consideration for employment with the agency. 

“This is something that has long been a goal of mine personally,” stated WVWD Board Member Rafael Trujillo, “Helping our veterans find gainful employment when they return home is the least we can do as a grateful nation.”

Veterans will be granted preference under the program as follows: Any veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran, who achieves a passing score in an entrance examination, shall be ranked in the top rank of the resulting eligibility list. 

All open exams/eligibility lists will award Veterans’ Preference, regardless of the classification.

Any veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released is not eligible for Veterans’ Preference.

Veterans’ Preference is not granted once a person achieves permanent status.

WVWD Board President Dr. Clifford O. Young, Sr. noted, “The Board of Directors is pleased to partner with our veterans and honor their sacrifices for our country.”