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Sunset Ranch school to open

Elementary school slated for 2010-11 school year
By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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The Rocklin school district is moving forward with plans to open Sunset Ranch, a new elementary school, for the 2010-11 school year. The board recently approved the school’s opening and appointed Jim Trimble as principal, splitting his duties among Rocklin Elementary, where he currently serves as principal, and Sunset Ranch Elementary, which is located in the Whitney Ranch neighborhood. Sunset Ranch has the capacity to hold 750 students. The facility will include smart technology in every classroom, three playgrounds and an outdoor amphitheater. Under Trimble’s leadership, the district’s only elementary science lab has been set up at Rocklin Elementary. Additionally, Trimble started the district’s Gifted and Talented Education, or GATE. Rocklin Elementary’s Academic Performance Index score has also risen under Trimble’s tenure to 871. Trustee Todd Lowell said Trimble knows every child at Rocklin Elementary by name. “I eat, sleep, breath Bulldog blue and I can’t wait to get over to the new school,” Trimble said. A new principal for Rocklin Elementary will not be hired until the 2011-12 school year due to budget uncertainties. “I am honored and extremely excited to be given the opportunity to work with the parents of Whitney Ranch to create a learning environment where all children succeed at high levels in a safe and nurturing environment,” Trimble said in a release. The district also discussed the budget deficit at last week’s board meeting. Facing an $8 million deficit, the district will be holding two public budget forums in March to get the community’s feedback, ideas and opinions on the district’s proposed cuts. At last Wednesday’s board meeting, residents shared their thoughts on cuts to programs such as music and to nursing staff. Julie Goette, a mother to a choir student at Rocklin High, shared how important music is to a person’s development. “Music is in us, we are born with it,” she said. “We all feel it. We are all moved by it. Music teaches self discipline, leadership and team work.” Goette also shared a poem she wrote titled, “The music is in us.” Within the poem, she read, “The music is in us — we can’t let it die.” Stephanie Keenan, a Rocklin resident and nurse in a Roseville school district, also addressed trustees on the issue of keeping nurses on staff at the schools. Keenan said her plea was not about saving jobs, but about the care and safety of the students, especially those with diabetes, chronic illnesses and food allergies. Board president Wendy Lang said she appreciates the support and welcomes the feedback via phone, e-mail and through public comments at board meetings. Lang said the cuts are tough, but “we really want this district to look the same in all aspects.” For more information on the budget reductions, go to the district’s Web site at www.rocklin.k12.ca.us and click on the “budget updates” tab with links to documents regarding the budget, the governor’s budget, a letter to the community from the superintendent and other budget-related links. Share your budget opinions What: Community budget forums When: 6:30 p.m. March 1 at Spring View Middle School, 5040 Fifth St.; 6:30 p.m. March 15 at Granite Oaks Middle School, 2600 Wykford Blvd. Information: Visit www.rocklin.k12.ca.us for updates