Vegas for the Family Blog Publisher Christine Kramar is Running for Nevada Assembly District 13


As readers of this blog over the last 4 years know I am a committed community activist concerned about the issues that impact our families. When I first started writing this blog our families were struggling through the great recession, and many continue to make a slow recovery.

I have researched the issues and done my best to encourage us all to enter public comment when possible on the issues. Over the years I found that education in Nevada had become a game of “GOTCHA” politics where even those of us watching it closely were surprised by the changes made to our education system so swiftly. Unfortunately we always have had money for programs to serve corporations in their goal to make money off of our kids rather than actually listen to parents, students, and experienced classroom teachers about what will actually work for our students. Video End Bump

I attended hearings on education reform disappointed to see that these meetings were filled with special interest lobbyists at times when classroom teachers and parents busy working their jobs and raising their families never could make it to participate. The methods online to share your input are convoluted and not user friendly. Nor were lawmakers actively seeking those who would take exception to these new policies to have their voices heard. Few if any keep a blog or manage a website dedicated to constituent outreach to keep concerned citizens in the loop on important legislation that will later affect the lives of citizens.

Then I followed the money. I was disappointed to see that the same group of lobbyists have paid off both political parties to push through this agenda.

I got mad. First I tried to find a candidate to run for office. Few people want to speak truth to power no matter how committed they are to the principle because it is tremendously time consuming and for an inexperienced candidate it is both an expensive and daunting task. Given my experience operating grassroots campaigns and social media I had no other choice than to look in the mirror.

Don’t for a second pass off my candidacy as a politically naive homemaker doing this as a hobby. I have political experience and knew what this race would entail – and I did it anyway. Yes, my opponent is a prolific fundraiser and will outspend my campaign on nasty photoshopped pictures of me. He will pull out some vague half truth and try to run with it. That’s politics. What I can offer is that I will be an active force in the community my opponent had his opportunity to be his one session in office and passed on it.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about my campaign. I am not a single issue candidate.  Education however was the final draw that made me file for this election cycle. I am well versed on all of the legislative issues which is why I have held my own and earned the endorsement of several community organizations.

What I will do different is to fully engage the community as I have done on every cause I have worked on. I know that parents have the right to speak up and I will bring forward hearings in our own district to make this happen. Our district is impacted by many issues that have outreach events done by legislators on the other side of town – but never in our district. That has to change.

assembly-district-13-map

If you are big enough to do it – Be big enough to own it. I will own my position as your next Assemblywoman with job number one to be a voice for our families. The economy is coming back and its important that our views be at the table to ensure the budget cuts to essential services are restored before corporate special interests get new tax breaks.

I am not the candidate hand picked by the political establishment to keep the status quo rolling of finger pointing and kicking the can down the road. I don’t owe any political favors. My job will be to represent the people of the assembly district I call home in the far northwest Nevada assembly district 13.

Please consider joining my campaign at ChristineKramar.com or on social media below:

Kramar 2014

 

 

Blog Post Candidate Disclosure

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CCSD Needs Your Help with a Magnet School Survey

CCSD is asking for help from parents to please answer a short survey about if you would support additional magnet schools.

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The Clark County School District (CCSD) has an opportunity to compete for federal funds to support magnet schools to expand public school choices for students. A magnet school offers specialized academic programs through theme-based instruction that often increases student interest and engagement. CCSD needs your input about the magnet school concept. Please share your ideas with us by completing this brief survey. No identifying information will be collected, and your identity will not be revealed. Thank you for your participation.

CLICK HERE to get started on the survey.  

Tips for Working with the CCSD School Bus System

Parents in the Las Vegas valley have some confusion about our local school bus system. I hope that my information below will help clear up any confusion.

Question:  How do I know if my child is eligible for bus transportation?

Answer: Go to the school district transportation website, enter in your address, and it will tell you if your zoned schools are transportation eligible.

CLICK HERE

school bus information map

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After your information has been entered the computer will tell you what schools for your neighborhood have bus transportation available.

The district site will tell you which schools are eligible for transportation:

Specific stop locations are not listed on this website.

Question:  How do I register for bus transportation?

Answer:  A transportation form has been included in registration packets for each school year. If you do not recall completing such a form, or you did not use bus transportation in the past you will be best served to register for service this year.

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Question: What is my student’s ID number?

Answer: This is a six or seven digit number that appears on all of the school correspondence including grade reports and newsletters. If you have a Parentlink account activated you can find your child’s ID number from the detail screen about your student.  The transportation department will not give you this number over the phone.  Your child’s school may give you the number with proper ID with many offices not able to give it out over the phone.

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To speak to a transportation representative call (702) 799-8111.

Monday through Friday: 6:00 am – 5:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Click here to go to LIVE CHAT with an agent during the hours above.

 

Question: What about buses for magnet schools?

Answer:  When you register for magnet school the transportation form is included.  You can access your student’s bus information through the website using their id number.

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Question: My child is in special education are those buses also handled by this department?

Answer:  Special education buses are handled by the transportation department. These bus drivers and assistants see only the page of your child’s IEP regarding transportation outlining what services the student specifically needs to be transported to and from school.

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Question: When are bus notices mailed to my home?

Answer: I have been told that bus notices will be mailed and put on ParentLink no later than August 15th.

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Question: How am I notified about changes to the bus stop or schedule?

Answer: Your student will receive a new print out from the driver.  Since my kids seem to lose theirs I also keep a close eye on the ParentLink website. I am emailed every time a new message is waiting for me on ParentLink so I can login and see what I need to know. The bus notices are frequent the first few weeks of school.

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Question: What about the activity buses?

Answer: These are buses at select schools that transport your student 1-2 hours after the end of the school day so that they can have access to after school programs. The details about each of these programs you will need to get from your school.  These buses run depending on how many students decided to participate in activities so it may be a shorter or longer bus ride for your child at the end of the day.

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Question: What time should I arrive to the bus stop?

Answer: You should arrive at least 15 minutes early to the bus stop on the first day, and expect that the bus may be as much as 1 hour late. On normal days after the first week of school buses run for the most part on time.

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Question: When should I call the transportation department over a late bus?

Answer: This depends on the age of your child. For my youngest children I call when the bus is 30 minutes or more late. My older kids I call if the bus is more than an hour late. Keep the phone number to the transportation department programmed on your cell phone  799-8111. Also if your student is on a bus after 5pm when the transportation phone lines close you will need to get the number for the local station the buses leave from for your area so that you can speak to that local dispatcher after the main hotline closes. For magnet school students one snag along the way and the bus may be out as late as 7. In an emergency you can always call the school police 799-5411 for assistance if your child is extremely late.

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Question: What happens when a school bus breaks down or gets in an accident?

Answer: CCSD does a great job of keeping parents informed in the event of a break down or accident. Our family has had two experiences over the last 5 years once a tire blew out on the way home from school and before my son’s bus was even late the transportation office called me with a new time that he would arrive. My son reported that no fewer than 6 people all showed up to get the bus back on the road. My daughter’s bus had an accident where a piece of debris flew out of a truck onto the bus cracking a window. The driver being very cautious for the students safety stopped the bus and a new bus was sent to pick up the kids. Again, the transportation department called to tell me even before the bus was late.

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Question: What happens if my child gets on the wrong bus?

Answer: The first weeks of school the staff is vigilant to ensure that all students are tagged with their names and stop information. My daughter’s school used colored bracelets. This worked well until she and her friend decided to switch colors and she took the wrong bus because her name tag and bracelet had not been matched. So she rode on a bus to a different neighborhood and was the last kid on the bus when the driver found out. Again, transportation called me so I would not have to worry. This incident was taken very seriously and my daughter was returned to our stop by a supervisor.  So please remind your children that the color coded necklaces and bracelets the schools pass out are for safety, not as fashion accessories.

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Question: What about discipline on the bus?

Answer: The first and foremost job of the bus driver is student safety. Drivers cannot do their jobs distracted by unruly children. Their job is to drive the bus, not break up fights. Most annoying I have heard from bus drivers are parents who expect them to keep track of petty she-said-this she-said-that fights on the bus. First of the bus is so loud the driver cannot hear what smack talk is happening at the back of the bus no better than you can hear what your own kids are saying in the backseat of the minivan with the stereo on. Now just imagine that by 30 plus screaming kids! Just like you the bus driver does not have eyes on the back of their head to see if anything gets stolen or snatched.

All the driver can do is write up a referral (delaying the bus for everyone) and have the school administrators handle it. This again is an exercise in futility because of course by two days after the event has happened kids deny that they did anything wrong. Riding the bus in many ways is a at-your-own-risk proposition if your child is a target of bullies. The only solution at hand is to have your child ride in the very front seat alone.

However if your child is disabled on an IEP you can request a transfer to special education busing to your neighborhood school if the environment on the bus interferes with his or her ability to learn at school.

Go over the top ten basic bus safety rules with your children. 

As with the rest of the school environment have your children keep their expensive electronic toys off of the bus. For my kids we purchased cheap $10 MP3 players at BigLots for the ride to and from school so in case it gets lost it is not the crisis that comes with losing a more expensive device. Tell your kids to keep their cell phones inside their backpack at all times. Again, we give our kids the cheapest phone possible prepaid with only a few minutes so that if it is lost it is not a financial crisis resulting in charges to our real cell phone account. One lost cell phone within minutes can charge hundreds to your bill in malicious purchases if your account is not adequately protected. Kids may take days to tell you they have lost their phone.~Have a great school year. Remember that your child’s bus driver is only human, and that safety and courtesy are everyone’s job from parents to drivers and administrators too. Let’s have a great 2011-2012 school year!

YouthWorks Volunteer Program for Teens at the Childrens Museum

YouthWorks is a Program at the Las Vegas Childrens Museum

It is often hard to find good volunteer programs for high school students to get their credit hours. Here is a great option.  I would have my student apply early in the year.

The YouthWorks program is all-inclusive and designed for high school students, ages 14-17 years old. This program provides volunteers with opportunities to enhance their own lives through education. YouthWorks offers a unique opportunity to gain work experience and build a community service record that will help in getting high school credit or building college portfolios. In addition to volunteering, youth also participate in a variety of different programs including Seminar Series, Teen Awards Nights, and College Summit.

Volunteers enroll and perform volunteer work throughout the year. The program focuses on enrolling teens from culturally diverse backgrounds, particularly those living in neighborhoods near the museum. Additionally, the program is designed to be inclusive to all youth, and to this end, the museum strives to reach and serve children with physical disabilities, as well as children with hyperactive attention deficit disorders.

The following are ways in which you can volunteer:

 Assistant Presenter: Assist with groups and/or families visiting the museum by enthusiastically interpreting exhibits. Help transform their experience into one they are sure to remember. Must like working closely with kids.

 Extended Education Assistant: Assist with preparation and facilitation of special arts and science projects for Creativity Workshop or Imagination Station.

 Office Support: Assist with clerical/office work such as filing and data entry as well as receptionist duties.

 Demonstrator: Assist with the preparation and presentation demonstrations throughout the museum floor.

 Exhibit Assistant: Work with the exhibits department to repair, maintain and relocate, when necessary, exhibits.

 Birthday Party Assistant: Assist with birthday party check-in, room set up and clean up and preparation of materials.

To apply for the program:
Click here for the YouthWorks Volunteer Application

2013 Back to School Fairs

August 2nd

Ward 6 with City Councilman Steve Ross 

FREE BACK-TO-SCHOOL FAIR AND MOVIE IN THE PARK
Friday, Aug. 2, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Centennial Hills Park, Elkhorn Road at Buffalo Drive.
Join me for the Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park! Free school supplies, binders and light refreshments will be given out while supplies last. Enjoy a balloon artist, face painters, jump house and the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” movie. Remember to bring blankets and low chairs. Smoothie King is our sponsor for the movie and will have smoothies available for purchase. Hawaiian Shaved Ice also will have items available for purchase.

August 3rd

Back to School Health Fair at Las Vegas Metro Headquarters 400 MLK

See poster above for details.  This event features dental screenings, immunizations, and free haircut vouchers.

Lawrence Weekly’s 14th annual back to school fair

HEALTH CARE

Back to School Health Fair at Goett Family Park

10950 Southern Highlands Pkwy,Henderson, NV, 89141,United States   from 5 to 7pm Vaccinations available

Back to School Clinic at Green Valley Library 12 noon – 4pm

August 8th

Ward 2 Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park

Thursday, Aug. 8, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Free admission.
AnSan Sister City Park, 7801 Ducharme Ave. at Villa Monterey.
Join Councilman Beers for the Back-to-School Fair and Movie in the Park (“Pirates of the Caribbean”). Free school supplies and binders will be given out, while supplies last. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided. Enjoy a balloon artist, face painters and jump house. For more information, call 229-6405.

August  9

Back to School for Children with Special Health Care Needs  2-5pm

Nevada Early Intervention Services  (NEIS) 1161 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV,United States

August  10

Cox Back to School Fair at  Meadows mall, 4300 Meadows Lane

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at lucia.newman@cox.com or visit www.coxknowledgecollege.com

La Oportunidad at Cashman Center 

This event has free backpacks, health screenings, and immunizations offered (no detail if those are free).

La Oportunidad Expo

Fire Department Open House and Back to School Fair

August 15

Back-to-School Fair and Movie


Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m. movie begins at dusk
West Charleston Lions / Essex Circle Park, 600 Essex Drive
Enjoy the movie “The Pirates: Band of Misfits” (rated PG) and community vendors. School supplies and refreshments will be available while supplies last. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks.

August 16

Ward 4 Back-to-School Fair and Movie

Friday, Aug. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Durango Hills Community Center, 3521 N. Durano Drive
Free school supplies, popcorn and water, while supplies last. Enjoy the PG-rated family film, “The Pirates: Band of Misfits.” Free admission.

August  17

Cox Back to School Fair at Boulevard mall, 3528 S. Maryland Parkway

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at lucia.newman@cox.com or visit www.coxknowledgecollege.com

Free Back-to-School Fair At East Las Vegas Community Center


Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
East Las Vegas Community Center, 250 N. Eastern Ave., (702) 229-1515.
Residents are invited to the East Las Vegas Community Center for a back-to-school fair. Free school supplies will be given out, and free sno cones will be offered, while supplies last. Enjoy face painting, crafts for the kids and a jump house, too. Admission is free.

Free Back-to-School Fair at Heritage Park 

Back to School Fair at Heritage Park at Washington and Las Vegas Blvd   10am – 1pm

August 22

Back-to-School Safety Fair and Pool Party

Thursday, Aug. 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

4141 Meadows Lane,Las Vegas, NV, United States
Enjoy  a day at the pool and community vendors. School supplies and refreshments will be available while supplies last. The Southern Nevada Health District will be providing immunizations from 5 to 7 p.m.

August  24

Cox Back to School Fair at The Galleria at Sunset, 1300 W. Sunset Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cox back-to-school fairs are free events that feature a coalition of community agencies and organizations hosting informational booths to assist local parents and their children in returning to school.

Scheduled participants include several divisions of the Clark County School District including: human resources, substitute services, support staff, facilities/zoning, food service, transportation and school police.

The Southern Nevada Health District will provide immunizations for school-aged children for a minimal fee. Parents must bring their child’s shot record for immunizations.

For more information or to become a vendor at the 2013 Cox back-to-school fairs, contact Lucia Newman at lucia.newman@cox.com or visit www.coxknowledgecollege.com

Sons of Norway Scholarship Now Open for Clark County Students!

The sons of Norway have a scholarship for local Clark County student!

Check out all of the details on their website. 

Or Tweet them at @VegasVikingGang

Sons of Norway Vegas Viking Lodge 6-152
2013 Scholarship Application

Please fill out and mail before April 10, 2013. 
You must be of Norwegian descent, a legal resident of Clark County, Nevada, at least a senior in high school and must maintain full-time student status to be eligible for this scholarship.  The scholarship value is at least $500 and must be used for post-high school studies.  Please print or type all information.  All questions must be answered or designated as N/A if not applicable.  Failure to answer the questions on this three-part, three-page application may negatively affect its evaluation.

In the fifth year of awarding Vegas Viking scholarships, $2,500 was divided among these local students of Norwegian descent:

Summer Business Institute Applications Available

Student applications for Clark County’s 2013 Summer Business Institute (SBI) – a summer paid internship program for current high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors – are currently available online. summer jobs for teens in so nv

Students must submit their application and all accompanying documents by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, to be considered for the program. Students are strongly encouraged to begin working on their application and compiling the necessary accompanying documents as soon as possible so they do not miss the application deadline.Video from Class of 2012

This is the 17th year Clark County has sponsored the SBI program, which provides selected teenagers employment opportunities in a variety of fields including law, medicine, architecture, education, and communications. The program is a partnership between Clark County, the Clark County School District, and more than 80 area businesses.

“The Summer Business Institute gives our best students valuable workplace experience,” Commissioner Lawrence Weekly said. “The many local businesses and organizations that participate in SBI make this program a great success year after year.”
Program applications will be available online through the County website at:

http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/Depts/human_resources/Pages/SummerBusinessInstitute.aspx

Students requiring assistance completing the application online may contact their local high school job bank office or the Human Resources Department at (702) 455-4565.

Students are reminded that their complete application will include several documents and letters. The necessary documents include the student’s most recent school transcript; two letters of recommendation, and a signed and dated statement from their school principal, counselor or dean recommending the student for the SBI program. The letters of recommendation may be from a teacher, school administrator, religious leader, or employer, but may not come from a family member.

The application must be completed online through the County’s website. The supporting documents may be attached to the online application, or faxed to (702) 868-2504. Documents may also be hand delivered or mailed to the Clark County Human Resources Office at the Clark County Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas 89155. Completed applications with all necessary supporting documents must be received by the Human Resources Office before 5 p.m. Feb. 8 to be considered for the 2013 program.

County staff will select 120 Clark County high school students who will be juniors, seniors, or college freshmen by the fall of 2013 to participate in the program. The program runs from June 17 through Aug. 9. Students will be selected based on interviews, volunteer activities and other criteria established by Clark County and the Clark County School District. Participants will be paid $8.25 an hour to work eight-hour days Monday through Thursday. Through regular seminars on Fridays, the students will learn about financial management, life skills and civic engagement. Additionally, all participants may be eligible for college scholarships at the close of the program.

All SBI applicants may also try to sign up for a free Leadership and Resilience course from Nevada Partners Inc. Due to limited space, only 100 students will be allowed to attend the course. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Jeramey Pickett at jpickett@nevadapartners.org to reserve a seat as soon as possible.

The free courses will be held on four consecutive Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nevada Partners Event Center at 710 W. Lake Mead Boulevard, North Las Vegas. The courses will include sections on resume writing, interviewing, dressing for success, customer service, time management, nutrition/exercise, and social and educational objectives.

Clark County launched the SBI program in 1996 in an effort to expose inner-city youth to the variety of career choices around them. Over the years, the program was expanded to serve a more diverse student population.
For more information call (702) 455-2426 or (702) 455-4565.

Summer biz 2013