Wed05042016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Foothill-De Anza district selected to lead Brown's statewide Online Education Initiative

The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges recently awarded the partnership of the Foothill-De Anza and Butte-Glenn community college districts a $16.9 million competitive grant to launch Gov. Jerry Brown’s Online Education Initiative in California.

Building on the existing California Virtual Campus, the launch team will develop a one-stop statewide online education portal where California community college students can apply, register and take online courses from participating colleges.

The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of California students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year universities by dramatically boosting the number of online classes available and providing online students with support services to help them succeed.

Rather than requiring each college independently to define separate courses and degree programs, the Online Education Initiative will provide funding, support and best practices for all California community colleges to offer courses and programs via a statewide portal and common course management system, backed with an array of student support services.

An Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee representing all community college constituency groups will provide oversight for developing the initiative, with the faculty playing a primary leadership role.

“This is a cutting-edge vision for California,’” said Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “I believe it will transform online learning for millions of community college students.”

Participation in the consortium of colleges delivering courses through the statewide portal will be voluntary, according to the launch team’s executive dean, Joseph Moreau, Foothill-De Anza’s vice chancellor of technology.

“California community colleges have always led the state in online education,” Moreau said. “By bringing together the talent and expertise within our own system and building on the technological innovation in Silicon Valley, we believe we can create an online education environment that will exceed anything any of us could accomplish alone.”

Moreau added that a statewide system has the potential to decrease operational costs by reducing overlap and taking advantage of economies of scale.

Scheduled to begin the project next week, the grant partners have recruited a launch team of community college veterans and will assemble a permanent staff. Moreau is slated to meet with technology companies to inform them about the project and exchange thoughts and ideas for implementation. In addition, Foothill-De Anza has been examining issues related to student retention and success online with the Stanford Graduate School of Education and intends to expand that partnership as part of the initiative.

Demand for online courses is on the rise. In 2011-2012, 27 percent of California community college students were enrolled in distance education courses – a 14.5 percent increase over the previous six years. That same year, more than 50 percent of California community colleges offered at least one degree or certificate through distance education.

Foothill-De Anza has been an early leader in distance education and was the first community college district in California to offer courses online. It has expanded its catalog of online courses to meet student demand and currently offers 20 fully online degrees. Additionally, the district is experienced in online course development and open source learning management systems. The Online Education Initiative grant is the largest in Foothill-De Anza’s history.

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