Goodbye Class of 2018 – OneRio May Update

Fun Fact: That’s your OneRio Chair, Kelli Wheeler, (above) Class of 1989 getting dunked at Clayton Valley HS Senior Picnic!

Class of 2018 Pool Party & BBQ!

Thursday, May 31 11am-2pm!

Rio del Oro Raquet Club
119 Scripps Dr., Sac 95864

The Class of 2018 starts a new tradition! After Senior Checkout Day on Thursday, May 31 all Seniors are invited to Rio del Oro Raquet Club (119 Scripps Dr, Sacramento, CA 95825) for a FREE pool party and BBQ from 11am-2pm! All seniors need to bring is their student ID to get in, a towel, and bathing suit! Food, drinks, games and music will be provided. Please remind your seniors to sign-up for this FREE event during Rio’s lunch period in front of the Attendance Office! 

(On day of event, seniors will park across the street from Rio del Oro in the overflow lot and enter at the back gate that is directly across from the overflow lot.)

Action Item: If you’d like to chaperone this event (we need BBQers, food/drink servers, check-in, directional help, boundary monitors) please respond to this email, subject: Senior Pool Party (volunteers will report from 10:30-2:30pm or any portion of the event)

It’s not too late to sign up for CLASS OF 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Night
on June 1, 9pm-4am
at Strikes in Rocklin!
CLICK HERE to register and pay and for more details

2018 Rio Duck Derby!
Anyone interested in joining the Duck Derby Committee there will be a quick meeting, on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 pm at Duck Derby Chair, Kelli Wheeler’s house to have an overview of what promises to be OneRio’s biggest fundraiser yet! We will hit the ground running in August for the 2018 Rio Duck Derby Sept. 7-28. Please respond to this email, subject: Duck Derby to RSVP and get address for meeting.
We are still accepting design submissions for the 2018 DD logo so encourage your student to submit their drawing or graphic design!
CLASS of 2019
Safe & Sober
Grad Night Fundraiser:
Buy Your Parking Spot to Paint!
Starting Monday, May 21 print your order form or buy online through for purchasing a parking spot. Details to follow when site goes live on that day.

Painting will be done the Saturday after school starts, August 18 with a Senior Picnic Fundriaser to follow on Sunday, Sept. 9 where additional fundraising for Safe and Sober Grad Night will have auction items like Reserved Front Row seats for Class of 2019 graduation!

Interested in succeeding as OneRio Chair starting 2019/20? Respond to this email, subject OneRio Resource to plan a date for coffee and see if you want to shadow Kelli Wheeler during her final year.
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OneRio April Update & Action Items – Robotics Going to Worlds!


 Last 2017/18 PTSA meeting: 5/9 7pm Library

Click the picture of the Rio Robotics Team above to help cover their expenses at the FIRST World Championships in Houston April 18-21 (with extra proceeds going toward supporting Rio Robotics)

Rio Robotics Team Makes It to World Championships!

The fledgling Rio Robotics Team, started three years ago when teacher, Matt Cole, joined the Rio staff to resurrect trade classes, helm the Regional Occupation Program and establish an engineering deptartment. On a shoe-string budget with funds from PTSA, School Site, and Mr. Cole’s own pocket the Rio Robotics Team designed, created, and programmed a robot to compete at the Fresno Regional FIRST Robotics competition going up against teams with $200,000 budgets and sponsored by the likes of Google and Boeing.

Not only did Rio’s robot win the regional World Championship qualifyer, they are the first team from Sacramento county to ever go to Worlds!

The Rio Robotics Team will now be headed to the FIRST World Championships in Houston April 18-21 thanks to San Juan Unified School District stepping up to close their funds deficit.

But the robotics team still needs our help! The process of building an advanced robot, the materials and equipment to maintain and fix it during and after competitions, the cost of competitions, and expenses incurred at competitions (Mr. Cole transported the robot to and from Fresno in the back of his truck covered with plastic, compared to another team’s sponsor logo-covered trailer) are expensive.

Last night PTSA voted to give the remainder of our 2017-18 Competition Fees budget ($600) to the Rio Robotics to aid in their success. Please consider donating to this wonderful new program at Rio, an other amazing example of #GreatThingsAreHappeningAtRio, to help support our students:


and follow them @frc4698 (RaidersRobotics) on Twitter to track their success at Worlds!

6:30-8PM at the PAC

Come explore careers in science!
Featured speakers:
Terry McDonald, Anchor Orthotics and Prosthetics
Beth McClure, OB-GYN Physician
Andrew Reilly, recent Rio grad, Nurse
Megan Poage, engineer and policy development for CA ISO
Rio Americano Athletic Boosters
3rd Anual Golf Tournament Fri. 4/20 &
2nd Anual Rio Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 4/21

There are 12 more spots for the “best ball” golf tournament at Haggin Oaks Golf Course. Click HERE for more info/purchase spot.
The Rio Athletic Hall of Fame in the PAC promises to be another inspiring and school spirited night recognizing some of Rio’s all-time greats in sports including Coach Manfredi and MLB player John Bowker.For more info/tix click HERE
Grad Night Tix $55 until this
Sunday 4/15!

Price goes up Monday 4/16 to $75
Join your 2018 graduating class from 9pm-4am after graduation on June 1st for a fun night of bowling, music, food, arcade games, casino games, karaoke, dancing, boxer bingo and more!
Click HERE to get your tix!
The 2018 Rio Duck Derby

is looking for new committee members and logo designer!
If you’d like to be a part of this fun, work-smarter-not-harder group, please reply to this email, Subject: Duck Derby.
We’ll meet once before this school year is over (May) before starting up in August for the2018 Rio Duck Derby Sept. 7-28.

Water and Chaperones Needed!
The Class of 2019 would love 8oz water bottle donations for Junior Prom this Saturday dropped off at Room C10 by Friday, 4/13.
The Class of 2018 is also looking for water donations to be dropped off at Rm C10 for Senior Ball, Senior Sunset, and Senior BBQ and Picnic in May.
If you would like to chaperone Senior Ball on May 5 at the Sacramento Auto Museum please reply to this email, Subject: Senior Ball Chaperone
Spring Play
“Little Women”
April 18-21
7:30 pm
Betty Miller Theater

Tickets available at the door or at school finance office during school

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March Update: Is Our School Safe? Safety Forum Follow-Up

Next PTSA/OneRio Meeting Wed. 4/11 @ 7pm in Rio Library
San Juan Unified School District Safe Schools program leaders. Officer Kevin Givens, Team Leader, second from right, was in attendance to answer questions and concerns at PTSA/OneRio’s Is Our School Safe? Safety Forum.

Is Our School Safe? 
Safety Forum Follow-Up

We had a good showing of parents and students turn out for our school safety forum on Wednesday, March 7 at 7pm in the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Principal Brian Ginter and SJUSD Safe Schools Team Leader, Sacramento County Sheriff, Kevin Givens detailed what is being done at Rio and the district level to keep campuses secure and safe. They also addressed parent/student questions and concerns for nearly two hours.

Though Ginter and Givens assuaged many fears and concerns, here’s the take-away ACTION ITEMS:

  • Parents and students are not accepting that Rio has done all it can to make its campus safe. More effort needs to be put into DETERRENCE at the school and distric level. Here is what needs to happen at the SCHOOL LEVEL:
  1. Take a “top-down” approach to having staff and students take the Lock-Down Drill more seriously. Principal Ginter will talk with staff about the Lock-Down Drill being enacted as a true lock-down emergency with consistent instructions among all staff. Students will be expected and required to treat the drill as a true emergency so students and staff can retain the “muscle memory” of what to do in a real high-adrenaline situation.
  2. Principal Ginter will follow-up on what is being done by counselors, staff, the district, and parents of student(s) who have been consistently identified as having aggressive/violent disciplinary action throughout their school history.
  • Safe Schools has paid Sacramento County Sheriff officers rotating among its district campuses but no officer/squad car on campus at all times. Rio has 2 paid Campus Monitors patrolling campus, who cannot deter all entrance and exit to our campus. Here’s what needs to happen at the DISTRICT LEVEL:
  1. Parents need to contact San Juan Unified School District Board Members or attend a SJUSD board meeting (April 10 & 24 6:30pm) to voice insistence on having Rio and all SJUSD schools enclosed in fencing with a central location entry. This was just completed by the Elk Grove Unified School District in response to Sandy Hook. (Rio fenced off the levy after Sandy Hook.) Encourage the district to make  it a priority to find the money to do this.
  2. Parents need to contact San Juan Unified School District Board Members or attend a SJUSD board meeting (April 10 & 24 6:30pm) to voice insistence on paying for an armed private secutiry guard to be on school campuses at all times. Encourage the district to make it a priority to find the money to do this.

There was two more ACTION ITEMS discussed that could happend immediately to provide a DETERRENT to violance on Rio’s campus:

  • Parents would fund an armed private security guard to patrol Rio’s campus until suitable deterrents are put in place at the school and district level.
  • Parents would form a Parent Patrol similar to Mariemont Elementary and Arden Middle School’s Watch D.O.G.S. program, but parents would be on campus every day.



Translation Showcase
 an  Arts collaboration Event at Rio Americano High School.

Students from six departments ( Photography, English, Art, Ceramics, Music and Video Production) translate each other’s work into their own medium. The students reveal and perform their work to each other and the audience at The Final Showcase Event. Translated Photographs, poems, paintings, ceramic sculptures and music all complimented by video production!

Last year, over 300 students participated in Translations, the largest Arts collaboration in the District.

Please join us to enjoy and be a part of our audience at TheTranslation Showcase Event!
Date:  Monday, April 9th, 2018
Place:  Rio Americano’s  new Performing Arts Center
Time:   7:00p.m. – 8:30pm

Civitas  and senior Owen Bister will host a workshop on Hate Crimes Thursday March 15 from 3-5pm in the Rio Library. The presentation will be done by the Anti Deformation League ADL and parents and students are invited to attend
Earned Income Tax Credit Opportunity for Parents and Teachers
Click HERE for more
Seniors! Get Your Tix for Safe & Sober Grad Night 6/1-6/2
9pm – 5am

Everyone’s going to this final send off for the Class of 2018 so don’t miss out on food, fun, bowling, games, prizes, music, karaoke, hypnotist, cartoonist and more at Strikes Unlimited Rockling! Click HERE for more info


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March Updates

Senior Showcase this Sunday 3/4 @ 1pm & 4pm. Get tix HERE

Rio Forum Wed., 3/7 @ 7pm in PAC

March’s PTSA/OneRio meeting (normally the 2nd Wed. of each month), will be bumped up to Wednesday, March 7 at 7pm in the new PAC building so that we can host a FORUM ON SCHOOL SAFETY: Is Our School Safe?

In attendance will be Principal Brian Ginter and Bob Erickson*, Program Manager of San Juan Unified School District’s Safe Schools, to answer parent/community questions and concerns regarding what is being done at the school and district level to keep our students and staff safe.
*Or Chris Cully from Safe Schools

Some of the questions/concerns being addressed:

  • What is being done to make Rio’s open campus more secure?
  • Can the school/district provide trained/armed security guards at all times?
  • If not, can parents pay for a trained/armed security guard?
  • If not, can parents form a Parent Patrol?
  • What is being done by Rio to make sure students who have long been identified as students with problem behavior/violent tendencies do not become a threat to our student population?
  • When will the Lockdown Drill be scheduled again?

Please join us in our effort to stay informed, proactive, and lend your voice or skill set in PTSA/OneRio’s commitment to making sure #GreatThingsAreHappeningAtRio.

Before you come to the IS OUR SCHOOL SAFE? forum, please consider visiting or taking out food from The Old Spageghetti Factory on Arden to help support one of our own, Talon Bonanno, by raising funds to help with his fight with neuroblastoma cancer. #TalonStrong
Come out to Raley Field Saturday, March 3 to watch Rio’s JV and Varsity baseball team’s compete against Bela Vista! Parking and admission are free! (JV starts at 4:30, Varsity 6:30)
Get your tickets for this Sunday’s SENIOR SHOWCASE
3/4 at 1pm & 4pm @ PAC

The fabulous, reimagined 34th Annual Senior Showcase (aka Fashion Show) is PTSA’s biggest fundraiser. Come support our Rio seniors (because your underclassmen will be seniors one day sooner than you realize!) as they showcase fashion, musical, vocal, and artistic talents! Take home some art from the silent auction at the Senior Art Exhibit!

Stundents & Staff $10  Adults $25

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No February PTSA Meeting & OneRio Updates

No February PTSA meeting! See you in March!
You are the gainer in our swimming pool of life. Keep making a splash!
Love, Mom & Dad

Senior Showcase Ad Copy Due Friday!

Don’t forget to submit a picture and ad copy by this Friday! (Sample above)
FULL PAGE AD – $500 (4.75” x 7.7”)
HALF PAGE AD – $250 (4.75” x 3.85”)
1/4 PAGE AD – $125 (4.75” x 1.9”)
1/8 PAGE AD -$75 (2.375” x 1.9”)

Click HERE to pay for ad online

Complete Order Form and email ad pic and copy or own design in PDF form to:


That’s right.  If you are a high school senior and are planning on attending college this fall, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is a must.

By completing the FAFSA Application, you can make yourself eligible for Cal Grants, Pell Grants, Work Study and subsidized student loans.  And beginning this year, the Middle Class Scholarship is being fully funded and will reduce your CSU and UC tuition costs by 40% if your family’s adjusted gross income is below $162,500!

There is no guarantee that you will earn FREE MONEY if you complete the FAFSA . . . but there is a 100% guarantee that you WON’T receive any free grant money if you DON’T complete the FAFSA.  And many merit-based scholarships now mandate that a FAFSA Application be on file to be considered for their awards as well.

RIO & Beyond is hosting a FAFSA Workshop on February 15th from 6-8 p.m. in the Library.  There will be a host of counselors and financial aid experts there to help you complete this application.

You are encouraged to bring your lap tops to this event because we only have access to about 15 computers.  You will also need to bring the following information:

Your social security numbers (student’s and at least one parent’s).
Your completed income tax returns from 2016 (both student’s and parent (‘s).
Records of your untaxed income.
Records of your cash, savings, and checking account balances, including stocks and bonds that aren’t part of a qualified retirement plan.

You will also need to create a Federal Student Aid Identification Number (FSA ID) for both the student and at least one parent.  These FSA ID’s are used for you to electronically sign your FAFSA Application.  You can complete this at the workshop but our encouraged to create one beforehand.  Visit to find information on how to create your FSA ID number and to read more about how the FAFSA Application can help you finance your college investment.

For more information, please contact Joe Gomes at

The RIO & Beyond Team

Tell us your experiences so we can make our schools better!
Community Forum:
Discussion session – Parent Engagement
hursday, February 15, 2018 – in the Board Room at

6:00-7:15 pm

We encourage all parents to come to this special meeting.
You are welcome to listen or join in the Q/A.
We want to hear parent thoughts and ideas to make our schools more welcoming.
Meet the parents who serve on the District Parent Advisory Committee.
You comments and questions will help create us the annual District Plan!

  • Learn  about efforts to increase parent engagement
  • Strategize with students, parents, community members and staff how to get all families involved
  • Public comments invited!

More information is at :

Rio Winter Play “Alice In Wonderland Starts Today!
“Alice In Wonderland” runs February 7-10 in the Betty Miller Theater. Tickets available at the door for 7pm show times and in advance at the Rio Finance Office. Come support your Rio thespians!
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OneRio January Update

Next PTSA/OneRio Meeting: Wed. 2/7 7pm Rio Library

Group Effort Brings Vision of
Rio Print Shop to Life

What does your Rio PTSA membership go toward? What does your Duck Derby raffle ticket support? What do direct donations, SCRIP, Amazon Smile, and Senior Showcase profits support?

Staff Requests are one of the biggest beneficiaries of money raised by PTSA/OneRio because we want to make sure Rio staff has the resources to make sure your students are getting the best possible educational experience at our school.

This last meeting we reviewed the staff requests approved for the first half of the 2017/18 school year. Only two people (the same two people for most of this year’s meetings) beyond the 12 PTSA Executive Board volunteers showed up to see what we have been working on to make sure #GreatThingsAreHappeningAtRio for our 1,700 students, 120 staff members, and over 3,000 parents. Here’s what you missed:

  • Besides welding equipment for our amazing resurrected Engineering courses taught by Matt Cole and support materials for our Spanish, Math, Chemistry and PE programs, we have continued to fund a proposal put forth by Digital and Commercial Arts teacher Jonathan “Feezy” Feld that has brought Feezy’s vision of a Rio print shop to life.
  • Thanks to three print machines funded by PTSA/OneRio, the San Juan Education Foundation and Feezy himself over the last two years, students have been able to make tangible representations of their photographs, graphic designs, decals, stencils, graphic T-shirts and more created in class. Feezy is also able to accommodate printing requests for other students, staff, and parent support groups like PTSA, helping save time and costs by printing “in-house.”
  • Our fundraising efforts will continue to help keep this print shop running by meeting gaps in funding for support materials like ink, paper, vinyl, and t-shirts at huge cost-savings of sending it out while providing career-ready experience in digital and commercial design for our Rio students.
  • Besides missing an opportunity to hear the latest campus news from Principal Ginter himself and having a direct line to have questions/concerns addressed at every PTSA/OneRio meeting, Mr. Ginter is encouraging all parents to take the annual SJUSD  Parent Survey to give feedback on what is working or not working for your family at Rio. If Rio has the most surveys completed of other high schools we will get a monetary reward.
  • Please take note that the next two PTSA/OneRio meeting will be the FIRST (not second as usual) Wednesday of the month – because we know you were all planning on coming. But in case you weren’t, we’re sweetening the pot: There will be a door prize for anyone showing up to the February PTSA/OneRio meeting on Wed., 2/7 @ 7pm in the Rio Library. 
The Belgians are coming!
(And we  need your help).
The 2018 Exchange Program is in desperate need of host families for this March!  We have 63 Belgians arriving for 15 days on March 28th and need your help in securing more host families for them. While ideally we are looking for host families with high school-aged kids, given the large # of Belgians coming over any home, including empty nesters will work!
Requirements for hosting include driving to one of the coordinated activities (Yosemite, SF or Sacramento Day) and a $300.00 donation to cover the costs associated with overnight trips. The benefits are getting to know another culture and the opportunity to travel to Belgium in June. Our next meeting is February 7 at 7pm at Sutter Middle School – 3150 I Street in Sacramento.  If we can answer any questions please feel free to call or email Laurie or LesAnn at:

LesAnn Dorffler 916-834-0707
Laurie Earl 916-204-9055

Bad News: You’ve missed the deadline for early-bird ticket prices for Monte Carlo Night

Good News: There’s still plenty of room to join us for this new, fun whole-school event replacing the Baseball Crab feed!

Please join us Saturday, Feb. 3 5:30-10 at the La Sierra Community Center for a fun adult night out of “gambling,” dinner, and auction!
Get tix here

The Rio winter play, Alice in Wonderland, is February 7-10 in the Betty Miller Theater. Tickets available at the door for 7pm show times and in advance at the Rio Finance Office. Come support your Rio thespians!
Senior Jacob Osecheck’s Civitas project is bringing Congressman Amni Bera to our new PAC building for a Town Hall meeting Tuesday, 1/23 from 6:15-7:30pm.The Congressman will speak to the crowd briefly before opening up to audience questions. We can only seat 450 people for this great community opportunity so make sure to show up early to make sure you have a spot to get to know your local representative or have your question/concern heard.
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Rio Wreaths Are Here! Grad Night 2018! Boys Lacrosse!

Rio Wreath Pick-Up Tomorrow and Thursday after school!

Your Rio Wreaths Are Ready for Pick-Up!

If you ordered Rio Wreaths (and Centerpieces) they are here!! Come pick up your fresh evergreen WED. 11/29 between 2:45-5pm or THURS. 11/30 1:30-4pm at the front pick-up at Rio Americano (4540 American River Dr) in front of the Raiders wall logo.

If you ordered an evergreen to be delivered it should be shipped out this week or early next week.

If you want any extra evergreens or have someone you know who missed out, we have a limited supply of centerpieces for $22 available during pick-up.

If you have any questions or concerns, reply to this email (

Thank you for your support!

Rio Americano High School Graduation and Grad Night 2018!

From Rio Safe & Sober Grad Night Committee:
Dear Rio HS Seniors and Parents – Mark your calendars! Rio Seniors will graduate on Friday, June 1, 2018, 3-5pm at Cal Expo! More information about graduation will be coming out soon.

Grad Night will be held at Strikes Unlimited in Rocklin the evening of graduation from 10pm to 5 am. Students will meet at Rio at 9pm on June 1 and board buses to Strikes. Buses will bring students back to Rio by 5am on June 2.

This year’s grad night is sure to be an amazing evening for Rio graduates! Some of the exciting events planned for the evening include a live band, casino tables, boxer bingo, hypnotist, unlimited arcade play and glow bowling, pool table, party games, karaoke, photo booth, henna tattoo, and everyone’s favorite a cash cube! Plus so much more, including fabulous food!

We know students and parents are swamped right now with school, college applications and the holidays, so we have decided not to overwhelm you with Grad Night information just yet. More information about Grad Night and how to purchase tickets will be available after the Thanksgiving holiday break.

In the meantime, if you have any questions – or would like to volunteer (undergraduate parents needed, ESPECIALLY JUNIOR PARENTS) – please don’t hesitate to contact your Grad Night Chairs Tina Harris and Gayla Rios. Tina Harris –, Gayla Rios – For more information about Strikes Unlimited visit

Boys lacrosse is coming to Rio


Interested boys and parents are invited to attend the information meeting scheduled for

Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. 
in the Rio library

For more information about Boys Raiders LAX for the
Spring 2018 season, please contact:

Karen Walaitis                        Betsy Hargett       

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