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News Gallery Week

Completing the Census helps ensure Tulare County receives its share of federal funds

California Census 2020 logo

April 1, 2020 is Census Day. The decennial event is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to count the number of people – adults and children – living in the United States. Data from the Census is used by lawmakers to determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives and to apportion billions of dollars in federal support to states, counties, and communities. “I urge everyone to take a moment to complete the Census questionnaire online utilizing the code you received on a postcard from the Census Bureau,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “Making sure everyone at your address is counted helps Tulare County receive its share of federal funds to support communities and schools."

U.S. Census Bureau representatives are available to help those who need assistance completing the questionnaire. For assistance in English, please call 844/330-2020; for Spanish, call 844/468-2020. Support is also available in several other languages. For more information, visit

TCOE extends closures for programs, schools, and child development centers

TCOE extends closures

In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, last week Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire announced that the Tulare County Office of Education, its schools, and Early Childhood Education Child Development Centers will remain closed until further notice. This includes La Sierra Charter School, University Preparatory High School, and all Court/Community Schools. This announcement supersedes a previous directive to close TCOE programs until April 2, with schools and Child Development Centers to be closed until April 14.

During this closure, TCOE staff will be working from home Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. You may reach them by email. Essential services that require staff to work at their normal location will be continued at specific times during the closure. “I am so proud and impressed by the dedication, creativity, and flexibility you have shown thus far,” Mr. Hire told the staff in an email, complimenting them for continuing to provide high quality services to students and school districts.

Since the announcement, the TCOE Theatre Company has cancelled its Spring Musical Revue production, originally scheduled for April 30 through May 2.

SCICON Barbecue postponed, content created for students to view from home

SCICON front gate

The 60th Annual SCICON Barbecue and Wildflower Festival, scheduled for Sunday, April 19 on the SCICON campus, has been postponed. The event, held annually by the not-for-profit Friends of SCICON organization, raises funds to support the outdoor education program. The Friends of SCICON board is evaluating alternative dates later this year to hold the annual barbecue.

While the campus is closed this month to students, Director Dianne Shew reports that the staff and interns have been developing a series of 3- to 5-minute videos to share with schools that had visits cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Through these videos, we want to provide students at home with some of the same instruction and experiences they would have received on a weeklong visit to SCICON,” she said. The videos are hosted by an intern playing Irvy Elster, SCICON’s hermit, who passed away in 1965. In the first video, Irvy welcomes sixth graders from his cabin on Sky Trail, offering a special tour from his perspective. In a subsequent video, he leads viewers on a strenuous hike up a trail to Dead Man’s Falls and explains how the feature got its name. Future videos will feature lessons on salamanders, the natural history museum, the tree farm, birding, and geology.

SCICON will be sharing a link to its new video series with principals from schools that were unable to attend this year due to school closures.

Coming Up!

  • Many upcoming student events have been cancelled or postponed. Check the current list of all student events (cancelled, postponed, and tentatively scheduled) on the Student Events webpage.

View more events at

Editor: Robert Herman, Public Information Officer
Contributors: Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Lorena White, and Dianne Shew.

To receive News Gallery Week, visit, or contact Jennifer Fisher at or (559) 733-6172.