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School Starts, New ROP Culinary Program Offered
Fair Oaks Elementary teacher Melissa Franca greeted her new students on the first day of school Tuesday, Aug. 14. Classes start Wednesday at the new SCOE Oakdale Community School where ROP students from Oakdale High School will be able to take advantage of its culinary arts program. - photo by Kim Van Meter/The Leader


Culinary arts are on the menu of offerings at the new campus of Oakdale Community School which opens Wednesday, Aug. 15 at South Yosemite Avenue and Wakefield Drive. The school, which is run by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE), is offering the new culinary arts program to its own students and also Oakdale High School students.

OHS students have the opportunity to take advantage of the culinary arts offering by attending during the first “block” session in the morning as part of the high school’s ROP program, said Telka Walser of SCOE. The next two blocks are for the students enrolled in the Community School.

Walser said that their surveys showed a lot of student interest in cooking and the culinary arts. She also said that the Community School will include a blending of two classroom and independent study programs for its students. Those students, while not required, will be encouraged to attend the culinary arts classes and learn skills that will help them in the workplace.

Walser also reported that Yosemite Community College District will begin holding evening culinary arts classes at the new Oakdale Community School campus starting around mid-September.

Oakdale Community School was previously located in a storefront on North Third Avenue. It is an alternative education independent study program for expelled students or those referred from their schools because they are unable to succeed in the traditional or mainstream setting.

Walser was the principal for SCOE’s Petersen Alternative Center for Education (PACE) program, which includes Oakdale Community School, and she now has SCOE main office responsibilities and oversees the new culinary arts program.