Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical to Apply to Feds for Expanded Use of a Key Drug

Novato-based rare disease drug maker Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: RARE) announced Tuesday it is collaborating with Japanese firm Kyowa Kirin to apply for expanded use of one of its drugs, Crysvita.

Also called burosumab, the drug is used to treat X-linked hypophosphataemia, a hereditary disorder characterized by low levels of phosphate in the blood. Phosphate is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth and to maintain their strength.

On Tuesday Ultragenyx announced plans to submit a supplemental biologics license application (sBLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Crysvita for the treatment some types of tumor-induced osteomalacia or TIO.

Osteomalacia is a softening of the bones than can be caused by inadequate levels of available phosphate, calcium and vitamin D.

“Based on productive discussions with the FDA, we will be moving forward expeditiously with an sBLA filing for Crysvita in tumor-induced osteomalacia,” said Camille L. Bedrosian, M.D., chief medical officer of Ultragenyx, in a statement. “We look forward to working with the agency during the review process, and we are committed to getting this therapy to patients with this serious disease with significant unmet medical need.”

The statement from Ultragenyx noted the submission of the Crysvita sBLA is planned for the first half of 2020.

According to the release, Crysvita is approved by the U.S. FDA, Health Canada, and Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency for the treatment of XLH in adult and pediatric patients one year of age and older, and has received European conditional marketing authorization for the treatment of XLH with radiographic evidence of bone disease in children one year of age and older and adolescents with growing skeletons.

XLH is a rare disease with an estimated prevalence of 3,000 pediatric and 9,000 adult patients in the U.S. according to Ultragenyx’s website.

The company reported a loss of $99.2 million in its second quarter last month although its revenues were up 94%. Ultragenyx noted a strong showing from the launch of Crysvita in a statement released along with its earnings report.

https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/northbay/marincounty/10026846-181/ultragenyx-pharmaceutical-marin-business

Sonoma Raceway to Host High Speed Blood Drive, Sept. 9

Sonoma Raceway will partner with Vitalant (formerly Blood Centers of the Pacific) to help save lives one ride at a time during a High Speed Blood Drive on Monday, Sept. 9.

Sonoma Raceway puts a high-speed spin on blood drives by giving donors a chance to get their hearts pumping with a “hot lap” around the road course prior to donating blood. Donors will ride with a professional driving instructor in an official raceway Toyota Camry around the 12-turn road course. The popular event will run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Sonoma Raceway.

Walk-ups are welcome, but appointments are strongly encouraged and can be scheduled at Vitalant.org. Click DONATE, then click locate a blood drive and enter sponsor code: Sonoma Raceway.

Vitalant Bay Area supplies blood to over 45 hospitals throughout Northern California.  Founded in 1943, Vitalant is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations, and provides blood across 40 states. Vitalant is an internationally known and respected leader that continues to push the boundaries to advance the experience, practice and application of transfusion medicine.

Since 2001, Sonoma Raceway’s High-Speed Blood Drive has generated more than 1,350 pints of blood, and each pint can be used to save up to three lives.

“At Vitalant, we require about 500 volunteer blood donor registrations every day to help supply the blood for patients in need of transfusions,” said Fred McFadden, Vitalant Regional Director. “These donations not only transform the lives of patients, but touch the lives of countless friends, family and community members.”

“Not enough people are giving blood, so to have Sonoma Raceway’s support is crucial in helping motivate people to donate,” said continued McFadden. “Every donation is needed because every day there is a patient in need of blood, a family fighting for survival.”

All donors must be at least 16 years old (16 and 17 year olds need a Minor Donor Permit signed by parent/guardian) and bring a valid photo ID.  For more information, contact Chelsea Lazzari with Sonoma Raceway at clazzari@SonomaRaceway.com or Jeanne Nielsen with Vitalant at (415) 308-6982 or JNielsen@vitalant.org.

Sonoma State University Music Hall Donor, Energy Department Ink Artificial Intelligence Deal for Biomedical Research

Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill of the Weill Family Trust and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry have signed a memorandum of understanding to apply DOE-fueled artificial intelligence capabilities to advance transformative scientific opportunities in biomedical and public health research.

“As one looks at science and the development of new science, especially AI and computing, you really need to have partners to make things work.” Weill told CNBC on Monday. “It’s too expensive for anybody to try to do it by themselves.”

In that interview with Weill and Perry, the pair said the specific aim of the agreement was to improve the diagnosis of brain diseases and neurological disorders and treatment. Perry added that the Department of Energy’s focus includes developing computers that are 50 to 100 times faster than today.

“Artificial Intelligence has the power to literally change the world we live in by tackling some of the biggest problems facing humanity — from improving our environment, to advancing our understanding of the cosmos; from increasing cyber security to improving crop production,” Perry stated in the announcement Monday. “This Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and Weill Family Foundation will advance groundbreaking AI research and development in health sciences that will enhance our overall security and improve our quality of life.”

In March 2011, Sandy and Joan Weill announced a $12 million gift to Sonoma State University, providing the funds to complete the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center concert hall, opened in fall 2012. The facility, inspired by Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, has been named Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall.

Sandy Weill is also part of the media group that owns the North Bay Business Journal, the Press Democrat and other local publications.

https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/northbay/sonomacounty/9977884-181/sandy-weill-energy-department-ai-bioscience

CSU to Roll Out Delivery of Immigration Legal Services for Students and Employees

The California State University (CSU) today announced a systemwide plan for the provision of immigration legal services for CSU students and employees.

“I am delighted that we will be able to increase the availability of immigration legal services to the California State University community. We remain committed to ensuring that all CSU students have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals regardless of their country of origin. This inclusive foundation extends to our employees, who demonstrate their dedication to student achievement and success on a daily basis,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “These thousands of Californians are pursuing their dreams for a better future every day on CSU campuses. The expanded services and resources that will soon be available will bring support, legal guidance and some peace of mind to enable our students and employees to focus on academic and professional pursuits.”

Funding for the services initially was provided by a one-time allocation of $7 million from the 2018 Budget Act to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to implement direct immigration legal services programs on CSU campuses. California’s 2019-20 budget converted the same amount to recurring funding to maintain the services. Staff from CSU’s Office of the Chancellor have been working with the CDSS to design a systemwide delivery model for implementation.

How it works:

CDSS has contracted with four providers throughout the state to deliver direct legal services to CSU campuses. The rollout of services will vary for each provider and campus based on campus needs and the capacity of immigration legal services, but is expected to be phased in over the next six months. The incremental rollout will ensure that providers have enough time to hire additional staff to serve the CSU community.

Services will be provided to 22 CSU campuses. A provider will not be assigned to California State University Maritime Academy. However, Cal Maritime students and employees will have access to the same level of support and will be invited to all immigration legal services events at neighboring campuses.

Attorneys, paralegals and/or accredited representatives from the service providers will visit campuses on a routine basis determined by the number of students who need to be served on each campus. Initially the types of legal services offered will be limited to general consultations, DACA renewals and general assistance in filling out forms such as family-based petitions.

CSU campuses will support the services by scheduling appointments, providing private meeting spaces and access to office equipment and services, as well as informing students about services and programming, recruiting volunteers, coordinating immigration legal workshops and educational outreach events.

Services may be added or expanded depending on need.​​

Who will provide the services:

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) will provide services for: Chico State, Humboldt State, Sacramento State and Sonoma State.

Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD) will provide services for: Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State, San José State, CSU Monterey Bay, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield, Fresno State and Stanislaus State.

CARECEN will provide services for: CSU Channel Islands, CSUN, Cal State LA, CSU Dominguez Hills, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona.

Jewish Family Service will provide services for CSU San Marcos and San Diego State.

Who can utilize the services:

The university estimates that approximately 9,500 CSU students are undocumented and receive AB 540 waivers across its 23 campuses. Undocumented students will receive priority in scheduling of appointments and receiving legal assistance, followed by students with other legal immigration questions and then staff.

To learn more about the rollout of services or for information about support services currently available for students and employees, please visit the CSU’s Resources for Undocumented Students website.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 52,000 faculty and staff and 481,000 students. Half of the CSU’s students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.5 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Keysight Technologies Again Certified by Great Place to Work in 2019

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS), a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world, announced the company is now certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. Keysight earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys completed in June 2019.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190826005446/en/

Keysight Technologies Again Certified by Great Place to Work in 2019 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Great Place to Work is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures.

“The significance of this recognition to our key stakeholders can’t be overstated,” said Ingrid Estrada chief administrative officer and chief of staff, at Keysight Technologies. “In their own words, our employees have shown that they appreciate working for a company that understands the importance of a healthy, vibrant workforce, but it goes beyond that. Our customers benefit from a passionate and dedicated global team of experts, and our shareholders see a company whose team is motivated to win. It’s great to see the Keysight Leadership Model validated by these awards.”

In addition to being certified by the Great Place to Work institute, Keysight was named as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity and ranked #21 on Forbes’ Just 100. Most recently, the company placed 8th in the 2019 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area list produced by the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal.

These awards are determined by anonymous feedback from employees, which focused on six key aspects of Keysight’s culture:

  • Maintaining a healthy workplace that champions diversity, openness, collaboration, and ownership
  • Recognizing ideas, accomplishments, and contributions
  • Fostering teamwork, work/life integration, and social responsibility
  • Providing focus, direction, and support in line with our strategy and values
  • Making strategic leadership decisions transparently
  • Focusing our time, energy and money on projects and processes that help us succeed

Using validated employee feedback gathered with Great Place to Work’s rigorous, data-driven For All methodology, Certification confirms 7 out of 10 employees have a consistently positive experience at Keysight Technologies. Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and increased innovation.

“We congratulate Keysight Technologies on their Certification,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, vice president of Best Workplace List Research at Great Place to Work. “Organizations that earn their employees’ trust create great workplace cultures that deliver outstanding business results.”

To learn more, visit greatplacetowork.com, listen to the podcast Better by Great Place to Workand read “A Great Place to Work for All.” Join the community on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight’s solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics end markets. Keysight generated revenues of $3.9B in fiscal year 2018. More information is available at www.keysight.com.

Redwood Credit Union Opens New Branch in American Canyon

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) today announced the opening of its new, full-service branch in American Canyon at 406 Napa Junction Road, Suite 126 in the Napa Junction Shopping Center.

To better accommodate RCU’s growing membership in Napa and Solano Counties, the new branch offers the community competitive personal and business loans, free checking, high-yield deposit options, home and auto loans, and concierge auto-buying services. Comfortable technology areas for members to bank online and quickly access information is also offered, with staff readily available to assist. There’s also a children’s activity area.

“Our new American Canyon branch is designed to provide an experience that goes beyond everyday banking, though that’s offered too,” said Brett Martinez, RCU president and CEO. “It’s a comfortable environment where individuals and businesses can get help with their overall financial wellness—from money management, to home and auto loans, and long-term financial planning. We’re excited to offer this new location to serve the American Canyon community.”

The American Canyon branch has ample parking and is conveniently located next to Verizon, Dunkin Donuts, Walmart, and other shopping. Its hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. The credit union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through its wholly owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4.5 billion in assets and serves more than 335,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook at facebook.com/redwoodcu, Instagram @redwoodcreditunion, and Twitter @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

Arrow Benefits Group Leaders Named First Ever Dual Advisers of the Year by Employee Benefit Adviser

Employee Benefit Adviser has named its 2019 winners for the annual Adviser of the Year awards, selecting dual honorees by recognizing Andrew McNeil and Rosario Avila, the founders of BenefitsTV.

McNeil and Avila, who both serve as benefits advisers at Arrow Benefits Group, started the video service this year to expand online video content for benefits professionals. Each year, Employee Benefit Adviser grants awards to recognize excellence and innovation in the field. The following five categories reflect the growing role of the employee benefit adviser in having a positive impact on all facets of a client’s business.

This year’s winners include:

· Employee Benefit Advisers of the Year: Andrew McNeil and Rosario Avila, founders, BenefitsTV
· Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year: Jewell Lim Esposito, partner, head of ERISA practice and head of cannabis, hemp and CBD practice, FisherBroyles
· Voluntary Benefits Adviser of the Year: Beverly Beattie, founder and CEO, Selden Beattie
· Wellness Adviser of the Year: Naama O. Pozniak, CEO, Paz Holding
· Technology Adviser of the Year: Jay Koppisety, CIO, American Benefits Consulting

All awards recognize outstanding service by brokers or advisers and seek to honor not just sales performance, but other factors that determine an adviser’s true value.

Each Adviser of the Year honoree is presented to the nominee who has demonstrated a consistent pattern of forward-thinking innovation and achievement in benefit plan sales, consulting and leadership, as well as overall contributions to the profession.

All the winners will be honored at the 2019 Benefits Forum and Expo, which will be held Sept. 25-27 in Las Vegas. Additionally, the honorees will be profiled in the September issue of the magazine and online.

https://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/news/employee-benefit-adviser-names-2019-advisers-of-the-year

More Than 2,200 People Protected by Securely Shredding Documents at Redwood Credit Union’s Annual Shred-a-Thon

More than 2,200 local residents (an all-time high) took action to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft by shredding old financial records and other paperwork at Redwood Credit Union’s (RCU’s) free annual Shred-a-Thon, held at RCU’s administrative offices in Santa Rosa on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Sixty-two RCU volunteers and several trucks from Shred-IT were on-site at the event to help the community safely dispose of and recycle approximately 71,800 lbs. of documents. Twenty-three people attended a free seminar at the event on ways to prevent fraud and identity theft.

Additionally, Conservation Corps of the North Bay collected 13,200 lbs. of e-waste on site at the event, including old TVs, printers, monitors, computers, and other personal electronics for secure recycling.

“Shredding sensitive documents—such as old financial statements and bills—is one of the best precautions people can take against identity theft,” said Matt Martin, senior vice president of community and government relations at RCU. “We were happy to once again provide this service to our community.”

Redwood Empire Food Bank was also on site at the event and collected $5,581 in monetary contributions and 350 pounds of food donated by attendees. These donations are estimated to help provide over 11,579 meals for those in need (another all-time high).

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services, and more. The credit union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through its wholly owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4.5 billion in assets and serves more than 335,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook at facebook.com/redwoodcu, Instagram @redwoodcreditunion, and Twitter @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

109 Named Best Places to Work in the North Bay for 2019

This year’s winners of the 14th annual Best Paces to Work in the North Bay awards were revealed Thursday.

The 109 organizations selected were analyzed by the editorial staff of the Business Journal on the basis of several criteria, including the employer application, survey ratings by employees, number of responses, size of the company, breakdown of responses from management and non-management, and written comments by employees. Thousands of employees participate in these surveys each year.

The awards are presented by the Business Journal, the Nelson Family of Companies, Exchange Bank, Kaiser Permanente and underwritten by Trope Group. Winning companies will be recognized at a reception Sept. 26 at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel in Santa Rosa and will be profiled in a September issue of the Business Journal.

Here are this year’s winners:

Adobe Associates, Inc.

Amy’s Kitchen: 3 time winner

Arrow Benefits Group: 5 time winner

AUL Corporation: 6 time winner

Bank of Marin: 13 time winner

Becoming Independent: 10 time winner

Best Collateral Inc.: 5 time winner

Beyers Costin Simon: 4 time winner

BKF Engineers: 9 time winner

Blentech Corporation: 2 time winner

Boisset Collection: 3 time winner

BPM LLP: 14 time winner

Burnham Benefits Insurance Services: 3 time winner

Canine Companions for Independence: 1st time winner

Carlile Macy: 12 time winner

Central Valley Builders Supply (dba Central Valley): 1st time winner

Centric General Contractors: 2 time winner

Child Parent Institute: 2 time winner

Chop’s Teen Club: 5 time winner

Coast Landscape Management: 9 time winner

Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley: 8 time winner

Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County: 2 time winner

Community Matters: 7 time winner

Cork Supply USA: 3 time winner

Cornerstone Properties: 2 time winner

Costeaux French Bakery: 9 time winner

Dal Poggetto & Company LLP: 13 time winner

DH Wine Compliance: 6 time winner

Dickenson, Peatman, & Fogarty: 3 time winner

Don Sebastiani & Sons: 7 time winner

Earthtone Construction: 2 time winner

Eckhoff & Company: 3 time winner

Eleven Engineering, Inc.: 1st time winner

EO Products: 6 time winner

Exchange Bank: 14 time winner

First American Home Buyers Protection: 5 time winner

Friedemann Goldberg LLP: 9 time winner

GC Micro: 5 time winner

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems: 1st time winner

George Petersen Insurance Agency: 11 time winner

Ghilotti Bros., Inc.: 10 time winner

Ghirardo CPA: 14 time winner

Goodwill of the Redwood Empire: 7 time winner

Healdsburg Lumber Company: 4 time winner

Hennessy Advisors, Inc.: 6 time winner

Hilton Garden Inn-Sonoma County Airport: 1st time winner

Hogan Land Services: 6 time winner

Intelisys, a ScanSource company: 3 time winner

Intervine, Inc.: 3 time winner

InterWest Insurance Company: 7 time winner

Jackson Family Wines: 5 time winner

Joanna’s Nannies: 3 time winner

Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center: 14 time winner

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center: 14 time winner

Keysight Technologies: 10 time winner

Kiosk: 7 time winner

La Tortilla Factory: 13 time winner

Ledson Winery & Vineyards: 1st time winner

Linkenheimer LLP CPAs & Advisors: 9 time winner

Mengali Accountancy: 5 time winner

Meritage Medical Network: 3 time winner

Mike’s Bikes: 4 time winner

MKM & Associates Stuctural Engineering: 1st time winner

Moss Adams LLP: 12 time winner

Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County: 12 time winner

North Coast Title Company: 1st time winner

Nova Group, Inc.: 11 time winner

Oliver’s Market: 4 time winner

Parkpoint Health Clubs, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Healdsburg: 5 time winner

Peju Province Winery: 1st time winner

Pepperwood Foundation: 5 time winner

Petaluma Health Center: 10 time winner

Pisenti & Brinker LLP: 8 time winner

Poppy Bank: 14 time winner

Private Ocean Wealth Management: 9 time winner

PsychStrategies, Inc.: 4 time winner

Quattrocchi Kwok Architects: 10 time winner

Redwood Credit Union: 14 time winner

RESIG: 5 time winner

Rough Linen: 1st time winner

Russian River Brewing Company: 1st time winner

Scott Technology Group: 9 time winner

Sequoia Senior Solutions: 11 time winner

Smith Dollar PC: 10 time winner

Social Advocates for Youth: 5 time winner

Soiland Company: 3 time winner

Sonoma Clean Power: 1st time winner

Sonoma County Family YMCA: 1st time winner

Sonoma Jet Center: 1st time winner

Sonoma Technology, Inc.: 13 time winner

Spaulding McCullough & Tansil LLP: 2 time winner

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards: 9 time winner

Star Staffing: 7 time winner

Summit Engineering, Inc.: 13 time winner

Summit State Bank: 10 time winner

Sutter Instrument Co.: 3 time winner

Terra Firma Global Partners: 5 time winner

The Engine is Red: 2 time winner

The Family Coppola: 3 time winner

The Hess Collection Winery: 1st time winner

Top Speed Data Communications: 4 time winner

Traditional Medicinals: 2 time winner

Valley Tire and Brake: 14 time winner

W. Bradley Electric, Inc.: 12 time winner

Woodruff Sawyer & Co.: 10 time winner

Workrite Ergonomics: 4 time winner

WRA, Inc.: 9 time winner

YWCA Sonoma County: 3 time winner

Side by Side Accelerates Expansion of Irene M. Hunt School in San Anselmo to Accommodate Displaced Students in Foster Care

Side by Side (formerly Sunny Hills Services), a San Anselmo-based nonprofit that serves vulnerable youth and their families in four Bay Area counties, today announced the expansion of its Irene M. Hunt School in San Anselmo by adding spots for up to 20 students, following the closure of Timothy Murphy School in San Rafael. The majority of the students coming from Timothy Murphy School are part of the foster care system as residents of St. Vincent’s School for Boys in San Rafael, and were referred to St. Vincent’s by in-patient psychiatric facilities and county agencies throughout Northern California.

The Irene M. Hunt School is the only non-public school in Marin County that serves students with behavioral and mental health challenges. Several of the in-coming students from Timothy Murphy School may have been removed from St. Vincent’s where they reside, if it were not for the Irene M. Hunt School expansion. “The Irene M. Hunt School is an incredibly vibrant and collaborative school community,” said Jolene Yee, director at Irene M. Hunt School. “We’re excited to welcome the new students and help them meet their educational needs so that they can thrive academically and socially.”

The Irene M. Hunt School, which serves students with a wide range of behavioral and emotional challenges, is adding two classrooms in order to ensure the new students from Timothy Murphy School– who have histories of abuse, neglect and/or trauma – are able to get the therapeutic education
they require. The addition of the new students significantly increases the scope of the school’s curricular, behavioral and mental health services and increases the number of low-income students from 55% to 60-65%.

The planned Irene M. Hunt School expansion was the result of a continued need report from the Marin County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) office and was accelerated by the closure of Timothy Murphy School. According to Jonathan Lenz, director of the Marin County SELPA, the expansion of the Irene M. Hunt campus will work to enhance the continuum of special education services in Marin County. “At a time of significant need, we are fortunate to have a proven provider step-up to offer services designed to support students with significant social, emotional,
and behavioral needs,” he explained.

Development and Community Impact

As with most Side by Side programs, the Irene M. Hunt School uses a youth development approach which is individualized to reflect each student’s strengths, challenges, dreams and potential. The overarching goal of the school is to return students to their neighborhood mainstream public school
settings, equipped with the skills to thrive socially and academically.

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) establish student-specific goals that are measured by personalized indicators, such as decrease in aggressive and/or avoidance behaviors; development of problem solving and conflict-resolution skills, anger management and self-control; increase and improvement of verbal communication; identification and development of skills and talents; improvement of interpersonal relationships; increase in self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image; increase in academic  performance. With small class sizes separated for elementary, middle school, and high school, teachers and classroom aides are able to give each student the emotionally, developmentally and academically appropriate attention they require.

About the Irene M. Hunt School

The Irene M. Hunt School is a nonpublic day school that provides students in grades K through 12 with an individualized therapeutic education tailored to their specific needs. The school serves students with social, emotional, and/or behavioral challenges too acute for them to function in traditional school settings. While the majority of students come from Marin, the school’s exemplary reputation also draws students from Sonoma, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties.

In 2018, the Irene M. Hunt School accommodated 40 students in four multi-grade classrooms, and this past spring, the school increased its enrollment to 48 students in response to a persistent waiting list. With this latest addition, the school now serves 68 students at the San Anselmo campus.
Classes for the new academic year begin on August 19.

MEDIA, PLEASE NOTE: For more information or to request an interview with a Side by Side or Irene M. Hunt School representative, please contact Noelle R. Moss at nmoss@sidebysideyouth.org or (415) 457- 3200 ext. 114.

ABOUT SIDE BY SIDE

At Side by Side we walk with young people impacted by adversity on their unique journeys to heal from trauma, restore resilience, and embrace their own potential. We provide critical and comprehensive services that honor the young person’s unique needs and strengths to prevent the escalation of dangerous conditions and behaviors and set them on a positive path. When they feel seen for who they are today, we believe our youth can move with confidence toward a future with meaning and connection. Since our founding in 1895 as an orphanage – and through many years as Sunny Hills Services – Side by Side has been at the forefront of best practices in child welfare. Today, Side by Side operates in four counties – Marin, Alameda, Sonoma, and Napa – across the Bay Area, each year reaching nearly 2,000 youth ages 5-26 and family members with critical services related to behavioral and mental health, early intervention in schools, LGBTQ support, transitional housing, and special education. Learn more at www.sidebysideyouth.org.