Tulare County Anti-Tobacco Challenge BowlAnti-Tobacco & Marijuana Challenge Bowl

February 23

8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Wyndham Visalia
9000 West Airport Drive
Visalia, CA 93277

An engaging way for students to learn about the dangerous health effects of tobacco and related products such as vaping, the Anti-Tobacco Challenge Bowl tests the knowledge of Tulare County students in a fun, fast-paced competition.

Conducted in a game show-style, double-elimination format, teams of sixth-grade students from throughout Tulare County prep for the race to the winner’s podium by learning the most up-to-date facts and statistics on tobacco use prevention. Training with evidence-based tobacco and marijuana prevention curriculum, such as the  Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, this knowledge empowers students to serve as the next generation of tobacco-free advocates.

Hosted by the Tulare County Office of Education’s CHOICES Programs with funding through  California Department of Education’s Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Program, learn more by contacting Stephen Amundson, CHOICES Staff Development and Prevention Coordinator at (559) 651-0155.

Assessing Student Threats: A Training of Trainers

Monday, February 28

Tuesday, March 1

 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wyndham Visalia
9000 West Airport Drive
Visalia, CA 93277

“Creating environments that are safe and welcoming is critical for protecting the physical and psychological well-being of all members of a school community: students, educators, administrators, and families.”  – John Van Dreal

CHOICES hosts nationally-known threat assessment expert for two-day training

CHOICES Programs School Safety division hosts a two-day Assessing Student Threats conference – a “training of trainers” event scheduled for Monday, February 28 and Tuesday, March 1 from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Wyndham Visalia.

School administrators, counselors, mental health professionals, nurses, and resource officers are invited to register for the training, led by  John Van Dreal, a school psychologist and retired director of Safety and Risk Management Services for the Salem-Keizer School District in Salem, Oregon. Van Dreal now leads a consulting practice, working with school districts and communities on preventive behavioral threat assessment systems and operational security.

In 1999, he began the development and implementation for the Salem-Keizer Cascade Model, a multi-agency student threat assessment system identified by the U.S. Department of Education and the What Works Clearinghouse as a best-practice program. Through the collaboration, he worked daily with educators, law enforcement, trial court personnel, juvenile justice, and mental health personnel in preventive behavioral threat assessment – the management of youth and adult threats of aggression toward schools, institutions, and community.

Van Dreal is the editor and principal author of the book  Assessing Student Threats: Implementing The Salem-Keizer System, Second Edition. He regularly provides training and consultation to audiences nationally on threat assessment systems, preventing and mitigating human violence, school security, and response options for violent intruder and active shooter situations.

The cost to attend the training is $125 per person, which includes breakfast and lunch each day. To register for the event, visit For more information, contact Frank Silveira, CHOICES Administrator or Tony Cavanagh, Prevention / Intervention Education Manager, at (559) 651-0155. 

32nd Annual Friday Night Live Lip Sync Battle32nd Lip Sync Battle

Mixtape Mayhem

April 1

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Visalia Convention Center
303 East Acequia Avenue
Visalia, CA 93291

Join hundreds of youth and their family members at the 32nd annual Friday Night Live Lip Sync Battle on Friday, April 1 at the Visalia Convention Center. Student teams from elementary and middle schools will vie for recognition in the live performance competition. Students compete for first-, second- and third-place awards in dance, lip sync and novelty categories.

Designed to celebrate the efforts of Tulare County students living free of drugs, alcohol and gang involvement, Friday Night Live creates opportunities for school-age youth to be involved in high-energy, life-affirming activities. Participation in Friday Night Live builds partnerships at the local and state level to create opportunities for positive youth development activities to engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities.

Hosted by the Tulare County Office of Education’s CHOICES Programs with funding through Tulare County Health and Humans Services. For more information about the Friday Night Live Lip Sync Competition, contact Stephen Amundson, CHOICES Staff Development and Prevention Coordinator at (559) 651-0155.

CHOICES Programs · 7000 Doe Avenue · Building 300 · Visalia, CA 93291 · (559) 651-0155