By John Glidden
After 18 months of trying, Vallejo school board Trustee Burky Worel will get his wish, as the two most important agencies in the city of Vallejo are scheduled to host a joint meeting.
The Vallejo City Council and Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 26, at the Vallejo High Annex, Professional Development Center, 1347 Amador St.
The meeting will feature discussions about school resource officers, traffic issues around schools, mobile food vendors and enforcement issues, and first time homebuyer program for teachers.
Each topic has a 15-minute time limit, according to the agenda.
The Vallejo City Clerk’s Office confirmed there are no prepared staff reports for the four items.
Source: Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned
The Vacaville Elks Lodge, as part of the nationwide Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, is the local sponsor of the Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship (MVS) program for high school seniors.
The local Elks is sponsoring applications from students in the Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Winters and Rio Vista area high schools for judging and consideration for advancement to the national finals. Information concerning the Elks scholarship program has been provided to all local high schools.
Applications and full instructions are available online at enf.elks.org/mvs. The deadline for submission of applications is Nov. 30. All applications must be submitted online.
Source: High School seniors can apply for Elks scholarships
By Richard Bammer
Like their counterparts in Vacaville and Dixon, two Travis Unified trustees are unopposed for their four-year seats and, thus, will be re-elected on Nov. 8, Election Day.
Ivery Hood, a Naval Junior ROTC instructor at Bethel High in Vallejo, and Angela Weinzinger, a dental hygienist, in Vacaville, will be re-sworn in during the annual governing board reorganization meeting in early December.
Board President John Dickerson was unsure why exactly no one else declared their candidacy for a seat on the five-member board.
“It’s an election year, and many people are tired,” particularly about the rancor and divisiveness roiling the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he said, adding, “We have an excellent board.”
Source: Two Travis Unified candidates unopposed, will be re-elected
By Ian Thompson
Fairfield High School junior Shaham Dadhwal took a break from listening to a presentation on aeromedical evacuation Thursday to say he would be interested in that field.
Junior Thomas Pino was even more specific, voicing his interest in following his father into the Air Force and becoming a radiologist.
Both are members of the Fairfield High School Air Force Junior ROTC and were among more than 230 high school students from Air Force Junior ROTC and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs visiting the base Thursday.
Source: High school Junior ROTC students get taste of Travis
By Ryan McCarthy
Kathy Marianno and Pat Shamansky, trustees for the Fairfield-Suisun School District who decided not to seek re-election, were honored Thursday for their years of service on the school board.
Board president Judi Honeychurch said Marianno, first elected in 2003, has a wealth of knowledge about the school district.
“You probably will be getting phone calls to fill us in on information we may be missing,” Honeychurch told Marianno at the start of the school board meeting.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District honors Trustees Marianno, Shamansky
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Armijo High School graduate SeanPatrick Shadduck is one of 10 artists selected for the third annual “Emerging Artists” show in Healdsburg.
He was nominated by his sculpture professor at Sonoma State University. Being selected is acknowledgement of his hard work, Shadduck said.
He spent Monday installing “Annakin’s Daughter,” which features an image of actress Carrie Fisher, as Princess Leia, smoking an electronic cigarette.
Source: Armijo grad joins ‘Emerging Artists’ show
By Todd R. Hansen
Taylor Eisen and Jillian Baron are teammates on the soccer pitch for the Revolution – sharing a singular goal of defeating their foes.
But out on the cross country-style course at the 40th annual Doug Butt Run at Laurel Creek Park on Wednesday, Eisen, 8, had no equal in the girls third-grade division, easily outdistancing the other runners for the win.
“I love to run,” she said.
In fact, Eisen had her sights set on the rabbit, one of several high school runners who helped set the pace in each of the 16 races and helped keep all the runners on the twisting, undulating courses.
Source: More than 400 youth carry on Butt Run tradition
By Richard Bammer
A review of the district’s maintenance and operations department and a report about weighted grading for Solano Community College courses are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.
The director of maintenance and operations, Leland Noll, will offer the annual review, in part, a district snapshot based on his department’s responsibilities and the scope and nature of its work.
Using a computer-aided slide show, he will update the seven-member governing board about his department’s mission and goals, and how it is organized, including providing workforce numbers.
M and O, as the department is called for short, employs 81 full-time equivalent employees, scattered among the main office, operations, maintenance, grounds and equipment maintenance shops. He oversees an annual budget of about $4 million.
Source: Review of maintenance department, weighted SCC grades on Vacaville Unified School District agenda
By Richard Bammer
Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, will hear an update on Measure Q, resolutions in support of two school-related propositions, and a presentation on mental health services.
Superintendent Brian Dolan will update the five-member governing board about Measure Q, the $30.4 million bond trustees approved for placement on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. If passed by voters, it will provide money to upgrade the district’s aging schools, including Old Dixon High, built in 1940, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949.
Trustees are expected to approve a resolution to support Proposition 51, the K-12 School and Community College Facilities initiative, a $9 billion state bond for new construction and modernization of K-12 schools, including charter schools, and California community colleges. Like the schools in Dixon, Vacaville and Fairfield-Suisun unified districts, many schools in the state’s more than 1,000 districts are 50 years old and older.
Source: Dixon school leaders to hear updates on Measure Q, mental health services
By Richard Bammer
The Cleek for Congress campaign for the 3rd Congressional District seat has added 14 field representatives, students from Fairfield High, to lead the phone-banking, canvassing and messaging efforts until Election Day, Nov. 8, it has been announced.
The students, of “various backgrounds,” support an outsider candidate to unseat Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, Cleek campaign staffers wrote in a press release.
“The thing about politics and government today is that it’s been turned into a business,” said Rico Daga, a field representative for the campaign. “People climb the political ladder and aspire to the next highest office, but that doesn’t guarantee proper or just governance. Personally, I want someone who isn’t motivated by their own ambition in an ‘industry’ they’ve worked in for decades. I want a fresh face that comes from people like me and my family — Dr. Cleek is certainly the ideal choice for me.”
Source: Cleek using Fairfield teen volunteers to phone-bank, canvass
By Glen Faison
About 20 Rodriguez High School seniors were among the 50-plus people who watched the presidential candidates debate Wednesday from the comfort of the stadium seating in Auditorium 5 at Edwards Fairfield Stadium 16 & IMAX theater at the Solano Town Center mall.
The theater offered the screening free of charge for all comers. That was too good a proposition for Sarah McLaughlin, who teaches the AP Government and Politics class at Rodriguez High, to pass up.
McLaughlin said she had planned a viewing party at the school. The prospect of moving from the relatively sterile classroom environment to the outside world – where her students could watch, listen to and interact with supporters of both Republican Party nominee Donald Trump and Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton – served a greater educational purpose.
Source: Rodriguez seniors trade classroom for movie theater to watch debate
By Cody Fenwick
Children in foster care in the United States experience serious mental and physical health conditions at a much higher rate than those in the general population, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics found. Anxiety, behavioral problems, depression and attention challenges are all much more prevalent among foster kids, as well as asthma, obesity and hearing and vision impairments.
Kristin Turney, a co-author of the report and associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, noted that the study is the first to make this kind of comparison.
Source: Foster Kids Face Worse Mental and Physical Health Challenges, Study Finds – Benicia, CA Patch
By Andrew Ujifusa
Spending on the nation’s public schools has gone up slightly, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, with state spending on K-12 increasing at exactly the same rate as federal spending has gone down.
In a blog post published last Friday, NCES reported that the amount of money spent per pupil in elementary and secondary schools rose by 1.2 percent from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014, up to $11,066 per student, after declining from fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2013. (Hat-tip to Mike Zinshteyn at the Education Writers Association.)
Spending from federal, state, and local resources totaled $623 billion in fiscal 2014. From fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014, state revenues for schools rose by 3.9 percent, from $278 billion to $288 billion, while federal revenue dipped by 3.9 percent, from $57 billion to $56 billion, according to the post written by Stephen Q. Cornman and Lauren Musu-Gillette. Local spending rose by 0.5 percent, from $279 billion to $281 billion.
Source: National School Spending Inches Up to $623 Billion, Says Recent Federal Data – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Daily Republic
The Fairfield-Suisun School District completes a move to district voting this election season that was implemented as a proactive measure to stave off threatened litigation under the federal Voting Rights Act. The decision to move to area voting was the correct move for the district.
Four of the district’s seven area seats were up for consideration Nov. 8.
Judi Honeychurch saw no challenger in Trustee Area 3. She’s a career educator with experience that includes high-level school administration. That experience makes her a valuable asset for the community in terms of setting policy for the sprawling district. It’s good that she’s returning to the board.
Source: School district races get local, local, local – Daily Republic
By Nick Sestanovich
The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District will vote to approve the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) for each of the site’s four elementary schools at Thursday’s meeting.
The SPSA is established by school site councils to develop goals, aligned to BUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which would support the academic performance of all students. Each site team studies state and local measures to gauge progress and put together plans that represent the uniqueness of each school. The principals of each of Benicia’s elementary schools will present their plans to the school board, just as they did last year.
In its SPSA, Mary Farmar Elementary Principal Wendy Smith outlined the school’s vision and mission statement, which was to “provide a safe, stimulating learning environment in which all children will learn and prepare for the opportunity to attend college if they choose. They will develop a respect for themselves and others with sensitivity to, and appreciation for, cultural and individual diversities.”
Source: School board to hear elementary school student achievement plans at Thursday’s meeting
By Richard Bammer
Is it ever too early to learn the value and benefits of community service, of doing for others without the thought of reward?
Not at Sierra Vista, where eager students on Monday presented brief summaries of their service-learning projects to the wife of the late Ernest Kimme, a longtime Vacaville educator, civic leader, Reporter columnist and philanthropist. He died Aug. 12, 2015, of complications from radiation treatment for cancer.
From midmorning to early afternoon, Kimme’s wife, Margi Stern, entered classrooms at the Bel Air Drive campus to provide background information about her husband on a special day, Ernest Kimme Service Day, an overcast day that would have been his 62nd birthday, and at a place that also houses the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy for Independent Learners, named in his honor.
Source: At Sierra Vista, Ernest Kimme Service Day
By Daily Republic Staff
Winning students in the annual Constitution Essay Contest will be honored Saturday.
This year’s topic was, “What does it mean to you to be a citizen of the United States of America? Why is U.S. citizenship tied to the right to vote, and how is that relevant to other issues our country currently faces?”
Judges, retired teachers and members of supporting organizations said they were impressed by the creative ideas, knowledge and insights many students expressed in their essays, according to a press release about the contest.
Source: Students share knowledge of Constitution in annual contest
By Natalie Catlett
During winter vacation, the Pokémon Go fever exploded here in Brazil. Students came back talking ceaselessly about Pokémon Go, PokéStops, and all the unexpected places they had discovered Pokémon.
As their art teacher, I felt completely out of the loop. What was Pokémon Go? What were PokéStops? How did you know where to find them? All I knew was that Pokémon Go was an augmented reality game for mobiles, but once I heard one of my students mention finding a Pokémon at the statue of Albert Einstein, I knew we could use the game as a learning tool. After all, it led him to an iconic landmark.
Source: A Student-Led Pokémon Go Project Transforms a School | Edutopia
By Louis Freedberg
California lags slightly behind the national average in high school graduation rates, but has increased more substantially over the last five years than the national average, according to figures for 50 states released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.
President Barack Obama touted improving graduation figures at a speech at a Washington D.C. high school Monday morning as part of an effort by his administration to showcase the progress officials say has occurred during Obama’s eight years in office.
The figures show that between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the average graduation rate nationwide, based on graduation rates reported by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, increased to 83.2 percent, compared to 82 percent in California.
Source: California high school graduation rates close in on national average | EdSource
By Susan Hiland
The blue paint was bright against the white background as 34 painters, mostly beginners or those who hadn’t painted for years, dashed brushes across easels Sunday to benefit aged-out foster youth.
Agnes Stewart began doing Easy Easel Painting parties last year as something fun for herself. Then it occurred to her that there was the potential to help raise money for Heart 2 Heart, a group that helps foster teens learn life skills. She is also a member of the organization.
“I raise a little money each time I do a party,” Stewart said. “But this time 100 percent of what is raised will go to Heart 2 Heart.”
Source: Paint party boosts program for Solano’s aged-out foster youth