New Vallejo Unified School Board members sworn in – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

If there’s one thing just about everyone who keeps up with the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees agrees on, it’s that the board is in need of a culture adjustment.

With the swearing in of the newly elected trustees on Wednesday, some think that change is already under way.

“It’s a new dawn for our school board with the swearing in of John Fox, Tony Gross and Tony Ubalde,” said Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan on Facebook. “Do what’s right for the students and Vallejo. We see great things happening with the new makeup of our school board!!”

Source: New Vallejo Unified School Board members sworn in – Times-Herald

How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | KQED News

By Patti Neighmond

Many American teenagers try to put in a full day of school, homework, after-school activities, sports and college prep on too little sleep. As evidence grows that chronic sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for physical and mental health problems, there is increasing pressure on school districts around the country to consider a later start time.

In Seattle, school and city officials recently made the shift. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This was no easy feat; it meant rescheduling extracurricular activities and bus routes. But the bottom line goal was met: Teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.

Researchers at the University of Washington studied the high school students both before and after the start-time change. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes.

Source: How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | MindShift | KQED News

Vallejo school district, teachers union, re-open negotiations – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

A special meeting of the Vallejo City Unified School District is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to adopt the initial joint re-opener proposals for the Vallejo Education Association.

The meeting will be held in the District’s Governing Board Room, 665 Walnut Avenue, with a public session sometime after 7:30 p.m., according to the meeting agenda.

GiGi Patrick will present the initial joint re-opener proposals for 2018-2019 year from the Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) and the Vallejo Education Association (VEA).

All initial proposals of exclusive representatives and of public school employers, which relate to matters within the scope of representation, are required by law to be presented at the public meeting of the public school employer “and shall thereafter be public record,” according to the agenda.

Source: Vallejo school district, teachers union, re-open negotiations – Times-Herald

Torlakson Announces 2019 U.S. Senate Youth – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 57th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Lauren Kong of Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County), a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in the Palos Verdes Unified School District, and Cindy Aguilar-Castaneda of Gonzales (Monterey County), a senior at Gonzales High School in the Gonzales Unified School District, were selected for their outstanding leadership qualities, scholastic achievement, and contributions to their schools and communities.

“These outstanding students are among the best and brightest leaders in their schools and communities and have a heart for public service,” Torlakson said. “They are strong advocates who desire to make our world a better place. I am amazed at all they have done in their young lives and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in their future. I know they will achieve great things due to their commitment and dedication. They make me optimistic for our future.”

Torlakson also selected two alternates in the event that one or both of the delegates are unable to attend. The first alternate is Channing Lee of Fullerton (Orange County), a senior at Cornelia Connelly School in Anaheim. The second alternate is Gabriel Drill of La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), a senior at La Cañada High School in the La Cañada Unified School District.

Source: Torlakson Announces 2019 U.S. Senate Youth – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Tobacco grant to fight illegal sales to minors, fund prevention programs – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Tobacco prevention programs in four Solano County school districts have received a $1.2 million grant designed to reduce illegal sales to minors and fund other prevention programs.

The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with Benicia, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis and Vallejo City school districts and the Fairfield Police Department, received the grant from the state Department of Justice.

“Tobacco cessation, intervention and support services for students to quit smoking will be implemented, along with new signage that will be posted at schools and youth engagement events,” a statement released by the Office of Education said.

Source: Tobacco grant to fight illegal sales to minors, fund prevention programs

Trump Administration Further Relaxes School Lunch Rules – Education Week

By Evie Blad

Nutritious school meals don’t do anyone any good if kids just throw them into the trash. So we’re empowering local schools by providing more options to serve healthy AND appetizing food. We’re publishing our final rule in the Federal Register. Details: https://t.co/tUz8II29Zp pic.twitter.com/rpwF4wjQ30

— Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) December 6, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its final school rule on school meals Thursday, relaxing nutrition standards championed by former first lady Michelle Obama more than most advocates had expected.

The new directive, which finalizes a plan announced in May 2017, will ease requirements related to flavored milk, whole grains, and sodium in meals served through the National School Lunch and breakfast programs.

Source: Trump Administration Further Relaxes School Lunch Rules – Rules for Engagement – Education Week

Committee invites Fairfield high schoolers to Japan student exchange info session – Daily Republic

By Arletta Kelley Cortright

The Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Program is looking for local high school students with an interest in Japan to be part of next summer’s three-week student exchange visit to Fairfield’s sister city.

Interested students and their parents are invited to attend an information meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Fairfield Adult Recreation Center, 1200 Civic Center Drive.

Any high school student in the Fairfield-Suisun School District or Travis School District is eligible to apply to be part of the summer exchange delegation, as well as high school student residents of Fairfield who attend schools outside of the two districts.

Source: Community News: Committee invites Fairfield high schoolers to Japan student exchange info session

State launches updated School Dashboard – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A newly revised “report card” on schools, the California School Dashboard, just got a little easier to use, with broader measures of district and school effectiveness, state Department of Education and state Board of Education leaders said on Thursday.

The launching of the second version of the Dashboard, a website found at www.cde.ca.gov, gives parents, students, and educators access to key school and district data in ways more telling than results from a single standardized test, the officials said.

The 2018 Dashboard includes two new metrics for evaluating school and district performance and a new, user-friendly look that makes complex data easier to understand, Scott Roark, a CDE spokesman, noted in a press release.

Source: State launches updated School Dashboard – The Reporter

Kearney-Brown’s resignation as Vallejo school board president not yet official – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

It appears that Vallejo school board President Marianne Kearney-Brown may have not officially resigned from the school board, after all.

Kearney-Brown confirmed to the Times-Herald on Thursday night that earlier in the day she sent a resignation letter, via email, to Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark and board Vice President Bob Lawson.

However, according to the district’s board bylaw 9222, a written resignation letter from a trustee needs to be sent to the Solano County Superintendent of Schools.

Source: Kearney-Brown’s resignation as Vallejo school board president not yet official – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board president resigns – Times-Herald

By Vallejo Times Herald

Vallejo City Unified School District President Marrianne Kearney-Brown has resigned from the board, she confirmed Thursday evening.

Kearney-Brown said she sent an email letter of resignation to board vice president Robert Lawson and Superintendent Adam Clark. The move comes after a contentious school board meeting on Wednesday where she walked out.

Source: Vallejo school board president resigns – Times-Herald

Fairfield-Suisun board hears process for Armijo mascot review – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board got a first look Thursday at the process to review whether or not the Armijo High School mascot – the Indian – is an appropriate mascot in the 21st century or if it should be changed.

They also heard from people who consider themselves stakeholders in the outcome – both for and against continued use of the mascot.

Speakers who support keeping the current mascot spoke of the history of the school that was founded in 1891 and its legacy among its graduates, and the costs associated with essentially rebranding the school. One described the depiction of the Indian mascot as “beautiful and respectful.”

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board hears process for Armijo mascot review

Free, reduced-price meal data growing less useful as measure of student poverty | Education Dive

By Linda Jacobson

Three years ago, the Grants Pass School District 7 in southern Oregon chose to take advantage of the National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows schools serving low-income students to provide free meals to everyone and stop asking families to complete applications for free or reduced-price meals (FRPL).

CEP certification uses other data on families that receive government assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Officials saw immediate benefits — particularly at the high school level, where students often don’t sign up for subsidized meals.

Source: Free, reduced-price meal data growing less useful as measure of student poverty | Education Dive

Shred Day helps robotics team with Vacaville fundraiser – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Shred Solution will co-sponsor a Shred Day to help raise money so the Vacaville High School robotics team compete in regional events this year. The average cost to build the robots and compete is around $5,000.

The Shred Day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Vacaville High School, 100 W. Monte Vista Ave.

Donations made at the event will be given to the Robodogs team. The cost is $5 per file box.

Source: Shred Day helps robotics team with Vacaville fundraiser

Solano election results set– The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

Solano’s November elections are in the books, the certified results approved Tuesday by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

In Northern Solano County, there were several close races to be had.

According to the approved results:

  • Michael E. Silva, Michele Shelley Dally and John Jansen won posts on the Vacaville Unified School District board;
  • Caitlin O’Halloran, John A. Gabby and Jewel Fink were the top vote-getters for the Dixon Unified School District board;
  • Riitta De Anda and Janet Jackson Forbes snagged seats on the Travis Unified School District Governing Board; and
  • Jane Day and Wanda Williams won Suisun City Council seats.

Source: Solano election results set, plaque approved honoring former longtime administrator – The Reporter

Info meeting Wednesday, December 12, for student exchange visit to Japan – Daily Republic

By Arletta Kelley Cortright

The Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Program is looking for local high school students with an interest in Japan to be part of next summer’s three-week student exchange visit to Fairfield’s sister city.

Interested students and their parents are invited to attend an information meeting on at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12 in the Fairfield Adult Recreation Center, located at 1200 Civic Center Drive in Fairfield.

Any high school student in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District or Travis Unified School District is eligible to apply to be part of the summer exchange delegation, as well as high school student residents of Fairfield attending schools outside of the district.

Source: Press Release: Info meeting Wednesday, December 12, for student exchange visit to Japan

CDE Tobacco-Use Prevention Programs Are a Success – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that schools funded by the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) Office have lower rates of tobacco use than other schools, according to a comprehensive study by the University of California, San Diego. The findings were based on two statewide surveys, the 2016 California Student Tobacco Survey and the 2016 California Educator Tobacco Survey.

“This new study proves that our diligent efforts to promote tobacco-free schools are paying off,” said Torlakson. “Thanks to the work the tobacco prevention office has been doing since 1989, students are smoking less, and most public schools have signed up as tobacco-free. We also know that vaping is unsafe and unhealthy, and we need to continue encouraging all schools to include vaping bans in their tobacco-free schools policies.”

The study compared schools funded by the CDE’s TUPE Office with those that are not. It found about 10 percent more teachers in schools funded by the program reported their schools placed high priority on specific tobacco-prevention efforts such as targeting at-risk youth, providing peer-to-peer programs, holding schoolwide activities, and referring tobacco users to cessation services. Students at schools funded by the program were significantly less likely to smoke cigarettes or vape. The study also stressed the need to further strengthen education and prevention efforts regarding certain e-cigarettes products that are currently attracting attention from youth.

Source: CDE Tobacco-Use Prevention Programs Are a Success – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Bethel High grad C.J. Anderson signs with Oakland Raiders – Times-Herald

By Vallejo Times Herald

NFL.com and other sources have reported that Jesse Bethel High grad C.J. Anderson has signed with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday.

Anderson reportedly worked out with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday but Kansas City eventually signed ex-Chief Charcandrick West instead.

On Twitter Tuesday night Anderson sent out a message saying, “Just a #CrestKid happy to be home. As @nene25uno my mother would say ‘it’s only one nation’”

Anderson, a 1,000-yard rusher last season with the Broncos, helped Denver win a Super Bowl in 2016. He was a Pro-Bowler in 2015.

Source: Report: Bethel High grad C.J. Anderson signs with Oakland Raiders – Times-Herald

Vallejo school district to wrestle with budget concerns – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Though still trying to meet a Dec. 15 deadline, Vallejo Unified School District staff will be asking the board to ask Solano County for an extension for turning in its required financial audit materials at Wednesday’s meeting.

The Education Code allows for extensions for completing an audit under the right circumstances, but the district needs to get the request to the county in time for the county to make the request to the State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Education by Dec. 15.

Trustees will also review and consider approving the district’s First Interim Report for 2018-19, as required by Assembly Bills 1200 and 2756. This is a mid-term financial report as of Oct. 31 that reflects the district’s current revenue and expenditure projections through June 30, 2019.

Source: Vallejo school district to wrestle with budget concerns at board meeting – Times-Herald

Veteran Administrator Dr. Ramona Bishop Leads Charter School Effort – SacObserver

By Antonio Harvey

Parents in Solano County are thankful the County Board of Education approved the opening of a new charter school they believe will deliver more education options in technology, language, and college readiness to prepare students to compete for college and jobs of the future.

Before Oct. 10, Dr. Ramona Bishop’s quest to open a community-led charter school in Solano County was on the brink of not coming to fruition, however, The Solano County Board of Education, SCBOE voted 5-2 to approve the petition to open ELITE Charter school covering the Vallejo City Unified School District, VCUSD.

Source: Veteran Administrator Dr. Ramona Bishop Leads Charter School Effort

Celebrate the Reopening of Schools in Butte County – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond praised Butte County school leaders and community members for working selflessly and heroically so that their students could return to school on Monday, December 3, less than a month after the worst fire in California history.

Fourteen schools were damaged or destroyed during the Camp Fire and all 99 schools in Butte County were closed since the fire began, displacing 31,670 students.

“The reopening of schools in Butte County so soon after this terrible tragedy provides a bright ray of hope. It shows the resilience and determination of school leaders and community members, and the generosity and kindness of so many people who gave and continue to give,” said Torlakson.

Source: Celebrate the Reopening of Schools in Butte County – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)