District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Eight different Vallejo school district properties – including the home of the oldest public school in the city of Vallejo – are up for possible closure.

A special Vallejo City Unified School District committee will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 to discuss the sale or leasing of the properties as the district continues to face financial challenges.

The list includes active school sites like Lincoln Elementary, Franklin Middle, Beverly Hills Elementary, and Farragut Academy, while the district’s main office building on Mare Island is also up for possible closure.

The former home of John Finney High School on Colusa Street and the shuttered Grant Elementary and Crest Center on Gateway Drive are the other district properties being considered.

Source: District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

Travis USD hosting priority registration events at all schools – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten (TK) registration for the 2020-21 school year is now open for Travis Unified School District students. Children can be enrolled online at travisusd.org or by attending a priority registration event within the next two months at any of the district’s elementary schools.

Attending a priority registration event guarantees enrollment at a child’s school of residence. The events listed are as follows:

  • Dec. 11: Scandia Elementary; 100 Broadway St., Travis AFB.
  • Jan. 15: Center Elementary; 3101 Markeley Lane, Fairfield.

Source: Travis USD hosting priority registration events at all schools – The Reporter

Travis School District sets kindergarten registration dates – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Registration for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes in the 2020-21 Travis School District school year is now being accepted.

The district will hold priority registration events beginning Wednesday. Incoming students at other grade levels can register as well.

Source: Travis School District sets kindergarten registration dates

Jesse Bethel High graduate helping out with broadcasting club – Times-Herald

BY Thomas Gase

Rizal Aliga wants to tell Vallejo about all the good things occurring at Jesse Bethel High School. But instead of shouting the news from the rooftop, he has decided to just broadcast it.

Aliga, a 2016 graduate of Bethel and 2019 graduate of UC Santa Cruz, has helped start a lunchtime and after-school club that runs KJBJ, a group intended to give more coverage on the whole school that deals with radio, streaming, broadcasting and other journalism elements.

Teens in the group learn to use a camera, call play-by-play for numerous sporting events, talk into the microphone and use proper interviewing skills and then putting it all together for Mixcloud and the online site. Group participants also learn about editing skills and music, such as when to play certain music during games. The club covers just about every Bethel athletic activity and is intending to do a documentary for each of them.

Source: Jesse Bethel High graduate helping out with broadcasting club – Times-Herald

CA Students Chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 58th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Violet Wang of Petaluma (Sonoma County), a senior at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma City Schools, and Arushi Avachat of Pleasanton (Alameda County), a senior at Foothill High School in the Pleasanton Unified School District, were selected for this highly competitive program for their remarkable leadership qualities, scholastic achievement, and strong commitment to their schools and communities.

“These students have demonstrated exceptional leadership. I am impressed and inspired by what they have already accomplished in their young lives,” Thurmond said. “They have a strong passion for public service and activism and desire to make a difference in the lives of others. I am confident that they will make the most of this opportunity, continuing to make positive contributions, and be excellent representatives for California.”

Source: CA Students Chosen for U.S. Senate Youth Program – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

High School Students Can Apply to Visit Japan – Daily Republic

By Arletta Kelley Cortright

The Fairfield – Nirasaki Sister City Program invites all interested high school students and their parents to attend an information meeting on Wednesday, December 11th, at 6 PM in the Fairfield Adult Recreation Center. Students can learn about participating in the 2020 summer exchange visit to Fairfield’s Sister City, Nirasaki, Japan. During the three-week stay, students live with host families and travel to Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and many local historic and cultural sites in the Nirasaki area. This exciting opportunity is open to all high school students who reside in Fairfield or attend a Fairfield high school. Applications for the exchange group will be available at the meeting. In addition, the regular monthly Sister City Committee meeting will follow the information meeting at 7 PM, and students are welcome to stay for that meeting as well. The Adult Recreation Center is located at 1200 Civic Center Drive, Fairfield. For more information, email fairfieldsistercity@gmail.com.

Source: Press Release: High School Students Can Apply to Visit Japan

Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced today that public comment is now open for the draft California Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan. The plan was developed by the California Department of Education (CDE), California State Board of Education (SBE), and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO).

“This plan is a significant opportunity to strengthen Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and pathways for all students in both the K–12 and community college systems,” Thurmond said. “I encourage educators and stakeholders in the CTE field to submit their valuable input on this plan. These programs provide valuable skills to meet industry needs.”

Perkins V was signed into law on July 31, 2018. This bipartisan measure reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to provide nearly $1.3 billion annually in federal support for CTE programs across the nation. California receives approximately $127 million annually to support CTE programs and pathways.

Source: Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Transportation, mobility issues at root of California foster students’ high absenteeism | Education Dive

By Shawna De La Rosa

California was the first state to add funding for foster students’ needs some six years ago, but absenteeism among this group continues to be a factor. And they face difficulties beyond just poor attendance.

The Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD), which has the highest number of foster students in the country, announced earlier this year it would begin reporting the number of foster students in the district in addition to documenting how often those students change schools and their academic, social and emotional condition. Superintendent Austin Beutner will also develop pathways for foster students to segue into higher education through partnerships with colleges and other institutions.

Source: Transportation, mobility issues at root of California foster students’ high absenteeism | Education Dive

Special store needs customers, wants San Francisco 49ers’ attention – KCRA 3

By Mike TeSelle

During the busy holiday shopping season, retailers go to great lengths to capture the attention of shoppers.

But a gift store aimed at selling the handmade goods of special needs students in Solano County is hoping shoppers will consider a visit to their unique gift shop inside Vacaville’s McBride Senior Center.

“They have worked so hard, but we have very few customers,” read a Facebook post advertising the gift store.

Source: Special store needs customers, wants San Francisco 49ers’ attention

Dixon school board selects John Knight as new middle school namesake – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

When Dixon middle schoolers return at the end of summer, they will not only be stepping onto a new campus but one with a new name.

The Dixon school board voted unanimously Thursday to rename CA Jacobs Middle School after longtime principal and educator John Knight when the school relocates to East A Street.

A committee of staff, students and parents was tasked with choosing a new name, mascot and school colors to signify a new beginning when CA Jacobs moves to the refurbished former Dixon High School campus at the start of the 2020-21 school year. The committee chose burgundy and gray as the new colors and Mavericks as the new mascot.

Source: Dixon school board selects John Knight as new middle school namesake – The Reporter

200 Students Take Part In Napa-Solano Trades Tour | Napa Valley, CA Patch

By Maggie Fusek

More than 200 high school students from Solano and Napa counties took a trades tour last week during which they visited local training centers for trade workers in Napa, Fairfield, Benicia and Vacaville. The tour has taken place for the last several years and is sponsored by Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, Solano County Office of Education (SCOE), North Bay Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, and Napa-Solano Building Trades.

During this year’s tour, which took place from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, the high-schoolers received information on the opportunities a union construction career can offer.

Source: 200 Students Take Part In Napa-Solano Trades Tour | Napa Valley, CA Patch

California Middle School Debuts New Student Center – School Construction News

By Lisa Kopochinski

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) recently celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Grange Middle School’s $7.5-million new student center in Fairfield, California.

HMC Architects’ Michael Rath, members of the Fairfield community, and representatives from FSUSD and Grange Middle School attended this event for this expansion that made possible by the Measure J Bond passed in June 2016. Clark/Sullivan Construction was the general contractor on this project.

The $249 million bond aims to improve the quality of education and provide safe, modern schools for all FSUSD students. The new center now features a safe space for students and staff to eat meals, a cafeteria, innovation lab, and a college and career center. Along with the new student center, the design team modernized and expanded the school’s library, converted a multi-purpose building into science labs, and added a locker room to the gymnasium. The school is now prepared to be a resource to current and future generations of students.

Source: California Middle School Debuts New Student Center – School Construction News

Benicia Unified Schools Cash In On Increased Lottery Sales | Benicia, CA Patch

By Maggie Fusek

Thanks to millions of gamblers whose lucky numbers didn’t come up, California school districts, including the Benicia Unified School District, are finding a little extra money in their bank accounts. Distributions from the state lottery during the 2019 fiscal year ended in June were up almost 9 percent over the previous year, with $1.85 billion being paid to the state’s K-12 school districts, community colleges and other educational institutions.

A state lottery spokesperson told Patch the increase was in large part attributable to the $1.6-billion Mega Millions jackpot in October of last year, the largest jackpot for a numbers game in U.S. history. Four other Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots ranging from $530 million to $768 million also contributed to increased sales and ultimate school district payments.

Source: Benicia Unified Schools Cash In On Increased Lottery Sales | Benicia, CA Patch

Dixon school board to consider new names for middle school – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Two potential names for Dixon’s relocated middle school will go before the Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District at Thursday’s meeting.

One of the largest projects to be funded by Measure Q — a $30.4 million initiative passed by Dixon voters in 2016 to fund district construction and renovation projects — is the remodel of the old Dixon High School campus to house the district’s new middle school. The campus has sat mostly vacant since 2007 when Dixon High moved operations to a new campus on College Way, but will be open once again at the start of the 2020-21 year when sixth through eighth-graders will move to the old building at 455 East A St.

However, the new campus will not be just a relocated CA Jacobs Middle School. It will feature a new identity, as well.

Source: Dixon school board to consider new names for middle school – The Reporter

30 districts join DonorsChoose program to supplement classroom resource budgets | Education Dive

By Shawna De La Rosa

Many organizations — and even some individuals — have turned to crowdfunding to raise money for specific causes and projects. Educators are beginning to turn to this source, as well, to compensate for the lack of funds available for classroom projects and supplies. Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for classrooms through crowdfunding efforts.

The initiative is often a win-win, as schools and teachers can request money for specific projects, and donors both large and small can select to support the projects they are drawn to. The GoFundMe and EdCo crowdsource sites also are in the education market.

While the practice is gaining in popularity, however, some districts, like the Metro Nashville Public Schools, forbid teachers from participating over concerns teachers may misuse or keep the raised money.

Source: 30 districts join DonorsChoose program to supplement classroom resource budgets | Education Dive

Vanden robotics team prepares for China trip – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Vanden High School robotics team will head to China starting Nov. 22 and returning home Nov. 30, traveling to Beijing Economic Management School, Meilong Middle School and Shanghai Jiao Tong University with the intent of sharing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum, according to a press release.

While in China, the students will also tour the sites of Shanghai and Beijing, including the Great Wall. The trip is the third time robotics team members have visited China, with the trip coordinated by Paul Cheng of the U.S. Education Foundation and Doug Green of the Vanden Robotics Foundation.

Source: Vanden robotics team prepares for China trip

Solano College receives upgrade in credit rating, refinances bonds – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano Community College District earlier this month received an upgrade in its credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service.

The district then refinanced bonds Nov. 13 to save taxpayers almost $21 million, according to a press release.

Moody’s raised its rating on the district’s general obligation bonds from AA3 to AA2, meaning “high quality and very low credit risk.”

Source: Solano College receives upgrade in credit rating, refinances bonds

Solano, Napa students see futures in the trades – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

More than 200 students got a firsthand look Thursday at what work in the trades could mean for their futures.

The groups from Solano and Napa counties took a tour of training centers that included sheet metal workers in Fairfield, plumbers and steamfitters in Vacaville, iron workers in Benicia and electrical workers in Napa.

The students also visited carpenter trade centers in Fairfield and Napa.

The tour is an annual event sponsored by the Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, the North Bay Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, the Napa-Solano Building Trades and the Solano County Office of Education.

Source: Solano, Napa students see futures in the trades

New Charter Schools Division Director Named – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Stephanie Farland as the Director of the Charter Schools Division for the California Department of Education (CDE).

The Charter Schools Division oversees State Board of Education-approved charter schools throughout California and administers the Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program.

Currently, Farland is the Executive Director and Founder of Collaborative Solutions for Charter Authorizers, a private consulting firm dedicated to assisting school districts and county offices of education in their work as charter school authorizers. In that position, she works on all aspects of charter authorizing and oversight to ensure that a fair process is being implemented in California.

Source: New Charter Schools Division Director Named – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

Willis Jepson Middle School students share the warmth – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

For the past two weeks, students in Samantha Dubs’ leadership class at Willis Jepson Middle School have been collecting warm clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves and even blankets for the “Share the Warmth” program that was stared by the city of Vacaville a couple of years ago.

For extra incentive Thursday, the students passed out hot chocolate to anyone that stopped by to make a donation.

“We were looking for some good community involvement opportunities, and this just fell into our laps,” Dubs said Thursday as she supervised her students collecting clothing before school. “I have some very motivated students it’s nice to be able to give them an idea and have them run with it.”One of those students was Sada O’Hanlon. The 13-year-old eighth-grader oversaw the collection drive and was on hand passing out flyers to students as they arrived Thursday morning, reminding them that there was one more day left in the clothing drive.

Source: Willis Jepson Middle School students share the warmth – The Reporter