Serving Nutritious Meals to Low-income Families – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that disadvantaged families in California can now find updated lists of child and adult care centers offering nutritious meals at low or no cost through the California Department of Education’s website.

“Providing children with healthy meals is critical to their physical, emotional, and academic growth,” said Torlakson. “Parents who are struggling with food insecurity can find out where to go to ensure their children receive the proper nutrition they need to thrive. I encourage families to take advantage of these centers.”

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Over 8,000 local child care centers and 14,000 sponsored day care home providers in California participate. These facilities provide nutritious food to infants, children, and adults.

All children enrolled in these day care homes receive meals at no charge. Most participating child care centers also provide meals at no charge, or free and reduced-price (F/RP) meals are available.

Source: Serving Nutritious Meals to Low-income Families – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Vacaville principals receive top honor in region – The Reporter

By Reporter Staff

The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) named Willis Jepson Principal Adam Wight the Region Four Middle School Principal of the Year. The organization also named new Vacaville Unified Principal Jessica Reid as the Elementary Principal of the Year.

Wight has been at the helm for Willis Jepson for two years and was part of the administrative team that earned the school the distinction of a California, and then National, School To Watch in 2016. He is a veteran in Vacaville Unified having taught or been in administration for 16 years.

Source: Vacaville principals receive top honor in region

School board OKs 18-19 budget – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District approved the budget for the 2018-19 school year at the final school board meeting of the 2017-18 year on Wednesday.

Chief Business Official Tim Rahill noted there were no changes to the budget from the May 31 meeting when a public hearing was held. Rahill said the district would be operating at a small one-time surplus of $88,000, which includes the costs of employee negotiations from the tentative agreements with the classified employees union and confidential/management group, which were unanimously ratified at Wednesday’s meeting.

Trustee Peter Morgan asked if costs associated with the Benicia Teachers Association were included in the budget, considering negotiations were ongoing and the tentative agreement was voted down. Rahill said he contacted both auditors and school services.

Source: School board OKs 18-19 budget

Torlakson Receives Suicide Prevention Award – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today received a career recognition award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, while calling for increased awareness and funding for mental health and suicide prevention.

Recent suicides by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade, combined with data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revealing a significant increase in suicide rates have put a spotlight on this problem.

“Suicide is reaching epidemic proportions in our nation, our state, and our schools, making it even more important to focus on suicide prevention and expanding mental health services,” Torlakson said. “A suicide is a terrible, preventable loss that creates a tragedy for a family, a school, and an entire community.”

Torlakson praised schools for the work underway to prevent suicide, while asking all educators and members of the school community to be on the lookout for students showing signs of risk, and to assist them in seeking treatment. “This is no time for silence. If you notice someone suffering or in need, please speak out and help point them toward assistance,” he said.

Source: Torlakson Receives Suicide Prevention Award – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Fire Department distributes child ID kits to kindergarten families – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

No parent ever wants experience having a child go missing, but should that happen, the Benicia Fire Department has acquired a resource to assist in bringing lost children home safely.

City firefighters have partnered with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and California Fire Foundation as well as the Benicia Unified School District to distribute “Child ID Kits” to Benicia elementary schools. The kits contain fingerprinting materials, DNA collection swabs and other tools aimed at allowing parents and guardians to record information about their children. Adults keep the information in their homes to be provided to authorities in the circumstance one of their children goes missing. The kits were distributed to kindergarteners last week during the final week of school for children to take home to their parents.

Source: Fire Department distributes child ID kits to kindergarten families

School board to vote on LCAP Wednesday – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Following a public hearing at the May 31 school board meeting, a discussion on the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is up for the trustees’ approval for the last meeting of the 2017-18 school year Wednesday— a day earlier than when school board meetings are usually held.

The LCAP is a tool for all school districts in California to receive funds through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). According to a report by Dr. Leslie Beatson, the assistant superintendent of educational services, the LCAP has three main goals: supporting academic and social-emotional success for all students, modernizing and improving infrastructure to promote 21st-century learning, and increasing parental and community partnerships so that all students graduate college and career ready. Beatson highlighted a number of programs that contributed to academic and social-emotional success, including Odyssey of the Mind, Visual and Performing Arts programs and Outdoor Education.

Source: School board to vote on LCAP Wednesday

Graduating eagles soar at Liberty High School’s graduation – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

In his message to the crowd at Liberty High School’s graduation ceremony, Principal Zachary Pless said he had asked staff upon starting his position what their favorite time of year was. Their answer was not the holiday dinners, field trips or other special events but rather Graduation Day. Traditionally, Liberty’s graduation ceremony has been an event to reinforce the often repeated statement that the school is “like a family,” remind students of how far they have come and inspire them to keep that motivation with them as they move into the future. All of that was on display Thursday, as families gathered on the Marina Green to watch 32 Liberty graduates take their next steps into the world.

To kick things off, Superintendent Dr. Charles Young said the ceremony was a celebration of the hard work put in not only by the students but also their parents and guardians who guided them along the way.

Source: Graduating eagles soar at Liberty High School’s graduation

Spirited Benicia High graduation ceremony celebrates accomplishments of 2018 class – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

“Many teachers have told me that we were the best class,” Shannon Sweeney, the outgoing Associated Student Body senior president, said in her remarks at Benicia High School’s Class of 2018 graduation Saturday. “I would have to agree.”

Sweeney and her teachers were not alone in this opinion. As the speeches by graduating seniors and school officials rolled on, the reviews became apparent: this was a particularly exceptional graduating class. Judging what makes a class “great” is purely subjective, but Principal Brianna Kleinschmidt was quick to note that the class of ’18 had a lot to celebrate.

First of all, this was the first class to graduate on Benicia High’s campus in two years, as last year’s festivities had to be held 12 miles away at Diablo Valley College as the finishing touches were being put on the remodel for Benicia High’s usual venue, the George Drolette Stadium. The 2018 class got to be the first to graduate in the new stadium, and even amidst windy conditions where many graduating Panthers had to hold down their caps to keep them from blowing away, they were still energized to take that next step.

Source: Spirited Benicia High graduation ceremony celebrates accomplishments of 2018 class

School board to vote on LCAP Wednesday – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Following a public hearing at the May 31 school board meeting, a discussion on the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is up for the trustees’ approval for the last meeting of the 2017-18 school year Wednesday— a day earlier than when school board meetings are usually held.

The LCAP is a tool for all school districts in California to receive funds through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). According to a report by Dr. Leslie Beatson, the assistant superintendent of educational services, the LCAP has three main goals: supporting academic and social-emotional success for all students, modernizing and improving infrastructure to promote 21st-century learning, and increasing parental and community partnerships so that all students graduate college and career ready. Beatson highlighted a number of programs that contributed to academic and social-emotional success, including Odyssey of the Mind, Visual and Performing Arts programs and Outdoor Education.

Source: School board to vote on LCAP Wednesday

Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board’s annual tradition of receiving sobering budget numbers continued recently as trustees received news about the district’s need to trim $13 million from future fiscal year budgets.

Trustees held a public hearing during the June 6 board meeting on the proposed 2018-19 budget and following two fiscal years.

While the Vallejo City Unified School District is projecting a $226,754 general fund surplus for the new school year, the small cushion evaporates during fiscal years 2019-20, and 2020-21.

Source: Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget

2018 Graduation: Fairfield High School Top Students – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Francisco Avila

Highlights: Making memories and being able to graduate. Next year: Attending Sacramento State university. Career goal: Not yet sure. In 10 years: I see myself working in 10 years.

Ashley Carver

Highlights: I joined leadership, made many friends, and discovered that I wanted to be a nurse after taking anatomy. Next year: Attend Solano Community College to become a registered nurse. Career goal: Nurse practitioner or specialize in a field of nursing. In 10 years: I see myself working and possibly going to graduate school.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Fairfield High School Top Students

Alejandro Oseguera-Perez stands for his family, community – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Fairfield High senior Alejandro Oseguera-Perez is not several things. For instance, he is not twins nor is he a clone.

That might be hard to believe for some people at the Fairfield campus since Oseguera-Perez is involved in so many activities.

Fairfield principal Will Cushman joked, “I’ve had many conversations where I say to him, ‘It’s not possible for you to ever be in class,’ because he’s always everywhere.”

OK, so he’s not a clone, nor twins . . . but if someone tries to say Oseguera-Perez isn’t the closest thing someone can come to a model student-citizen, that is the easiest way to pick a fight with folks in the Falcon family.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Alejandro Oseguera-Perez stands for his family, community

2018 Graduation: Rodriguez High School Top Students – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Risham Aulakh

Highlights: Cross country and track and field team where I broke my personal records, scored points for the team, and made many memories with my teammates. Also being part of speech and debate, National Honors Society, Link Crew and volunteering at NorthBay. And making amazing friends that made high school memorable. Scholarships, awards: Scholar Athlete Award, Academic Achievement, Wendy High School Heisman Award, Most Improved Runner, Highest Honors, AP Scholar, from the FSUSD an award for having highest GPA in my CIF sanctioned sport. Next year: UC Davis for biological sciences. Career goal: Doctor. In 10 years: I hope to see myself happy in a field of medicine that I love and am excited to come back to every day while I help make people’s lives better.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Rodriguez High School Top Students

2018 Graduation: Armijo High School Top Students – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Melanie Acuna

Highlights: Going to prom with my friends and making into Highest Honors. Next year: Attending UC Davis in the fall. Career goal: Work within the medical field, like in pediatrics or work somewhere in international relations. In 10 years: I see myself having a stable job, working in various cities or countries, starting a family and traveling. I hope my job is something that I enjoy and has a huge impact on others.

Karim Aljamal

Highlights: Completing IB. Scholarships, awards: Assist-A-Grad, Eckman scholarship. Next year: Attending UCSC as a biomedical engineering major. Career goal: A successful engineer doing interesting research. In 10 years: Successful, doing interesting research.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Armijo High School Top Students

2018 Graduation: Vanden High School Top Students – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Alexandria Adams

Highlights: Going to China with my robotics team. Scholarship and awards: Chinese American Association Scholarship and representative of Vanden High School in California’s Girls State program. Next year: Attend UC Davis in the field of chemistry. Career goal: Chemical engineer, specifically to contribute to advancing renewable resources. In 10 years: I see myself working in companies such as Genentech and Shell to apply myself in their goals for renewable energy.

Kate Williams

Highlights: I loved touring New York and Canada with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra and meeting people from around the world in the Berklee 5-week jazz intensive. Scholarships and awards: Downbeat Magazine Student music awards winner of both the high school arrangement and composition categories in 2017 and 2018. I was also the Reno Jazz Festival Outstanding High School Performer in 2017.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Vanden High School Top Students

2018 Graduation: Will C. Wood High School Top Students – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Selena Alvarez

Highlights: Being in marching, jazz, Wind Ensemble, and making it into the Solano County Honor band all four years. Next year: Attending UC Davis. Career goal: Music teacher. In 10 years: I see myself continuing to make music.

Adilene Amezcua

Highlights: Being part of Link Crew, performing in the school orchestra, taking AP classes and being part of the Outdoor Adventure Club. Scholarships and awards: Cal grant and Pell grant as well as assistance from UC Davis. Next year: Attending UC Davis and majoring in genetics. Career goal: Genetics counselor or a clinical geneticist.

Source: 2018 Graduation: Will C. Wood High School Top Students

Armijo grad: ‘One milestone down, a lifetime to go’ – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

On one side of the chain-link fence stood about 500 graduates donning purple and gold caps and gowns.

On the other, a sea of humanity hoping to catch a glimpse of the family member and/or friend as they received their high school diploma from Armijo High School.

Joshua Vazquez, who wants to attend the University of California, Davis, got some last-minute wardrobe touch-ups from older sister Jennifer Vazquez, a member of the Armijo High Class of 2015.

She helped him adjust the brightly colored serape sash and another that featured the colors of Mexico. Then, it was picture time.

Source: Armijo grad: ‘One milestone down, a lifetime to go’

Students earn diplomas and start new adventures – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Fairfield-Suisun Adult School graduates were cheered by family and friends as they crossed the stage Friday at the Fairfield Community Center to receive there diplomas. After all, it was a celebration of a new chapter opening in their lives.

Principal James Woods was emcee for the ceremony. He thanked the families for helping the students reach their goals and achieve a GED.

“Some of you transported them, made meals for them, baby-sit children for them and all that helped them reach their goals,” he said.

The sentiment was not lost on the graduates themselves.

Source: Students earn diplomas and start new adventures

Vanden grads prepare to write next chapters in their lives – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Samara Jefferson has a story, but it was not hers she wanted to tell Friday at the 2018 Vanden High commencement ceremony on the school’s football field.

Instead, the class president – the past two years – told the stories of Tikamporn Wutthakul, who arrived in the U.S. from Thailand four years ago, and William Cornejo, an El Salvador native, and Christopher Stratton, who has cerebral palsy, and Keion Wade, who fell behind in his studies after his father, Keith, died his sophomore year. But Wade worked to get back from an alternative high school to graduate with his class.

None, statistically speaking, had better than a 60 percent chance of graduating on time, Jefferson said. But each was part of the 390-student class to receive their diplomas so they can continue their stories.

Source: Vanden grads prepare to write next chapters in their lives

Buckingham grads ready for future – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

With some mortarboards aglow with lights, a few with painted pictures and necks swathed in flowers, the graduates of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School officially crossed the threshold into adulthood Friday at The Mission church.

The school’s 24th commencement ceremony had a few tears, a lot of laughter and music to see the young adults off with a proper goodbye and hello.

Mentioned often by the speakers is the uniqueness of the graduating Class of 2018.

Principle Paul Tytler noted that these students choose to stand united in support of each other. He hoped that they took away from their four years of high school a confidence to speak from their hearts, compassion and courage to stand and endure.

Source: Buckingham grads ready for future