New grant program will focus on executive function, math – Education Dive

By Linda Jacobsen

A paper appearing earlier this year in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed gaps in kindergartners’ executive function skills — such as being able to shift one’s attention and control inhibitions — can contribute to later difficulties in academics, including math, throughout the elementary years.

“For example, working memory deficits may contribute to difficulties in comprehending text, following multi-step instructions, or effectively using strategies to solve mathematics or science problems,” the authors wrote. They concluded that interventions focusing on “cognitive processing deficits” and that jointly address executive function as well as academic skills could benefit students.

Source: New grant program will focus on executive function, math – Education Dive

Thank you, CC and Amber Sabathia – Times Herald

letter to the Editor/Nestor Aliga

On Aug. 19, CC and Amber Sabathia again shared their valuable time, talents, and treasures with our beloved community. This year, it was with very appreciative students at Joseph Wardlaw Elementary School. Similar to previous years, they will distribute about 3,000 backpacks throughout the school district.

On Aug. 7, the Vallejo City Unified School District unanimously adopted the “CC and Amber Sabathia Day on Aug. 19” resolution, which reads:

• Whereas, Carsten Charles Sabathia, Jr. was born in July 1980 in Vallejo, California, and graduated from Vallejo High School in 1998 where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football; and as one of highest-paid Major League Baseball pitchers, CC has been a Cy Young Award winner, a six-time All Star, and a World Series Champion, as well as a generous philanthropist in Vallejo; and

Source: Thank you, CC and Amber Sabathia – Times Herald

Parents of Kids With Special Needs Find Advice Navigating The System Online – Mindshift

By Laura McKenna

When Stasi Webber decided it was time to uproot her family from their Michigan home to find a better school for her 11-year-old son with autism, she turned to the internet for answers.

The public schools in her state don’t provide the specialized behavioral and life skills training, known as ABA therapy, that her son needs; he skips school every Tuesday and Thursday to receive these essential services. But recently, Webber learned from parents on social media that her son could get both academics and ABA training in schools in New Jersey, where she grew up.

With a tentative plan of returning to her childhood home in Mahwah, she found three or four local social media sites run by special education parents and asked about ABA services at the local district, its willingness to send students to specialized schools and comparisons with nearby towns. She put her house on the market.

Source: Parents of Kids With Special Needs Find Advice Navigating The System Online – Mindshift

PitCCh In, Wells Fargo show interest in Lincoln School in Vallejo – Times Herald

By Richard Freedman

Let’s face it, about 200 kids at Lincoln Elementary School likely didn’t care about the teamwork it took to get them free backpacks Tuesday morning with all of life’s necessities like pencils, crayons, rulers, scissors, glue sticks and notebooks.

All that mattered was scoring a much-needed tool to the new year at Vallejo’s oldest elementary school. And that they did.

“It’s incredible,” observed Principal Sandra Nahal. “We have so much need in our community and the students are so grateful and the parents are so grateful. It means a lot.”

Source: PitCCh In, Wells Fargo show interest in Lincoln School in Vallejo – Times Herald

Teens spruce up Armijo’s garden for open house – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Volunteers spent the past two days helping Armijo High’s Garden of Hope prepare for its showcase at the school’s open house next month.

The 2,400-square-foot plot is the dream of Sylvia Herrera, a 21-year teaching veteran at the school.

The idea was planted in her mind a few years ago. She credits principal Sheila Smith for her support in the venture.

Brothers Isaiah and Isaac Powell were there early Tuesday to help out. Isaiah, who will be a junior, also helped out in the garden during the spring semester.

Source: Teens spruce up Armijo’s garden for open house – Daily Republic

Students return for first day of school in Vallejo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

For a brief moment, it looked like the hallways of Solano Middle School would never clear as students, teachers, and parents clogged the narrow spaces early Monday morning for the first day of classes.

It was a new era for the school on Corcoran Avenue, as kindergarten through fifth-grade students from Elsa Widenmann Elementary School officially joined the new campus — forming the hybrid elementary/middle school of about 800 students.

“It was a bit chaotic,” said parent Carmela, who declined to give her last name. Carmela dropped off her little one for the first day of the fourth grade.

Source: Students return for first day of school in Vallejo – Times Herald

FSUSD Project Lit: Growing Readers and Leaders – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District students will have the opportunity to participate in diverse book clubs tied to community service this upcoming school year thanks to a Solano Community Foundation Education Plus! Grant. Teacher librarians in the district will use grant funds to start Project LIT Book Clubs for teens in the community. Project LIT Community is a national, grassroots Literacy movement, in which a team of dedicated teachers and students work together in forming a school-wide – and sometimes community-wide Literary Community.

FSUSD and Project LIT Community envision a future where all children become proficient, passionate readers who see the joy and value of reading, and who possess the literacy skills to choose their post-secondary path. In order for this to become a reality, every child deserves access to high-interest, culturally relevant books both inside and outside of school. Additionally, every child deserves daily opportunities to read, celebrate and discuss great books with peers and adults in their community.

Source: FSUSD Project Lit: Growing Readers and Leaders – Daily Republic

Shining faces, smiles, some anxiety in a ‘positive learning environment’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

From Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” the “seven ages of man” speech refers to the second stage this way: “Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel/And shining morning face, creeping like snail/Unwillingly to school.”

But while there were few serious whiners, there were plenty of shining faces, in some cases perhaps masking some understandable anxiety, as backpack-toting children with pep in their step and many wearing new clothes marched back into Vacaville Unified classrooms Thursday, the first day of the 2019-20 academic year.

Hundreds of parents and some 965 students of the nearly 13,000 across 19 campuses districtwide showed up at 8:25 a.m. at Markham Elementary to hear welcoming remarks from Principal Jose Bermudez before the first bell.

Source: Shining faces, smiles, some anxiety in a ‘positive learning environment’ – The Reporter

Anderson students ready to learn on first day back – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

After a quiet two months, the halls of Linford L. Anderson Elementary School in Dixon were once again filled with new and familiar faces when classes resumed Thursday for the 2019-20 school year.

The day began with students and their parents gathering on the blacktop for a schoolwide welcome, morning announcements and recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Principal Rayito Farris. The students then formed single file lines and made their way to their classrooms.

Their backpack designs reflected their interests, ranging from movie franchises like “Frozen” and “Toy Story,” comic book characters like Spider-Man, video games like “Fortnite,” “Minecraft” and “Super Mario Bros”; and timeless hobbies like dinosaurs and cars.

Source: Anderson students ready to learn on first day back – The Reporter

NorthBay tourney helps advance USTA’s ‘Net Gen’ program – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

Young tennis fans will get to learn about the game again this October when the NorthBay Healthcare Men’s Pro Championship returns to Solano Community College.

The professional tournament benefits the Chris Cammisa Tennis and Education Foundation, a nonprofit that not only helped establish the men’s and women’s tennis programs at SCC, but also provides tennis and a related educational program to underserved youth in Solano County.

One of the ways of reaching out to youth during the tournament is by using the U.S. Tennis Association’s Net Generation Program. The mission of “Net Gen” is to introduce children to tennis, a sport they might not normally be exposed to but could potentially play the rest of their lives. Racquets, balls and pop-up nets are all provided.

Source: NorthBay tourney helps advance USTA’s ‘Net Gen’ program – Daily Republic

Cambridge kindergarteners have fun-filled start of school – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The bell rang. Students at Cambridge Elementary School made their way across campus, backpacks in tow, to begin the first day of Travis Unified School District’s 2019-20 academic year Wednesday.

Outside Dolores Smith’s kindergarten classroom parents waited with their kids, some of whom were nervous to start school and others who were excited to begin a new chapter in their young lives. Smith welcomed them in, students hung up their Pokemon, “Toy Story” and Disney princess backpacks and entered the classroom.

After the students settled down on the carpet, Smith had them wave goodbye to their parents before the kindergarteners began their day. She then held up individual name tags, and when students recognized their name they went up to claim their tags.

Source: Cambridge kindergarteners have fun-filled start of school – The Reporter

Niche Ranks Fairfield-Suisun Schools – Patch.com

By Maggie Avants

Public Safety Academy is the top-ranked school in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, according to new rankings released Monday by Niche. The company gave Public Safety Academy an overall grade of A- and ranked it the 362nd-best public high school in the state of California.

Here is how Niche graded other Fairfield-Suisun schools:

  • Armijo High School, B, 968th-best public high school in the state
  • Dan O. Root Elementary School, B-

Source: Niche Ranks Fairfield-Suisun Schools – Patch.com

Free Haircuts for Students at National Night Out – Daily Republic

By C. Felton

On, Tuesday August 6th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM Living Waters Worship Center will hosting their annual National Night Out and Back to School Celebration at Laurel Creek Community Park.

This year Brian Walker owner and operator of Dubb Cutz. Dubb Cutz is a Mobile Barbering Salon that comes to the you, whether it be the comfort of your own home, office, hotel, or anywhere else you need them to perform their services.

Dubb Cutz brings all the equipment with them that is needed to perform your service and it’s always a professional clean cut with a smile and has generously agreed to offer FREE haircuts so that local deserving students can go back to school in style looking and feeling their best.

Source: Free Haircuts for Students at National Night Out – Daily Republic

School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo school district continues to stave off financial insolvency, the Board of Education will meet Wednesday to establish the process of selling off surplus district-owned property.

In June, the five-person board approved a resolution declaring the district needed to identify over $15 million — $7,750,000 during fiscal years 2020-21, and 2021-22 — in savings to prevent a second state takeover.

Trustees will consider a request from district staff to solicit an appraisal for the Rollingwood property. Located along Rollingwood Drive and Benicia Road, the nearly 18 acres of land is home to four unused little league baseball fields.

Source: School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald

Fairfield-Suisun USD 19-20 Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District announces its policy to serve nutritious meals every school day under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and/or Afterschool Snack Program. Effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.

Households do not need to turn in an application when the household receives a notification letter saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals when any household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR. Children who meet the definition of foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway, and children enrolled in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals. Contact school officials if any child in the household is not on the notification letter. The household must let school officials know if they do not want to receive free or reduced-price meals.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun USD 19-20 Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals – Daily Republic

‘Paperless First Day’ attendance recording boosts efficiency – Education Dive

Districts considering major paperless transitions should heed Jones’ advice about providing ample training ahead of time. Videos work well for new processes in many cases because they can be viewed independently and rewatched for further clarity.

The long-term benefits of going paper-free also pay off on the initial investment. Printing, copying and distributing paper documents is a waste of time, money and resources, with schools spending an average of $50,000 a year on paper and ink. Today’s students also often prefer to work on screens rather than paper.

Source: ‘Paperless First Day’ attendance recording boosts efficiency – Education Dive

Noted children’s author inspires Solano’s youths – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

Explosive laughter erupted from the Fairfield Civic Center Library Saturday, a sure sign that something super fun was going on.

Turns out, it was something and someone, the later being noted children’s author and artist Todd Parr.

The Berkeley writer penned some 50 books over the years that’s printed in 18 languages. The gist — be unique, be you, and that’s more than enough.

Source: Noted children’s author inspires Solano’s youths – The Reporter

California Teachers Association loses thousands of members – The Reporter

By Louis Freedberg

Ending a decades-long connection, the association representing California State University faculty has severed its ties with the California Teachers Association, resulting in a significant loss in membership for the state’s largest teachers union.

In a little noticed move, the board of the California Faculty Association voted in late May to “disaffiliate” from the CTA. The association, whose members include faculty, part-time lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 CSU campuses, is an affiliate of the CTA, which means that its members can be CTA members as well.

The CTA wields considerable clout educationally and politically the state. Defying predictions that the Janus ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago would eviscerate public employee unions by limiting the fees they could collect, the CTA says it has added new members, as have many other unions across the country. The CTA anticipates that some 22,000 new members it says it has recruited over the past year will offset the approximately 19,000 CSU staff the CTA says belonged to both the faculty association and the CTA.  The CTA says  its overall membership will remain around 325,000.

Source: California Teachers Association loses thousands of members – The Reporter

Solano residents build a bright future, graduate from pre-apprenticeship program – Times Herald

By Thomas Gase

Each year, Solano County employee ability specialist Nel Sweet Davis likes to give members of a pre-apprenticeship construction training program a memento before they start their five-week training course. Quite simply, the memento is just piece of a random lost jigsaw puzzle.

On Friday morning nine members of this program were able to start seeing the entire board.

A graduation ceremony was held by the Workforce Development Board of Solano County, the Northern California Laborers’ Training Center and Benicia Unified School district to honor participants who completed a five-week training course. The course was designed for residents of Solano aged 18 to 24 and interested in the construction trade.

Source: Solano residents build a bright future, graduate from pre-apprenticeship program – Times Herald

Vallejo school board approves new contract with state trustee – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board unanimously approved a new contract at its July 24 meeting with a state trustee tasked with ensuring the school district remains solvent.

Melvin Iizuka will receive up to $56,000 annually to attend Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education meetings each month and monitor the district’s financial condition.

The school district is required by the state of California to have the trustee while the district continues to pay off a $60 million bailout loan it received from the state in 2004.

Source: Vallejo school board approves new contract with state trustee – Times Herald