Many school districts are changing their codes of conduct in a way that limits the use of out-of-school suspension and expulsion and defines the role of law enforcement in school, a recent survey by the American Association of School Administrators and the Council of State Governments found.
But the resources—human and financial—needed to make those changes don’t always match what districts can muster.
via School Discipline Survey Finds Challenges in Making Changes.
Gail Pizzo, SCOE Special Education Principal, arranged for Pastry Chef Edward Martinez to give a motivational talk to incarcerated youth in the Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) on April 8.
“The Resource Program at JDF focuses on transition skills as part of the Individual Education Plan for students,” said Pizzo. “One of the incarcerated youth has a background in culinary arts and a goal to become a chef. Resource Specialist, Sandra Schuster, guided the student to write a letter to Executive Pastry Chef Edward Martinez, who responded by offering to speak with students. The students were awed and inspired by Mr. Martinez’s real-life experience… from gangster to pastry chef.”
via From Gang Member to Pastry Chef
Benicia’s newest school board member will sit in his first meeting Thursday.
Peter Morgan was chosen by the school board last week to fill the seat left empty by Dana Dean, who last month left after she was appointed to the Solano County Board of Education.
via New Benicia trustee takes seat on Thursday.
It’s a bird … It’s a plane … IT’S CST-MAN!
Cleo Gordon students received words of courage and inspiration from CSTman as they prepare for standardized testing this week. Go-o-o-o-o, Comets!
via It’s a bird … It’s a plane … IT’S CST-MAN!
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says he thinks the time has come for a sweeping expansion of early-childhood education programs, like the one that President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union speech. And he’s hoping to get as many states as possible on board.
“The average child from a disadvantaged country comes to school a year to a year and half behind,” Duncan told reporters during a round table discussion Monday in which he made a sales pitch for the program, which faces long odds on Capitol Hill in an austere federal budget year. “Politicians are used to thinking short term. This is the ultimate long-term play.”
via Arne Duncan Makes Pitch to Expand Early-Childhood Education.
By Jane Meredith Adams
The Walton Family Foundation announced Tuesday that it is “significantly increasing its support” in the Sacramento-based national lobbying and policy organization StudentsFirst, with an $8 million investment.
The Walton Family Foundation has invested $3 million in StudentsFirst since Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public schools, founded the organization in 2010. The $8 million investment will be made over two years and was given to the StudentsFirst Institute, a related nonprofit with a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status, meaning that contributions are tax-deductible. StudentsFirst, a 501(c)(4) organization to which contributions are typically not tax deductible, is active in mobilizing members to lobby state legislators and other activities.
via Walton Foundation increases donation to StudentsFirst – by Jane Meredith Adams.
By Louis Freedberg
Some high level diplomacy is called for to end the Cold War between Sacramento and Washington that has frozen out the state from benefiting from the major education initiatives of President Obama’s education reform agenda.
The administration has awarded 34 states and the District of Columbia waivers from onerous provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation signed into law a decade ago by Obama’s predecessor.
But the administration has rejected California’s request for a waiver from the law – the same one that President Barack Obama has criticized during most of the time he has been in office.
via Washington and Sacramento must end Cold War on education – by Louis Freedberg.
By Jane Meredith Adams
It’s the million-dollar question or, given the size of the California education budget, the $50-billion-dollar question: What makes extraordinarily successful schools different from other schools? The answer: school climate, according to a new study from WestEd, a San Francisco-based research agency.
The study looked at 1,715 California middle and high schools, sorted them by student demographics, and analyzed them by peer group. Schools that served students from high-income families with few special needs were compared to schools with a similar student cohort; schools with students from low-income families who were learning English were compared to schools with the same demographics.
via Positive school climate boosts test scores, study says – by Jane Meredith Adams.
By John Fensterwald
Seven advocacy and civil rights organizations, led by Washington-based The Education Trust, have called on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to deny nine California districts a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law, saying any deviation from a statewide waiver “would be the wrong path forward.”
“Instead, we urge California’s district and state leaders to work together on a strong statewide application. And we urge the U.S. Department of Education to stand firm, both in its commitment to equity and its commitment to statewide accountability systems,” the organizations state in a letter sent to Duncan on Monday.
via Advocacy groups urge rejection of NCLB waiver for California districts – by John Fensterwald.
As the national debate grows louder over deploying police in schools, the largest state in the union – California – is considering a bill that would require schools to set “clear guidelines” defining the role of school police and limit their involvement in disciplinary matters.
The Golden State joins Texas and Connecticut – home of the December Newtown school shootings – in considering legislation that would set limits on how schools involve police officers in discipline. Colorado adopted limits last year.
via Bill seeks to limit school police in discipline matters.
ROCKVILLE — The Solano Community College District’s governing board will discuss a partnership with an airline company in public and land near an airport in private.
The board meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Administration Building at 4000 Suisun Valley Road in rural Fairfield.
via Solano College board schedules study session.
David Crane, a businessman who advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on financial matters – particularly long-term public pension deficits – recently wrote an I-told-you-so piece for the Bloomberg news service about the State Teachers Retirement System.
He and others had postulated last year that if voters approved the sales and income tax hike being sought by Gov. Jerry Brown, they would see the money disappear into CalSTRS, rather than into classroom instruction, as Brown, et al., insisted.
via Dan Walters: California Legislature ignoring teacher pension gap.
With more tax revenue coming into the state — because of a better economy and voter-approved taxes — the battle over school funding is headed in a new direction. This year, instead of arguing about how much to take away from public school districts, legislators and the governor are squabbling over how to fairly divide the increased revenue.
The governor wants to send significantly more money to school districts with higher proportions of students who are poor, who don’t speak English proficiently and/or who are wards of the state.
via Editorial: Accountability First on School Funding.
Teachers, paraeducators, school secretaries, computer technicians and other school staff all contribute to student achievement, educational innovation and community involvement in Solano County’s schools, which is why 14 of them will be honored by the Solano County Office of Education.
Several of those nominated for the 2013-14 Solano County Educators of the Year award are from the Vacaville area.
All will be honored during a reception at 5:15 p.m. May 1 in the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center in Suisun City.
via Nominees for 2013-14 Solano County Educators of the Year announced.
The Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, Solano County Office of Education, Travis Credit Union, and the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District have teamed up to develop a new Work-Ready Certification Program for students.
The WRC program utilizes entry-level job skills, identified by the local business and industry community, to validate that area students have the ability to succeed in the workplace and to become contributing citizens of the community, both locally and globally.
via Schools, credit union and chamber team up for new program in Fairfield.
Life, like the wind, can be fickle.
Though only 14 years have passed since Jesse Bethel High School first opened its doors, the campus on the hill has seen its share of tragedies.
Dozens of students, teachers and staff associated with the school have died from accidents or illness — several within the last year.
via Jesse Bethel High kite festival will remember those the school has ….
By Lillian Mongeau
California earned a lackluster rating on state spending, preschool access and program quality for early childhood education for the 2011-12 school year, according to the annual State of Preschool Report released Monday by the National Institute for Early Education Research.
Since early childhood education is not part of the K-12 system in most states, funding for and provision of the service varies widely. The annual report by the Rutgers University-based research organization is the only national study that gathers funding and policy data on early childhood education from each state and puts it into a comprehensive report that measures spending on a per-pupil basis.
via California earns mediocre marks on national study of early childhood education – by Lillian Mongeau.
FAIRFIELD — Karen and Carla Acree, a mother/daughter duo, strolled through the “street fair” at Solano Community College’s open house and alumni event on Saturday. Both are in the school’s horticulture program and initially came just for the extra credit.
They each carried the green “passport” filled with stamps that could enable them to win extra prizes by visiting the various booths touting college programs such as cosmetology, horticulture, aeronautics and fire technology. Classroom doors opened for demonstrations, the new Fine Arts building held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony and the Solano Community College Foundation held an alumni event.
via Open house at Solano College brings in the public.
FAIRFIELD — E. Ruth Sheldon Elementary School got a spruce up, a paint job and a new plant here or there on Saturday.
It was all done for free during a cleanup hosted by Comcast Cares Day Saturday.
The school’s teachers, administrators, students and their families, and friends lent a hand to beautify the campus with supplies provided by Comcast. Several Comcast employees also showed up to volunteer their labor.
via Community, Comcast help makeover local elementary school.
FAIRFIELD — Parents at Suisun Valley Elementary School had one consistent message at meetings during rounds of local school closures in 2009 and 2012.
Grow the school, instead of shutting it down.
That’s exactly what Fairfield-Suisun School District leaders have done, as at least 130 additional students will attend the rural K-8 school over the next few years.
via School prepares for new students, buildings.