By Susan Winlow
Pulse-rattling rock music blared from the speakers Friday in the library quad area at Armijo High School.
Much of the lyrics were sugar and candy related – right in line with the CandyLand theme of this year’s club fair that took place during lunch hour. Promises of candy and something to spice up school life lured hundreds of students to the nearly 40 club tables set up in the quad.
via School clubs keep students interested and motivated Daily Republic.
By Alyson Klein
Brokedown Congress appears likely to spend the weekend attempting to keep the government from shutting down and the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. The sticking point this time isn’t schools. Instead, education is getting caught in the crosshairs. Republicans want to defund, or at least delay implementation of, the president’s landmark health care overhaul law (the Affordable Care Act to its fans and “ObamaCare” to its critics).
What does the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad budget situation mean for schools?
via What Does the Possible Government Shutdown Mean For Schools? – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Jane Meredith Adams
Let the counting begin.
With millions of dollars available under the new finance formula for schools with large numbers of low-income students, districts are pulling out all the stops to make sure they get an accurate count of their high-needs students. Because the new system defines “low income” as students who are eligible for the federal free- and reduced-price meals program, some districts are offering free Raiders tickets, ice cream parties, tickets to the county fair and other perks to encourage families to sign up for the National School Lunch Program.
via Free lunch sign ups crucial for accurate count of low-income students | EdSource Today.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
Whether you knew him as “Papa Bear” or “Mr. O’Neill”, if Wesley “Wes” O’Neill was a part of your life or education here in Dixon, he no doubt left his mark. For those who have lived in Dixon all their lives and went through the local schools in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, Wes O’Neill was a real-life legend.
He was an educator in Dixon Unified School District for over 30 years and touched the lives of thousands upon thousands of children and young adults in his years as a teacher, a counselor, a principal, and a school board trustee. Outside of the classroom, Wes and his wife, Grace, were devoted parents to their two sons and always involved in the community.
via Timeline Photos | Facebook.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
Following over a year of negotiations that included several impasses and heated discussions during board meetings, the Dixon Teachers Association and Dixon Unified School District have come to an agreement in its 2012-13 negotiations.
Dixon Unified’s board of trustees voted 4-0 Thursday to approve the memorandum of understanding between the school district and the teachers union, effective for only the 2012-13 negotiation period. Board President Gil Pinon was absent.
via District and DTA reach agreement in… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Ryan McCarthy
“Homework” for people who attend a Monday meeting of Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees about Common Core includes watching a webcast involving the “radical changes in teaching, learning and testing” for the new educational standards.
That’s not the description of critics like CA Common Core Concerns, but what the Sacramento-based California School Boards Association calls its 56-minute webcast with school district officials in the state.
via Fairfield schools assign ‘homework’ for Common Core meet Daily Republic.
By Glen Faison
Like it or not, California is embarking on a significant change in how are children are taught.
Teacher training is taking place in advance of Common Core’s official launch in California, set for the 2014-15 school year. The first round of assessment tests based on the new standards will be administered in spring 2015.
via Common Core yields common concerns Daily Republic.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
Vallejo High School has been stripped of its Academic Performance Index score this year due to a teachers violation of a standardized test security affidavit, according to documents that surfaced earlier this week.
The API is the states measure of academic achievement and is based primarily on state standardized tests.
During the science portion of the exam earlier this year at Vallejo High, the teacher administering the test asked students to use a testing strategy in which, on a separate piece of paper, students jotted down the number of the questions into three categories: those they knew, those they might know, and those they did not know, according to the irregularity report.
via Teachers API act at Vallejo High leads to state academic penalty – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Claudio Sanchez
The College Board, sponsor of the SAT, says latest scores show that roughly 6 in 10 college-bound high school students who took the test were so lacking in their reading, writing and math skills, they were unprepared for college-level work.
The College Board is calling for big changes to better prepare students for college and career.
via College Board ‘Concerned’ About Low SAT Scores : NPR.
By Mark Gura
Having been involved with student robotics programs for many years, I feel that robotics just may be the most perfect instructional approach currently available. It offers classroom activities that teach high-value STEM content as well as opportunities to powerfully address ELA Common Core Standards. In fact, there are connections to robotics across the full spectrum of the curriculum. Robotics is also a highly effective way to foster essential work skills like collaboration, problem solving and project management. It does all this while keeping kids so motivated and engaged that getting them to stop working and move on to the rest of the school day can be a challenge — a good problem to have!
via Student Robotics and the K-12 Curriculum | Edutopia.
By Christina Samuels
The Education Department has announced grant awards for several areas related to special education:
Data: Westat, Inc. of Rockville, Md. will receive $6.5 million to create the National Technical Assistance Center to Improve State Capacity to Accurately Collect and Report IDEA Data (one hopes that the name will eventually be something catchier than NTACISCACRID). Westat will work with states to upgrade their ability to report high-quality data under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part of the center’s work will also be to help states with their state performance plans and annual performance reports, which is already seeing changes under the department’s shift to “results-driven accountability.”
via Special Ed. Grants Awarded for Data, Parent Assistance, School Climate – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Sue Waters
Student photos, and especially linking names with specific photos, is a common concern that comes up when blogging, sharing videos, or using other web services online.
Information that helps someone identify a student should always be shared with care.
What you need to consider
Even though 99.99% of visitors to your class blog will be well meaning parents, students, community members, or interested visitors from around the world, the unfortunate reality is that those with bad intentions can also visit public sites. There are also cases where the personal background of a student might mean they need more privacy and anonymity than others.
via We Should Talk – Are You Using Student Photos Online? | The Edublogger.
By John Glidden
The Vacaville Elks Lodge wants to help local youths attend college.
The Elks will host a scholarship open house from 10 am. to noon Oct. 12 at the Vacaville Elks Lodge, 304 Parker St.
All Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Winters and Rio Vista high school students are encouraged to apply for the Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship, which ranges from $4,000 to $60,000.
via Elks Lodge to host scholarship open house Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Hundreds of high school students walked around a gym Thursday, in search of love.
At least that’s what Daniel Bell, owner of Chef to Go Catering in Vacaville, and others hope the hunt involved and that the Fairfield High School students are successful in their search.
via Fairfield High hosts gym full of careers Daily Republic.
By Holly Korbey
Last spring, 18-year-old Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif., developed a super-capacitor that can charge a cell phone in less than 30 seconds. The super-capacitor can be used for other products, too — maybe even providing a solution for charging electric cars.
Khare, who won $50,000 in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his invention, is an inspiration — and an exception. Most American high school students aren’t leaning toward careers in math or science — actually, they’re leaning away. A recent report by STEMconnector and My College Options shows that 60 percent of students who begin high school with an interest in science or math lose that interes by graduation.
via All Hands On Deck: Getting Kids Excited About STEM | MindShift.
By Michele McNeil
Nine months after the U.S. Department of Education named 16 winners to share $400 million in the first Race to the Top for districts, change orders already are being approved.
The 16 winners have pitched ambitious plans to dramatically improve their districts, with a focus on personalized learning (a top priority of the department’s). Already, the Education Department has approved eight amendments ranging from technical to more-significant as the districts seek to fine-tune their projects. If the Race to the Top state contest is any guide, there are many more district amendment requests surely in the pipeline.
via Race to the Top District Winners Already Changing Their Plans – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Ryan McCarthy
Heavy Medal Wednesday produced a gym packed with parents and children who cheered – as loudly as during the final seconds of an overtime basketball game – for academic success at the school that’s home to almost half the youths who achieved double-perfect state test scores in the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
via Heavy Medal Wednesday a hit at high-scoring Nelda Mundy Daily Republic.
By Mike Corpos
Will C. Wood and Vacaville high schools are teaming up once again to present their fourth annual college night – and any student in Solano County can benefit.
The college night is scheduled 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10 at Vacaville High’s gym.
via College night offers starting point for students Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Imposing national uniformity on American schools has failed before – and that may be the fate of Common Core as well, more than 100 people who attended a Vacaville town hall heard Wednesday.
“It’s going my way,” said Williamson Evers of the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto. “It’s going our way.”
via Common Core panned, praised at Vacaville forum Daily Republic.
By Alyson Klein
As Congress struggles to pass a budget stopgap measure, advocates are stepping up their fight against sequestration—the series of across-the-board cuts to federal programs that hit last March and are slated to stay in place for a decade unless Brokedown Congress acts.
The districts hardest hit by these cuts? The roughly 1,200 that receive federal Impact Aid. Those are typically districts that lose out on tax revenue thanks to a federal presence, such as a nearby military base or Native American reservation.
via Sequestration Cuts Sting, Say Impact Aid Districts – Politics K-12 – Education Week.