By Lanz Christian Bañes, Times-Herald staff writer
The Vallejo City Unified School District’s continuing drop in enrollment could be leveling off, the school board learned Wednesday.
“We’re going to see enrollment increase in the near future,” said James Arcala, the director of business services, about the 1 percent decline last year.
That’s about 110 students, compared to the 4 percent decline, or 681 students, in 2009. Arcala noted that the steep drop of Vallejo’s birth rate, which the district uses to project enrollment, has begun to level off while housing prices grow and unemployment drops as the area recovers from the Great Recession.
via Vallejo district enrollment drop seeing uptick – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Susan Winlow
Pilot Timothy Kolysko circled the Solano Community College campus Wednesday in the new turquoise and orange Calstar helicopter.
When he came in for a landing, with flight nurse Mike Davidson on board, the nearby trees were whipped into a frenzy along with a microburst of already downed leaves and dust.
via Solano College students get hands-on training from Calstar Daily Republic.
By John Fensterwald
Score one for Michelle Rhee and performance pay.
A study released Wednesday of the controversial teacher evaluation system that Rhee initiated when she was chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools has found that both its threats of dismissal and big pay incentives worked as intended. Within its first three years, the system led to increases in the retention and the performance of effective teachers while encouraging ineffective teachers either to quit or improve.
via Stanford professor finds Michelle Rhee’s teacher evaluation system was effective | EdSource Today.
By Mike Corpos
The Vacaville school board will recognize the upcoming Red Ribbon Week with a resolution expected to be passed in its regular meeting Thursday.
Set for 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road, the meeting will feature the board approving a resolution declaring its support of the alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse awareness campaign.
via Vacaville school board to recognize Red Ribbon Week Daily Republic.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
With California set to bring its public school curriculum, instruction and state assessment system into alignment with the new Common Core State Standards in less than a year, the state’s public education system, the way educators teach their students, and the tests used to assess student proficiency will all change drastically. California is one of 45 states that has formally adopted the CCSS for mathematics and English language arts.
The District of Columbia and four United States territories have also adopted Common Core, which has been described as being rigorous but more honest standards to measure student achievement. According to State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, the CCSS are designed to provide all students with the deeper learning, critical thinking and other skills needed to prepare for college and a career.
via Dixon Unified prepares for the new… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Ryan McCarthy
Eighth-grade students at Green Valley Middle School put U.S. history classes into practice – with a plea to Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees for a holiday after Halloween, the students’ teacher says.
Monica Brown, who’s been teaching about rights won during the Revolutionary War – including petitioning the government – provided trustees with the holiday request written by student Samantha Burzynski, who gathered 206 signatures in support.
via Give us Halloween holiday, Green Valley students ask Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Common Core won support, but unanimous 5-0 votes by school board members did not at a candidates night Tuesday for the Travis School District.
“As Americans, that’s what we do sometimes – stand alone,” Trustee Donna Bishop said of 4-1 votes. “I’m OK with being the only one standing up.”
via Common Core wins support at Travis schools candidates night Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz,Assistant Editor
Superintendent Janice Adams will ask the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees on Thursday to consider approving the emergency plans for each school site and the district office.
“The safety of students and staff is of utmost importance, and an essential component of ensuring student and staff safety is the annual development and review of the Comprehensive School Safety/Emergency Operational Plan for the district and individual sites,” Adams wrote in a report to the board.
via School board eyes safety plans, injury prevention | The Benicia Herald.
By Alyson Klein
So if you were hoping to wake up to a deal that ends the government shutdown and raises the debt ceiling, you were sorely disappointed. Talks continue today. And, education advocates are worried that if the feds don’t deal with sequestration (those five percent, across-the-board cuts) this fall, the window may be closed for a long time (story here).
A recent proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, would keep the sequestration cuts in place for another six months, but would give agencies flexibility to decide where to make the reductions. Although the Collins proposal has run into trouble, particularly among Democrats who are upset about the fact that it would lock the cuts in place for another six months, the idea could pop up again as talks remain fluid.
via Should Arne Duncan Decide How to Distribute the Sequester Cuts? – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Jane Meredith Adams
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Saturday that would have required greater transparency from districts about the process of involuntarily transferring expelled students, and other students, to alternative schools and the process for allowing those students to return to regular schools.
Senate Bill 744, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, called for school districts to develop a clear set of requirements that expelled students must meet and set a timeline for when students can return to regular school. The bill was sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of California, Public Counsel, Children Now Legal Services for Children, Youth Justice Coalition and the Youth Law Center.
via Bill to limit ‘involuntary transfer’ of expelled students vetoed by Brown | EdSource Today.
The State Allocation Board (SAB) [http://www.dgs.ca.gov/opsc/AboutUs/sab.aspx] today disbursed $285 million for school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools throughout the state for new construction and modernization projects, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
via Funding for School Construction and Modernization – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
Do you have a school in your district that is beating the odds, recording higher attendance rates than schools with similar student populations? If so, do you know why?
Chronic absence data not only can reveal the scope of attendance problems but also pinpoint the schools with the practices and leadership that are making a difference.
Our new toolkit, What Works in Our Community, will help you look beyond the numbers and find out how these positive outliers are bringing more kids to school every day.
via New Toolkit Helps Districts Identify What Works « Attendance Works.
By Susan Winlow
The governing board for Solano Community College will look at a pair of contract amendments Wednesday to move a major project on the administration building to the next stage.
Two of the items on the meeting agenda deal with the natural progression of Building 600 renovations, which began during the summer with asbestos removal. The renovations to the administration building are part of Measure G, a $124 million bond that has been responsible for several major campus renovations as well as the newer student services facility, Building 400.
via District seeks board OK to forward college building renovation Daily Republic.
Times-Herald staff report
About 2,000 bags filled with school supplies will be given out beginning today by the Vallejo Education Association.
The union representing educators in the Vallejo City Unified School district spent about $10,000 on the community outreach project, according to a recent press release.
via Vallejo teachers to give out school supplies today – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer
There may be a general obligation bond measure in the near future for Vacaville Unified School District voters.
At the end of a special meeting in the Educational Services Center, governing board members on Thursday directed district staff members to submit “a complete list of needs” — which may include a new football stadium for Will C. Wood High School and adding more computers at schools, among many other things — before trustees approve a resolution to place a multimillion-dollar bond measure on an upcoming ballot, probably Nov. 4, 2014.
via New Vacaville Unified School District bond may be on the way – The Reporter.
By Alyson Klein
So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the White House and congressional Republicans have actually started talking to each other, about maybe, possibly ending the government shutdown, although there was no final deal yet as of Friday afternoon.
The move can’t come soon enough for one key program that K-12 schools depend on federal money for: school lunch.
via School Lunch Could Hit Skids if Shutdown Persists – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Lillian Mongeau
Just weeks into the school year, some districts are struggling with a provision in California’s dramatic revision of its school financing system that calls for smaller class sizes in grades K-3.
The new funding formula, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, gives school districts additional funds if they can keep the average class size for kindergarten though 3rd grade to 24 at all of their schools, or work toward achieving that goal. At full funding under the new formula in 2021, districts that meet the target will receive $712, on top of the K-3 per-student base rate of $6,845. (These figures do not account for cost-of-living increases that will be factored annually into the new formula.)
via New funding formula revives push for smaller class sizes | EdSource Today.
Outstanding seniors will be honored at resource fair.
Each year, during the Annual Senior Resource Fair the Advocates for Dixon Seniors recognize local senior citizens who have made a difference in their community.
On Saturday, October 19 at the Senior Resource Fair the Advocates for Dixon Seniors will honor two wonderful people who give of themselves regularly to help others in Dixon. This year they are both women and they use the same letters in their first names. The long-time Dixon residents to be honored are Joan Axelson and JoAn Giannoni. The presentation by our esteemed mayor, Jack Batchelor and the persons who nominated the ladies is scheduled for 12 noon during the 3 hour Senior Fair.
via Outstanding seniors will be honored at… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Daily Republic staff
Artists display their work, church members clean up the neighborhood, students of the month are honored and more – all part of good news around Solano County.
Nick Pino, who attended Oakbrook Elementary and Green Valley Middle School before graduating from Rodriguez High School, will have his artwork on display at the Alternative Press Expo convention in San Francisco.
via Rodriguez High graduate displays art in San Francisco Daily Republic.
By John Fensterwald
A majority of the school districts and charter schools responding to a state survey indicated they’ve got the technology to offer computer-based testing for the new Common Core standards. But the one-third to 40 percent of districts that said they have only some or little confidence they can pull it off could signal trouble complying with a new state law requiring all districts to give the Common Core math or English language arts field test six months from now.
via Most districts say they’re equipped and ready for new Common Core tests | EdSource Today.