By Ryan McCarthy
A “talking is teaching” campaign aims to educate parents about the importance of communicating with their children, people who attended a Solano Economic Development Corp. breakfast meeting heard Thursday.
Susan True, who has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University and was introduced as among the smart, talented and driven people from the Bay Area, said grandmothers have always known that when a baby coos, you coo back.
Playing peek-a-boo, True said, “is top-notch neuroscience.”
via Talk with children campaign takes off Daily Republic.
By Lillian Mongeau
A bill that would make public pre-kindergarten available at no charge to children from California’s lowest-income families passed the state Senate today and heads to the Assembly for debate there.
First introduced with much fanfare in January, SB 837 expands the pre-kindergarten program known as transitional kindergarten. It has been touted as a top priority by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg despite little interest on the part of Gov. Jerry Brown.
“This is at the top of the list. I can’t think of anything more important,” Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said at a news conference announcing the new bill in January.
Transitional kindergarten is a public school program for children who turn 5 in the first few months of the school year. Originally, the bill sought to expand transitional kindergarten to serve all 4-year-olds the year before they enrolled in kindergarten. Changes to the bill language announced last week and introduced yesterday would make transitional kindergarten a targeted program for children who qualify for free or reduced price lunch under the federal poverty guidelines (under $44,000 annual income for a family of four), rather than a universal program.
via Significantly altered transitional kindergarten bill passes in the Senate | EdSource Today.
By Richard Freedman
While one door opened for Clarence “Izzy” Isadore, another door … opened. And what could be one of the quickest reversals of good fortune for the 55-year-old native Vallejoan, the soon-to-be-former Vallejo High School principal accepted the same title with Rodriguez High School in Fairfield.
The news became official at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Fairfield-Suisun school board meeting, barely a week after Isadore agreed to take a newly-created job with the Vallejo City Unified School district as middle school supports manager.
As Al Pacino said in “Godfather III,” — “Just when I thought I was out … they pull me back in.”
via Izzy decides on Rodriguez High principal job – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Arianna Prothero
U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., is introducing a bill Thursday that, in part, aims to increase school-choice programs for students in military families and students with disabilities.
The CHOICE Act (Creating Hope and Opportunities for Individuals and Communities through Education) would also make some tweaks to the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which gives need-based scholarships to District of Columbia children to attend private schools.
Rokita is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the Senate companion bill earlier this year.
Rokita said in a statement that the legislation would benefit the children of servicemen and women who may not have access to quality schools on a base, “by ensuring funding directly benefits and follows the student, not an education bureaucracy if it
via New School Choice Bill Targets Military Families, Special-Needs Students – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Thomas Arnett
One of the great parts about working in education technology is the conversations it leads to in social settings outside of work. The subject of education is naturally interesting to most people because almost everyone has spent a significant portion of their life going through the education system. Given the common interest in education, it is exciting to tell people about the ways in which blended learning is enabling personalized instruction and fixing many of the aspects of school that people find frustrating. Interestingly, while most non-educators find these ideas immediately appealing, the reactions I get from current and former teachers can range anywhere from enthusiasm to skepticism to outright opposition. In my conversations with teachers, I’ve noticed some common concerns that are worth addressing.
via Addressing Teachers’ Concerns about Online Learning – Education Next : Education Next.
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that local educational agencies LEAs will soon receive about $8.4 million in the third round of Proposition 39 planning funds.
“Prop 39 is generating some much-needed support for modern school facilities and healthy environments for young Californians,” Torlakson said. “These projects bring together job creation, environmental protection, cost savings, and learning opportunities.”
Covering a span of five years, Proposition 39 will direct up to $2.5 billion in new revenue to fund projects by California LEAs, including school districts, charter schools, county offices of education, and community colleges. Future years funding will go toward the projects themselves, and first-year awards that were not used for planning can also go toward projects.
via $8.4 Million Awarded for School Construction – Year 2014 CA Dept of Education.
By Irma Widjojo
The blue sky above Jesse Bethel High School was adorned with colorful balloons and kites Tuesday afternoon, as a group of people remembered the Bethel “family members” who had passed away.
The second Day of Remembrance Kite Festival celebrated the memories of 35 late students and staff members who had passed away since the school opened its doors in 1998.
“This is a time for us to remember those who had been taken from us too soon, but will stay in our heart forever,” Jesse Bethel Principal Linda Kingston said.
Mary Richardson, the mother of Joshua, was one of the parents who organized Tuesday’s event.
via Kites flown to honor late Jesse Bethel High students, staff – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Ryan Chalk
Travis teachers on Tuesday issued a press release claiming that management is set to be paid more come July 1 than what was previously bargained for.
In a Travis Unified Teachers Association (TUTA) announcement, the group alleges that the Travis Unified Governing Board, “recently voted to increase the total compensation package for its management and confidential employees beyond the increase bargained by teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, custodians and all other employees.” The board action, on a 4-0 vote, came during its May 13 board meeting, according to the press release from TUTA.
“In the first salary increase since 2006, all Travis employees will receive a total increase of 3.5 percent, effective July 1, under their recently ratified agreements. Management and confidential employees, however, will receive a total increase of 5.1 percent,” the announcement indicates.
via Travis teachers, district dispute benefits change – The Reporter.
By Barry Eberling
A campaign is underway to help more than 1,700 homeless students who attend Solano County schools have school supplies.
People can drop off donations at various locations from June 2 through July 28. Among the items needed are backpacks – no solid red or blue colors – alarm clocks, lunch bags, binders, binder dividers, pencils, color pencils, erasers, paper, highlighters, crayons, glue sticks, pencil sharpeners, flashcards, notebooks, pencil pouches, rulers and calculators, a Solano County Office of Education press release said.
via Campaign seeks school supplies for homeless youths Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Dawn Kirby, a Travis School District trustee since 2011, has stepped down from the board because of a military move that sent her husband John Kirby to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.
“I did the very best I could with the information I had,” Kirby, 39, said of her time on the board.
She called her years on the school board “the education of a lifetime.”
Kirby was appointed to the school board in October 2011 and faced no opposition in November 2013.
via Kirby steps down from Travis School District board Daily Republic.
Awards and acknowledgements were the theme last week during Benicia Unified School District’s board meeting, as trustees heard about accolades received by one elementary school and a pair of employees.
Matthew Turner Elementary School was acknowledged for receiving the California Distinguished School Award, which, according to the California Department of Education website, identifies and honors schools that have “demonstrated educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap.”
Matthew Turner was one of three Solano County schools to receive the award this year, Superintendent Janice Adams told trustees Thursday.
via Job well done: School, teachers win praise.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
Solano County agencies, led by Vallejo school officials, want to shift the focus from students’ mistakes to their ultimate potential.
That was the main takeaway Friday at the Solano County Positive Youth Justice Summit at the Solano County Event Center.
“What you do is not the whole of who you are,” said Alana Shackelford, director of partnerships and community engagement for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
Shackelford was expanding upon the conference’s theme of “I See You.”
About 75 people attended the morning plenary sessions of the day-long summit, the second organized by the Vallejo City Unified School District and its partners. The district is the recipient of a two-year $400,000 Positive Youth Justice Initiative grant from the Sierra Health Foundation which focuses on “crossover youth.”
via Solano schools summit focuses on “crossover youth” – The Reporter.
By Richard Bammer
A key element of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, LCAPs lay out in detail what educators, governing boards, and teachers must do to educate students and how they are going to measure results.
Among other things, accountability plans mandate meetings with community stakeholders and give more power to principals and boards of trustees as they seek to focus on student achievement for all and narrow the so-called “achievement gap,” the difference in standardized test outcomes between various ethnic groups.
Already underway, the district’s plan comes as most states, including California, are beginning to put into place the new Common Core State Standards, what students are expected to know at each grade level, another historic change in American education.
via LCAP on Tuesday’s Dixon Unified School District board agenda – The Reporter.
By Lewis W. Diuguid
America looked like a better, more progressive place 50 years ago.
President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty, which led to the creation of numerous Great Society programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, better education, job training, Head Start, and food assistance for children and families. Congress passed and Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had been long sought by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others in the civil rights movement.
The Voting Rights Act followed in 1965. People then knew that for the United States to remain a world power its poorest and most oppressed citizens had to be healthier, welcomed and more productive.
via Public schools contend with growing poverty Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
The nonprofit proposed to work with the Travis School District on recess programs aims to enhance the community and the power of play, a representative says.
School district staff pulled the proposal and Hector Salazar, an account manager for Oakland-based Playworks, said while the matter has concluded, the community should know the nonprofit’s approach.
“It has to be a good fit,” he said of Playworks. “I’m not going to force it on anybody.”
Attention to a $2,000-a-day fee for a follow-up consultation, part of the proposed $47,900 pact, could have overshadowed the value of the recess program, Salazar said.
via Profit isn’t Playworks’ goal, rep says Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
The proposed $47, 900 contract with Playworks for recess programs came after the Travis School District contacted the Oakland-based nonprofit, school board members say.
Trustee Riitta DeAnda said parents had raised concerns about bullying and the contract, pulled May 13 by the school district staff from the board of trustees agenda, intended to address that issue.
Trustee John Dickerson said he spoke with Sue Brothers, director of curriculum for Travis, about the pact.
via Travis School District staff asked for Playworks pact Daily Republic.
By Tony Wade
Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, so in 2012 when Armijo High School students who were enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program needed 150 community service hours to graduate, they decided to create a club to help them fulfill their individual requirements.
The Armijo Helping Hands club quickly became a win-win for the students and the community. They have now shown up in force and helped with local events that range from school carnivals to the Solano Turkey Trot.
Sara Johnson, a Spanish instructor at Armijo, is the club’s adviser and recalled its beginnings.
via Armijo Helping Hands hopes to build on service foundation Daily Republic.
Times-Herald staff report Posted:
Public school students in this town can expect to be eventually using a suite of cloud-based applications.
“We wanted a single product for students and staff to work better together, from anywhere,” said Ruben Fernandez, supervisor of technology and instruction for the Benicia Unified School District, during Thursday’s school board meeting.
Fernandez gave a brief presentation on Google Apps, several online programs that include a storage drive, word processing and other features. Fernandez touted the system as one that increases collaboration across the district.
“The traditional barriers will be pulled down to working together,” he said.
via Benicia schools to get Google apps – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Elena Aguilar
This is the time of year when, for many different reasons, some teachers consider taking positions at other schools. I’ve received a number of calls from friends and colleagues this spring asking for my advice on this difficult decision. Here’s what I always say: It’s all about the principal or head of school. Find a site with a great leader and while your struggles might not be over, they’ll be significantly reduced. The three qualities I find most indicative of a great school leader are visionary leadership, community builder, and emotional intelligence.
You’ve probably heard a term like “visionary leadership” used in reference to a site leader. But what does that mean? How do you know if a leader is a visionary? A visionary leader is clear about what he or she believes and knows is best for children — for their academic, social, and emotional learning. The leader’s individual beliefs have developed in collaboration with other stakeholders and articulated into some kind of vision or mission statement.
via What Makes a Great School Leader? | Edutopia.
By Alyson Klein
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislative language related to student nutrition standards Thursday that offers less wiggle room for schools than language approved by a House panel earlier this week.
The move is the latest in a battle over the school meal standards created under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a battle that has heated up this week. Groups like the School Nutrition Association have argued that compliance with the standards is difficult and costly for districts. Groups committed to battling childhood obesity trends say issues with the rules can be handled through the regulatory process, not through congressional intervention.
via Clash in Congress Continues Over School Meal Rules – Politics K-12 – Education Week.