By Susan Hiland
Taylor Eisan, a first-grader at Foxboro Elementary School, ran across the finish line first. Her best friends Torrie Burbak and Jocelyn White came in right after her Wednesday at the 38th Annual Doug Butt Run at Laurel Creek Park in Fairfield.
The first-graders are not even from the same school but are the best of friends who made it to the finish line together. Torrie is from Browns Valley Elementary in Vacaville and Jocelyn is from Orchard Valley Elementary.
via Daily Republic | Solano Countys Breaking News Source.
By John Glidden
French novelist and Nobel Prize winner Anatole France once remarked that “nine tenths of education is encouragement.”
That encouragement just received some encouragement of its own.
On Tuesday morning, various representatives from the Vallejo Career Pathways Trust met at the Solano Community College Vallejo Center to discuss how local children and college students will continue to receive that encouragement, after the trust was awarded a $6 million grant as part of the larger California Career Pathways Trust.
The CCPT awards grant amounts to individual districts and colleges to craft partnerships, which helps students learn a certain program, preparing the students to enter a career field after high school or continue on to college to learn more about the field.
via Pathways Trust and Vallejo school district celebrates grant – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer
Jeremy Jeffreys graduated from Vacaville High 21 years ago, a time when the city had the best schools in Solano County, he believes.
“And now they don’t,” asserted the father of two and Green Valley Middle School teacher, one of nine candidates seeking four seats on the Vacaville Unified board. “I’m determined to turn that around.”
Like the other candidates, the lifelong Vacaville resident can quickly tick off his top three priorities. In order, they are, he said, “getting back to classroom-centered decision-making; to have VUSD put into place career tech education, vocational pathways; and re-focus our efforts on school safety.”
via Vacaville Unified School District trustee candidate ‘determined’ to improve schools – The Reporter.
By Todd Finley
One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, “Thanks for your attention — let’s talk about love poems.”
I never used that stunt again. After all, should a real emergency occur, it would be better if students call 911 rather than post my motionless body on YouTube. I’ve thought this through.
Most teachers use silencing methods, such as flicking the lights, ringing a call bell (see Teacher Tipster’s charming video on the subject), raising two fingers, saying “Attention, class,” or using Harry Wong’s Give Me 5 — a command for students to:
via 30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class | Edutopia.
By Susan Winlow
Obsolete and unused items from the Fairfield-Suisun School District will be making way to Belize in November, according the school district agenda highlighting informational and action items at Thursday night’s meeting.
The move came after Kris Corey, the district’s superintendent, took an educational tour of Belize during the summer.
“In the district’s effort to meet the state of California’s requirements for Common Core, the superintendent realized that many of the instructional materials and other items that the district was replacing, could be of use to the schools in Belize,” staff reports state.
via School district to send unneeded items to Belize Daily Republic.
By John Glidden
All it took to enter the Continentals of Omega Boys & Girls Club gym Monday afternoon was a golden ticket.
Well, it wasn’t a ticket, just a golden piece of paper.
By 4:30 p.m. well over 100 Vallejo City Unified School District children had stopped by to pick up free school supplies during the “Helping Hands School Supply Outreach” hosted by the Vallejo Education Association.
“It’s great for the kids,” said A.J. Brock as he and his wife, Araceli, stopped by the event with their three children.
A.J. Brock said that he was impressed with the free book each child was able to pick out.
via Teacher association dishes out school supplies, books – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Holl Korbey
The rise of the standing desk may appear to be a response to the modern, eat-at-your-desk, hunched-over worker chained to her computer, but history paints a different picture: Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all stood while they worked. Donald Rumsfeld had a standing desk, and so did Charles Dickens. Workplaces are moving toward more standing desks, but schools have been slower to catch on for a variety of reasons, including cost, convenience, and perhaps the assumption that “sit down and pay attention” is the best way to learn.
Mark Benden, Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Texas A&M Health Science Center, is looking to change all that. Too much sitting is bad for our health, he said, and students are now facing a host of challenges that may stem in part from too much time in a chair, including obesity and attention disorders. So five years ago, Benden and his team began studying what happened to students when they got out of their traditional seats and moved to standing desks.
via How Standing Desks Can Help Students Focus in the Classroom | MindShift.
By Christina Samuels
Bullying of students with disabilities such as diabetes, depression, or food allergies could result in a denial of those students’ right to a free, appropriate public education—and as such requires immediate steps on the part of the school to remedy the situation, according to guidance in a “Dear Colleague” letter released Oct. 21 from U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights.
The most recent guidance refers specifically to students covered by Section 504, a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. That act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by organizations that receive federal money, such as schools.
via Ed. Dept. Expands Guidance on Bullying and ‘504’ Students With Disabilities – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Laurie Udesky
Teachers who received extra training and support in implementing the Common Core State Standards have had a “positive” experience introducing them into their classrooms, according to a national survey of teachers.
But many teachers said they didn’t get enough professional preparation. Of the 1,676 teachers who responded to the July 2014 survey, funded by Scholastic Inc. and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the vast majority said they needed more training.
Teachers said they wanted more professional development in the actual content of the standards, how to integrate the standards “across subject areas” and what they need to change in their method of instruction to teach to the standards. California, 42 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted the new academic standards in English Language Arts and Math.
via Teachers want more Common Core preparation | EdSource.
By Irma Widjojo
Pink was the color Friday at Benicia Middle School.
Pink pinwheels, pink outfits, pink ribbons and even a pink fire engine.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the school dedicates its lunch time each Friday this month to breast cancer-related activities.
“This is teaching the kids to look outside of themselves,” Yvette Brown said.
Brown is a leadership teacher at the school and organized the effort, and the students have been embracing the activities, she said.
via Benicia students help fight breast cancer – Vallejo Times Herald.
Vacaville Reporter Posted:
The first fifteen classes of the 2014 Suisun Marsh Watershed Program – 470 sixth and seventh graders– have finished their day-long field trip to the Solano Land Trust’s Rush Ranch Open Space.
After learning about the Marsh and watershed ecology in three pre-trip classroom lessons, the students spent a day on an activity-packed field trip exploring part of the largest contiguous brackish tidal marshes remaining on the west coast of North America. At the marsh, students hiked through one of the last intact wetlands in the Bay Area and studied the soil, water and plants they found there. In the day’s final activity, participants hiked to Overlook Hill, to write poems about their experience, which their teachers submit to the River of Words International art and poetry contest. Back in their classrooms after the field trip, students completed additional lessons covering the problems and solutions of ocean debris and water conservation.
via Student Rush Ranch program underway – The Reporter.
By Michael Kitzes:
Voting to put Measure A, Vacaville Unified School District’s $194 million General Obligation facilities bond, on the ballot was the most important vote I took this year as Vice President of the Vacaville Unified School District Governing Board and I am in good company.
Virtually every single politician that represents our city is supporting Measure A. That includes your congressman, state senator, state assemblyman, both Vacaville County supervisors, all five sitting members of the city council, both mayoral candidates, all seven school board members, and all 4 challengers in the upcoming school board election. It is incredibly rare to see such agreement amongst our political class. These endorsements represent Democrats, Republicans and Decline-to-State office holders.
via Guest: It’s the right time for Measure A – The Reporter.
by Donna Beth Weilenman and Keri Luiz
Incumbent cites experience with district, Benicia
Editor’s note: Three terms on the Benicia Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees come to a close this year. Four candidates — three incumbents and one challenger — are vying for the three seats. Incumbents Peter Morgan and Rosie Switzer were featured in the Oct. 12 Benicia Herald.
During this year’s televised candidates forum, Steve Messina called himself “a known commodity and praised the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees for the direction it has taken since he was elected to the panel in 2009.
He is seeking re-election to the Board Nov. 4.
via Messina seeking return to BUSD.
by Keri Luiz Leave a Comment ■
Newcomer to BUSD race campaigning on education backgroundEditor’s note: Three terms on the Benicia Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees come to a close this year. Four candidates — three incumbents and one challenger — are vying for the three seats. Incumbents Peter Morgan and Rosie Switzer were featured in the Oct. 12 Benicia Herald.
The newcomer in the race for a seat on the Benicia Unified School District board of trustees is Diane Ferrucci. But she is not new to education, having worked at several area schools.
Ferrucci and her husband, Jim, have lived in Benicia 35 years. They have reared three sons, Jimmy, Brian, and Christopher. Of the three, Brian lives in San Jose; Jimmy and Christopher live in Benicia with their families. All three attended Benicia schools.
via Ferrucci tries for trustees board.
By Lisa Currie
Phrases like “random acts of kindness” and “pay it forward” have become popular terms in modern society. Perhaps this could be best explained by those who have identified a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism.
It seems that we just can’t get enough of those addictive, feel-good emotions — and with good reason. Scientific studies prove that kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. And children need a healthy dose of the warm-and-fuzzies to thrive as healthy, happy, well-rounded individuals.
via Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying | Edutopia.
By Irma Widjojo
The Citizens’ Oversight Committee members for the Benicia Unified School District’s general obligation bonds were confirmed Thursday night.
Three school board members who were present at the board meeting unanimously approved the recommendation made by Superintendent Janice Adams. Trutees Andre Stewart and Peter Morgan were absent.
The seven-member committee will make sure that the bond monies will be expended appropriately.
Voters passed the $49.6 million general obligation bonds, or Measure S, in the June election to be used for renovation and improvement of the district’s facilities.
via Benicia school board approved Measure S oversight committee – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Louis Freedberg
Louis FreedbergWith the adoption of the Common Core standards by 43 states, the nation’s schools have embarked on one of the most ambitious reform strategies in the post-World War II era.
Opposition to the new academic standards, however, has emerged on several fronts. Some states are threatening to withdraw from the Common Core altogether. Nationally, support among the general public is shaky and eroding, at least based on the results of recent polls.
By contrast, the situation is different in California, where the prospect of implementing the Common Core without significant resistance seems greater than in many other states.
via California conditions favorable for Common Core implementation | EdSource.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California leads the nation in after school programs, placing first among all states in a national survey released Thursday by the Afterschool Alliance [http://afterschoolalliance.org/index.cfm] .
“The good news is, because we have followed through on our long-term commitment to invest in our children, California has the largest network of after school programs in the country,” Torlakson said. “These programs are helping our children learn and stay safe after school, while helping working parents keep their jobs. The challenge is that many more children still need to be served.”
Torlakson celebrated California’s number one ranking with students, parents, community leaders, and advocates Thursday in a visit to the after school program at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood.
The Alliance gave California its top ranking in the 2014 edition of its “America After 3PM [http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM] ” survey, singling the state out for both strong participation among students and high satisfaction with after school programs among parents. It found that expanded learning participation in California had increased to 25 percent, compared to 19 percent in 2009, with more than 1.6 million students enrolled.
via California #1 in Preschool Programs – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).
By Maurice Elias
Take a good story, make it into an illustrated book, develop a curriculum, shoot videos of kids in action, add a website, create an app, ground it all in rigorous research and this may be the formula for the next wave of social and life-skills-related instruction.
The story is inspired by the situation faced by so many children who lead lives of considerable physical and psychological challenge and trauma but persist and become resilient finding greatness in their lives. In the book that anchors this program, Born for Greatness: Me, You, and the Dalai Lama, By Bouncy the People Trainer, readers are introduced at the end to Bonnie St. John, a woman who overcame abuse and physical handicap to learn to ski, attend college, win a Paralympics medal, and meet the Dalai Lama.
via Using Multimedia Technology for Teaching Social and Life Skills | Edutopia.
By Richard Bammer
Staffing and student-teacher ratios, a contract for Google Chromebooks, and updates on Common Core, including math instruction, are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight.
In an annual rite, Randy Henry, the district’s chief human resources officer, will update the seven-member governing board on district staffing and class-size ratios, a district statistical snapshot of sorts.
In agenda documents, he noted that the district boasts nearly 12,300 students, 184 fewer than last year and 13.3 percent fewer than in 2004, a gradual but steady decline.
via Class sizes, computer contract, standards on VUSD agenda – The Reporter.