By Keri Luiz
The governing body of the Benicia Unified School District will have its first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2015-16 school year Thursday, and trustees will get an update on the status of bond projects that began or were completed during the summer, as well as a report on future projects.
Among the major projects are a technology infrastructure upgrade — including a new phone system — at all school sites, exterior painting at Benicia High School and a re-roofing of Mary Farmar Elementary School, Mitchell Stark, director of bond projects, wrote in a report to the board.
Future projects will include installing a new playground structure at Robert Semple Elementary School and new bleachers at Benicia High’s varsity softball field.
via Benicia Unified School District: Bond project discussions start off year for trustees.
By John Glidden
Solano Community College is set to lose its executive bonds manager at the end of the month.
Yashica Crawford, the district’s chief of staff to the president’s office, confirmed Tuesday that current bonds manager, Leigh Sata, will be leaving the district to become Director of Capital Projects at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Sata will be responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of Measure H funds, according to a recent Santa Rosa Junior College press release. Measure H is a $410 Million bond passed in November 2014 to upgrade various facilities of SRJC.
Crawford said interim superintendent/president Stan Arterberry is still considering which option to take regarding filling the position. She said the college may look to name an interim executive bonds manager until a full-time hire could be made.
via Solano College looking for new bonds manager.
By Irma Widjojo
More girls in Vallejo and Benicia will have an opportunity to be a part of an after-school program that promotes health and life skills.
The Napa County-based Girls on The Run is expanding its reach to more Solano County schools for their third to eighth graders.
This school year the program will be offered at Steffan Manor and Grace Patterson elementary schools and Loma Vista Environmental Science Academy in Vallejo. Meanwhile in Benicia, it will be offered at Matthew Turner Elementary School.
Last year, the program was already offered at Steffan Manor and Grace Patterson.
“Two years ago we decided to expand to Solano County,” said April Massett, Solano County coordinator of the program. “We heard from parents and administrators who are familiar with our program that they want to bring it to Solano County.”
The 10-week program prepares the girls for a 5K running event while teaching them life skills by incorporating discussion sessions.
via New after-school program for girls introduced in Vallejo, Benicia.
By John Glidden
The first day of school in the Vallejo City Unified School District was summed up well by a fourth grader.
“We have no homework,” exclaimed Jeremiah McDade, as he skipped down the street from Lincoln Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.
McDade was with his godmother, Latoya Grogen, and her daughter, Mikka Penny, who is in the fifth grade at Lincoln.
McDade said his first day of the fourth grade was “good” and they did “nothing” in his class, drawing a smile from Grogen.
Penny said she was “excited” on her first day at Lincoln.
via Vallejo schools back in session.
By Susan Hiland
Few things really can be considered priceless for the school year, but having children take the bus to school in the Travis School District just might be worth every penny.
“We are adjusting to the closure of Peabody Road,” Bill Sarty, principal of Vanden High School, said Wednesday at the start of the school year. “The school has changed the schedule with a later start time and early leave time.”
Most notably for the parents is a push to have them bus children to school rather than use the current route, to get them to school on time.
“The company doing the work on the road, built us a loop for the bus to use,” Sarty said. “So it bypasses the problem area.”
via Road woes mark 1st day of school for Travis district.
By Richard Bammer
Several Measure A items — namely sizable contracts for design and environmental services for a new Will C. Wood High School stadium and design and engineering services related to the re-opening of Sierra Vista Elementary — are up for more discussion by the Vacaville Unified leaders.
Tonight, district staffers will recommend that trustees approve an agreement with HMC Architects, an international firm with an office in Sacramento, for design and engineering services related to the stadium, at the intersection of Peabody and Marshall roads. The amount is not to exceed $765,771.
At the same time, governing board members will be asked to approve an environmental services agreement with GHD Inc., an international professional services company with some Bay Area offices, related to the Wood stadium project. The agreement — not to exceed $256,766 — may include surveys, analysis and evaluation of environmental concerns under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Trustees will be asked to approve a $209,820 contract for architectural and engineering services from Architectural Nexus, a Utah-based firm with an office in Sacramento, related to Sierra Vista’s conversion. It includes the moving of portable classrooms, and fire, intercom, clock/bell, phone, and heating and cooling systems.
via Design contracts under Measure A on VUSD agenda tonight.
By Richard Bammer
Interpreting last year’s all-computerized state tests, a resolution to comply with state law about relocating portable classrooms, and a report on enrollment and staffing are among the items up for discussion by Dixon Unified leaders.
Tonight, Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent for educational services, will offer a slide presentation about how the trustees may interpret results from the California Assessment of Student Performance & Progress, the test — given to all students in grades three to eight and 11 — that measures student achievement under the new Common Core State Standards.
School districts statewide have received test results from the 2014-15 year, but the state Department of Education has not officially released them to the public and is expected to do so in the coming weeks.
via Decoding new state test results, enrollment, staffing report on DUSD agenda.
By Richard Bammer
Freshly scrubbed children were trudging with bulging backpacks to Foxboro Elementary, seventh-graders in skinny jeans or Raider Nation T-shirts learned the layout of Golden West Middle School, and Vanden High students, new or returning, were also excited to be back on campus after summer break, meeting their new teachers.
But for some Vanden students, the first day of the 2015-16 academic year in Travis Unified was marked Wednesday by another first, something they will remember perhaps for years to come: walking into a new $5 million, 10,000-square-foot library, sure to be a popular place to gather, talk, and work before, during and after classes.
via New $5M Vanden library sparkles on TUSD’s first day.
By Kevin W. Green
Solano Community College announced Wednesday that it has been awarded a $1.1 million federal grant for support services of students in a curriculum that is based in science, technology, engineering and math.
The grant from the U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services provides $220,000 per year for five years to provide support services to 140 low-income, first-generation community college students who are pursuing STEM-based degrees or certificates, the college said.
The TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to the U.S. Department of Education website.
via Solano College wins $1.1M federal grant.
Looking to purchase fresh vegetables, fruits and other products grown in Solano County from the comfort of your home?
The Solano Grown Online Marketplace is now open for business, until October.
The Online Marketplace has a weekly pick-up point at its Food Hub located at the Horticulture building, 1000, on the Solano Community College campus, school officials announced Monday. Customers can order on Wednesday and pick up their order Thursday afternoon.
The Solano Grown Online Marketplace is an online farmers market where customers are able to select goods from various farmers, officials added.
Products from Solano Grown members range from everyday fruits and vegetables (both conventional and organic), to plants, wines, honey, fibers, and even gourmet meats, officials said.
For more information visit www.SolanoGrown.org or www.localfoodmarketplace.com/solano.
Solano Community College is located at 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield.
via SCC to be hub for online farmers market.
By Dianne de Guzman
Wednesday marks the first day of the 2015-2016 school year for students of the Vallejo City Unified School District, with the issue of school violence returning after a summer of discussion and debate.
Last week’s back-to-school BBQ and a listening session set the stage for the start of the year. Changes are on the horizon, along with a continuation of already-implemented academic programs for students.
The most notable change on the horizon is the addition of a second school resource officer to the school district. Officer Craig Long with the Vallejo Police Department has been the district’s school resource officer since February, and school and police officials have recently made the move to hire another officer. VCUSD Superintendent Dr. Ramona Bishop and Police Chief Andrew Bidou said they’ve been in talks to do this since before the listening session, where parents voiced their concerns about school safety. Bidou said a new officer is expected in the next few months.
via Vallejo schools to continue programs, add SRO.
By Susan C. Schena
Today’s youth face a variety of challenges entering the job market, including brisk competition from those that already have work experience.
Helping teens and young adults become successful as prospective employees is a high priority for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, the City of Fairfield and its Police Department, and the Solano County Probation Department. Working toward that goal, all four organizations partnered with the Council for a Strong America to create a paid internship program to give local teens job experience and formal training on how to be successful employees. The program was paid for using grant funding from the Council for a Strong America, “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids” initiative.
Four sophomores from the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Public Safety Academy (PSA) were selected as paid interns for a one-month summer job-training program. The PSA students were Jackie Ibarra, Diana Ramirez, Tyrese Soriano, and Brenda Millan.
via Congrats To The Public Safety Academy Student Interns! | Suisun City, CA Patch.
By Bill Hicks
The City Council recognized a group of local students Tuesday who recently returned from a student exchange trip to Japan.
Students took part in the trip organized through the Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Program.
This is the 28th year the program has sent a group of local students to Japan. Fairfield also hosts a delegation of Japanese students each year. The local students visited Japan for three weeks, taking part in arranged excursions as well activities organized by their Japanese host families.
The students, Joshua Purvis and Vincent Rosario of Fairfield High School, Trieste Lindahl and Jensen Katschke of Rodriguez High School and Armijo High School’s Rachel Syrett, along with chaperone Stephanie Beardsley, took in sites around Japan that encapsulated the country’s dual-faceted culture, which is equal parts ancient shrines and bullet trains, honored traditions and cutting-edge technology.
via Fairfield council recognizes students upon return from Japan.
By Susan C. Schena
Solano Community College (SCC) was awarded a US Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) STEM grant in the amount of $220,000 per year for five years to provide support services to 140 low-income, first-generation community college students who are pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based degrees or certificates.
“This grant will allow the College to provide enhanced support services to STEM students to help them stay in school, maintain a higher grade point average, and graduate and transfer to four-year universities at a higher rate. And the beauty of this grant is that it complements our recently awarded $622,715 National Science Foundation grant in which we offer 25 to 35 scholarships per year to STEM students. Along with our new Biomanufacturing baccalaureate degree, Solano is a welcome home to high-achieving STEM students,” said Stan Arterberry, SCC’s Interim Superintendent-President.
via Solano Community College Awarded Grant To Serve STEM Students | Benicia, CA Patch.
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school district may lose millions of dollars during the next few years, if a newly approved charter school proves to be successful, a school official warned during a recent meeting of the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education.
Cecile Nunley, the district’s chief business officer, presented future budget projections showing the district losing around $1.2 million in funding for the 2016-17 school year with the opening of Caliber Charter School.
The Vallejo school board unanimously approved the charter school petition in June, paving the way for the second independent charter school in the city, joining Mare Island Technology Academy.
Charter school officials have estimated 270 students will attend the new school during its first full year of operation during 2016-17. However, the school will only receive funding for 199.5 students.
via Vallejo school district might lose money with new charter school operating.
By John Glidden
Many professional athletes — in some form — give back to their communities.
CC Sabathia gives backpacks.
Like a well-oiled machine, Vallejo High School athletes worked together Monday at the school to fill backpacks with school supplies donated from the CC Sabathia PitCCh In Foundation.
First and second graders, along with all the students at Steffan Manor Elementary, will receive a backpack laden with supplies.
Sabathia, a Vallejo High School graduate and star athlete for the Apaches, is a pitcher with the New York Yankees.
via Vallejo students get backpacks for school.
By Richard Bammer
With the new school year to begin Wednesday, the message from Travis Unified leaders to most families and students is simple and direct: Get on the bus.
Because a section of Peabody Road and nearby areas are under construction and will be closed for another year — a section near Vanden High, Travis Education Center and Golden West Middle School — start and end times for those three sites will be changed, noted Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak.
On weekdays, only school district buses and emergency vehicles will be allowed past a controlled bypass road around the main construction area near the future home of the Fairfield/Vacaville Train Station and Peabody overpass, a $35 million project.
The access road will allow students to get to school and home more quickly and more safely, she said.
via TUSD leaders to students: Get on the bus.
By Kevin W. Green
New procedures appeared to make for a smooth first day of fall classes Monday at Solano Community College.
There was a just small line or at times no line at all outside the Admissions Office through much of the morning.
This is the first year for Solano College to split the line at the Admissions Office between students: those with issues that involved money and those who did not. There was also a representative in the hallway to assist students and two “Ask Me” booths set up outside to provide guidance.
via Smooth 1st day at Solano College.
A total of $28.4 million in grants have been handed out to 38 states by the Department of Education in an effort to offer low-income students the ability to take Advanced Placement exams to boost their readiness for college and career life.
Schools that received the grant money will now be able to offer the AP exams to students at a reduced rate of $12, totaling a savings of as much as $29 per exam. Individual states may decide to ask students to pay a portion of that cost.
- “These grants are a smart investment in equity and a way to eliminate barriers for low-income students, level the playing field and allow more students to access the college-level critical thinking and reasoning skills taught in AP courses,” John King, U.S. Department of Education, said in a statement. “These grants are a smart investment in equity and a way to eliminate barriers for low-income students, level the playing field and allow more students to access the college-level critical thinking and reasoning skills taught in AP courses.”
via Dept of Ed Awards AP Grant Money for Low-Income Students.
By Lauren Camera
The U.S. Department of Education went on the offense Monday to protect federal education programs ahead of looming spending battles in Congress to stave of a government shutdown prior to the end of the fiscal year, Oct. 1.
Specifically, the department took aim at the appropriations bills that passed through the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives that would slash funding for federal education programs by $1.7 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively.
Those bills, which passed through appropriations committee this summer, have not been voted on by the full chambers.
In a press release, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan blasted the Republicans decision to slash the administrations Preschool Development Grant program, arguing it would pull funds away from states in the last two years of the grant.
via As Budget Battle Looms, Education Department Warns Against Early Ed Cuts – Politics K-12 – Education Week.