By Jordan Shapiro
When it comes to kids and parenting, the conversation around digital media and screen time has become boring and predictable. Folks worry about the impact of video games, apps, tablets, and smartphones.
The most absurd paranoid narratives echo the same ones that seem to accompany all technological shifts: that screens will cause physical damage (in this case, either neurological or ocular) to the natural human body. This monstrous fear is animated by the same Frankenstein story that makes up the essential foundation of films like The Terminator—that our own creations will eventually turn on us.
via Facing The Technological Monsters That Threaten Our Children – Forbes.
By Michael Collier and Louis Freedberg
Two years after California required its more than 1,000 school districts as well as charter schools to draw up Local Control and Accountability Plans to establish goals and describe how they would use state funds, the documents have mushroomed in size, in some cases to hundreds of pages long.
The burgeoning size of the LCAPs, as they are commonly referred to, is raising questions about whether after just two years in existence they are turning into a daunting bureaucratic exercise, taking hundreds of work hours to draw up and many more hours of review by county officials who must approve the plans.
via District accountability plans mushroom in size and complexity | EdSource.
By Richard Bammer
The Solano Adult Education Consortium will hold its monthly meeting at 1 p.m. today at Golden Hills School, 2460 Clay Bank Road school in Fairfield.
The meeting will focus primarily on a review of the county’s adult education one- and three-year plan and the consortium’s 2015-16 budget, Kay Hartley, project manager for the consortium, said in a press release.
After some discussion, consortium members will vote to approve the plans and the current year’s budget.
County adult education consortium meetings are open to the public, and interested community members are invited to attend.
via Solano adult ed leaders to meet today.
By Linda Flanagan
Marcy Rosner started her career as a college counselor, but decided to switch to teaching when she realized her favorite part of the job was working with students. She lives in Oakland and teaches U.S. and world history to 10th-graders at a nearby charter school. Now in her fourth year as a teacher, she appreciates how much she didn’t understand about the work.
“Teaching is infinitely more difficult than I pictured,” she said.
The challenges most teachers encounter are well known. In exchange for modest pay and marginal status, teachers are expected to inspire a love of learning among their students, introduce exciting new technologies and be attentive to distinctive learning and emotional styles — while somehow carrying out state and federal educational standards, managing behavior problems and keeping standardized test scores respectable.
via Stressed Out! What Can Teachers Do About It? | MindShift | KQED News.
By Sarah Tully
Over the past three years, California has more than quadrupled the number of early childhood centers being evaluated with a new rating system, but that is still just a fraction of the state’s publicly subsidized programs.
The U.S. Department of Education released Tuesday a progress report of the 20 states, including California, that received federal Early Learning Challenge grants starting in 2011. The grants, part of the Race to the Top program, were meant to improve publicly funded early learning programs with systems to rate their quality, as well as track health screenings and assess children’s readiness for kindergarten.
via State expands preschool rating system, but aims to add more | EdSource.
By Jay Harlow
This fall 9th-grade students in virtually all California high schools are taking math classes aligned with the Common Core standards. But for many of them there is an additional twist: they are embarking on a sequence of courses that represents a significant departure from how high school math has traditionally been taught in California and the nation.
Every district has had to decide whether to stick with a “traditional” sequence of courses in grades 9-11 (Algebra 1, followed by geometry, then Algebra 2, with some probability and statistics in each course) or adopt a new “integrated pathway” that combines and re-orders content from those courses in a three-year sequence.
That sequence is typically simply called Math I, Math II and Math III. Each course includes algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that are “integrated” with each other.
via California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway | EdSource.
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board is not screaming for ice cream.
The trustees held a spirited discussion — during a recent meeting — about safety concerns regarding ice cream trucks parked in front of Vallejo High School.
Vallejo High School teacher Andrew Johnansen, called for Nebraska Street — which splits the high school and former Vallejo Middle School — to be closed during school hours. He said students who may have a class at the former middle school campus, run the risk of being hit by cars who travel down the street, “sometimes not too safely.”
Johnansen said several ice cream trucks park on Nebraska Street — just as school is ending — are sometimes near crosswalks, making it difficult for those wishing to use crosswalks to see around the vehicles.
via Vallejo school board expresses concern over ice cream trucks.
By Susan Hiland
Tuesday was a fun day of challenging activities and learning for students at K.I. Jones Elementary School.
About 285 students participated in the first of two days of the GATE Olympics, which challenged them mentally and physically to work together to meet the goals of the program.
GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education.“Sometimes kids who are gifted have a difficult time working in a team,” said Principal Michelle LaBelle-Fisch. “This program is to help them learn to work together.”
via GATE Olympics emphasize teamwork.
The Vacaville Unified School District Board of Trustees used an extensive one-night vetting process to determine who would fill its vacant seat. It worked well with retired Vacaville Deputy Fire Chief John Jansen earning the appointment.
It was the right decision to make. There would have been no benefit to a special election. That process could have cost the district an estimated $600,000 and another election would have been necessary again in just a few years.
Doing it this way may have potentially increased the number of candidates as well. It was a good strong field this time and worthy candidates may have skipped out on an extensive election process because of the personal cost and time needed to run a campaign.
via Editorial: VUSD trustees made right pick with Jansen.
By Jessica Rogness
Vacaville’s Youth Master Plan is due for an update.
The Vacaville City Council will consider the update that could include adding the demographic of young, post-high school adults to the plan’s focus at its regular meeting Tuesday.
The original Vacaville Youth Master Plan was approved by Vacaville City Council in August 2000.
In 2010, the Vacaville Youth Roundtable selected to update the Vacaville Youth Master Plan as one of its Gold Medals for the Sierra Health Foundation’s REACH grant objective.
via Vacaville City Council to consider ‘post high school’ population.
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano Community Foundation has awarded nine grants totaling $8,625 for the 2015-16 school year, focusing on grade-level reading literacy and appropriate placement in math classes.
The grants are part of the Education Plus! Mini-Grant Program.
The $2,000 recipient is Andrea Taylor-Williams at Fairview Elementary for a project called Making Math Real.
via Teachers receive Solano Community Foundation grants.
By Louis Freedberg
California’s efforts to dilute the dominant role of testing in schools – prominently led by Gov. Jerry Brown – are getting support from some of the same players responsible for entrenching it in the national education reform agenda over the past decade.
In recent days, both President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have called for reducing the standardized tests children have to take to 2 percent of their instructional time.
In California, that would amount to no more than 3.5 days per year out of an average school year of 180 instructional days. That would be in addition to the quizzes, tests, Advanced Placement exams and local district “benchmark” tests that students take on a regular basis throughout the year.
via California is ahead of President Obama in reducing testing in schools | EdSource.
What is Farm to Preschool?
F2P is a growing movement that includes activities that strengthen relationships between children in early child care and education settings and healthy, local food.
F2P activities include:
- Purchasing, promoting and serving healthy, local foods in snacks or meals
- Providing educational activities related to agriculture, food, health, or nutrition
- Creating hands-on learning opportunities for children through gardening
via Californias Farm to Preschool Program – Healthy Eating & Nutrition Education (CA Dept of Education).
By John Glidden
The Vallejo City Unified School District is having a problem providing enough substitute teachers, so the board of education increased the daily pay of subs, during a recent meeting of the trustees.
The board unanimously approved a $20 increase — from $125 to $145 — for day-to-day subs, while long-term substitutes will receive $155, per day.
The impact for is the district is approximately $150,000, district officials said.
“Right now, we are not competitive with Fairfield (Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District) and other districts — with regard to our substitute pay — therefore our substitutes are choosing to go other places than coming here,” said VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop, to the board.
via Vallejo school district to spend $150,000 to attract teacher subs.
By Jessica Rogness
Vacaville elementary schools joined others around the world in reading the story of a young boy and his fish friend.
It was part of the 10th annual Jumpstart “Read for the Record” event.
Students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade at Alamo, Browns Valley, Callison, Cooper, Fairmont, Hemlock, Markham, Orchard and Padan elementary schools in the Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD) all read the same book on Thursday morning: “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story,” written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
“It’s a global campaign and really the intent is to generate public support for high quality early learning and a love for reading for children,” said Kimberly Forest, VUSD director of instruction, curriculum and assessment.
via Young students share in worldwide reading event.
By Tim Roe
The future indeed looks bright … and very funny.
Some of the best of local high school students were honored late Wednesday night at the Vacaville Veterans Memorial Building for their participation in the 2015 Boys and Girls State programs over the summer.
The evening of recognition was hosted by the American Legion & Auxiliary Unit 165 of Vacaville, which also paid for 12 local scholars from Vacaville area high schools to go to the prestigious programs for students between their junior and senior years.
The students received hands-on lessons in government during the weeklong camps, with the boys staying at CSU Sacramento, and the girls traveling to Claremont McKenna College in Southern California.
via .Vacaville area students honored for participating in Boys and Girls State
By Ryan McCarthy
Replace the Indian mascot at Armijo High School, speakers told Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday.
Antonio Gonzales, director of the American Indian Movement-West in San Francisco, asked that trustees put the matter on a board agenda in December.
“No people should be a mascot,” Gonzales said.
He spoke about Vallejo High School deciding two years ago to replace the Apache mascot with Redhawks while keeping the red and white school colors.
via Indian mascot at Armijo High School must end, speakers say.
By Ryan McCarthy
A survey of 400 likely voters in the Fairfield-Suisun School District found strong support for the district – and for a bond to pay for building projects, trustees were told Thursday.
“The community likes the district – and thinks the district is doing a good job,” said Jon Isom, managing principal with the financial advisory firm Isom Advisors.
Isom recommended trustees put on the June 2016 ballot a bond costing property owners $60 a year for $100,000 of assessed valuation.
“November is a bit of a wild card,” Isom said, “as far as what else might be on the ballot.”
via Survey finds strong support for Fairfield-Suisun School District, bond.
By Martin Henderson
A Northern California organization that believes sitting is the new smoking is standing up childhood obesity by taking its fight to the classroom.
Citing problems with a sedentary lifestyle, StandUpKids.org has successfully turned a San Rafael school into the nation’s first with standing classrooms. That’s just what it sounds like: No sitting allowed.
Vallecito Elementary School has converted 19 of 22 classrooms so far and will convert the remaining three to stand-up desks before the end of the year.
via California School Stands Up to Sitting Desks | Patch.
By Daniel R. Porterfield
“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” wrote Percy Blythe Shelley in the 1800s. If he’d only said that about “teachers” instead, I’d agree.
Pound for pound, no group has more impact on individual people and on democracy as a whole than the more than two million people working in pre-college classrooms.
And yet, our society too often devalues teaching, either by having low expectations for educators or by reducing the role to mere test prepping. This may not be a new phenomenon, but it’s dismaying and we need to stop it.
Because I work on a college campus, I see the impacts of great pre-K-12 teachers each and every day.
via College Students Tell Us Why High School Teaching Makes a Difference – Forbes.