By Tony Wade
May 2-6 is Teacher Appreciation Week.
My first teacher was my mom, Katy Lou Wade. She taught me to read and to love reading at a young age. My earliest memories are of me sitting on her lap as she read Dr. Seuss books to me.
I was only 5½ , but I recall the day my mom dropped me off at Breezy Point Kindergarten and I bawled my head off. It turned out my teacher, Mrs. Nottingham, was very nice and I settled in, but it was still like Christmas when my mom picked me up a few hours later.
I have had numerous other inspiring teachers, too many to list, including a few who taught me things beyond the classroom.
Source: Appreciating teachers of long ago
School in eastern Solano County will end in early June, but low-income children’s hunger and their need for healthy meals will not.
Schools, camps, nonprofits, Indian tribal governments and government offices among many entities and groups are being urged by state education leaders to apply to become Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors. It is a way to make sure poor children get nutritious meals once school is out.
Applications are due before June 1, said Peter Tira, a spokesman for the California Department of Education, which issued a press release.
“Summer for our students should be a time of discovery, fun, and making memories,” said state schools chief Tom Torlakson. “For many California children from low-income families, however, summer can represent just the opposite, with limited opportunities for educational enrichment, a lack of safe places for social activities, or a time without healthy meals to eat.”
Source: CDE wants sponsors for summer meals program
By Richard Bammer
As enrollment for area school districts gets underway, Vacaville Unified is among those offering a learning option for nonvaccinated students, the home-based Independent Study program.
In response to SB 277, which took effect Jan. 1 and disallows personal and religious belief exemptions for some 10 vaccinations, Superintendent Jane Shamieh said that, as a result of the law, some families may no longer have a school to send their children to. The law affects all California public and private schools and daycare centers.
In a prepared statement, Shamieh noted this major change for the 12,300-student district, which has accepted exemptions for students in the past.
Source: VUSD offers Independent Study for nonvaccinated students
By Richard Bammer
The Solano Transportation Authority encourages Solano County elementary and middle school to join National Bike To School Day Wednesday.
As part of National Bike Month in May, this one-day event, supported locally by the Solano Safe Routes to School program, encourages students and families to “think outside the car” by biking to school instead of getting in a car, Jayne Bauer, marketing and legislative program manager for the Suisun City-based authority, wrote in a prepared statement.
Rio Vista Mayor Norm Richardson, chairman of the authority’s board, added: “Biking to school is a healthy and fun way to start the day and also helps reduce traffic around schools and air pollution emissions. Studies show that physically active kids learn better and are more likely to become healthy adults. These are all great reasons to put your foot on the bike pedal instead of the car pedal!”
Source: National Bike To School Day set for Wednesday
The Will C. Wood High spring production will be a nonmusical version of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” a comedy better known by its 1944 film version starring Judy Garland.
The staging opens at 7 p.m. Thursday and continues at the same time May 6 and 7 in the school’s Catwalk Theatre, 998 Marshall Road.
Tickets are $7 adults and $5 for students at the door.
The story tells the tale of the four rambunctious Smith sisters. They decide they do not want to move just when the 1904 World’s Fair is about to begin in their hometown. In the process, the sisters learn about life and love, thanks to the boy next door. In the end, after some romantic misunderstandings and crazy antics, love conquers all.
Source: Wood High actors to stage ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’
By Cory Turner
This winter, Jameria Miller would often run to her high school Spanish class, though not to get a good seat.
She wanted a good blanket.
“The cold is definitely a distraction,” Jameria says of her classroom’s uninsulated, metal walls.
Her teacher provided the blankets. First come, first served. Such is life in the William Penn School District in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia.
The hardest part for Jameria, though, isn’t the cold. It’s knowing that other schools aren’t like this.
Source: The School Spending Debate: What Difference Does A Dollar Make? : NPR Ed : NPR
By Theresa Harrington
The Fresno and Visalia school districts are spending $10 million each on new schools.
San Jose Unified put about $12 million toward staff bonuses, while Santa Ana Unified spent $9 million on retiree benefits.
The money is coming from about $3.6 billion in tax revenues California’s about 1,000 school districts received over the past two years. The Legislature specified that it “intended” for districts to “prioritize” spending of the one-time funds on implementing academic standards, including Common Core standards in math and English.
But lawmakers also told districts that they first had to use the funds as reimbursement for outstanding claims for programs and services mandated by the state. Because districts had already covered the past mandated expenses, they were free to use the one-time reimbursements “for any purpose.”
Source: School budget laws complicate tracking of Common Core spending | EdSource
By Mayrene Bates
Just in case some of us may have forgotten, Tuesday was California School Bus Driver’s Day. I am a huge cheerleader for school bus drivers and each year try to make it a top priority to ride, at least, one of the routes – usually out of town.
I always return enthused, as I get to meet a new driver or renew an acquaintance with a driver who I’ve ridden with before like Eliane Medina. I also get to meet the children, of course, as well as greet parents who meet the bus to see their children off to school.
This School Bus Driver’s Day I was excited about taking the bus at 7 a.m. from the Solano County Office of Education’s transportation yard on Clay Bank Road and head out to schools in Fairfield and Green Valley with driver Medina. By the time we returned to the yard, it was time to join everyone for a mouth-watering barbecue to honor theses special heroes of the road.
Source: School bus drivers vital link to home, school
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today recognized six outstanding classified school employees for their contributions and dedication to California’s public school students.
“Our schools would cease to function without the classified employees who keep them clean and safe, who make sure our students get to school and receive the proper nutrition once they are there, and who contribute to an overall positive school culture and caring environment,” Torlakson said. “Our 2016 Classified School Employees of the Year represent the very best of the best. I applaud them and thank them for their important service to California’s children and families.”
The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from among 107 nominees.
Source: 2016 Classified School Employees of the Year – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
Dixon Unified leaders selected a preschool educator and president of a PTO to replace Andrew Bloom, who resigned his trustee post in March.
On a unanimous vote Monday night during a special governing board meeting, four trustees picked Melissa Maseda and she was sworn in immediately by board president John Gabby.
Their decision, made in the Dixon City Council chamber, came after she and four other candidates offered personal statements, followed by a winnowing of the field to three finalists, all of whom were asked the same set of six questions.
Following the six questions, the board — besides Gabby, Caitlin O’Halloran, Guy Garcia and Joe DiPaola — “had very little deliberation,” Superintendent Brian Dolan said Tuesday.
Source: DUSD leaders appoint new trustee
By Richard Bammer
A type of civics class was in session Tuesday morning in the Catwalk Theatre at Will C. Wood High School, but there was a new teacher, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, going over the day’s lesson, the voting process and the importance of voter registration.
“Raise your right hand if you like politics,” Padilla, a Democrat and the state’s top elections official, said to open his presentation, looking out at nearly 300 seniors seated in the theater. Several dozen hands shot up in the air in response.
Source: Civics lesson from a top politician
By Ian Thompson
Construction of the Green Valley Road overcrossing above Interstate 80 is nearing completion and the state Department of Transportation announced several changes to traffic patterns to allow construction crews to continue work.
Northbound traffic on the Green Valley Road overcrossing above westbound and eastbound I-80 will be routed starting Friday onto the new overcrossing. Southbound traffic will continue to use the existing lanes on the existing overcrossing.
The temporary configuration will allow crews to continue work on new approach lanes and prepare for demolition of the old overcrossing. This configuration will be in place for about six weeks until the new overcrossing is opened northbound and southbound.
Source: State announces traffic changes to Green Valley Road overcrossing
By Ryan McCarthy
Sex education starting in the seventh grade with instruction that includes affirmatively recognizing people have different sexual orientations and discussing same-sex relationships is among 18 board polices that go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees when they meet Thursday.
Instruction about the harm of negative gender stereotypes is also part of the California Healthy Youth Act that the school district’s curriculum would support.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District board policy includes notifying parents that they can request in writing that their child be excused from participating in sexual health and HIV prevention education.
Source: Sex ed that supports new state law goes before Fairfield-Susiun board
By Richard Bammer
With more pride than fanfare, Rodriguez High School students in a video game design class last week rolled out their collaborative, year-end project, “Cosa Nostra.”
At the end of a low-key press conference Thursday, Mike Sagan, in his fourth year as a video game design teacher at the Red Top Road school in Fairfield, said 15 of his students — seven developers, four researchers and four graphic designers — spent four months to create the fully functional, role-playing video game.
“They were crunched on time,” he said in the school library, adding that the students had to design, test and market the game before delivering their final product to him and his colleagues, Jesse Castro and Melissa Vallejo.
“It is ready to market,” said Sagan, a graduate of California State University, Long Beach, adding, “But we’re not going to sell it.”
Source: Rodriguez High gamers roll out role-playing video game
By Richard Bammer
In his latest update on the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, Mark Frazier told Vacaville Unified trustees that plans are to hire five full-time elementary science/physical education teachers.
As the school district’s chief academic officer, he delivered the news during Thursday’s governing board meeting in the Educational Services Center.
It comes after two straight years of results showing Vacaville Unified students lag behind state averages on physical fitness tests, with an increasing number of students tested — in fifth, seventh and ninth grades — failing to meet “healthy fitness zone” performance standards that would be a hedge against worrisome medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Source: VUSD leaders hear update to LCAP
By Richard Bammer
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will discuss the voting process with Will C. Wood High School seniors this morning.
The event, a school assembly not open to the public, begins at 9 a.m. in the Catwalk Theatre at the 998 Marshall Road campus in Vacaville.
Organizers say the Democratic official and former state Senator, by education an engineer who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will offer information about how to register to vote and ways to get involved in the political process. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Source: Secretary of State Alex Padilla at Wood High today
By John Miller
Recently, the Dixon High School AP Language and Composition classes read Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The book chronicles the different ways that women are being oppressed on a global scale. The book looks frankly at such topics as maternal mortality, honor killings, and female mutilation. Many of the things the students read took them aback, and they wanted to do something in response. The topic they have chosen to address is sex trafficking. This is a crisis in many parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia and parts of the Middle East, but the students were shocked to find out how Sacramento is also a hotbed for sex trafficking in California.
Source: Youth Event at Dixon High School to Shed Awareness on Global…
by Daily Republic Staff
The Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, Will C. Wood Interact Club and the Reach/Aware Coalition invite teens ages 13 to 18 to the first youth summit Operation Representation.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Ulatis Community Center, 1020 Ulatis Drive. The summit kicks off at 9 a.m. and will focus on empowering youth through an educational forum on gender equality, equity, leadership and civic engagement.
Attendees will view documentaries that address media misrepresentation and harmful gender stereotype messages. Workshop topics include expect respect, healthy body images and facts about eating disorders, and teen relationships.
Source: Teens focus of Vacaville youth summit
By Matthew Adkins
Mother Earth sighed with relief Saturday as volunteers donated time picking up trash in Vallejo and surrounding areas.
Local efforts focused primarily at Blue Rock Springs Creek, South Vallejo and nearby state parks.
Hogan Middle School also held a cleanup operation, as did a team of volunteers at the Napa River Bay Trail in American Canyon.
Mayor hopeful Landis Graden was joined with a team of people who took part in the cleanup efforts in the southern part of Vallejo Saturday.
“The cleanup was inspiring,” Graden said. “It was very nice. We had a great turnout of all age groups and races. People from all parts of town came to help. Everyone was very enthusiastic.
Source: Volunteer crews eliminate blight for Earth Day
By Susan Hiland
Students clapped their hands Friday night and sang along to “A Dios le Pido,” a Spanish song that many of them knew word for word.
The “duck” feathers flew in the air as “Mon Merle” lost his feathers. And the chicken dance was sung and danced in French and it was called “La Danse des Canards.”
The music and dances were all for the 8th Annual Foreign Language Night at Solano Community College. The event presented in several languages including Spanish, French and German had the crowd of about 150 students and teachers eagerly waiting for the next group to come on the small stage.
Source: Solano College students showcase mastery of foreign languages