By John Glidden
By lunch time on Wednesday several kindergarten students at Pennycook Elementary School had already learned to recognize their names and use scissors.
A smooth opening day for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
About 600 general education students arrived at the school, as thousands more around the city began the day with yawns and chances to make new friends.
“I’m very excited to see our Pennycook scholars,” said Pennycook Principal Kimberly Mitchell-Lewis. “The theme for this year is truth, learning, creativity, and talent.”
Source: Students return to Vallejo schools on Wednesday – Times Herald
By Richard Bammer
Cheers went up, red, white and yellow balloons fluttered, rainbow-hued confetti flew and rained down festively, oversized scissors cut a ribbon, and Vacaville Unified leaders Wednesday morning officially opened the school district’s first TK-8 school, Sierra Vista.
The opening comes just in time for the district’s first day of school for the 2016-17 academic year, today, and it was made possible with nearly $2.8 million in Measure A money that paid for parking lot upgrades and paving, landscaping improvements, site cleanup, some interior painting, some new carpeting, and a new alarm system.
Source: To cheers, confetti, speeches, Vacaville Unified opens first TK-8 campus
By Richard Bammer
Enrollments in Travis Unified Wednesday, the district’s first day of school for the 2016-17 year, are slightly increased over last year, but the high spirits among students, teachers and administrators probably could not be greater.
“The kids are excited, the teachers are excited — it’s always good to get a new year going, with new adventures for the kids,” said Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak, pointing out that enrollment numbers will be in flux for several days.
Source: A new year, a slight boost in enrollments
By Richard Bammer
Several Measure A contracts and a contract to lease a Peabody Road site to eventually house the district’s Independent Study program are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.
The seven-member governing board will consider approval of a three-year lease with An Phu Investment for the office space at 1949 Peabody Road. Besides the IS program, it also will provide additional office space for the district’s Special Education department.
(In the interim, until the new space is ready for occupancy, the district’s IS program offices will remain at Sierra Vista, a newly configured TK-8 school that officially opened to fanfare Wednesday, one day before the district’s first school day of the new year.)
Source: Vacaville Unified leaders to mull several Measure A contracts, Independent Study contract
By Richard Bammer
An update on the status of Measure Q, the $30.4 million bond on the Nov. 8 ballot; an update about enrollment and staffing; and an update on the School Farm at Dixon High are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Superintendent Brian Dolan will offer updates on Measure Q, which was sent last week to the Solano County Registrar of Voters for approval; and the update of enrollment and staffing.
The results of months of stakeholder meetings, trustee discussion and public hearings, the measure, if passed by voters, will provide money to upgrade the district’s aging schools, including the Old Dixon High, built in 1940, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949.
Source: Update on $30.4M Measure Q on Dixon Unified agenda tonight
By Daily Republic Staff
Oct. 14 is the deadline for the fifth annual Constitution essay contest, open to all students in Solano County in the seventh through 12th grades.
It has grown from 35 entries the first year to more than 300 student entries last year.
The topic is “What does it mean to you to be a citizen of the United States of America? Why is U.S. citizenship tied to the right to vote, and how is that relevant to other issues our country currently faces?”
Source: Constitution contest organizers seek student essays, sponsors
By Bill Hicks
Solano Community College broke ground Wednesday for a forthcoming automotive technology building, which is the first of a number of anticipated additions on a site at Ascot Parkway, not far from the college’s general education satellite campus in Vallejo.
Breaking ground for expanded and upgraded facilities is something college officials are growing accustomed to, having broken ground on a biotechnology center at the Vacaville branch location, and an upcoming horticultural expansion and science expansion in the coming months at the college’s main campus in Rockville.
Source: Solano College breaks ground on Vallejo auto tech center
By Ryan McCarthy
She wore a gray tank top that read, “Retired Teacher – All Children Left Behind,” and had 25 years of memories about classrooms, students and more paperwork than she wanted to remember.
Kathy Cruice, who taught at schools that include Travis Elementary, said at Laurel Creek Park, where retired teachers gathered Wednesday, that the start of this school year came without any nightmares of back-to-school logistics gone wrong.
Source: Retirees miss children, colleagues, classrooms – but not paperwork, tests
By Ian Thompson
Wednesday was more than just the start of another school year for Aaron Ortega-Andrade at the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy.
It is the last mile to becoming one of 45 seniors who will be the academy’s first graduating class.
“It is a really exciting moment,” Ortega-Andrade said.
It is a long road from that day five years ago when the then-B. Gale Wilson Elementary School student heard about the recently opened academy “and I decided that I really wanted to try something new.”
Source: New school year starts for Fairfield, Suisun City students, educators
By Susan C. Schena
Sports-equipment manufacturer Xenith is recalling nearly 6,000 football helmets sold nationwide due to the potential for cracking that could result in head injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
This voluntary recall, announced Wednesday, involves 5,900 Xenith Epic Varsity, X2 Varsity, X2E Varsity and Youth football helmets, with gloss or metallic-painted polycarbonate shells, sold or factory-reconditioned between May 1, 2015 and March 18, 2016. The helmets, sold in multiple sizes, colors and custom-paint designs, have facemasks and chin cups and may have optional eye shields.
Source: Is Your Child Playing Football? See Nationwide Helmet Recall
The Legislature has less than three weeks to act on important remaining education bills. Many of the major education bills that were introduced at the start of the year, such as teacher evaluation reforms, either have died or, like more money for college preparatory courses, been incorporated into next year’s state budget. Of a dozen noteworthy bills still alive when the Legislature went on vacation in July, several were killed without explanation by the Assembly and Senate Appropriations committees in a crush of activity last week. Here’s a status report on nine of the survivors and three of the deceased.
Updated on Aug. 16 with a correction for AB 1426.
Ban on for-profit virtual charter schools
AB 1084, by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would ban for-profit companies from operating online charter schools. In an effort to also ban for-profit online companies from setting up nonprofit affiliates, the bill also would prevent a nonprofit online charter school from contracting with a for-profit entity that provides instructional services.
Source: Key education bills still alive – and some that aren’t | EdSource
By Richard Bammer
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price said the opening of a newly refurbished city school means the surrounding East Tabor Avenue neighborhood will be “going from despair to hope.”
His remarks came moments before Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders cut the symbolic ribbon to open the Mary Bird Early Childhood Education Center, where, beginning today, the first day of the new academic year in the county’s largest school district, nearly 100 preschoolers, ages 3 to 4, almost half of them with special needs, will file through the freshly painted doorways and into six classrooms.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school leaders open Mary Bird preschool
By Ian Thompson
The library is open.
For the first time since 2009, Fairfield’s and Suisun City’s schools will have a full staff of teacher librarians to staff the school district’s libraries and work with teachers to help teach students skills that range from how to conduct academic research to how best to become an effective digital citizen.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District has nearly doubled its staff of teacher librarians from five to nine, according to Jenn Roush, assistant director of instructional materials and libraries.
Source: Fairfield, Suisun schools open year with better library services
By Ellen Blaufarb
Where did all those school bonds go? I have been chair of the Benicia Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee since its first meeting on Dec. 9, 2014. In that time the school district has spent $6,229,499.42 and has a balance of $13,905,853.48 of the original $20,000,000 issued. The school district is ready to release the Series B and C bonds for an additional total of 29,600,000. Interest has been accrued in the amount of $135,352.90 while the bonds were held in abeyance.
For those of you who are interested in where the $6 million has gone, the school district has Board Workshop Documents available that speak to the Facilities Master Plan. Each site has priorities listed in this plan under the categories of Critical Portable Replacement Projects, Learning Spaces Modernization Projects and High Impact Education Environment Projects.
Source: Mrs. B’s Blather: Where did all those school bond dollars go?
By Nick Sestanovich
One week from now, Benicia schools will be back in session which makes it a prime time for the school board to hear updates on the Measure S bond projects.The governing board of the Benicia Unified School District will be holding its first regularly scheduled meeting of the 2016-2017 school year. As with last year, trustees will receive a quarterly update on projects that were started or completed during the summer as well as future bond projects on the table. The presentation will be delivered by Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan.
Measure S is an initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding for renovation and upgrades of school facilities. Egan will be providing information on the projects funded by Measure S as well as a report on a BUSD Citizens’ Oversight Committee meeting from April 12, which discussed the general obligation bonds.
Source: Benicia Unified School District trustees to start off year with Measure S bond updates
By John Glidden
Cue the theme music from the classic western, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”
An old fashion political duel is taking place in Vallejo.
Long-time Vallejo school board trustee Hazel Wilson will face off against incumbent Ruscal Canyangyang for the short-term, two-year seat open this fall.
Cayangyang was appointed to the board in January 2015 after Vallejo resident Richard Porter declined to be seated for the school board position he won in the November 2014 election.
The board selected Cayangyang, who came in fourth during the 2014 election, to fill the seat until the next regular election.
Source: Wilson challenges Cayangyang for short-term Vallejo school board seat
By Richard Bammer
In the era of increased globalization, a newly opened Fairfield-Suisun Unified school will fit right in.
To ribbon-cutting fanfare, after more than two years in the making, from idea to realization, the Dover Academy for International Studies opened on Monday.
And on Wednesday, when the year’s first bell rings in the county’s largest district, the East Alaska Avenue campus, a K-8 school that was the subject of a recent series of upgrades and maintenance to its 33 rooms, will welcome 574 students and 22 teachers, said Superintendent Kris Corey.
In the coming years, attendance will climb to an estimated 800, she said.
Source: FSUSD leaders open newly refurbished campus themed around international studies – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
High school juniors have something else to look forward to this school year.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Sacramento field office is accepting applications for the Sacramento Fall 2016 FBI Teen Academy. The Nov. 18 class will be the first at the new FBI Sacramento field office headquarters in Roseville.
“Today’s teens are exposed to a near-constant flow of information from a variety of internet and social media sources but it is often difficult to discern which are credible,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica Miller, in a press release. “The FBI Teen Academy enables students to better understand our investigative role in the communities we serve and provides information and resources to prepare students to better manage their personal safety and that of their families and communities.”
Source: FBI invites high school juniors to one-day teen academy
By Jane Meredith Adams
A federal judge in San Diego on Friday said he will take at least a week before ruling on a request to temporarily stop California’s new vaccination law, an unwelcome delay for vaccination opponents seeking a speedy injunction that would allow students who don’t meet vaccination requirements to start the new school year.
Judge Dana Sabraw said he was aware of the urgency of his ruling and asked about start dates for California schools, according to courtroom observers. Some schools in California have already opened their doors and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest district in the state, will begin school Aug. 16. Sabraw said he would likely issue a ruling the week of Aug. 22.
Rebecca Estepp, spokeswoman for Education 4 All, a Sacramento-based advocacy group that requested the temporary restraining order as part of its lawsuit seeking to overturn the law, called the delay “unfortunate” but somewhat understandable. “It’s a complicated topic,” she said. She described Sabraw’s manner during the oral arguments as “very thorough and very thoughtful” and said, “It was a fair hearing.”
Source: Judge will wait before ruling on request to stop new vaccination law | EdSource