By Jessica Rogness
Dixon High School students got a surprise concert Wednesday from country singer-songwriter Jon Pardi.
The 31-year-old Dixon High alumnus returned to his alma mater for Decision Day, an event celebrating the school’s seniors and where they will be going after high school.
“I’m glad to be back,” Pardi told The Reporter. “I’m glad to see old faces and welcome a new class.”
Growing up in Dixon, Pardi sang at every junior high and high school graduation and performed several times at the Dixon May Fair.
Source: Country singer Jon Pardi surprises seniors at Dixon High
By Richard Bammer
Four eastern Solano County schools have been recognized by the state Department of Education as 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools, it has been announced.
They are Buckingham Charter Magnet High School in Vacaville, Armijo High, Green Valley Middle School and the Public Safety Academy, the latter three all in Fairfield-Suisun Unified.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson made the announcement in a press release issued earlier this month. He cited 275 middle schools and high schools designated under annual awards program.
“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st-century careers and college,” Torlakson said. “I look forward to travelling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs, methods, and techniques that are working.”
Source: Buckingham Charter Magnet High School designated as Gold Ribbon School
By Richard Bammer
If it were a novel, a high school English teacher might say it symbolizes “a hero’s journey.”
But it was groundbreaking Thursday afternoon for the new Wildcat Stadium complex at Will C. Wood High, a festive event that capped a four-year journey — in ways deliberative, necessary, much-anticipated, and arguably signifying heroic efforts by many Vacaville residents, depending on your point of view — made possible, at long last, by Measure A funds.
After musical fanfare, customary speeches, a countdown, confetti, cheers, some dozen Wood students, in white hard hats and shovels in hand, turned over earth that symbolically kicked off construction of a $12.8 million project that will begin May 8 and end Feb. 1, easily in time for the school’s first senior class commencement at the Marshall Road campus, at the intersection of Peabody and Marshall roads. In the ensuing months, however, and as they have for many years, Wildcat football games will continue to be held in Zunino Stadium at Vacaville High on West Monte Vista Avenue.
Source: Red-letter day at Wood High
By Ryan McCarthy
Guidelines to evaluate contractors participating in new no-bid construction contracts go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees when they meet Thursday.
The school district plans to create a pool of qualified contractors and solicit proposals for certain projects.
Among requirements is that contractors maintain a full-service office within 100 miles of the school district and have completed five lease-leaseback projects during the past seven years.
No-bid contracts will allow the district to be better able to “determine the final pricing upfront, avoiding uncertainty of change orders while also guaranteeing, upfront, the quality of the contractor’s performance of work,” a school district staff report said.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun district eyes guidelines for contractors on no-bid school contracts
By Daily Republic Staff
A free forum on Commercially Sexually Exploited Children will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 9 at the Solano County Events Center.
The county Office of Education is hosting the event, which will feature a number of panelists who will speak on various aspects of what officials say has become a bigger problem in the state and could become one in Solano County.
“Protecting our children is of utmost priority. The issue of preventing the sexual exploitation of children is so important to our community and the world beyond. To combat this terrible crime, we must learn as much as we can about it and acquire the necessary tools to recognize and stop it,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella‐Henderson said in a statement announcing the forum. “I hope our county’s citizens will take advantage of this free community forum so we can all do our part to safeguard our children’s innocence.”
Source: Sexually exploited children topic of forum in Fairfield
By Ryan McCarthy
Legislation proposed by Assemblyman Jim Frazier – and suggested by a Vacaville resident – to require public schools to provide education for students to recognize abusive relationships should win Fairfield-Suisun School District support, the superintendent says.
Trustees for the school district meeting Thursday will consider a resolution backing Assembly Bill 643. Superintendent Kris Corey recommends approval of the resolution.
Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, has said the bill would teach students about healthy teen dating.
Source: Frazier bill on recognizing abusive relationships goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees
By Colin Miner
President Trump is ordering Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to review what the administration says is “overreach” by previous administrations that have issued “mandates that take away autonomy and limit the options available to educators, administrators, and parents.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked the education department since his days on the campaign trail, saying its role in education needs to be diminished and the department downsized.
“This executive order makes certain that local leaders will be making the decisions about what happens in the classroom,” said Rob Goad, a senior official at the department.
Source: Federal Role In K-12 Education Being Reviewed Under Trump Order – White House, US Patch
By Richard Bammer
It may never be easier for area youth to learn how to land and keep a job. Or possibly be hired on the spot.
A Youth Employment Resource Fair will be held May 6 at the Solano Community College campus, 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield.
The free event, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to all Solano County youth ages 16 to 24.
Workshops will cover a variety of topics to better prepare job seekers for interviews and employment. They include resume- and cover letter-writing, team-building, social media etiquette, and financial literacy training provided by Travis Credit Union.
Job Squad, a Fairfield-based grassroots organization, will provide a boot camp of sorts, teaching a variety of job skills along with a panel of employers available to provide candid feedback about employer expectations and perform mock job interviews.
Source: Youth Employment Resource Fair to help prepare job seekers
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Sierra Vista kindergarten teacher Nicole Cesar was prepared for the discussion in her afternoon class.
“Everyone is going to want to be a police officer,” she said. “Then I have to tell them it’s the CHP, and everyone is going to write how they want to fly a helicopter.”
The school’s kindergarten classes got a special treat Tuesday as a California Highway Patrol helicopter landed in the school’s field. Parked near it was a CHP patrol car.
The children in the morning and afternoon classes sat inside the car and the helicopter, with the promise they wouldn’t push any buttons.
Source: Sierra Vista kindergartners explore CHP patrol car, helicopter
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano County children who were lost to violence will be remembered as part of Children’s Memorial Flag Day at noon on Friday.
The county District Attorney’s Office, the Family Justice Center and Solano Children’s Alliance host the event, which will be held in front of the Solano County Health and Social Services building, 275 Beck Ave., in Fairfield.
Guest speakers include Board of Supervisors Chairman John Vasquez, District Attorney Krishna Abrams and Health and Social Services Director Jerry Huber. The Rev. Willie Graham will also participate.
Source: Children lost to violence to be remembered
By Thomas Arnett
As schools adopt blended learning, many are eager to use the floods of student learning data gathered by their various software systems to make better instructional decisions. We are accustomed to the ease with which we can use data from multiple systems in other domains of life—such as when we use GPS apps on our smartphones to search for dinner options, check operating hours and customer ratings, and then get traffic-optimized driving directions. So it isn’t hard to imagine an ideal world in which all student data flows seamlessly and securely between software applications: a concept known as data interoperability.
But currently, data interoperability across education software tools remains more of a hope than a reality. Often, the software that schools use only provides educators with the data that software developers have deemed necessary or relevant for teachers. Each piece of learning software usually has its own proprietary dashboards and reports, and the software typically does not tag, categorize, or provide access to its data in a way that makes data easy to share across systems.
Source: Making Student Data More Usable: What Innovation Theory Tells Us About Interoperability – Education Next : Education Next
By Mikhail Zinshteyn
Californians on both sides of the charter school debate can expect two years of hearings over Senate Bill 808, a bill that would restrict the charter school approval process, which critics claim could lead to the shuttering of many of the schools.
During a press conference Monday at the Capitol, the bill’s author, Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, outlined a two-year roadmap for the proposed law’s passage that includes an eventual vote on the bill.
“Yes, this bill will be going through the process like any other bill, and eventually it’ll be having a vote,” Mendoza said. That process includes a hearing in the Senate Education Committee this week and meetings in communities throughout the state this year.
Source: Controversial charter bill could face prolonged fight in Legislature | EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today the appointment of Caryn Moore as the new Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services at the California Department of Education. She began her new assignment on April 17.
Moore has almost two decades of fiscal management experience at the California Department of Education. She is the former Associate Director of the School Fiscal Services Division.
“Caryn’s extensive financial background, experience, and proven track record as a strong fiscal administrator are great qualifications to lead this division,” Torlakson said. “We are pleased to have someone with her expertise on our management team.”
Source: New Director of Fiscal and Administrative Services – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today honored six outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public school students.
“I started my public service career as a high school teacher and coach, and I know first-hand the vital role that classified employees have every day in our public schools,” Torlakson said. “These terrific employees keep schools clean and safe; they make sure our students get to school and can eat healthy meals; and they contribute to an overall positive school culture that cares for the whole child. I applaud the fantastic work these employees do every day.”
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 more than 100 nominations statewide.
Source: Classified School Employees Awardees Announced – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville-area high school robotics teams posted mixed results but gained immeasurable experience at the 2017 FIRST Robotics World Championships, The Reporter has learned.
Held in Houston last week, Wednesday through Saturday, the competition yielded the final tallies, with the RoboVikes from Vanden High, in the 67-team Galileo division, in 13th place; the RoboKnights from Buckingham Charter High in 43rd in the Hopper division; and the Armijo High Robotics squad in 66th, also in the Galileo division.
Long a robotics powerhouse and mentor to other robotics teams, the RoboVikes, veterans of several world championship runs, ended up in first place after the first day of competition, Thursday, in the George Brown Convention Center, for essentially a STEM face-off that attracted 400 teams (in five divisions) from the West and South and from several foreign countries, including Australia, China and Turkey. (Because the championship has grown in popularity, another round of championship matches is this coming weekend in St. Louis.)
Source: Area high school robotics teams tally mixed results at world championships
By Ryan McCarthy
A $24,731 agreement between the Butte County Office of Education and the Fairfield-Suisun School District for educational services to 88 students identified as migrants goes before school board members Thursday.
The Butte office and school district have worked together for several years to provide services to students with a parent who is a migratory worker in the agriculture, dairy, lumber or fishing industries and whose family has moved during the past three years, a school district staff report said.
Services include extended day tutoring for English. Migrant parents are told about services during Parent Advisory Council meetings.
Source: Pact for services to migrant students goes to Fairfield-Suisun trustees
By Nick Sestanovich
BHS math teacher, BMS campus supervisor in running
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) announced its nominees for the county’s Educators of the Year Award. Two Benicia Unified School District employees are in the running.This year, 13 employees from each of the county’s school district are eligible, including teachers and support staff. Representing BUSD are Lee Anne Aidt, a math teacher at Benicia High School; and Angela Porter, a campus supervisor at Benicia Middle School.Also nominated are:
*Martha Salazar, a reading and English Language Development teacher at Anderson Elementary School in Dixon.
*Debbie Thiessen, the food service coordinator at Dixon High School.
*Cindy Lederer, a physical education teacher at multiple sites in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
Source: Solano County Educator of the Year nominees announced
By Matthew Adkins
The Solano County Office of Education announced Thursday the school district’s nominations for Solano County Educator of the Year award.
Thirteen people were selected this year from a wide range of disciplines, including those with experience in teaching, paraeducation, child nutrition, support services, security and school staff.
Making the cut from Benicia Unified School District are Mathematics Teacher Lee Anne Aidt at Benicia High School and Campus Supervisor Angela Porter of Benicia Middle School.
Selected from Vallejo City Unified School District are Glen Cove Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Joan Samson and Bilingual Tutor/Instructional Assistant Cristina Gutierrez at Franklin Middle School.
As with previous years, the Office of Education will select only one teacher and one school support employee to represent Solano County in a statewide Educators of the Year Competition.
Source: Nominees chosen for Solano County Educator of the Year award
By Daily Republic Staff
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Wildcat Stadium will be held at 3:30 p.m. on April 27 at Will C. Wood High School.
Work on the $13 million stadium is expected to be completed in December.
More than 15 students will participate in the shovel ceremony, along with local elected officials. More than 250 people are expected to attend.
Source: Will C. Wood breaking ground on stadium
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
A sea of bodies, in white, gray and blue T-shirts, filled a good portion of the grass Thursday afternoon at K.I. Jones Elementary School.
The students and staff, some on their backs, other on their knees, formed a giant blue heron while the Fairfield Fire Department took photos from ladder truck, getting a bird’s-eye view.
A drone also flew over the Art for the Sky event, to capture movement that artist Daniel Dancer will turn into a music video so students and staff can see their role in the giant creation.
The project was also designed to raise awareness of the environment and encourage mindfulness.
Source: KI Jones students, staff serve as ‘paint’ for giant blue heron project