State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated 23 California public schools that have been chosen as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This coveted award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
“Congratulations to all the schools on this list and to the educators, parents, students, and communities for helping students believe in themselves, set high goals, and realize their potential,” Torlakson said. “You are shining examples of the terrific things happening in California public education, and we must keep our momentum going because the California Way is to move forward and upward.”
The California winners are among 342 schools announced this morning by the U.S. Department of Education. In its 35-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented this award to more than 8,500 schools.
Six middle school girls, including two from Benicia, will share their experiences of attending a weeklong science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camp this past summer during the Benicia-Vallejo American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) potluck dinner on Tuesday.
The girls’ experience was part of Tech Trek 2017, a summer camp founded by AAUW of California member Marie Wolbach to provide middle school girls with a camp featuring science, technology, engineering and math-based activities and inspire them to pursue one of those fields. The goal is to make those fields more accessible to middle school girls since that is typically the age when girls lose interest in those areas, according to AAUW research.“We all know about the lack of women that are in STEM careers and professions,” Christine Dunn, the Tech Trek coordinator for Benicia-Vallejo AAUW, said. “We are trying to rectify that. We want to get girls interested in this kind of career early on. I think there’s been a lot of research that shows that girls in middle school drop off, lose interest in the sciences and mathematics, and we want to encourage them to stay in it.”
“America can once again become the best-educated people in the world through a few strategic interventions at key points in the schooling trajectory.” Peter D. Salins, “Strengthening America’s Greatest Resource, Its People,” (2014), p. 2.
“The project of fixing America’s educational system should begin with a strategic analysis of where, in the interaction of children and schools, we find our most serious academic problems, and where, in the educational pipeline, those problems can be most effectively addressed.” Salins, p.50.
Peter D. Salins earned bachelor of architecture, master of planning, and doctoral degrees at Syracuse University. He earned a reputation as an excellent problem solver and has written books about housing, immigration and other public policy issues.
The city is bringing back its school resource officers after Vallejo’s financial crisis ended the program for about seven years when “the priority became the streets,” a police sergeant said Thursday at a forum on juvenile justice in Solano County.
“I was very proud of that program,” Sgt. Brent Garrick said of school resource officers.
He served as a school resource officer for eight years and said people in the their 30s come up and thank him for his work.
About eight officers were in the program that now has two school resource officers – with a third to be added in next several months.
A public forum with the accreditation team that visited Solano Community College will occur from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the college theater at 4000 Suisun Valley Road.
The accreditation group of higher education professionals and public members has visited Solano College this week for a routine accreditation.
“We are honored to have the visiting team here reviewing the hard work of our faculty, staff and students,” Celia Esposito-Noy, Solano Community College president, said in a press release.
Accreditation is to encourage institutions to adhere to standards and policies and improve, enhance or maintain academic quality, institutional effectiveness and ultimately, student success, the college said.
Excuse Adam Clark if he has to stop and catch his breath. The man’s been on the job as Vallejo City Unified School District superintendent less than two weeks and it’s been nonstop meetings and hand shaking.
“I hit it running full speed ahead,” said Clark, checking off one of the city’s pivotal cultural blocs with his welcome Wednesday afternoon by the Filipino Community of Solano County.
Hired Sept. 6 to replace interim superintendent Steve Goldstone, Clark said it’s been an impressive, albeit, brief, introduction to the town.
“Oh my goodness, what a supportive community,” Clark said, roughly an hour before addressing around 75 well-wishers at the Filipino Community Center.
Many agree that technology has made our lives much easier but it has also caused us to become more sedentary at home and in the workplace. That’s why more and more workplace research suggests that we may want to walk to a desk a few feet away or down the hall to confer with a colleague instead of sending a text message or an email.
Research is emerging that notes because we sit more, we are more at risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health-related problems. We are simply sitting too much in the workplace and at home, as we watch more television, use our digital devices and exercise less.
After a few weeks’ delay, the 2017 online state standardized test scores are in, and most Vacaville-area school districts posted results that met or exceeded Solano County and state averages but largely remained the same as last year’s, reflecting the latest state averages, several administrators said.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Wednesday the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English and mathematics, noting, in a prepared statement, that they
“remained steady and retained the strong gains students made in 2016.”
A provisional internship permit, adoption of the district’s Gann Limit, and the approval of the unaudited actual budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year are on a relatively light agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
The seven-member governing board likely will approve a provisional internship permit for a transitional kindergarten instructor, Zara Syed.
The state Commission on Teacher Credentialing requires a provisional internship permit for instructors not fully credentialed in a specific area. Like other districts, Fairfield-Suisun’s custom and practice is to seek such permits when there is a shortage of available candidates or candidates who have yet to meet what’s called “subject matter competence” but are pursuing a teaching credential.
Forty-three percent of Solano County students met or exceeded standards in English language arts compared to 44 percent in 2016, while 33 percent of students met or exceeded math standards compared to 32 percent in 2016, the county Office of Education reports.
The percentage of students for English language arts and math in performance categories – standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met and standard not met – was relatively unchanged from 2016, the office said of Smarter Balanced state test results.
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) is proud to partner with your local school district in coordinating a comprehensive effort to boost student attendance by addressing chronic absences. Chronic absences occur when a student misses 10 percent or more total school days, about 18 days per year, for any reason including excused absences.
Why is chronic absence so important?
Research proves that students who are chronically absent in Kindergarten and 1st grade are far less likely to read proficiently by 3rd grade.
For every day of school missed, it takes three days to make up what was taught.
By the 6th grade, if a student continues to be chronically absent, it is a leading indicator of whether he or she will drop out of high school.
For decades, education technophiles have envisioned a future wherein gee-whiz devices and engaging digital applications whisk students away from the doldrums of traditional classroom instruction and into a fun world of beeping computers, self-paced lessons, and cloud-based collaboration.
That may yet come to pass—and at some outlier schools, is already here—but don’t be surprised if the true transformative power of education technology is most evident when it comes to something old-fashioned: basic education research. The declining cost and easy availability of substantial computing power may enable us finally to unlock the black box of the classroom, giving scholars and teachers much more insight into what is and isn’t working. Technology can do more than just keep students engaged; it can equip teachers, school and district leaders, and policymakers with the sort of insights and analytics that can help them make better decisions for students.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that 2017 scores for the online California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English language arts and mathematics remained steady and retained the strong gains students made in 2016.
This is the third year of the computer-based tests, which use California’s challenging academic standards and ask students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems, just as they will need to do in college and 21st century careers.
Torlakson said he was pleased that students maintained the progress they have made since the initial year of testing and urged students, teachers, and parents to continue to aim high.
“I’m pleased we retained our gains, but we have much more work to do. We need to work diligently to narrow achievement gaps and make sure all students continue to make progress,” he said. “It’s important to remember that these tests are far more rigorous and realistic than the previous paper and pencil tests. We are asking more of our students, but for a good reason—so they are better prepared for the world of college and careers.”
The annual International Walk to School Day is Oct. 4 in Solano County.
Students from 54 schools participated last year, plus staff, parents, community members and some mayors across the county. The goal by the organizer, Solano County Safe Routes to School, is 70 schools this year.
The event celebrates the benefits of walking and brings light to safety concerns for pedestrians, and particularly children and teens walking to and from school.
Everyone needs a helping hand every once and awhile. When a group of middle of Benicia Middle School students heard the family of one of the school’s teachers was affected by Hurricane Harvey, they decide to offer that helping hand.
Benicia Middle Schoolers Pharrah Barrow, Ella Beatson, Julia Rogers, Kelly Chamberlain, Caitlyn Begbie, Jiana Lyons, Jada Rivas, Juliana Leonares, Michelle Fernandez and Ava Mainini found out the family of Matthew Cunningham, an eighth-grade English teacher, had damage done to their home during Hurricane Harvey. They decided to start a donation fundraiser to help out Cunningham’s family.
The students have raised more than $1,664 ,so far and that is not including the checks they have also received. They did this by going out every morning before school began and asking for donations. The students also hung up posters, baked cookies, made donations boxes and rang a cowbell when someone made a donation.
One major impact of Hurricane Harvey was on schools. The storm caused schools in the Houston area to delay the beginning of the year, damaged several campuses and caused several teachers and students to lose their homes and possessions.
The California Interscholastic Foundation and the Sac-Joaquin Section— the league where Benicia High School plays all its sports— set up a fundraiser where its schools would be partnered with affected schools in the Houston area. As a result, Benicia High is sponsoring two schools in the Klein Independent School District in Harris County, Texas that were impacted in their own way.
Lemm Elementary School in Spring suffered extensive flooding damage that resulted in the school being temporarily closed. Much of the destruction occurred in the library, where two feet of water had soaked the room leading to books and electronic equipment being removed. The entire campus is being renovated and could take as long as a year for it to be back in shape.
Vacaville Unified leaders continue their work toward developing a formal suicide-prevention plan, as required by state law.
In an update during Thursday’s governing board meeting, Kim Forrest, assistant superintendent for student services, presented the latest information on the district’s effort to comply with AB 2246.
The law, authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown one year ago, requires California school districts to adopt formal suicide-prevention, intervention and follow-up plans for all middle and high school students. A district’s plan must include provisions that specifically address the needs of “high-risk groups.” Among them are students mourning a suicide, one of the top causes of youth deaths; students with disabilities, mental illness or drug and/or alcohol problems; students who are homeless or in foster care; and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or may be questioning their sexual identity.