By John Glidden
Faced with the prospect of cutting $12 million over the next two fiscal years, the Vallejo school board took action recently to bring stability within the Business Services Division.
On Dec. 13, the board hired Hitesh Haria to serve as the Vallejo City Unified School District’s chief business officer, permanently filling the position after Cecile Nunley left the district earlier this year.
Adrian Vargas with Ryland School Business Consulting has been the interim CBO for several months.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Haria said his first move will be to “understand the (district’s) current state of finances.”
Source: Vallejo school district hires new business officer
By Richard Bammer
Charles Dickens called Christmas that “rolling time of the year,” when homes and hearths are sources of revelry, songs, gift-giving, feasts, festive feelings, and a sense of doing for others, especially those down on their luck.
Several similar actions and qualities are what define NorthBay Healthcare’s annual Adopt-A-School program, which, on Wednesday morning, marked the 13th straight time several dozen company employees fanned out across the Padan Elementary campus, delivering gifts, classroom supplies and food to more than 30 classrooms at the Padan School Road campus.
Source: Comfort and joy at Padan
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated two California schools for receiving national recognition for achievement in 2017. Ulloa Elementary School in San Francisco and Alvarado Elementary School in Signal Hill are two of up to 100 schools being recognized as National Title I Distinguished Schools.
“Congratulations to Principal Carol Fong and Principal Lucy Salazar, as well as all the teachers, administrators, staff, school board members, parents, classified employees, and students for these schools,” said Torlakson. “They are all examples of aiming high, achieving goals, and continuing to move forward and upward—the California Way.”
A project of the National Title I Association, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying Title I schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. Beginning in 1996, the program has highlighted hundreds of schools with exceptional student performance, as well as schools closing the achievement gap between student groups.
Source: California National Title I Distinguished Schools – Year 2017 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
Elementary school is when students begin to learn the three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic. However, with the help of Republic Services, Joe Henderson and Robert Semple elementary students are absorbing the other trio of Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.Waste collection company Republic Services, which provides service for Benicia, has been working with school districts to help minimize food waste by setting up new recycling programs.
“With Republic Services, our job is to work with the schools and the businesses to help them reduce what’s going into the landfill,” Marie Knutson, a recycling coordinator for Republic Services, said. “There’s also a California law, AB 1826, in regards to food waste. Pretty soon, everyone with four yards or more of trash going per week will have to have composting as well as recycling by law.”
Source: Semple, Henderson students assist peers with proper waste disposal through new program
By Lee Anderson
Please come join us on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Joe Nelson Community Center, located at 611 Village Drive in Suisun City for the 14th Annual Armijo Sober Grad Nite Crab Feed. Doors will open at 6 PM for a social hour followed by dinner at 7 PM featuring all you can eat crab, pasta, salad, and garlic bread. We will have a silent auction, dessert auction, 50/50 game, a raffle and plenty of door prizes. Proceeds from the event support the Armijo Sober Grad Nite committee and their goal to provide a drug-free, alcohol-free, safe environment for the graduating seniors of Armijo High School. For information or tickets, please call (707) 386-8953 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Event: 14th Annual Crab Feed in support of Armijo High School Sober Grad Nite
By Richard Bammer
A revision to the Measure Q spending plan, and several large change orders and contracts are on the agenda when Solano Community College leaders gather tonight in Fairfield for their last meeting of the year.
Trustees are expected to approve the Measure Q revision, taking $305,000 from one account (net interest earned and unallocated) to another (energy), to boost the budget for the Fairfield substations No. 1 and 2.
Lucky Lofton, the school’s executive bonds manager, will make the request, the eighth revision since the measure, a $348 million bond passed by county voters 2012.
Likewise, the seven-member governing board is expected to award a $2.4 million contract to McCuen Construction, a Loomis-based firm, for the renovation of classrooms in the Vacaville Annex at the college’s Vacaville Center on North Village Parkway.
Source: Measure Q spending plan, contracts, change orders on SCC agenda
By Reporter Staff
In the annual reshuffling of governing board officers, Dixon Unified leaders elected Melissa Maseda, a former preschool teacher, as president, it has been announced.
Attorney Luke Foster was elected vice president; and Caitlin O’Halloran, client engagement and community relations manager, Capital Resource Network, was named clerk of the board.
The five-member governing board is rounded out by John Gabby, a mortgage broker; and Guy Garcia, a farmer, who handed the president’s gavel to Maseda.
In other matters during a trustees meeting earlier this month, Melissa Mercado, the district’s chief business officer, updated the board on the 2017-18 first interim budget, one of two annual summaries of the 3,500-student district’s financial status.
Source: Dixon board elects new officers, OKs budget report
By Peg Grafwallner
Special education teachers are expected to do quite a lot: Assess students’ skills to determine their needs and then develop teaching plans; organize and assign activities that are specific to each student’s abilities; teach and mentor students as a class, in small groups, and one-on-one; and write individualized education plans in parent-friendly language.
In addition, they must know and apply the dozens of acronyms used in their field: ADA (American with Disabilities Act), DOR (Department of Rehabilitation), LEA (local education agency), PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), and LRE (least restrictive environment), to name just a few.
Source: What I’ve Learned From Special Ed Teachers | Edutopia
By PIO, City of Vacaville
Five members of the Vacaville Youth Roundtable were honored for their commitment to the youth of the City at the annual Vacaville Youth Roundtable awards presentation.Natalie Mifflin of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, Noah Galgan of Vacaville High School, Marileigh Ramp of Will C. Wood High School, REACH intern Sarah Lucas, and Andrea Kamman, Dean of Learning Support at Vacaville High School, were presented certificates of recognition from the City of Vacaville as well as Assembly member Jim Frazier, on behalf of the California Legislature.City Manager Jeremy Craig presented the City certificates, while Aeriel Silva of Assembly member Frazier’s office presented the Legislature’s certificates.
Source: Press Release: Five honored at annual Vacaville Youth Roundtable Awards ceremony
By Richard Bammer
Wearing a white hard hat, Randall Barbour, project manager for Alten Construction, looked out at a giant concrete pumping truck and boom at the still-underway work on the Wood High stadium project, and said, “We’re on time and on budget.”
As he spoke early Friday afternoon, workers positioned giant tubes from which the concrete flowed into forms that will become a wall for a ramp for the disabled who attend football games, soccer matches and track and field events at the stadium complex, the majority of which is set for completion on Feb. 1.
Source: Construction firm “on time, on budget” with new Wood High stadium
By Richard Bammer
It’s only 30 cents, but it will be a welcome financial benefit for Fairfield-Suisun Unified students and families and the school district.
The district’s Child Nutrition Services Department announced Friday it will no longer charge the 30-cent co-pay for reduced-price breakfasts, a new policy that takes effect Jan. 8 and remains in effect for the rest of the school year.
Those students who are eligible for reduced-priced meals will be able to eat breakfast at school for free, Tim Goree, executive director of administrative services and community engagement, wrote in a press release.
In the prepared statement, he added that by “using a tool” provided by the state Department of Education, the district’s Child Nutrition Services Department estimated a 64 percent increase in student participation in the breakfast program if the co-pay was eliminated.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun will no longer charge students co-pay on reduced-price breakfasts
By Nick Sestanovich
The school board voted to approve the 2017-18 first interim financial report at its Thursday meeting.
The contents of the report were presented and summarized by Chief Business Official Tim Rahill. He noted that the general fund was budgeted at $50.5 million, 86 percent of which comes from the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), 6 percent of which comes from the state’s other funding sources including a one-time grant, 2 percent— mainly special education funds and smaller programs— from the federal government, and 5 percent from local and other funds such as donations and the Benicia Education Foundation.Rahill also noted that $5.5 million came from solar fund proceeds, but they would not be included in the second interim financial report. He also broke down the LCFF funds, 63 percent of which were derived from the state budget and 37 percent from property taxes.Also in the presentation were expenses budgeted by Benicia Unified School District. According to Rahill, 49 percent of these consisted of salaries for certificated employees, 16 percent salaries for classified employees, 20 percent for employee benefits, 11 percent for services and capital outlay and 4 percent for supplies.
Source: School board approves financial report, suggests serious look at budget
By Richard Bammer
Rayito Farris couldn’t imagine a childhood without peanut butter. Her daughter? Not as fortunate.
Farris discovered her daughter’s allergy to the legume when the girl was 15 months old — from a Ritz cracker that was only near peanut butter.
“She started puffing up, got hives, and was going through the stages,” Farris said.
Since then, Farris has had to keep epinephrine close by her daughter, now a 15 year old.
It’s that personal history that Farris leaned on while implementing the state-mandated EpiPen-in-every-school policy two years as the Vallejo City Unified School District’s coordinator for Full Service Community Schools.
By Richard Bammer
A plan for independent charter schools in three Solano County cities drew dozens of supporters and opponents Wednesday to a sometimes emotionally-charged Solano County Office of Education trustees meeting in Fairfield.
The governing board made no up-or-down decision, but is expected to do so at its Jan. 10 meeting.
Nearly 50 of some 175 people who packed the Pena Adobe room in SCOE’s offices aired their reasons during a two-hour public hearing that came after Ramona Bishop, the former superintendent of Vallejo City Unified, offered a slide presentation that more or less summarized her 510-page petition to open an independent charter school, ELITE Public School, next year in Vallejo, with campuses added in Vacaville and Fairfield in 2019. (A copy of the petition is available for public review at the county office website, www.solanocoe.net.)
Source: Deep divide over charter school petition
The Washington Post
The Education Department is proposing to delay by two years, to 2020, an Obama-era rule that would push states to ensure that students of color are not over-represented in special education and put in programs because of racial bias.
The department, headed by billionaire Betsy DeVos, expressed its intention to seek public comment on the plan to delay the rule. A notice published in the Trump administration’s Unified Agenda, which includes planned actions, says:
“The Department seeks comment on whether to extend by two years the compliance date of these regulations from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, and, if so, whether to extend the date for including children ages 3 through 5 in the analysis of significant disproportionality with respect both to the identification of children as children with disabilities and to the identification of children as children with a particular impairment from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2022.”
Source: Education Department proposes delaying Obama-era rule on racial disparities in special education
By Nick Sestanovich
Six months after Benicia Unified School District halted its proposed new high school graduation requirements, the discussion was reopened in a forum at Benicia High School on Tuesday night.
The school board held a study session in January to discuss proposed new graduation requirements and went into further detail at its regular March 16 meeting.The proposed requirements— which would have gone into effect starting with the class of 2022— aimed to increase college readiness for all students and were modeled after the UC system’s A-G requirements. These conditions included requiring an extra year of science, an extra year of math, two years of the same world language, one year of a visual or performing art and one year of a new ninth-grade course titled “Get Focused.” The requirements were unanimously approved as part of the consent calendar at the board’s April 6 meeting.
Source: BUSD reopens graduation requirement discussion at community forum
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville Unified’s employee churn, normally busiest at academic year’s end in June, is active in December, with several principals moving on, The Reporter has learned.
Deanna Brownlee, the principal of Fairmont Charter in Vacaville Unified, has been named as Travis Unified’s new director of special education. Brownlee’s last day of work at the Marshall Road campus is Dec. 21.
“I’m very excited,” Brownlee, who has led Fairmont, a Title 1 school under federal guidelines, for eight years, said Wednesday afternoon.
The longtime educator, who earned a master’s degree in special education, added, “I have desired a position in special education for a very long time. Finally, all the pieces came together. I enjoy working with at-risk and special education students.”
Source: Vacaville Unified School District employee churn turns busy in December
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified trustee Angela Weinzinger handed her gavel to Riitta De Anda, whom the five-member governing board on Tuesday elected president, the vote coming during the board’s annual organization meeting in Fairfield.
Trustee Jamilah Whiteside was named vice president, and John Dickerson clerk of the board after additional votes taken in the Travis Education Center, where trustees convene once monthly.
Later in the meeting, Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone updated the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.
Source: Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report
By The Washington PostWith three days remaining in most of the country to buy Affordable Care Act coverage for 2018, enrollment is running ahead of the same time last year but is almost sure to fall short in the end because of a compressed enrollment season.
During each of the six weeks of this sign-up period, the number of consumers choosing plans through the federal HealthCare.gov website has outmatched that of 2017, according to a federal enrollment snapshot released on Wednesday. And the overall sign-ups of nearly 4.7 million through last Saturday was about 650,000 higher than through the parallel week a year ago.
Source: Enrollment in ACA health plans ahead of last year, but sign-up chance dwindling
By Ryan McCarthy
More than 150 people in a standing-room-only meeting Wednesday heard supporters and opponents of the proposed Elite Charter School – and two Solano County Board of Education members say that the “opportunity gap” for African-American and Latino students must be addressed.
Board member Dana Dean said after 47 people spoke about the charter proposal that she was deeply troubled that every supporter is a person of color and every opponent is white.
That statement brought protests from several charter school opponents disputing Dean’s assessment of speakers.
Source: Solano board hears Elite Charter School proposal praised, panned