By Thomas Arnett
The success of our schools—and of our education system at large—hinges on teachers. From decades of research we know that teachers influence student outcomes more than anything else a school has to offer. Given the importance of teachers, many of the prominent ideas for improving education focus on increasing teacher impact through better recruitment, preparation, and development or through giving teachers better tools and resources. Yet perhaps one of the best ways to expand teacher impact doesn’t require extensive reform or new technology.
For some time, I’ve wondered if schools might help their teachers accomplish more by allowing them to focus more narrowly on what they do. This idea isn’t new to education. Middle and high school teachers already specialize by subject so they can hone deep expertise in teaching particular content areas. But what if schools took this idea a step further by having teachers specialize not just by subject, but by the roles they fulfill in the classroom?
Teaching is a multifaceted job that might benefit from some streamlining. In addition to being content instructors (often in multiple content areas), we also expect teachers to be curriculum designers, assessment creators, and experts at evaluating student work and analyzing student learning data, not to mention experts in classroom management and culture, coaching students on self-management, providing students with social and emotional support, and being the primary school connection with parents and families.
Source: Do Specialized Teaching Roles Help or Hurt Students? – Education Next : Education Next
By Jessica Rogness
The Dixon City Council approved a fence for the police department parking lot, and will consider in the near future adding a second School Resource Officer (SRO).
The council voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve the purchase and installation of a wrought iron fence from Golden Bay Fence Plus Iron Works, the only company to bid on the project. The base bid amount is $330,283 for the installation of a wrought iron fence with an attached screening panel system.
City staff requested the bid for three options: an 8-foot-tall fence of wrought iron, concrete panels or concrete blocks, with motorized gates at the entrance and exit to the lot. There would also be a pedestrian gate with an emergency crash bar to allow access for police department staff.
Police Chief Robert Thompson said all three options provide the same functional aspect, but there was one issue with concrete blocks.
Source: Dixon City Council OKs police department fence
Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 20 bills in the 2018-19 state budget package, his final budget as Governor. The new budget package forecasts revenues that are $8.0 billion higher — over a three-year window — than projected in January, due to strong economic growth.
The budget agreement prioritizes building up state reserves. As required by Proposition 2 (2014), $3.5 billion is set aside, with half going to the state’s rainy day fund and half to pay down debts. An optional $2.6 billion is deposited into a new, temporary reserve; $2 billion is placed in a discretionary reserve; and a new $200 million “safety net reserve” is created to help support CalWORKs and Medi-Cal services in an economic downturn. State reserves are expected to total almost $16.0 billion by the end of 2018-19.
Source: 2018-19 State Budget Invests in Reserves and an Array of Vital Services, Sets Course for Future Advances – California Budget & Policy Center
By John Glidden
A slate of educators have endorsed Karen Sims’ push to join the Solano Community College Board of Education representing Area 1, her campaign announced recently.
Former Vallejo Mayor Tony Intintoli, former Vallejo City Councilman Foster Hicks and former Vallejo school district principal Elissa Shanks Stewart have officially endorsed Sims.
“I am very grateful for the endorsements of these three people for whom I have a great deal of respect and who have always cared about Vallejo,” Sims said in an announcement released by her campaign. “They each have dedicated their lives to public service and have been actively involved with not only the growth of Vallejo but the growth and education of our children.”
Source: Former Vallejo educators endorse Sims’ college board run
By Reporter Staff
Solano Community College announced that it was selected by Delta Air Lines as one of their Aircraft Maintenance Technician partner schools.
AMT’s service, repair and overhaul aircraft and aircraft components follow detailed regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
During the next several years, the AMT field is expected to grow at a rate of 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We are honored to be recognized by Delta Air Lines and join them in partnership to provide aviation education opportunities here in Solano County,” said Dr. Celia Esposito-Noy, Solano Community College president, in a press statement. “Our faculty are stellar and our students will benefit greatly from their knowledge and experience, in addition to having direct access to a major airline. This truly fulfills our mission on multiple levels.”
Source: Solano Community College selected as Delta Air Lines partner school
By Paul Warren
California’s K–12 system relies on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) English and mathematics tests to measure student academic progress and assess school and district performance. This report uses publicly available data to explore trends in student performance during the first three years this test has been in place. Key findings include:
- In the 2016–17 school year, about 45 percent of 3rd grade students performed at proficient levels both in mathematics and English. In English, the proportion of students meeting proficiency standards rises after 3rd grade. By 11th grade, about 60 percent of students tested as proficient. By contrast, in mathematics proficiency rates fall as students move forward. By 11th grade, only a third score at proficient levels. Achievement levels are much lower for students with disabilities, and low-income and English Learner (EL) students.
Source: California’s K–12 Test Scores: What Can the Available Data Tell Us? – Public Policy Institute of California
The White House is considering a massive reorganization of the federal government with a particular focus on agencies that deal with food, social services and education. The plan was announced on Thursday. And one part that stood out to us was the proposal to merge the Department of Education with the Labor Department to focus on workforce readiness.
Now President Trump is not the first Republican to hope to abolish the Department of Education, just the latest. We wanted to know more about the history, so we called Alyson Klein of Education Week, and she started by pointing out that many of the Education Department’s programs predate its creation by President Carter in 1980.
Source: A History Of The Department Of Education : NPR
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano Community College has been selected by Delta Airlines to be an aircraft maintenance technician partner school.
Students who complete the one-year program will have the opportunity to meet with Delta officials about possible employment, according to a statement released by the college about the program.
The aircraft maintenance technician field is expected to grow at a rate of 5 percent over the next several years, the college reports, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The airline will provide scrap aircraft and avionics parts and assist with program marketing efforts. Departing aviation technicians out of Travis Air Force Base will be targeted for the program.
Source: Solano College partners with Delta to expand aeronautics programs
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District is going to help make its students a little safer over the summer by installing automated electronic defibrillators at 18 schools.
AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.
The school district and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. held a brief press conference Monday at Armijo High School to announce the installation of the units.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools safer with new defibrillators installed
By John Glidden
Nine months after a wall mural was destroyed during the filming of the “Bumblebee” movie in downtown Vallejo, a resolution has been reached between the artist and Paramount Pictures.
The mural titled Vallejo Rising, located on the west side wall of 401 Georgia St., was painted over by the production crew last September — causing a minor flap in the community.
“Since the time the mural was painted over, Paramount Pictures has been working to make things right with the city and its residents,” according to an official statement from Paramount.
Officials said they worked with the artist Alvaro Garcia in an effort to restore the mural. A professional art conservator, hired by the film studio, concluded the mural couldn’t be restored.
Paramount said it has “reached an amicable resolution of this matter” with Garcia.
Source: Paramount, artist reach agreement about Vallejo mural
By Daily Republic Staff
Eight graduating seniors from Fairfield high schools have been awarded scholarships through the Solano Community Foundation.
Alejandro Oseguera-Perez and Spenser Hilz will receive two-year scholarships totaling $5,000 each from the Fairfield High School Staff Scholarship Endowment Fund. Diana Gutierrez Sandoval, Ramee Jones, Nia Warren-McCall and Nicholas A. Kahrimanian each get one-year $2,500 scholarships from the same fund, the foundation announced Thursday.
Source: Good News: Scholarships given to Fairfield, Armijo students
By Daily Republic Staff
Alexandra Miller, a graduate of Vanden High School and San Francisco State University, has completed her requirements for a PhD in physics from Santa Barbara State University, according to the university.
She is the daughter of Mark and Alicia Miller of Vacaville, both employees of Solano County Office of Education. She will teach this fall at Welsley College in Massachusetts.
Alicia (Graves) Miller is a graduate of Fairfield High School. Alexandra Miller’s grandmother is Nathel Bartlett Ramirez, a 1960 Armijo High School graduate. Her grandfather was Donald Graves, a 1958 Armijo graduate.
Source: Good News: Vacaville native receives her PhD in physics
By Daily Republic Staff
The Fairfield-Suisun School District and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. are collaborating on a plan to install 18 Automated Electronic Defibrillators in 18 local schools, according to a press release.
AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest. The release states as many as 460,000 people die in the United States each year due to sudden cardiac arrest and that employing an AED within 8 to 10 minutes of such a heart attack can triple the likelihood the patient survives the experience.
The installation of these additional AEDs throughout the Fairfield‐Suisun School District is another step in the district’s continuing effort to be prepared when an emergency situation arises, said Jennifer Taylor, assistant of human resources and risk management for the school district, in a press release.
Source: Medic, Fairfield-Suisun district partner to install AEDs at school sites
By Reporter Staff
Travis Unified School District welcomed three new members to its administrative team.
“We have selected three exceptional administrators from an extremely talented and experienced pool of candidates and look forward to their contributions to their sites and the District as a whole,” Superintendent Pam Conklin said in a press release issued by the district.
Eliuth Aguilar will fill the vacancy left by retiring Golden West Middle School Principal Jackie Tretten. Aguilar attended University of California, Davis, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. She attended California State University, Sacramento where she received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and School Psychology.
Source: New faces of leadership at Travis Unified School District
By Michaeleen Doucleff
Fifteen years ago, psychologists Barbara Rogoff and Maricela Correa-Chavez ran a simple experiment. They wanted to see how well kids pay attention — even if they don’t have to.
They would bring two kids, between the ages 5 to 11, into a room and have them sit at two tables.
Then they had a research assistant teach one of the kids how to assemble a toy.
The other kid was told to wait. Rogoff says they would tell the second child, “You can sit over here, and in a few minutes you’ll have a turn to make this origami jumping mouse,” — a different task altogether.
Source: How To Get Kids To Pay Attention | MindShift | KQED News
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today congratulated the La Sierra High School Adult Transition Program in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District on winning the 2018 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) award, which recognizes outstanding programs in special education.
La Sierra High School Adult Transition Program is located on the California State Fullerton Campus and provides community, vocational, and social opportunities to students ages eighteen to twenty-two with moderate to severe support needs.
“This program is a great example of how to prepare students to become self-reliant and self-sufficient,” Torlakson said. “Providing students with career training that can lead to a job, exposing them to real world social activities, and teaching them how to live independently will enable these students to become productive, contributing, and thriving young adults.”
La Sierra High School Adult Transition Program started in 2009 with one teacher serving 12 students at a single location and is now districtwide with over 100 students enrolled. The program’s innovative practices are based on a planning structure that exposes students to a vast array of vocational, social/recreational, and independent living experiences.
Source: Winner of Special Ed Learning Award Congratulated – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Ian Thompson
By the end of next year, Grange Middle School students will no long have to eat lunch out in the heat of a late spring day or the rains of mid-January.
They will also have a modernized and larger library, a new locker room, space for an innovation lab for programs such as their robotics, and, for the adults, more parking.
That is the bottom line for the $23 million project that broke ground Thursday with students, educators, parents and local officials turning the first dirt.
Fairfield-Suisun School District Superintendent Kris Corey described the year-long project as one of the forefront projects that is being funded by the Measure J bond funds.
Source: Grange Middle School breaks ground on campus projects
By Richard Bammer
The 2018-19 annual budget, with its accompanying LCAP, a review of the school district’s policy and administrative regulation about responses to immigration enforcement, and an update on the naming ceremony for the Dixon Community Performing Arts Center at Dixon High are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Melissa Mercado, the district’s chief business official, will present the budget, which must be submitted to the Solano County Office of Education for approval on or before June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Source: New $37M budget, district response to immigration enforcement on Dixon Unified School District agenda
By Kimberly K. Fu
Cheers and applause and uber support just never gets old, especially when you’re a Special Olympics athlete.
That’s what three Solano and Napa runners received Wednesday morning as they crossed over to Cal Maritime in Vallejo, about to embark on the third of the eight legs of their journey during the first of two days of the annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run.
By 10 a.m. they’d already been on the road two hours, with Benicia police passing the torch to Vallejo and Cal Maritime police.
At the academy’s boat dock, the runners received words of encouragement before passing the torch to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office’s Marine Patrol.
Source: Athletes carry the torch during annual Special Olympic Law Enforcement Torch run
By Bill Hicks
By the time students walk onto the Woolner Avenue campus at Sheldon Academy for Innovative Learning after a renovation project scheduled to finish in 2019, the Sheldon Cougars will officially be done using the expression, “old school.”
Fairfield-Suisun School District officials, members of the Board of Trustees, Sheldon faculty and staff, as well as some current students took part in a celebration Wednesday to break ground for a major modernization project that will quite literally give the students a brand new school.
The estimated cost of the project is just shy of $27 million, which is available as part of the $249 million Measure J bond approved by Fairfield- and Suisun City-area voters in June 2016. The first $84 million of those bonds were sold in September 2016.
Source: Renovation work to bring whole new Sheldon school