By Beth Dalbey
Several teen celebrities are taking on the stereotype that smart, beautiful and kind kids can’t be bullied in a new video, “Girls Against Bullying,” that encourages the practice of empathy. The video underscores how rampant bullying has become and that girls are targeted more often than boys.
The video features more than two dozen girls, including Oona Laurence, Milly Shapiro, Donshea Hopkins, Hawwaa Ibrahim and Nerghiz Sarki. It was produced by No Bully, one of the country’s leading anti-bullying advocacy groups, in partnership with The Kind Coalition, which aims to record 100,000 acts of kindness in 2019 through its #100KChooseKind social media challenge.
Source: ‘Girls Against Bullying’: Teen Celeb Video Sends Powerful Message | Across America, US Patch
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Vallejo resident Hazel Wilson and the lead faculty of Vallejo High School think they’ve hit on a way to “incentivize” chronically absent students into attending school, and in some cases provide needed clothing to boot.
Wilson, a former Vallejo City Unified School District board member, said she was recently offered several hundred apparel items from rapper Jay-Z’s organization, through CC and Amber Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation, and they are being put to what is hoped will be good use – to bring up students’ attendance and grades.
“They contacted me about having this merchandise left over from Jay-Z’s 2017 tour, and offered it to us,” Wilson said. “I met with the Vallejo High School administration – Principal (Sheila) Quintana and Student Support Provider Reyanna Stowes-Davis – and we sat down and discussed how can these items make the biggest impact?”
Source: Jay-Z items offered to Vallejo High students for good attendance – Times-Herald
By Daily Republic Staff
Parents and caregivers can better learn how to protect their children and improve the general safety and security on social media and internet use at an event scheduled Wednesday at the Solano County Events Center.
Vacaville police Detective Jeff Datzman will be the presenter.
The adults-only event will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. A light dinner will be served.
Source: Social media safety training event for parents set this week
By Katrina Schwartz
The first Breakout Angie Sutherland designed was in response to a teacher’s request for an activity to help her students improve their teamwork skills. The teacher was concerned that her students didn’t communicate well when they collaborated on projects and that they gave up too easily when an academic task became challenging. Sutherland immediately thought of Breakouts, activities based on the popular escape room experience where groups of people working together under time pressure solve a series of puzzles. As a technology integrationist for Batavia Public Schools, a district outside Chicago, Sutherland was excited to give the strategy a try.
“The growth for students when doing something like that goes beyond the curriculum,” Sutherland said. “I think it’s so important for us to encourage kids to have that productive struggle and how to handle that once you’ve encountered it. And this particular activity has so much value in helping kids overcome some fears for taking risks and failure.”
Source: Building Teamwork and Perseverance in Early Elementary Students with Breakouts | MindShift | KQED News
California is recognizing outstanding education programs and practices in middle and high schools in 2019. The following schools are eligible to apply for the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Award and California Exemplary Award in 2019.
Information about the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program, Eligibility Criteria, Application, California Exemplary Award, California Exemplary Districts Award, Timeline of Activities, Sponsors, and Resources, can be found on the California Department of Education California Distinguished Schools Program web page.
Source: CA Distinguished Schools Eligibility List for 2019 – California Distinguished Schools Program (CA Dept of Education)
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The empty seat on the Vallejo school board was filled and initial school closures agreed to at the Vallejo City Unified School District’s meeting Wednesday.
Just before voting to change the board’s bylaws to “allow more leeway” in filling empty seats by removing the clause stipulating they must appoint the next highest vote-getter in the previous school board election, trustees did just that. They named Christy Gardner to the seat vacated by Marianne Kearney-Brown’s December resignation. Gardner placed fourth in the November election’s race for three board seats.
Trustee Tony Ubalde said he’d met with Gardner earlier in the week and while he still has some concerns, said he felt better about her appointment. It was noted that the bylaws’ new wording doesn’t prevent the next highest vote-getter from being appointed should such a circumstance arise again.
Source: Gardner officially sworn in at Vallejo school board meeting – Times-Herald
By Daily Republic Staff
Two charitable funds – one to support teachers in the Fairfield-Suisun School District and the other to support six historic Ordnance Workers Houses on Mare Island – have been added to the Solano Community Foundation catalog.
The Kim Liew Real Estate Group Fund has been established to provide mini-grants for classroom supplies and consumables, to purchase technology or software items, or to support field trips and related activities by teachers in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, the foundation announced Thursday.
The foundation declined to provide the amount that was donated, citing single-donor privacy.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun district teachers, historic Mare Island houses get Solano foundation funds
By Richard Bammer
The slant-roofed, six-story multipurpose room, aka the cafeteria and gymnasium — with a fresh cream-and-royal blue colors, with dozens of windows high up to let in natural light, with brand-new basketball backboards and nets — could be the new, shiny practice space of the Golden State Warriors.
Then there are the four new classrooms housing fifth- and sixth-graders: in short, an architectural lesson in good use of space, pods, hubbed around a welcoming, well-lighted common area that relaxes anyone in it.
And the spiffy administrative office, also brand new, has to be the envy of school principals everywhere. Should anyone also mention a newly configured parking lot near the school office, addressing security and safety concerns?
Source: New era for Scandia Elementary – The Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed Keith Yamanaka as Chief Counsel for the Legal Division of the California Department of Education (CDE). His division provides legal advice and representation to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, CDE, and State Board of Education.
Yamanaka will both lead the Legal Division and serve as CDE’s delegate at the CalSTRS Retirement Board. He has a diverse background in legal and executive leadership at a number of state agencies including the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and the former California Department of Health Services.
“I am excited to have Keith join our CDE team, where he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise,” Thurmond said. “He is a strong leader and manager and will help the CDE carry out our official duties and policy goals to help all students succeed.”
Source: Superintendent Thurmond Appoints Chief Counsel – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Ian Thompson
If you want a truly appreciative audience at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, bring a room full of elementary school-age children.
The new multipurpose room at Scandia Elementary School thundered from the cheers of its students when the ribbon was cut Wednesday morning signifying the end of the school’s extensive modernization.
“I want to thank all of you,” Scandia Principal Mark Pennington told the assembled staff and students. “You endured a lot of problems and we all worked together to get where we are now.”
Source: Scandia Elementary School cuts ribbon on schoolwide modernization
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Changing the procedure for filling an empty board seat, the results of union negotiations, school closure recommendations and Measure S fund expenditures are among the issues on the agenda for Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting.
District staff is recommending the Governing Board use the provisional appointment process to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown.
As it now stands, the board would appoint the fourth highest vote-getter in the last election, which was Christy Gardner. However, also on the agenda is changing Board Bylaw 9223, by removing the line, “When authorized by law to make a provisional appointment to fill a vacancy on the Board, the Board shall appoint the next highest candidate who received votes from the previous election.”
Source: Changing the rules to fill vacated seat on Vallejo school board agenda – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he has appointed Kindra Britt as Director of Communications for the California Department of Education (CDE).
Britt heads a division that handles internal and external communications, including media activities to support State Superintendent Thurmond, and CDE as a whole. She replaces outgoing Director Bill Ainsworth.
Britt most recently served as Community Affairs Director for the Placer County Office of Education, where she started nearly 12 years ago as a Career Technical Education Instructor. Britt brings a unique perspective to her new role at CDE, having previously served in the classroom. In addition to her work in Placer County, over the last few months, she was on loan to Butte County as a Public Information Officer to assist Paradise Unified School District (PUSD) during the aftermath of the catastrophic Camp Fire. She managed media relations from all over the world in response to the devastation caused by the fire.PUSD had 3,500 students displaced after the fire, and Britt helped support the district in communications to first locate families and then provide them with vital information for recovery efforts and the return to school.
Source: Thurmond Appoints New Communications Director – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Todd R. Hansen
Jimmie Jackson was in his early teens when he had the “profound experience” of meeting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“He was a person who I thought had a halo around him, an aura around him,” Jackson said Monday in a phone interview from the 26th annual MLK March in Vallejo.
The president of the Vallejo branch of the NAACP, and a Memphis native, Jackson said he grew up in a time of community segregation, but at a time when those who were segregated were told by King and others that if they wanted to be part of society, they would have to work for it.
Source: Legacy of King found in community work, advancement
By Richard Bammer
There were the sounds of a shovel scraping soil mixtures from the asphalt into newly built redwood planter boxes. There were the sights of young people, smiling and earnest, cleaning windows that may not have been cleaned in months, maybe a year. And there was the flurry of activity that comes with the group-painting of murals, accompanied by murmuring voices of encouragement as some half-dozen people brushed or slathered pigments onto a multipurpose-room wall, images of letters and words spelling out “The Leader in Me.”
But most of all, there was in the air a sense of unity, of working together for a common purpose: The improvement of Anna Kyle Elementary in Fairfield on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national day of service, the only federal holiday observed as such and known for the expression “a day on, not a day off.”
Drawing some 225 volunteers (14 years and older), their sleeves turned up and ready to work in teams large and small, the daylong action at the TK-5 Kidder Avenue school was the 10th annual MLK Jr. Workday sponsored by Rebuilding Together Solano County, Kaiser Permanente, Home Depot and Republic Services of Fairfield.
Source: A day on, not off – The Reporter
By Christina Samuels
The Education Department’s offices for civil rights and for special education and rehabilitative services are teaming up to “address the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion” on students with disabilities.
The agencies on Thursday outlined three areas that they will focus on: conducting compliance reviews of school districts, providing resources on legalities and on interventions that could “reduce the need for less effective and potentially dangerous practices”; and on improving data collection on the use of restraint and seclusion.
“This initiative will not only allow us to support children with disabilities, but will also provide technical assistance to help meet the professional learning needs of those within the system serving students,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “The only way to ensure the success of all children with disabilities is to meet the needs of each child with a disability. This initiative furthers that important mission.”
Source: Ed. Dept. Pushes to Reduce ‘Inappropriate’ Restraint, Seclusion in Special Education – On Special Education – Education Week
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) was awarded a federal Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award for $10,620,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. It was one of 45 states/territories that received the grant award.
These grants help states analyze and enhance their early learning and care systems to maximize the availability of high-quality early learning and care options for low-income and disadvantaged families. It will also help California improve the quality of early childhood care by streamlining administrative and funding systems.
“This grant helps streamline access to early education through more effective and efficient operations,” said Thurmond. “That in turn will help us take a step towards meeting the crucial goal of expanding these programs and reducing the achievement gap.”
Source: Nearly $11 Million Early Childhood Education Grant – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed a new Deputy Superintendent for the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Government Affairs Division.
Khieem Jackson will lead the Government Affairs Division and serve as CDE’s liaison with local, state, and federal elected officials and government agencies. Jackson brings a wealth of expertise to CDE, with a diverse background in federal, state, and local government advocacy, along with extensive international experience as an officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
“I am thrilled to have Khieem Jackson join our team as Deputy Superintendent of Government Affairs,” Thurmond said. “He is a strong advocate for students who need the most assistance, and brings invaluable insight from throughout the world supporting service members and their families.”
Source: Thurmond Appoints Deputy Supt of Govt Affairs – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
When Bob Bohnet was at Hogan High in the early 1970s, he was cut from the school’s basketball squad by coach Jim Stephenson. Bohnet has thought about the moment from time to time and if he sees the ex-Hogan coach on March 9 he’ll probably have two words to say to him — thank you.
Bohnet will be in a good mood because the potential meeting would take place at the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at the Dan Foley Cultural Center. Bohnet will be inducted due mostly because of his exploits in another sport he later focused on — baseball. Stephenson is also a 2019 inductee.
“Yeah, maybe I’ll remind him about it (being cut) there,” Bohnet said with a laugh.
The 1974 Hogan High graduate was stellar in multiple sports, but baseball was his calling as he stared for the Spartans at multiple positions on the field before also playing well for Solano College, Cal and a number of teams in the minor leagues.
Source: Hogan High grad Bob Bohnet to enter Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame – Times-Herald
On January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposed 2019-20 budget that calls for a series of bold and smart investments in broadening economic security and opportunity for Californians, while continuing to strengthen the state’s underlying fiscal health.
The Governor forecasts revenues that are $8.1 billion higher (over a three-year “budget window” from 2017-18 to 2019-20) than previously projected in the 2018-19 budget enacted last June, driven largely by continued economic growth.
The Governor’s proposal includes a range of significant expansions in support of low- and middle-income Californians who are struggling to make ends meet and access greater economic opportunity, including doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, working toward universal preschool for 4-year olds, investing in child care infrastructure, expanding health care to move closer to universal coverage, expanding paid family leave, boosting CalWORKs grants, and increasing investment in state higher education systems. Recognizing that high housing costs contribute to California’s high poverty rate, Governor Newsom also proposes a mix of policies and an expanded state role to address housing needs and homelessness. These policies would make California more affordable and more equitable for millions of Californians.
Source: Governor’s Inaugural Budget Proposal Includes Bold and Smart Investments, While Maintaining Fiscal Health – California Budget & Policy Center
By Richard Bammer
Four members of the Solano Community College board of trustees were sworn in for new four-year terms late last year, it has been announced.
Returning to the board are Area 2 trustee A. Marie Young, representing a sector of Vallejo; Area 4 trustee Denis Honeychurch, representing Fairfield, parts of Vacaville, and Travis Air Force Base; and Area 6 trustee Dr. Sarah Chapman, also representing parts of Vacaville.
Newly elected Area 1 trustee Karimah Karah also took her oath of office at the Dec.19 meeting. Karah, representing Vallejo west of Interstate 80 and Mare Island, won her race to earn a board seat. She replaces Pam Keith, who had served since 1994 and declined to run for re-election.
Source: Four SCC trustees sworn in for four-year terms – The Reporter