Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several large construction contracts, some of them related to Measure J, and an update on Gov. Jerry Brown’s “May revise” state budget are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The seven-member governing board is expected to approve a $131,000 contract, funded by Measure J, with All Commercial Fence, a Waterford-based firm in Stanislaus County, for a fencing project at Green Valley Middle School.

But trustees will reject a $317,000 bid, because it was the only one, to refurbish Armijo High lockers, and re-bid the project, also funded by Measure J, at an unspecified date.

Measure J was the $249 million school bond measure passed by voters in June 2016, to upgrade aging schools in the sprawling district, the largest in Solano County, with more than 21,000 students across more than two dozen campuses.

 

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school district agenda: Measure J contracts, 2017-18 budget update

Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet tonight in a special meeting, are expected to approve the addition of one new member to the Measure Q Citizens Oversight Committee, Tad Smith, a scientist.

During a regular meeting last week, trustees approved a list of five members to serve on the committee. They are Julie Mustard, an administrative coordinator; Gary Riddle, a retiree; Robert Strong, a computer network specialist; Andrea Kett, a business owner; and Jack Caldwell, a local manager.

When school bond measures pass in California, citizens oversight committees usually are formed to comply with the requirements of the bond and state law. Its members are appointed volunteers, often from various organizations, in accord with state law, Basically, oversight committees, independent of a school district’s governing board, try to make sure the bond money is being spent wisely on construction projects and is accounted for, by providing period updates to trustees.

Source: Dixon school leaders to add another member to Measure Q oversight committee

Benicia High School informational meeting draws concerns over new graduation requirements, funding for PAB – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Parents, students and teachers packed the Benicia High School Performing Arts Building for an informational meeting Monday night about the new school board-approved graduation requirements where they voiced their concerns about their potential impact on art and elective courses.

At the March 16 school board meeting, the board held a discussion and first reading of the proposed new requirements to go into effect for the class of 2022, which Superintendent Charles Young said were modeled after the University of California and California State University requirements, although with some modifications. The required amount of units for graduation would remain at 220, but some of the units would be redistributed to additional requirements. The proposed changes were as follows:

* Health and the semesterlong elective that accompanied it would be replaced by a new yearlong course titled “Get Focused,” intended to help freshmen be successful by identifying their life and career goals early on and develop a pathway to prepare for that field, according to its description in the 2017-2018 course catalog.

Source: Benicia High School informational meeting draws concerns over new graduation requirements, funding for PAB

English-learner report, student achievement plan on Dixon Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday, will consider the annual District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) report, approve new courses at C.A. Jacobs Intermediate School, discuss a teacher survey on elementary school reconfiguration, and likely approve the Measure Q Citizen Oversight Committee membership roll.

Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will present the DELAC report.

Every California public school district, grades K-12, is required to form a DELAC if it has 51 or more English-learner students. The committee is comprised of school staff, parents of English-learner students, other parents and community members who are interested in English-learner programs. The committee advises the district’s governing board (in person, by letters or reports, or through an administrator, on programs and services for English learners).

In the agenda documents, Walbridge noted that an unspecified number of parent members will offer a brief “needs assessment as part of the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) stakeholder engagement process.”

 

Source: English-learner report, student achievement plan on Dixon Unified agenda

“Sunshining” bargaining proposals, Measure Q contracts on SCC agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Sunshining of bargaining proposals between the Solano Community College trustees and Local 39 of the Operating Engineers union, several major construction contracts, and the educational agreement between Mariani Nut Company of Winters and the SCC District are on the agenda when college leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Local 39 has presented its initial bargaining proposals to the district board for the purpose of sunshining, as required by law. To sunshine bargaining proposals is to inform the public what will be discussed during labor negotiations. The topics include — no surprise — pay and allowances, working conditions, hours and overtime and leaves of absence.

Public comment on the proposals will be received at the next governing board meeting, June 7.

The eight-member governing board will consider a $78,000 contract with Consolidated Engineering Laboratories for project special inspection and testing services for the new science building project at the main Fairfield campus.

 

Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Business related to Measure Q, the $30.4 million bond approved by voters in November, and a public hearing on the Norcal Trade and Tech Center Charter School petition are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

The five-member governing board is expected to approve a $864,000 contract with LPA Inc. for design services related to the modernization of Old Dixon High, built in 1940 when Franklin Roosevelt was president. LPA is an architectural firm with offices in California and Texas, from Sacramento and San Diego to Dallas and San Antonio.

Later in the meeting, trustees also are expected to approve some additional applicants to serve on the Citizens Oversight Committee for Measure Q. Typically, bond oversight committees are tasked with being stewards of the money, delivering periodic updates to the governing board on how the money is being spent. Agenda documents did not list the names of the applicants, but two were approved in March, one in April, and Superintendent Brian Dolan, noted the latest applicants bring the committee closer to being fully staffed.

Source: Measure Q items, charter school petition on DUSD agenda

School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Benicia Unified School District is already in the process of looking for a contractor for the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia High School. The school board will be voting Thursday to award the contract to the lowest bidder.

The fire alarm improvement is another item to be funded through Measure S, the initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding to enhance facilities at BUSD’s seven schools. Much like the stadium renovation at Benicia High School and the fire alarm upgrade at Benicia Middle School, the project was taken to a public bidding process where contractors had to be pre-qualified in order to be eligible to bid. According to Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan, four contractors pre-qualified and three submitted a bid. The lowest was a $1.9 million bid submitted by Bockmon & Woody Electric Co. Inc. out of Stockton. District staff is recommending that the board award the contract to Bockmon & Woody, noting that the district’s electrical engineer has successfully worked on projects with the company and is confident in their ability.

Source: School board to consider awarding fire alarm upgrade to lowest bidder

Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects delivered an update of Benicia Middle School’s campus modernization project at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The redesign of Benicia Middle’s campus, funded by Measure S and set to begin in the fall, has been a topic of discussion at school board meetings in recent months. One of the suggestions at the Feb. 2 meeting was to gather more input from staff. Pollard said that shortly afterward, the same presentation was given to BMS staff on Feb. 10, and design committee meetings were held on March 10 and 24, in which additional input was given.

Primary projects of the redesign include new modular classrooms, a modernized campus, a new drama room and kitchen, and removing the lower portables.

Staff has presented concerns about the number of classrooms in the upper campus if the school removed classrooms in the lower campus and congested student traffic in getting out of the library building. They also expressed a desire for 21st century learning classrooms and improving the front of the school and outdoor learning areas.“The group had a lot of passion about making this place as good as we can make it,” Pollard said.

Source: Further Benicia Middle School remodeling updates presented to school board

Winters woman appointed to oversight committee – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

The Solano Community College District board unanimously approved the appointment of Winters resident Valentina Lowden to the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, Wednesday.

In reporting on behalf of the ad hoc committee, board President Rosemary Thurston outlined Lowden’s background as solidly rooted in business, as well as an extensive background in volunteering for a variety of public education roles.

Source: Winters woman appointed to oversight committee

Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Lee Pollard of HY Architects and Measure S Bond Director Roxanne Egan will deliver an update on progress to the renovation of Benicia Middle School at Thursday’s school board meeting.

The renovation of BMS is one of the last remaining projects in the first phase of Measure S, an initiative approved by voters in 2014 to set aside $49.6 million in bond funding to be used for construction and renovation projects at Benicia Unified School District sites. The modernization of Benicia Middle School’s campus, which was built in 1976, is expected to begin in the fall of 2017 and will include new modular classrooms, a drama classroom, improving the quality of interior spaces and traffic congestion, new 21st century classrooms with new furniture,

Source: Slate of Measure S projects on agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting

Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members – The Reporter

The members’ appointments come nearly five months after voters approved the $30.4 million bond that will pay for upgrades to several aging schools, including Old Dixon High, built in 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949, when Harry Truman was president.

School bond oversight committees consist of volunteers whose mission includes service as stewards of the money and delivery of periodic updates to the governing board.

Trustees will meet in open session at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council chamber, 600 East A St., Dixon.

Source: Dixon Unified leaders to name bond measure oversight committee members

VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With little discussion, Vacaville Unified leaders unanimously approved the pending sale of $38 million in Measure A bonds and several large contracts.

The no-surprise votes came Thursday during a regular governing board meeting in the Educational Services Center.

The bond sale approval comes after the initial issue of Measure A bonds, for $40 million, that help to launch the first major projects under the $194 million measure passed by voters in 2014. They included upgrades to Vacaville High and Sierra Vista K-8 School, among other projects.

The bonds are paid for through property taxes levied by the county, and the money largely will be used to upgrade the 12,500-student district’s aging school buildings, many of them more than 50 years old, and, of those, several are more than 60 years old. Another major Measure A project, the building of a new $12.8 million stadium at Will C. Wood High, officially gets underway with groundbreaking fanfare set for 3:30 p.m. Monday.

 

Source: VUSD trustees approve sale of $38M in Measure A bonds, several major contracts

Vacaville Unified agenda: 16-17 budget report, mental health supports, $38M bond sale – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim 2016-17 budget report, an update about district mental health supports, and the sale of $38 million in Measure A bonds are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.

Deo Persaud, the chief business officer, will note major changes since the first interim report in December; updates on revenues and expenses and the ending fund balance; multiyear projections (with assumptions); and next steps.

The district will file a positive certification, based on current projections, meaning it will be able to pay its bills for the current year and next year, he will tell the seven-member governing board.

In a slide presentation, he will note $113.4 million in expenses (a slight change from a previous report), with an ending balance of nearly $18 million (also a slight change), with 8 percent in prudent reserves of more than $9 million.

Source: Vacaville Unified agenda: 16-17 budget report, mental health supports, $38M bond sale

Dixon School District misses deadline to form bond oversight panel – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The superintendent for the Dixon School District apologized to the Solano County Taxpayers Association for missing a Monday deadline to form a bond oversight committee after the Nov. 8 passage of the $30.4 million Measure Q school bond.

Brian Dolan, in an email Monday to taxpayers association members, said he failed to get all of the pieces in order to meet the deadline.

“This was not a willful attempt to skirt our responsibility as the need for a citizens oversight committee is well-known to us,” Dolan said of the school district. “I won’t go into all of the factors that got us to this position, but instead reiterate that the committee will be formed as soon as possible.”

Source: Dixon School District misses deadline to form bond oversight panel

SCC leaders to consider $90M bond sale, Measure Q, Strong Workforce contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A resolution to issue $90 million in Measure Q bonds, several large Measure Q-related contracts, and a $500,000 Strong Workforce Program contract are on the agenda when Solano Community College leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The college’s governing board likely will approve the pending sale of $90 million in Measure Q bonds on the open market. Trustees previously approved $120 million in bonds under the $348 million measure, which Solano County voters passed in 2012, to upgrade the school’s aging classrooms, other buildings, infrastructure as well as pay for some new construction.

Also related to their Measure Q considerations, trustees are expected to approve a $162,000 contract with Arthulia Inc., a Millbrae firm, for a performing arts costume workshop and classroom project, part of the Solano College Theatre renovation.

 

Source: SCC leaders to consider $90M bond sale, Measure Q, Strong Workforce contracts

Citizen panels overseeing school bonds need help, statewide panel says – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Oversight of school construction bonds – proposed by creating citizen committees in California – is not taking place for the most part, the Little Hoover Commission said in a study.

Independent training is needed for citizens bond oversight committees created in 2000 when the threshold to pass school bond measures in California was reduced from two-thirds to 55 percent, said the study released late last month.

“Bond oversight committees in many communities act simply as cheerleaders for the district, often because members simply do not understand their roles or know what actions they can take,” states the study, “Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight.”

Source: Citizen panels overseeing school bonds need help, statewide panel says

School board votes to set retention of 2 Measure S projects at 10% – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

After a public hearing, the Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District unanimously voted to set the retention for two Measure S projects at 10 percent for being substantially complex at Thursday’s meeting.

The first project in question was a fire alarm upgrade at Benicia High School— not Benicia Middle School as previously reported. Factors that make the project complex include the fact the construction timeline is critical, the system is unique in nature and requires specialized training, and the system is directly related to fire, life and safety at the school.

Source: School board votes to set retention of 2 Measure S projects at 10%

School board to hold public hearing on ‘substantially complex’ Measure S projects – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District will be holding a public hearing at Thursday’s meeting to set the retention for two Measure S projects at 10 percent because they are considered substantially complex.

Measure S is an initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding for renovation and upgrades of school facilities. Such projects include upgrading the playgrounds at the elementary schools, fixing the roof at Benicia Middle School, re-painting the exterior at Benicia High School and renovations the stadium at Benicia High, the latter of which is currently in progress.

However, there are two projects that are considered substantially complex: the upgrade of Benicia Middle School’s fire alarm system and solar retrofitting at several of the schools.Per public contract code, retention proceeds that are “withheld from any payment by a public entity and an original contractor, between an original contractor and a subcontractor, and between all subcontractors thereunder, relating to the construction of any public work shall not exceed five percent of the contract price.”

Source: School board to hold public hearing on ‘substantially complex’ Measure S projects

Vacaville Unified leaders approve more than $5.4M in Measure A contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A million here, a million there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money in Vacaville.

Vacaville Unified leaders on Thursday approved more than $5.4 million in Measure A contracts to upgrade the district’s aging schools — many of them built more than 50 years ago — and to begin work on the long-awaited Will C. Wood High stadium project.

Meeting in the Educational Services Center, the governing board, as expected, OK’d a nearly $4.2 million contract with Lister Construction of Vacaville for building a pad, site work, and a staff parking lot at Vacaville High, which will see in the coming months two new classroom buildings rise on the West Monte Vista Avenue campus.

Work on the first new classroom building is already underway, Dan Banowetz, the district’s director of facilities, noted Friday.

“We’re kind of getting ready to work on both buildings at the same time,” he said. “So, once the summer rolls around, we’ll be getting rid of 15 portables (classrooms) and making room for the new building (on the southwest corner of the campus).”

 

Source: Vacaville Unified leaders approve more than $5.4M in Measure A contracts

Vacaville school district agenda: Buckingham High report, large Measure A contracts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The Buckingham Charter High School biannual report and several large Measure A contracts are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight.

Buckingham Principal Mike Boles will lead the presentation about the Bella Vista Road campus, covering topics that will range from the mission statement and enrollment to state standardized test results and college readiness to parent survey results and goals.

In a computer-aided slide presentation, Boles will note increasing enrollments over the years, from 442 in 2014-15 to a projected enrollment of 550 this academic year.

Of state standardized test results, specifically the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, he will report that last year 78 percent of Buckingham students met or exceeded state standards in English, compared to 48 percent statewide; and 46 percent of students met or exceeded state standards in math compared to 36 percent statewide.

Source: Vacaville school district agenda: Buckingham High report, large Measure A contracts