Vallejo trustees to review charter school petition – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday night regarding a petition to open a new charter school in the district.

Representatives with the Redwood City-based nonprofit, Rocketship Public Schools, are asking to open a charter which serves transitional kindergarten to fourth grade. A 5th grade class would eventually be added, officials with the nonprofit told the Times-Herald in a previous interview.

Officials hope to open for the 2020-21 school year.

Rocketship currently operates 18 schools in three states and Washington, D.C.

“Vallejo families need and deserve schools like Rocketship that close the achievement gap and put students on the path to college and career success,” Marie Issa Gil, Rocketship Bay Area regional director wrote in a previous email to the Times-Herald.

Source: Vallejo trustees to review charter school petition

New charter school hopes to land in Vallejo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A South Bay charter school operator has submitted a petition to establish a school in the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Rocketship Public Schools officials confirmed they are hoping to open the new facility for the 2020-2021 school year.

For the first year the school would be open for transitional kindergarten to fourth grade, with a fifth-grade class added in the second year, they said.

Marie Issa Gil, Rocketship Bay Area regional director and lead petitioner for Rocketship Vallejo said the proposed move comes after “over 500 students in Vallejo expressed their support for Rocketship to bring a school to their community.”

Source: New charter school hopes to land in Vallejo

Kairos board OKs a 3 percent pay hike for all school employees – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Leaders of Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy earlier this week approved a 3 percent pay hike for all employees at the Elm Street campus, it has been announced.

The vote was unanimous, Jared Austin, co-founder and executive director of the independent charter school, noted in an email to The Reporter.

“The Board is excited to be able to approve salary increases for staff and thank them for their hard work and dedication to all scholars,” he added in the written statement.

Source: Kairos board OKs a 3 percent pay hike for all school employees

‘Sir Elton John’ wants to win robotic worlds; needs funds – The Reporter

By RoboKnights

Perseverance. Teamwork. Excellence. These few words describe robotics team 5496.

The RoboKnights are a four-year team based out of Buckingham High School in Vacaville. In this build season alone, they have spent 200-plus hours building their robot named, Sir Elton John.

Team members have already attended two regionals in Davis and Boise, Idaho this season, placing sixth and ninth, respectively. After placing so high in Davis, the RoboKnights were put into a lottery in hopes of competing at World Competitions in Houston, Texas.

Source: ‘Sir Elton John’ wants to win robotic worlds; needs funds

Buckingham Charter Principal to resign at fiscal year’s end – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

On the job for less than a year, Buckingham Charter Magnet High Principal Paul Tytler has announced his resignation, effective June 30.

In a letter to students, parents and families, posted after hours Friday, Tytler, expressing “mixed feelings” about the decision, noted that he and wife Barbara, “after much consideration and reflection,” plan to relocate to Seattle, Wash., his home.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunities that BCMHS has provided me, as well as the wonderful partnerships I have formed with teachers, parents and students,” he wrote in the five-paragraph letter.

Source: Buckingham Charter Principal to resign

Buckingham robotics team needs cash to pay for Houston competition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

That’s how much the students at the Bella Vista Road campus need to raise by 5 p.m. Monday in order to defray costs of their going to the FIRST Championship, Wednesday to April 21, in Houston, Texas. (The acronym FIRST is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, an international youth organization that operates the FIRST Robotics Competition, among others.)

RoboKnight member Katelyn Kielhorn on Thursday said the team has raised, to date, nearly $3,000 of the $16,000 in expenses to send the team to the Lone Star State, where they will compete in what is commonly known as “a varsity sport for the mind.”

In recent days, Kielhorn, a sophomore, has been sending requests for corporate sponsorships, and the team, founded five years ago, has held bake sales and garage sales in their efforts to raise the additional $13,000.

Source: Buckingham robotics team needs cash to pay for Houston competition

Paper shredding event raises money for Kairos library materials – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Got paper?

The Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy’s annual Paper Shredding Fundraiser is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21.Get rid of those old records and documents and raise money to buy materials for the school’s library.

The event is in the Kairos parking lot, 129 Elm St.

Pacific Records Management will shred on site. Certificates of destruction are available free upon request. Snacks and water will also be available for purchase.

Source: Paper shredding event raises money for Kairos library materials

Buckingham High School sophomore wins local essay competition – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

She’s a history buff, piano player, track runner and National Honor Society member.

Now Buckingham Charter sophomore Sariah Carson can add Optimist of Solano County essay contest winner to her growing list of accomplishments.

Next up for the 15-year-old Vacaville teen — the district competition and choosing a college.

“I was really excited when I got the phone call,” Sariah shared last week, a day before visiting the campuses of Spellman College and Brown University, among others. “It really made me feel proud of myself. It boosted my confidence.”

With encouragement from her mom, Sariah entered the competition with a two-page answer to the question “Can society function without respect?”

Source: Buckingham High School sophomore wins local essay competition, heads to district

Kairos Academy agenda includes discussion on cash reserves for school expansion – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The second interim 2017-18 budget report, an open enrollment update, and the setting aside of $750,000 for future facilities and land purchases are on the agenda when the Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.

By law, California public school districts — and Kairos, as an independent TK-8 charter, is essentially its own school district — are required to present annually two interim budget reports, typically one by mid-December, the other by mid-March, to declare whether or not a district can pay its bills.

The school’s executive director, Jared Austin will tell the governing board of directors that the Elm Street school has increased its operating surplus by nearly $180,000 since the first interim budget report and estimates are that revenues exceed expenses by $306,000. The school will have an operating surplus for the next two academic years, Austin, who has led Kairos since its founding four years ago, will tell the directors.

The budget report also will serve as something of a statistical snapshot of the school: Enrollment is nearly 560 for the current year and will be the same for the next two. Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula will be fully funded two years ahead of schedule, Austin will note, adding that cost-of-living adjustments will be 1.56 percent this year and 2.51 and 2.41 for the two outlying years, respectively.

Source: Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy agenda includes discussion on cash reserves for school expansion

Announcing 2018 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that 74 schools won this year’s Civic Learning Awards, which celebrate public schools’ efforts to engage students in civic learning. Now in its sixth year, the awards program is co-sponsored by Torlakson and Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

“These schools provide great examples of how to creatively and effectively teach civics to our students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “Civics is a critical component of our education system. It helps prepare our students for college, and also to be active participants in civic life, which is critical to maintaining a vibrant democracy.”

“It is inspiring to see so many schools developing the next generation of leaders through civic education,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “In the end, civics education promotes civic engagement.”

Source: Announcing 2018 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

Solano foundation announces college scholarships – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The application cycle for 18 college scholarships through the Solano Community Foundation opens Monday.

Scholarships are awarded from the Harry and Eleanor D. Nelson Vacaville Endowment Fund to graduating seniors at Vacaville High School, Will C. Wood High School and Buckingham Charter Magnet High School.

There are seven at $14,000 ($3,500 each academic year); two one-year scholarships at $2,500; and one one-year scholarship for $5,000.

Source: Solano foundation announces college scholarships

Open enrollment continues at Sierra Vista, Kairos – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Two Vacaville schools continue to accept applications during their open enrollment periods for the 2018-19 academic year.

At Sierra Vista K-8 School, 301 Bel Air Drive, completed packets must be returned to the main office at the close of business Friday.

School officials made the announcement in a flier and on their website, https://sierravista.schooloop.com.

Any packets turned in after Friday will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

If the number of students interested in enrolling exceeds capacity, they will be enrolled in order of enrollment priority grouping “per our priorities,” according to wording on the flier attributable to Principal Catherine Bozzini.

Source: Open enrollment continues at Sierra Vista, Kairos

RoboKnights Push Through Week Three Of Build Season – Daily Republic

By The Buckingham PR Team

Still pushing through build season during the third week, the RoboKnights are working hard through each day. Still continuing the game of Power Up, the RoboKnights hope to finish their bot by the end of this week. Although the progress on the bot is moving smoothly, the PR department has since moved forward with the construction and painting of the pit for competition.

This year for the RoboKnights have taken a big step towards progress, they decided to take the initiative and expand their workspace. In previous years the space was taken up by a gymnastics center, and it has since been out of business, leaving the area to those who need the space and can afford it. The Buckingham High School has previously used this space for their own large events, such as Noche De Los Muertos by the Spanish classes.

Source: Class News: RoboKnights Push Through Week Three Of Build Season

Solano students spend day learning about different careers – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Gohan Szerthche, 17, of Vacaville High School, has a good idea of what he wants to be when he gets out of school: an electrical mechanic – something that his father knows all about.

“I want to be a mechanic like my dad,” he said Friday.

Those skills he will gain from college coursework would come in handy at Synder Filtration in Vacaville, which is where his school stopped for a career day event that brought together students from most of Solano County’s high schools.

More than 900 sophomores from around the county boarded 25 buses and headed out to 30 area businesses, as well as institutions such as Travis Air Force Base, the California State University Maritime Academy, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and other locations participated for National Job Shadow Day.

Source: Solano students spend day learning about different careers

DeVos: ‘Common Core Is Dead’ NPR Ed

By Anya Kamenetz

An online charter school is closing midyear

One of the largest online charter schools in the country closed this week amid a financial and legal dispute with the state of Ohio. Parents, many of whom have children with special needs, are scrambling to find new placements, according to news reports. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow had earlier been asked to return $60 million in what the state says are overpayments due to disputes over enrollment. The school has claimed up to 15,000 students. However, the state says it’s more like 9,000 who log in regularly.

Source: DeVos: ‘Common Core Is Dead’; A Large Online Charter School Is Shut Down : NPR Ed : NPR

New Charter Schools Division Director Announced – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that he has appointed Lisa Constancio as Director of the Charter Schools Division. Her division oversees State Board of Education-approved charter schools throughout California and administers the Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program.

Constancio most recently served as a consultant with the CDE’s School Facilities Planning and Transportation Services Division. During her 11 years there, she helped to design charter schools, review State Board of Education chartered schools facilities, and advised on state and federal capital funding opportunities.

“Lisa’s years of experience in program administration and her history of creating positive relationships with local education agencies, charter school advocacy groups, legislative staff, and other state agencies will be a great asset in providing leadership to her division,” Torlakson said. “Innovative charter schools help California’s children learn by including programs that offer everything from an emphasis on foreign languages to performing and fine arts.”

Source: New Charter Schools Division Director Announced – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

SCOE trustees nix ELITE charter petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In a packed Fairfield meeting room, Solano County Office of Education trustees on Wednesday voted 4-3 to deny the petition submitted by ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School.

The governing board made its decision at 10:20 p.m., more than four hours after the meeting began inside the county agency’s Business Center Drive office building, after testimony by the board’s attorney, John Yeh, a partial clearing by a fire marshal of the Business Center Drive room midway through the meeting, remarks in support and opposition by some 60 speakers, more comments and questions from the seven-member board, followed by a roll-call vote that board President Elease Cheek called “a tough, tough decision that will set a precedent.”

Source: SCOE trustees nix ELITE charter petition

Solano board rejects Elite Charter School on 4-3 vote – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Solano County Board of Education trustees turned down Elite Charter School by a 4-3 vote Wednesday after supporters said the school would address an achievement gap for African-American and Latino students but opponents said public schools are dealing with the gap.

“It’s a hard call,” Trustee Peggy Cohen-Thompson said. “It’s a very hard call.”

She along with Trustees Mayrene Bates and Michell Coleman voted for Dana Dean’s motion to deny the Elite Charter School petition.

Bates spoke about attending all-black schools from kindergarten to college and protests about the separation of races.

She said she was concerned when hearing proposals to do more for one group than another.

Source: Solano board rejects Elite Charter School on 4-3 vote

SCOE trustees deny ELITE charter school petition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In a packed Fairfield meeting room, Solano County Office of Education trustees on Wednesday voted 4-3 to deny the petition submitted by ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School.

During the meeting that lasted more than four hours, which included more than 60 speakers, a small group of educators cheered after the result.

The closed vote, taken in the county agency’s Business Center Drive offices, a contentious Dec. 13 public hearing that saw some 50 speakers in support or opposition to the petition praised, assailed or merely questioned the document forged by Ramona Bishop, the former Vallejo City Unified superintendent who was fired from her post last March.

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Source: SCOE trustees deny ELITE charter school petition

SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An action sure to draw a large crowd, the Solano County Office of Education governing board will vote Wednesday to grant or deny the proposed ELITE Public Schools Countywide Charter School petition submitted by Ramona Bishop, the former superintendent of Vallejo City Unified who was fired from her post last March.

With county staff urging trustees to deny the petition, the board’s decision will come about one month after a contentious December board meeting that saw several dozen speakers address trustees in support of and opposition to the petition, which would establish a charter school first in Vallejo, then other charters in Fairfield and Vacaville in the coming months and years.

Just how much sway the county staff recommendation will ultimately have remains an open question, but it will certainly be on the minds of opponents, who likely will drive home the point during their remarks to the seven-member board before the vote.

Source: SCOE trustees set to vote on ELITE charter