Suisun Valley K-8 School wins innovation grant – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

The California Educational Research Association (recently announced three winners of its $2,500 Classroom Innovation Grant, and Suisun Valley K-8 School’s Edible Schoolyard project was one of those winners.

Jas Wright, principal of Suisun Valley K-8 School, and Stacy Burke, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s assistant director of Public Relations and Grant Writing, teamed up to write the grant.

Suisun Valley K-8 Edible Schoolyard serves to meet the needs of the Suisun Valley’s agriculture community. The Agri-Science program is an innovative approach to teaching the Next Generation Science Standards.

Source: Good News: Suisun Valley K-8 School wins innovation grant

Armijo grad makes difference in Zimbabwe – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Emily Eddy, a 2013 Armijo High School graduate, recently traveled to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, to volunteer at a hospital.

Her effort, along her friend, Owen Christian-Schubert, went beyond volunteering. The pair established a GoFundMe page which resulted in donations for 28 hand sanitizers for the hospital. The original goal was for 14 units.

Eddy and Christian-Schubert are students at the University of California, Davis.

Source: Good News: Armijo grad makes difference in Zimbabwe

A look at 2 Solano school bonds proves informative – Daily Republic

By John Takeuchi

Important things come and go. It’s wise to review them, to learn for the future.

Let’s take a look at two very expensive local school bonds: Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Measure C ($100 million) and Solano Community College District’s Measure G ($150 million), approved by voters in 2002.

Both measures used state Proposition 39 (passed in 2000), that allowed school construction bonds to be approved with 55 percent Yes votes. Among its rules, bond revenues could only be spent on constructing and rehabilitating school facilities. In addition, the ballot text was required to show the specific projects to be funded; that lets you estimate whether the amount of the bond is legitimate. Later legislation added an “independent citizens’ oversight committee” to assure the public that bond funds were being spent properly.

Source: A look at 2 Solano school bonds proves informative

Sister City Program seeks exchange students to visit Japan in 2018 – Daily Republic

By Fairfield City Manager’s Office Staff

Applications are now available for the 2018 summer student exchange group to our sister city, Nirasaki, Japan. The six student representatives depart for Nirasaki around the second week of July, and stay with a Japanese family for three weeks. While in Japan, the student group participates in activities planned by the City of Nirasaki, including visits to local schools, sight-seeing excursions to Tokyo, Mt. Fuji and local scenic areas, and tours of historic and cultural sites, plus a 4-day excursion to Kyoto and Hiroshima via Japan’s famous bullet train, the Shinkansen.

Fairfield residents or students in Fairfield high schools who have entered ninth grade as of August 2017 are eligible to apply to be a member of the group. The application deadline is January 18, 2018.

Source: Sister City Program seeks exchange students to visit Japan in 2018

Study puts Fairfield-Suisun USD in middle for salaries, revenues, benefits – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A comparison of the Fairfield-Suisun School District with a dozen other nearby, similar districts found Fairfield-Suisun in the middle of categories that include salaries, revenues and employee benefits.

Fairfield-Suisun was the largest of the 13 districts that included the Vacaville, Travis and Dixon school districts as well as Berkeley and Napa Valley.

The study used California Department of Education data from 2015-16.

Source: Study puts Fairfield-Suisun School District in middle for salaries, revenues, benefits

Fairfield-Suisun USD Teacher Helps Set National Standards for Accomplished Teaching – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Fairfield, California September 11, 2017 — National Board Certification is the teaching profession’s mark of accomplished practice. The more than 112,000 teachers who have achieved Board certification demonstrate their ability to teach to profession’s highest standards. Pam Williamson, a teacher at Early College High School, recently joined 271 of the most accomplished teachers across the United States in Chicago, IL to help set the National Board performance standards across 25 certificate areas.

National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) collaborated in groups according to their National Board certificate area/specialty. Each group of NBCTs dedicated one to two intensive days to assist the National Board in setting the performance standard indicating accomplished teaching for part of the content knowledge component for their particular certificate area.

Source: Good News: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Teacher Helps Set National Standards for Accomplished Teaching

Official lauds ‘destination district’ status for Fairfield-Suisun schools – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s status as a “destination district” for teachers will help deal with special education issues the California Department of Education identified, the special education director for Fairfield-Suisun says.

“Fairfield does a terrific job of making this a destination district for teachers,” Tom Anderson said.

Teachers get wonderful curriculum and professional development support at schools and from the district office, he said at a school board meeting Wednesday to discuss two state reports about special education in the district.

Source: Official lauds ‘destination district’ status for Fairfield-Suisun schools

Where “the whole child” is nurtured – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

More than anything, the real mission of Suisun Elementary is about nurturing “the whole child,” said Principal Ann Marie Neubert.

“It’s not rocket science,” added the University of California, Davis, graduate, and Vacaville resident, standing in her office Wednesday, a day when she informally ceded some of her duties to me as part of my Principal for the Day visit.

At the Golden Eye Way campus, educators are committed to making sure each child’s “social-emotional-behavioral-academic needs” are met every day, said Neubert, the 1993 valedictorian at Vacaville High who also attended Stanford University for a time before transferring to Davis.

Source:  Where “the whole child” is nurtured

FSUSD Trustees to meet for study session about state reports – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Trustees for the Fairfield-Suisun School District will take part in a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday about California Department of Education reviews of special education in the district.

The first review analyzed individual educational plans of special education students and interventions taken before a student is recommended for special education assessment, according to a school district staff report.

The second review studied “disproportionality” of students who qualify for special education and steps the district needs to implement to reduce disproportionality, the staff report said.

Source: Trustees to meet for study session about state reports on special education in Fairfield-Suisun School District

Fairfield-Suisun USD Serves Free and Reduced-Price Meals – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

School Year 2017-18

Public Media Release for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District announces its policy to serve nutritious meals every school day under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and/or Afterschool Snack Program. Effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines.

Source: Good News: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Serves Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Denunciation chorus loud, clear – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

As expected, President Trump’s decision Tuesday to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and his urging of Congress to replace it with legislation, prompted an outcry from several California elected officials and local and national educators — but it also earned applause from immigration reform advocates.

Part of the denunciation chorus, understandably large in California because more than one in four DACA recipients lives in the Golden State, state schools chief Tom Torlakson told California public school students and their families that California will keep protecting and supporting them.

Source: Denunciation chorus loud, clear

Official predicts another year of ‘awesome professional development’ for Fairfield-Suisun schools – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Programs in a Saturday Speakers Series were among 559 professional development events last year in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, said a report that trustees took up Thursday.

Speakers included Doug Curry on Llama Training: Exceptional Classroom Management, and Tina Schuler talking about building student-teacher relationships. Jeff Zwiers, co-author of the book “Academic Conversations,” also spoke as part of the Saturday series.

“Throughout history, conversations have allowed us to see different perspectives, build ideas and solve problems,” states the website of the book publisher. “Conversations, particularly those referred to in this book as academic conversations, push students to think and learn in lasting ways.”

Source: Official predicts another year of ‘awesome professional development’ for Fairfield-Suisun schools

Developer fees study on Fairfield-Suisun school agenda Thursday – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders will face a relatively light agenda when they meet Thursday night in Fairfield.

There will be a public hearing about a resolution to adopt a developer fee justification study, followed by a trustee vote on the matter, specifically on Level I fees.

By law, California school district governing boards may levy a fee against a developer who builds within a respective district to pay for school construction and related infrastructure in order to accommodate potential growth.

Three levels of developer fees are allowed.

The minimum, aka Level I, is adjusted every two years. In order to assess the fee, a school district must document its justification with a study that, according to agenda documents, “demonstrates a reasonable relationship between residential, commercial and industrial development in the district and the need for additional school facilities.”

Source: Developer fees study on Fairfield-Suisun school agenda Thursday

School supplies needed for “Fill My Ride” event – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

School may already have started, but that doesn’t mean that all students have everything they need for a successful academic year.

Which is where three Solano Business Network International (BNI) groups come in, as they’ve partnered to collect school supplies Aug. 25 and Aug. 27 during the “Fill My Ride” event. Items gathered from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at Sam’s Club (1500 Helen Power Drive) and from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at Wal-Mart (1501 Helen Power Drive) will go to Suisun Elementary School, Markham Elementary School and the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.

The idea came on a whim, said Susan Schwartz, who oversees several BNI groups and volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club, but members were very excited to make it a reality.

“We’re really trying to show our community that BNI isn’t just about business. It’s about giving back to the community,” she said.

In the past, members also have participated in speed mentorships and other activities in support of youth.

Source: School Supplies Needed

Fairfield-Suisun school year kicks off with day of many firsts – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

It was a day of many firsts on the first day of the 2017-18 school year in the Fairfield-Suisun School District.

For Atreyu Jilpas, it was his very first day of school. The 5-year-old waited anxiously with his Super Mario backpack and Star Wars jacket to meet his kindergarten teacher at Crescent Elementary.

In a transitional kindergarten classroom at the school, Paula Clanton was having the first day of her final year of teaching. She retires at the end of the year, having spent 17 of 19 years at Crescent.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school year kicks off with day of many firsts

Vacaville school district ranked in detailed income-expense comparative analysis – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders late last week were nowhere near a school cafeteria but they heard plenty of information from representatives of an advocacy educational resources firm that provided food for thought as the district’s new academic year begins Thursday.

Two employees from the Sacramento-based School Services of California Inc., which offers business, financial, management and support for the state’s 1,000 school districts, laid out the numbers during Thursdays’s governing board meeting, an comparative analysis of district income and expenses side-by-side with a dozen primarily other Bay Area districts for the 2015-16 year (the most recent for which their specific data was available).

School district officials had requested the analysis, Sheila Vickers, a company vice president, told trustees. The analysis and comparisons cast an eye on districts with similar average daily attendance and percentages of “unduplicated” students, that is, English learners, low-income and foster youth.

Source: Vacaville school district ranked in detailed income-expense comparative analysis

Students to get supplies boost from NorthBay program – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Hundreds of students at two Solano County elementary schools will get a better start to the new school year because of donations to the Fill-the-Ambulance program.

“Anytime you can get resources into the hands of kids, it’s going to have a powerful impact,” said George Porter, the first-year principal at Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield.

Also benefitting from the NorthBay Healthcare program is Eugene Padan Elementary School in Vacaville.

Source: Students to get supplies boost from NorthBay program

Students get new backpacks, supplies for new school year – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Parents and students lined up early in the morning, Saturday, for kids to get much-needed school supplies for the upcoming school year.

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fairfield hosted the annual back-to-school day event, with more than 1,500 families coming to get a free backpack.

“This year we have 1481 backpacks to giveaway,” said Tim Goree, Public Information Officer for Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.

The backpacks came fully-loaded with paper, pencils, pens, ruler, and calculator.

Source: Students get new backpacks, supplies for new school year

Students, parents get taste of fashions for new school year – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

School is starting soon and many parents have begun to shop for new clothing for the upcoming year.

Sunday’s Back To School Fashion Show, hosted by J.C. Penney, gave students and parents a preview of some new fashion finds, which were modeled by students from Oakbrook Academy of the Arts’ dance program and Fairfield High School’s Fashion Club. There were five fashion categories, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Fashions ranged from graphic T-shirts and dresses to cropped pants and sneakers to sparkling accessories and more.

Source: Students, parents get taste of fashions for new school year

Trustees review Measure J oversight panel report – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Former Fairfield-Suisun School District trustee Perry Polk is among four people recommended for the Measure J Citizens’ Oversight Committee in a report school district trustees reviewed Thursday.

The school board established the committee in 2016 and appointed members, but one panel member resigned and another was recommended for removal after three unexcused absences, a school district staff report said.

Polk is recommended as a member at-large, while Sylvia Robertson would represent parents. Jennifer Stephenson would be a member at-large and Claudia Wilde would represent local businesses.

Source: Trustees review Measure J oversight panel report