Midyear commencement in Fairfield marks start for graduates – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Cellphone cameras recorded the moment, “Pomp and Circumstance” played and a table displayed a quote from Henry David Thoreau.

The Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard at Armijo High School presented the colors and Xavier Deyro of Fairfield High School led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Source: Midyear commencement in Fairfield marks start for graduates

Big 5 Sporting Goods – Special Donation to Dan O. Root Health and Wellness Academy – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Big 5 Sporting Goods is celebrating their new store opening in Fairfield with an Open House Reception and official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to highlight a special donation to the Dan O. Root Health and Wellness Academy on Tuesday, November 14th, from 4:00pm – 6:30pm.

The donation consists of ‘kettle bell’ fitness equipment, shock absorbing athletic gym flooring, yoga mats, and a $1,500 line of credit for future purchases by the school. This is the beginning of what we hope will be a mutually beneficial partnership between Big 5 and a school with an instructional theme that fits perfectly with the store’s expertise.

Source: Event: Big 5 Sporting Goods Ribbon Cutting Features Special Donation to Dan O. Root Health and Wellness Academy

Get back to bargaining table, teachers ask FSUSD – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Send negotiators back to the bargaining table and secure a fair contract with teachers, Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees were asked Thursday.

Dan Pozzesi, a teacher at Green Valley Middle School and executive board member of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, was among instructors speaking during public comment.

The Fairfield-Suisun teachers association said in a press release Thursday that the union, recognizing the district’s financial difficulties, has proposed a smaller salary increase than the district offered in contract negotiations.

Source: Get back to bargaining table, teachers ask Fairfield-Suisun School District

Trustees OK property tax cut on parcels in FSUSD – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Cutting property taxes on more than 8,700 parcels – with savings officials say total about $10 million – won approval Thursday by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees, one of whom said she expected the action would make a taxpayer’s advocate smile.

Property tax assessments for landowners in Community Facilities District No 5, established during the 1989-90 school year, have paid for construction at B. Gale Wilson School, Crystal Middle School, Green Valley Middle School, Rolling Hills Elementary School and other projects, a school district staff report said.

The tax rate in the district was cut to 25 cents per square foot – $600 a year for a 2,400-square-foot home – in 2009. The overall debt has since been refinanced to lower the overall debt, most recently in 2015, according to a staff report.

Source: Trustees OK property tax cut on parcels in Fairfield-Suisun School District

Scarlet Brigade announces Tournament of Champions band revue – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Fairfield High School’s acclaimed Scarlet Brigade Marching Band will host the 29th annual Tournament of Champions from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18.

The competition viewing area is on Dover Avenue between East Atlantic Avenue and Cement Hill Road. The parade begins at 9 a.m. Concert and jazz performances begin at 8 a.m. at Fairfield High School, 205 E. Atlantic Ave.

More than 40 elite middle school and high school band programs from Northern California and Nevada will perform. The event ends with a field show competition at 5:30 p.m. at Schaefer Stadium.

Source: Scarlet Brigade announces Tournament of Champions band revue

Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees are poised Thursday to slash property taxes on more than 8,700 parcels and possibly retire millions in school facilities debt as much as three years early.

Plans for debt within Community Facilities District No. 5, established during the 1989-90 school year, are up for consideration. The bounds of the district have since grown to include 8,703 parcels.

Property tax assessments for those who own property in the district have paid for construction or partial construction at B. Gale Wilson School, Crystal Middle School, Green Valley Middle School and Rolling Hills Elementary School, among other lesser projects, according to a staff report.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes

Will FSUSD add days to the end of the school year to make up for the days missed during wildfires? – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

FSUSD is submitting a waiver request to the California Department of Education. We anticipate this request will be approved as the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, is in support of it. An approval of this waiver would mean that our schools would not be required to make up the days that were missed.

Regardless of the outcome with our waiver request, our high school graduation dates are set and won’t change.

Source: Will the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District add days to the end of the school year to make up for the days missed during wildfires?

Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified teachers and district negotiators have reached an impasse on several parts of a new contract, including class sizes, pay and unpaid but required “adjunct hours,” and a state mediator will be brought in an effort to reach a settlement.

After a full year of negotiations in 2016, in addition to eight days this year, negotiators for the teachers union accepted a 2 percent raise for 2016-2017 school year, retroactive to July 1 of last year. However, the pay hike will not be in effect until the new 17-18 contract is settled and therein lies the rub, Nancy Dunn, president of the 1,100-member Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said Thursday.

Frustrated, the teachers union and district officials on Tuesday formally declared impasse over class size, salary, and adjunct duty — the latter the 16 hours of overtime work per year (such as attending PTA meetings, social and athletic events, etc.) that teachers are required to put in without pay.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries

Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The teachers association for the Fairfield-Suisun School District opposes a petition by a former Vallejo City School District superintendent to open charter schools in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo.

The board for the Solano County Office of Education is expected to take up Ramona Bishop’s proposal for the Elite Academy on Dec. 13.

Nancy Dunn, president of Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said all students in the district can succeed without a charter school.

Source: Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition

Teachers, Fairfield-Suisun School District declare impasse in contract talks – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Teachers and the Fairfield-Suisun School District are at an impasse in contract negotiations and a state mediator will be brought in, the teachers’ union said Wednesday.

The district and teachers declared the impasse over class size, salary and adjunct duty – overtime work that teachers are required to put in without pay, according to the teachers union.

“There was no movement on class size by the district after eight full days of negotiation, so the teachers proposed a committee to look at targeted class size reductions to increase student success to inform negotiations for next year,” Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association president Nancy Dunn said in the release.

Source: Teachers, Fairfield-Suisun School District declare impasse in contract talks

Students play hard at Special Olympics soccer event – The Reporter

By Jessica Rogness

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

The Special Olympics oath once again rang true Friday throughout Schaefer Stadium at Fairfield High School as elementary school students of all abilities met up for their annual soccer match.

Some 360 students from Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District elementary schools — Anna Kyle, Center, Crescent, Dan O. Root, K.I. Jones, Laurel Creek, Nelda Mundy and David Weir — paraded around the track, receiving applause from Fairfield High School students, officers from the Fairfield Police Department, California State Prison, Solano and the California Highway Patrol, as well as Fairfield firefighters.

Source: Students play hard at Special Olympics soccer event

Pensions pack punch for school district budgets, superintendent says – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Pension costs could run school districts out of business, a superintendent said Thursday at the State of Education in Solano County forum.

Schools may first reach a point where they do less for students because of contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System, said Brian Dolan, superintendent of the Dixon School District.

Source: Pensions pack punch for school district budgets, superintendent says

English Learner progress, facility use fee schedule on FSUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

English learner progress, a facility use fee schedule and a new appointee to the Measure J Citizens Oversight Committee are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Howard Kornblum, director of English Learners and Instructional Support for the district, will present the 2017-18 report on the progress of English Learners, students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn adequately in English and often live in homes where English is not the first language.

In his report, Kornblum will highlight to the seven-member governing board several things, among them: 1) Progress of English Learners toward proficiency in English; 2) Percentage of students reclassified as “English-proficient”; the number or percentage of students who are — or may be — at risk of being deemed “long-term” English Learners; achievement levels on state standardized tests of core subjects; and, for comparison purposes, previous year data.

Source: English Learner progress, facility use fee schedule on FSUSD agenda tonight

School board shoots down facility use fees for nonprofits – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District shot down updated facility use fees Thursday that would have added charges to dozens of nonprofit groups starting in January.

Nonprofits are currently exempt from facility use fees, with the exception of covering any required after-hours staff costs. Current fees – and accompanying exemptions – have been in place for nearly a decade.

Trustees in comments last week telegraphed potential rejection of the plan. They spoke of specific exemptions and a possible sweat-equity program to help offset the new fees for nonprofits. One said he did not support the proposal.

Source: School board shoots down facility use fees for nonprofits

Facility use fees back on docket for Fairfield-Suisun school board – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees may decide Thursday whether or not a host of community groups will retain preferential treatment when it comes to fees paid for their use of school facilities.

Costs associated primarily with use of school district facilities and grounds by nonprofits – and who should pay those costs – hangs in the balance.

Community nonprofits request more than 10,000 hours a year of school facilities use – and paid more than $80,000 for the privilege, according to a district staff report. Those payments did not include an hourly fee to use the facilities and grounds.

Source: Facility use fees back on docket for Fairfield-Suisun school board

CAASPP scores, solicitation of construction project bids on FSUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The latest state standardized test scores and the solicitation of several construction project bids are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Assistant Superintendent Sheila McCabe is expected to present a report on the 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, which gauges how students in grades 3 to eight and 11 performed on the tests, based on California State Standards, last spring. It is the third year in which the all-computerized tests of English and math skills have been administered.

According to state data, some 11,450 district students were tested.

Forty-four percent met or exceeded state standards in English, 31 percent did so in math, roughly the same as the Solano County average, but somewhat below the state averages of 49 and 38 percent, respectively.

Source: CAASPP scores, solicitation of construction project bids on FSUSD agenda

District expects Fairfield-Suisun schools to reopen Monday – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

The vast majority of children and teens who attend public schools in Fairfield and Suisun City will, barring a significant change in the status of the Atlas wildfire, return to classes next week.

Officials with the Fairfield-Suisun School District issued an announcement midafternoon Friday that they anticipate all schools in the district will reopen Monday and that all classes and student activities would resume at that time.

An evaluation of facilities is being completed by the district’s maintenance team and administrative staff, the district said in its school-closures update. This will continue throughout the weekend to ensure that the air quality within classrooms is safe.

Source: District expects Fairfield-Suisun schools to reopen Monday

Fairfield-Suisun trustees to weigh fees to use district sites – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Proposed hourly fees to use sites – including $322 to use a high school football stadium and $8 for a classroom – that now can be used without charge go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Tuesday.

The school district has for many years allowed the community to use sites and they have experienced more than normal wear and tear, a report to trustees said.

State law allows school boards to charge fees that do not exceed direct costs to operate sites, the report said.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to weigh fees to use district sites

Fairfield-Suisun School District report New York, Chicago, Dallas trips – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A report on out-of-state trips – including travel to New York, Chicago and Dallas – goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Tuesday.

Kimberly Garrett of Armijo High School attended International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Society training July 6-8 in New York City at a cost of $2,361.

Gene Bondy of Cordelia Hills Elementary School attended the National Physical Education and School Sport Institute gathering July 24-26 at the University of North Carolina. The conference cost $275. Bondy covered all other costs.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District report New York, Chicago, Dallas trips

3 Solano Friday Night Live chapters receive grants – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Friday Night Live chapters at Armijo and Vanden high schools, and at the Solano Youth Coalition, have received grants from the state organization.

Chapters will use the funds to create campaigns to educate the public on the “statistics, warning signs and consequences of problem gambling.” They have until May 2018 to complete the gambling prevention curriculum that targets adults ages 18 to 54 and underage gamblers younger than 18.

Source: 3 Solano Friday Night Live chapters receive grants