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

Mattress company begins school supplies drive for foster youth – The Reporter

Summer vacation is underway, but a new school year is right around the corner.

Consider that classes begin Aug. 9 in Dixon Unified, Aug. 17 for Vacaville Unified, Aug. 21 for Vacaville Christian Schools, and Aug. 23 for Travis Unified.

But for local foster children who might be headed to a new school, this time of year can bring concern about fitting in and keeping up academically. Having the necessary school supplies can help ease their worry and allow them to focus on learning.

To that end, Mattress Firm, the mattress chain store with two outlets in Vacaville, is hosting, through Aug. 27, its School Supply Drive for Foster Kids, offering a simple template for the community to donate, a corporate spokesman said in a press release.

Source: Mattress company begins school supplies drive for foster youth

State department of education releases $100M in college-readiness grants – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For many California’s high school students, dreams of attending college are being nurtured by a state grant.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Wednesday announced that nearly 1,000 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, will receive about $100 million in grants to help students prepare to attend college.

The grants, which are available through the 2018–19 fiscal year, come from a $200 million College Readiness Block Grant program administered by the California Department of Education. The expenditure also was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature.

The goal is to increase the number of students who enroll in college and complete a degree program in four years, with a special emphasis on helping English learners, low-income students, and foster youth.

 

Source: State department of education releases $100M in college-readiness grants

Foster Kids Face Worse Mental and Physical Health Challenges, Study Finds – Benicia, CA Patch

By Cody Fenwick

Children in foster care in the United States experience serious mental and physical health conditions at a much higher rate than those in the general population, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics found. Anxiety, behavioral problems, depression and attention challenges are all much more prevalent among foster kids, as well as asthma, obesity and hearing and vision impairments.

Kristin Turney, a co-author of the report and associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, noted that the study is the first to make this kind of comparison.

Source: Foster Kids Face Worse Mental and Physical Health Challenges, Study Finds – Benicia, CA Patch

Paint party boosts program for Solano’s aged-out foster youth – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The blue paint was bright against the white background as 34 painters, mostly beginners or those who hadn’t painted for years, dashed brushes across easels Sunday to benefit aged-out foster youth.

Agnes Stewart began doing Easy Easel Painting parties last year as something fun for herself. Then it occurred to her that there was the potential to help raise money for Heart 2 Heart, a group that helps foster teens learn life skills. She is also a member of the organization.

“I raise a little money each time I do a party,” Stewart said. “But this time 100 percent of what is raised will go to Heart 2 Heart.”

Source: Paint party boosts program for Solano’s aged-out foster youth

Vacaville Unified supe offers A-to-Z district snapshot – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Despite recent bad news that several Solano County unified school districts have some of the lowest average-daily-attendance funding in California, Vacaville’s can still lay claim to some decidedly positive news.

Science kits in elementary classrooms, Chromebooks for every student across 16 district campuses, Measure A projects, PE teachers at every elementary school, and increased pay for employees were among the highlights cited by Superintendent Jane Shamieh during her 2015-16 annual report when she updated trustees and the public during last week’s governing board meeting.

Stepping down from the dais in the Educational Services Center and standing behind a lectern to face trustees, she moved quickly during her slide presentation, recalling last year’s major board actions and initiatives for students and employees, something of an A-to-Z snapshot of the district.

 

Source: Vacaville Unified supe offers A-to-Z district snapshot

California Department of Education Releases New In – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

The California Department of Education (CDE) today released new information about the nearly 70,000 foster youth in the state’s public schools as part of a coordinated effort to assist these vulnerable and academically at-risk students.

California’s groundbreaking Local Control Funding Formula, passed by the California State Legislature in 2013, significantly increased funding for high-needs students including foster youth, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students. School districts also received greater flexibility to meet student needs.

The law requires CDE to collect detailed information about educational results for foster youth annually.

Today’s reports are the first in a series and include the number of students in foster care at the county, district, and school levels. Details of student achievement are based on statewide test results. In the next few months, the CDE will release reports on suspensions and expulsions, graduation rates, and student mobility.

Source: California Department of Education Releases New In – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

Solano County Office of Education sponsors backpack drive for county’s homeless, foster youth – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Can you Stuff the Bus?

During the past year Solano County Office of Education officials identified nearly 1,500 homeless students and nearly 500 foster youth.

As defined under a federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, a homeless youth may be unaccompanied and “couch-surfing” from home to home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems.

Foster youth — that is, any child who has been removed from the custody of a parent or parents or a guardian or guardians by Juvenile Court — may live with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

Sleep Train amid school-supplies drive for area foster youth – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

School begins anew for most Solano County students in less than five weeks, but who wants to remind them, as their summertime is like the Beach Boys’ tune “Fun, Fun, Fun”?

But for local foster kids, going back to school often brings concern about fitting in and keeping up academically.

Having the necessary school supplies can help ease their worry and allow them to focus on learning, said Sleep Train corporate leaders, who have begun a school-supplies drive. They said giving is easy, and Vacaville has two locations.

Purchase a few of the most-needed items, like new backpacks, three-ring binders and multi-subject notebooks. Drop them off at any Sleep Train store, and encourage friends and family to do the same.

 

Source: Sleep Train amid school-supplies drive for area foster youth

Can you help Stuff the Bus? – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Can you help a backpack campaign for homeless and foster youth called Stuff the Bus?

During the past year, Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) officials identified nearly 1,500 homeless students and nearly 500 foster youths.

As defined under a federal law, the McKinney-Vento Act, a homeless youth may be unaccompanied and “couch-surfing” from home to home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems.

Foster youth — that is, any child who has been removed from the custody of a parent or parents or a guardian or guardians by Juvenile Court — may live with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

Source: Can you help Stuff the Bus? The Reporter

How Does the Every Student Succeeds Act Handle Foster Children? – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

The Every Student Succeeds Act wasn’t just about accountability, testing, and standards. It also made some big changes for a long overlooked group of students: those in foster care.

We’ve already told you that the law calls for states to break out student-outcome data (i.e. test scores and graduation rates) for foster care students. That’s a big deal.

But it also seeks to help keep foster care students in their “school of origin” if the district and child welfare agencies think it will benefit the student.

The rationale is basically this: Foster care students are coping with a lot very significant change and turmoil, so f it would help them out academically—not to mention economically and socially—to have some stability in their school situation, they should get it.

Source: How Does the Every Student Succeeds Act Handle Foster Children? – Politics K-12 – Education Week

Genentech provides grant to foster Kids’ love of science and nature – The Reporter

Genentech’s Vacaville and Dixon facilities announced last week that they are providing a $100,000 grant to the Explorit Science Center to support the center’s mission to ignite and foster curiosity about science and nature through hands-on exploration.

Specifically, the grant would support the following initiatives:

• “Community Science Project,” which partners with middle schools and elementary schools in Solano and Yolo counties to encourage students in science discovery through a variety of topics. The content is integrated into teachers’ on-going curriculum and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards.

 

via: The Reporter

Sign-ups for Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program conference still possible – The Reporter

It’s not too late to sign up for Solano Conference 2016, “Catch a Wave,” set for today through Sunday at Courtyard Marriott, 1350 Holiday Lane, Fairfield.

The 20th annual event, aka the Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program Annual Training Conference, offers something for everyone.

From human trafficking to trauma-informed caregiving, from learning how to positively discipline youth to better communication with them, and from youth advocacy and empowerment to navigating the child welfare system, a variety of topics are touched on, organizers said.

Source: Sign-ups for Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program conference still possible

Bunco fundraiser to benefit foster youth agency – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Heart 2 Heart, an organization that provides services to emancipated foster youth, is the recipient of a bunco fundraiser Feb. 13.

The event will take place at the Solano Community College cafeteria, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.

Doors open at 1 p.m. Play is from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is being hosted by the college’s Foster Youth Success Initiative.

via Bunco fundraiser to benefit foster youth agency.

States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource

By Susan Frey

The U.S. Congress may soon be following California’s lead in requiring states to provide data on the academic progress of all homeless and foster youth and provide additional resources to those students.

A bill amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to include homeless and foster youth as two new subgroups of students has passed the U.S. Senate, and two similar bills are being considered by the House of Representatives. Under the current version of the ESEA, known as No Child Left Behind, student subgroups are based on race and ethnicity, English learner status and disability.

“Too many students in our classrooms are worried about where they will sleep that night, where their next meal will come from, or who they can turn to if they need help,” said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., who introduced a homeless and foster youth bill in the House with Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

via States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource.

Solano agencies team up to help homeless students – The Reporter

During the last school year, Solano County schools have identified nearly 2,000 homeless students and nearly 500 foster students, county officials said and now a group of agencies is teaming up to help them with school supplies.

Homeless youth may be unaccompanied and couch surfing from home-to-home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems. Foster youth may reside with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

To assist the foster and homeless youth of Solano County, the Solano County Office of Education, Educational Partnership Foundation of Solano, Sutter Medical Group, Sutter Solano Medical Center and Wednesday Club of Suisun are supporting the regional Stuff the Bus program.

via Solano agencies team up to help homeless students.

New Solano Community college program gives students a hand up – The Reporter

By Ann Fogarty

Solano Community College student Breanna Rodriguez is, by any standards, a parent’s dream.

Ambitious, disciplined and focused on her future, the attractive 20-year-old exudes a sense of poise and confidence that belies her years. You could easily imagine her to be supported by a loving family that offers all the comfort and stability she needs to realize her substantial dreams.

But you would be wrong.

Rodriguez was born prematurely, addicted to the methamphetamines her mother could not seem to get enough of, even while pregnant. Never knowing who her father was, she endured an unpredictable and dangerous life with her mother and older brother before being completely abandoned at a neighbor’s house when she was just 13.

via New Solano Community college program gives students a hand up.

Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth | EdSource

By Susan Frey

A review of California district plans for improving school climate shows that few districts have identified specific goals to improve attendance and reduce suspensions and expulsions of foster students.

Public Counsel, a public interest law firm based in Los Angeles, reviewed the Local Control and Accountability Plans of the 64 districts in the state with at least 150 foster students. The plans are supposed to describe goals and actions the district will take to improve in eight priority areas, including school climate, with specific goals and actions for three subgroups of students – low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

The 64 districts include 55 percent of the state’s foster students, said Laura Faer, a co-author of the report, Fostering Education Success, released Wednesday.

via Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth | EdSource#.VOYYJmctHGg#.VOYYJmctHGg.

Solano opts for state program for foster children who live with relatives – Daily Republic

By Kevin W. Green

Solano County is moving ahead to participate in the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program, which provides county agencies with state funds for foster children who live with relatives.

“It really makes the field balanced because the federal caseloads receive a foster care rate which is much higher than those when we place with relative care providers,” said Aaron Crutison, deputy director of health and social services child welfare services.

Crutison made his presentation before the Board of Supervisors, prior to the board’s unanimous vote Tuesday for the county to opt into the state-funded program.

via Solano opts for state program for foster children who live with relatives Daily Republic.

Solano College students reach out to help peers – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

A group of Solano Community College students who happen to also be emancipated foster youth went the extra mile to help their peers with a leg up toward their futures by becoming involved in Senate Bill 1023.

The recent passage of SB 1023 gives additional support to California foster youth who are bound for community college by including them in the state-funded, eligibility-based Extended Opportunity Program and Services, or EOPS, which is a statewide community college program that provides financially and educationally disadvantaged students with support that includes counseling, financial assistance, referrals and assistance toward textbooks.

via Solano College students reach out to help peers Daily Republic.