By Richard Bammer
Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy leaders heard the first draft of the charter school’s suicide-prevention policy, which, in accordance with state law, must be adopted by July 1.
In a board of directors meeting Monday, Pat Broughton, the education services director, introduced the three-page policy and the accompanying two-page administrative regulation.
Such policies, under Assembly Bill 2246 enacted last yearare required by every California school district, and, as an independent TK-8 charter school, — a school largely governed by its own board of directors and the California Department of Education — Kairos is, essentially, its own school district.
Authored by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, the bill requires school districts to adopt formal suicide-prevention, intervention and follow-up plans for all middle and high school students, including provisions that specifically address the needs of “high-risk groups.”
Source: Kairos directors hear draft of suicide-prevention policy
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano Resource Conservation District announced Thursday that a group of students from Benicia High School completed the last in a series of projects to monitor the health of creeks throughout Solano County.
Nearly 300 high school students participated in the program throughout the year, including students from Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Rio Vista, Vallejo, Jesse Bethel and Benicia high schools, as well as the Mare Island Technology Academy.
The creeks studied included Laurel and Union Avenue Creeks in Fairfield; Alamo and Ulatis Creeks in Vacaville; and Blue Rock Springs, Chabot, Rindler and Sulphur Springs Creeks in Vallejo. The general purpose is to monitor the water quality in different areas throughout the county to help local officials make informed policy decisions, the district stated.
Source: Students monitor health of Solano waterways
By Ryan McCarthy
Providers and a consumer were honored Wednesday at a Solano County Behavioral Health event to kick off mental health awareness month with its theme of “Break the Stigma.”
Annette Williams of the Matt Garcia Career and College Academy in Fairfield was a Community Hero award winner in the event held at the county offices on Courage Drive in Fairfield.
“It’s just a pleasure to be able to help students,” Williams said.
Source: Three honored during kickoff of ‘Break the Stigma’ mental health event
By Andrew Ujifusa
Federal lawmakers have agreed to relatively small spending increases for Title I programs to districts and for special education, as part of a budget deal covering the rest of fiscal 2017 through the end of September.
Title I spending on disadvantaged students would rise by $100 million up to $15.5 billion from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2017, along with $450 million in new money that was already slated to be shifted over from the now-defunct School Improvement Grants program.
And state grants for special education would increase by $90 million up to $12 billion. However, Title II grants for teacher development would be cut by $294 million, down to about $2.1 billion for the rest of fiscal 2017.
The bill would also provide $400 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program, also known as Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Title IV is a block grant that districts can use for a wide range of programs, including health, safety, arts education, college readiness, and more.
Source: Budget Deal for 2017 Includes Increases for Title I, Special Education – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano County children who were lost to violence will be remembered as part of Children’s Memorial Flag Day at noon on Friday.
The county District Attorney’s Office, the Family Justice Center and Solano Children’s Alliance host the event, which will be held in front of the Solano County Health and Social Services building, 275 Beck Ave., in Fairfield.
Guest speakers include Board of Supervisors Chairman John Vasquez, District Attorney Krishna Abrams and Health and Social Services Director Jerry Huber. The Rev. Willie Graham will also participate.
Source: Children lost to violence to be remembered
By Evie Blad
California schools saw an increase in fully vaccinated incoming students after the state passed a law restricting so-called philosophical opt-outs from immunization mandates, new data show.
According to the California Department of Public Health:
“Compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the proportion of students attending kindergarten in 2016-2017 reported to have received all required vaccines rose from 92.8% to 95.6%, a 2.8 percentage point increase over one year and a 5.2 percentage point increase over the two years since 2014-2015. The 2016-2017 rate of 95.6% is the highest reported for the current set of immunization requirements for kindergarten, which began in the 2001-2002 school year.”
The agency also reported increases in rates of students who’d received individual vaccines.
Source: More California Students Vaccinated After Change in Law, Data Show – Rules for Engagement – Education Week
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano County supervisors on Tuesday approved a $74,000 contract with the Fairfield-Suisun schools and a $59,000 contract with Vacaville schools to install 36 water-filling stations within the districts.
There will be 18 provided to each district.
Funds are provided through the Public Health Department. The funds also support comprehensive school physical activity training with teachers and administrators within both school districts, the county reported.
Source: County pitches in to help Solano students drink healthy
By Richard Bammer
The director of Student Services for Vacaville Unified said student anxiety “is a huge, huge issue” in the 12,500-student district with 18 campuses across the city.
Bill Ewing made the remark early in his slide presentation to the governing board Thursday, as he updated trustees about the district’s mental health services.
His presentation came as Solano County districts and elsewhere are increasingly hiring master social workers to try to stem or solve psycho-social and behavioral problems in 21st-century American public schools.
Speaking in the Educational Services Center, Ewing said the primary supports include, among several things, 1) a master social worker; 2) Vacaville Police Department Youth Services counseling interns; 3) mental health clinicians; and 4) PBIS, an acronym for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
Source: Anxiety a “huge, huge issue” in district – The Reporter
By Ryan McCarthy
State Assemblyman Jim Frazier has introduced legislation – suggested by a Vacaville resident – to require public schools to provide education for students to recognize abusive relationships.
Frazier, D-Discovery Bay, said the bill would teach students about healthy teen dating.
“Researchers have found that nearly a quarter of all girls and women who have ever been raped, attacked or stalked by an intimate partner – and 14 percent of men and boys in that situation – first experienced some form of dating violence between the ages of 11 and 17,” Frazier said in a statement. “If we can teach young people what healthy relationships are supposed to look like, we will give them the tools they need to avoid the unhealthy ones.”
Frazier credits Vacaville resident Sonia McClellin with the idea for the bill, the release said.
Source: Frazier bill would require schools to teach healthy teen dating
By Kimberly K. Fu
With knowledge comes power and a group of Vacaville teens hope their second-annual gathering will bring awareness and empowerment to fellow youths.
On Feb. 11, the Teen Summit is coming to town.
From 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Will C. Wood High School campus, teens will be engaged in workshops that touch on topics of concern to youths today.
“We’ll have speakers like Sabrina Word and Ashanti Branch,” said Sadie Cunning with Wood’s Interact Club, naming two outspoken youth advocates. “Our main focus is substance abuse and living healthier lives.”
Sadie, a Wood senior, added that she’s “super excited” for the event, which she also helped plan last year.
Source: Second annual teen summit to focus on substance abuse
By Michael Morris
While most kids are often watching cartoons or simply staying warm at home on a cold Saturday morning, 37 seventh grade students at Sierra Vista Elementary School were a part of something bigger than themselves.
With the assistance of Sierra Vista teachers and faculty, the generous and hardworking group of students put together fleece quilts for cancer patients in the region as they partnered with NorthBay Healthcare and the Oncology Department at Kaiser Permanente. Looking to make a heartwarming impact for 80 cancer patients in Vacaville during the holiday season, students were able to pick from a wide range of patterns and colors with some even bringing in fabric of their own.
Source: Sierra Vista students share warmth with cancer patients
By Daily Republic Staff
The first Courage Conference: Hope and Healing for the Traumatized Child is planned Nov. 3-4.
The keynote speaker is Jane Dickel of the JAYC Foundation, founded by kidnap survivor Jaycee Dugard. She will speak on “Creating Safe Space.”
Other speakers include Dr. Aran Watson of the University of California, San Francisco child trauma research program.
Source: Solano conference focuses on traumatized children
By Richard Bammer
Saved by the bells. Handbells, to be exact.
“I thought my brain was gone,” said Brooke Bosler, 32, a trained opera singer who grew up in Vacaville, recalling a grand mal seizure last year. “I couldn’t drive for three months. I’m glad I had the bells to focus my brain. With bells, I’m always using my musical skills.”
Bosler, who earned a master’s degree in music performance, noted she could not drive for three months afterward, but, by picking up and playing handbells, as she did at Will C. Wood High School as a teenager, she gradually regained her musical ability and confidence, enough so to at least continue singing arts songs at occasional recitals and concerts, as she will Thursday night in a Napa church.
Source: Saved by the bells, handbells, that is
By Times Herald Staff
Community members interested in learning about the health effects of marijuana use can gather at Benicia High School for an educational forum held by the Benicia Police Department.
The forum, “Marijuana: Weeding out the facts, protecting our youth,” is free to attend and will be held from 6:30 until 8:30 on Oct. 6 at the Benicia High School Performing Arts Building.
During the discussion, attendees will review topics such as the potency differential of today’s marijuana compared to the past, health risks associated with consuming the plant and the negative impact that marijuana legalization has on youth.
The event is presented through a partnership between Benicia Police Department Youth Action Coalition and the Benicia school system, and is supported by the Solano County Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Prevention Collaborative.
Source: Benicia High School to host educational marijuana forum
By Richard Bammer
Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this week signed a law that requires schools that serve students from grades seven to 12 to adopt suicide-prevention policies beginning next year.
The bill, Assembly Bill 2246, by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop and maintain a model suicide-prevention policy.
“With this change, we can better identify students in need, get them help, and keep them safe,” Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a press release issued Tuesday. “One of my top priorities is serving the needs of the whole child, including their mental health needs. This bill is a big step forward in our ongoing efforts to help our students.”
Source: Gov. Brown signs student suicide prevention bill
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday AB 1719, a law that requires hands-on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction, along with Automated External Defibrillator awareness in high school health classes, an American Heart Association spokeswoman said.
California is the 35th state to provide CPR training in schools, along with Washington, D.C., spokeswoman Robin Swanson said. State Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) authored the bill.
Source: CPR Training Now Mandatory In High School Health Classes In California – Dixon, CA Patch
Gov. Jerry Brown berated the manufacturer of a life-saving emergency allergy treatment on Friday for price gouging, even as he signed legislation to make it easier for afterschool programs, daycare centers, colleges and businesses to obtain the treatment.
The pharmaceutical company Mylan raised the price of a two-pack of Epi-Pen epinephrine auto-injectors from $100 in 2008 to more than $600 today, Brown wrote in his signing message. Epi-Pens, which reportedly face little competition in the market, deliver a dose of epinephrine to counteract anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that includes difficulty breathing.
“State government cannot stop unconscionable price increases but it can shed light on such rapacious corporate behavior,” Brown’s message said.
Source: Governor signs emergency allergy medicine legislation but rebukes Epi-Pen price hikes | EdSource
By Nick Sestanovich
Carolyn Patton, the special services director for Benicia Unified School District, provided an overview of the results of the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) as well as the Relationships, Effort, Aspirations, Cognitions, Heart (REACH) survey— which were both administered to district students— at Thursday’s school board meeting.CHKS is a statewide survey given to all seventh, ninth and 11th-graders as well as all Liberty High School students every two years which captures behavioral data in the areas of substance abuse, school safety, social/emotional wellness and student/teacher relations.
The REACH survey was issued for the first time last year to all BUSD students in grades 6 through 12 and further examines the relationships between students and teachers and identifies internal assets known to increase achievement. The surveys are aligned to LCAP goals of preparing students for college and careers and increasing parental awareness of what happens at school, and a superintendent goal of promoting safe and welcoming schools.
Source: BUSD student surveys indicate mixed results
By Mark Netherda
As our children head back to school, we should all be aware that September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 out of 5 children in the U.S. is obese. Data from the California Department of Education from 2015 reports that 38.5 percent of seventh graders in California are overweight or obese. Unfortunately, for Solano County that statistic is even worse with 41.1 percent of all seventh graders found to be overweight or obese.
These statistics are all much higher than they were just 10 to 20 years ago, and continue to rise for some age groups.
Source: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
By Matthias Gafni and Joyce Tsai
As high school football teams around the Bay Area kicked off their season this weekend, new statistics show the king of all prep sports is drawing fewer players than it did a decade ago amid a dramatic increase in concussion diagnoses.
High school football participation in California is down 7 percent over the past decade, with some schools dropping teams or even their entire football programs, according to hospital and high school athletics statistics compiled by this newspaper. Every other major high school sport has seen participation grow over that period, and for the first time, track and field has more athletes, knocking football off its pedestal.
Campolindo High School quarterback Jacob Westphal, 17, of Moraga, runs a drill during practice at the school in Moraga, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2016. Westphal says he loves the game and that he focuses on the game, not concussions. But the reason for the trend is not clear. Are parents more reluctant to let their sons play the hard-hitting game? Has a tipping point been reached where waffling fathers and mothers are now pointing their kids toward safer sports?
Source: California high school football: Concussions spike, participation drops – EastBayTimes.com