Student vaping epidemic has California schools frantically mobilizing [Los Angeles Times]

Students at Crescenta Valley High School have created an anti-vaping app. At nearby Rosemont Middle School, 55 students have joined an anti-vaping club. Santa Monica schools have booked 20 anti-vaping and drug awareness student assemblies and parent meetings. Staffers at various Southern California campuses are stepping up patrols of hidden nooks, installing costly detection devices, bringing in addiction counselors and modifying health curricula.

The recent surge of lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping, an increasingly entrenched habit among many youths, largely caught school authorities flat-footed, and educators are urgently mobilizing anti-vaping efforts against what they see as a dangerous teen epidemic.

“We’ve seen this develop very quickly, ” said Crescenta Valley Principal Linda Junge. “We’re seeing a public health crisis that has come onto campus.”

Source: Student vaping epidemic has California schools frantically mobilizing [Los Angeles Times]

First Solano student wellness center opens; goal is for 25 countywide – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

A student wellness center opened this week at Golden Hills Community School, the first in a $1.7 million investment to open 25 centers in the school-based Wellness Center Initiative launched by the Solano County Office of Education.

“As educators and community leaders, we know that mental health can create significant barriers to effective learning. School-based wellness centers can create opportunities to destigmatize mental health, foster open dialogue with students around issues like suicide prevention or bullying, and teach coping strategies that build resilience and help students manage stress before negative behaviors or violence occur,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Friday by her office.

Source: First Solano student wellness center opens; goal is for 25 countywide

School wellness centers ‘really about youth engagement’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Educators have long believed that keeping kids interested and focused in the classroom can stem the dropout rate, an idea confirmed by recent Solano County, state and U.S. Department of Education statistics that reveal four-year high school graduation rates have increased over the past decade, topping 80 percent in many school districts.

The key is meeting students’ academic, social and emotional needs. But, in the first two decades of the 21st century, marked by a tragic series of school shootings and other daily toxic stress, it is the latter aspect that is getting more attention from school leaders, counselors and teachers, said Kim Govi, foster and homeless youth program manager for the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.

“There is an increasing focus on mental health and it has become a priority in Solano County,” she said Wednesday at the Golden Hills Community School wellness center on Clay Bank Road in Fairfield, which celebrated a ribbon-cutting event earlier in the morning. “We are expanding mental health services and support.”

Source: SCOE official: School wellness centers ‘really about youth engagement’ – The Reporter

School districts deploy vaping sensors in e-cig crackdown | Education Dive

By Natalie Gross

The hazards of vaping have gained national attention in recent months as a spike in related illnesses have led advocates, lawmakers and even the president to decry the industry. And now, administrators and school leaders are grappling with how to properly address it in their local schools.

Elizabeth D’Amico, a behavioral scientist with the RAND Corp., recently said that the rise in the popularity of vaping among teens is somewhat to blame on misinformation. Students seem to think vaping is not as harmful or addictive as traditional cigarettes. Yet, as previously reported, half of the teens who vape go on to use combustible cigarettes in one year. And according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the chemicals in e-cigarettes can harm adolescent brains, which are continuing to develop until the age of 25.

Source: School districts deploy vaping sensors in e-cig crackdown | Education Dive

Five things to know about California’s new vaccine law – The Reporter

By Elizabeth Aguilera

California has a new vaccination law on the books. It cracks down on inappropriate use of medical exemptions that allow kids to skip some or all vaccines and still enter school. It gives power over the exemption process to public health officials and will create a vaccination database of all children with medical dispensation.

Supporters of the law are pleased that doctors will no longer be the final authority on medical exemptions and could be investigated if they write too many. The more children who get vaccines, the safer schools will be for all kids, the proponents say.

Critics fear the law will effectively shut down access to waivers for kids who could be harmed by vaccines, which carry some risk, or who need them for other medical reasons. Doctors may fear the investigative provisions of the law, opponents say, and thousands of children could even be tossed out of school if they are not fully up-to-date on vaccines.

Source: Five things to know about California’s new vaccine law – The Reporter

Schentrup, Sports Medicine Visit Vanden High School – Solano College

The Solano College Sports Medicine program teamed up with the Solano County Office of Education to visit Vanden High School this week.

Solano College athletic trainer and sports medicine faculty Bailey Schentrup spent the day teaching students from Miss Smith’s medical science classes hands-on skills such as athletic taping techniques, basic anatomy palpation skills, and stretching techniques.

Students were introduced to several therapeutic exercise fields of study, including the Solano College Sports Medicine/Athletic Training major and its courses.

Source: Schentrup, Sports Medicine Visit Vanden High School – Solano College

Punitive discipline’s effectiveness hazy as schools fight teen vaping | Education Dive

By Naaz Modan

Students are vaping — in school bathrooms, between classes and after school — and at the crux of the crisis is the spread of misinformation.

Last week, an Illinois district filed a lawsuit against Juul Labs, a leading e-cigarette company that holds more than 75% of the market, for allegedly glamorizing the product on social media to market to teens and young adults. What was meant to be a harm-reduction alternative for adults addicted to nicotine is becoming increasingly popular among teens, and school administrators now face the dilemma of how to discipline students and address misinformation.

Source: Punitive discipline’s effectiveness hazy as schools fight teen vaping | Education Dive

Spare the Air Day on Tuesday for Vallejo students – Times-Herald

By Vallejo Times Herald

With temperatures heating up, Vallejo school district officials are keeping an eye on students and a third Spare the Air Alert was issued in as many days.

“We will monitor the situation,” Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark said Monday. “It is currently 90 degrees. Luckily, most of our schools have an early release today. Things we would do if it gets too hot includes limiting outdoor activity.”

Nevertheless, as the Bay Area Air Quality management District issued its third Spare the Air day in three days — the third this year — residents are urged to find alternatives to driving alone.

Source: Spare the Air Day on Tuesday for Vallejo students – Times-Herald

Tolenas Elementary adopts new virtual medical clinic – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Tolenas Elementary School in Fairfield is one of a growing number of schools to adopt new health care technology. The idea: When a student sees a nurse, the nurse can get additional assistance by calling Hazel.

Hazel is not a person — at least not just one person. “Hazel” is shorthand for Hazel Health, a San Francisco-based software company partnering with school districts and allowing school nurses to connect via tablet to a virtual medical clinic featuring live board-certified physicians, assistants and nurse practitioners– as well as Spanish translators — who can answer questions, recommend prescriptions or medication, coordinate with the family physician and provide advice for followup care. All of this is done live over video at no cost to families with the goal of reducing chronic absenteeism.

Source: The doctor is in: Tolenas Elementary adopts new virtual medical clinic – The Reporter

Armijo High graduate on mission to provide dental care to all – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

It’s almost like pulling teeth to get Dr. James Sanderson to talk about himself.

Then again, he was overseeing an event that offered extractions, fillings and dentures, to name a few.

The 1978 Armijo High graduate spent many long hours Thursday through Saturday at the California Dental Association’s free clinic that served a few thousand people at the Solano County Fairgrounds.

This is the second time he’s organized the Solano County event. Taking care of his hometown and county is important, he said. He currently practices in Dixon.

Source: Armijo High graduate on mission to provide dental care to all

State grant will fund education wellness centers in Fairfield, Dixon – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with the Dixon School District, has received a $509,378 grant to develop wellness centers at four education sites.

The centers will be located at Solano County Office of Education’s Golden Hills Education Center in Fairfield, and at Anderson Elementary, Gretchen Higgins Elementary and Dixon High in Dixon. The goal is to have them up and running with the 2019-20 school year.

Source: State grant will fund education wellness centers in Fairfield, Dixon

Unhealthy air quality closes schools countywide Friday – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

School districts from Vallejo to Dixon are closed Friday as air quality continues to be poor due to drifting smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise.

The message from Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh, posted on the district website, read: “We have decided to close schools and the district office tomorrow due to another forecast of air quality in the “unhealthy” range. Please know that we do not take closing schools lightly, and we understand that this can have significant financial impact on our families. Under normal circumstances, we would remain open at AQI levels of 151-200, however we have concerns about the prolonged exposure to staff and students occurring this week.”

Similar messages were posted on the district pages of the Travis, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Kairos Public Schools and Vallejo school district websites.

Source: Unhealthy air quality closes schools countywide Friday – The Reporter

VUSD encourages students to drink more water – The Reporter

During a special assembly at the end of school Friday, students at Padan Elementary School got a special gift courtesy of the Vacaville Unified School District and the Solano County Health Department.

During her classes all week, Padan Elementary School, physical education teacher, Carly Wudel worked with the students on the importance of staying hydrated.

“We talked about the importance of choosing less sugary drinks, and how water has no sugar.” Wudel said Friday.

Source: Vacaville Unified School District encourages students to drink more water with special refill stations in schools – The Reporter

Torlakson Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson marked Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month today by reminding students, teachers, and staff at C.K. McClatchy High School to recognize the risk factors of suicide so they can help identify students who might be in crisis and need assistance.

Students from the C.K. McClatchy National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Campus Club and the California Department of Education (CDE) conducted the event to focus on student suicide risks.

“The suicide of a student is a terrible tragedy that devastates a family, a school, and an entire community. We must do everything we can to prevent suicide,” said Torlakson. “Every suicide threat made by a student should be taken seriously.”

Torlakson said peer-to-peer assistance programs, school mental health professionals, and trained school and district staff can reassure and support a student who might be struggling with depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, or bullying.

A recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics stated that nearly one in five high school students in California experienced suicidal ideation.

Source: Torlakson Recognizes Suicide Prevention Month – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

BUSD survey results presented to school board – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Results from the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) and Relationships Effort Aspirations Cognition and Heart (REACH) Survey were presented at Thursday’s school board meeting.

Dr. Carolyn Patton, Benicia Unified School District’s special services director, presented a quick overview of the two surveys’ results. The reports come out publicly in November, so Patton initiated a preliminary discussion with some highlights locally.

The CHKS is administered to seventh, ninth and 11th-graders every two years to capture behavioral data in the areas of substance abuse, school safety, social/emotional wellness and student/teacher relations.

Patton noted that mental and physical health indicators were stable with a small decrease in substance abuse among students surveyed. She said the district defined substance abuse as “binge drinking” and “binge usage of marijuana,” although she was not able to say if chronic use had decreased.

Source: BUSD survey results presented to school board

Tired teens could get to sleep in after legislators pass bill – Daily Republic

By Mini Racker, LA Times

A two-year battle to set middle and high school start times at 8:30 a.m. or later was finally put to bed in the Legislature when the measure squeaked through Friday night.

Last year, Senate Bill 328 by Democratic Sen. Anthony Portantino failed to pass the Assembly by 15 votes. Since then, the bill was amended to exempt rural school districts in order to accommodate farming needs.

Lawmakers enthusiastically affirmed the research the bill was based on, which shows that early start times combined with teenagers’ natural sleep schedules lead to sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep, in turn, increases risks of poor grades, mental illness and car accidents. One study found moving start times from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. made students happier and more likely to show up for class.

Source: Tired teens could get to sleep in after legislators pass bill requiring later school start times

Whole Child Resources – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)

Select a link to display the Whole Child resources for that subject or select the Expand All link to display all the resources. To effectively address the needs of the whole child, schools should collaborate with families, caretakers, and community agencies to deliver integrated services that promote improved access to health and learning supports, high expectations, and a positive school climate – all of which are necessary for students to thrive in the twenty-first century.

Source: Whole Child Resources – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)

FSUSD Procedures in Response to Changes in Air Quality – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District schools follow specific guidelines when air quality changes. These guidelines were established in cooperation with the Solano County Public Health Department.

Staff members at each school check the “Current Conditions” section of the Air Now website (https://goo.gl/cDPN8J) and then use the following guide to determine activities. The website is checked multiple times per day if there is reason to believe that air quality is changing rapidly.

– School is in Green/Yellow zone – Outdoor activities are conducted normally.

– School is in Orange zone – Outdoor activities can happen, but should be limited. Staff keep a close eye on students who have air quality sensitivities and provide them with alternative, inside activities. School may have lunch outside, but PE should be conducted inside.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Procedures in Response to Changes in Air Quality

Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition seeks volunteer advocates – The Reporter

Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) is looking for community volunteers to advocate for smoke-free environments, promote activities that prevent underage vaping/smoking and help reduce tobacco use.

Community members interested in a healthy Solano are always welcome at quarterly TEC meetings. This Tuesday, there will be updates on several new projects including preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

The meeting is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at the Solano County Health and Social Services Department, 275 Beck Ave. in Fairfield.

TEC advocates and volunteers assist Solano County Tobacco Prevention and Education Program in its mission to “reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Source: Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition seeks volunteer advocates

Fairfield-Suisun schools safer with new defibrillators installed – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Fairfield-Suisun School District is going to help make its students a little safer over the summer by installing automated electronic defibrillators at 18 schools.

AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

The school district and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. held a brief press conference Monday at Armijo High School to announce the installation of the units.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools safer with new defibrillators installed