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
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
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
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)
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
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
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)
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 (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
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
By Daily Republic Staff
The Fairfield-Suisun School District and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. are collaborating on a plan to install 18 Automated Electronic Defibrillators in 18 local schools, according to a press release.
AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest. The release states as many as 460,000 people die in the United States each year due to sudden cardiac arrest and that employing an AED within 8 to 10 minutes of such a heart attack can triple the likelihood the patient survives the experience.
The installation of these additional AEDs throughout the Fairfield‐Suisun School District is another step in the district’s continuing effort to be prepared when an emergency situation arises, said Jennifer Taylor, assistant of human resources and risk management for the school district, in a press release.
Source: Medic, Fairfield-Suisun district partner to install AEDs at school sites
By Daily Republic Staff
ECH20 Academy students from Benicia High School pulled out the last sample of creek water being studied by students throughout Solano County for the Solano Resource Conservation District’s 10th annual Solano County Biomonitoring Program on Tuesday.
Funded by Solano County, Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District, and the city of Benicia, the program engages ninth- through 12th-graders as community scientists. They measure and analyze the biological, chemical and physical elements of a local creek to determine its overall health.
The results can then be used by local officials to define the necessary actions, if any are needed, to improve pollution prevention and water quality programs.
Source: Solano County students monitor health of 8 creeks for 10th year
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the public comment period is now open for the Health Education Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve. It presents an approach to health education that focuses on students learning skills and practicing behaviors that will lead to a lifetime of good health.
“Students who are healthy do better in school, attend more days of classes and are ready to learn,” said Torlakson. “This new framework is another example of how California is leading the way for comprehensive health education for all students.”
The framework provides guidance on a wide range of health education topics, including nutrition, physical activity, community health, drug use, depression, obesity, relationships, and the impact of the environment on health. It also gives students the tools to reduce risky behaviors. The new health education framework is the first based on the groundbreaking Health Education Content Standards for California Public School, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (PDF), which addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of health.
Source: Public Comment Open for Health Education Framework – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
The Leadership Today Class of 2018 is hosting a fundraiser for the Public Safety Academy.
Leadership Today is attended by select city employees and community business leaders. Attendees are selected by both the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce and the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce.
The course focuses on group activities to develop leadership skills.
CPR training is planned from 10 a.m. to noon April 28 at NorthBay Healthcare’s HealthSpring Fitness, 1020 Nut Tree Road in Vacaville and from 6 to 8 p.m. April 30 at Brandman University, 2450 Martin Road in Fairfield.
Source: CPR fundraiser benefits Public Safety Academy
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Two new water filling stations have been installed in Vallejo and will be unveiled next week to promote better health, Solano County Public Health spokeswoman Robin Cox said.
The stations were funded through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PICH (Partnerships to Improve Community Health) with installations paid for by different means, she said.
St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School, where one of the new stations was installed, passed a Healthy Beverage Standard for students where more healthy beverage options like water, unsweetened sparkling water, unsweetened tea and unflavored/plain milk will be offered, Cox said.
Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan aided the efforts. A ribbon cutting is planned for Monday.
Source: Three new water bottle filling stations to be unveiled in Vallejo
By Richard Bammer
By any sad stretch, the numbers were startling:
• Nearly 900 abused Solano County children needed the therapeutic services provided by Child Haven last year.
• Nearly one-third of American children ages 12 to 17 have experienced two or more types of childhood adversity that likely will affect their physical and mental health into adulthood.
• Three American children die every day from child abuse.
Those were among the statistics aired during the “pinwheel event” Monday at Child Haven in Fairfield, where officials kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention Month in a local effort to raise awareness about preventing child abuse and neglect, from physical and sexual abuse to emotional neglect and poverty.
Source: Child Haven kicks off National Child Abuse Prevention Month
By Richard Bammer
Results from a student health survey, an update to the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, and an update on the funding process for the Dixon High School Farm are among the topics Dixon Unified leaders will hear about and discuss when they meet tonight in Dixon.
Julie Kehoe, executive director for special education and pupil services, will offer a presentation of results from the California Healthy Kids Survey taken last spring.
She will tell the five-member governing board that students in grades seven, nine and 11 annually take the survey that measures the students’ connection to their respective schools as well as their views on drugs and alcohol.
Source: Health survey, farm on Dixon Unified agenda
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) is offering resources aimed at preventing those under 21 from using marijuana, something even more important now that Proposition 64 has taken effect.
Proposition 64, besides legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, creates a tax on cannabis for wholesalers, retailers, and purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Eventually, some of these tax funds will be directed by the CDE to promote health, education, and drug prevention.
“This is an excellent time to remind parents, students, educators, administrators, and the public about the detrimental effects of marijuana, especially to the developing brains of children,” Torlakson said. “In this new environment we need to be even more vigilant in making certain school-aged children understand the importance of making healthy decisions. We are committed to making sure that new resources will effectively support schools, families, and communities in this charge.”
Source: Education and Marijuana – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Thursday that California public schools built before 2010 must test for lead in drinking water, an order that will affect all schools in Vacaville, Dixon and Fairfield.
The requirement comes several months after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 746, which requires community water systems statewide, beginning Jan. 1, to complete lead testing in these older schools by July 1, 2019.
It also comes nearly four years after national headline-making news of lead contamination in drinking water in Flint, Mich., when the city switched its main water source from Detroit to the Flint River to save the city money. However, officials there did not properly treat the water coming from the Flint River, which leached lead from the city’s aging pipes into the drinking supply.
Source: California Department of Education says most schools must test their drinking water
By Evie Blad
A partnership between schools and health care providers could make a big difference for children with asthma, who don’t always take their medication properly, even after they are initially diagnosed with the disease, says a new study.
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center tried a combination of two school-based interventions for 200 young students with the respiratory illness, says the study, which was published this week in the Journal of American Medicine Pediatrics. The children took their preventative asthma medication at school, under the supervision of the school nurse to make sure they were using it properly. And, to address circumstances that may keep them from receiving preventative care and check-ups, those same students used telemedicine equipment to meet remotely with a primary care physician three times throughout the school year to assess how the medicine was working and any follow-up concerns.
Source: School-Based Telemedicine Can Be a Game Changer For Students With Asthma, Study Finds – Rules for Engagement – Education Week