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
By Richard Bammer
Rayito Farris couldn’t imagine a childhood without peanut butter. Her daughter? Not as fortunate.
Farris discovered her daughter’s allergy to the legume when the girl was 15 months old — from a Ritz cracker that was only near peanut butter.
“She started puffing up, got hives, and was going through the stages,” Farris said.
Since then, Farris has had to keep epinephrine close by her daughter, now a 15 year old.
It’s that personal history that Farris leaned on while implementing the state-mandated EpiPen-in-every-school policy two years as the Vallejo City Unified School District’s coordinator for Full Service Community Schools.
By Leah Shafer
Did I study enough for this test? Won’t my friends do better than me? If I don’t get an A now, I won’t do well on the next exam, and then will I even get into a good college?
Anxious thoughts such as these aren’t always just passing worries. They’re becoming deeply rooted, widespread mantras for young people across America. Anxiety is the most common mental health challenge that young people face, and it’s the top reason why students seek mental health services at college today. In severe cases, anxiety is stopping teens from doing homework, reaching out to friends, and even leaving their homes, and leading to depressive and suicidal thoughts.
Many anxious teens have some sort of trigger: a school subject that doesn’t come naturally, the cliques they face at school, or — hovering throughout their high school experience — pressure to apply and get into college. It can be tempting for the counselors and therapists who work with these students to remove as many of these instigators as possible, allowing students to simply walk out of class when the content gets tough, or eat lunch away from the chaotic cafeteria. But those solutions don’t usually get to the root of the problem, and in fact they can make it worse.
Source: How Schools Can Help Students Manage and Mitigate Anxiety | MindShift | KQED News
By Daily Republic Staff
A “Team Up Against Drugs” campaign, which involves more than 6,000 students in 2016, will take place Oct. 27, the city announced in a press release.
The city’s AWARE Coalition is asking students and businesses to put on their favorite sports gear in recognition of Red Ribbon Week.
AWARE will award each participating school in the Vacaville and Travis school districts with a certificate of participation and award trophies to one elementary school, one K-8 school, one middle school and one high school.
Source: Vacaville announces ‘Team Up Against Drugs’ campaign
By The Washington Post
For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Donald Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application.
Trump’s message was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations: Tell Iowa no.
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act see the president’s opposition even to changes sought by conservative states as part of a broader campaign by his administration to undermine the 2010 health-care law. In addition to trying to cut funding for the ACA, the Trump administration also is hampering state efforts to control premiums. In the case of Iowa, that involved a highly unusual intervention by the president himself.
Source: As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law
By Andrew Ujifusa
Educators who thought Congress would leave schools alone and not pass a big health care overhaul any time soon might want to reconsider.
Senators are making one more push to end President Barack Obama’s signature health care law before Sept. 30. The legislation now getting the attention has Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as the lead co-authors. After Sept. 30, the Senate would in practice have to pass any repeal of Obamacare with 60 votes, which is all but impossible politically given that Republicans control only 52 seats in the chamber. So time is short for this latest GOP effort to send an Obamacare repeal bill, even though some are skeptical that it’s a “true” repeal of the ACA, to President Donald Trump.
Like previous recent efforts to overhaul health care and ditch Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation would significantly impact the $4 billion in Medicaid money schools receive annually. That dollar amount makes Medicaid the third-largest source of federal funding for K-12, and covers some special education costs as well as other services. School advcoates worked to defeat the last GOP attempt to repeal the ACA over the summer.
Source: Here’s What the Latest Push to Repeal Obamacare Could Mean for Schools – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Daily Republic Staff
High school sports are gearing up for the fall season, and with that comes the risk of concussions.
NorthBay Healthcare surgeon and Trauma medical director J. Peter Zopfi, D.O., will answer questions about concussion during the next #OurDocTalk chat at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on the NorthBay Facebook page.
#OurDocTalk is a series of live Facebook chats designed to connect NorthBay doctors with the community to answer questions on a variety of health issues.
Source: Facebook chat to focus on concussions
By Tracy Seipel
August — ouch — is National Immunization Awareness Month and the start of school for many, timely reminders why local and state public health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are up to speed with their vaccines, preventing diseases like measles and whooping cough that can easily spread in childcare and school settings.
Actually, it’s not just a reminder, it’s the law — and one that got even tougher in California starting last summer when parents no longer were allowed to opt out of immunizations for their children, save for legitimate medical exemptions. Students attending a home-based private school or an independent study program with no classroom-based instruction also are exempted from the law.
In fact, Napa County Public Health Officer Karen Relucio reminded parents recently that children’s vaccinations must be up to date for them to attend school.
Source: Check your kids vaccine record
By The Associated Press
A high school sports study conducted by the Korey Stringer Institute shows that many individual states are not fully implementing key safety guidelines to protect athletes from potentially life-threatening conditions, including heat stroke.
More than 7.8 million high school students participate in sanctioned sports annually. KSI announced the results Tuesday at a news conference at NFL headquarters. The league partially sponsors the institute.
The state-by-state survey of all sports played in high school showed North Carolina with the most comprehensive health and safety policies at 79 percent, followed by Kentucky at 71 percent. At the bottom were Colorado (23 percent) and California (26 percent). Those scores were based on a state meeting best practice guidelines addressing the four major causes of sudden death for that age group: cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries, exertional heat stroke and exertional sickling occurring in athletes with sickle cell trait.
Source: Sports study: High school athletes not being fully protected
By Ian Thompson
It was like one-stop shopping Wednesday for Dominique Lewis of Fairfield and her 4-year-old daughter Lavella to get the child ready for kindergarten.
The pair were taking advantage of the third annual day-long Kindergarten Round-Up, which was hosted by Solano County’s Fairfield Pediatric Clinic.
“I love that I am getting to learn about her learning ability,” Lewis said while her daughter answered questions from a social services worker.
Source: Solano health services gets kindergartners ready for school
By Chyresse Hill
When an athlete suffers a concussion, a form of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, a blow or jolt to the head, the brain experiences an energy crisis, a depletion of power similar to a cellphone on low battery.
“At the time of a concussion there is a sudden shift in energy use. Injured brain cells consume energy at a rapid pace and the brain can’t keep up,” said Crystal Hnatko, D.O., with the Sports Medicine department at Kaiser Permanente Vacaville.
This is why the seconds, minutes, hours and even a few days after a concussion are critical. It is important to decrease the fuel the brain requires, in hopes of minimizing cell injury, Dr. Hnatko said.
Source: Comprehensive sports concussion team aims to advance care and education
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