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
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