By Richard Bammer
In the coming weeks, if Vacaville Unified leaders eventually approve revisions to a physical education and activity regulation and policy, secondary school student-athletes and others with busy schedules will be able to get required state PE credit with an expanded definition of Independent Study.
In a Thursday slide presentation to the governing board, Kelley Birch, director of secondary education, reviewed the existing regulation and policy, formally designated as AR and BP 6142.7(a), respectively.
District administrators are recommending and expansion of the physical education aspect of Independent Study, to serve the needs of students who want to participate in a competitive sport “independent” of a middle school or high school — or whose school schedules are “impacted” because they participate in other school courses and/or activities.
Source: Vacaville school district leaders consider revisions to PE and Activity policy
By Richard Bammer
State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson said it best, directly and clearly, when the state Department of Education on Dec. 19 released of the 2015-16 state physical fitness test scores:
“If we don’t change eating and exercise habits, we will continue to see a portion of our students afflicted with diabetes and heart disease,” Torlakson said. “Healthy, active, and well-nourished children are more likely to attend school and are more prepared and motivated to learn.”
His statement — really a wake-up call for action at the highest levels of our state government, for California’s K-12 education leaders and parents — came in a press release that noted the percentage of students who met the state’s Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) standards had declined slightly compared to the previous two years. Cause for alarm? Perhaps not. Cause for concern? Yes.
Source: State’s physical fitness test scores raise some alarm – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Something of a turnaround compared to last year, Vacaville-area students generally outperformed their county and state counterparts, no longer lagging behind, on physical fitness tests, data from a California Department of Education report indicate.
The report, released Monday, comes as State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson noted that the percentage of students who met the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) performance standards declined slightly compared to the previous two years, according to the results of the 2015-16 Physical Fitness Test.
For the past 17 years, given to fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in the spring, the test measured performance standards in six areas: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility. The HFZ is a state benchmark of fitness that offers, educators believe, protection against diseases tied to sedentary lifestyles, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Source: CDE report: Vaca-area students generally improve physical fitness scores
By Todd R. Hansen
Taylor Eisen and Jillian Baron are teammates on the soccer pitch for the Revolution – sharing a singular goal of defeating their foes.
But out on the cross country-style course at the 40th annual Doug Butt Run at Laurel Creek Park on Wednesday, Eisen, 8, had no equal in the girls third-grade division, easily outdistancing the other runners for the win.
“I love to run,” she said.
In fact, Eisen had her sights set on the rabbit, one of several high school runners who helped set the pace in each of the 16 races and helped keep all the runners on the twisting, undulating courses.
Source: More than 400 youth carry on Butt Run tradition
By Richard Bammer
Elementary music instruction and the review and possible approval of several policies are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified trustees meet tonight in Fairfield.
The director of elementary education, Cindy Brown, will lead a discussion about the physical education, music and art programs in K-5 and K-8 schools. Her presentation will include information about the level of music and band instruction provided in the elementary schools. The district employs 39 specialists in physical education, seven in art and music.
The sprawling district, the county’s largest, has some 21,000 students across more than two dozen campuses.
Source: Elementary P.E., music, new board policies on FSUSD agenda tonight
The 13th annual Loop the Lagoon family fun run is Saturday in Lagoon Valley Park.
The event benefits the Vacaville Public Education Foundation, and partner Fleet Feet Sports in Vacaville said they are determined to make it the best Loop yet.
Event organizers promise family fun, food, music and more.
The event kicks off at 8:20 a.m. Saturday with the 5K run/walk loop around the lagoon.
There is also a 10K run/walk — a double loop around the lagoon — and a 10K Tower Challenge on an all-terrain course with a 730-foot elevation gain and descent.
Computerized timing and results will be in place for the 5K, 10K and Tower Challenge.
Prizes, provided by Brooks Sports, are three deep in each 10-year age category for these races.
Source: Loop the Lagoon to benefit Vacaville students
By Richard Bammer
In his latest update on the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, Mark Frazier told Vacaville Unified trustees that plans are to hire five full-time elementary science/physical education teachers.
As the school district’s chief academic officer, he delivered the news during Thursday’s governing board meeting in the Educational Services Center.
It comes after two straight years of results showing Vacaville Unified students lag behind state averages on physical fitness tests, with an increasing number of students tested — in fifth, seventh and ninth grades — failing to meet “healthy fitness zone” performance standards that would be a hedge against worrisome medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
Source: VUSD leaders hear update to LCAP
By Thomas Gase
Saturday’s weather featured a lot of clouds and rain, but thanks to CC Sabathia, a couple hundred kids in Vallejo spent the morning with smiles that could brighten up a New York skyline.
The Vallejo High graduate, New York Yankee and 2007 Cy Young Award winner was on hand for the CC Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation Baseball ProCamp that was free for boys and girls that were in grades one through eight.
via CC Sabathia brightens up Vallejo kids day with annual free baseball camp.
By Richard Bammer
Kairos fifth- and seventh-graders, in the Vacaville K-8 school’s first year of being tested, far exceeded state averages in physical fitness, results from a California Department of Education report indicate.
Released late last year, the report noted that the percentage of public school students who met the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) performance standards in all six areas declined somewhat but mostly remained stable this year, according to data from the 2014-15 physical fitness test. The zone is a state benchmark of fitness that offers “protection against diseases resulting from sedentary living,” among them obesity and diabetes, Pam Slater, a CDE spokeswoman, said in a press release.
At the Elm Street campus — a independent charter school and, thus, essentially a stand-alone school district — more than 100 fifth- and seventh-graders surpassed the state averages in aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extension strength, upper body strength, and flexibility. The tests were given over a series of days in spring 2015.
via Kairos students far exceed state physical fitness standards.
By Richard Bammer
It is no longer your grandfather’s physical education class in at least one Vacaville elementary school.
Valerie Blanchard’s third-graders on Monday spent the better part of some 40 minutes running, jumping, pairing up with partners to do more movement, including folk dancing and even The Twist to a recording of the No.1 1960 tune by Chubby Checker.
But it was volunteer Irene Sanders, a retired Vacaville Unified teacher, who was in command, joyfully, a quality of her personality that seemed to spread to the 24 boys and girls having fun inside the multipurpose room at the North Orchard Avenue campus.
via The simple pleasures of PE at Orchard Elementary.
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville Unified students, as they did last year, continue to generally lag behind state averages in physical fitness, data from a California Department of Education report indicate.
Released Nov. 20, the report noted that the percentage of public school students who met the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) performance standards in all six areas declined somewhat but mostly remained stable this year, according to the results of the 2014-15 physical fitness test.
Once again, local students are mostly failing to match or exceed statewide averages in the tests that measure aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility, the data revealed.
via Vaca students continue to lag behind state physical fitness standards.
By Sharon Noguchi
California students are less fit than they were in 2014, although they’re marginally in better shape than five years ago, according to tests released by the state Department of Education.
Statewide, the percentage of students who met all six of the state’s fitness goals declined half a percentage point or less. Yet, only 26.4 percent of fifth-graders, 32.5 percent of seventh-graders and 37.6 percent of ninth-graders, the only grades tested, were declared fit.
In local counties, students generally performed better than their statewide peers, except for ninth-graders in Alameda County.
Results varied widely by school and district, correlating somewhat — but not always — with socioeconomic status. In the Los Gatos School District, for instance, more than 61 percent of fifth- and seventh-graders tested as fit, while in Oakland Unified just 21 percent of both grades did.
via Only one in three seventh-graders pass fitness test.
By Virginia Postrel
No roughhousing. No superhero games. No turning your fingers – or your Pop-Tart – into a make-believe gun. No tag. And certainly no dodgeball.
Stories of zero-tolerance play-policing by schools are a well-established news genre.
Most recently, parents in Washington state mounted a successful campaign to force the Mercer Island School District to reverse its ban on playing tag during “unstructured playtime,” or what used to be called recess. In his backpedaling press release, district superintendent Gary Plano puzzlingly insisted that “asking students to keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times, including recess” wasn’t a ban on tag.
via Schools hurting children by banning rough play.
By Richard Bammer
A presentation about the recent standardized state test results, a facilities master planning services contract, and the athletics budget are up for discussion by the Dixon Unified trustees.
They meet at 7 p.m. tonight.
Of the state tests, Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will tell the board that 69 percent of some 1,700 students tested, in grades three to eight and 11, failed to meet state standards in mathematics. And 67 percent failed to do so in English.
How educators are doing statewide since Sept. 9, when the results were released, he will break down the scores by school and subgroups, including ethnicities and income levels. (Dixon Unified is a Title 1 district, meaning most of the students are classified as poor or low-income under federal guidelines.)
via Test results, planning services contract, athletics budget on DUSD agenda.
By Dianne de Guzman
Summer is looking to be a great time for basketball fans in Vallejo.
With the Bay Area still excited from the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA title, the tipoff for Late Night Basketball at Vallejo High School on Friday could not have been timed better.
From 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night, kids and young teens from ages 12 to 25 crowded the gym shooting hoops — as well as meeting community members and police officers, getting health screenings or learning about conflict resolution.
via Vallejo’s ‘Midnight basketball’ attracts hundreds of players.
By Dianne de Guzman
Vallejo High School’s basketball courts could be packed this summer as part of the city’s new “midnight basketball” program, iBallVallejo, which starts Friday night.
Local teens and young adults are being invited to Bottari Gym between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. to not only shoot some hoops on Friday and Saturday nights, but to take part in a host of other services being offered: Health screenings, such as eye exams and dental checkups, CPR training, learning about conflict resolution or refreshing interview skills (just to name a few).
The program was created in cooperation between a number of local groups, law enforcement and school officials in what they hope will not only be a fun diversion for teens in town, but also a way to build community and relationships with local law enforcement and the courts.
via ‘Midnight basketball’ to start Friday at Vallejo High School.
By Susan Hiland
A Girls on the Run Napa & Solano event took place May 9 at Napa Valley College. to celebrate the women and their families through a 5K run that saw participants from Solano County schools.
More local girls took part this year with 440 participants versus 309 last fall, according to a press release about the event. Organizers hit new levels of overall participation with 825 runners and total of 1,200 in attendance, to include spectators.
Solano County schools whose students took part in the run include Crescent Middle School, Dan O. Root Elementary School, K.I. Jones Elementary School, Anna Kyle Elementary School, Cleo Gordon Elementary School, Tolenas Elementary School, Cordelia Hills Elementary School, the Fairfield Police Activities League and the Matt Garcia Youth Center, Cooper Elementary School, Fairmont Elementary School and Steffan Manor Elementary School.
via Good News: Solano schools participate in Girls on the Run event.
By Susan Winlow
The middle school students who congregated together Thursday for lunch in Room D-105 came from all walks of life and have had myriad obstacles tossed in their way.
However, the two things they all have in common are the moniker of being considered, in most cases, an at-risk student; and the most important, they rely on a group of four dedicated mentors who form the backbone of a Green Valley Middle School program called Legacy, which at its root strives to help students become academically and socially successful.
Isela Chacon, 14, said she saw last year how it helped other students. She admitted to not doing well herself with grade and behavior problems.
via Program helps students forge successful paths Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz
On your marks …
Sunday morning will see hundreds of runners — local, regional and otherwise — preparing for and competing in the eighth annual Run for Education, the Benicia Education Foundation’s big fundraising event to help library and technology programs in the Benicia Unified School District.
At the moment, however, the number of registered runners is down from previous years.
Race Director Teresa Zabrek said Monday that pre-registration is around 450, down a bit from last year, a development she said could be attributed to several factors.
“A few reasons for the lower turnout might be that the beloved teacher, Andy Leiser, from Joe Henderson (Elementary School) that always rallied a huge team of ‘Hounds’ moved away and we had spring break hit right before the run,” Zabrek said. “We hope for a high in-person turnout this week to bring our numbers up.”
via Runners at the ready: Benicia Education Foundation’s 8th annual fundraiser set for sunny Sunday.
By Marcus Lomtong
The rain causes a lot of issues for some people. For about 70 children at Nelda Mundy Elementary School, it just might have made things more fun Friday, but it certainly didn’t stop them.
Children who attend Nelda Mundy have been running three times a week since November in the 100 Mile Club after school, all for the goal of reaching 100 miles ran in one school year. Club members were out running Friday like they always do, staying semi-dry under the awnings.
There was a mix of smiles on the children’s faces, along with determination for those who had their target set on some important milestones for the session, but none were down about the weather because they had other things in mind.
via Mundy runners hit stride in 100 Mile Club Daily Republic.