Fairfield-Suisun USD to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A discussion of 2018-19 budget priorities will be among the more significant items of an otherwise relatively light agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will lead the discussion, which will be based on Gov. Jerry Brown’s $190 billion 2018-19 state budget proposal, released in January and due for revision in May.

Her presentation, casting an eye on the impact of the state’s numbers on the district’s, will come two weeks after she led a budget presentation at the trustees’ Jan. 25 meeting.

Specifically, Henson will note that projected average daily attendance (ADA) funding for the coming year will be about $9,450 for each of the district’s estimated 20,550 students, yielding some $194 million in state funding under Brown’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula. Additionally, she will tell the seven-member governing board, one-time discretionary funds from the current year will account for some $6 million in additional funds spent on students.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities

Fairview Elementary project requires end to century-old Suisun City right of way – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Title from Suisun City to an abandoned right of way needed for a new building at Fairview Elementary School goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday.

A survey during design and development for a new administration and kindergarten building at the school on First Street in Fairfield identified the waterline right of way in the area best suited for the new building, a school district staff report said.

Because the waterline associated with the right of way was believed to be abandoned, the district asked the Suisun-Solano Water Authority to investigate, the report said.

Source: Fairview Elementary project requires end to century-old Suisun City right of way

Fairfield Unified School District to discuss wage pacts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Four public hearings about tentative employee wage-and-benefit contracts (followed by the their likely approval), a resolution calling for “full and fair” funding of California public schools, and Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018-19 state budget proposal are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet Thursday night in Fairfield.

The four public hearings pertain to a 1 percent wage hike for the 2017-18 year, retroactive to July 1, for the following bargaining units:

• Members the California Schools Employees Association Chapter 302’s support and operations unit, which represents some of the district’s classified employees (bus driver, custodians, cafeteria, etc.).

Source: Fairfield Unified School District to discuss wage pacts

Trustees OK pay raises for Fairfield-Suisun School District teachers – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A contract that grants teachers a 2 percent pay raise for the previous school year and a 1 percent raise this year won approval Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.

The agreement between the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association and the school district covers July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2019.

Robert Martinez, assistant superintendent, and Stephanie Cobb of the teachers association signed the contract Dec. 1.

Source: Trustees OK pay raises for Fairfield-Suisun School District teachers

Fairfield High School self-study gets green light from trustees – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A self-study of Fairfield High School that includes the finding that 49 percent teaching staff at the school is white while only 12 percent of the students are won approval Thursday.

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees approved the study is part of the accreditation for Fairfield High.

Employees required to have a teaching credential, including teachers, speech therapists and school psychologists, represent the teaching staff.

Forty-four percent of students at Fairfield High School are Hispanic, 20 percent are black and 9 percent are Filipino, the study states.

Source: Fairfield High School self-study gets green light from trustees

Trustees OK ‘mindful coach’ job title in Fairfield-Suisun district – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The description for a new “mindful coach” position that includes preferred experience in “mindfulness, yoga or restorative practices” won approval Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.

The 6-1 vote followed Monica Brown, a former teacher in the school district, telling trustees she shook her head when learning about the position and Trustee Joan Gaut, the lone vote against the measure, saying some parents view the mindful coach as teaching religion.

A Christian group asked why meditation of Eastern religions is allowed while praying by Western religions is prohibited, Gaut said.

Source: Trustees OK ‘mindful coach’ job title in Fairfield-Suisun district

Expulsions drop in Fairfield-Suisun School District – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Expulsions in the Fairfield-Suisun School District have dropped from 185 in the 2010-11 school year to 31 last year, according to a report that goes before district trustees Thursday.

Crystal Middle School in Suisun City had six students expelled in school year 2016-17, the most among middle schools, with Grange reporting three expulsions and one at Green Valley.

Armjio High School listed seven expelled students, Fairfield totaled four and Rodriguez three last school year.

Armjio had the highest enrollment at 2,244, followed by Rodriguez with an enrollment of 1,730 and Fairfield with 1,414 students.

Source: Expulsions drop in Fairfield-Suisun School District

‘Mindful coach’ job goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Trustees for the Fairfield-Suisun School District take up a description of a new “mindful coach” position that includes preferred experience in “mindfulness, yoga or restorative practices,” when they meet Thursday.

Mindful coaches are highly trained and assist with classroom instruction to decrease undesirable behaviors that impede student access to curriculum and increase self-regulation, according to the job description.

The job has been created to support positive behavior intervention strategies at school district sites, according to a staff report.

Source: ‘Mindful coach’ job goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees

Budget report, priorities on Fairfield-Suisun school agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday, will hear about the district’s financial status when hear about the first interim budget report for the 2017-18 academic year and, later in the governing board meeting, budget priorities.

Laneia Grindle, the district’s director of fiscal services, will tell the governing board that revenues are projected to be $214 million, with expenses expected to top nearly $230 million, resulting in $14 million in deficit spending and an ending fund balance of $4.6 million.

For the 2018-19 and 2019-20 years, expenses are projected to be $227 million and $234 million, respectively, relatively flat growth that will come as the districts faces increased costs for employee pensions for several future years and as the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association clamors for increased wages.

Source: Budget report, priorities on Fairfield-Suisun school agenda

Trustees OK property tax cut on parcels in FSUSD – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Cutting property taxes on more than 8,700 parcels – with savings officials say total about $10 million – won approval Thursday by Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees, one of whom said she expected the action would make a taxpayer’s advocate smile.

Property tax assessments for landowners in Community Facilities District No 5, established during the 1989-90 school year, have paid for construction at B. Gale Wilson School, Crystal Middle School, Green Valley Middle School, Rolling Hills Elementary School and other projects, a school district staff report said.

The tax rate in the district was cut to 25 cents per square foot – $600 a year for a 2,400-square-foot home – in 2009. The overall debt has since been refinanced to lower the overall debt, most recently in 2015, according to a staff report.

Source: Trustees OK property tax cut on parcels in Fairfield-Suisun School District

Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees are poised Thursday to slash property taxes on more than 8,700 parcels and possibly retire millions in school facilities debt as much as three years early.

Plans for debt within Community Facilities District No. 5, established during the 1989-90 school year, are up for consideration. The bounds of the district have since grown to include 8,703 parcels.

Property tax assessments for those who own property in the district have paid for construction or partial construction at B. Gale Wilson School, Crystal Middle School, Green Valley Middle School and Rolling Hills Elementary School, among other lesser projects, according to a staff report.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes

Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified teachers and district negotiators have reached an impasse on several parts of a new contract, including class sizes, pay and unpaid but required “adjunct hours,” and a state mediator will be brought in an effort to reach a settlement.

After a full year of negotiations in 2016, in addition to eight days this year, negotiators for the teachers union accepted a 2 percent raise for 2016-2017 school year, retroactive to July 1 of last year. However, the pay hike will not be in effect until the new 17-18 contract is settled and therein lies the rub, Nancy Dunn, president of the 1,100-member Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said Thursday.

Frustrated, the teachers union and district officials on Tuesday formally declared impasse over class size, salary, and adjunct duty — the latter the 16 hours of overtime work per year (such as attending PTA meetings, social and athletic events, etc.) that teachers are required to put in without pay.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries

Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The teachers association for the Fairfield-Suisun School District opposes a petition by a former Vallejo City School District superintendent to open charter schools in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo.

The board for the Solano County Office of Education is expected to take up Ramona Bishop’s proposal for the Elite Academy on Dec. 13.

Nancy Dunn, president of Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said all students in the district can succeed without a charter school.

Source: Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition

Teachers, Fairfield-Suisun School District declare impasse in contract talks – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Teachers and the Fairfield-Suisun School District are at an impasse in contract negotiations and a state mediator will be brought in, the teachers’ union said Wednesday.

The district and teachers declared the impasse over class size, salary and adjunct duty – overtime work that teachers are required to put in without pay, according to the teachers union.

“There was no movement on class size by the district after eight full days of negotiation, so the teachers proposed a committee to look at targeted class size reductions to increase student success to inform negotiations for next year,” Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association president Nancy Dunn said in the release.

Source: Teachers, Fairfield-Suisun School District declare impasse in contract talks

English Learner progress, facility use fee schedule on FSUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

English learner progress, a facility use fee schedule and a new appointee to the Measure J Citizens Oversight Committee are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Howard Kornblum, director of English Learners and Instructional Support for the district, will present the 2017-18 report on the progress of English Learners, students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn adequately in English and often live in homes where English is not the first language.

In his report, Kornblum will highlight to the seven-member governing board several things, among them: 1) Progress of English Learners toward proficiency in English; 2) Percentage of students reclassified as “English-proficient”; the number or percentage of students who are — or may be — at risk of being deemed “long-term” English Learners; achievement levels on state standardized tests of core subjects; and, for comparison purposes, previous year data.

Source: English Learner progress, facility use fee schedule on FSUSD agenda tonight

School board shoots down facility use fees for nonprofits – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District shot down updated facility use fees Thursday that would have added charges to dozens of nonprofit groups starting in January.

Nonprofits are currently exempt from facility use fees, with the exception of covering any required after-hours staff costs. Current fees – and accompanying exemptions – have been in place for nearly a decade.

Trustees in comments last week telegraphed potential rejection of the plan. They spoke of specific exemptions and a possible sweat-equity program to help offset the new fees for nonprofits. One said he did not support the proposal.

Source: School board shoots down facility use fees for nonprofits

Facility use fees back on docket for Fairfield-Suisun school board – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees may decide Thursday whether or not a host of community groups will retain preferential treatment when it comes to fees paid for their use of school facilities.

Costs associated primarily with use of school district facilities and grounds by nonprofits – and who should pay those costs – hangs in the balance.

Community nonprofits request more than 10,000 hours a year of school facilities use – and paid more than $80,000 for the privilege, according to a district staff report. Those payments did not include an hourly fee to use the facilities and grounds.

Source: Facility use fees back on docket for Fairfield-Suisun school board

CAASPP scores, solicitation of construction project bids on FSUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The latest state standardized test scores and the solicitation of several construction project bids are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Assistant Superintendent Sheila McCabe is expected to present a report on the 2017 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, which gauges how students in grades 3 to eight and 11 performed on the tests, based on California State Standards, last spring. It is the third year in which the all-computerized tests of English and math skills have been administered.

According to state data, some 11,450 district students were tested.

Forty-four percent met or exceeded state standards in English, 31 percent did so in math, roughly the same as the Solano County average, but somewhat below the state averages of 49 and 38 percent, respectively.

Source: CAASPP scores, solicitation of construction project bids on FSUSD agenda

Fairfield-Suisun trustees to weigh fees to use district sites – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Proposed hourly fees to use sites – including $322 to use a high school football stadium and $8 for a classroom – that now can be used without charge go before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Tuesday.

The school district has for many years allowed the community to use sites and they have experienced more than normal wear and tear, a report to trustees said.

State law allows school boards to charge fees that do not exceed direct costs to operate sites, the report said.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to weigh fees to use district sites

Fairfield-Suisun School District report New York, Chicago, Dallas trips – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A report on out-of-state trips – including travel to New York, Chicago and Dallas – goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Tuesday.

Kimberly Garrett of Armijo High School attended International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Society training July 6-8 in New York City at a cost of $2,361.

Gene Bondy of Cordelia Hills Elementary School attended the National Physical Education and School Sport Institute gathering July 24-26 at the University of North Carolina. The conference cost $275. Bondy covered all other costs.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District report New York, Chicago, Dallas trips