By John Glidden
Apparently, the current Elsa Widenmann Elementary School in North Vallejo is not for sale.
District Superintendent Adam Clark emphatically confirmed as much during Wednesday night’s Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education meeting.
“It’s not for sale,” he said during his report to the board. “Do you think if I had to, that I would have shut down that program over there? Widenmann does great things.”
Clark was responding to comments made from district watchdog Robert Schussel, who argued that the district should consider Griffin Technology Academies’ offer to lease the school site for $1.5 million. The district is currently facing a $22 million structural deficit.
Source: VCUSD Superintendent Adam Clark adamant Widenmann site ‘not for sale’ – Times-Herald
By Andrew Ujifusa
Democrats are once again pitching a big plan to fix up America’s schools. But it follows several false starts in the last few years to address this issue inside the Beltway from both parties.
Under the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, unveiled by House and Senate Democrats on Wednesday in Washington, the federal government would provide $70 billion in direct funding for school repairs and rebuilding, along with $30 billion in tax-credit bonds. The bill would also create “a comprehensive national database on the condition of public school facilities,” according to a fact sheet put out by the Democrats.
The proposal, which was released by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J., and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., would also generate 1.9 million jobs, according to the Democrats, who cite an estimate from the left-leaning and labor-friendly Economic Policy Institute.
Source: Schools Would Get $100 Billion for Repairs, Rebuilding in Democrats’ Bill – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Richard Bammer
The slant-roofed, six-story multipurpose room, aka the cafeteria and gymnasium — with a fresh cream-and-royal blue colors, with dozens of windows high up to let in natural light, with brand-new basketball backboards and nets — could be the new, shiny practice space of the Golden State Warriors.
Then there are the four new classrooms housing fifth- and sixth-graders: in short, an architectural lesson in good use of space, pods, hubbed around a welcoming, well-lighted common area that relaxes anyone in it.
And the spiffy administrative office, also brand new, has to be the envy of school principals everywhere. Should anyone also mention a newly configured parking lot near the school office, addressing security and safety concerns?
Source: New era for Scandia Elementary – The Reporter
By Ian Thompson
If you want a truly appreciative audience at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, bring a room full of elementary school-age children.
The new multipurpose room at Scandia Elementary School thundered from the cheers of its students when the ribbon was cut Wednesday morning signifying the end of the school’s extensive modernization.
“I want to thank all of you,” Scandia Principal Mark Pennington told the assembled staff and students. “You endured a lot of problems and we all worked together to get where we are now.”
Source: Scandia Elementary School cuts ribbon on schoolwide modernization
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Changing the procedure for filling an empty board seat, the results of union negotiations, school closure recommendations and Measure S fund expenditures are among the issues on the agenda for Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting.
District staff is recommending the Governing Board use the provisional appointment process to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown.
As it now stands, the board would appoint the fourth highest vote-getter in the last election, which was Christy Gardner. However, also on the agenda is changing Board Bylaw 9223, by removing the line, “When authorized by law to make a provisional appointment to fill a vacancy on the Board, the Board shall appoint the next highest candidate who received votes from the previous election.”
Source: Changing the rules to fill vacated seat on Vallejo school board agenda – Times-Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Many Vallejo City Unified School District observers might be experiencing a sense of relief to see 2018 wind down, with 2019 promising a new attitude on its Board of Trustees, and an influx of funds to improve deteriorating facilities.
The year just ending was a bumpy one for the Vallejo school district, though most of the turbulence was not on campus, but, rather, at the board meetings.
Irreconcilable differences between some board members was evident in 2018, and led to board president Burkey Worel resigning that post in July, to finish out his term as a Trustee.
Source: 2018 was a volatile year for Vallejo schools – Times-Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Two Vallejo City Unified School District schools may close and a third relocate, in a bid to close a multi-million-dollar structural budget deficit the district faces, Superintendent Adam Clark announced.
Clark revealed his plan in a letter to stakeholders — in English and Spanish — on Friday.
“The Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) is committed to ensuring that we fully implement our Local Control and Accountability Plan. The three LCAP goals are:
- Goal 1: Increase parent and community engagement in improving student outcomes.
- Goal 2: Create safe, supportive and engaging learning environments for students and staff.
Source: Vallejo school superintendent proposes school closures – Times-Herald
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark is proposing the consolidation of two schools and the relocation of another to help close a $22 million budget deficit.
In a letter to school district stakeholders Thursday, Clark said he will present his proposed solutions at parent and community meetings at the affected school sites in January.
Twenty years ago, the school district had a population of 20,000 students and 22 schools. School enrollment is now 12,000 yet 22 schools are still operating, Clark said in the letter.
Source: School Consolidation Proposed To Reduce $22 Million Deficit – SFGate
Two cannabis tax measures, three school bond measures and a sales tax measure are on ballots around Solano County for the Nov. 6 election.
Voters in Suisun City and Benicia will consider a cannabis industry general tax that requires majority approval.
The tax rate under Measure C in Suisun City would be no more than 15 percent of gross receipts and $25 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis activities.
The estimated $2 million in annual tax revenue will pay for public safety, street maintenance and other city services until voters repeal it.
Source: Cannabis, Street Repair Sales Taxes, School Bond Measures On November Ballot – SFGate
By Richard Bammer
A new era for Solano Community College’s acclaimed biotech manufacturing program began 14 months ago with the opening of a gleaming, $34.5 million, 38,000-square-foot cutting-edge structure in Vacaville that helps to prepare graduates for 21st-century jobs.
The Biotechnology and Science Building was clearly a significant boost to the school’s educational mission and perhaps the envy of other colleges.
Now there is another reason for envy:
The building, at the SCC Vacaville Center on North Village Parkway, is the recipient of a National Award of Merit in the educational facilities category.
The award, given by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), is of the highest honor, and will be announced during the Design-Build Conference & Expo in November in New Orleans, Jennifer Aries, a spokeswoman for the Fairfield-based college, noted in a press release.
Source: Major design award for SCC’s Biotech/Science building in Vacaville – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
Trustees of the Fairfield-Suisun School District will be asked Thursday to give the green light to seek a pair of grants to help pay for nearly $5.5 million in planned upgrades to the wood shop and welding shop areas at Armijo High School.
The district’s Educational Services Department and Facilities Department have been working together since May to develop a facilities modernization project that will enhance and expand the Building Trades pathway at Armijo.
Staff is seeking permission from the board to submit a grant that will provide half the money needed for a $2.7 million facility project that includes upgrades to the wood shop facility, according to a staff report. Staff is also seeking leave to submit a grant that will provide half the money needed for a $2.7 million facility project that includes upgrades to the school’s welding shop facilities, according to a separate staff report.
Source: School board considers grants to help fund $5.5M in shop upgrades at Armijo
By Nick Sestanovich
The Dixon chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association (SCTA) launched a website recently to provide residents with access to documents regarding Dixon Unified School District’s Measure Q bond funds.
Measure Q is a $30.4 million revenue initiative that was passed by Dixon voters in 2016 to provide funds for construction and renovation projects at DUSD schools. Such projects include reopening the old Dixon High School site as a new middle school, repairs and renovations at Anderson Elementary School, and providing security and safety improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance upgrades at all the district schools.
Following the passage of Measure Q, the school board established a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) made up of independent volunteers in Aug. 2017 to ensure that the Measure Q money would only be spent on its projects. Per Proposition 39, which was approved by California voters in 2000, school districts that pass bond measures are required to have a CBOC that meets at least once a year and provide information to the public about bond revenues.
Source: Dixon taxpayers group launches Measure Q Oversight website – The Reporter
By Thomas Gase
With the start of the high school football season just a week away, the clock was ticking down and both Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high schools could see the light at the end of the tunnel concerning the end of summer practices.
So with many final preparations for the season underway, Vallejo Unified School District came through and made sure that the home field for both schools would actually have a clock ticking down and lights at the end of a tunnel.
Corbus Field, without a working scoreboard for about a year and without lights since a fire occurred nearby last spring, finally got new installments for both on Wednesday, just in time for the start of Bethel’s first home game, which is Aug. 17.
Source: Corbus Field gets new lights, scoreboard in time for fall season
By Richard Bammer
The strategic plan and timelines for the relocation of Maine Prairie High, cafeteria table replacement at Tremont Elementary, and an update on the process and planning and the carrying out of the sixth-grade transition to middle school are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Superintendent Brian Dolan, recently returned from a short-term medical leave, will lead the discussion about the relocation plan for Maine Prairie, the rural, eastern Solano County school district’s continuation high school. It is currently housed at 305 East C St.
Dolan will review meeting timelines, stretching from tonight to the coming months and beyond; the date when a final decision will be presented to trustees (Nov. 17); stakeholder groups that will figure into the final decision; and potential new sites for the school.
Source: Maine Prairie relocation plan, new cafeteria tables on DUSD agenda
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
There will be a $194 million bond measure on the November ballot, as the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees voted for it 4-1 on Wednesday.
Trustee Ruscal Cayangyang was the only dissenting vote.
It was the second vote at the same meeting for a bond to get the money needed to repair crumbling school facilities. Even this is nowhere near the amount needed to do everything that needs to be done, district officials say.
Cayangyang offered a compromise measure, for a $50 million bond, since the nearly $200,000 one had failed once before but, no trustee would second that motion. Following several comments from other trustees and community members, Cayangyang amended the amount to $100 million and then, $110 million, which got a grudging, provisional second from trustee Tony Ubalde. But the alternative lost in a 4-1 vote, with Cayangyang the only “Yes.”
Source: Vallejo school board approves nearly $200 million bond measure for school site repairs
By Ian Thompson
By the end of next year, Grange Middle School students will no long have to eat lunch out in the heat of a late spring day or the rains of mid-January.
They will also have a modernized and larger library, a new locker room, space for an innovation lab for programs such as their robotics, and, for the adults, more parking.
That is the bottom line for the $23 million project that broke ground Thursday with students, educators, parents and local officials turning the first dirt.
Fairfield-Suisun School District Superintendent Kris Corey described the year-long project as one of the forefront projects that is being funded by the Measure J bond funds.
Source: Grange Middle School breaks ground on campus projects
By Bill Hicks
By the time students walk onto the Woolner Avenue campus at Sheldon Academy for Innovative Learning after a renovation project scheduled to finish in 2019, the Sheldon Cougars will officially be done using the expression, “old school.”
Fairfield-Suisun School District officials, members of the Board of Trustees, Sheldon faculty and staff, as well as some current students took part in a celebration Wednesday to break ground for a major modernization project that will quite literally give the students a brand new school.
The estimated cost of the project is just shy of $27 million, which is available as part of the $249 million Measure J bond approved by Fairfield- and Suisun City-area voters in June 2016. The first $84 million of those bonds were sold in September 2016.
Source: Renovation work to bring whole new Sheldon school
By Tim Goree
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Governing Board President, Superintendent, and site principal welcomed staff and community members to the Fairview Elementary Groundbreaking Ceremony. This event, held on June 18th, recognized the kick-off of the long anticipated renovation and modernization of one of the District’s oldest elementary schools.
The project at Fairview Elementary includes a new administration and kindergarten complex, expanded parking lot, new library, expanded playground, and complete modernization of all existing classrooms. Students will be able to collaborate and learn in their new innovative learning environments.
“We are so grateful to our taxpayers for passing Measure J,” said Kris Corey, Superintendent of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. “Fairview Elementary is one of our oldest facilities and in desperate need of upgrades. Our Fairview students, families, and staff members will appreciate this beautiful, welcoming facility.”
Source: Press Release: Fairview Elementary School Begins Major Revamp
By Michael Morris
Spirited students and faithful fans simultaneously turned a page in the school’s history as Will C. Wood held its long-awaited grand opening of Wildcat Stadium.
Students, school faculty and generations of Wood grads flocked to the stands and around the 50-yard line of the newly christened stadium to celebrate the completion of the highly anticipated venture. As the sea of supporters assembled in the stands and on the field, while soaking in the pristine scene shortly after 3:30 p.m., Wood Associated Student Body President Austin McLellan and 2017 WCW graduate Issac Stevens welcomed those in attendance and voiced their unrivaled elation for the special occasion.
Source: Will C. Wood hosts grand opening for Wildcat Stadium
By Bill Hicks
At the end of the school day Thursday, students at Will C. Wood were welcomed home – but not in the way they are on every other day.
Rather than spill out through the streets of Vacaville en route to their residences, the students piled into the school’s newly constructed athletics stadium, a feature that has been missing since it became a high school in 1989.
Thanks to funding made possible by the voter-passed Measure A, Will C. Wood students, for the first time, walked into a stadium built for their teams, decked out in their colors and sporting their school name and logo.“Look at this. It’s just awesome,” said Wood graduate Issac Stevens.
Source: Will C. Wood students celebrate new stadium