Vacaville Unified leaders to discuss Measure A contracts – The Reporter

A biennial report about Alamo Elementary, accountability “local indicators,” and several large contracts are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.

Derek Wickliff, principal of Alamo Elementary, will present the report about the South Orchard Avenue campus. He will touch on a variety of topics. They include the school’s music program; recent past events; data from the California Dashboard, the state’s new schools accountability system, with statistics about suspension rates, English learner progress, and results from the 2017 state standardized tests; and attendance.

A district staff member will present information about local indicators from the Dashboard. They include basic services, the carrying-out of academic standards, parent engagement and school climate.

Through this accountability system, each California school district and charter school is required to provide a “narrative,” complete a rating scale, or use survey results to determine progress.

Source: Vacaville Unified leaders to discuss Measure A contracts

BUSD applying for grant funding for BHS Performing Arts Building renovation – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The school board will be voting to approve the submission of two applications requesting grant funding for renovation of Benicia High School’s Performing Arts Building (PAB) at its Thursday meeting.

In May, an informational meeting was held at Benicia High to discuss two items. One was a new set of graduation requirements that had recently been approved by the school board, which parents, students, faculty and community members felt decreased opportunities for performing arts students. The new requirements were later rescinded by the board and the old ones reinstated. The other item was the PAB. Many felt the 36-year-old building was not being treated as a high priority for Measure S funding, despite safety concerns including overhead lights without support beams.

Benicia Unified School District is seeking funding from a California Proposition 51 Career Technical Education Grant. Proposition 51 was approved by California voters in the 2016 election to provide $9 billion in bond funding for construction and improvement of K-12 schools and community colleges in the state. The funding would include renovation of the current building as well as new construction. Among the improvements planned by the district are replacing the “outdated” lighting and acoustic fixtures, converting and expanding old the costume shop into a dance studio, adding changing rooms in the backstage and production support space in the backstage, and expanding the stage to provide more performance space.

Source: BUSD applying for grant funding for BHS Performing Arts Building renovation

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

Solano College aeronautics expansion 5 years out – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

The $15 million expansion of the Solano Community College aeronautics program is still at least five years away, but existing course curriculum is putting students in the middle of an industry boon.

Lucky Lofton, the executive bond manager for the college, said the Measure Q expansion project for property located between the Nut Tree Airport and the Nut Tree shopping center is in an early design phase.

“Right now, we are still in the planning process. We have developed a schematic design for a new facility, but the project is scheduled to be dealt with further out in time,” Lofton said. “It is a number of years away.”

Source: Solano College aeronautics expansion 5 years out

Teacher contract proposal on Dixon Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A collective bargaining proposal for the current year, and updates about the Career Technical Education facilities program and a school resource officer position are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.

Shawn Tutt, president of the Dixon Teachers Association, will tell the five-member governing board that the union’s collective bargaining proposal “is open,” Superintendent Brian Dolan said in an interview Wednesday.

He was unsure what the teachers are considering in terms of wage and benefit hikes, since the proposal is in its early stages.

Nick Girimonte, assistant superintendent for educational services, will update trustees on the CTE facilities program, which includes information about funding for the Dixon High School Farm.

Source: Teacher contract proposal on Dixon Unified agenda

SCC agenda considers partnership with Delta Airlines – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An educational partnership with Delta Airlines, a large change order for Autotechnology Project at the Vallejo campus, and a quarterly update on Measure Q expenses are on the agenda when the Solano Community College meet tonight in Fairfield.

Trustees are expected to sign off on an agreement with Delta Airlines for the school’s Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance Technician program at the Vacaville Center on North Village Parkway.

The partnership, according to agenda documents, includes an initial two-year term that will automatically renew for successive one-year periods until either party asks for the agreement to end. The partnership with Delta will give SCC students, after successfully completing the program, the chance to meet with airlines employees and provide the college with scrap aircraft or avionics parts.

Source: SCC agenda considers partnership with Delta Airlines

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

Vacaville Unified trustees delay vote on PLAs until full board convenes – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

After some fraught discussion and public comment, Vacaville Unified leaders on Thursday tabled a motion, on a close 3-2 vote, to resume talks on Project Labor Agreements for the Markham Elementary School modernization project.

Before the vote, Board President Michael Kitzes, noting the absence of two trustees, John Jansen and Sherie Mahlberg, and opposing opinions about resuming negotiations with labor unions, referred to trustee Whit Whitman’s suggestion to hold off on making a decision until the full, seven-member board convened to discuss the matter, most likely at the Nov. 2 meeting.

Source: Vacaville Unified trustees delay vote on PLAs until full board convenes

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

Dixon Unified leaders face light agenda tonight – The Reporter

Dixon Unified leaders face a relatively light agenda when they meet tonight in Dixon.

Superintendent Brian Dolan will lead an update about the ongoing process of planning and carrying out of the sixth-grade cohort’s transition to middle school.

He also will lead an update of the progress toward development of a school resource officer position, a suggestion made in July by Police Chief Robert E. Thompson.

At the time, during a trustee meeting, he noted that the rural, 3,500-student district was the only one in Solano without a school resource officer. Thompson told the five-member governing board that he had applied for federal funding that would pay for, either in full or part, the creation of the new department job.

Source: Dixon Unified leaders face light agenda tonight

DUSD leaders forgo lease-leaseback option for Measure Q projects – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Not willing to spend the time and money to fend off a potential legal challenge, Dixon Unified leaders have decided to forgo using the lease-leaseback process for proposed and much-needed school renovations under Measure Q.

The Reporter recently learned of the district’s decision — made during a closed session gathering last month — from George Guynn, president of the Solano County Taxpayers Association, which in May first challenged the effort to use the lease-leaseback option.

In a press release, Guynn said the decision reaffirmed the governing board’s promise to voters when they approved the $30.4 million bond measure in November to modernize Old Dixon High and Anderson Elementary, among other aging campuses.

Before the election, district leaders promised to comply with the awarding of construction contracts “through competitive bid; prioritize projects; structure bond maturity consistent with project useful life; control soft costs and use non-bond funds for facility maintenance,” he wrote in the prepared statement.

Source: DUSD leaders forgo lease-leaseback option for Measure Q projects

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

Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, face a relatively light agenda except for item 13.1, a review and potential approval of a long-awaited Facilities Master Plan.

Begun two years ago, the plan sought to re-evaluate facility needs at each of 10 campuses in the 5,500-student Fairfield district, which also includes two Vacaville elementaries, Foxboro and Cambridge. According to agenda documents, district leaders want to create a document that is updated regularly, as needs, priorities and funding options evolve and change.

While district enrollment has largely remained stable for the past 15 years, projections indicate considerable growth at several schools in the coming years, decreases at several others.

Source: Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda

Residents evacuate as Atlas Fire closes in on rural Solano homes – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

A fire that raged through rural Napa County early Monday forced rural Solano County residents to flee their homes by Monday night.

Mandatory evacuations were put in place about 8 p.m. Monday for residents on Twin Sisters Road. Joyce Lane was under mandatory evacuation 30 minutes later as fires from Napa County closed in on the area.

The fire’s spread into Solano County caused the Fairfield-Suisun School District to announce Monday night that Suisun Valley K-8 School would remain closed Tuesday. The district cited the severity of the fire and its effect on rural roads near the school.

Source: Residents evacuate as Atlas Fire closes in on rural Solano homes

On Dixon USD agenda: State test scores, update on elementary reconfiguration – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 2017 CAASPP results, approval of a temporary roof cover at Old Dixon High, and an update about input from three parent meetings about the possible reconfiguration of district elementary schools are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet Thursday.

Nick Girimonte, newly named assistant superintendent for educational services, will lead the discussion about the district’s 2017 California Assessment of Student Proficiency and Program scores.

This is the third year of the computer-based tests, based on the California State Standards, which gauge whether students in grades three to eight and 11 are able to understand what they read, write clearly, think critically, solve complex math problems, and explain their reasoning as they prepare themselves for college, the military, and a rapidly changing and increasingly technological job market.

Scores fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard nearly met, and standard not met. The state also computes the average scores of all tested students, by grade level, called “mean scale” scores, which reflects the progress of all students rather than only those who changed achievement levels from one year to the next.

Source: On Dixon Unified School District agenda: State test scores, update on elementary reconfiguration

Sierra Vista MPR and Supes contract on VUSD Agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday, are expected to approve a $5.2 million contract for a new multipurpose building at Sierra Vista, hear the superintendent’s year-end report for 2016-17, and approve a resolution recognizing Red Ribbon Week in late October.

Trustees likely will green-light a contract not to exceed $5.2 million with Landmark Modernization Contractors, a Loomis-based firm, to build a new multipurpose room at the K-8 campus on Bel Air Drive, already undergoing significant, multimillion-dollar upgrades under Measure A, the $194 million bond approved by district voters in 2014. Bond money will pay for the school’s new multipurpose room.

Superintendent Jane Shamieh will present a look-back of the 2016-17 school year, a detailed glimpse of the district during that time. It includes data about schools, district staff, enrollment numbers, student demographics, the annual budget, accomplishments, the graduation rate, Career Technical Education programs, student intervention and support practices, physical education improvements, changes in child nutrition, and CAASPP scores, among other things.

Source: VUSD Agenda

Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A special meeting to discuss board goals and the district budget will take place Tuesday by the Travis School District trustees.

Superintendent Pam Conklin and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Sue Brothers will lead the presentation of the existing goals. The board will then discuss any potential changes.

Source: Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget