By Nick Sestanovich
In the 20 years since the shooting at Columbine High School, the number of school shootings has only increased. According to the FBI, between 2010 and 2017, there were about 20.5 school shootings per year, an increase of 8.6 a year between 2000 and 2009.
The glut of school shootings has prompted many to ask questions like “How can we keep our schools safe?” and “How can we recognize the signs of a school shooter before an incident happens?
”These questions were dove into at a school safety symposium held Wednesday morning at Sunrise Events Center. Hosted by several different agencies — including the Solano County Office of Education, Solano District Attorney’s Office, FBI, Vacaville Police Department and Solano County Sheriff’s Office — the symposium went over how to notice indicators of violence and how different agencies can work as a team to address it.
Source: Agencies collaborate to host school safety symposium – The Reporter
By Shawna De La Rosa
These grants reflect the shift to prevent violence in schools through proactive means like improved mental health services and school climate, rather than hardening schools. Last year, the federal School Safety Commission urged states to take action to physically protect schools, such as removing firearms from at-risk individuals, as well as make it easier for law enforcement and schools to better communicate about potential threats.
Armed school personnel and more metal detectors were among measures discussed at the time, but civil rights advocates countered such measures would only strengthen the school-to-prison pipeline — especially for students of color.
Source: Ed Dept allots $71.6M to boost proactive school safety measures | Education Dive
Schools across the Bay Area are bracing for a power outage, with many district officials warning classes will be canceled during the power outage announced by PG&E Tuesday.
U.C. Berkeley said that “most of the core campus will be without power starting at approximately 8 a.m.,” prompting the university to cancel classes Wednesday.
“The campus, however, will remain open, though services will be limited. Most student-serving offices will be open, however the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union and Eshelman Hall will be closed,” it said in a statement.
Source: Dozens of Bay Area schools — including U.C. Berkeley — cancel classes; Oakland scales back closures [San Francisco Chronicle]
By Natalie Gross
The hazards of vaping have gained national attention in recent months as a spike in related illnesses have led advocates, lawmakers and even the president to decry the industry. And now, administrators and school leaders are grappling with how to properly address it in their local schools.
Elizabeth D’Amico, a behavioral scientist with the RAND Corp., recently said that the rise in the popularity of vaping among teens is somewhat to blame on misinformation. Students seem to think vaping is not as harmful or addictive as traditional cigarettes. Yet, as previously reported, half of the teens who vape go on to use combustible cigarettes in one year. And according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the chemicals in e-cigarettes can harm adolescent brains, which are continuing to develop until the age of 25.
Source: School districts deploy vaping sensors in e-cig crackdown | Education Dive
By Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Some hackers demand ransom; others sweep up personal data for sale to identity thieves. But whatever hackers’ motives, school systems around the country have been the targets of their cyberattacks.
One attack forced the Houston County School District in Dothan, Ala., to delay the first day of school for 6,400 students. Others crippled computer systems at the Syracuse City School District in upstate New York and at three school districts in Louisiana.
Many public institutions, including hospitals, local governments and colleges, have been hit with ransomware attacks in recent years, but school districts have proved particularly enticing to hackers because they hold troves of private data and often lack the resources to fend off intruders.
Source: Hackers’ Latest Target: School Districts – New York Times
By Amelia Harper
The School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019 would not only require schools to install silent alarms, but it would also authorize the spending of $2 billion over a 10-year-period to identify security risks at schools and address any shortfalls.
School security has been high on the list of concerns for district leaders and state and federal officials. Most have agreed schools should take a more proactive approach to safety, but many of these measures cannot get off the ground without enough support and funding.
Source: Silent alarms at schools may soon be required by federal law – Education Dive
By Nick Sestanovich
By the time kids are in middle school, they likely will have become heavy users of the internet. However, even with all the informative sites, they have to be cautious.
The Vacaville Police Department’s Vice Unit, in conjunction with the Vacaville Unified School District and Foster Kinship Care Education Program, will be hosting a pair of workshops bringing awareness of human trafficking.
Detectives Jeff Datzman, Nichole King and Mike Miller will be going over the warning signs of human trafficking, how to prevent it and how online predators use the internet target the youth, namely through social media and phone applications.
Source: Vacaville police holding two internet safety workshops in April – The Reporter
By Alyson Klein
The U.S. Department of Education Tuesday sought to clear up confusion about how school privacy laws should be interpreted in the context of school safety with the release of a new frequently-asked-questions document that puts previous guidance and technical help on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act all in one place.
The new, comprehensive document, School Resource Officers, School Law Enforcement Units, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), builds on conclusions from the Federal School Safety Commission, which found that school districts seeking to bolster their safety efforts were confused about when and how they could share student information without violating FERPA. President Donald Trump established the school safety commission in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., last February.
Source: School Safety and Student Privacy: Betsy DeVos Seeks to Clarify Law – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Todd R. Hansen
Lisette Estrella-Henderson begins her first four-year term as Solano County superintendent of schools next week with an agenda not that different from her first two years as the appointed official.
The veteran educator, who started her career about 32 years ago, said in a phone interview Friday that her office is working to keep students safe – and that goes beyond safe campuses – as well as prepare them for the changing work world.
She also has the task of signing off on all school district budgets, which includes keeping a close eye on the Vallejo City School District, which faces making $22 million in cuts.
Source: Schools chief works to keep students safe, teach work skills
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on the report of the federal School Safety Commission. The commission was put together as a response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 14 students and three teachers, while injuring dozens of others.
“I am extremely disappointed that the School Safety Commission report contains a misguided recommendation to eliminate a policy that has nothing to do with the continuing tragedy of school shootings—the quest for disciplining students in a proportionate, fair manner. At the same time it ignores one of the key contributors to school shootings—easy access to military-style assault weapons.
I strongly oppose this recommendation and the Department of Education’s reported plans to rescind the Obama administration’s guidance encouraging schools to work to reduce the disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates for students of color and students with disabilities that are found throughout our nation.
Source: Torlakson Criticizes Safety Commission Report – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Linda Jacobson
The Federal Commission on School Safety, which President Donald Trump formed in response to the February mass shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, is expected to make final recommendations before the end of the year.
But most states and districts have moved ahead with their own safety measures, such as adding more school resource officers, upgrading equipment such as security cameras, and creating data-sharing agreements among state agencies.
“Local municipalities and local governments — they don’t wait,” Frank Clark, president of the Chicago Board of Education, said in an interview.
Source: School safety experts weigh in on federal commission’s potential impact | Education Dive
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 Susan Hiland
Children’s safety is one of the biggest concerns for Kristina Bell, one of the candidates for the Vacaville School Board.
She noted that during the region’s wildfires last year, school bus drivers were wearing masks but students were not.
“Why didn’t the school let parents know that they needed them?” Bell said. “The schools should have better communication with the parents.”
Source: Vacaville School Board: Bell looks at school safety as biggest concern for students
Select a link to display the Whole Child resources for that subject or select the Expand All link to display all the resources. To effectively address the needs of the whole child, schools should collaborate with families, caretakers, and community agencies to deliver integrated services that promote improved access to health and learning supports, high expectations, and a positive school climate – all of which are necessary for students to thrive in the twenty-first century.
Source: Whole Child Resources – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano Community College is rolling out a tool that puts school safety at one’s fingertips.
“We are proud to add another layer of safety and protection to the campus community,” said service area manager Lt. Brian Travis in a Facebook post for the Solano County Sheriff’s Office. “Our students, faculty and staff thrive when they are free and safe to focus on their work.”
Source: New app offers safety features, emergency plans, more for Solano College students
By Kimberly K. Fu
To ensure students, staff and faculty have a great and safe school year, Solano Community College officials have unveiled the “Solano Safe App” for mobile phones.
“We are proud to add another layer of safety and protection to the campus community,” said Solano Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Travis, the campus’ service area manager, in a press statement. “Our students, faculty and staff thrive when they are free and safe to focus on their work. Solano Safe provides the peace of mind to quickly connect with us at any time.”
The app, Travis said, is “a one-and-done deal” that provides users with all the safety information they need, including contact numbers.
“At the click of a tab on a cellphone, they can make an emergency call, send their location to the campus Sheriff’s Office, or report a tip,” Travis said.
There’s apparently other important information on the app.
Source: Solano Community College unveils Safe App for mobile phones
By Jessica Rogness
The Dixon City Council approved a fence for the police department parking lot, and will consider in the near future adding a second School Resource Officer (SRO).
The council voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve the purchase and installation of a wrought iron fence from Golden Bay Fence Plus Iron Works, the only company to bid on the project. The base bid amount is $330,283 for the installation of a wrought iron fence with an attached screening panel system.
City staff requested the bid for three options: an 8-foot-tall fence of wrought iron, concrete panels or concrete blocks, with motorized gates at the entrance and exit to the lot. There would also be a pedestrian gate with an emergency crash bar to allow access for police department staff.
Police Chief Robert Thompson said all three options provide the same functional aspect, but there was one issue with concrete blocks.
Source: Dixon City Council OKs police department fence
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District is going to help make its students a little safer over the summer by installing automated electronic defibrillators at 18 schools.
AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest.
The school district and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. held a brief press conference Monday at Armijo High School to announce the installation of the units.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools safer with new defibrillators installed
By Daily Republic Staff
The Fairfield-Suisun School District and Medic Ambulance Service Inc. are collaborating on a plan to install 18 Automated Electronic Defibrillators in 18 local schools, according to a press release.
AED devices are key to curtailing deaths caused by sudden cardiac arrest. The release states as many as 460,000 people die in the United States each year due to sudden cardiac arrest and that employing an AED within 8 to 10 minutes of such a heart attack can triple the likelihood the patient survives the experience.
The installation of these additional AEDs throughout the Fairfield‐Suisun School District is another step in the district’s continuing effort to be prepared when an emergency situation arises, said Jennifer Taylor, assistant of human resources and risk management for the school district, in a press release.
Source: Medic, Fairfield-Suisun district partner to install AEDs at school sites
By Jessica Strachan
Two Michigan teachers have developed an application to track student behavior and handle a crisis situation during a lockdown. Local teachers Matt Ridenour and Josette Rechul announced today the launch of the TABS (Tracking Appropriate Behaviors) system – a web-based software application designed to assist schools with student management issues.
TABS is an easy-to-use system with instant safe schools lock down automation, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) tracking, and innovative paperless hall pass technology.
Source: Michigan Teachers Create Safety App For School Lockdowns | Detroit, MI Patch