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
By Nick Sestanovich
No parent ever wants experience having a child go missing, but should that happen, the Benicia Fire Department has acquired a resource to assist in bringing lost children home safely.
City firefighters have partnered with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and California Fire Foundation as well as the Benicia Unified School District to distribute “Child ID Kits” to Benicia elementary schools. The kits contain fingerprinting materials, DNA collection swabs and other tools aimed at allowing parents and guardians to record information about their children. Adults keep the information in their homes to be provided to authorities in the circumstance one of their children goes missing. The kits were distributed to kindergarteners last week during the final week of school for children to take home to their parents.
Source: Fire Department distributes child ID kits to kindergarten families
By Richard Freedman
Sonia McClellin was warned. Surviving the gauntlet called legislation wouldn’t be a cakewalk. And, cynics said, she could end up with pie in her face.
No matter. The Fairfield woman persevered, carrying the indelible memory of her sister’s death at the hands of a boyfriend everywhere she talked, including the State Capitol.
Thanks to McClellin’s crusade and Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s AB 643 — instruction on how to recognize early warning signs of adolescent relationship abuse and intimate partner violence — is law, implemented into already-mandated health instruction for ninth graders starting this next school year.
The Dixon City Council will review Tuesday a memorandum of understanding with the Dixon Unified School District for the services of a School Resources Officer (SRO).
The school district has agreed to fund 60 percent of the total cost of employment of one police officer assigned full-time to the school system. The police department will coordinate with the school district to create a training matrix and provide a core training program to the officer.
If the assigned SRO is expected to be absent from campus for more than five school days in a row, the police department will be responsible for assigning another SRO-trained police officer to this post.The SRO would earn a base salary of $81,091 in the first, with total salary and benefits up to $126,053.The council will also consider authorizing a temporary services agreement with waterTALENT for a temporary water operations supervisor for a duration not to exceed 12 months.
Source: School Resources Officer agreement goes to Dixon City Council
By Ian Thompson
Vacaville first responders may soon be better prepared to respond to situations involving special-needs children.
The city’s Police Department is finishing up a program that has been teaching the city’s police and firefighters about engaging with special-needs children and will soon allow parents of special-needs children to list them in a database which firefighters and police can access if they are called to that address.
They are also working to expand that listing to involve special-needs adults and Alzheimer’s patients.
The program is the brainchild of Vacaville Police Department School Resources Officer Jeremy Johnson, who is also the father of a 6-year-old child who has autism.
Source: Vacaville officer creates program to help first responders better help special-needs children
By Nick Sestanovich
At Thursday’s meeting, the Benicia school board unanimously voted to reject bids for fire alarm upgrades at two elementary schools and reopen them at a later time.
As part of the Measure S initiative, which was approved by voters in 2014 to provide $49.6 million in bond funding to projects at Benicia Unified School District sites, the district is looking to improve fire alarm systems at all of its sites. The fire alarms at Benicia High and Benicia Middle School have been either replaced or reconditioned, and the next schools slated to receive fire alarm renovations are Mary Farmar and Robert Semple elementary schools.
Roxanne Egan, Measure S bond director, said advertisements for public bids were recently put out and received interest from three contractors. However, only one put forth a bid: Bockmon & Woody, a Stockton-based electric utility company which previously did work on Benicia High and Benicia Middle’s fire alarms.
Source: School board rejects bids for fire alarm upgrades
By Ian Thompson
Kelby Yelder, a 17-year-old Jesse Bethel High School senior, was pronounced “dead” just before 11:50 a.m. Thursday at NorthBay Medical Center.
That was just before “badly injured” fellow student, 18-year-old Jhoanna Aure, was wheeled into the hospital’s emergency room.
Fortunately, the entire thing was staged as part of a two-day Every 15 Minutes anti-drunken driving program that was put on at Jesse Bethel in Vallejo.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God,’ ” said Yelder about the realism after a trauma team at NorthBay ran through the entire examination of her “injuries” and the pronouncement of her “death” as if it was the real thing.
Source: Program stages crash to teach Vallejo teens about drinking, driving
By Richard Bammer
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced his support for proposed legislation aimed at helping school districts maintain and improve safe public school campuses and increase engagement with parents and local communities.
Torlakson on Tuesday appeared at a Sacramento news conference with Californians for Justice, a student advocacy group that is also supporting the bill.
“Gathering school climate information each year is an important starting point in improving our children’s learning environments,” he said in a press release. “Safe and supportive schools are essential for all students as they navigate their way to college and 21st century careers.
Source: Torlakson supports proposed law to boost school climates, create safe environments