By Mayrene Bates
As I do every year, I make every effort to attend as many year-end events as I possibly can. I love to celebrate the accomplishments of educators, students, parents, nonprofits, the business community and, even the newspaper reporters who take the pictures and write the stories.
That’s what makes all of these events so great, because we celebrate as a community the accomplishments of everyone involved. Needless to say, there’s not enough space here to write about every successful program across the county.
Someone once said that throughout history, there have been few events of significance that have occurred purely by accident. We know that success happens, because many care enough to make a difference for the good of all. According to Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
Source: Solano Voices: Year-end events celebrate accomplishments
By Tim Goree
This year, Armijo’s FRC robotics team went to the World Wide robotics competition in Houston, Texas. Even though the team was formed last year, they have gone to the World Wide competition twice. In their first year, they won the “All-Star Rookie of the year” award, which qualified them to go to Worlds. This year, they place second in the Sacramento Regionals at Davis, California and was given a “Wild Card”, which qualified them for Worlds, yet again.
The FRC (FIRST) team is actually a branch of Armijo’s robotics program, which was formed four years ago. Another branch of Armijo Robotics (VEX) also qualified for Worlds, which took place in Louisville, Kentucky. Originally, the program only supported VEX teams, but over the years, the students formed a FIRST team in order to further their engineering skills. The VEX branch provided a foundation for the students to learn coding, designing, and building while the FIRST branch allows them to build upon this foundation in a more complex setting.
Source: Armijo High School Inspiring Engineers One Student At A Time
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Gustavo Macias didn’t need music to enjoy the annual Adapted Physical Eduction prom Friday morning at the E. Gary Vaughn gymnasium on the Armijo campus.
Before the DJ started playing tunes, Macias was already showcasing his joy. Once the music began, the Armijo High student could be found near the free throw line, breakdancing.
His prom dates, Julia Harrison and Madison Kudsk, both members of Armijo’s leadership class, cheered him on.
“It’s fun to see the kids so happy,” Kudsk said.
Source: Promise of prom: Special-needs, general ed students dance morning away
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) proudly announces students from the Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) School will receive their high school diploma at a Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The JDF School, operated by SCOE, serves minors that have been remanded to the Solano County Juvenile Probation Department’s Juvenile Detention Center. “Our students demonstrate their resiliency daily while prevailing above their current circumstances. They are receiving a valuable education, through our SCOE programs, that will make a difference in their lives and help them become contributing members to our community,” says Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.
Students at JDF receive a rigorous course of study that provides an opportunity for them to earn course credit toward meeting their home district’s graduation requirements. Students receiving their high school diploma on June 5th have completed all graduation requirements outlined by the California Department of Education. After graduation, students can enroll in Solano Community College courses online and earn units toward an associate degree or complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year college. Students at JDF also receive career technical education instruction and earn Work-Ready Certification which prepares them as they seek employment by developing the skills local businesses consider essential when hiring.
Source: Solano Co. Juvenile Detention Inmates Earn High School Diplomas | Dixon, CA Patch
The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services nominated Solano County Office of Education’s Director of Student and Program Support Nicola Parr for their Behavioral Health School Provider Hero Award. She will be recognized during the 4th Annual Mental Health Month Celebration on Saturday, May 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 1234 Empire Street in Fairfield, California. “We are thrilled that our very own Nicola Parr is receiving this well-deserved recognition. Nicola exemplifies our guiding principles of leadership, collaboration, and support. She is a true advocate for putting students’ needs first. The Solano County Office of Education is student centered in our efforts and we take great pride in providing a variety of services based on the needs of our students and their families,” says Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.
Source: Nicola Parr Honored As Solano Co. Behavioral Health School Hero | Benicia, CA Patch
From Solano County Office of Education: Monday, May 7,2018, Solano County Office of Education Youth Development Department took three student representatives to Sacramento to address the State Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee. The youth group spoke about the importance of the Friday Night Live (FNL) program, work they provide to their communities, the state, and why the Subcommittee should increase FNL program funding.
Solano County has FNL Chapters at Armijo, Fairfield, Jesse Bethel, and Vanden High Schools (in the Fairfield-Suisun, Vallejo City, and Travis Unified School Districts respectively); with student representatives throughout the county serving on the Solano Youth Coalition (SYC). “The Friday Night Live program provides Solano County youth with an opportunity to develop civic leadership skills that are significant for our community. This program is designed to challenge students to address issues that may potentially impact outcomes for citizens of Solano County,” says Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.
Source: Solano Youth Coalition Members Address State Assembly | Suisun City, CA Patch
By Daily Republic Staff
Ninety-three Solano County Office of Education employees will be recognized during a service awards event Wednesday.
Employees with five to 30 years of service time will be acknowledged during the ceremony, which is scheduled from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at 5100 Business Center Drive.
Tokens with the employee’s name and years of service will be handed out. Those with five years will get a bell, while a crystal apple will be awarded to those with 10 years, a rosewood pen and pencil set for those with 15 years, a rosewood book clock for those with 20 years, a crystal award with silver star for those with 25 years and a crafted mahogany box for employees with 30 years of service.
Source: Solano schools office set to hand out employee service awards
By Richard Bammer
Vanden High science teacher Marilyn Lewis and Vallejo City Unified bus driver Samantha Bradshaw were named Solano County’s top educators of the year.
The leader of Solano County schools, Lisette Estrella-Henderson, made the announcement in a press release.
Besides Lewis and Bradshaw, named Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year, respectively, 12 other school district employees were honored Tuesday during a ceremony in Suisun City. The event recognized teachers, paraeducators, child nutrition, support services, security and school staff who give their time, talent and skills to support student achievement, educational innovation and community involvement in Solano County schools.
“It is an honor and a privilege to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our Solano County educators and support staff,” Estrella-Henderson added in the prepared statement.
Source: Solano County’s top school district employees named
By Daily Republic Staff
Art from local students in fourth through 12th grades will be featured as part of the Solano County Student Art Faire that’s scheduled May 16-18 and May 21-22.
“Art is an essential component in a child’s development of motor skills, language, critical thinking, creativity and cultural awareness. It is also linked to increased academic performance. This countywide art faire showcases the immense talent of our local student artists,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.
Students from 25 schools submitted about 300 art pieces in categories that included computer art, clay pottery, sculpture, drawing, fiber, mixed media, painting, photography and print making.
Source: 300 art pieces featured in Student Art Faire that begins May 16
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
A school bus driver convinced by her cousin to give the job a try and a high school science teacher who taught three of her four children were named Tuesday as Solano County’s Classified School Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year.
Samantha Bradshaw, lead trainer and bus driver for the Vallejo City School District, was nominated for her can-do attitude and getting grants to retrofit the buses.
“Samantha has gone over and beyond the call of duty to help out the Transportation Department,” her nomination read.
Source: Solano office of education honors classified employee, teacher of the year
By Todd R. Hansen
Three Solano County women recently graduated from Emerge California, a group dedicated to educating, training and getting more Democratic women into elected office.
Dr. Bonnie Hamilton, a retired pediatrician, Doriss Panduro, president of the Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and K. Patrice Williams, an attorney who serves as chief executive officer for BrandGOV, graduated during a ceremony April 22.Williams was the Emerge graduation speaker.
Source: 3 Solano women Emerge with eye on elected office
By Richard Bammer
The Solano County Office of Education on Tuesday will honor 14 school employees nominated for the 2018-19 Solano County Educators of the Year Award.
Those being recognized hail from Vacaville, Travis, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Benicia, and Vallejo City unified districts and SCOE.
The event begins at 5:15 and continues to 7 p.m. in the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center, 611 Village Drive, Suisun City. The public is invited to join the celebration. To attend, R.S.V.P. at https://goo.gl/forms/fkcNsmEechg7Oy9u2.
For more information, call Rebecca Floyd at 646-7602 or email her at RFloyd@solanocoe.net.
The teachers and school-support employees “contribute to student achievement, educational innovation, and community involvement,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, superintendent of county schools, noted in a press release.
Source: Solano County school Employees of the Year to receive recognition
By Daily Republic Staff
Fourteen educators and school support employees have been nominated for the 2018-19 Solano County Educators of the Year Award.
“Solano County’s educators inspire and support our students to learn, grow and thrive. Their hard work and dedication make a profound and lasting impact on the lives of our pupils and their families. I want to extend our deepest appreciation to all the nominees, for their admirable work in education,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement announcing the nominations.
Source: Solano districts nominate top teachers, school employees for educator awards
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano County Office of Education is offering three courses to train educators and community artists how to make “learning visible” as part of the grant-funded Solano Integrated Learning Specialist Program.
The county office received $75,000. The funding covers the cost of $299 for each participant per course, which includes materials, a light breakfast and lunch. This is also an opportunity for people to work toward an ILSP certificate.
Source: Integrated learning grants available to Solano teachers, artists
By Daily Republic Staff
Five Vanden High School students brought home 11 medals and the team finished ninth in their division at the 2017-18 California State Academic Decathlon in Sacramento.
“The Academic Decathlon is a rigorous academic program and team competition which develops students’ confidence and improves their study skills,” Lisette Estrella Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in a statement released Wednesday. “As a result, students are more prepared for career and post-secondary education options.”
Vanden’s decathlon team won the North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon, which featured 12 schools from four counties – six from Solano County. There were more than 275 students involved.
Source: Vanden captures 9th at 38th state Academic Decathlon
The results are in from the 2017 North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon and the California State Academic Decathlon. This year, over 275 students from 13 high schools across Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties participated in the North Bay Region’s Academic Decathlon. The Academic Decathlon is a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind.” The competition provides students the opportunity to participate in an educational forum, which fosters a deep respect for knowledge, cooperation, and self-esteem. The theme of this year’s academic decathlon contests was “Africa.” “The Academic Decathlon is a rigorous academic program and team competition which develops students’ confidence and improves their study skills,” said Lisette Estrella Henderson, Solano County Superintendent of Schools. “As a result, students are more prepared for career and post-secondary education options.”
Source: North Bay Decathlon Teams Compete At State Level | Dixon, CA Patch
Educators, Youth and Community Members Who Work with Special Education Students Recognized for Outstanding Service
The 12th Annual Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Recognition Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive, Fairfield.
CAC Awards are presented to educators, youth, and community members for outstanding service to students with special needs. Award recipients are from each school district within the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area: Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis, and Vacaville Unified School Districts, as well as the Solano County Office of Education.
Source: News Release – Solano County SELPA Community Advisory Committee
By Kimberly K. Fu
Giggles and glee rippled through the Irene Larsen Center Monday in Vacaville as students cradled squishy silkworms, threw confetti into the air and essentially had a grand old time learning.
Such was the experience Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Solano, walked into as he toured the county facility, which primarily serves students with special education needs from newborns to age 22.
The Vacaville school has infant-toddler programs, preschool programs, an inclusive ChildStart Program and a post secondary program for developmentally disabled adults.
Frazier, who is known as a champion of children with special needs and chairs the Select Committee on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, said he wanted to assess the needs of the Larsen Center and see how he could be of service.
Source: Assemblyman Jim Frazier tours Irene Larsen Center, pledges more aid for youths with special needs
By Kimberly K. Fu
What would it be like to grow up in a world where education wasn’t valued and women had no voice?
Such was the discussion in Vacaville Wednesday night following a screening of “He Named Me Malala” at Brenden Theatres.
Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani native, was just 15 when she stood up to the Taliban and spoke out for girls’ rights to education. She was shot but recovered and has since become an advocate for education and women’s rights. She’s also a Nobel Laureate.
Following the movie, sponsored by Brenden and the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan, County Office of Education Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Hendersen, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals member Kim Whittaker, Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Jim Frazier, Jennifer Barton, and Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Anna Eaton hosted a lively discussion.
Source: Panel discussion into the value of education, learning
By Reporter STaff
First 5 Solano, in collaboration with the Solano County Office of Education, has received a $10,000 matching grant from Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to implement the Read for Success summer reading program in Solano County Pre-Kindergarten Academies. The Read for Success program, which gives children the life-changing power of literacy, will be implemented throughout Solano County, as First 5 Solano offers Pre-K academies in all of Solano County’s seven cities, targeting children who have never had a prior pre-school experience or who are considered high-risk.
“All children deserve the opportunity to access books, learn how to read and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential,” said Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan, First 5 Solano Commission chairperson. “This evidence-based program will do just that, giving at-risk children the tools necessary to stay proficient — because as we know, as children progress through school, it becomes more and more difficult to catch up once they’ve fallen behind.”
Source: Read for Success summer program receives grant funding