Agencies collaborate to host school safety symposium – The Reporter

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

C-STEM Center honors Solano schools chief’s work – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson has been named a C-STEM Administrator of the Year by the University of California, Davis C-STEM Center.

C-STEM stands for computing, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“I’m truly honored by the award from UC Davis, but I do not do this work alone. I have a team of amazing educators behind me, creating, planning and implementing programs for students,” Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Tuesday by her office.

Source: C-STEM Center honors Solano schools chief’s work

Board of Supervisors recognizes Solano’s top 2019-20 educators – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Matt O’Reilly admits it’s a little strange to be teaching at the same high school from which he graduated, but the 10-year educator at Benicia High also works to convince his students to choose teaching as their career choices.

O’Reilly was recognized Tuesday by Solano County supervisors as the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, and said that he and other teachers could not do their jobs if it were not for school employees like Daryl “D.J.”

Stillwell doing theirs.Stillwell, a custodian with the Vacaville School District, was selected as the 2019-20 Classified Employee of the Year.

Source: Board of Supervisors recognizes Solano’s top 2019-20 educators

Six things we learned at ACSA’s Women in School leadership Forum – Ed Cal

School leaders explored what it meant to lead courageously during the 2019 Women in School Leadership Forum, held Sept. 25-27 at the Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach.

With 16 workshop sessions, four keynotes and two networking receptions, the more than 250 attendees had plenty of opportunities to be inspired. Here is just a sampling of some of the wisdom shared during this conference.

Source: Six things we learned at ACSA’s Women in School leadership Forum

State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Elected officials, school board trustees and superintendents from throughout Solano got an understanding Thursday of the current state and future of education at Solano County Office of Education’s annual State of Education Breakfast Forum.

State superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was the guest speaker.

With the theme of “Full STEAM Ahead,” the breakfast was an opportunity to bring educators, business leaders and elected officials together for a discussion on educational opportunities and showcase what certain school districts are doing to prepare students for the workforce in the new decade, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Source: State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

First Solano student wellness center opens; goal is for 25 countywide – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

A student wellness center opened this week at Golden Hills Community School, the first in a $1.7 million investment to open 25 centers in the school-based Wellness Center Initiative launched by the Solano County Office of Education.

“As educators and community leaders, we know that mental health can create significant barriers to effective learning. School-based wellness centers can create opportunities to destigmatize mental health, foster open dialogue with students around issues like suicide prevention or bullying, and teach coping strategies that build resilience and help students manage stress before negative behaviors or violence occur,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Friday by her office.

Source: First Solano student wellness center opens; goal is for 25 countywide

School wellness centers ‘really about youth engagement’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Educators have long believed that keeping kids interested and focused in the classroom can stem the dropout rate, an idea confirmed by recent Solano County, state and U.S. Department of Education statistics that reveal four-year high school graduation rates have increased over the past decade, topping 80 percent in many school districts.

The key is meeting students’ academic, social and emotional needs. But, in the first two decades of the 21st century, marked by a tragic series of school shootings and other daily toxic stress, it is the latter aspect that is getting more attention from school leaders, counselors and teachers, said Kim Govi, foster and homeless youth program manager for the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.

“There is an increasing focus on mental health and it has become a priority in Solano County,” she said Wednesday at the Golden Hills Community School wellness center on Clay Bank Road in Fairfield, which celebrated a ribbon-cutting event earlier in the morning. “We are expanding mental health services and support.”

Source: SCOE official: School wellness centers ‘really about youth engagement’ – The Reporter

Schentrup, Sports Medicine Visit Vanden High School – Solano College

The Solano College Sports Medicine program teamed up with the Solano County Office of Education to visit Vanden High School this week.

Solano College athletic trainer and sports medicine faculty Bailey Schentrup spent the day teaching students from Miss Smith’s medical science classes hands-on skills such as athletic taping techniques, basic anatomy palpation skills, and stretching techniques.

Students were introduced to several therapeutic exercise fields of study, including the Solano College Sports Medicine/Athletic Training major and its courses.

Source: Schentrup, Sports Medicine Visit Vanden High School – Solano College

Stuff the Bus supplies homeless, foster children with school needs – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The recent Stuff the Bus campaign resulted in more than 700 backpacks being delivered this month to Solano County school districts and group homes – earmarked for foster, homeless and other students in need.

“The first day of school can be challenging for some students. Having brand new school supplies and a fashionable new backpack can help foster and homeless youth feel supported and prepared to learn. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support that the Solano community shows our students in need year after year. Their generosity really does make a positive difference,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Friday.

Source: Stuff the Bus supplies homeless, foster children with school needs

700 Solano Homeless, Foster Youth Get New Backpacks For School | Benicia, CA Patch

By Maggie Avants

More than 700 foster children, homeless students and students in need are starting the school year with a new backpack thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, according to the Solano County Office of Education. After collecting the backpacks through the annual countywide Stuff the Bus campaign, SCOE distributed them to Solano school districts, group homes and other organizations who work with foster youth, homeless and those in need.

“Thanks to the outpouring of local community members, SCOE was able to collect over 295 new backpacks during the campaign,” said Kimberly Govi, SCOE program manager and educational liaison.

Source: 700 Solano Homeless, Foster Youth Get New Backpacks For School | Benicia, CA Patch

Donate backpacks, school supplies in Placer, Yolo and Solano Counties – ABC 10

Stuff the Bus, Solano County Office of Education

The Solano County Office of Education is collecting donations of school supplies for foster and homeless students. Officials from the office said they have identified over 1,400 homeless students and 400 foster students.

Donations can be dropped off until July 29 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive in Fairfield, and at Golden Hills Education Center, 2460 Clay Bank Road, Bldg. 2, in Fairfield.

Source: Donate backpacks, school supplies in Placer, Yolo and Solano Counties – ABC 10

‘Stuff the Bus’ program returns to help Solano homeless, foster students – Daily Republic

A Stuff the Bus event to provide school supplies to homeless and foster children in Solano County will take place Monday at two Fairfield locations.

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive, or at the Golden Hills Education Center, 2460 Clay Bank Road, Building 2.

School districts during the past school year identified as many as 1,400 homeless students and 400 foster students, according to a statement released by the county Office of Education.

Source: ‘Stuff the Bus’ program returns to help Solano homeless, foster students – Daily Republic

Robots invade Solano County Fair – Times Herald

By John Glidden

While families meandered around enjoying the sights and sounds of the Solano County Fair, a group of girls were making robots dance on Saturday.

With just a few clicks on the laptop, mini robots, best described as over sized lint rollers attached to two giant wheels, move about a table, “dancing” front and back, side to side.

Representing the Girls in Robotics Leadership (GIRL) Camp, the middle and high school students showed off their coding skills while Lilibeth Pinpin looked on like a proud mother.

Pinpin is the director of innovative programs & student success for the Solano County Office of Education. The county office of education in partnership with UC Davis C-STEM (Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) hosted the five-day camp in the month of June.

Source: Robots invade Solano County Fair – Times Herald

Adults with developmental differences learn film skills at camp – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

In 2007, filmmaker and producer Joey Travolta founded Inclusion Films to teach filmmaking skills to individuals with developmental disabilities. This gave way to a series of camps aimed at imparting these skills to children and adults with disabilities and helping them make their own short films.

This past week, Solano students got their turn when Inclusion Films partnered with the Solano County Office of Education to bring the camp to Golden Hills Community School in Fairfield.

For the past two weeks, 48 students in the camp have been coming up with story ideas, writing scripts, memorizing lines, shooting film and doing everything that is typical of a Hollywood production.

Source: Adults with developmental differences learn film skills at camp – The Reporter

Solano students attend leadership event in Sacramento – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE), Youth Development Department, took 15 members of the Solano Youth Coalition (SYC) on a leadership retreat June 10 in Sacramento.

SYC is comprised of youth from Solano County’s high schools and colleges and supported by an advisory team of adults from the Youth Development Department at the Solano County Office of Education. The mission of the Coalition is to raise awareness by advocating safe and healthier choices in communities.

Source: Solano students attend leadership event

Middle school girls learn STEM skills – The Reporter

Some kids go to summer camp to learn campfire songs or go canoeing on a lake, and others go to camp to build robots. For the next few weeks, girls throughout Solano County will be doing the latter.

The Solano County Office of Education, in conjunction with the University of California, Davis’ C-STEM program, is hosting a series of Girls In Robotics Leadership camps throughout the county aimed to teach middle and high school girls skills in technology, engineering, robotics, computing and other growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields and potentially inspire them to enter these career paths.

The first camp for middle schoolers opened on Monday at the Center for Freedom and Flight in Vacaville and was sponsored through a $5,000 grant from Genentech. Program Coordinator Lillibeth Pinpin said the camp was largely intended to teach robotics and coding skills to ensure that anyone can enter the fields that require them.

Source: Middle school girls learn STEM

Applications open for Solano Youth Coalition – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Youth ages 14 to 21 who want to make a difference in their communities will have an opportunity to do so through Solano Youth Coalition. Applications are currently being accepted for new members.

SYC’s mission is to raise awareness through advocacy for safe and healthier choices in communities through open conversations, participation and collaboration among a new generation of youth advocates, according to a Solano County Office of Education news release. SYC is overseen by SCOE and partners with Solano’s Friday Night Live, a social advocacy program for high schoolers that promotes healthy lifestyles for all youth.

“I encourage all youth to explore programs like the Solano Youth Coalition,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in a statement. “Involvement in programs like this increase youth connectedness to their communities and provides unique opportunities for young people to realize their strengths and discover their passions.”

Source: Applications open for Solano Youth Coalition – The Reporter

Solano County art students showcase skills in annual Art Faire – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

More than 400 artistically inclined students from 27 schools throughout Solano County showcased their work in the Solano County Student Art Faire, held Saturday at the Solano County Fairgrounds’ McCormack Hall.

The work ranged from computer art to sculptures to drawing to mixed media to painting to photography, with many students exhibiting their work for the first time. Ribbons were bestowed to students who placed first, second, third or won honorable mentions in each category. A Best in Show ribbon was given to one artist in each division, and every artist received a certificate just for taking part.

“The Solano Student Art Faire is something we look forward to every year,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in a statement. “It is a special time to bring students, parents, teachers, and the community together to honor the work students have completed over the school year and celebrate the importance of the arts in education.”

Source: Solano County art students showcase skills in annual Art Faire – The Reporter

Solano County shrouded in creativity – Times-Herald

By Chris Riley

People look at pieces of art, including this Best in Show for Division 4 piece titled ‘Shrouded’ by Liana Wong of Armijo High on Saturday. This came during the Solano County Office of Education in partnership with the Solano County Fairgrounds’ 2019 Solano County Student Art show in Vallejo.

Source: Solano County shrouded in creativity – Times-Herald

Solano special needs students dance the morning away at annual prom – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Over at Armijo High School’s gym, the bass was thumping and fists were pumping for Solano County’s annual prom Friday morning for students with special needs, which proved to be a good time for all.

With the theme being “An Evening in the Enchanted Garden,” the room was strewn with flowers and images of iconic Disney fairies. The feeling of a magic garden was captured as special needs students throughout the county got to dress in their finest outfits, play games and dance to their hearts’ content, all while getting to be themselves.

Lynne Lee, a teacher in Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s adapted physical education department, said the event started more than 25 years ago.

Source: Solano special needs students dance the morning away at annual prom – The Reporter

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