Denunciation chorus loud, clear – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

As expected, President Trump’s decision Tuesday to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and his urging of Congress to replace it with legislation, prompted an outcry from several California elected officials and local and national educators — but it also earned applause from immigration reform advocates.

Part of the denunciation chorus, understandably large in California because more than one in four DACA recipients lives in the Golden State, state schools chief Tom Torlakson told California public school students and their families that California will keep protecting and supporting them.

Source: Denunciation chorus loud, clear

Denied in Vacaville USD, charter leader petitions SCOE – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Leaders of Heritage Peak Charter School in downtown Vacaville, their petition denied less than two months ago by Vacaville Unified trustees, are now seeking to align the independent study learning center with the Solano County Office of Education.

Paul Keefer, who heads the Sacramento-based Pacific Charter Institute, the operator of several independent charter schools, most of them in the Sacramento area, presented a petition for newly named Pacific Valley Charter during a public hearing Wednesday night at county education offices in Fairfield.

The SCOE governing board will either approve or deny Keefer’s petition at a Sept. 13 meeting at the county agency’s 5100 Business Center Drive offices.

Source: Denied in Vacaville Unified School District, charter leader petitions county ed board

SCOE lands grant to help homeless students – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A little help is on the way for Solano County’s homeless students.

The County Office of Education has been awarded a grant of nearly $38,000 by the California Department of Education to aid homeless students. Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Henderson made the announcement in a press release late last week.

She said training will be offered to local school districts to increase awareness among school staff countywide and to make sure consistent, effective practices regarding the identification of homeless students and knowledge about the kinds of resources available to meet their needs.

Homeless public school students are defined under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, a federal law originally passed in 1987 and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2016. The purpose of the act is to guarantee that homeless students have the same access to education as other students.

Source: SCOE lands grant to help homeless students

Solano Youth Coalition accepting applications – Times Herald

The Coalition is a partnership of students from each town in Solano County. The students “raise awareness by advocating safe and healthier choices in communities through open conversations, participation, and collaboration among a new generation of youth,” said Program Manager Johanna Nowak-Palmer.

The students choose which issues and subjects to tackle, according to Ken Scarberry, director for youth development.

Projects they’ve spearheaded have been an award-winning documentary about the effects of gambling on young people, tobacco use prevention and awareness, and even putting together a water filtration system where students could get clean water without using campus fountains, Scarberry said.

Source: Solano Youth Coaltion accepting applications

SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The number of homeless public school students in Solano County has fluctuated in the past four years, from a record 2,200 in 2013 to 1,425 in 2015 to 2,080 in 2016 to 1,545 in 2017, and Vacaville-area districts this past year, reflecting county trends, tracked decidedly decreased numbers, the county Office of Education reported Wednesday.

Districts with fewer numbers from the most recent reporting period, ending June 30, include Vacaville, with 197, down from 237 in 2016; Travis Unified, with 91, a sizable drop from 264; and Fairfield-Suisun Unified, Solano’s largest district with more than 21,500 students, somewhat surprisingly with 687, down from 950.

Source: SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017

Science fun for kids at the county fair – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

County fairs are more than arts and crafts, cooking and art competitions, animal and livestock displays, horse racing and demolition derbies, midway carnivals and heart-stopping foods, main stage entertainment of aging rockers and rappers and small-stage magic acts.

Today, kids passing through fairgrounds turnstiles are versed in Digital Age technology and want a chance to exercise their knowledge and have fun while, perhaps, continuing to prepare for their future education and job prospects.

To that end, the Solano County Office of Education will host a free, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) event Wednesday through Aug. 6 at the Solano County Fair, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, in Vallejo.

The interactive SCOE event will be at the agency’s STEAM booth in McCormack Hall, open from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6.

Source: Science fun for kids at the county fair

Annual backpack drive kicking off in Benicia – Times Herald

By Katy St. Clair

It’s not quite back-to-school time, but it is time to start thinking ahead.

That’s why the Family Resource Center is kicking off its annual backpack drive for students who might need a little extra help.

According to the center, it’s estimated that 150 students here will be unable to afford all the school supplies they need. The drive helps people in the community connect with families who could really use fully-stocked backpacks to get their child off on the right foot.

The center is hoping to donate 60 supply-stocked backpacks this year.

They are coordinating with the school district and the Solano County Office of Education, but folks in town are encouraged to bring in the following — gender neutral backpacks suitable for older students (grades 6 through 12), whimsical backpacks for younger students (grades K through 5), wide-rule or college-ruled paper, loose-leaf. Single subject, perforated spiral-bound notebooks; pocketed folders, No. 2 pencils, regular, colored, or mechanical; pens, markers (teachers prefer washable), crayons, rulers, binders, erasers, pencil sharpeners, blunt-ended scissors, glue sticks, basic calculators, and subject dividers for binders.

Source: Annual backpack drive kicking off in Benicia

Andrews Park scavenger hunt raises money for Autism Speaks – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Runners will dash around Andrews Park Sunday during a scavenger hunt that raises money for Autism Speaks.

Jennifer Annuzzi of Vacaville is running the New York City Marathon Nov. 5 to support the advocacy organization that supports research and awareness campaigns for autism spectrum disorders.

Her goal is to raise $3,000. As of Thursday, she has raised a little more than $1,000.

To boost her fundraising, Annuzzi is hosting a scavenger hunt and 5K run from 8 to 10 a.m. Sunday in Andrews Park.

All ages are welcome.

“It’s a family-friendly event,” Annuzzi said. “People can come out and have a good time.”She has been a special education paraeducator with the Solano County Office of Education for 10 years.“A lot of my students do have autism,” she said.

Source: Andrews Park scavenger hunt raises money for Autism Speaks

2017/18 Brings New Principal to Crescent Elementary School – FSUSD.org

Over the previous nineteen years, Ms. Jodie Phan has provided exceptional service to the students of Solano County in a number of capacities, and has steadfastly remained focused on improving academic environments for all students, as well as for the teachers and support staff that directly connect with children.

Ms. Phan currently serves as the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Agency (SELPA), where she is completing her third year. In this role, she has built and led programs such as the Alternative Dispute Process, and Community Advisory Committee for the SELPA, and though extremely successful has made a personal decision to return to FSUSD as a Principal in order to serve more directly with educators impacting students at the elementary school level.

Ms. Phan preciously worked in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District as both an Assistant Principal, and then Principal of Dan O. Root II Elementary School (2003-2010), prior to serving Vacaville School District as both a Principal, and as the Director of Special Education Services (2010-2014), when she began her work at the SELPA.

A golden day at Benicia High School – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

On Wednesday, May 31, the Solano County Office of Education presented Benicia High School with a Gold Ribbon Award, which honors schools throughout the state for exemplary programs. Since BHS was being honored for its visual and performing arts program, several art-related activities were available throughout campus.

Source: Photos: A golden day at Benicia High School

Armijo, Public Safety Academy celebrate academic achievements – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Armijo High School and the Public Safety Academy proudly took possession Wednesday of the banners that announced them as 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools.

The Public Safety Academy also garnered additional recognition for receiving the state’s Career Technical Education Exemplary Program banner.

“Your determination and dedication are what made this school a success,” Public Safety Academy Principal Laurie Halcomb told the students gathered on the school’s Parade Deck.

Source: Armijo, Public Safety Academy celebrate academic achievements

End-of-year events honor Solano successes – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

There are so many sad and terrible things happening at home and around the world that it brings tears to one’s eyes from time to time, but it’s also the time of the year that I get the opportunity to attend wonderful events that honor the successes of our schools, parents and business community partners.

Throughout history there have been few events of significance that have occurred purely by accident, someone once said. And, this time of the year, educators, parents, students, volunteers and business partners come together at many sites around Solano County to honor and celebrate educator and student accomplishments.

I try to attend as many events as I can and even for the ones that I do attend, this space would not come anywhere near covering all of them. This is, indeed, a great thing that there are so many accomplishments to celebrate.

Source: End-of-year events honor Solano successes

Estrella-Henderson announces her candidacy for school superintendent – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Lisette Estrella-Henderson has announced she is running for Solano County superintendent of schools.

“We are at a pivotal time in education. I take the responsibility of this position very seriously. We must move education in Solano County forward, with an emphasis on student preparation for the workforce,” Estrella-Henderson, said in announcing her candidacy on Monday. “Each student is unique and I will continue to work diligently with our community partners to ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.”

Source: Estrella-Henderson announces her candidacy for school superintendent

Benicia High School honored for exemplary arts education – Times Herald

By Katy St. Clair

The California Department of Education is recognizing Benicia High School for its “Exemplary Program in Arts Education.”

Benicia High had previously been selected as a “Gold Ribbon School” by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson for representing “best practices” in education.

The Public Safety Academy in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District also received the “Exemplary” honor for its “Career Technical Education.”

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said that both schools served their community with “model practices” and support their students with “state-of-the-art programs.”

 

Source: Benicia High School honored for exemplary arts education

Two Solano schools named exemplary programs by state – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Public Safety Academy in Fairfield and Benicia High School have been selected for the Exemplary Program Award.

The academy is being honored for Career Technical Education, and Benicia High for its Arts Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced in a statement released through the county Office of Education.

“The recognition of these two schools highlights the range and depth of curricular options students have in Solano County’s School Districts. We thank the two schools for serving their communities with model practices and for supporting their students with state-of -the-art programs,”Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in a statement announcing the awards.

Source: Two Solano schools named exemplary programs by state

Waelbrock, Porter, Solano County’s educators of the year – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Golden Hills Education Center Teacher Judith Waelbrock was announced Tuesday as Solano County’s 2017-18 teacher of the year.

Angela Porter, Benicia Middle School campus monitor, was chosen as the county’s classified school employee of the year.

“You promote collaboration and teamwork, and you step up to the challenges,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said to Waelbrock, Porter and the 11 other candidates who had earlier been named by their school districts.

Source: Waelbrock, Porter, Solano County’s educators of the year

Celebration honors Solano educators of the year – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano County Office of Education will honor 13 school district employees who have been selected as 2017-18 educators of the year.

The celebration will begin at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center at 611 Village Drive in Suisun City.

Source: Celebration honors Solano educators of the year

A taste of the trades – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Forrest Blue, a junior at Vintage High in Napa, sat astride a yellow-painted, pint-sized hydraulic shovel-excavator, using a stubby control stick to move the boom, arm and bucket, tentatively at best, as Steve Lewis, a member of Local 3 of the Operating Engineers union, looked on.

Just a few steps away and wearing a black welder’s protective face shield, Uriel Garcia, a junior at Napa High, listened and watched Julian Rucker, a member of Local 378 of the Iron Workers union, showed him how to cut a piece of steel with an oxygen-acetylene torch.

Hot sparks flying occasionally, school — with the nearby steady, brittle thrum of Interstate 80 traffic in their ears — was in session, specifically a glimpse of the construction trades and, perhaps, a career technical education career path for Blue and Garcia.

Source: A taste of the trades – The Reporter

 

Sexually exploited children topic of forum in Fairfield – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A free forum on Commercially Sexually Exploited Children will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. May 9 at the Solano County Events Center.

The county Office of Education is hosting the event, which will feature a number of panelists who will speak on various aspects of what officials say has become a bigger problem in the state and could become one in Solano County.

“Protecting our children is of utmost priority. The issue of preventing the sexual exploitation of children is so important to our community and the world beyond. To combat this terrible crime, we must learn as much as we can about it and acquire the necessary tools to recognize and stop it,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella‐Henderson said in a statement announcing the forum. “I hope our county’s citizens will take advantage of this free community forum so we can all do our part to safeguard our children’s innocence.”

Source: Sexually exploited children topic of forum in Fairfield

Solano County Educator of the Year nominees announced – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

BHS math teacher, BMS campus supervisor in running

The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) announced its nominees for the county’s Educators of the Year Award. Two Benicia Unified School District employees are in the running.This year, 13 employees from each of the county’s school district are eligible, including teachers and support staff. Representing BUSD are Lee Anne Aidt, a math teacher at Benicia High School; and Angela Porter, a campus supervisor at Benicia Middle School.Also nominated are:

*Martha Salazar, a reading and English Language Development teacher at Anderson Elementary School in Dixon.

*Debbie Thiessen, the food service coordinator at Dixon High School.

*Cindy Lederer, a physical education teacher at multiple sites in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.

Source: Solano County Educator of the Year nominees announced