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

Nominees chosen for Solano County Educator of the Year award – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

The Solano County Office of Education announced Thursday the school district’s nominations for Solano County Educator of the Year award.

Thirteen people were selected this year from a wide range of disciplines, including those with experience in teaching, paraeducation, child nutrition, support services, security and school staff.

Making the cut from Benicia Unified School District are Mathematics Teacher Lee Anne Aidt at Benicia High School and Campus Supervisor Angela Porter of Benicia Middle School.

Selected from Vallejo City Unified School District are Glen Cove Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Joan Samson and Bilingual Tutor/Instructional Assistant Cristina Gutierrez at Franklin Middle School.

As with previous years, the Office of Education will select only one teacher and one school support employee to represent Solano County in a statewide Educators of the Year Competition.

 

Source: Nominees chosen for Solano County Educator of the Year award

Benicia High, Benicia Middle honored with ‘Gold Ribbon’ awards – Times Herald

By Katy St. Clair

Both Benicia High and Benicia Middle School were two of six Solano County schools to be selected for 2017’s “California Gold Ribbon” recognition.

Gold Ribbon schools are designated by the California Department of Education and represent what it considers exemplars of “best practices” in education.

“This is a tremendous honor and well-deserved recognition for these schools,” Solano County Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.

Schools apply for the honor and are whittled down after meeting “rigorous” criteria, according to Assistant Superintendent for Solano County Victor Romualdi.

Source: Benicia High, Benicia Middle honored with ‘Gold Ribbon’ awards – Times Herald

Event set in Suisun to honor Solano educators – 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. May 2 at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center at 611 Village Drive in Suisun City.

One educator will also be selected as Solano County’s nominee for the state educator of the year.

Source: Event set in Suisun to honor Solano educators

Benicia High’s FNL club wins tobacco PSA contest, gets recognized by state – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Benicia High School’s Friday Night Live club had a good week. Not only did it win first place for a tobacco education PSA, it also was recognized by the state.

Johanna Nowak-Palmer, Solano County Office of Education’s (SCOE) program manager for youth development and special events, stopped by at the club’s Thursday meeting to deliver the good news.

“You guys were registered as an official club last school year, but you have been active for over a year now, so the state now recognizes you as an active club that is part of the California Friday Night Live network throughout the state,” she said. “You are now part of the thousands of students who do this work.

”Friday Night Live is a statewide organization aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among teens by preventing alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse. The organization has several student chapters at secondary schools throughout the state, and a club was established at Benicia High last year. Physical education teacher Dean Gor serves as adviser, and sophomore Kirsten Lambinicio serves as president. The club meets every Thursday at lunch.

Source: Benicia High’s FNL club wins tobacco PSA contest, gets recognized by state

Exploring Solano County’s economic strategic planning – The Reporter

By Doug Ford

I left the Solano EDC meeting a week ago a bit perplexed. It was great to hear that Solano County is planning to move ahead with economic strategic planning. What is being planned is all fine but the way it was presented needs some improving. I wonder what the slogan, “Solano Means Business” really means. That and other phrases used in the hand-out provided seems to have a tone of “this is all for business and for nobody else.” The photograph of a man standing in the middle of a grain field studying a road map seems to me to give a bad impression of the project.

It seems strange to lead off a presentation by pointing fingers at “economic red flags needing action” that are all non-Solano business entities: the military, residents who receive some sort of public assistance, residents who commute outside the county for work, and surrounding counties that are “bypassing Solano County.” This tone of “Solano business is good and everybody else is bad” is also noticeable in some of the other “Moving Solano Forward” publications.

Source: Exploring Solano County’s economic strategic planning – The Reporter

 

State’s new school “report card” system debuts Wednesday – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

After some field testing, the state’s new school “report card” system, giving parents another way to evaluate their child’s learning environment, will finally debut Wednesday, state officials have announced.

The California School Dashboard, as it’s called, will go live to the general public at www.cde.ca.gov/dashboard.

The public rollout will come nearly nine weeks after the State Board of Education formally approved it, with several changes to be made to strengthen and improve it for the 2017-18 academic year, when it will go into full effect.

Source: State’s new school “report card” system debuts Wednesday – The Reporter