Fairfield-Suisun taking ‘longer’ look at electric buses – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Higher upfront costs of electric buses may deter some school districts from converting their diesel fleets, but it is not the only concern.

In fact, the Fairfield-Suisun schools have considered converting, but is not sure the electric buses could meet all the district’s needs.

“They have been considering it, but they have not converted or purchased electric buses,” Tim Goree, executive director of administrative services and community engagement at the Fairfield-Suisun School District, said in a phone interview.

The “they” to whom Goree references are the district’s transportation officials.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun taking ‘longer’ look at electric buses

Converting school, transit buses to electric cheaper, healthier – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

A national report released Thursday states that replacing all diesel-powered transit and school buses with electric coaches would eliminate 7.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year – and significantly reduce the exposure of children and others to the unhealthy fumes.

“Approximately 95 percent of America’s school buses, carrying some of the most vulnerable passengers, run on diesel,” the executive summary of the report released by the Environment America Research and Policy Center states.

The report, “Electric Busses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air,” was compiled by the research center as well as the U.S. Education Fund and the Frontier Group.

Source: Report: Converting school, transit buses to electric cheaper, healthier

SCOE honors classified employee, teacher of the year – Daily Republic

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

Fairfield-Suisun school board set to consider cuts – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Trustees of the Fairfield-Suisun School District will be asked Thursday to give the green light to eliminate more than a dozen positions in response to the governor’s budget for the coming school year, with bus drivers bearing the brunt of the proposed cuts.

Robert A. Martinez, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, provides details about the planned layoffs in a staff report and accompanying resolution that the board is scheduled to consider.

The proposed cuts include 16.682 full-time equivalent positions: 10 from among the district’s bus drivers, 2.781 from the district’s roster of child nutrition assistants and the equivalent 1.288 positions in the corps of bilingual para-educators. Roughly half a position each would be cut from among the district’s mental health clinicians, associate mental health clinicians, behavior analysts, para-educators and campus monitors.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun school board set to consider cuts to ranks of bus drivers, other staff

Title shift for abandoned right of way gets Fairfield-Suisun district OK – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Accepting title from Suisun City to an abandoned right of way needed for a new building at Fairview Elementary School won approval Thursday from Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees.

A survey during design and development for a new administration and kindergarten building at the school on First Street in Fairfield identified the waterline right of way in the area best suited for the new building, a school district staff report said.

Because the waterline associated with the right of way was believed to be abandoned, the district asked the Suisun-Solano Water Authority to investigate, the report said.

Suisun City Council members at their Jan. 16 meeting, acting as the water authority, passed a resolution relinquishing the city’s interest in the waterline easement to the school district and allowing removal of the easement.

Source: Title shift for abandoned right of way gets Fairfield-Suisun district OK

Poster contest opens for Solano Safe Routes to School program – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Students can show off their creativity by entering the Solano Safe Routes to School Program poster contest with the top two placers in each grade category to get prizes.

Entries are being taken through March 1.

The posters are meant to encourage students to walk, bike or ride a scooter to school, and artists can depict any of those three themes.

The grade categories are kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade. The first-place prize is a bike or scooter. The second-place prize is a $100 gift certificate from a local bike shop. Teachers whose classrooms participate in the contest will be entered into a prize drawing.

Source: Poster contest opens for Solano Safe Routes to School program

Solano Transportation Authority receives traffic safety grants – The Reporter

The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) awarded the Solano Transportation Authority two grants to standardize, collect, analyze and report travel safety data to police and public works staff; and evaluate and promote pedestrian and bicycle safety around schools countywide.

Each of the grants awarded are for $170,000 for one year.

The OTS provides competitive awards annually to jurisdictions with programs created to improve travel safety.

STA’s Projects Department was awarded a Traffic Records grant focused on procurement of collision data software and standardization of data reporting techniques. This data will help to identify the types and locations of collisions, and will have this data available and analyzed automatically. In consultation with the commanders of each police department within Solano County, all data will be collected and made available through an online portal. STA is embarking on an effort to collect and analyze as much safety data as possible to identify locations of concern and implement cost-effective solutions.

Source: Solano Transportation Authority receives traffic safety grants

Nearly 10,000 Solano students observe International Walk to School Day – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

If a Vacaville elementary school student read or thumbed through books by famed backpacker Colin Fletcher, author of “The Man Who Walked Through Time” and “The Complete Walker,” the boy or girl would not only learn walking techniques but they also would learn more abstract things, such as walking’s pleasures and its sometimes deeply emotional rewards.

But children simply enjoy walking, especially walking to school, as scores did Wednesday, International Walk To School Day, when it was celebrated at Callison Elementary in Vacaville, one of 46 county schools (fewer than last year) to mark the special day.

By 8:30 a.m. and under a cloudless fall sky, students, alone or in groups of four and five, trudged happily along the sidewalk, north and south, fronting the Vanden Road campus in the city’s eastern sector. Noon supervisor Susie Berk greeted them with yellow string backpacks, a memento of the day, as students made their way to their respective classrooms.

Solano schools take part in walk-to-school day – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Nine-year-old Lilly Laughter made sure to finish off the last of her yogurt Wednesday morning before joining the flock of children who were starting their walk to Crescent Elementary School as that school’s observance of International Walk to School Day.

She and her mother, Jill Laughter, were two of almost three dozen children and their parents who met up with Suisun City School Safety Officer Leticia Gonzales at Lawler Ranch Park for the half-mile trek to Crescent.

“I like doing this because it means less traffic, the kids get exercise and they get to school safe,” Gonzales said before gathering her young charges behind a small, cardboard school bus sign she made for the walk.

Source: Solano schools take part in walk-to-school day

Solano schools prep for International Walk to School Day activities – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The annual International Walk to School Day is Wednesday in Solano County.

Students from 54 schools participated last year, in addition to staff, parents, community members and some mayors across the county. The goal by the organizer, Solano County Safe Routes to School, is 70 schools this year.

The event celebrates the benefits of walking and brings light to safety concerns for pedestrians, and particularly children and teens walking to and from school.

Source: The Week Ahead: Solano schools prep for International Walk to School Day activities

Organizers target 70 Solano schools for Walk to School Day trek – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The annual International Walk to School Day is Oct. 4 in Solano County.

Students from 54 schools participated last year, plus staff, parents, community members and some mayors across the county. The goal by the organizer, Solano County Safe Routes to School, is 70 schools this year.

The event celebrates the benefits of walking and brings light to safety concerns for pedestrians, and particularly children and teens walking to and from school.

Source: Organizers target 70 Solano schools for Walk to School Day trek

New bus service to help Vallejo students, Benicia ferry riders announced – Times Herald

In an effort to make life easier for students who commute by bus from south Vallejo to Jesse Bethel High School, Soltrans has made some route changes, agency officials announced.

Starting Sunday, the new Route 38 operates one morning trip on school weekdays to supplement existing service on Routes 3 and 8 for students attending Jesse Bethel High School, officials said.

The trip begins at Glen Cove at 7 a.m. and arrives at Bethel at 7:30 a.m. and Gateway Plaza at 7:36 a.m., they said.

An additional outbound trip from the Vallejo Transit Center to Glen Cove has been on added to Route 3 during days Vallejo schools are in session, they said.

Once in Glen Cove, this added bus will continue as the new

Source: New bus service to help Vallejo students, Benicia ferry riders announced

Students ready for National Bike to School Day – The Reporter

Hundreds of Solano County students will strap on safety helmets and pedal to school May 10 — National Bike to School Day.

The annual event focuses attention on the physical and environmental benefits of biking or walking to school instead of commuting by car.

In 2016, 26 elementary and middle schools throughout Solano County participated in the Solano Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program to promote Bike to School Day and this year high schools are invited to participate.

Along with promoting safety, SR2S aims to improve children’s health by increasing their daily physical activity by walking and biking to school. SR2S staff works with schools and parents to organize Walking School Buses and daily or weekly walking programs. The program also conducts traffic safety assemblies, bike safety rodeos and helmet fittings in Solano County schools.

Source: Students ready for National Bike to School Day

Safety to School poster contest starts – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Elementary and middle school students are welcome to enter the third annual Solano Safe Routes to School poster contest.

The top prize is a new bicycle, with helmet and lock. The second-place winner gets a $100 gift certificate from a local bike shop. The third-place winner gets a $50 gift certificate from a bike shop.

The contest is open to students from transitional kindergarten to eighth grade. The poster should show proper use of traffic safety laws, such as wearing a bike helmet, crossing the street in a crosswalk, or riding a bike with the flow of traffic.

Source: Safety to School poster contest starts – Daily Republic

New school start times, safety course for high schoolers on Vacaville Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Principal Ed Santopadre’s twice-yearly report about Vacaville High, new school start times and necessary transportation changes, a new high school course about public service and safety, and a large Measure A contract are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified trustees meet tonight in Vacaville.

The longtime leader at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus, Santopadre, in a slide presentation, will review and update the seven-member governing board on myriad aspects of the school, from the mission and Advance Placement test results to standardized test results and graduation/dropout rates to school climate and multimillion-dollar Measure A projects.

More than likely, Chief Academic Officer Mark Frazier will present information about new school start times and necessary transportation changes that will occur in the fall.

Secondary schools, that is, high schools and middle schools, will start no earlier than 8:20 a.m., with elementary school start times beginning no earlier than 8 a.m.

 

Source: New school start times, safety course for high schoolers on Vacaville Unified agenda

Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned – Times Herald

By John Glidden

After 18 months of trying, Vallejo school board Trustee Burky Worel will get his wish, as the two most important agencies in the city of Vallejo are scheduled to host a joint meeting.

The Vallejo City Council and Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 26, at the Vallejo High Annex, Professional Development Center, 1347 Amador St.

The meeting will feature discussions about school resource officers, traffic issues around schools, mobile food vendors and enforcement issues, and first time homebuyer program for teachers.

Each topic has a 15-minute time limit, according to the agenda.

The Vallejo City Clerk’s Office confirmed there are no prepared staff reports for the four items.

 

Source: Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned

Vacaville Unified bus transportation budget tops $2.3 million – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A Vacaville Unified transportation leader will meet today with district officials at the Educational Services Center to continue planning in detail bus schedules that will align with the district’s new start times for the 2017-18 school year.

The planned meeting was announced last week during a district governing board meeting, when transportation supervisor Jodie Peters presented an overview of her department’s current services, staffing levels, budget, and fleet status, among other things.

Department services range from busing special needs students to and from school, from home to therapy (as needed), busing school-choice students, providing transportation for athletic and activity trips, and busing students who participate in the Early College High School program.

Source:  Vacaville Unified bus transportation budget tops $2.3 million – The Reporter

Updates on charter schools, transportation, a large Measure A contract on Vacaville Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Updates on ACE and Buckingham High, two charter schools, and revisions to their charters, an update on the district’s transportation department, and the likely approval of a $300,000 Measure A contract are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight.

Kim Forrest, director of instruction, curriculum and assessment, will lead the charter schools update discussion, with the participation of ACE principal Jennifer Buzolich and Buckingham Principal Mike Boles.

She will ask them a pointed question, in keeping with state charter school law and the Education Code, the ways and means for how they will achieve a racial and ethnic balance that reflects the district to which they are aligned, Vacaville Unified.

Source: Updates on charter schools, transportation, a large Measure A contract on Vacaville Unified agenda

Keep students safe and healthy with Safe Routes to School – The Reporter

The Solano County Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program team welcomes students back to school and is excited to work again with schools across Solano County.

During the 2015-16 school year, 58 schools and 17,000 students took part in the program. The goal of the SR2S program is simply to increase the number of students walking and bicycling to school. The program works with schools to teach students how to walk and ride in a safe manner, slow traffic near schools and reduce congestion and air pollution in school drop-off zones. And these efforts help to increase and promote physical activity for students before and after school.

“I am proud of the positive impact Solano’s SR2S program has in our communities since it began in 2008,” said Rio Vista Mayor and Solano Transportation Authority Board Chair Norman Richardson. “Every school district takes part in the program — I hope we can get every school to join in for our kids’ safety and health.”

 

Source: Keep students safe and healthy with Safe Routes to School

New Peabody Road bridge opens to traffic – The Reporter

By Jessica Rogness

After it was closed in full for 14 months, Peabody Road reopened with fanfare Thursday night with more than 200 people gathering to walk across the new road bridge.

Leading the way was the Vanden High School Drum Line, which marched across the new stretch of Peabody Road after Fairfield Mayor Harry Price cut the ribbon.People were posing for selfies to show they were standing on the new bridge.

Source: New Peabody Road bridge opens to traffic