Vanden Robotics Team prepare to visit China to share STEM Robotics Curriculum – Daily Republic

Sixteen students from Vanden High School in Fairfield, CA, will be traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, and Ningbo this November 18-26, 2017. The students will conduct presentations and demonstrations to Beijing Economic Management High School and Jiaxing Sichuan Vocational College in Jiaxing, with the goal of building up a competitive and sustainable robotics curriculum programs in their respective communities.

These local robotics students will not only put their robot building and programming knowledge to the test but will also employ unique presentation skills, tying together academic language in English with elements of the Mandarin language. The support will not end with their visit, but will continue during the following year, providing support and resources by email and Skype. While in China, the students will also tour the sites of Shanghai, Terracotta Soldiers in Xi’an, and Beijing including the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

Source: Local High School Robotics Team prepare to visit China to share STEM Robotics Curriculum

Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Tonight’s Travis Unified governing board meeting will not be routine, in part because dozens of unionized teachers will protest the lack of progress in 2017-18 contract talks that have dragged on since spring.

Members of the Fairfield district’s teachers association plan to gather in the parking lot outside the Travis Education Center at 5 p.m., one hour before trustees meet in open session. They also will speak during the public comment segment of the meeting.

With virtually no progress after several bargaining sessions going back more than six months, the union and district remain far apart on issues that will help attract and retain excellent teachers, Michael Souza, president of the 290-member Travis Unified Teachers Association, said Monday.

Source: Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers

Pensions pack punch for school district budgets, superintendent says – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Pension costs could run school districts out of business, a superintendent said Thursday at the State of Education in Solano County forum.

Schools may first reach a point where they do less for students because of contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System and the California State Teachers Retirement System, said Brian Dolan, superintendent of the Dixon School District.

Source: Pensions pack punch for school district budgets, superintendent says

3 Solano Friday Night Live chapters receive grants – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Friday Night Live chapters at Armijo and Vanden high schools, and at the Solano Youth Coalition, have received grants from the state organization.

Chapters will use the funds to create campaigns to educate the public on the “statistics, warning signs and consequences of problem gambling.” They have until May 2018 to complete the gambling prevention curriculum that targets adults ages 18 to 54 and underage gamblers younger than 18.

Source: 3 Solano Friday Night Live chapters receive grants

Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, face a relatively light agenda except for item 13.1, a review and potential approval of a long-awaited Facilities Master Plan.

Begun two years ago, the plan sought to re-evaluate facility needs at each of 10 campuses in the 5,500-student Fairfield district, which also includes two Vacaville elementaries, Foxboro and Cambridge. According to agenda documents, district leaders want to create a document that is updated regularly, as needs, priorities and funding options evolve and change.

While district enrollment has largely remained stable for the past 15 years, projections indicate considerable growth at several schools in the coming years, decreases at several others.

Source: Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda

Vacaville announces ‘Team Up Against Drugs’ campaign – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A “Team Up Against Drugs” campaign, which involves more than 6,000 students in 2016, will take place Oct. 27, the city announced in a press release.

The city’s AWARE Coalition is asking students and businesses to put on their favorite sports gear in recognition of Red Ribbon Week.

AWARE will award each participating school in the Vacaville and Travis school districts with a certificate of participation and award trophies to one elementary school, one K-8 school, one middle school and one high school.

Source: Vacaville announces ‘Team Up Against Drugs’ campaign

The jury must hear two sides to the CAASPP story – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

There are two sides to every story, and the adage applies to recently released CAASPP scores given last spring to California public school students in grades three through eight and 11.

For the past two years, Superintendent Tom Torlakson and local educators generally have framed the results in, understandably, more positive-sounding ways, stressing that certain percentages of students “met” or “exceeded” state standards on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, an all-computerized test begun three years ago as the then-relatively new California State Standards began to take effect.

In brief, the tests gauge, at every grade level, whether students are able to understand what they read, write clearly, think critically, solve complex math problems, and explain their reasoning, as they prepare themselves for college, the job market, or the military — all of which increasingly demand technology literacy.

Source: Richard Bammer: The jury must hear two sides to the CAASPP story

TUSD workshop today: Budget 101 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet this afternoon in a special meeting, will hear a brief presentation about how the district’s budget is cobbled together.

Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will make the presentation in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board will have a chance to ask questions and mull over the information.

“It’s a budget 101 workshop,” Superintendent Pamela Conklin said Monday. “It’s just explaining the components of the budget and how to read certain reports.”

It will include the obligatory pie charts, showing how the district’s $56.7 million 2017-18 budget is broken down into its various parts, revenues and expenses, chief among them salaries and benefits, at 82 percent, she noted.

Source: TUSD workshop today

The trades 101: Students learn about careers at union training centers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

They may not be college-bound students, but they will draw upon relevant high school math and English lessons on construction jobs, a longtime sheet metal worker told more than two dozen Vacaville Unified students.

The teenagers, most of them from Vacaville and Will C. Wood high schools, listened closely as Dan Riley, training coordinator for Local 104 of the International Association of Sheet Metal Workers, spoke Friday morning in an assembly room at the union’s Apprenticeship Training Center in Fairfield.

The students, many of them seniors looking forward to a June graduation and entry into a well-paying construction job or a training program, were part of some 100 from five different Solano or Napa county districts who participated in a half-day “Tour of the Trades” informational event.

Source: The trades 101: Students learn about careers at union training centers

Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A special meeting to discuss board goals and the district budget will take place Tuesday by the Travis School District trustees.

Superintendent Pam Conklin and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Sue Brothers will lead the presentation of the existing goals. The board will then discuss any potential changes.

Source: Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget

New CAASPP results: Most Vaca-area districts exceed state, county averages – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

After a few weeks’ delay, the 2017 online state standardized test scores are in, and most Vacaville-area school districts posted results that met or exceeded Solano County and state averages but largely remained the same as last year’s, reflecting the latest state averages, several administrators said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Wednesday the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English and mathematics, noting, in a prepared statement, that they

“remained steady and retained the strong gains students made in 2016.”

Source: New CAASPP results: Most Vaca-area districts exceed state, county averages

Solano students get hands-on experience studying Suisun Marsh – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Suisun Marsh attracts professional scientists from all over the world who come to study it.

Few people know that young, local scientists have been studying the marsh consistently for the past eight years thanks to a free opportunity offered by the Solano Resource Conservation District.

About 1,000 sixth- and seventh-graders will conduct soil, water and plant analysis during visits that began Monday and continue into early December. Testing happens during a visit to Rush Ranch Open Space, owned by Solano Land Trust.

Source: Solano students get hands-on experience studying Suisun Marsh

Study puts Fairfield-Suisun USD in middle for salaries, revenues, benefits – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

A comparison of the Fairfield-Suisun School District with a dozen other nearby, similar districts found Fairfield-Suisun in the middle of categories that include salaries, revenues and employee benefits.

Fairfield-Suisun was the largest of the 13 districts that included the Vacaville, Travis and Dixon school districts as well as Berkeley and Napa Valley.

The study used California Department of Education data from 2015-16.

Source: Study puts Fairfield-Suisun School District in middle for salaries, revenues, benefits

Symbolic walk recalls those who died on 9/11; keeps memory alive for younger generation – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Children from Travis and Scandia elementary schools walked Monday in memory of those fallen during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Teachers – many dressed in red, white and blue – escorted the first-, second- and sixth-graders to an open space on the lawn by the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.

“This is the 11th year for this Freedom Walk,” said Deanna Yashki, principal of Travis Elementary. “This is a way to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the survivors and heroes of that day.”

Source: Symbolic walk on Travis base recalls those who died on 9/11; keeps memory alive for younger generation

On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A resolution urging Congress not to reduce and also increase Federal Impact Aid and a nearly $300,000 change order for the Scandia Elementary roof project are on the agenda tonight when Travis Unified leaders meet in Fairfield.

Superintendent Pamela Conklin recommends that the five-member governing board approve a resolution that urges Congress to prevent spending cuts and to increase funding for Federal Impact Aid, millions of taxpayer dollars annually upon which the district, with schools on or closely adjacent to Travis Air Force Base, depends to pay its bills. The district also operates two elementaries in Vacaville, Cambridge and Foxboro.

Federal Impact Aid, a law which President Harry Truman signed in 1950, is money given by the federal government to school districts that are affected by a large number of students living on federal property — such as military bases, national parks and Indian reservations — to compensate for the loss of local property tax revenues. About one in three Travis Unified 5,500 students is a military dependent.

The resolution comes amid the ongoing Scandia Elementary Modernization Project on Travis Air Force Base.

Source: On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project

9/11 remembered at Travis Air Force Base – The Reporter

Students, teachers and staff from both Scandia and Travis elementary schools at Travis Air Force Base walked to honor the victims and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Monday, marking the 16th year since the tragic events in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Walking about a mile to the base’s Airman and Family Readiness Center, they heard about the history of the American Flag, listened to classmates sign patriotic songs and poems and waved flags to honor the heroes. To view more images from the ceremony visit TheReporter.com.

Source: 9/11 remembered at Travis Air Force Base

Solano firefighters, children, service members, volunteers mark Patriot Day – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Solano County residents will mark Patriot Day with a variety of planned activities and events to mark the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that thrust the nation on a war footing that has since remained largely in place.

Suisun City’s firefighters will continue their tradition of honoring those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 with a morning bell ringing and an evening ceremony.

Source: Solano firefighters, children, service members, volunteers mark Patriot Day

Travis district considers sending funding resolution to Congress – The Reporter

By Todd R. Hansen

Travis School District officials are feeling a little more at ease about funding levels from the Federal Impact Aid Program, but are hopeful the amount will increase in the future.

The appropriation proposals for the program in the Senate and House versions each have an increase over last year’s level, with the Senate bill calling for $11.5 million more and the House adding $28 million.

Source: Travis district considers sending funding resolution to Congress

Will C. Wood, Vanden football games postponed – The Reporter

By Michael Morris

Due to intense heat and to ensure the safety and overall health of student-athletes, Friday night’s football games for Will C. Wood High School and Vanden High School were postponed.

Will C. Wood’s varsity road game against River Valley High School is rescheduled for 9 a.m. today. Vanden’s home game versus Rodriguez High School is canceled. While the Vanden JV team was able to compete Thursday night, Wood’s JV and freshman football games were canceled all together, according to Wood Athletic Director Beth Kelly.

After a weeklong dialogue with River Valley and representatives of the Sac-Joaquin Section, Kelly received a final call Friday afternoon from River Valley Athletic Director Phil McCaulley. The Yuba City Unified School District had elected to reschedule the varsity game and cancel the freshman and JV games.

Source: Will C. Wood, Vanden football games postponed

Vanden accepting donations at football game for hurricane victims in Houston – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Vanden High boys basketball team will be accepting donations for the hurricane relief in Houston at Friday’s football game against Rodriguez, Friday.

Vikings coach Mike Holloway asked people attending the game to bring either a new tee-shirt or sweatshirt, lightly worn jeans, lightly worn shoes and/or diapers.

“In light of the devastation that continues in the city of Houston, boys basketball would like to do our part in support of those who may have lost the essentials in that horrific hurricane,” Holloway said in an email.

Source: Vanden accepting donations at football game for hurricane victims in Houston