Substitute teachers and other school employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits when they’re not called to work in a summer school session, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
In a case from San Francisco, the court unanimously rejected the city school district’s argument that summer school sessions can never be considered regular “academic terms” that are the basis for unemployment benefits for on-call employees who are not summoned to work.
A summer session is classified as a “regular” term, making out-of-work employees eligible for payments, if it resembles the normal fall-to-spring term in “enrollment, staffing, budget, instructional program, or other objective characteristics,” Justice Goodwin Liu said in the 7-0 ruling.
Source: Teacher subs may get jobless benefits when not called in summer, court rules [San Francisco Chronicle]
By Shawna De La Rosa
Many organizations — and even some individuals — have turned to crowdfunding to raise money for specific causes and projects. Educators are beginning to turn to this source, as well, to compensate for the lack of funds available for classroom projects and supplies. Over the past decade, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised for classrooms through crowdfunding efforts.
The initiative is often a win-win, as schools and teachers can request money for specific projects, and donors both large and small can select to support the projects they are drawn to. The GoFundMe and EdCo crowdsource sites also are in the education market.
While the practice is gaining in popularity, however, some districts, like the Metro Nashville Public Schools, forbid teachers from participating over concerns teachers may misuse or keep the raised money.
Source: 30 districts join DonorsChoose program to supplement classroom resource budgets | Education Dive
By Michael T. Nietzel
Two new large-scale reports provide convincing empirical evidence that problem- or inquiry-based learning is effective and that teachers, students and parents prefer it as an instructional method – along with other active, immersive techniques.
Problem-based learning works.
Using randomized experimental trials, the gold standard in this type of research, economists Rosangela Bando, Emma Naslund-Hadley and Paul Gertler conducted ten field experiments in four countries (Argentina, Belize, Paraguay, and Peru) covering more than 17,000 students.
They randomly assigned preschool, 3rd and 4th grade classes to receive either problem-based instruction or traditional instructional methods in both math and science and then compared the standardized test scores of students after they had experienced seven months of each method.
Source: New, Strong Evidence For Problem-Based Learning
By Maggie Avants
The first of three phases in a widespread PG&E public safety power outage was implemented early Wednesday morning, leaving more than 74,000 customers in the North Bay and 513,000 across Northern California in the dark. The utility giant started cutting power at 12 a.m. across significant portions of its service territory, including in Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Marin, Yolo, Lake, Mendocino and Colusa counties.
Solano, Sonoma and Napa counties the hardest hit as of 2 a.m. Wednesday. The city of Fairfield had 17,963 customers powerless, while 13,665 were without power in Vacaville. The outage was affecting 19,357 PG&E customers in Napa, 15,925 in the city of Sonoma, 6,685 in St. Helena and 3,321 in Calistoga.
Source: PG&E Power Shutoff Latest: 74K In Solano Co., North Bay Affected | Suisun City, CA Patch
By Naaz Modan
Building and maintaining a positive school culture can be an uphill battle for many principals and superintendents. Once attained, however, it has shown to have a significant impact in areas of concern including student academic performance and teacher retention.
Recently, one Massachusetts school linked positive school culture to a 100% college acceptance rate, and positive climate was also found to reduce teacher turnover in a turnaround school in Colorado. This kind of impact begins with strong district and school leaders, who model attitudes and behaviors for staff members and students.
For those wondering where to start, we’ve gathered advice from several veteran administrators on how they approach building positive culture within their schools and districts.
Source: Administrators share 7 tips for building positive school culture | Education Dive
By Glen Faison
Tens of thousands of Solano County residents are subject to possible power shutoffs midweek as PG&E monitors weather conditions that could lead to wildfires.
Nearly 33,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Company customers in Solano County are subject to a possible power shutoff starting before dawn Wednesday, the utility announced Monday.
The utility cites weather conditions that could lead to greater fire risk across the region.
Source: Thousands across Solano face possible power outages
By Richard Freeman
First off, it’s Smokey Bear. Not Smokey The Bear. No parents would doom their offspring with “The” as a middle name.
Yes, there’s Eddie Arnold’s 1952 song, “Smokey The Bear” – “Smokey the Bear, Smokey the Bear. Prowlin’ and a growlin’ and a sniffin’ the air” — but it’s wrong, said Steve Dunsky, a veteran U.S. Forest Service employee and coordinator of the “Visions of the Wild,” a four-day nature festival running Thursday through Sunday.
Not only does Smokey remain as the iconic figure of the Forest Service, he apparently has a personal trainer.
Source: ‘Visions of the Wild’ bears all in Vallejo – Times-Herald
The average school start time for California middle and high schools is 8:07 am and a proposal to push that back to 8:30 am for high schools, and move it up to 8 am for middle schools is getting closer to going to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 328 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Friday by a vote of 14-3.
Rural counties would be exempt from specified start times.Questions have been raised about the cost. Bill Analysis shows tens of millions of dollars statewide would need to come from the Proposition 98 General Fund. That money would go to districts t make changes to school transportation routes, and hire additional bus drivers. School districts would need an additional amount, projected in the low millions, to add staff both before and after school. Districts would also need hundreds of thousands of dollars for “additional workload associated with collectively bargaining work hours.”
Source: School Districts Could Need Millions Of Dollars If Plan To Push Back School Start Time Passes – CBS Sacramento
By C. Felton
On, Tuesday August 6th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM Living Waters Worship Center will hosting their annual National Night Out and Back to School Celebration at Laurel Creek Community Park.
This year Brian Walker owner and operator of Dubb Cutz. Dubb Cutz is a Mobile Barbering Salon that comes to the you, whether it be the comfort of your own home, office, hotel, or anywhere else you need them to perform their services.
Dubb Cutz brings all the equipment with them that is needed to perform your service and it’s always a professional clean cut with a smile and has generously agreed to offer FREE haircuts so that local deserving students can go back to school in style looking and feeling their best.
Source: Free Haircuts for Students at National Night Out – Daily Republic
The Pentecostals of Vacaville will be holding a backpack giveaway Saturday featuring 100 backpacks filled with school supplies.
“We want to be a blessing to our community, and as kids go back to school sometimes they are without proper supplies,” Emilio Garza, administrative pastor of the Pentecostals of Vacaville, said in a statement.
The giveaway will take place 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at 635 William St. For more information, visit facebook.com/events/370128380373016/.
Source: Pentecostals of Vacaville holding backpack giveaway ahead of back to school – The Reporter
The state Legislature has added another audit to the list of investigations into the California State Lottery, this one based on questions over whether the agency is giving enough money to schools as required by state law.
The department has been under scrutiny since employees alleged misconduct among senior executives in an anonymous letter last summer to former Gov. Jerry Brown. The state Justice Department has launched an investigation, and the State Controller’s Office has identified inappropriate spending on travel. Agency director Hugo Lopez resigned in June.
Lottery revenues have “skyrocketed” over the last 10 years, reaching nearly $7 billion last year, but the share of money the agency gives to schools hasn’t kept up, State Sen. Ling Ling Chang, a suburban L.A. Republican, wrote in an audit request.
Source: California Lottery earns $7 billion a year. But are schools getting a fair share? – Daily Republic
Solano County Supervisor John M. Vasquez (District 4) is proud to partner with Travis Credit Union on their upcoming Mad City Money financial boot camp for teens and young adults.
The free event will be held Aug. 2 at TCU headquarters, 1 Travis Way, in Vacaville and is designed to help young adults between the ages of 14 to 24 make smart decisions about budgeting, spending and saving in an assigned-life scenario. Participants visit “merchants” in Mad City to choose housing, transportation, necessities and wants. The goal is to simulate the realities of approaching financial responsibilities and give participants the tools to make sound financial decisions.
Source: Supervisor Vasquez partners with Travis Credit Union to host financial boot camp for young adults – Daily Republic
By Daily Republic Staff
Jane Johnson will leave Child Haven after 11 years providing executive leadership, effective June 6.
She is moving out of Solano County to her hometown of Redwood City to care for her aging parents.
“While change can be difficult, the agency is in a great position and poised for growth,” Johnson said in a press release.
Since Child Haven opened its doors in 1983, the agency has treated more than 12,000 children. The agency was founded to help traumatized children heal from the effects of abuse, neglect and maltreatment.
Source: Child Haven on track to change leadership with Jane Jonson’s departure
By Katrina Schwartz
Nick Sigmon first encountered the idea of “grading for equity” when he attended a mandatory professional development training at San Leandro High School led by Joe Feldman, CEO of the Crescendo Education Group. As a fairly new high school physics teacher, Sigmon says he was open-minded to new ideas, but had thought carefully about his grading system and considered it fair already. Like many teachers, Sigmon had divided his class into different categories (tests, quizzes, classwork, homework, labs, notebook, etc.) and assigned each category a percentage. Then he broke each assignment down and assigned points. A student’s final grade was points earned divided by total points possible. He thought it was simple, neat and fair.
Looking back, however, Signmon said this kind of system made it seem like teachers were setting up rules to a game. “They say these are the rules and whatever the score works out to be that is your grade,” he said.
Source: How Teachers Are Changing Grading Practices With an Eye on Equity | MindShift | KQED News
By Thomas Arnett
If you’ve followed the K–12 education dialogue over the last decade, then you’re probably familiar with the term “disruptive innovation.” Edtech entrepreneurs and school choice advocates sometimes invoke it as an indomitable force that will redeem and transform broken school systems.
Meanwhile, people on the other side of these debates worry that “disruption” is a flawed yet rhetorically powerful narrative used to rationalize K–12 privatization. Somewhere in the middle are skeptics who give consideration to the idea, but wonder if “disruption” is an oversold term that is likely to underdeliver on its proponents’ promises.So how do we make sense of the tumult of opinions? What is disruptive innovation as it relates to K–12 education?
Source: K-12 Schools Aren’t Getting Disrupted, but Markets that Provide Resources to Schools Are – Education Next : Education Next
By Patti Neighmond
Many American teenagers try to put in a full day of school, homework, after-school activities, sports and college prep on too little sleep. As evidence grows that chronic sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for physical and mental health problems, there is increasing pressure on school districts around the country to consider a later start time.
In Seattle, school and city officials recently made the shift. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This was no easy feat; it meant rescheduling extracurricular activities and bus routes. But the bottom line goal was met: Teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.
Researchers at the University of Washington studied the high school students both before and after the start-time change. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes.
Source: How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | MindShift | KQED News
By Evie Blad
Many high school students believe their schools aren’t adequately preparing them for challenges they will face in college, career, and life, a new survey of current and recent students finds.
Among respondents to the nationally representative survey, 48 percent said their school is “pretty good as is,” while 43 percent said their school “needs to make some changes” and 9 percent said their school “needs to make a lot of changes.” The survey, administered by Hart Research and Civic on behalf on the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, asked students about a variety of school factors related to safety, relationships, and engagement.
“What they cite as the problem is a lack of development of social and emotional skills, everything from confidence to working with others who are different from them, problem solving, working through difficult emotions and stress…,” said John Bridgeland, the CEO of Civic. “Most students told us their schools aren’t cultivating these social-emotional skills and, to the extent they are, it’s through participation in organized sports and extracurriculars…Most didn’t see it in the classroom instruction and the larger culture of the school.”
Source: Survey: Students Say Schools Don’t Give Them Skills They Need to Succeed After Graduation – Rules for Engagement – Education Week
By Rebecca Klein
In the days since Camp Fire ravaged Butte County, consuming 150,000 acres and more than 10,000 homes, Annie Finney’s house has been turned into a makeshift school, filled with a group of eager second-graders.
Finney, a teacher at Children’s Community Charter School in Paradise, California, is one of the lucky ones. Most of her school burned down, but her house is still standing, which is more than many of her students and co-workers can say.
In the morning, students sit around her kitchen table, practicing math problems on a whiteboard that Finney borrowed from a neighbor. In the afternoon, they go outside for recess on her front lawn, wearing plastic masks to protect against the polluted air as they play basketball.
Source: In California, A County Of Children Without Schools | HuffPost
By Jessica Campisi
An increase in school closures and a declining population can be attributed to factors inside and outside the education bubble. As the article notes, the U.S. birth rate is a key piece of the puzzle. This rate has proved to be inconsistent over long periods of time, but as a whole, it’s experienced a decline since the Great Recession in 2008. Spikes and dips revealed fluctuations in elements like the economy and population, as well as a few key social factors. Most notably, women are putting off marriage and motherhood to further their education and prioritize their careers. The bottom line: If there are fewer births, there are fewer children going to school.
Source: Declining US birth rate could beget lower public school enrollment, closures | Education Dive
Many Bay Area school districts are canceling classes due to smoke from the Camp Fire.
Source: Here’s a List of Bay Area Schools Closed Due to Smoke From Camp Fire – NBC Bay Area