Willis Jepson Middle School students share the warmth – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

For the past two weeks, students in Samantha Dubs’ leadership class at Willis Jepson Middle School have been collecting warm clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, scarves and even blankets for the “Share the Warmth” program that was stared by the city of Vacaville a couple of years ago.

For extra incentive Thursday, the students passed out hot chocolate to anyone that stopped by to make a donation.

“We were looking for some good community involvement opportunities, and this just fell into our laps,” Dubs said Thursday as she supervised her students collecting clothing before school. “I have some very motivated students it’s nice to be able to give them an idea and have them run with it.”One of those students was Sada O’Hanlon. The 13-year-old eighth-grader oversaw the collection drive and was on hand passing out flyers to students as they arrived Thursday morning, reminding them that there was one more day left in the clothing drive.

Source: Willis Jepson Middle School students share the warmth – The Reporter

VUSD to consider new proposal for Country High School – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Vacaville Unified School District has decided not to move forward with a plan to create two smaller credit recovery campuses at the Will C. Wood and Vacaville high school campuses.

Instead, the school board will be considering a new proposal to move Country High School to the Buckingham Charter Magnet High School campus, move Buckingham to the current Country High campus and merge Country High with the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy for Independent Learning, which will move into the building across the way, the district announced in a Facebook post.

The goal is for both programs to work together to bring more resources to students.

In September, the district announced that it was considering establishing smaller continuation campuses on the general education high school campuses for Country High students to take classes in self-contained classrooms. However, Country High students, parents and staff expressed concerns about this proposal — namely that Country High students benefited from being in a smaller campus away from the larger comprehensive campuses — at the Sept. 28 school board meeting and on social media.

Source: VUSD to consider new proposal for Country High School – The Reporter

Orchard Elementary School salutes Solano County first responders – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Bill McCune, a captain with the Valero Refinery Fire Department in Benicia sprays water into the air and onto the students of Alison Epperson’s fifth-grade students as he participates in First Responder Day at Orchard Elementary School Wednesday in Vacaville. McCune was on hand with first responders from around Solano County including, Vacaville Police and Fire Departments, Solano County Sheriff and the California Highway Patrol to speak with the students about their careers. The objective of the assembly according to Orchard Elementary School principal Anne Silva was to teach students not to be afraid of first responders as well as celebrating them and recognizing their sacrifices to the community.

Source: Photo: Orchard Elementary School salutes Solano County first responders – The Reporter

Power outage fails to stop learning at Vacaville schools – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The power may have been off at Willis Jepson Middle School Monday, but the learning was still on.

In preparation of high gusts of winds this weekend, Pacific Gas & Electric shut off power to nearly 1 million customers Saturday evening, including several throughout Solano County. When classes resumed Monday, students at three Vacaville schools — Alamo, Orchard and Jepson — had to return to classrooms without electricity. However, teachers still found creative ways to impart lessons to their students in an era that has relied heavily on digital technology.

At Jepson, the lights were off and the glow of computer screens could not be seen. To compensate, students read textbooks and did worksheets.

Source: Power outage fails to stop learning at Vacaville schools – The Reporter

Buckingham RoboKnights Fundraise for a Spooky Spaghetti Feed – Daily Republic

The RoboKnights of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School’s have just finished Cap City and are hosting their annual spaghetti feed.

The annual spaghetti feed will be on Saturday, October 26 from 6PM-8PM at 188 Bella Vista Road, Vacaville 95687.

“They [fabrication, coding, and electrical departments] have worked for Cap City. The Public Relations and Business Department is ready to show off at the Spaghetti Feed. We’re going to blow everyone away.” says Andrei, the business lead of robotics.

Source: Press Release: Buckingham RoboKnights Fundraise for a Spooky Spaghetti Feed

Board of Supervisors recognizes Solano’s top 2019-20 educators – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Matt O’Reilly admits it’s a little strange to be teaching at the same high school from which he graduated, but the 10-year educator at Benicia High also works to convince his students to choose teaching as their career choices.

O’Reilly was recognized Tuesday by Solano County supervisors as the 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, and said that he and other teachers could not do their jobs if it were not for school employees like Daryl “D.J.”

Stillwell doing theirs.Stillwell, a custodian with the Vacaville School District, was selected as the 2019-20 Classified Employee of the Year.

Source: Board of Supervisors recognizes Solano’s top 2019-20 educators

Country High School community urges school board to not move campus operations – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

A discussion on a proposal to move Country High School’s operations to the comprehensive high school campuses may not have been on the agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting, as it was previously scheduled, but parents, teachers and students still took time to express their concerns.

On Sept. 16, Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh issued a letter to families announcing that the district was considering establishing two smaller continuation school campuses on the Vacaville and Will C. Wood high school campuses. Country High students would be assigned to a campus based on their area of residence and take classes in self-contained classrooms.

The district’s goals were to provide easier access to Career Technical Education courses for Country High students, allow CHS students to participate in lunch and extracurricular activities with their comprehensive high school peers and make it easier for them to transition back to their home campus if they finish up their credits.

Source: Country High School community urges school board to not move campus operations – The Reporter

State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Elected officials, school board trustees and superintendents from throughout Solano got an understanding Thursday of the current state and future of education at Solano County Office of Education’s annual State of Education Breakfast Forum.

State superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was the guest speaker.

With the theme of “Full STEAM Ahead,” the breakfast was an opportunity to bring educators, business leaders and elected officials together for a discussion on educational opportunities and showcase what certain school districts are doing to prepare students for the workforce in the new decade, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Source: State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

Fairfield woman ‘100 percent’ committed to youth, women’s golf – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Lynda Donahue has for weeks been training as though she were about to run a half-marathon.

In reality, the Fairfield resident and retired director of special education at the Vacaville School District is just preparing to go out to play a round of golf – a 100-hole round of golf.

“I’m actually doing it for the Youth on Course Foundation, which is an organization that is part of the Northern California Golf Association,” Donahue said from Texas, where she is playing in another tournament.

Source: Fairfield woman ‘100 percent’ committed to youth, women’s golf

VUSD postpones discussion of proposed Country High School changes – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

A discussion and action regarding the relocation of Country High School operations that was scheduled to be heard at Thursday’s school board meeting has been postponed, Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh announced in a letter Friday.

Earlier this week, VUSD announced it had agendized a discussion regarding a proposal to establish two smaller continuation campuses for Country High students on the grounds of Vacaville and Will C. Wood high schools. Shamieh wrote in the earlier letter that the goal was to give Country High students easier access to Career Technical Education courses and allow Country High students who were caught up on their credits to transition back to their home campuses to finish up their remaining credits for graduation.

Source: VUSD postpones discussion of proposed Country High School changes – The Reporter

School board to discuss changes to Country High School – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Major changes could be coming to Country High School, Vacaville Unified School District’s continuation school, in the 2020-21 school year. The VUSD Governing Board will be discussing a proposal to establish two smaller continuation campuses on the Vacaville and Will C. Wood High School properties at its Sept. 26 meeting.

According to a letter to families sent by Superintendent Jane Shamieh, major goals of the proposed change include providing Country High students with access to Career Technical Education (CTE) courses and making it easier for students who have caught up on their Country High credits transition back to their home school to finish the credits needed to graduate.

The core classes would be taught in self-contained classrooms on the comprehensive school sites by Country High staff. Students would be placed on campuses determined by their residence, Shamieh wrote.

Source: School board to discuss changes to Country High School – The Reporter

Ball Metal Car Show helps area schools – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Rick Seidenzahl of Vacaville has brought one of his four vintage cars to every Ball Metal Car Show. His daughter, Jennifer Murray, also brings her car – a 1970 Chevrolet Nova SS. They both work for Ball Metal Beverage Packaging Company.

“It’s for a good cause,” Seidenzahl said, “and it helps the community.”

Ball Metal Beverage Packaging Company hosted its sixth annual car show Saturday to help raise money and classroom supplies for local schools, with registrants able to enter the show by donating school supplies.

Source: Ball Metal Car Show helps area schools

Solano students look to future at college fair – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland,

Justin Robinson, 17, of Vacaville High School, came to the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair hosted by Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday looking to his future.

“I want to be a pastor,” he said.

The majority of black colleges are on the East Coast but that didn’t bother him at all.

“My family can fly out to see me,” Robinson said.

His family is predominantly teachers. He wants to follow his own path but still talk with people and help them to learn.

Source: Solano students look to future at college fair

Vacaville Unified launches bedtime stories video series – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Kids, settle down. Your principal is going to read you a bedtime story.

That’s the premise of Vacaville Unified School District’s newly launched “Bedtime Stories with VUSD,” in which books are read to elementary schoolers in district-made videos every Tuesday night.

The program began Tuesday with Jennifer Austin, principal of Hemlock Elementary School, reading Carol McCloud’s “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”

Elaine Kong, VUSD’s communications director, said the idea was inspired by Belinda George, a principal at Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas. She began reading children’s books over Facebook Live to ensure students were read to at home. George’s program received national coverage and caught the attention of several VUSD administrators.

Source: Vacaville Unified launches bedtime stories video series – The Reporter

Girl Scouts create buddy bench for Markham – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The beginning of a new school year can be difficult as some students may have trouble adjusting to a new classroom or school while others may be struggling socially.

Members of Vacaville Girl Scout Troop 20345 want to make sure no students feel lonely so, as a special project, they constructed a “buddy bench” at Markham Elementary School to help them make friends.

The troop, currently consisting of fifth and sixth-graders, began work on the project in January for their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can receive. The project for this award must benefit the community and the members must put in at least 20 hours to bring it into fruition.

Source: Girl Scouts create buddy bench for Markham – The Reporter

Buckingham Roboknights Return With High Spirits – Daily Republic

By Community Contributor

Buckingham Roboknights Return With High SpiritsVacaville, CA – August 27, 2017.

The Buckingham Charter Magnet High School Robotics team is gearing up for yet another successful year.

“I’m really looking forward to this year” says Public Relations lead Matt Famularcano. “There is a lot of potential, we have a great team, and a lot of exciting work to do before the competitions.”

Source: Buckingham Roboknights Return With High Spirits

Solano 4-H scheduled info night at Vacaville school – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano County 4-H Youth Development Program will host a 4-H information night next week in the multipurpose Room at Alamo Elementary School, located at 500 S. Orchard Ave.

This informative gathering begins at 7 p.m. Thursday and is an opportunity for families who are interested in learning more about the 4-H Youth Development Program.

Organizers will introduce the Solano County 4-H Program with an overview of programs, resources and activities offered. Participants will meet Solano County 4-H staff, 4-H adult volunteer leaders and 4-H members. The 4-H Youth Development Program is open to all children and teens ages 5 through 19.

Source: Solano 4-H scheduled info night at Vacaville school

Shining faces, smiles, some anxiety in a ‘positive learning environment’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

From Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” the “seven ages of man” speech refers to the second stage this way: “Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel/And shining morning face, creeping like snail/Unwillingly to school.”

But while there were few serious whiners, there were plenty of shining faces, in some cases perhaps masking some understandable anxiety, as backpack-toting children with pep in their step and many wearing new clothes marched back into Vacaville Unified classrooms Thursday, the first day of the 2019-20 academic year.

Hundreds of parents and some 965 students of the nearly 13,000 across 19 campuses districtwide showed up at 8:25 a.m. at Markham Elementary to hear welcoming remarks from Principal Jose Bermudez before the first bell.

Source: Shining faces, smiles, some anxiety in a ‘positive learning environment’ – The Reporter

Some local schools begin new academic year in two weeks – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Long gone is the notion that California schools begin their new year on the first day after Labor Day, and it seems some Solano County schools and school districts begin their new academic years earlier and earlier as the years pass by.

Still, it may surprise some to learn that two local charter schools and Dixon Unified schools open their doors in early August, while Vacaville and Travis unified districts begin in mid-August, while other districts start in late August.

Dixon Montessori, a K-8 independent charter, will welcome students on Aug. 7 at its North Almond St. campus, while Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, a TK-8 independent charter on Elm Street in Vacaville, and Dixon Unified schools will begin Aug. 8.

Source: Some local schools begin new academic year in two weeks – The Reporter

New principal, familiar face at Winters High School this fall – Winters Express

By Crystal Apilado

Although John Barsotti is a newcomer to this year’s administration at Winters High School, he is not a stranger to the majority of staff and students there. Serving as the new principal at WHS Barsotti is already familiar with most of the students as their previous principal at Winters Middle School. Some of the WHS staff previously worked with Barsotti when he served as the WHS vice principal for five years starting in 2005.

He said this familiarity puts him in a unique position to jump start his new role at the high school. He’s walking into a setting where there’s very few people he doesn’t already know or who don’t know him.

“There’s a lot less anxiety on both ends since we’re familiar with each other,” said Barsotti.

Source: New principal, familiar face at Winters High School this fall – Winters Express