Special needs prom gives individuals a night to shine – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The walls of the multipurpose room at Three Oaks Community Center were lined with balloons. Attendees arrived dressed in tuxedos, fedoras, red velvet dresses and high heels.

Photo booths were set up for them to take pictures with friends and hit songs by Taylor Swift, The Chainsmokers and DJ Khaled filled the room while people danced.

This could have been a scene from any high school prom. What made it unique was that the attendees were all individuals with special needs and their families, giving them their own night to remember.

Source: Special needs prom gives individuals a night to shine – The Reporter

T-R-I-U-M-P-H-A-N-T: Alamo, Vaca Pena students win big at spelling bee – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Erudite: E-R-U-D-I-T-E.

Definition: having or showing great knowledge or learning.

Used in a sentence: Boy, those kids in Vacaville sure are erudite when it comes to spelling.

A student from Alamo Elementary School and another from Vaca Pena Middle School proved themselves as this year’s top wordsmiths in their respective levels of schooling. Nash Martinez and Alexis Abadiano were the big winners at Wednesday’s Grace B. Powell Citywide Spelling Bee.

Hosted by the Vacaville Rotary Club at Will C. Wood High School’s Catwalk Theater, the bee is named after a former Vacaville High School principal who was dedicated to the education of students.

Source: T-R-I-U-M-P-H-A-N-T: Alamo, Vaca Pena students win big at spelling bee – The Reporter

Solano County 4-H members earn showmanship awards – Daily Republic

By Kathy Keatley Garvey

Seven 4-H’ers, covering such diverse topics from “how to make a chocoflan cake” to “how to reel in channel catfish,” won showmanship pins for their presentations at the Solano County 4-H Project Skills Day that took place Saturday at Sierra Vista Elementary School.

The annual event is an opportunity for 4-H’ers to show what they’ve learned in their projects and demonstrate their showmanship skills, according to Solano County 4-H Program representative Valerie Williams. Evaluators, all 4-H volunteers, scored the youths on their display, presentation, knowledge and interaction.

The showmanship winners included three from the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club in Vallejo, three from the Suisun Valley 4-H Club in the Fairfield-Suisun City area; and one from the Tremont 4-H Club in Dixon.

Source: Solano County 4-H members earn showmanship awards

4-H kids impress at annual Solano County Projects Skills Day – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

It turns out that 4-H isn’t just about animals. It’s also about chili.

More accurately, it’s a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship.

At the annual Solano County 4-H Project Skills Day & Chili Cook Off, held Saturday at Sierra Vista K-8 School in Vacaville, 4-Hers, who range in age from five to 19, showed what they have learned and also competed in a chili contest.

Source: 4-H kids impress at annual Solano County Projects Skills Day – The Reporter

Vaca High grad Stevens wins USTAF 50K championship – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Vacaville High graduate and former Westwind Flyers Track Club member Robyn Stevens won the USA Track and Field 50-kilometer (31.1-mile) race walk championship in Santee, Saturday, with a time of 4 hours, 34 minutes, 24 seconds.

The top three finishers (male and female) will compete for the United States team in the 2019 Pan American Race Walking Cup in Lazaro, Mexico, April 20-21, and Stevens will participate in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, July 26-Aug. 11.

Source: Vaca High grad Stevens wins USTAF 50K championship

VUSD ready to issue next series of bonds for Measure A projects – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Earlier in the month, Vacaville Unified School District issued its Series C of general obligation bonds provided by Measure A, a $194 million bond initiative passed by Vacaville voters in 2014.

The district says this most recent issuance has saved local property owners millions in taxes due to a rating upgrade for the district, a recent downturn in interest rates and bond structure optimization, according to a district news release.

Through this most recent issuance, VUSD has priced $145 million in general obligation bonds. The district’s credit was reviewed during the process, and it received an AAA rating from Fitch Group, according to the district.

Source: VUSD ready to issue next series of bonds for Measure A projects – The Reporter

Vacaville High to host Solano forum on student vaping – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A free one-hour informational forum on the growing trend of students vaping will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Vacaville High School library.

The forum is being offered by the Solano Youth Coalition and the Youth Development Services unit of the Solano County Office of Education.

Information on the current tobacco trends, what the products look like, current laws, health effects and how students gain access to the products will be included in the discussion. Information on how parents can talk to their children on the subject will also be available.

Source: Vacaville High to host Solano forum on student vaping

North Bay Academic Decathlon To Conclude With ‘Super Quiz’ | Suisun City, CA Patch

By Maggie Avants

Nearly 300 students from 15 high schools across Napa, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties battled it out Saturday, Jan. 26 and will continue battling it out Saturday, Feb. 2 in the North Bay Region’s Academic Decathlon at Solano Community College in Fairfield, according to a news release.

The theme of this year’s academic decathlon — a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind” — is “The 1960s: A Transformational Decade.”

Source: North Bay Academic Decathlon To Conclude With ‘Super Quiz’ | Suisun City, CA Patch

It’s in the cards — kids thank cops – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple “thank you” to make someone’s day. The Acacia branch of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club recognized this when they began writing cards of appreciation to local police officers Monday.

Ana Sanabria, the club’s supervisor, said the assignment was inspired by the Jan. 10 shooting of Davis police officer Natalie Corona.

“That really hit me,” she said. “Although we see police officers every day, we don’t thank them enough. We never know when it’s going to be their last time serving for the community.”

Moreover, Sanabria is also majoring in criminal justice at Solano Community College, which has given her a greater appreciation for law enforcement.

Source: It’s in the cards — kids thank cops – The Reporter

Getting Their Feet Wet For Science – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Jumping into the waters of Ulatis Creek Monday, 18-year-old Vacaville High School senior Spencer Pihl remarked how cold his feet were getting.

But Pihl wasn’t complaining. It was all for science.

Pihl and about 90 of his fellow classmates in Erin Gordon’s Advanced Placement Biology classes at Vaca High were taking part in the 11th annual Solano County Biomonitoring Program, a hands-on science program run by the Solano Resource Conservation District.

Source: Getting Their Feet Wet For Science – The Reporter

Community leaders in Vacaville, Dixon offer their hopes for the new year – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

With the dawn of 2019, community leaders in Vacaville and Dixon took time to share their hopes, wishes and prayers for the upcoming year:

Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett: “My wish for Vacaville is continued health, happiness and prosperity in the new year. A healthy city that functions to serve the people, a happy city council and city staff working together for a better quality of life for all residents, and a prosperous city supporting us and growing to meet our changing needs. With continued dedication and hard work I know 2019 will be an exciting year for Vacaville.”

Source: Community leaders in Vacaville, Dixon offer their hopes for the new year – The Reporter

NorthBay Healthcare employees bring holiday cheer to students and teachers at Padan Elementary – The Reporter

By Joel Rsoenbaum

Returning from morning recess Thursday, the second graders of Laura Ilcau’s class at Padan Elementary School had a special group of visitors in their classroom.

Peering through the doorway many could barely contain their excitement. There, sitting at the front of their classroom was the big man himself, Santa Claus.

Beginning in 2005, Santa has had a group of elves at NorthBay Healthcare who adopt a classroom at the school and help fulfill the holiday wishes of the students and teachers. In all 77 classrooms spread between both Padan Elementary School in Vacaville and Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield, employees in many of the departments at NorthBay shop for the students providing gifts like crayons, coloring books, Play-Doh, and even a little candy. They also get a “wish list” item from the teachers to use in the classroom.

Source: NorthBay Healthcare employees bring holiday cheer to students and teachers at Padan Elementary – The Reporter

Vaca High students donate doghouses to SPCA – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

A few more dogs in Solano County will have their own mini-homes to sleep and spend time in this winter, thanks to the efforts of Vacaville High School’s building and construction trades class.

Tony Farina’s students created doghouses which they delivered to the SPCA of Solano County on Thursday. Farina said it took two weeks of class periods for students to construct the homes.

“I try and find products for the students that will be something practical for them where they can learn some skills, primarily using hand tools and power tools, but also that we can potentially sell to staff or the students could take home for themselves,” he said. “I try and find something that teaches them some skills, but we can actually utilize the project for good.”

Source: Vaca High students donate doghouses to SPCA – The Reporter

SCOE leaders host Vaca public hearing about new trustee map – The Reporter

The story about Vacaville Unified’s new by-area trustee map, which will affect how governing board members are chosen in the future, is not quite finished.

The Solano County Committee, comprised of the Solano County Office of Education trustees, will host a public hearing today in Vacaville to review the newly configured elections map approved Nov. 29 by Vacaville Unified trustees.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the Catwalk Theater at Will C. Wood High, 998 Marshall Road, Vacaville.

Source: SCOE leaders host Vaca public hearing about new trustee map – The Reporter

Shred Day helps robotics team with Vacaville fundraiser – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Shred Solution will co-sponsor a Shred Day to help raise money so the Vacaville High School robotics team compete in regional events this year. The average cost to build the robots and compete is around $5,000.

The Shred Day will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Vacaville High School, 100 W. Monte Vista Ave.

Donations made at the event will be given to the Robodogs team. The cost is $5 per file box.

Source: Shred Day helps robotics team with Vacaville fundraiser

At VUSD, a public hearing and vote for by-area elections – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Marking a fundamental change in how governing board members are elected, Vacaville Unified leaders tonight will consider choosing a by-area trustee map and are expected to approve a transition from at-large to by-area elections.

The special governing board meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road, Vacaville.

Formal approval of a resolution, which will follow a public hearing about draft trustee-area boundary maps, comes more than two months after trustees declared their intent to switch to the by-area format, some 50 days after communitywide hearings on the matter, nearly two weeks after public hearings on the proposed maps, and more than 18 months after a Reporter opinion piece urged the governing board to approve by-area elections to avoid a potential lawsuit.

Source: At VUSD, a public hearing and vote for by-area elections – The Reporter

Unhealthy air quality closes schools countywide Friday – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

School districts from Vallejo to Dixon are closed Friday as air quality continues to be poor due to drifting smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise.

The message from Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh, posted on the district website, read: “We have decided to close schools and the district office tomorrow due to another forecast of air quality in the “unhealthy” range. Please know that we do not take closing schools lightly, and we understand that this can have significant financial impact on our families. Under normal circumstances, we would remain open at AQI levels of 151-200, however we have concerns about the prolonged exposure to staff and students occurring this week.”

Similar messages were posted on the district pages of the Travis, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Kairos Public Schools and Vallejo school district websites.

Source: Unhealthy air quality closes schools countywide Friday – The Reporter

Vaca middle school student, others win Constitution Essay Contest – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For her entry to the 2018 Constitution Essay Contest, Katrina Husby wrote: “All citizens have the right to certain liberties while protected by the rule of law that does not permit one dictator or monarch to change the laws. Civil liberties are protected by the rule of law, because the government must also be in accordance with the law.”

As expressed in those sentences, her incisive thoughts were enough for judges to award Husby, an eighth-grader at Vacaville Christian Middle School, the $300 grand prize in the middle school division of the seventh annual countywide contest. Her essay, one among 44 entered by students at the Vacaville parochial school, also earned the $100 best of school honor for exploring the essay topic: Why must the rule of law be upheld equally to preserve the liberties we enjoy as Americans today?

VCMS English teacher Val Marchione believes the judges selected Husby’s essay because it was “well-crafted.”

Source: Vaca middle school student, others win Constitution Essay Contest – The Reporter

Markham Elementary School students become citizen scientists – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Stepping off the bus in Lagoon Valley Park, about 40 third grade students from Edwin Markham Elementary School in Vacaville were transformed Monday into citizen scientists thanks to the educators from the Solano Resource Conservation District.

The new program was launched this month and teaches the students how to collect critical ecological data about the animal and plant life around the park. The information will then be passed along to researchers across the United States.

“The idea of the program is to see how nature changes with the seasons,” Said Carla Murphy, a program educator with the Solano Resource Conservation District before she led a group of eager students on a nature hike around the park.

Source: Outdoor Education: Markham Elementary School students become citizen scientists – The Reporter

VUSD leaders seek input for ‘by area’ elections map – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders seek public input about the school district’s “by-area” voting map, the first stages of which are still under development.

Facing the possibility of a lawsuit, district trustees on Sept. 20 passed a resolution declaring an intent to transition from an “at-large” to a by-area election system. The governing board’s decision came years after at least three other Solano County districts — Travis, Fairfield-Suisun and Vallejo City — switched to the by-area format, in which trustees represent certain city sectors rather than the entire district.

The ongoing forums continue today from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the McBride Senior Center, 91 Town Square Place. Coffee and donuts will be served.

Source: VUSD leaders seek input for ‘by area’ elections map – The Reporter