By John Glidden
For the third time in five years, the Vallejo school board is expected to seek input from residents about a possible school bond.
Vallejo City Unified School District staff is recommending the board approve a contract Wednesday night with the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3)for public opinion polling services.
The contract will cost the district between $23,000 to $33,000 and be paid for from the facilities general fund budget, staff said.
Source: Vallejo trustees to mull over polling contract
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
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) issued a spare the air, and health advisory for the Bay Area, confirming the unhealthy air quality is likely to remain through Wednesday “as onshore winds are forecast to develop and push smoke eastward across Napa County and Solano County.”
Source: Bad air keeps some area schools shuttered
By John Glidden
Nearly eight months after passing a resolution declaring the Vallejo school district a safe haven for immigrants, trustees are expected to mull over a resolution Wednesday declaring support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
President Donald Trump’s administration announced in early September it would wind down the program which offered relief and work permits to about 800,000 young people brought to the United States illegally.
“This announcement discourages students, especially undocumented students, from attending schools, as is their legal right,” the Vallejo City Unified School District resolution reads. “This creates a negative fiscal impact to schools, and jeopardizes the ability of schools to prepare students for the demands of the 21st century.”
Source: Vallejo school board asked to support DACA resolution
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
By Ryan McCarthy
The city is bringing back its school resource officers after Vallejo’s financial crisis ended the program for about seven years when “the priority became the streets,” a police sergeant said Thursday at a forum on juvenile justice in Solano County.
“I was very proud of that program,” Sgt. Brent Garrick said of school resource officers.
He served as a school resource officer for eight years and said people in the their 30s come up and thank him for his work.
About eight officers were in the program that now has two school resource officers – with a third to be added in next several months.
Source: Vallejo school resource officers returning, people told at Solano juvenile justice forum
By Richard Freedman
Excuse Adam Clark if he has to stop and catch his breath. The man’s been on the job as Vallejo City Unified School District superintendent less than two weeks and it’s been nonstop meetings and hand shaking.
“I hit it running full speed ahead,” said Clark, checking off one of the city’s pivotal cultural blocs with his welcome Wednesday afternoon by the Filipino Community of Solano County.
Hired Sept. 6 to replace interim superintendent Steve Goldstone, Clark said it’s been an impressive, albeit, brief, introduction to the town.
“Oh my goodness, what a supportive community,” Clark said, roughly an hour before addressing around 75 well-wishers at the Filipino Community Center.
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
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board will spend up to $50,000 to prepare the district for a possible run at a school bond in 2018.
A cadre of parents, educators, and community members attended the school board meeting Wednesday night recommending the trustees support the move, which includes working with bond counsel and district financial analysts, and advertising a Request for Qualifications (RFP) for qualified bond polling/information services, and communications/strategy consultants.
In the 4-1 vote, with Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown opposed, the board further authorized district staff to “develop and initiate a plan of action with regular board updates and authorizations” regarding updating the facilities master plan and an implementation plan. Staff will also determine the type and amount of any possible bond as well.
Source: Vallejo school board begins work on possible 2018 bond measure
By John Glidden
Almost two decades after he was unceremoniously removed as superintendent, Steve Goldstone will be honored by the Vallejo school board Wednesday night.
The board of trustees is expected to approve a resolution thanking Goldstone for serving as interim superintendent of the Vallejo City Unified School District for the past five months.
Goldstone was hired in April after trustees fired former superintendent Ramona Bishop without cause in March.
“Dr. Goldstone will be truly missed by current school board members, teachers, staff, and the people of Vallejo for his personal contributions as someone who is positive, supportive, respectful, and having a deep sense of integrity in all that he does with students, staff, and the school board,” the resolution states. “His broad and lengthy educational experience and awareness, quite classiness, and quick wit will be missed by many.”
He previously served as VCUSD superintendent from 1995 until 2000, when he was fired by a majority of the then-board.
Source: Goldstone to be honored; Vallejo school board to receive info on possible bond
By John Glidden
Former district superintendent Ramona Bishop sent a letter last week to the Vallejo school board announcing her plans to open a charter school in the district.
In the short communication, Bishop gives notice that Elite Public Schools will be petitioning the Solano County Office of Education to operate a K-12 charter school within the Vallejo City Unified School District boundaries.
“We have not identified a specific site, but will be submitting a Proposition 39 request to the district for facility,” the letter states.
A state law passed in 2000, Prop. 39 requires school districts provide space in an area where charter schools want to locate. The space must be reasonably equivalent to the district’s school sites.
Reached by phone Monday, Bishop said her group of educators, parents, and community members are eyeing a network of charter schools in Solano County. They are seeking to open Elite Public Schools in the Vallejo, Fairfield-Suisun, and Vacaville school districts, she added.
Source: Former superintendent eyes creation of charter school network
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
With Solano County students back at school this month, many will find it easier to make healthy food choices and stay hydrated with clean, fresh water, thanks to a partnership between the county, cities and school districts, including Vallejo’s, county officials announced.
Over the past two years, the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health Division’s Vibe Solano has collaborated with community partners to provide 95 water stations with bottle fillers at parks and schools throughout the county. Students and visitors to our local parks who bring a water bottle are now able to refill them at these stations to stay hydrated, they said.
Fifteen Vallejo City Unified School District campuses and 35 parks have already had these filling stations installed while another nine are awaiting installation, Solano County Health Services Manager Wendy Loomas said.
Source: Vallejo, Solano schools, parks get water bottle filling stations
By John Glidden
Adam Clark, an associate superintendent in the Antioch school system, has been tapped to lead the Vallejo City Unified School District.
In a 4-1 vote, the Vallejo school board officially named Clark to the chief executive position during its meeting Wednesday night.
Clark replaces interim Superintendent Steve Goldstone, who was hired in April to serve as a bridge to a new CEO after longtime District Superintendent Ramona Bishop was fired for undisclosed reasons in March.
“As the new superintendent, I am thrilled to join the VCUSD community as we work collaboratively to honor the past, celebrate the present, and plan for a successful future for our students, staff, schools, and community,” Clark read from a prepared statement after the vote. “I look forward to working with the governing board and leadership team to establish a team-oriented professional relationship to support the district’s vision and mission.”
Clark currently serves as the Antioch Unified School District’s associate superintendent for educational services — a position he has held for about
Source: Vallejo school board hires new superintendent
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board is expected to announce the hiring of a new permanent district superintendent during its meeting Wednesday night.
Trustees met in closed session at the Antioch Unified School District on Aug. 28 to interview a potential candidate for the position.
The name of the applicant has not been released by the district.
A divided board in March fired longtime superintendent Ramona Bishop.
Trustees Tony Ubalde and Burky Worel opposed the firing, while trustees Bob Lawson, Marianne Kearney-Brown, and Ruscal Cayangyang approved.
Divided along the same lines, the board in May approved the hiring of Leadership Associates to assist the district in selecting a new superintendent.
The firm was the most expensive from a group of four firms interviewed, and will cost the district $32,500.
Source: Vallejo school board set to hire new superintendent
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board voted Wednesday to send a resolution to Sacramento opposing Senate Bill 328 which would require middle and high schools to begin the school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
Introduced last February by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D) — La Cañada Flintridge, in Los Angeles County — the legislation, if approved, stipulates that districts must comply with the law before July 1, 2020.
Board Vice President Burky Worel said the Vallejo City Unified School District, along with other districts, will lose local control over the issue if the bill becomes law.
“The state is trying to mandate yet another thing to every district,” Worel said.
Worel said “each community is different.”
“If we want to come earlier that is our choice,” Worel added.
Source: Vallejo school board opposes bell time legislation
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
By Katy St. Clair
The morning was all “criss-cross applesauce” and smiles as the children at Dan Mini Elementary lined up to receive their new backpacks full of school supplies for the new year on Thursday.
“Yayyy!” exclaimed a second-grader, tightening her pack’s straps proudly.
The kids came in three groups to get their goodies, all provided by the Pitcch In Foundation, a nonprofit started by New York Yankees baseball player CC Sabathia and his family. Sabathia is a Vallejo native who has been giving back to kids here for eight years.
“It’s very exciting to know that every kid gets a backpack,” said Dan Mini Principal Heather Topacio. “They feel so proud. And we know we can count on it every year,” she said.
And every kid did indeed get a backpack, so that no one feels singled out for being in need more than others.
“This is fabulous,” said a second-grade teacher in passing, as she corralled her kids back to class. “We have students that don’t have basic supplies.”
Source: Pitcch In Foundation put the “backpacks” in “back to school” in Vallejo – Benicia
By John Glidden
Jitters and excitement on the first day of school aren’t just reserved for the kids.
“I don’t sleep the night before the first day of school,” Principal Kim Mitchell-Lewis confessed as kids and parents showed up to Annie Pennycook Elementary School Wednesday morning. “I get excited, like the kids.”
In her fifth year as principal, Mitchell-Lewis acted as traffic control, answering questions, and directing parents, students, and staff on where they needed to go.
Source: Vallejo students return to school