Solano County Educator of the Year nominees announced – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

BHS math teacher, BMS campus supervisor in running

The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) announced its nominees for the county’s Educators of the Year Award. Two Benicia Unified School District employees are in the running.This year, 13 employees from each of the county’s school district are eligible, including teachers and support staff. Representing BUSD are Lee Anne Aidt, a math teacher at Benicia High School; and Angela Porter, a campus supervisor at Benicia Middle School.Also nominated are:

*Martha Salazar, a reading and English Language Development teacher at Anderson Elementary School in Dixon.

*Debbie Thiessen, the food service coordinator at Dixon High School.

*Cindy Lederer, a physical education teacher at multiple sites in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.

Source: Solano County Educator of the Year nominees announced

Nominees chosen for Solano County Educator of the Year award – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

The Solano County Office of Education announced Thursday the school district’s nominations for Solano County Educator of the Year award.

Thirteen people were selected this year from a wide range of disciplines, including those with experience in teaching, paraeducation, child nutrition, support services, security and school staff.

Making the cut from Benicia Unified School District are Mathematics Teacher Lee Anne Aidt at Benicia High School and Campus Supervisor Angela Porter of Benicia Middle School.

Selected from Vallejo City Unified School District are Glen Cove Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Joan Samson and Bilingual Tutor/Instructional Assistant Cristina Gutierrez at Franklin Middle School.

As with previous years, the Office of Education will select only one teacher and one school support employee to represent Solano County in a statewide Educators of the Year Competition.

 

Source: Nominees chosen for Solano County Educator of the Year award

Vallejo school district seeks help with superintendent search – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The search for a new superintendent to lead the Vallejo City Unified School District will go before the board Wednesday. Trustees will mull over a recommendation to spend at least $10,000 to advertise a request for proposals (RFP) in an effort to find a firm which will assist the district in selecting a permanent superintendent.

The district anticipates hiring a firm by June 1, with a goal of having a permanent superintendent by Sept. 1, 2017, according to the RFP.

In a 3-2 vote last month, the board, without cause, terminated the contract of District Superintendent Ramona Bishop. Bishop had served in the position for nearly six years.

Trustees recently named Stephen Goldstone as interim district superintendent. Goldstone is no stranger to the district having served as superintendent from 1995 to 2000 before he was fired by the then-school board.

Source: Vallejo school district seeks help with superintendent search

Vallejo School board names former superintendent as interim – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A familiar face is returning to lead the Vallejo City Unified School District.

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the school board named Stephen Goldstone as interim district superintendent.

Goldstone is no stranger to the district having served as superintendent from 1995 to 2000 before he was fired by the then-school board.

Speaking to the board after being named interim, Goldstone said he sees himself as bridge between permanent superintendents.

“I see my role as building a bridge from where you are now, from the good things that are in this district, from where Dr. Bishop left this district, building a bridge to your new superintendent,” he said.

Source: Vallejo School board names former superintendent as interim

Jesse Bethel students observe real DUI trial held in auditorium – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

The auditorium of Jesse Bethel High School was temporarily transformed into a courtroom Tuesday morning as part of an educational presentation for the students.

Beginning at 8 a.m., Solano Superior Court Judge Daniel Healy and company held an actual DUI trial in front of the student audience, including real attorneys, a defendant and an outcome.

The school’s AP Government and Politics teacher Scott Heinecke was responsible for nearly half of the 225 students in attendance. Heinecke explained the trial is part of his curriculum, and is important because it has a stronger take-home effect than a mock trial would.

“It’s a real defendant, a real bailiff, a real everything,” Heinecke said. “I have seniors in there who are becoming adults and may soon face the decision to drink and drive. It’s good for them to see the consequences before actually being in that situation.”

 

Source: Jesse Bethel students observe real DUI trial held in auditorium

Solano children get taste of farm life at annual Ag Day – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

From cows to chickens, walking sticks to dogs wagging tails and branding to (churning) butter, the 15th annual Youth Ag Day offered something Tuesday for every Solano County third-grader.

The event is a collaborative effort of the Solano County Fair and agricultural-related businesses, organizations, farmers, ranchers and other individuals. The goal is to let the children, in a fun setting, learn about the county’s agricultural wealth.

Schoolchildren such as those taught by Jeremy Schweiger at Federal Terrace Elementary School in Vallejo.

“They are seeing things they don’t normally see,” Schweiger said.

Source: Solano children get taste of farm life at annual Ag Day

Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Facing a projected budget deficit for at least the next two fiscal years, the Vallejo City Unified School District Board is convening a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to receive information about the district’s financial health.

VCUSD staff is projected the district’s expenditures will exceed its revenues by about $4.7 million for fiscal year 2017-18.

The deficit spending is projected to continue for fiscal year 2018-19, with VCUSD receiving about $147 million in revenues while its expenditures top $150 million.

The board will also receive information about a district plan to slash $3.6 million from the upcoming budget to lessen the deficit impact in fiscal year 2017-18.

Prior to the budget discussions, the board is expected to begin the meeting in closed session to address potential administrative reassignments.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to meet during special meeting Tuesday

Vallejo school board divided over need for meeting – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Despite electing two new trustees last November, the Vallejo City Unified School District board appears to be still deeply divided.

The division reached a new point during a special Tuesday meeting when trustees Burky Worel and Tony Ubalde briefly participated in a closed session before returning to the main meeting hall.

Board President Ruscal Cayangyang, along with trustees Marianne Kearney-Brown and Bob Lawson continued to meet in closed session with the district’s legal representation.

“I left early because I believe what they were talking about up there should be talked about in open session, not closed session,” Worel said once the regular meeting reconvened.

Source: Vallejo school board divided over need for meeting

Vallejo students top county spelling bee – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Call it the luck of the draw, but David Whitwell correctly spelled “interrupt,” smiling at his success, and Amid Brock Jr. stumbled on “neuropathy,” arguably, a tougher word, then word pronouncer Ken Scarberry declared David the winner of the 2017 Solano County Elementary School Spelling Bee.

As first- and second-place finishers of the 41st annual event, held Tuesday night at the Nelson Community Center in Suisun City, the boys, both students in Vallejo City Unified schools, will next test their spelling mettle at the state championship, May 13, at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton.

Source: Vallejo students top county spelling bee

Registration open for Vallejo City Unified Schools – Times Herald

We are writing to inform you that registration is now open, and we look forward to accepting new students for the 2017/18 school year for the Vallejo City Unified School District. We are proud of our elementary and middle schools, our K-8 magnet schools, and our Wall to Wall Academy high schools. All of our elementary and middle schools have a strong curricular focus on reading and writing, as well as science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). At VCUSD high schools, every student participates in a small learning community, known as an academy, a college and career preparatory program.

Source: Ramona Bishop: Registration open for Vallejo City Unified Schools

Kindness contest, proposed budget reductions on Fairfield-Suisun district agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A Kindness Video Contest presentation, recommended budget reductions for the 2017-18 year, and the sunshining of a classified contract proposal are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet Thursday in Fairfield.

As they have recently at other area trustee meetings, staff from the offices of Supervisor John Vasquez and District Attorney Krishna Abrams will present information about a contest the two have devised: The Power of Kindness.

The seven-member governing board is expected to approve a resolution in support of the video contest.

In a presentation earlier this month to Vacaville Unified trustees, Vasquez and Tonya Covington, representing Abrams, told trustees that their families had been affected by bullying.

The contest asks students, through video, to illustrate positive behavior and show others the power that kindness can have on their school and community.

Source: Kindness contest, proposed budget reductions on Fairfield-Suisun district agenda

MIT adopts safe haven resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Joining the Vallejo school district, the Mare Island Technology Academy Board of Directors approved a resolution this week declaring its charter schools as “Safe Haven” zones.

In response to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies many school districts across the state have approved such resolutions to ease the fears of parents and students.

The resolution stipulates that both MIT’s middle and high schools will not release the immigration status of students to federal agencies or other authorities without parental permission or a warrant, court order, or subpena, the resolution states.

Staff at both schools are required to notify the superintendent’s office should any representatives from the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) come to a school site unannounced to interrogate or take custody of a student, the resolution further states.

 

Source: MIT adopts safe haven resolution

Solano high school students give their all in Academic Decathlon – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Super Bowl Sunday has finally arrived.

But throughout the day Saturday at Solano Community College, high school students from across the region gathered to take part in a Super Bowl of a different sort as 14 teams and 255 total participants took part in the North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon Super Quiz.

As mistress of ceremonies and Solano County superintendent of schools, Lisette Estrella-Henderson told the gathered competitors, “This is the real Super Bowl.”

Source: Solano high school students give their all in Academic Decathlon

Vallejo school board approved safe haven resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Applause erupted during Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board meeting after trustees unanimously approved a resolution designating the district’s schools as “safe haven zones.”

Formed in direct response to the recent presidential election, the resolution directs VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop, and/or her designee, to not cooperate with Federal Immigration authorities, except required by law.

The resolution also gives Bishop authority to “protect the data and identities of any student, family members, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information,” by the Trump administration.

Immigration officials must receive written approval from Bishop before entering district grounds, unless agents present a warrant signed by either a federal or state judge, according to the resolution.

 

Source: Vallejo school board approved safe haven resolution

Vallejo parent symposium scheduled on Feb. 16 – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

Parents of children in the Vallejo City Unified School District are invited to participate in a special symposium on Feb. 16.

Hosted by the Vallejo Parent Leadership Committee, the Healthy Opportunity for Parent Education (HOPE) event will celebrate school spirit, and the parent, teacher, classified and administrator of the year, according to a news release from the committee.

Breakout sessions for parents will include several topis: school attendance matters, early childhood learning, navigating resources available and using online tools, assisting your child with homework, and peer counseling for parents.

Source: Vallejo parent symposium scheduled on Feb. 16

Vallejo trustees to mull over ‘safe haven’ resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Trustees with the Vallejo City Unified School District will consider designating the district’s schools as “safe haven zones” during a Wednesday meeting in direct response to the recent presidential election.

The draft resolution directs VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop, and/or her designee, to not cooperate with Federal Immigration authorities, except as required by law, and to notify parents of any immigration inquiry about their children which is submitted to the district.

The resolution also gives Bishop authority to “protect the data and identities of any student, family members, or school employee who may be adversely affected by any future policies or executive action that results in the collection of any personally identifiable information,” by the Trump administration.

The proposed resolution requires that immigration officials may not enter without prior written approval from the district superintendent, unless agents present a warrant signed by either a federal or state judge.

Source: Vallejo trustees to mull over “safe haven” resolution – Times Herald

 

Vallejo man still in the education trenches at age 88 – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Adolph “Al” Berenguer of Vallejo said he plans to die with his boots on, though, since he doesn’t wear boots, loafers would probably be more accurate. That also might be entirely believable, considering the 88-year-old teacher is still in the classroom at least a couple days a week.

Besides teaching English as a second language, Spanish and Latin at the Vallejo Adult School and the Florence Douglass Senior Center, Berenguer is presently working on his third book. And this is only since retiring after more than 50 years teaching in the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Source: Vallejo man still in the education trenches at age 88

VCUSD begins new campaign that focuses on unity – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo school district officials announced the start of a new initiative Thursday, aimed at providing an opportunity for “positive student and staff expression.”

The campaign, named Strength in Unity, emphasizes that the Vallejo City Unified School District and Vallejo community need to work together for the betterment of everyone, officials said.

“The Strength in Unity Campaign provides an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our students, staff and community and highlight our best practices,” said VCUSD spokesperson Alana Shackelford, in a follow-up email to the Times-Herald.

Each school site, for the following school year, and possibly during the 2017-18 school year, will engage in several activities, Shackelford added.

These activities include open mike sessions during lunchtime, allowing students to sing, read poetry, or share their respective views, while also holding restorative community circles, giving students and staff the ability to share “positive thoughts and wishes for the future of our city and our nation,” according to a district news release.

 

Source: VCUSD begins new campaign that focuses on unity

VCUSD begins new campaign that focusses on unity – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo school district officials announced the start of a new initiative Thursday, aimed at providing an opportunity for “positive student and staff expression.”

The campaign, named Strength in Unity, emphasizes that the Vallejo City Unified School District and Vallejo community need to work together for the betterment of everyone, officials said.

“The Strength in Unity Campaign provides an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our students, staff and community and highlight our best practices,” said VCUSD spokesperson Alana Shackelford, in a follow-up email to the Times-Herald.

Each school site, for the following school year, and possibly during the 2017-18 school year, will engage in several activities, Shackelford added.

 

Source: VCUSD begins new campaign that focusses on unity

VCUSD eyes replacing paging system – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District is seeking to replace its internal paging system, a move which is estimated to cost about $200,000 to $250,000.

The VCUSD Board of Education will review the request during its meeting Wednesday night.

“For general announcements and emergency pages, it is recommended that wall-mounted speakers designed specifically for paging purposes be installed and tied into a paging system that is housed locally at the site, but can be monitored and administered centrally, according to a district staff report. “In addition, several schools are utilizing paging systems that are more than 30 years old and cannot be administered centrally.”

District staff is recommending that a control system, along with wiring, and speakers be installed at each school site to allow for paging services and emergency broadcasts.

 

Source: VCUSD eyes replacing paging system