Vallejo school district loses guardian of student records after 40 years – Times Herald

By John Glidden

At the end of this month, Mary Grant will begin a well-deserved retirement.

After 40 years at the Vallejo City Unified School District, Grant, the lead student records archive technician, will step away from her role as guardian of student records.

Yet, Grant, 64, of Vallejo, said she didn’t expect to be working with the district.

Coming from Alabama, Grant and her husband, Livingston, migrated to California in 1972 with the couple’s 3-year-old child.“

I was only going to work for five years to give myself an opportunity to get used to the West Coast,” Grant said. “But with the birth of our second daughter, we decided I needed to go to work,” Grant added with a laugh.

via Vallejo school district loses guardian of student records after 40 years.

Vallejo school board rejects charter school petition – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education rejected a charter petition Wednesday night for the establishment of the Rise Charter School within the district.

According to the petition, presented by Deb Reeves-Gutierrez, Ron Calloway and Ricky Gutierrez, the group sought to establish a charter school in Vallejo based on a connection between fitness/athletics and academics.

“The petition was analyzed by a number of different departments in the district,” said the district’s chief academic officer, Cheri Summers. “We looked at the petition from a number of different angles and this analysis we conducted was not based on our opinion. Whether we liked it or not, it was based on the education code.”

via Vallejo school board rejects charter school petition.

Parols teach a lesson of culture, teamwork at Bethel High School – Times Herald

By Dianne de Guzman

The star-shaped lanterns at the theater in Jesse Bethel High School were made of every color imaginable, put together with bits of glue, tissue paper, tinsel, wrapping paper — anything the students of Lucy Marte’s Filipino 1 language classes could get their hands on. It was time yet again for the school’s annual Parol Festival and Competition.

Parols are a Christmas tradition in the Philippines; they are star-shaped lanterns meant to symbolize the star of Bethlehem that led the three wise men to the manger where Jesus was born.

Here in Vallejo, the lanterns were part of that larger tradition of the Philippines, but also served as a teaching point for culture, cooperation among students and a symbol of school community.

via Parols teach a lesson of culture, teamwork at Bethel High School.

Vallejo school district official: We have 12 classroom vacancies – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

So far this school year, the Vallejo City Unified School District has filled more than 100 classroom vacancies, said a district official Wednesday night during the VCUSD Board of Education meeting.

Gigi Patrick, VCUSD’s Director of Human Resources, informed the board that 12 classroom vacancies have yet to be filled: Six at the high school, one middle school, two elementary and three special education levels.

“We interviewed 342 candidates and offered 176 contracts to potential hires with 109 classroom vacancies (being) filled,” Patrick said to the board.

Patrick informed the board that the number of hires for the current school year increased during the last two years from 22 and 70 teachers, respectively.

via Vallejo school district official: We have 12 classroom vacancies – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo school board waives reduced meals fee for K-8 students – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Hoping to ease the burden on K-8 students who receive reduced breakfast and/or lunch, the Vallejo City Unified School Board of Education Wednesday night approved waiving the fee for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

K-8 students placed in the reduced price category were required to pay 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch, while high school students in the same category were not required to pay any amount for breakfast or lunch, according to a staff report.

“I think this makes a lot of sense,” said trustee Adrienne Waterman. “It’s hard to remember to put 30 cents in the pocket.”

via Vallejo school board waives reduced meals fee for K-8 students – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo school board trustee-elect Porter decides to stay with teaching position – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Richard Porter has made his official decision: He’s staying with his teaching job within the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Porter — who filed candidacy papers in August to seek election to the VCUSD Board of Education this November — suspended his campaign in early September so he could teach math and science at the Mare Island Health & Fitness Academy.

Despite halting his campaign, more than 7,000 Vallejo voters decided to elect him, placing him second out of three available seats. Porter recorded nearly 5,000 vote-by-mail votes and just over 2,000 votes at the polls, according to unofficial results posted to the county website.

via Vallejo school board trustee-elect Porter decides to stay with teaching position – Vallejo Times Herald.

Grace Patterson students and parents craft mosaic – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Sophia Othman watched with a smile late Thursday afternoon as several young girls ran up and inspected the new mosaic mural at Grace Patterson Elementary School.

The girls touched and pointed to their favorite sections of the mural. Some even showed off the part of the mosaic they worked on, as they danced and played in front of the mural.

Othman smiled because the girls took pride and ownership in the mural — the main reason for the creation of the colorful glass mosaic.

via Grace Patterson students and parents craft mosaic – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo superintendent vows district will attempt another bond – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Ramona Bishop vowed Wednesday night that one day city voters will approve a new bond measure for the district.

During Wednesday night’s board of education meeting, Bishop praised the efforts of the committee organized to get the measure passed and said that 60 percent is still a good number.

As of Wednesday, the district’s Measure E — a $239 million general obligation bond, which would have helped to renovate various school district sites if approved — had received more than 9,000 votes. That is good for 59 percent, but failed to garner the 66 percent voter approval required, according to unofficial results listed on the Solano County Registrar of Voter’s website.

via Vallejo superintendent vows district will attempt another bond – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo school district set to approve tentative agreement with teachers – Vallejo Times Herald

Times-Herald staff report Posted:

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will be asked Wednesday to approve a tentative agreement between the district and the Vallejo Education Association, which represents all district teachers.

The tentative agreement includes a 1.5 percent salary increase, elimination of current steps in rows 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22 and an increase in the district’s contribution to single employee health care benefits to $500, retroactive to July 1, 2014 for the 2014-15 school year, according to a district staff report.

via Vallejo school district set to approve tentative agreement with teachers – Vallejo Times Herald.

Measure E falls flat – The Reporter

By John Glidden

Vallejo voters closed their checkbooks Tuesday night.

Despite receiving over nine thousand votes, good for 59 percent, the Vallejo City Unified School District’s Measure E failed to garner the 66 percent voter approval required, according to unofficial results listed on the Solano County Registrar of Voter’s website.

Measure E is a $239 million general obligation bond, which would have helped to renovate various school district sites, if approved.

“It’s an excellent start,” said Deborah Dickson, chair of the Committee to Fix Our Schools — Yes on Measure E, after seeing the vote-by-mail numbers, which gave the measure a then 58 percent approval. “We ran a hard race.”

via Measure E falls flat – The Reporter.

Measure E campaign raises $29,500 — much from outside of Vallejo – The Reporter

By John Glidden

The month of October has been quite fruitful for the Committee to Fix Our Schools – Yes on Measure E campaign, which took in more than half of its total donations from various groups located outside of Vallejo, according to financial documents submitted to the Solano County Registrar of Voters for the Oct. 1-18 reporting period.

Of the $29,500 raised by the campaign, documents show $20,600 coming from groups outside Vallejo.

Van Pelt Construction Services and Quattrocchi Kwok Architects, Inc. each contributed $5,000 to the campaign. Both companies helped craft the district’s Phase 1 Implementation Plan for the Facilities Master Plan.

via Measure E campaign raises $29,500 — much from outside of Vallejo – The Reporter.

Vallejo school district receives Golden Bell award – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Do you hear that ringing?

Its golden.

The Vallejo City Unified School District was recently named a recipient of a “Golden Bell” Award for the Full Service Community School Program implemented throughout the various district schools.

The award is given by the California School Boards Association, which represents elected officials who oversee public K-12 school districts.

“Im very excited,” said district Superintendent Ramona Bishop by phone Thursday afternoon.

Bishop said that the program is about creating a partnership between the community, parents and students.

According to the district website, the goal of the full service community schools “is to improve student academic achievement and well-being through the offering of comprehensive high-quality services.”

via Vallejo school district receives Golden Bell award – Vallejo Times Herald.

Pathways Trust and Vallejo school district celebrates grant – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

French novelist and Nobel Prize winner Anatole France once remarked that “nine tenths of education is encouragement.”

That encouragement just received some encouragement of its own.

On Tuesday morning, various representatives from the Vallejo Career Pathways Trust met at the Solano Community College Vallejo Center to discuss how local children and college students will continue to receive that encouragement, after the trust was awarded a $6 million grant as part of the larger California Career Pathways Trust.

The CCPT awards grant amounts to individual districts and colleges to craft partnerships, which helps students learn a certain program, preparing the students to enter a career field after high school or continue on to college to learn more about the field.

via Pathways Trust and Vallejo school district celebrates grant – Vallejo Times Herald.

Teacher association dishes out school supplies, books – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

All it took to enter the Continentals of Omega Boys & Girls Club gym Monday afternoon was a golden ticket.

Well, it wasn’t a ticket, just a golden piece of paper.

By 4:30 p.m. well over 100 Vallejo City Unified School District children had stopped by to pick up free school supplies during the “Helping Hands School Supply Outreach” hosted by the Vallejo Education Association.

“It’s great for the kids,” said A.J. Brock as he and his wife, Araceli, stopped by the event with their three children.

A.J. Brock said that he was impressed with the free book each child was able to pick out.

via Teacher association dishes out school supplies, books – Vallejo Times Herald.

Students learn college is a possible dream – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

“Good morning to our future,” said Linda Brown in a voice that boomed through the Solano Community College Performing Arts Theater on Friday morning.

That voice not only caught the initial attention of 400 students but kept them all engaged as the outreach specialist for the California Student Aid Commission spoke and interacted with seniors from various Solano County high schools during the 2014 Cal Grant presentation put on by Travis Credit Union.

“We are talking about free money from the state of California,” she said, accentuating the word “free.” “Everybody in here can go to college.”

via Students learn college is a possible dream Daily Republic.

Vallejo students, community making Day of the Dead celebration happen – Vallejo Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

The image of a skeleton in a long gown and a hat has been often associated with the spookiness of the Halloween season.

However, La Catrina, as shes known, has become the symbol of Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which is not a scary day.

“People see skulls and long black dresses, and they think its a spooky day,” Solano AIDS Coalition Director Mario Saucedo said. “But its actually a celebration of life. Its to celebrate all the lives of those who have died before us.”

The Solano AIDS Coalition is partnering with many other community organizations to bring the second annual Dia De Los Muertos festival to the city on Nov. 1.

via Vallejo students, community making Day of the Dead celebration happen – Vallejo Times Herald.

Tony Ubalde wants to focus on 75 percent in need of services – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education incumbent A.C. “Tony” Ubalde Jr. is seeking another term on the board so he can work to help the “75 percent (of VCUSD) students who are either in poverty, or face distractions from shelter, nutrition, or parental issues.”

Ubalde was elected to the board in 2011 after he defeated Robert DaPrato, a Solano Community College professor, to complete the term of Cris “Oggee” Villanueva who died in 2011. Ubalde also served a four-year term on the SCC Governing Board from 2004 to 2008.

via Tony Ubalde: Wants to focus on 75 percent in need of services – Vallejo Times Herald.

School bond measures big items on November ballot – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Both the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees and the Vallejo City Unified School District are hoping that Measure E will be popular with local voters come this November.

Each district placed a Measure E bond on their respective local ballots. VCUSD’s Measure E is a $239 million general obligation bond, which will be used to upgrade district school sites. Napa County voters, meanwhile, will have an opportunity to make a decision about Measure E, a $198 million general obligation bond, to help repair and renovate Napa Valley College classroom facilities.

via School bond measures big items on November ballot – Vallejo Times Herald.

Loma Vista Farm holds cleanup day – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Like an army, they descended upon Loma Vista Farm with pitchforks and carts.

Around 20 people showed up Saturday morning to clear a section of field at the farm, removing aging plants, harvesting various vegetables and preparing the farm for the fall planting season.

“We don’t know what crop will go into the field,” said Shelee Loughmiller, as she watched the assembled team clear the section of field. “But we are clearing a patch to plant for the fall.”

Volunteers on the day varied, coming from the Vallejo High School Leo Club to students from California Maritime Academy.

via Loma Vista Farm holds cleanup day – Vallejo Times Herald.

District schools open students and families after earthquake – Vallejo Times Herald

Times-Herald staff report Posted:

The Vallejo City Unified School District announced that existing Full Service Community Service resources and support will be given to students and their families, in response to Sunday’s South Napa earthquake.

“Vallejo’s schools are standing strong, but some of our students, parents, and staff members may be struggling. School staff is ready to assist parents and students who are dealing with the emotional and physical effects of the earthquake,” said VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop in a press release. “Each of our Full Service Community Schools can help students and their families cope with the trauma caused by this natural disaster.”

According to the same release, all VCUSD schools were open on Monday, after the district’s maintenance and operations staff performed safety inspections and found limited structural damage to school site facilities.

via District schools open students and families after earthquake – Vallejo Times Herald.