Vallejo school board begins work on possible 2018 bond measure – Times Herald

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

Goldstone to be honored; Vallejo school board to receive info on possible bond – Times Herald

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

Former superintendent eyes creation of charter school network – Times Herald

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

Vallejo, Solano schools, parks get water bottle filling stations – Times Herald

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

Vallejo school board hires new superintendent – Times Herald

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

Vallejo school board set to hire new superintendent – Times Herald

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

Vallejo school board opposes bell time legislation – Times Herald

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

New bus service to help Vallejo students, Benicia ferry riders announced – Times Herald

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

Pitcch In Foundation put the “backpacks” in “back to school” in Vallejo – Benicia

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

Vallejo students return to school – Times Herald

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

Vallejo trustees narrow search for new superintendent – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A candidate has been identified as the next possible Vallejo school district superintendent, trustees announced this week.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education met in closed session over two days last week interviewing several candidates.

“The board conducted two rounds of interviews and then identified a candidate for further review,” Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown wrote in a news release to the Times-Herald.

The candidate is expected to make a site visit to the district.

Additional vetting of the candidate will occur and the board is “in the process of selecting representatives of key stakeholder groups to participate in the site visit.”

“After this additional work is completed, the board will determine whether to offer a contract or conduct additional interviews,” the release further states.

Source: Vallejo trustees narrow search for new superintendent

Vallejo school trustees asked to approve several RFPs – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Several request for proposals are before the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education for approval this week.

Trustees are being asked to solicit RFPs for new fencing at numerous school sites, including Vallejo Charter School, Cave Language Academy, Wardlaw, Cooper, Highland, Patterson, and Widenmann elementary schools. Hogan middle, along with Jesse Bethel and John Finney high schools are also expected to receive new fencing.

“In alignment with the district’s goal to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students, it is necessary to replace existing fencing and add new fencing to certain areas throughout the district,” staff wrote.

Work would include installing 6-foot wrought iron fences, and/or 5- and 6-foot chain link fencing.

 

Source: Vallejo school trustees asked to approve several RFPs

Vallejo school board declines to support computer resolution – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District will continue to buy new and refurbished computers.

Meeting on Aug. 2, the board of education declined to support a resolution directing district staff to purchase only used computers for classroom and office use during fiscal year 2017-18.

Board Vice President Burky Worel brought forth the resolution, admitting he only did so to put his fellow trustees on record regarding their respective beliefs on the issue.

The handful of teachers who addressed the board offered different reasons on why refurbished computers would not be helpful to students. One teacher said the used computers may not be physically capable of withstanding use in a classroom, nor have the ability to run the needed specific programs.

Former Vallejo trustee Hazel Wilson registered her disapproval with the resolution, stating it would not help the district save money.

Source: Vallejo school board declines to support computer resolution

Vallejo school board to interview superintendent candidates – Times Herald

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education is holding two special closed session meetings starting Thursday to interview possible candidates for the permanent superintendent position.

The closed session meetings are scheduled for 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, at the Marriott Vallejo Napa Valley, 1000 Fairgrounds Drive in Vallejo.The public will have an opportunity to address the board both days before the trustees enter into the closed session.

Source: Vallejo school board to interview superintendent candidates

SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The number of homeless public school students in Solano County has fluctuated in the past four years, from a record 2,200 in 2013 to 1,425 in 2015 to 2,080 in 2016 to 1,545 in 2017, and Vacaville-area districts this past year, reflecting county trends, tracked decidedly decreased numbers, the county Office of Education reported Wednesday.

Districts with fewer numbers from the most recent reporting period, ending June 30, include Vacaville, with 197, down from 237 in 2016; Travis Unified, with 91, a sizable drop from 264; and Fairfield-Suisun Unified, Solano’s largest district with more than 21,500 students, somewhat surprisingly with 687, down from 950.

Source: SCOE report: Fewer homeless students in 2017

Vallejo school supply drive for teachers is in gear this summer – Times Herald

By Katy St. Clair

Ah, summer. A time for teachers and students to sleep in, enjoy the sunshine, and refuel for another semester in the fall. But for former school board member and passionate education advocate Hazel Wilson, summer is a time to dig in and think ahead.

That’s why she’s spearheading “Pack The Bus,” a season-long drive to collect classroom supplies for Vallejo teachers.

“Teachers do it for the love of the job, not the money, so that’s why this program is so important,” she said.

Her office is a converted old classroom on the grounds of Vallejo High School, and already it’s chock full of … well, chalk, but also binders, erasers, colorful charts, and snazzy pencils all waiting to be “shopped” by teachers in the fall. Once the makeshift store is open, any teacher can come in, get a cart or a hand basket, and load up on anything they need for the school year, for free.

Source: Vallejo school supply drive for teachers is in gear this summer

Vallejo public asked to give input on next supt. – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

Vallejo residents wishing to give input on finding a permanent school superintendent have a chance this month.

The Vallejo City Unified School District has released a survey seeking public participation that will be used to assist the Board of Education in identifying the desired qualities and characteristics for a new superintendent, according to a district press release.

“The survey is being conducted by Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, hired by the board to engage staff, community, and students in the search process, recruit qualified candidates who match the position description and conduct thorough reference checks, and assist the Board with candidate interviews,” the same release states.

Source: Vallejo public asked to give input on next supt.

Bethel High earns SJS community service awards – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

For the past six years, the Sac-Joaquin Section has awarded three different schools with the Dick Nelson Community Service Award, which recognizes teams that have made an impact on their community.

The award is given to a certain team during the fall, winter and spring seasons.

The Vacaville Christian High boys basketball team was selected to receive the award for the winter season, while the Bethel High football team was given the award for the fall season. Those schools honored with the selection receive not only a banner from the section, but also $500.

Source: Vacaville Christian and Bethel High earn SJS community service awards

Vallejo High School graduates 2017 class – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A light sprinkling of rain, and a small breeze greeted friends and families Thursday night as they came to Corbus Field to celebrate Vallejo High School’s class of 2017.

The overcast weather didn’t prevent huge smiles from everyone involved as about 300 graduates received the official ticket to adulthood — a high school diploma.

Student speakers thanked family and friends for the years of support while experiencing changes at the high school.

“We survived four principals, but thankfully we ended with the best in Dr. Q,” said salutatorian Austin Garrido.

Garrido, one of the two salutatorians with Melanie Alcantara, was referencing the hiring of Sheila Quintana as the high school’s principal last fall.

 

Source: Vallejo High School graduates 2017 class

 

Vallejo school board to meet with search firm – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will hold its first public interaction with the superintendent search firm it hired last month.

A divided board in May approved the hiring of Leadership Associates to assist the district in selecting a new district CEO after a majority of the trustees voted in March to fire long-time superintendent Ramona Bishop.

During the special Wednesday meeting, trustees will meet with the firm to discuss an overview of the search process, finalize a time line, talk about the desired qualities and characteristics of a superintendent, and identify groups and individuals for community and district staff input.

In recent months, the board has been split 3-2 on numerous issues, including firing Bishop in mid-March. Trustees Tony Ubalde and Burky Worel opposed the firing, while trustees Bob Lawson, Marianne Kearney-Brown, and Ruscal Cayangyang approved.

Source: Vallejo school board to meet with search firm