Solano supervisors to get ‘State of the Schools’ report – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck is scheduled to give his “State of the Schools” report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The report is actually a legislative requirement that is the result of the Williams Case Settlement, a class action suit filed in San Francisco against the state in 2000.

Settled in 2004, the state allocated $138 million more for educational materials to certain qualifying schools, plus additional funding for oversight and facility repairs. The Legislature then required each county office of education to complete reports on the areas of concern in the lawsuit.

Source: Solano supervisors to get ‘State of the Schools’ report

Vallejo school board postpones RFQ on PR consultant – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board agreed to postpone its search for a public relations consultant until it could hold a discussion on the job duties for the position.

Suggested by Vallejo City Unified School District Trustee Ward “Ace” Stewart, the board in a 3-2 vote tabled approving releasing a request for qualifications for the consultant.

VCUSD Board President Tony Ubalde and Vice President Ruscal Canyangyang voted against.

According to a staff report, the district was asking the board to spend $1,000 from the general fund to advertise for a public information consultant.

The consultant would support the VCUSD by “providing feedback on press release, newsletters, reports and brochures and ensure dissemination of positive stories about VCUSD to local, state and national media outlets,” district staff said in the same report.

 

Source: Vallejo school board postpones RFQ on PR consultant

Vallejo school board to seek PR consultant – The Reporter

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District wants to improve its public image so it can attract students and families.

The board of education is slated to review a proposal Wednesday night, which, if approved, would authorize the district to spend $1,000 from the general fund to advertise for a public information consultant.

According to the district, the consultant would support the VCUSD by “providing feedback on press release, newsletters, reports and brochures and ensure dissemination of positive stories about VCUSD to local, state and national media outlets.”

Source: Vallejo school board to seek PR consultant

Solano Community Foundation awards grant to Vallejo after-school program – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Young Vallejo public school children who attend an after-school program will be the beneficiaries of reading clubs thanks to a grant from the Solano Community Foundation.

The Fairfield-based foundation on Thursday announced a first-of-its-kind grant, $6,404, to the Vallejo City Unified School District for its after-school program (ASES), to set up reading clubs for some 750 second-, third- and fourth-graders.

The money was made available through the foundation’s Education Plus! Grant Program and will pay for the purchase of e-book licenses for 11 elementary schools.

The e-books include many nonfiction titles to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning in after-school reading. Students will read the e-books using the iPads the district bought last spring 2016, paid for by City of Vallejo Measure B funds.

 

Source: Solano Community Foundation awards grant to Vallejo after-school program

Fall celebrated at annual Harvest Festival in Vallejo – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

Between picking pumpkins and petting roosters, smiles of delight were easily found on children’s faces over the weekend at Loma Vista Farm.

The 5-acre outdoor classroom full of plants and animals was opened Saturday to the public for their annual Harvest Festival.

Barbara Valesco is on the board the manages the farm’s development and explained the Harvest Festival is just one way that they raise funds throughout the year.

Source: Fall celebrated at annual Harvest Festival in Vallejo

Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned – Times Herald

By John Glidden

After 18 months of trying, Vallejo school board Trustee Burky Worel will get his wish, as the two most important agencies in the city of Vallejo are scheduled to host a joint meeting.

The Vallejo City Council and Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 26, at the Vallejo High Annex, Professional Development Center, 1347 Amador St.

The meeting will feature discussions about school resource officers, traffic issues around schools, mobile food vendors and enforcement issues, and first time homebuyer program for teachers.

Each topic has a 15-minute time limit, according to the agenda.

The Vallejo City Clerk’s Office confirmed there are no prepared staff reports for the four items.

 

Source: Joint meeting between Vallejo City Council and school board planned

Students share knowledge of Constitution in annual contest – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Winning students in the annual Constitution Essay Contest will be honored Saturday.

This year’s topic was, “What does it mean to you to be a citizen of the United States of America? Why is U.S. citizenship tied to the right to vote, and how is that relevant to other issues our country currently faces?”

Judges, retired teachers and members of supporting organizations said they were impressed by the creative ideas, knowledge and insights many students expressed in their essays, according to a press release about the contest.

Source: Students share knowledge of Constitution in annual contest

Several Solano school districts rank among lowest-funded in California – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Four out of six Solano County unified school districts, including Vacaville and Dixon, rank among the lowest-funded in California, a county educator told Vacaville Unified trustees.

During a special governing board meeting and workshop last week, Tommy Welch, an associate superintendent for administrative services and operations at the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield, noting per-pupil funding revenues, said that out of 341 districts, Dixon was 341, Vacaville 326, Fairfield-Suisun 318, Benicia 306.

Travis Unified, which has two elementary schools in Vacaville, did not even make the median number, 170. It ranked 265.

Source: Several Solano school districts rank among lowest-funded in California

Rapper E-40 back in Vallejo with school supplies-filled backpacks for students – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Hip-hop star E-40’s mission was simple on Tuesday.

He came back to give back.

Also known as Earl Stevens, 48, E-40 was at his former Vallejo junior high school — now Franklin Middle School — to hand out backpacks to every student there. And, not just any backpacks, but Jansport backpacks with lifetime warranties, filled with needed school supplies, organizers said.

Principal Michelle Jordan Faucette said that this is not the only way E-40 returns the favor to the city he still considers his own. He is also funding the construction of a music studio on campus, she said.

Source: Rapper E-40 back in Vallejo with school supplies-filled backpacks for students

Students return to Vallejo schools on Wednesday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

By lunch time on Wednesday several kindergarten students at Pennycook Elementary School had already learned to recognize their names and use scissors.

A smooth opening day for the Vallejo City Unified School District.

About 600 general education students arrived at the school, as thousands more around the city began the day with yawns and chances to make new friends.

“I’m very excited to see our Pennycook scholars,” said Pennycook Principal Kimberly Mitchell-Lewis. “The theme for this year is truth, learning, creativity, and talent.”

Source: Students return to Vallejo schools on Wednesday – Times Herald

Vallejo school board unable to place bonds on November ballot – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A level of shock and stillness was felt in the meeting hall Wednesday night after the Vallejo school board failed to place two companion general obligation bond measures on the November ballot.

Vallejo City Unified School District staff had recommended placing two $139 million bonds on the fall ballot to repair school facilities in the district. One measure was reserved for middle and high schools facilities, while the second was intended to assist the district’s elementary schools.

Per state law, 66 percent of the board, or four out of the five trustees needed to vote “yes” to place one or both measures on the fall ballot.

Board President Tony Ubalde, along with Trustees Hazel Wilson, and Ward “Ace” Stewart voted “yes” for both bond measures, while Board Vice President Ruscal Cayangyang, and Trustee Burky Worel voted “no” each time.

 

Source: Vallejo school board unable to place bonds on November ballot

Proposed Vallejo city-school taskforce stalls – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The momentum behind a proposed City-Schools Taskforce formed to discuss community issues impacting schools, and school issues impacting the community appears to have stalled.

The idea behind the taskforce gained traction after several violent incidents occurred at Vallejo’s schools, including the May 2015 shooting death of Jesse Bethel High School student Max Rusk.

However, the 10-person committee still has several vacancies, and the group has yet to meet.

The city council appointed Mayor Osby Davis, and Vice Mayor Rozzana Verder-Aliga to serve, while the school board tapped trustees Raymond Mommsen and Ward “Ace” Stewart to represent the board on the taskforce.

Source: Proposed Vallejo city-school taskforce stalls

Vallejo City Council to decide on joint meeting with school board – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Just over two months after the Vallejo school board officially approved a motion asking the Vallejo City Council for a joint meeting, councilmembers will decide the fate of that invitation.

The Vallejo City Council is expected to make a decision during its meeting Tuesday night.

For over a year, Vallejo City Unified School District Trustee Burky Worel repeatedly asked his colleagues to call for a joint meeting with the council to discuss various issues, including school safety.

Worel, and VCUSD Vice President Ruscal Cayangyang have attended city council meetings, asking councilmembers to initiate the joint meeting, as well.

Source: Vallejo City Council to decide on joint meeting with school board

Bethel grad gets Will Smith’s attention – Times Herald

By Richard Freedman

Demetrius Johnson may not have been at wit’s end, but he was close.

A year out of Bethel High School, Johnson was stuffed into a dorm room at San Diego State University paying about $1,200 a month.

The former basketball and football player was not happy.

“The three of us in a small room paying all this money,” he remembers.

When financial aid evaporated, the Television, Film, and New Media major was desperate. Always a Will Smith fan, Johnson posted a heartfelt letter to Smith’s Facebook page, realizing the slim odds of the actor actually reading it.

source: Bethel grad gets Will Smith’s attention – Times Herald

Vallejo school board to decide on possible November bonds – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Two years after a $239 million school bond intended to address district facilities failed to receive enough support from the community, the Vallejo school board will decide Wednesday night if it will try again.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education is expected to approve placing two companion general obligation bond measures on the November ballot.

Despite receiving 61 percent approval from Vallejo voters, Measure E failed to attain the 66 percent approval required by law during the November 2014 election.

VCUSD staff is recommending placing two smaller $139 million bonds on the fall ballot. One is reserved for middle and high schools, while the second will help the district’s elementary schools.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to decide on possible November bonds

Jesse Bethel High School graduates about 350 students – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Adult life now looms large for about 350 seniors in the Jesse Bethel High School class of 2016.

Friends, family members, and “play cousins” were on hand Thursday afternoon at Corbus Field to welcome the graduates into adulthood.

Class salutatorian Maya Miller thanked her parents for helping her reach her goals.

“Through every step of the way, they were there, watching from a distance, waiting to catch me when I stumbled along the way,” Miller said. “Without them, I would not be here today.”

She also addressed all the parents in the packed stands:

“You sit there proud of us, (but) I stand here proud of you,” Miller said.

 

Source: Jesse Bethel High School graduates about 350 students

“Blessed” graduation at Vallejo High School – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Apologies to the cities and residents of American Canyon and Benicia are probably in order after all the noise Wednesday night.

After all, there was a party going on at Corbus Field.

The stands were packed with friends, family members, and loved ones on hand to celebrate Vallejo High School’s commencement.

Both the 240-plus graduates and those in the stands took time to dance, yell, and smile during the ceremony.

Three student speakers set the mood for night, as each offered advice for the future, while also acknowledging the support from family.

Longtime Glen Cove principal retires – Times Herald

By John Glidden

For only the second time since 1988, there will be a leadership change at Glen Cove Elementary School.

Longtime Glen Cove principal Gregory Allison is retiring from the Vallejo City Unified School District after 34 years.

Twenty-seven of those years came at Glen Cove — where Allison first served as vice principal, then as principal for over two decades.

“It’s a challenging job,” Allison said last week. “But I get a great deal of personal satisfaction.”

Allison, 60, added that he is going to miss working with the children.

“I’m going to miss working with children to get them to work on the concept of kindness,” Allison said. “My hope is they have it and learn to never lose kindness.”

Source: Longtime Glen Cove principal retires

Vallejo school board to host bond workshop – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board will engage in a bond workshop Tuesday night to gather information about the legal and fiscal impacts of placing single or multiple school bonds on the November ballot.

A polling firm recently hired by the Vallejo City Unified School District concluded that a single large bond amount of about $285 million for this November “is not viable.”

Instead, according to the most recent results, the firm suggests the Vallejo public would support two companion measures — worth about $139 million each — in November.

One measure would be spent on elementary schools, with the other on middle and high schools, according to the polling results.

Source: Vallejo school board to host bond workshop

Vallejo school board spends over $250,000 for annex improvements – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school authorized the spending of about $258,000 in construction expenses to ready the Vallejo High School Annex for partial use by a charter school in August.

Minus trustee Burky Worel, school board members approved three different expenses during a June 1 meeting.

Caliber Charter School will utilize 21 classrooms at the former Vallejo Middle School site for the 2016-17 school year.

The largest expense approved during the meeting was $176,299 for a paving project which includes installation of a 26,000 square feet asphalt playground.

$82,200 was approved for the installation of fire alarms, power, and data in the portable classrooms, according to district staff.

Source: Vallejo school board spends over $250,000 for annex improvements