End-of-year events honor Solano successes – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

There are so many sad and terrible things happening at home and around the world that it brings tears to one’s eyes from time to time, but it’s also the time of the year that I get the opportunity to attend wonderful events that honor the successes of our schools, parents and business community partners.

Throughout history there have been few events of significance that have occurred purely by accident, someone once said. And, this time of the year, educators, parents, students, volunteers and business partners come together at many sites around Solano County to honor and celebrate educator and student accomplishments.

I try to attend as many events as I can and even for the ones that I do attend, this space would not come anywhere near covering all of them. This is, indeed, a great thing that there are so many accomplishments to celebrate.

Source: End-of-year events honor Solano successes

Six young Vallejo women win $5K scholarships from Soroptimists – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Geraldine Lonsdale learned Monday that on top of her other accomplishments, she was selected valedictorian of her class, news she shared with Soroptimist International of Vallejo members and others gathered at that group’s annual scholarship awards luncheon.

With the last of Public Works Week visible out Zio Fraedo’s picture windows along the Vallejo waterfront, Lonsdale and five other female Vallejo students were each awarded $5,000 scholarships at Monday’s event — something the group’s been doing annually since 1939, members said.

“These lucky young ladies applied, interviewed and were chosen to receive our scholarships because of their academic rigor, dedication to community service and demonstrated financial need,” group member and Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan said. Lonsdale, a Jesse Bethel High School senior, plans to study psychology at UC Berkeley. Besides being in the National Honor Society and president of Biomed Academy Leadership, she volunteers with the local Humane Society and with Faith Food Fridays, and works as a server at Brookdale Senior Living.

Source: Six young Vallejo women win $5K scholarships from Soroptimists

Students monitor health of Solano waterways – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano Resource Conservation District announced Thursday that a group of students from Benicia High School completed the last in a series of projects to monitor the health of creeks throughout Solano County.

Nearly 300 high school students participated in the program throughout the year, including students from Fairfield, Vacaville, Dixon, Rio Vista, Vallejo, Jesse Bethel and Benicia high schools, as well as the Mare Island Technology Academy.

The creeks studied included Laurel and Union Avenue Creeks in Fairfield; Alamo and Ulatis Creeks in Vacaville; and Blue Rock Springs, Chabot, Rindler and Sulphur Springs Creeks in Vallejo. The general purpose is to monitor the water quality in different areas throughout the county to help local officials make informed policy decisions, the district stated.

Source: Students monitor health of Solano waterways

Annual car show held at Jesse Bethel High School – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

Gearheads and car enthusiasts of all ages trekked to Jesse Bethel High School Saturday for the second Cars on the Quad event.

Hosted by the school and organized by athletic booster clubs, the car show gave local car clubs a chance to strut their stuff while financially supporting the students.

While the show was mostly for fun, a number of trophies were also up for grabs this year, including Best in Show, Athlete’s Choice and Principal’s Award.

Source: Annual car show held at Jesse Bethel High School

Bethel art students working on downtown Vallejo art project fund-raiser – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

How do you learn history, teamwork, community involvement and several disciplines of art, all at the same time?

Randall Goni’s Jesse Bethel High School ceramics class did it by getting involved with the Capitol Street Stairs Mosaic Project, that’s been working its way through the system for slightly more than a year.

Local artist Sarah Nichols conceived of the project and, with Berkeley artist Jos Sances, dreamed up the idea of involving the art students, she said.

Source: Bethel art students working on downtown Vallejo art project fund-raiser

Vallejo school board approves new charter – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A petition to open a new charter school in the city won approval by the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education during a May 3 meeting.

The petition — submitted by Mare Island Technology Academy officials — earned unanimous support from the VCUSD board. The Griffin Academy Middle School will be the third MIT charter in the city of Vallejo, joining a middle and high school.

Much of the board discussion centered around whether the charter should receive an initial three-year or five-year term.

Cheri Summers, the district’s chief academic officer, said staff recommended three years after noting the petition lacked depth and detail in certain areas but was still “technically compliant” with state law.

Lynne Vaughan, who serves on the MIT Academy Board of Directors, asked the board to consider giving the new charter a five-year term. She addressed the concerns of staff which focused mainly around the school’s learning program.

 

Source: Vallejo school board approves new charter

Vallejo school board to decide numerous items – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A charter school petition, Internet services, and creation of an advisory committee to assist with selection of a superintendent search firm are all before the Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board Wednesday night.

District staff is recommending trustees approve an application for a third Mare Island Technology charter school. If approved, the MIT Griffin Academy Middle School will have an initial charter from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.

MIT currently operates two charters: A middle school and high school.

• Also before the board is a proposed 10-year agreement with Zayo Networks to provide Internet services for the district. The VCUSD currently pays $31,200 per year to AT&T for Internet and phone services, a student information system, site surveillance, paging systems, clocks, fiscal accounting and online curriculum.

 

Source: Vallejo school board to decide numerous items

Waelbrock, Porter, Solano County’s educators of the year – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Golden Hills Education Center Teacher Judith Waelbrock was announced Tuesday as Solano County’s 2017-18 teacher of the year.

Angela Porter, Benicia Middle School campus monitor, was chosen as the county’s classified school employee of the year.

“You promote collaboration and teamwork, and you step up to the challenges,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said to Waelbrock, Porter and the 11 other candidates who had earlier been named by their school districts.

Source: Waelbrock, Porter, Solano County’s educators of the year

Young chefs battle for top honors in culinary competition held in Vallejo – The Reporter

By Matthew Adkins

Students from a handful of Vallejo and Fairfield elementary schools put their culinary skills to the test Saturday for the 5th rendition of Jr. Chef Challenge held at Norman King Community Center in Vallejo.

Participating this year were 24 budding chefs from Beverly Hills Elementary, Elsa Widenmann Elementary, Laurel Creek Elementary, Matt Garcia College and Career Academy and Suisun Valley elementary schools. The students are all part of the Kids Cook with Heart program sponsored by the American Heart Association and Kaiser Permanente.

During the competition, teams of four and five young chefs faced off against one another in five timed rounds, each focusing on a different aspect of food artistry.

Source: Young chefs battle for top honors in culinary competition held in Vallejo

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