District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Eight different Vallejo school district properties – including the home of the oldest public school in the city of Vallejo – are up for possible closure.

A special Vallejo City Unified School District committee will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 to discuss the sale or leasing of the properties as the district continues to face financial challenges.

The list includes active school sites like Lincoln Elementary, Franklin Middle, Beverly Hills Elementary, and Farragut Academy, while the district’s main office building on Mare Island is also up for possible closure.

The former home of John Finney High School on Colusa Street and the shuttered Grant Elementary and Crest Center on Gateway Drive are the other district properties being considered.

Source: District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

Jesse Bethel High graduate helping out with broadcasting club – Times-Herald

BY Thomas Gase

Rizal Aliga wants to tell Vallejo about all the good things occurring at Jesse Bethel High School. But instead of shouting the news from the rooftop, he has decided to just broadcast it.

Aliga, a 2016 graduate of Bethel and 2019 graduate of UC Santa Cruz, has helped start a lunchtime and after-school club that runs KJBJ, a group intended to give more coverage on the whole school that deals with radio, streaming, broadcasting and other journalism elements.

Teens in the group learn to use a camera, call play-by-play for numerous sporting events, talk into the microphone and use proper interviewing skills and then putting it all together for Mixcloud and the online site. Group participants also learn about editing skills and music, such as when to play certain music during games. The club covers just about every Bethel athletic activity and is intending to do a documentary for each of them.

Source: Jesse Bethel High graduate helping out with broadcasting club – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board approves new trustee-area map – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Starting in November 2020, Vallejo residents will elect board members on Vallejo City Unified School District by geographic area.

The school board voted 3-2 on Wednesday to adopt a final trustee area map, which creates five different areas with a governing board member elected by the residents living in that particular area.

Both Board President Bob Lawson and Trustee Christy Gardner opposed selection of the map, known as Scenario 2, in favor of a fourth map submitted by Lawson. Both will be up for election in 2020. Lawson was first elected to the school board in 2016 and Gardner was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy created when Marianne Kearney-Brown resigned from the board.

Source: Vallejo school board approves new trustee-area map – Times-Herald

Third graders in Vallejo not lost for words – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Implicate: To show or suggest that someone is involved in something illegal or morally wrong; implicate someone in something: Three top officials have been implicated in the scandal.

Perhaps a bit above a third graders play grade, Derrick Karimian nonetheless asked about 105 students at Wardlaw Elementary School to locate and define the seemingly complex word.

Fortunately, they had some help — besides their teachers: Brand new MacMillan dictionaries, compliments of the Vallejo Rotary Club. And not just at Wardlaw, but at 15 other Vallejo schools during the annual distribution.

Source: Third graders in Vallejo not lost for words – Times-Herald

Vallejo school superintend defends calls on outage, bad air days – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

When Dr. Adam Clark decided it was best to open Vallejo schools Monday despite a power outage, close them later in the day because of poor air quality, and keep schools closed all Tuesday because of the air, he didn’t consult a psychic, do rock-paper-scissors with a third grader or base his decision by arm-wrestling a middle school parent.

Or, as Clark said, “I’m not making this stuff up. I didn’t flip a coin.”

Shutting down a district with about 11,500 students “is one of the toughest decisions I have to make,” Clark said. “I don’t make it in isolation. I talk to my own ‘cabinet’ — folks at the sites. I ask the board if it has concerns. It really is a collaborative effort. There really is a thought process.”

Clark sat for an hour chat at his district office on Mare Island early Wednesday afternoon, explaining the decisions in reacting to air quality from area fires to the apparent new reality of PG&E power outages.

Source: Vallejo school superintend defends calls on outage, bad air days – Times-Herald

City Reactivates Emergency Operations Center – SFGate

The city of Vallejo reactivated its Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday following PG&E’s second Public Safety Power Shutoff in the past week due to high winds that could cause the utility company’s equipment to spark a wildfire.

Significant areas of Vallejo were still without power leading to the second power shutdown. Additional areas may lose power and restoration may take longer, Vallejo officials said.

A city information center for status updates and information on available resources for the public, and commercial services and water billing will be open at City Hall between noon and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. All other city facilities remain closed.

Source: City Reactivates Emergency Operations Center – SFGate

Schools open, then close because of poor air quality – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Solano County Public Health issued a warning Monday with air quality dropping because of smoke from the Kincade Fire.

Residents should remain indoors and limit outdoor activity, especially those deemed “sensitive to smoke.”

After opening all public schools Monday, Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark dismissed all students approximately 11:15 a.m.

“Due to the smoke and poor air quality, we have decided to cancel school for the remainder of (Monday) and (Tuesday). All student absences for Monday will be excused,” Clark said in a release to all schools and parents.

Source: Schools open, then close because of poor air quality – Times-Herald

Always Something To Celebrate – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Kaiser Permanente has awarded $1 million in grants to 42 local nonprofit organizations that provide services and programs to improve the health of under-served communities throughout the Napa Solano area. The grant recipients include local non-profits, public health agencies, school districts, and human service organizations.

Local recipients include, from Vallejo:

Fighting Back Partnership, which will use its funding to increase the health of underserved Vallejo communities by expanding capacity to provide comprehensive case management and social emotional learning activities to 20 low-to-moderate-income families and 500 high school youth within the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Source: October 24 Arts and Entertainment Source: Always Something To Celebrate – Times-Herald

Attendance Awareness poster winners announced – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Solano County Office of Education this week announced the winners of the 2019 Solano Countywide Attendance Awareness Poster Contest, according to a press release.

September was Attendance Awareness Month and SCOE hosted the contest to provide school districts the opportunity to engage students in conversations about the critical role that school attendance has on student achievement. 72 students from school districts across Solano County submitted posters for consideration in the contest.

There were three categories in the contest with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category. These students will be recognized at their respective district school board meetings.

Source: Attendance Awareness poster winners announced

Sprout Touring Film Festival scheduled for Saturday – Times-Herald

By Times Herald

Arc-Solano is hosting the Sprout Touring Film Festival on Saturday which will include many excellent short films featuring people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

There will be two screenings with the first event scheduled for Saturday inside The Rizza Auditorium at the California State University Maritime Academy campus in Vallejo. The event opens at 5 p.m. and the films begin at 6 p.m.

There will be a no-host concession stand, a raffle/silent auction, and a live auction during the intermission. The live auction will feature artwork created by individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The evening will finish with a questions and answers session about the films by Anthony Di Salvo, the director of Sprout Films.

Source: Sprout Touring Film Festival scheduled for Saturday – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps – Times-Herald

The Vallejo school board is holding a public hearing on Wednesday to receive public input regarding three different by-trustee area maps.

Each proposed map depicts how the district could be split into five distinctive distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The Vallejo City Unified School District previously said the change to trustee areas comes as a way to avoid a challenge letter from a third party claiming the district’s at-large election violates the California Voting Rights Act.

Source: Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps [Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.]

State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Elected officials, school board trustees and superintendents from throughout Solano got an understanding Thursday of the current state and future of education at Solano County Office of Education’s annual State of Education Breakfast Forum.

State superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was the guest speaker.

With the theme of “Full STEAM Ahead,” the breakfast was an opportunity to bring educators, business leaders and elected officials together for a discussion on educational opportunities and showcase what certain school districts are doing to prepare students for the workforce in the new decade, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

Source: State schools superintendent discusses education at Solano breakfast – The Reporter

Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo City Unified School District prepares to transition to by-trustee area elections, district officials have released three different maps for community review.

The maps show how the district could be split into five distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format from at-large, with each trustee being elected by the entire city electorate, to by-trustee areas, meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

Charter schools rally, march for Global Climate Action Day – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

While a 16-year-old Swedish girl chastised politicians on Capitol Hill this week, sister charter schools in Vallejo held a Global Climate Action Rally Day of their own.

Activist Greta Thunberg enlightened the suits in Washington, D.C., hoisting a sign in Swedish “Skolstrejk för Klimatet” (“School Strike for Climate”).

“I don’t want to be heard all the time, but if there is anything I can do to improve the situation then I think it’s a very small price to pay,” Thunberg told CNN.

Young people took to the streets in protest worldwide, including thousands in New York City.

Source: Charter schools rally, march for Global Climate Action Day – Times-Herald

Residents learn about preventing forest fires – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Two things were certain for little Isadora Grumio, 7, on Saturday in downtown Vallejo.

First: She is a proud student at Annie Pennycook Elementary School. Second: Fake bear scat is still gross even if it’s not real.

“I didn’t like,” Grumio said. “It smelled like rubber. Gross.” She did show off a water bottle that was adorned with the Pennycook name — so Saturday wasn’t a total loss.

Grumio was one of hundreds who stopped by the U.S. Forest Service booth as part of the annual Visions of the Wild Film and Arts Festival. Called the Nature Discovery Zone, fake scat from various animals, including grey wolves, was also on the table.

Source: Residents learn about preventing forest fires – Times-Herald

Dreams become reality for students at historical black college fair in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program instructor Tiffanee Jones was overcome with emotion Tuesday afternoon at John Finney High School as she hugged student Tayleese Deans. Jones’ motto at work is to make a dream become a reality and that’s exactly what she was witnessing with kids at the U-CAN go to college Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair.

“All of this is too overwhelming,” Jones said after momentarily crying with tears of joy. “I’ve known a lot of these kids for five to six years, some as far back even as when they were in second grade. It’s been kind of like a relay to college.”

Approximately 25 colleges were at the school’s gym to give students advice and application fee waivers and to be admitted on the spot if qualified. Some were even given scholarships and financial aid if they qualified.

Source: Dreams become reality for students at historical black college fair in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board on Wednesday is set to hold its second of two pre-map public hearings in connection with transitioning from at-large to by-trustee area elections.

During the public hearing, residents will have the opportunity to offer their respective opinions on the potential voting areas throughout the city of Vallejo. Currently, all Vallejoans elect the five-person Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education via the at-large format.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format to by-trustee area meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

Thank you, CC and Amber Sabathia – Times Herald

letter to the Editor/Nestor Aliga

On Aug. 19, CC and Amber Sabathia again shared their valuable time, talents, and treasures with our beloved community. This year, it was with very appreciative students at Joseph Wardlaw Elementary School. Similar to previous years, they will distribute about 3,000 backpacks throughout the school district.

On Aug. 7, the Vallejo City Unified School District unanimously adopted the “CC and Amber Sabathia Day on Aug. 19” resolution, which reads:

• Whereas, Carsten Charles Sabathia, Jr. was born in July 1980 in Vallejo, California, and graduated from Vallejo High School in 1998 where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football; and as one of highest-paid Major League Baseball pitchers, CC has been a Cy Young Award winner, a six-time All Star, and a World Series Champion, as well as a generous philanthropist in Vallejo; and

Source: Thank you, CC and Amber Sabathia – Times Herald

PitCCh In, Wells Fargo show interest in Lincoln School in Vallejo – Times Herald

By Richard Freedman

Let’s face it, about 200 kids at Lincoln Elementary School likely didn’t care about the teamwork it took to get them free backpacks Tuesday morning with all of life’s necessities like pencils, crayons, rulers, scissors, glue sticks and notebooks.

All that mattered was scoring a much-needed tool to the new year at Vallejo’s oldest elementary school. And that they did.

“It’s incredible,” observed Principal Sandra Nahal. “We have so much need in our community and the students are so grateful and the parents are so grateful. It means a lot.”

Source: PitCCh In, Wells Fargo show interest in Lincoln School in Vallejo – Times Herald

Students return for first day of school in Vallejo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

For a brief moment, it looked like the hallways of Solano Middle School would never clear as students, teachers, and parents clogged the narrow spaces early Monday morning for the first day of classes.

It was a new era for the school on Corcoran Avenue, as kindergarten through fifth-grade students from Elsa Widenmann Elementary School officially joined the new campus — forming the hybrid elementary/middle school of about 800 students.

“It was a bit chaotic,” said parent Carmela, who declined to give her last name. Carmela dropped off her little one for the first day of the fourth grade.

Source: Students return for first day of school in Vallejo – Times Herald