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.

Teacher excited about teaching first day of class – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Kristianne Daos walked around her classroom Tuesday morning, placing a schedule and other educational materials on the wall of room 9 at Steffan Manor Elementary School. Much of her preparation work had been completed already, as tiny desks had been placed in clusters of four. At each desk was a name tag on a string lanyard and a paper announcing a classroom scavenger hunt.

Everything needed to be in place as Wednesday would be a first day for everybody in room 9.

The first day of kindergarten is usually marked with tears, uncertainty and nervousness, as many students find themselves in a new and strange place: School.

via Teacher excited about teaching first day of class – Vallejo Times Herald.

Three VCUSD candidates earn endorsement of Democratic committee – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

After being recommended by the United Democrats of Southern Solano County, Shelee Loughmiller, Burky Worel and John Lewis have received the full endorsement of the Solano Democratic Central Committee.

Each is a candidate for the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education during the November elections.

“They (the Solano Democratic Central Committee) are awesome,” Lewis said with a laugh.

Lewis said that he has always been pro-union, even during his days when he worked for the U.S. Department of Labor.

“I’m glad to get the endorsement,” Worel said.

via Three VCUSD candidates earn endorsement of Democratic committee – Vallejo Times Herald.

New Vallejo High School principal excited about her job – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

A smile grew on Roxanne Brown-Garcia’s face Tuesday afternoon as she spoke about Vallejo High School’s wall-to-wall career academies and her overall expectations for the school.

Brown-Garcia is in her eighth week as principal of Vallejo High.

“What we (Vallejo High School) are trying to do is build up children for college and career-ready opportunities,” she said.

Brown-Garcia said that she has built pedagogical stance on two principles, which she intends to implement during her time as the principal of Vallejo High School.

“Children are extremely resilient,” she said. “So for me, if I lead through the framework of resiliency theory, I have a better chance of helping my staff understand how strong and courageous my children and families are.”

via New Vallejo High School principal excited about her job – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo High football team stuffs backpacks for students – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

Pencils and paper and backpacks! Oh my!

Like a well-oiled machine, members of the Vallejo High School football team worked Monday to fill more than 3,000 black and white backpacks with an activity workbook and a packet of supplies, filling the hallway of Vallejo High School’s Bottari Gym with a few dozen boxes.

“The backpacks will go to every first- and second-grader in the Vallejo City Unified School District,” said Hazel Wilson, a member of the VCUSD Board of Education. “Also, every student at Highland Elementary School will get a backpack.”

Wilson said that this is the eighth year the VCUSD has worked with the CC Sabathia PitCCh In Foundation.

Sabathia is a pitcher with the New York Yankees baseball team and is a graduate of Vallejo High School.

via Vallejo High football team stuffs backpacks for students – Vallejo Times Herald.

Franklin Middle School students to receive backpacks and supplies – Vallejo Times Herald

By John Glidden

What’s better than getting a free backpack for the first day of school? A backpack filled with school supplies.

Such is the reward for more than 700 Franklin Middle School students when school begins next Wednesday.

The backpacks will be stuffed with various schools supplies — the kind of supplies students will need throughout the school year.

The backpack project is being sponsored by Bridgeway Church.

“It’s one of those projects where it doesn’t matter who you are,” said Scott Nalley, pastor at Bridgeway Church. “Each student will get a backpack.”

via Franklin Middle School students to receive backpacks and supplies – Vallejo Times Herald.

Bethel grad hopes to inspire college dreams in Vallejo – Vallejo Times Herald

By Tony Burchyns

Considering his grueling math and physics double-major, leadership activities and summer abroad doing astrophysics research in Italy, it’s hard to imagine Lewis Johnson was almost on the wrong path in high school.

But the 20-year-old University of the Pacific junior, who graduated from Vallejo’s Jesse Bethel High School in 2012, said he had to “beat the odds” to overcome stereotypes and other challenges that go with being an African-American male from a single-parent family.

“I was getting into fights … I got suspended … but even though I had difficulties, I still took honors classes,” Johnson said.

via Bethel grad hopes to inspire college dreams in Vallejo – Vallejo Times Herald.

Fields for local, state, federal races set – Vallejo Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

The fields are set for the upcoming local, state and federal elections as the window to declare candidacy closed Friday, except for the Vallejo City Unified School District.

The district’s deadline is extended until Wednesday, since incumbent Trustee Adrienne Waterman chose not to seek re-election.

The local races as of Friday are as follows:

Vallejo City Unified School District:

• Trustees Tony Ubalde and Hazel Wilson will face challengers Ruscal Cayangyang, Burky Worel, Shelee Loughmiller, John Lewis, Richard Porter and Brisbain Pucan. Three positions are open.

• Measure E — $239 million facilities general obligation bond for renovation of district buildings.

via Fields for local, state, federal races set – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo schools need better marketing, trustees say – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes

Vallejo school board members agreed Wednesday that the Vallejo City Unified School District must do a better job informing the public.

“It’s time for us as a district to market ourselves,” trustee Hazel Wilson said during a board workshop on revamping the district’s goals.

Wilson’s comments, echoing those of other board members, came during a point in the discussion when audience members pointed out that the district’s goals — divided into broad categories of equity, excellence, educational effectiveness and economic sustainability — did not list specific programs or means of achieving them.

via Vallejo schools need better marketing, trustees say – Vallejo Times Herald.

Solano COE goes live on Escape Online 5! | Escape Technology

By Ramona Marshall

Solano COE goes live on Escape Online 5!

And another customer goes live on Escape Online 5 this month! Solano County Office of Education and 6 of their districts are the latest addition to the Escape family of customers. Live AP and payroll runs have now both been successfully completed. Below is the team from the County Office of Education proudly displaying the first checks they produced from the system.

When asked about her thoughts on Escape and the implementation, Cindy Williamson, Director of Fiscal Operations – Vacaville Unified School District had the following to say.

My thoughts are all positive. Believe me my staff is happy and excited to have Escape! I have been training departments and starting on site staff. After a one-on-one hour everyone has left just as excited. The positive thing is all have found the program easy to learn and so easy I have had few further questions. Big kudos to Escape. You have been a great asset to making this conversion successful. Thank you so much.

via Solano COE goes live on Escape Online 5! | Escape Technology.

Vallejo school board places $239 million bond measure on November ballot – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes

Voters will decide in November whether the Vallejo City Unified School District should get $239 million to maintain its aging facilities.

The school board unanimously approved Wednesday placing a bond measure during the general elections this fall, the culmination of about a year and a half of work by the board and district staff.

“It has been 17 years since this same opportunity came along for the community to take,” Assistant Superintendent Mel Jordan said to the board, referencing the district’s last facilities bond measure, the $133 million Measure A in 1997.

 

via Vallejo school board places $239 million bond measure on November ballot – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo Regional Education Center graduates dozens – Vallejo Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

The last adult graduate walked across the stage at the 2833 Tennessee St. courtyard Friday afternoon during the Vallejo Regional Education Center graduation ceremony.

About 80 graduated this year from the center, formerly known as Vallejo Adult School, and 33 of them chose to attend the ceremony, donning their blue caps and gowns.

The center has switched locations with Vallejo Charter School on Del Sur Street, just a few years after moving to the Tennessee campus, which formerly housed Springstowne Middle School.

During the commencement, three student speakers shared their life stories with the audience.

via Vallejo Regional Education Center graduates dozens – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo school board nixes Chieftain mascot – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian

The Vallejo school board voted Wednesday to once again remove a Native-American symbol as one of its school mascots.

Solano Middle School, formerly the Chieftains, will now be the Titans.

“The screenplay writer for ‘Remember the Titans,’ Gregory Howard, was an ex-Solano Middle School student. How cool is that? The circle is complete,” Principal Bob Russell said as he gave his presentation to the board.

The unanimous decision (4-0, as trustee Raymond Victor Mommsen did not enter the meeting until later in the night) echoed the board’s decision late last year to retire the Vallejo High School Apache, citing the offense it causes to indigenous peoples.

via Vallejo school board nixes Chieftain mascot – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo’s high schools have high dropout, discipline rates – The Reporter

By Lanz Christian Bañes

The Solano County grand jury again singled out two Vallejo high schools as needing improvement in a report released Thursday, more than a year after another report highly criticized safety issues at Vallejo High School.

“The number of offenses reported regarding disruption and defiance at (Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high schools) is alarming and must be addressed!” stated the grand jury in a report titled, “Security Impact on Gradation Rates in Solano County High Schools.”

The report reviewed all 10 comprehensive high schools in Solano County. However, the report reserved much of its criticism for the two Vallejo sites, pointing out that they have higher dropout, truancy and suspension rates than the other eight.

via Report: Vallejo’s high schools have high dropout, discipline rates – The Reporter.

Vallejo school board weighs changing Solano mascot, building MIT Academy facilities – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes

The Vallejo school board will consider Wednesday changing Solano Middle School’s mascot, the Chieftains.

The move comes just a week after Vallejo High School’s graduation ceremony, during which the Apache mascot was officially retired and the Redhawk took its place. The board unanimously approved in November changing the Apache mascot after a series of passionate meetings in which indigenous people and their supporters said the Apache mascot was offensive.

The decision was immediately met with resistance from some students, who walked out of class, and alumni who defended the tradition of the decades-old mascot. The board, however, did not rescind its decision.

via Vallejo school board weighs changing Solano mascot, building MIT Academy facilities – Vallejo Times Herald.

Vallejo police seek clues in burned playground case – Vallejo Times Herald

Times-Herald staff report Posted:

Vallejo police are still searching for suspects in two arson cases last month at a local elementary school, including one that destroyed a playground.

The first fire, set at the school’s south side, did minimal damage. However, the second fire at about 11:25 a.m. May 31 completely engulfed a play structure that had been built only a few years ago.

The blaze destroyed the playground, doing about $10,000 to $15,000 in damage, according to a statement issued by police on Sunday.

The department is asking the public for help in solving the case, encouraging people to call the Vallejo Police Department at 800-488-9383 or the Solano Crime Stoppers at 707-644-STOP. Crime Stoppers offers $1,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest.

via Vallejo police seek clues in burned playground case – Vallejo Times Herald.

Original Jesse Bethel High teacher bids farewell to longtime room – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes

Ricardo Henley’s classroom at Jesse Bethel High School is one dedicated to the study of history.

But perhaps the lessons with the most impact for the longtime Vallejo resident and teacher aren’t the ones found in a book — but what’s on the walls of Room O-105.

“I had a student who would not do any work. … Then one day, a binder fell off his desk filled with drawings,” Henley, 55, said Friday, pointing to a caricature of himself drawn by that very student years ago.

Henley, one of the original Bethel teachers when the school opened in 1998, has been in the same room for the last 15 years, collecting projects and memorabilia from his students and the community and festooning his walls. But when school starts this fall, Henley — affectionately nicknamed “Hendawg” by a student years ago — will be in a more modern room on the north side of campus.

via Original Jesse Bethel High teacher bids farewell to longtime room – Vallejo Times Herald.

Grand jury weighs in on Vallejo schools safety – Daily Republic

By Jess Sullivan

After reviewing data and information on several websites and after meeting with staff at six high schools in Solano County, the Solano County grand jury issued a report Friday recommending that Vallejo high schools put cops on their campuses.

The report also recommended that campus site safety officers wear their school-issued photo identification cards and that Vallejo school district’s superintendent and high school principals place priority on controlling defiance and disruptions in classes.

via Grand jury weighs in on Vallejo schools safety Daily Republic.

Jesse Bethel Jaguars ‘roar’ during graduation – Vallejo Times Herald

By Lanz Christian Bañes

It took two failed drafts of a graduation speech for Principal Linda Kingston to realize how she wanted to address the Class of 2014 for the final time.

“All I really wanted to do at 10:30 last night was read you your last story from school,” said Kingston on Thursday as she pulled out a chair and proceeded to read the Jesse Bethel High School graduating class Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

The children’s classic — the last book Seuss published before his death — tells the story of a young person’s journey into the unknown, from reaching soaring heights to being isolated and alone. But in the end, the book guarantees success.

via Jesse Bethel Jaguars ‘roar’ during graduation – Vallejo Times Herald.