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

Vallejo High School students learn about concussions – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Dr. Bennet Omalu was adamant during a special panel discussion Tuesday morning at Vallejo High School.

“Children younger than 18 should not be allowed to engage in high-impact contact sports,” Omalu said.

Known for his work identifying the relationship between Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and American football players, Omalu was joined by other medial experts, former players, and Congressman Mike Thompson to bring concussion awareness to students at Vallejo High.

The school’s auditorium was packed with students who received expert testimony about concussions and brain injuries.

Omalu, who currently serves as San Joaquin County’s chief medical examiner, was featured in the 2015 film “Concussion” for his work. Actor Will Smith portrayed Omalu.

Source: Vallejo High School students learn about concussions

Everyone’s a winner at Vallejo Special Olympics – Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

The intermittent gusty winds and chilly weather Friday did not stop nearly 200 Vallejo students from having fun and being winners.

The Vallejo school district’s special education students, along with their teachers and families, gathered at Vallejo High School’s Corbus Field for the 44th annual Vallejo City Unified School District Special Olympics.

“It’s great for them to be part of a community event,” said Kathy Hellfeier, Widenmann Elementary special education teacher. “It makes them feel like stars and (helps them) be active for the day.”

via:  Everyone’s a winner at Vallejo Special Olympics – Times Herald

Vallejo school district bonds close to reality – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The placement of two Vallejo school bonds on the November ballot became more of a reality this week.

A divided Vallejo school board authorized staff to continue working with consultants and district legal counsel for placement of the bonds on a fall ballot.

Vallejo City Unified School District Board Vice President Ruscal Cayangyang and trustee Burky Worel voted against the motion.

Adoption of a resolution officially placing the bonds on the November ballot will take place at the July 13 board meeting, district staff said.

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

Source: Vallejo school district bonds close to reality

Vallejo’s grad rate goes up, while Benicia’s decreases – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Statewide graduation data released this week shows that the Vallejo school district saw a small increase in its graduation rate, while Benicia experienced a slight dip.

Vallejo City Unified School District’s graduation rate slightly rose to 73.8 percent during the 2014-15 school year, up from 72 percent recorded by the state in 2013-14.

According to the data released Tuesday by the California Department of Education, 700 Vallejo students, from a cohort of 948, graduated in the 2014-15 year.

Continuing the trend since 2009-10, the district’s dropout rate has also dropped in the latest school year to 18.5 percent from 21.3 percent in 2013-14.

Although the district’s graduation rates have constantly increased for the past five years since 2010-11 school year, the cohort numbers have also steadily decreased at the same time.

via: Vallejo’s grad rate goes up, while Benicia’s decreases

Vallejo school board to get another bond update – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Will the Vallejo school board authorize staff to continue preparing a district bond for this November or halt the process now?

The Vallejo City Unified School District Governing Board is expected to make a decision during its meeting Wednesday night.

Should the process continue, staff is recommending the presentation of a facilities master plan revision for the June 15 meeting. Adoption of a resolution placing a bond on the November ballot would take place at the July 13 board meeting, district staff said.

The district last attempted a bond in 2014 with Measure E.

Despite receiving 61 percent approval from Vallejo voters, Measure E — calling for $239 million to address district facilities — failed to attain the 66 percent required by law.

Source: Vallejo school board to get another bond update

Vallejo school board gets update on possible bond – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board is tentatively scheduled to decide this summer whether to place a bond on the November ballot, the district’s chief operations officer said Wednesday night.

Mitchell Romao gave a bond update to the school board, stating the district is eying a board workshop in June to go over legal and financial considerations, followed by a meeting the same month to review a facilities master plan revision, project priorities, and staff recommendations.

Authorization from the board may take place during a meeting in July to place a measure on the November ballot, he added.

Vallejo City Unified School District board trustee Burky Worel said he has “deep reservations” about placing a measure on ballot this year.

Source: Vallejo school board gets update on possible bond

Jesse Bethel receives good accreditation news – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Highlighting that it has strong leadership, an environment of safety, camaraderie, and support for all on the campus, the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges has given Jesse Bethel High School a passing grade.

The commission — the agency that accredits schools from kindergarten through college — took action recently, granting the school a six-year accreditation status through June 30, 2022 after officials toured the campus earlier this year.

“Teachers, school leadership, and district administration deserve a great deal of credit for designing a high school model that meets the needs of an extremely diverse student body,” the visiting team wrote. “Staff has made a number of selfless and difficult decisions in the area of staffing, responsibilities, organization, and accountability in order to meet the needs of students and families.”

Source: Jesse Bethel receives good accreditation news

Vacaville district boasts county’s top teacher, classified employee – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

A Vacaville High School history teacher and a Vacaville administrative assistant are Solano County’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year and 2016-17 Classified School Employee of the Year.

Ana Farina, who teaches history and advanced placement psychology, was picked Tuesday night as the county’s Teacher of the Year from a field of seven candidates.

“Ana is so versatile and has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from her previous district,” wrote Vacaville High School Principal Ed Santopadre. “Our students respond well to her and she gets the best out of them.”

Source: Vacaville district boasts county’s top teacher, classified employee

Volunteer crews eliminate blight for Earth Day – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

Mother Earth sighed with relief Saturday as volunteers donated time picking up trash in Vallejo and surrounding areas.

Local efforts focused primarily at Blue Rock Springs Creek, South Vallejo and nearby state parks.

Hogan Middle School also held a cleanup operation, as did a team of volunteers at the Napa River Bay Trail in American Canyon.

Mayor hopeful Landis Graden was joined with a team of people who took part in the cleanup efforts in the southern part of Vallejo Saturday.

“The cleanup was inspiring,” Graden said. “It was very nice. We had a great turnout of all age groups and races. People from all parts of town came to help. Everyone was very enthusiastic.

Source: Volunteer crews eliminate blight for Earth Day

Bethel High softball’s Alyssa Esparza is Athlete of the Week – Times Herald

By Thomas Gase

On April 12 of this year, Bethel High sophomore Alyssa Esparza turned 16 years old.

Turning 16 can be a big thing for anyone. Some people are often given a big present or even thrown a party. Some, if they are really lucky, get a car since this is the year they will be able to acquire a license.

Esparza wasn’t given the keys to any ignition, but the softball player was given a lot of pitches at the plate that she was able to drive.

The Jaguar went 2-for-4 at the plate that day and hit a home run in a 13-3 home win over Fairfield. As a belated birthday gift, she collected four more hits on Thursday in a crucial extra-inning win at American Canyon. She also pitched and earned the wins in both games in the circle with complete-game victories.

via: Beth High softballs’ Alyssa Esparza is Times-Herald athlete of the week

Exercise exposes Vallejo students to drunk driving dangers – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

The silhouette of a helicopter in the sky grew larger as it approaches NorthBay Medical Center Thursday in Fairfield.

As it touched down in the landing zone outside of the emergency room, a team of people moved forward with a gurney ready to receive a patient.

Josh McClendon, 17, a senior at Jesse Bethel High School, was rushed from the helicopter into a staging room where beds and devices had already been prepared. Gruesome gashes sustained only a few minutes earlier during a car crash uncontrollably leaked blood from his forehead and arm.

Source: Exercise exposes Vallejo students to drunk driving dangers

Family night at Vallejo school builds relationships – Times Herald

By Irma Widjojo

It was called “Spring Family Night,” but truly it was a community night at a Vallejo elementary school.

About 100 families of Lincoln Elementary School students spent a couple of hours at the school Tuesday afternoon for some information, resources and entertainment.

“Not a lot of the families, especially in downtown area, are aware of what’s going on in school,” said Angel Banks, the school’s academic support provider. “A lot of the families are just trying to make it, … and they may not be aware of the resources that are available for them.”

The school organizes two family nights each school year — fall and spring — as part of its effort as a full-service community school in Vallejo.

“We want to be able to meet the family’s basic needs, recognizing that meeting those needs directly correlates with the students’ achievement in school,” Banks said.

via: Times Herald

Drumlines, winterguards hold exhibition at Jesse Bethel – Times Herald

By Matthew Adkins

As schools bands around the county wrap up their winter season, students are holding one last performance to showcase their talent.

Jesse Bethel High School played host on Friday to the annual Winter Drumline and Colorguard Exhibition.

The high school’s gymnasium was standing-room only as hundreds of students in full costume put on their winter shows for the crowd.

Eight teams from area high schools took turns playing percussion instruments and performing elaborate choreographed dances with props.

Source: Drumlines, winterguards hold exhibition at Jesse Bethel

Vallejo school board looks to protest water rates – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A proposed water rate increase in Vallejo will likely not receive support from the school district.

Wednesday night the Vallejo school board called for a special Friday meeting so it could officially direct staff to submit 26 protest letters, one for each piece of district property.

If the increase is approved by the Vallejo City Council, the district will be required to pay more than $1.3 million annually for water by 2020, according to a Vallejo City Unified School District staff report. Currently, the district pays over $500,000 annually.

The money would come from the district’s general fund, district staff said.

The harshest critic of the increase has been VCUSD Trustee Burky Worel, who contends the city council “could care less” about the district.

Source: Vallejo school board looks to protest water rates

Vallejo High School – Always Something To Celebrate – Times Herald

Vallejo High School shines: In the midst of all of the negative publicity that Vallejo High School receives on a regular basis, it is sometimes easy to us to forget that the lives and educations of VHS students continue on whether or not we are reporting—and believe me when I say that remarkable things are happening! Back on Jan. 13, Iand a group of 56 of my students, along with English teacher, Matt Boyd; counselor, Rhea Brooks; new administrator, Dr. Angela Walker; and two chaperons bussed down to Bakersfield, CA for the 17th Annual California International Virtual Enterprise Trade Show and 2nd Annual Business & Entrepreneurship Conference.

Source: April 7 Vallejo A&E Source: Always Something To Celebrate