VCUSD begins new campaign that focusses on unity – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo school district officials announced the start of a new initiative Thursday, aimed at providing an opportunity for “positive student and staff expression.”

The campaign, named Strength in Unity, emphasizes that the Vallejo City Unified School District and Vallejo community need to work together for the betterment of everyone, officials said.

“The Strength in Unity Campaign provides an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our students, staff and community and highlight our best practices,” said VCUSD spokesperson Alana Shackelford, in a follow-up email to the Times-Herald.

Each school site, for the following school year, and possibly during the 2017-18 school year, will engage in several activities, Shackelford added.

 

Source: VCUSD begins new campaign that focusses on unity

VCUSD eyes replacing paging system – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo City Unified School District is seeking to replace its internal paging system, a move which is estimated to cost about $200,000 to $250,000.

The VCUSD Board of Education will review the request during its meeting Wednesday night.

“For general announcements and emergency pages, it is recommended that wall-mounted speakers designed specifically for paging purposes be installed and tied into a paging system that is housed locally at the site, but can be monitored and administered centrally, according to a district staff report. “In addition, several schools are utilizing paging systems that are more than 30 years old and cannot be administered centrally.”

District staff is recommending that a control system, along with wiring, and speakers be installed at each school site to allow for paging services and emergency broadcasts.

 

Source: VCUSD eyes replacing paging system

Rebuilding Together, Kaiser, CMA pass test at Vallejo High – Times Herald

By Richard Freedman

Tom Olson didn’t have to be at Vallejo High School on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Then again, being a retired contractor, Olson didn’t really have to be anywhere. But there he was — with about 70 others — helping work some magic around the Vallejo High School campus on Monday on behalf of Rebuilding Together Solano County.

It’s basically a pay-it-forward type deal, Olson said.

“I have one son who is handicapped and people have done a lot for him,” Olson said. “I figure I’m going to give back.”

Olson, 72, also volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

“I’ve done this for years,” he said of volunteering.

 

Source: VAL-L-RebuildingSChool-0117

Vallejo High School to benefit from MLK workday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo High School will be the recipient of Rebuilding Together Solano County’s 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, it was announced this week.

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, Home Depot, and Recology Vallejo, numerous volunteers on Monday are expected to make improvements to the faculty lounge, clean the auditorium, and perform weeding and other yard work at the high school.

The workday will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Vallejo High School, 840 Nebraska St. with a prep-workday scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Source: Vallejo High School to benefit from MLK workday

Vallejo School trustees pull request to change board president – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A request to replace Ruscal Cayangyang as Vallejo school board president was dropped from the agenda Wednesday night before the matter could be discussed.

While adopting the meeting agenda for the night, the board, in a 4-1 vote, removed a request from board Vice President Burky Worel seeking to install Trustee Marianne Kearney-Brown as board president.

Trustee Tony Ubalde was first to raise concern about the agenda item.

“I feel that to have a positive working relationship; it’s important that we affirm each other,” he said. “To do something like this, is not helpful or affirmative or respectful of each other.”

Source: Vallejo School trustees pull request to change board president

Vallejo school board changes start time – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A spirited discussion was held during the Dec. 7 Vallejo school board meeting, as a majority of trustees agreed to move the meeting time up an hour to 6 p.m.

Board members expressed a desire to shorten presentations and “streamline” the meetings.

While several members of the public also spoke, wondering about the impact of such a move.

Resident Robert Schussel stated the board doesn’t have “well-run meetings.” He advocated that the board add a third meeting per month. Currently, the board meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month.

“Only go to a 6 or 7 p.m. meeting (time), if you can get your act together,” Schussel added.

 

Source: Vallejo school board changes start time

Vallejo school board looks to dump Wells Fargo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

In direct response to a scandal which rocked Wells Fargo recently, the Vallejo school board during its Dec. 7 organizational meeting directed staff to seek another institution as the district’s designated bank.

Staff had recommended that the Vallejo City Unified School District continue to keep its clearing and revolving accounts, along with the student body and scholarship funds with Wells Fargo.

On Sept. 8, the San Francisco-based bank was hit with $185 million in fines for the scandal, in which Wells employees, under pressure to hit sales targets, secretly opened as many as 2 million bogus accounts and funded them with customer money. The fines were imposed in a settlement with the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and two other agencies.

Cecile Nunley, the district’s chief business officer, said during the meeting that the bulk of VCUSD’s funds are handled through Solano County.

 

Source: Vallejo school board looks to dump Wells Fargo

Vallejo school board to hold special closed session meeting – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

A special closed session of the Vallejo school board is slated to take place at 4 p.m., Thursday.

The board will discuss possible discipline for a Vallejo City Unified School District employee, and receive information about anticipated litigation.

In addition, the school board will hold a conference with the Vallejo Education Association, and California School Employees Association, the unions which represent district teachers and staff.

The public will have a chance to speak on the items before the closed session, however, the actual session is closed to the general public.

Source: Vallejo school board to hold special closed session meeting

Vallejo school board trustees sworn in – Times Herald

By John Glidden

In front of a packed chamber, three board members were sworn into office during the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.

The board welcomed back incumbent Ruscal Cayangyang, and newest members Marianne Kearney-Brown, and Bob Lawson.

Cayangyang easily defeated former trustee Hazel Wilson by about 4,700 votes to retain his seat on the board during the recent election.Both were seeking to represent the short-term, two-year board seat, which is open for election again in 2018.

Source: Vallejo school board trustees sworn in

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