Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board’s annual tradition of receiving sobering budget numbers continued recently as trustees received news about the district’s need to trim $13 million from future fiscal year budgets.

Trustees held a public hearing during the June 6 board meeting on the proposed 2018-19 budget and following two fiscal years.

While the Vallejo City Unified School District is projecting a $226,754 general fund surplus for the new school year, the small cushion evaporates during fiscal years 2019-20, and 2020-21.

Source: Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget

Vallejo High School students walk into adulthood at 2018 graduation – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A near capacity crowd inside Corbus Field early Thursday evening watched as about 300 Vallejo High School seniors transit into adulthood.

The ceremony was marked with reflection and giving thanks.

One of the two class salutatorians Loureen Ashley Madueno teared up while thanking the two people who got her to Thursday’s ceremony.

“Mama thank you for all the sacrifices — I don’t know where I would be without you. I promise to one day take care of you just like how you took care of me all of these years,” she said, attempting to hold back tears. “Papa – I wish you could be here with me right now but I know you are always watching over me.”

Madueno’s speech wasn’t all sad as she saved special thanks for Vallejo High School teacher Bruce Wilson.

“Who would have thought that the man who made us meditate everyday before class would be the one to stress us the hell out of afterwards,” she asked.

Source: Vallejo High School students walk into adulthood at 2018 graduation

Expelled Vallejo student becomes graduating class of one – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

It was a little bit of a nail-biter as the time for the Farragut Academy graduation ceremony to start came and went — without an appearance by the main focus.

The ceremony began without its star, but to the obvious delight of the principals of both Farragut and Vallejo High School, Arianna Whitfield eventually did arrive, with her family, and wearing the white robe of a graduating senior.

Wednesday’s ceremony came with a twist: Whitfield was the only graduate at the school, formerly called Vallejo Education Academy — the place of final chances for students expelled from other schools in the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Source: Expelled Vallejo student becomes graduating class of one

Vallejo school board to hold hearing on budget – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Fiscal uncertainty continues for the Vallejo City Unified School District.

The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday night on its tentative 2018-19 fiscal year budget and the news isn’t good.

According to the budget’s executive summary, during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the district is projecting that it will be able to meet its current fiscal obligations.

However, the district may not be able to pay its bills in years 2019-20, and 20-21.

“During 2019-20, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $8.2 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of approximately $3.5 million — $1.3 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty,” according to the same summary. “During 2020-21, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $11 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of -$7.5 million (about) $12.4 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty and $13.1 million short of making the District Board reserve of 3.5 percent.”

Source: Vallejo school board to hold hearing on budget

Hogan High grad Crookshank tackles bullying during event at Jesse Bethel – Times Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

An accomplished former professional and college basketball player, no one bullies Eric Crookshank these days.

But it wasn’t that long ago when Crookshank was just a young kid growing up, trying to find his way on Marin Street in West Vallejo.

Crookshank, 39, has been trying to spread awareness about childhood bullying through his organization — Bench Bullying. He held alumni games and a 3-point shooting contest at Jesse Bethel High School on Saturday.

“Growing up without a lot of financial help, I was bullied a lot,” Crookshank said. “When I played basketball, I was bullied as well. I decided to take the celebrity I have now and convert that into a positive.”

Source: Hogan High grad Crookshank tackles bullying during event at Jesse Bethel

Caliber opens school in Vallejo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

An excited buzz permeated the air Tuesday as parents, kids, and school leaders celebrated the grand opening of the new Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy school.

Caliber students Lucas Norris and Zah Rai Francois stole the show when they jointly declared the two-story school, located on Oregon Street, as “officially open!”

A jubilant cheer erupted from the 150 in attendance.

The second loudest reaction came earlier in the program when Caliber co-founder Ron Beller reminded the audience about the history of the land.

Source: Caliber opens school in Vallejo

Vallejo students eligible to earn college credit over summer – Times Herald

By John Glidden

College credit, free tuition and textbooks — what’s the catch?

Apparently none, as Solano Community College, in partnership with the Vallejo City Unified School District, is offering the opportunity for local high school students to enroll in one of seven boot camp courses over the summer.

Source: Vallejo students eligible to earn college credit over summer

Vallejo trustees to review charter school petition – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday night regarding a petition to open a new charter school in the district.

Representatives with the Redwood City-based nonprofit, Rocketship Public Schools, are asking to open a charter which serves transitional kindergarten to fourth grade. A 5th grade class would eventually be added, officials with the nonprofit told the Times-Herald in a previous interview.

Officials hope to open for the 2020-21 school year.

Rocketship currently operates 18 schools in three states and Washington, D.C.

“Vallejo families need and deserve schools like Rocketship that close the achievement gap and put students on the path to college and career success,” Marie Issa Gil, Rocketship Bay Area regional director wrote in a previous email to the Times-Herald.

Source: Vallejo trustees to review charter school petition

New charter school hopes to land in Vallejo – Times Herald

By John Glidden

A South Bay charter school operator has submitted a petition to establish a school in the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Rocketship Public Schools officials confirmed they are hoping to open the new facility for the 2020-2021 school year.

For the first year the school would be open for transitional kindergarten to fourth grade, with a fifth-grade class added in the second year, they said.

Marie Issa Gil, Rocketship Bay Area regional director and lead petitioner for Rocketship Vallejo said the proposed move comes after “over 500 students in Vallejo expressed their support for Rocketship to bring a school to their community.”

Source: New charter school hopes to land in Vallejo

Solano County’s top school district employees named – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vanden High science teacher Marilyn Lewis and Vallejo City Unified bus driver Samantha Bradshaw were named Solano County’s top educators of the year.

The leader of Solano County schools, Lisette Estrella-Henderson, made the announcement in a press release.

Besides Lewis and Bradshaw, named Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year, respectively, 12 other school district employees were honored Tuesday during a ceremony in Suisun City. The event recognized teachers, paraeducators, child nutrition, support services, security and school staff who give their time, talent and skills to support student achievement, educational innovation and community involvement in Solano County schools.

“It is an honor and a privilege to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our Solano County educators and support staff,” Estrella-Henderson added in the prepared statement.

Source: Solano County’s top school district employees named

Cornel West to speak at Vallejo summit on May 11 – Times Herald

By Times Herald Staff

Intellectual, political activist and author Cornel West will be the keynote speaker for the 6th Annual Solano County Positive Youth Justice Summit on May 11.

This year’s theme is The Profound Desire for Justice.

The submit “seeks to advance the conversation around evidence-informed policies and practices to improve youth justice and social services in Solano County so that systems are responsive to the needs of our most vulnerable, at-promise justice involved youth,” according to a Vallejo City Unified School District news release.

The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. May 11 at the California State University Maritime Academy, Rizza Auditorium, 200 Maritime Academy Drive.

Source: Cornel West to speak at Vallejo summit on May 11

SCOE honors classified employee, teacher of the year – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

A school bus driver convinced by her cousin to give the job a try and a high school science teacher who taught three of her four children were named Tuesday as Solano County’s Classified School Employee of the Year and Teacher of the Year.

Samantha Bradshaw, lead trainer and bus driver for the Vallejo City School District, was nominated for her can-do attitude and getting grants to retrofit the buses.

“Samantha has gone over and beyond the call of duty to help out the Transportation Department,” her nomination read.

Source: Solano office of education honors classified employee, teacher of the year

Vallejo trustees get first look at proposed $194 million bond – Times Herald

By John Glidden

It’s an election year, so the quest by the Vallejo school district to get a school bond passed is in full swing.

Trustees will get their first look Wednesday at the district’s newest proposal: Placement of a $194 million school bond on the November ballot.

Bond proceeds would be used to repair classrooms, update science, computer, and technology labs, and improve security, fire safety and electrical and plumbing systems, according to the draft ballot language.

In addition, bond monies would be allocated to the independent charter school Mare Island Technology Academy for site improvements.

District staff estimates the Vallejo City Unified School District requires about $750 million for school facility needs and improvements.

Source: Vallejo trustees get first look at proposed $194 million bond

Solano Middle School gets a shiny new makeover in Vallejo – Times Herald

By Katy St. Clair

It’s not often that a middle school is buzzing with activity on a Saturday — usually there’s only tumbleweeds. But on Saturday there were more than 100 people at Solano Middle School in Vallejo to give it what can only be called the “community HGTV” treatment.

Rebuilding Together Solano pulled together a bunch of sponsors and helping hands to completely revamp the campus, from stem to stern. Crews cleared out old brush and pruned hedges, planted water-tolerant gardens, and power-washed the outside and squeegeed windows.

Detailed cleaning of doors, chairs, and just about every other surface was also undertaken. The gymnasium was an anthill of volunteers scrubbing away at the risers. Others were on their hands and knees in the courtyard, yanking those last few weeds.

Source:  Solano Middle School gets shiny new makeover

Solano County school Employees of the Year to receive recognition – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The Solano County Office of Education on Tuesday will honor 14 school employees nominated for the 2018-19 Solano County Educators of the Year Award.

Those being recognized hail from Vacaville, Travis, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Benicia, and Vallejo City unified districts and SCOE.

The event begins at 5:15 and continues to 7 p.m. in the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center, 611 Village Drive, Suisun City. The public is invited to join the celebration. To attend, R.S.V.P. at https://goo.gl/forms/fkcNsmEechg7Oy9u2.

For more information, call Rebecca Floyd at 646-7602 or email her at RFloyd@solanocoe.net.

The teachers and school-support employees “contribute to student achievement, educational innovation, and community involvement,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, superintendent of county schools, noted in a press release.

Source: Solano County school Employees of the Year to receive recognition

Solano districts nominate top teachers, school employees – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Fourteen educators and school support employees have been nominated for the 2018-19 Solano County Educators of the Year Award.

“Solano County’s educators inspire and support our students to learn, grow and thrive. Their hard work and dedication make a profound and lasting impact on the lives of our pupils and their families. I want to extend our deepest appreciation to all the nominees, for their admirable work in education,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement announcing the nominations.

Source: Solano districts nominate top teachers, school employees for educator awards

North Bay Decathlon Teams Compete At State Level | Dixon Patch

The results are in from the 2017 North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon and the California State Academic Decathlon. This year, over 275 students from 13 high schools across Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties participated in the North Bay Region’s Academic Decathlon. The Academic Decathlon is a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind.” The competition provides students the opportunity to participate in an educational forum, which fosters a deep respect for knowledge, cooperation, and self-esteem. The theme of this year’s academic decathlon contests was “Africa.” “The Academic Decathlon is a rigorous academic program and team competition which develops students’ confidence and improves their study skills,” said Lisette Estrella Henderson, Solano County Superintendent of Schools. “As a result, students are more prepared for career and post-secondary education options.”

Source: North Bay Decathlon Teams Compete At State Level | Dixon, CA Patch

Vallejo trustees asked to approve air monitoring units – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Fifteen air monitoring units may be installed around various sites within the Vallejo City Unified School District soon.

The VCUSD Board of Education will be asked Wednesday to approve an agreement with the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley on behalf of the Berkeley Atmospheric CO2 Observation Network (BEACO2N) program for the installation of observation units to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the area.

The district’s administrative building on Mare Island, along with Jesse Bethel and John Finney high schools and Franklin and Solano middle schools, will each receive an air monitor.

Source: Vallejo trustees asked to approve air monitoring units

Vallejo Symphony offers youth chance to hear, learn about Mozart – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

About 700 Solano County students filled the Empress Theatre Monday morning for two performances by the Vallejo Symphony.

The symphony’s board of directors picked up the ticket tab. Schools were responsible for transportation to and from the venue.

A few of the neighborhood schools were able to walk to the historic theater.

This is the first time in more than 20 years the symphony has offered the student performances, said Tim Zumwalt, who heads up publicity for the symphony.

The symphony – founded in 1931 – completed its first full season Sunday of performing at the Empress, which is more than 100 years old.

Source: Vallejo Symphony offers youth chance to hear, learn about Mozart

Program stages crash to teach Vallejo teens about drinking, driving – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Kelby Yelder, a 17-year-old Jesse Bethel High School senior, was pronounced “dead” just before 11:50 a.m. Thursday at NorthBay Medical Center.

That was just before “badly injured” fellow student, 18-year-old Jhoanna Aure, was wheeled into the hospital’s emergency room.

Fortunately, the entire thing was staged as part of a two-day Every 15 Minutes anti-drunken driving program that was put on at Jesse Bethel in Vallejo.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God,’ ” said Yelder about the realism after a trauma team at NorthBay ran through the entire examination of her “injuries” and the pronouncement of her “death” as if it was the real thing.

Source: Program stages crash to teach Vallejo teens about drinking, driving