By Katy St. Clair
The Solano Community College governing board has unanimously passed a masking, vaccination, and/or regular testing mandate for all of its students, faculty and staff.
The vote was passed at Wednesday evening’s meeting.
The board received several letters in support of the mandates, which were read aloud at the meeting. Biology instructor Michelle Smith commended the body for its consideration of the measures.
Source: Solano College board adds mask mandate, vaccine-testing requirement
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a webinar on Wednesday for local educational agencies (LEAs) and education partners to discuss how schools can support students, families, and communities by addressing and investing more in mental and behavioral health services.
State Superintendent Thurmond was joined by a distinguished panel of state leaders for the “Investing in Mental Health: A Roundtable Discussion” webinar that featured conversations about how LEAs, educational leaders, and policymakers can build what Thurmond said has never been done before: creating and implementing the most robust and historic level of mental health programs throughout the state.
“We have to support our students and educators,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “This is the beginning, not the end, and we will continue to build the most robust system that we’ve ever seen to support students. Our schools are often the center for our students and their families. When they’re hungry or hurt, we must attend to their needs so we can support their learning and well-being.”
Source: SPI, Leaders Discuss Mental Health Services – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Joel Rosenbaum
Dressed in a crazy outfit, Vacaville High School senior, Lucca Sartorio, 17 strikes a pose as he struts across the stage during a wacky fashion show Wednesday at lunchtime. The event is organized by the Vaca High Students Council and is part of the school’s Homecoming week festivities. The Bulldogs battle Tracy High School Friday night at Tom Zunino Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. with the Homecoming queen crowed at halftime.
Source: Vaca High Celebrates Homecoming In Wacky Fashion – The Vacaville Reporter
The Vacaville Youth Roundtable will host a Teen Summit from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25 titled “Mental Health is Mental Wealth.”
All Solano County middle and high school students are welcome to attend. The summit will feature youth- and adult-led workshops discussing the importance of mental wellness during the pandemic.
Prizes and interactive activities will be available, such as a yoga session and a dance performance by Bliss.
Source: Vaca Youth Roundtable Teen Summit open to Solano middle, high school students
2021–22 Data Collections: Annual Back-to-School Letter
This letter kicks off the 2021–22 data collection season for the following California Department of Education (CDE) data systems:
- California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)
- California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS)
- Consolidated Application and Reporting System (CARS)
The 2021–22 certification and amendment window deadlines for these data collections are posted on CDE’s CALPADS, CBEDS, and CARS Submission Calendar web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/dc/es/subcal.asp.
It should also be noted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has only heightened the need for timely, quality data, from all state agencies, including the CDE. Governor Newsom’s vision of integrating existing data into a cradle-to-career longitudinal data system that will provide the data the state needs to effectively meet the needs of its citizens was authorized in postsecondary budget trailer bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 132 (Chapter 144, Statutes of 2021). The CDE will keep local educational agencies (LEAs) up-do-date on this significant data integration project and how it will benefit the public pre-K to grade 12 community.
Source: 2021–22 Data Collections: Back-to-School Letter – California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District not only maintained its focus on training new teachers during the 2020-2021 pandemic school year but continues to do so as the new school year progresses.
Melissa Farrar, director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, presented trustees on Thursday with the annual report on the district’s professional development activities.
The report was a reflection of the goals to support teachers for the 2020-2021 school year, she said. Many things changed because of the pandemic but the focus remained on assisting new teachers in professional development.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun district maintains focus on new teacher training
By Susan Hiland
The 2021-2022 academic year has only just begun but already the Fairfield-Suisun School District has dozens of reported Covid-19 cases.
Nancy Dunn, president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, reported Thursday that 50 students and staff had called into the district’s schools reporting positive test results for Covid-19.
Dunn made her report Thursday night during the school board meeting.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun district reports Covid-19 cases, launches online dashboard
By Nicole Langarica
The significant increase in pay for Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) substitutes, ratified by the Governing Board at last night’s meeting, makes the District highly competitive in attracting available substitute candidates to its ranks. On average, teacher substitutes will realize a 50% increase in compensation with the new salaries for teacher substitutes. The need for substitutes is a crisis situation as school districts struggle to find workers. Any individual with a Bachelors of Arts of Science degree may be eligible to serve in this important capacity.
Day-to-day substitutes holding a “substitute permit”, a “valid” teaching credential, or those who have completed professional development training will receive an $11.03 per hour increase earning $34.48 per hour. Substitutes working 21 consecutive school days will receive $300 per day. Because of the extensive need for substitutes working in special education classrooms, substitutes serving in this capacity will receive $310 per work day. FSUSD values retired employees. Retired FSUSD employees who return to substitute teach in the district shall receive $42.76 hourly compensation for a total of $310 per work day.
Source: Press Release: Governing Board Doubles Down on Efforts to Recruit Substitute Teachers
By Nicole Langarica
At last night’s Governing Board Meeting, the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) Governing Board affirmed Bobby Only as Associate Mental Health Clinician, effective immediately.
Ms. Only has served the students of FSUSD in various capacities. Her career with FSUSD began as an Early Mental Health Clinician at Bransford Elementary School. She continued in the following capacities: Community Outreach Liaison at Anna Kyle, Paraeducator at Fairfield High School, and a Paraeducator at Armijo High School. Only brings these past experiences and expertise to the Associate Mental Health Clinician role.
In recommending Only for this appointment, Anna Viera, the Armijo High School Department Chair, stated:
Source: Press Release: Bobby Only appointed Associate Mental Health Clinician
By Nick Sestanovich
In one Hemlock Elementary School kindergarten classroom Thursday morning, it was business as usual. Students modeled letters of the alphabet using Play-Doh, learned about the months of the year and listened to stories.
However, what seemed like a typical kindergarten class on the surface was actually something brand new for Vacaville Unified School District: a mixture of general education students and students with individualized education plans (IEPs). Hemlock has the district’s first inclusive kindergarten program, intended to bring students of different abilities into one classroom as they begin their K-12 education.
The idea came from Hemlock Principal Jennifer Austin who attended an Every Student Succeeding training by the Association of California School Administrators in 2019. There, she attended a class on making classrooms fully inclusive.
Source: Hemlock pilots first inclusive kindergarten class – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nicole Langarica
This past summer, the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) offered nine summer school programs serving nearly 4,000 students from pre-kindergarten through post 12th grade. Dr. Sheila McCabe, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, provided a report on each of the summer programs offered to the Governing Board at the September 9, 2021 meeting.
“The District developed and implemented a successful summer program that provided many extended learning opportunities at the end of the 2020/21 school year. FSUSD provided bridge programs for students transitioning to new schools, credit recovery programs for high school students, and summer enrichment programs. Enrichment was offered in partnership with the City of Fairfield, the Kroc Center, and the City of Suisun City,” shared Assistant Superintendent Sheila McCabe.
Source: Press Release: Nearly 4,000 FSUSD Students Enriched at Summer Programs
By Susan Hiland
Trustees with the Fairfield- Suisun School District will hear various summer school programs Thursday.
Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent of Educational Services, will give a presentation to the board on the summer programs that included nine summer school programs serving more than 3,500 children and teens from pre-kindergarten through post-12th grade.
The programs include KinderReady, the Extended Year with 2020/21 Teacher Program, the Elementary “Learning Loss” Program, the K-8 Enrichment Program, the Supplemental Title I Program, Ninth through 12th Grade Credit Recovery Program, the Secondary “Summer Bridge” Program, the Secondary Enrichment Program and the Extended School Year Program.
Source: School trustees to hear about Fairfield-Suisun summer session programs
By Nick Sestanovich
As Vacaville Unified School District enters its second month of the 2021-22 school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials will present an update on how the district is responding to the pandemic at Thursday’s school board meeting.
The update will be presented by Assistant Superintendent Sasha Begell and Abigail Hilliard, communications and crisis manager. The contents of the presentation have been included in the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.
Currently, masks are required for students indoors and optional when they are outdoors. If a student is unmasked and exposed to someone who tested positive, they will be required to quarantine for 10 days. If they came into close contact with a positive patient and were unvaccinated, they will be required to submit a test up to twice a day and will be barred from extracurricular activities, even if they were wearing a mask.
Source: Vacaville school board to receive updates on COVID guidelines – The Vacaville Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
The fall football season for Jesse Bethel High hasn’t yet been determined by wins, losses or even ties.
The Jaguars’ biggest obstacle hasn’t been a lack of depth or beefy defensive linemen on the other side of the ball. It’s been uncertainty.
Bethel’s season opener against Fairfield last Friday was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests. The players were tested again on Monday and the team was cleared to practice Wednesday afternoon.
Source: Jesse Bethel High School football team expected to begin season this week – Times-Herald
By Kris Corey
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District affirmed Jennifer Benson as Mental Health Clinician to begin as soon as possible. Prior to finding other employment for the last six months, Benson serviced students of FSUSD in the same role for four years. Her skills are well respected by those with whom she has worked. Benson’s return to the district is eagerly welcomed.
Benson has served in various capacities, honing her skills in the mental health field. She has worked as a Clinical Program Manager for a private company, functioned as a Mental Health Clinician for two school districts, provided services at the River Oak Center for Children, and served the Seneca Family of Agencies as a Clinician. Benson will use her nine years of experience to benefit the children of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
Source: Press Release: Jennifer Benson joins the FSUSD team as Mental Health Clinician
By Kris Corey
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Governing Board affirmed the appointment of Monika Garay as Administrative Assistant of the Business Services Department. Effective immediately, Garay will assume the position that was vacated as a result of the recent promotion of Melissa Mata to Director of Purchasing and Contract Services.
Garay has been with the district since 2013, serving as a Fiscal Services Technician in Business Services in her most recent assignment. Garay brings site experience to the position as well, serving for seven years as the Attendance Clerk and Secretary to the Principal at Public Safety Academy. Her background in payment processing, preparation of deposits, check disbursement, office management, and website updating are exemplary of the many skills that Garay will bring to this role.
Source: Press Release: Governing Board affirms appointment of Business Services Administrative Assistant
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond brought experts in the fields of public health and education together on Wednesday for a wide-ranging discussion of COVID-19 data and mitigation efforts that have resulted in the safe reopening of thousands of schools across California.
The Safe and Successful Schools webinar was developed in partnership by the California Department of Education (CDE), the California Department of Public Health, the State Board of Education and the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.
Dr. Naomi Bardach of the Safe Schools for All team and State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond shared information on California’s robust and multi-layered approach to COVID-19 prevention, which has resulted in no school reopening delays thus far in the fall semester. Bardach and Darling-Hammond shared data that demonstrates how state-supported COVID-19 testing programs, on-site vaccine clinics, universal masking and detailed quarantine guidance have helped keep California students in class and learning despite the troublesome rise of the Delta variant. A recording of the webinar is available on the CDE Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab..
Source: SPI Hosts Safe and Successful Schools Webinar – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Matt O’Donnell
The Jesse Bethel High School football team, which played just one game in the spring, has had at least one game canceled in the fall.
Principal Kirsten Wollenwever announced on Tuesday that all football players — varsity and junior varsity — must not come to campus for instruction or practice for the remainder of the week due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Source: Jesse Bethel High football program on pause due to positive COVID tests – Times-Herald
BY Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board will take a look Thursday at a new grant program geared toward keeping children in school.
School trustees will hear a presentation from Antoinette Miller, coordinator of Multi-tiered System of Supports on Learning Communities for the School Success Program Grant.
The grant was established for the purpose of implementing the K-12 education portion of the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act of 2014.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to hear about efforts that aim to keep students in school
In partnership with the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division and the California AfterSchool Network, the California STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Symposium co-hosts are excited to announce the virtual 2021 Expanding Learning Opportunities with STEAM Back-To-School Pre-Conference on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, presented by Chevron.
This exciting partnership builds on our community belief that STEAM learning happens everywhere and at any time of the day. Throughout the event, we will explore opportunities for collaboration between community-based organizations and the TK–16 system. We are excited to support our education community as we all strategically plan to use the monumental education budgets focused on early education, social-emotional learning, teacher pipeline, and expanded learning. Participants will also learn more about the new Expanded Learning Opportunities Program established in July 2021 by Assembly Bill 130.
Source: 2021 STEAM Back-To-School Pre-Conference – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)