VCUSD teachers, students to wear masks indoors for rest of school year – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

As COVID infections rise once again throughout the country, masks are returning to Vallejo schools.

After a rise in COVID cases attributed to the BA.2 Omicron strain, the Vallejo City Unified School District decided over the weekend to have its staff and students to wear masks in all indoor settings.

VCUSD Superintendent William Spalding said in a news release, “We believe that this simple measure provides us the best opportunity to finish this school year without further significant disruption and to be able to hold planned events.”

Source: VCUSD teachers, students to wear masks indoors for rest of school year – Times-Herald

Love for science, creativity gaining ‘STEAM’ in Benicia – Times-Herald

The common refrain at Benicia High School on Saturday was something like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe somebody actually made this!” Other times it was more like, “Wait, how does that actually happen?”

Everyone on hand, however, seemed to have their mouths open in amazement and wonder at the STEAM Discovery Festival, put on by Benicia Makespace and Solano County of Education to help peak interest in creativity and science.

Fifth-grader Miles Banks took a seat in a flight simulator created by Benicia High School senior Gabe Haarberg. Banks took his turn in the virtual reality machine, using a few devices to guide a plane on a nearby screen take off and land from a nearby landing path.

Source: Love for science, creativity gaining ‘STEAM’ in Benicia – Times-Herald

Student artists to be celebrated at showcase event at fairgrounds – Daily Republic

Nearly 500 young artists will have their work on display Saturday during the Solano County Student Art Showcase at the county fairgrounds.

The free event will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. on the lawns next to McCormack Hall. The fairgrounds are located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive in Vallejo.

“Our students have been through so much over the last few years,” Johanna Nowak-Palmer, program manager of Youth Development in the Solano County Office of Education, said in a statement released Wednesday. “Our goal is to amplify their voices and elevate their creativity by bringing the whole community together to view their extraordinary art. We believe art empowers students, and we hope this allows them to express themselves in a healthy, positive and impactful way.”

Source: Student artists to be celebrated at showcase event at fairgrounds

Solano ‘ignites’ its imagination with art show at fairgrounds – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

The future is bright for Solano County artists.

McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fairgrounds was host Saturday to the best and brightest young artists as the Solano County Department of Education put together the event “Solano Art Showcase: Ignite” which displayed 400 pieces of art by students from 24 different schools and grades ranging from fourth to 12th.

Other partners helping put together the presentation were Fighting Back Partnership, Solano Youth Resiliency Summit, Solano Friday Night Live Partner, Rio Vista ATOD Alliance, VibeSolano and Nature of Sound.

Source: Solano ‘ignites’ its imagination with art show at fairgrounds – Times-Herald

Student artists to be celebrated at showcase event at fairgrounds – Daily Republic

Nearly 500 young artists will have their work on display Saturday during the Solano County Student Art Showcase at the county fairgrounds.

The free event will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m. on the lawns next to McCormack Hall. The fairgrounds are located at 900 Fairgrounds Drive in Vallejo.

“Our students have been through so much over the last few years,” Johanna Nowak-Palmer, program manager of Youth Development in the Solano County Office of Education, said in a statement released Wednesday. “Our goal is to amplify their voices and elevate their creativity by bringing the whole community together to view their extraordinary art. We believe art empowers students, and we hope this allows them to express themselves in a healthy, positive and impactful way.”

Source: Student artists to be celebrated at showcase event at fairgrounds

185 Fairfield-Suisun students earn Highest Honors awards – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

The usual indoor Highest Honors awards ceremony gave way Wednesday to an outdoor event for 2022 as the number of 4.0 GPA students surged even as Covid has done.

There were 185 top students on the turf at Ed Hopkins Memorial Field at Rodriguez High School. All of them achieved GPAs of at least 4.0, with most going beyond that. Armijo, Fairfield, Rodriguez, the Public Safety Academy and Early College high schools were all represented.

Source: 185 Fairfield-Suisun students earn Highest Honors awards

$3 Billion in Grants for Community Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

The State Board of Education (SBE) today approved an historic $649 million in California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) grants—much needed funding that will help hundreds of under-resourced schools improve student outcomes by creating the right conditions for learning.

“We know that the best learning environment is one where students are healthy and happy and surrounded by knowledgeable and caring adults attuned to their needs,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “Unfortunately, schools in communities with high rates of poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity lack the funds to address student mental health issues, improve wellness, and support learning recovery. That’s why this program is so exciting: Well-resourced community schools have the potential to transform students’ lives and improve the well-being of families, thus uplifting entire communities.”

Source: $3 Billion in Grants for Community Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Council pledges $500K toward early childhood center in South Vallejo – Vallejo Sun

With smiles on their faces, the Vallejo city council happily agreed to a request from First 5 Solano Children and Families to provide $500,000 in funding to establish an Early Learning Center at the former Beverly Hills Elementary School site in South Vallejo.

The funding will be split in at least two ways with the city redirecting $160,000 from its Youth Initiative budget, and $340,000 from American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Source: Council pledges $500K toward early childhood center in South Vallejo

Vacaville High Medical Science Students Thanked – The Vacaville Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Julia Young, 19 of Vacaville (right) speaks with Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent, Jane Shamieh (middle) and Gerthy Gammon as they tour the medical science classroom at Vacaville High School Tuesday following a special ceremony organized by the school district and Solano County Public Health to thank current and past students of the medical science program taught by Teri Shook for their assistance with vaccination clinics that have been held on campus the past two years. Julia was a student in the program and graduated last year. She is currently a nursing student at Arizona State University.

Source: Photo: Vacaville High Medical Science Students Thanked – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun district set to receive LGBTQ+ books for children – Daily Republic

The Fairfield-Suisun School District is one of nine Bay Area school districts set Tuesday to receive a delivery of books with LGBTQ+ themes that are designed for elementary-age children.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is scheduled to attend an event at an elementary school in Richmond to mark the deliveries.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun district set to receive LGBTQ+ books for children

Travis Spark Challenge returns, ignites innovation – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

At Travis Air Force Base, airmen are frequently coming up with ways to improve the base’s goal of defense readiness, especially amid a constantly changing world.

So too are high schoolers, who also come up with innovative solutions in the classes they take. It only makes sense that the two would come together for the base’s annual Travis Spark Challenge.

Formerly called the Phoenix Spark Challenge, this is the first time in three years the challenge has taken place at Travis, as it was postponed due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Travis Spark Challenge returns, ignites innovation – The Vacaville Reporter

Solano Workforce Development Board offering free pre-apprenticeship training program – Times-Herald

The Workforce Development Board of Solano County is offering a free, five-week pre-apprenticeship training for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 that will help them to complete all the training they need for an introductory trades position at no cost to them.

The pre-apprenticeship training will be offered Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 11 to Aug. 15, at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School.

“This program will truly open doors for their future,” said Nel Sweet-Davis, an employability specialist with the Workforce Development Board of Solano County and one of the organizers of the training program. “It’s more than the trades. It will encompass so many industries, industries that are becoming very common here in Solano County. We encourage the students to see this as a kickstart program to their future in the trades or labor industry.”

Source: Solano Workforce Development Board offering free pre-apprenticeship training program – Times-Herald

VCUSD’s College and Career Open House coming soon – Times-Herald

The Vallejo City Unified School District’s two high schools, Jesse Bethel and Vallejo High Schools will host a College and Career High School Open House. Jesse Bethel High School will open its doors on Tuesday, May 24, and Vallejo High School will welcome visitors on Wednesday, May 25.

Both events will be held in the Big Gyms and run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

All community members are welcome to learn more about their local high schools, whether you have a child entering high school or not.

Source: VCUSD’s College and Career Open House coming soon – Times-Herald

Thurmond Issues Statement on Governor’s May Revise – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s revised budget for the fiscal year 2022–23:

“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, California public schools will see a much needed infusion of investments at a time when students and schools, especially those that have been traditionally underserved, require more support than ever before. The revised budget directs a total of $128.3 billion to education, lifts up the most critical needs including historic funding for school mental health, recruitment and retention of teachers, and literacy strategies necessary to allow students to heal and recover after two very challenging years.

Source: Thurmond Issues Statement on Governor’s May Revise – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

Area students to take on Spark Challenge at Travis base – Daily Republic

High school teams from across Solano County will compete Friday in the Travis Spark Challenge.

The Travis Spark Challenge is a partnership involving the Solano County Office of Education, the Travis Air Force Base Phoenix Spark Lab and Nexus Spark Lab. It tests the students “to solve real life challenges” facing Travis Air Force Base.

The challenges presented advance both high school academic goals and Travis Air Force Base’s mission.

Source: Area students to take on Spark Challenge at Travis base

Best Practice Assessments Ease Security Upgrade at SCOE – Palo Alto Networks

Solano County Office of Education (COE) provides a variety of services supporting job readiness training, safe schools initiatives, fiscal accountability, and equity projects for six school districts serving 64,000 students in the northeast San Francisco Bay Area. The county has long been one of the most diverse in the United States, and as part of its mission to ensure educational equity, Solano COE provides technical support, resources, and expertise to help school districts empower students through digital learning.

For several years, Solano COE has relied on Palo Alto Networks for the solutions that keep its districts’ networks secure. The Office of Education uses Palo Alto Networks Next Generation Firewall PA-7050 to provide firewalls for the districts, and it employs cloud-delivered security services (CDSS) including Threat Prevention and URL Filtering.

Source: Best Practice Assessments Ease Security Upgrade at Solano County Office of Education – Palo Alto Networks

Fairfield-Suisun board to consider multiple-school sports agreement – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Fairfield-Suisun school board will hear a presentation Thursday on the California Interscholastic Federation Multi-School Agreement that could allow students at private and charter schools to compete on public school athletic teams.

A CIF agreement such as this is between two schools and allows students from a school that does not have an athletic program to participate in their “resident school’s” athletic program.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board to consider multiple-school sports agreement

Solano College plans ‘Car-Mencement’ ceremony for graduates – Daily Republic

Solano Community College will host “Car-Mencement 2022” at 10 a.m. May 26, a vehicular graduation parade at the rural Fairfield campus.

Candidates from the Class of 2022, as well as graduates from the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020, are invited to join the celebration. Graduates who wish to participate must register online and select a one-hour time frame when they will be in their vehicle and circling the campus to cheering faculty and staff before receiving a diploma cover while remaining in their vehicle.

Source: Solano College plans ‘Car-Mencement’ ceremony for graduates

Travis board moves ahead with plans to improve college-prep success among students – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Travis School District trustees gave the go-ahead Tuesday to move forward with plans to secure grant money to provide college-prep coursework support to students who may otherwise not be able to further their educations.

The district through its A-G Completion Improvement Grant Plan seeks $123,131 for the A-G Access portion of the grant and $46,161 for the Learning Loss Mitigation portion of the grant.

The plan will be submitted for adoption at the board meeting in June.

Source: Travis board moves ahead with plans to improve college-prep success among students

SPI Announces 2022 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 25 schools will receive the 2022 Civic Learning Award, which honor public schools’ efforts to engage students in civic learning. The awards celebrate programs, projects, classes, and individuals engaging students in civics, particularly during the pandemic. Now in its 10th year, the awards program is co-sponsored by State Superintendent Thurmond and Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and is part of the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative.

“These schools have deftly kept students engaged in civic learning through another tough year,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “Through these programs, now more important than ever, students are encouraged to have an open dialogue about the social issues that inspire them to learn about our democratic system. During my time as a State Legislator, I authored the bill that became the law that provides student school board members the ability to vote on a school board. My office door continues to be open to students; I believe that their voices are key to transforming our education system.”

Source: SPI Announces 2022 Civic Learning Award Recipients – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)