By Matt O’Donnell
When the Solano Community College baseball team throws its first pitch on Saturday, it will officially be the top of the first.
In more ways than one.
The Falcons will return to competition for the first time since last spring. The school “opted in” for late spring sports — baseball, softball, swimming and tennis — in February as athletes came back to campus the week of March 1.
Solano is testing athletes twice a week, even though California Community College Athletic Association has recommended testing once per week.
Source: Solano Community College about to launch late spring sports – Times-Herald
BY Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Biden pledged to unravel the Title IX rule put forth by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, which was broadly unpopular among campus leaders and advocates for sexual violence prevention.
The regulation took effect in August. It constructs a judiciary-style system for assessing and potentially punishing sexual violence, in which both parties are allowed to cross-examine the other through a surrogate. It also restricts the cases colleges need to look into, including many of those that occur off campus. And it narrows the definition of sexual harassment, matching the one used by the U.S. Supreme Court in Title IX cases.
Legal experts have said it would be difficult for the Biden administration to immediately strike down the regulation, which was cemented through formal rulemaking and, therefore, carries the force of law.
Source: Ed Dept starts review of DeVos’s Title IX regulation | Higher Ed Dive
By Nick Sestanovich
While many students are happy to be returning to campuses after being away for so long, the isolation stemming from the yearlong closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic has also taken a toll on their mental health.
It is an area educators throughout the country are working to address and one that staff at Eugene Padan Elementary School have placed emphasis on.
Kindergarten teacher Kimberly Arnold said this has included incorporating social-emotional learning curricula at every grade level, establishing a committee to support best practices for teaching such curricula, and hiring mental health practitioners to support students most in need.
Source: Coronavirus: Padan prioritizes mental health lessons as students return – The Reporter
By Tristi Rodriguez
A handful of high schools in the Bay Area have announced they will be holding in-person graduation ceremonies this summer.
The Vacaville Unified School District got the O.K. from Solano Public Health and the Vacaville Unified School District Governing Board to host in-person commencement celebrations in June for the graduating classes of both 2020 and 2021.
Source: Bay Area high schools get OK for in-person graduation ceremonies | KRON4
School-based mental health services and support programs are important to creating safe and supportive learning environments.
The Vacaville Unified School District has developed a new tool to provide students with a variety of resources.
Teacher Kim Arnold and Joanna Littell, a mental health physician, joined KCRA 3 on Wednesday to talk about available mental health support for students.
Source: Q&A: Vacaville School District officials explain new tool for student mental health support
By Kris Corey
Green Valley Middle School (GVMS) continues to connect with families through a Virtual Family Engagement Series this spring. This five part series offers monthly virtual events to continue the strong connection of the GVMS community.
GVMS kicked off the Virtual Family Engagement Series on Thursday, February 18. Counselor Elizabeth Bates hosted “Cooking with Our Counselor,” leading the Green Valley Vikings and their families on how to make homemade sugar cookies with homemade frosting. To assist in participation, Green Valley provided the necessary supplies to any family that requested them.
Source: Press Release: Green Valley Middle School Offers Virtual Family Engagement Series
By Joel Rosenbaum
Smiling under her mask, Vacaville High School senior Ciera Howse, 17 reacts to the cheers of her friends and family after she was crowned the 2021 Homecoming Queen during halftime of the Bulldogs’ 63-12 victory over Armijo High School Friday at Tom Zunino Stadium.
Source: Vaca High celebrates homecoming royalty – The Reporter
By Tony Wade
Pandemic, schmandemic; the show must go on.
That appears to be the philosophy of Solano College Theatre professor Christine Mani, who is not only executive directing “Deathtrap,” the student-led drama that debuts April 1, but also the theater company’s first musical during the pandemic, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” later on in the month.
The 1967 musical based on the “Peanuts” comic strip characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Schulz was deemed by Mani to be the perfect choice to perform at this particular moment in time for a variety of reasons.
Source: Solano College Theater presents ‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown’
By Susan Hiland
Schools in Fairfield and Suisun City returned to limited in-person instruction over the past two weeks, an achievement that now has school board members and district staff turning their attention to the future.
“I had to fight back tears of joy,” Sheila McCabe, the district’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services, said Thursday during the Fairfield-Suisun School District Board of Trustees meeting. “It was wonderful seeing students returning to school.”
The plan is to introduce students back into in-person learning slowly over the next few weeks. Students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten returned to in-person learning March 2 and by all accounts were happy to be back with friends.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools set to roll out more in-person classroom instruction
Travis Unified School District welcomed its first round of students back for in-person learning Friday, officials announced in a news release.
Following the Travis school board’s approval of a hybrid reopening model at its March 9 meeting, the first cohort of students returned to campus Friday.
Under this model, small groups of students will attend school on campus one day a week until spring break begins Friday. When students return on April 12, that number will be bumped up to two days a week while learning from home the other three days. For families who choose to remain in distance learning, that will still be an option as well.
Source: Travis Unified campuses reopen for in-person learning – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
Almost every student knows what it’s like to cram for a test.
For the Vallejo High School football team, that exam will come April 2 when the team travels to Rodriguez.
The Redhawks got off to a much later start than others in Solano County when football conditioning was delayed until March 22 by the Vallejo City Unified School District. Almost every other football program in the state began at least a month earlier.
Source: Vallejo High School football team rushing to get ready for season opener – Times-Herald
The Solano County Office of Education teacher of the year is Ron Major and the classified employee of the year is Shelia Vogel.
Recognition of Major and Vogel was announced in a press release.
The Office of Education hosts the annual Solano County Educators of the Year awards each year. The county agency began recognizing exemplary teachers in 1978 and the program has expanded to recognize outstanding teachers and classified school employees for Solano school districts and charter schools.
Source: Solano County Office of Education honors 2 staff members
By Nick Sestanovich
A teacher at Golden Hills Educational Center in Vacaville and a college and career development specialist for the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) have been named as the top Educators of the Year for SCOE, officials announced in a news release.
Ron Major is SCOE’s teacher of the tear, and Sheila Vogel is SCOE’s classified employee of the year. Both were selected by SCOE’s nomination committee which annually chooses “two employees who work passionately to contribute to student achievement, educational innovation, and advance community involvement in schools,” according to the release.
Source: Major, Vogel named Solano County Office of Education’s top educators of the year – The Reporter
By Matt Sieger
The formula for determining the golf team champion of the Monticello Empire League is a bit complicated.
Vacaville High, however, kept it simple and erased all doubt by not only going 10-0 in the regular season but also winning the league tournament on a sunny but windy Tuesday afternoon at Rancho Solano golf course.
The Bulldogs were led by Jack Mitchells’s 86 over 18 holes, followed by Ben Wilhite (89), Dylan Dzierman (97), Tyler Riley (100), and Evan Wilson (108), for the low team score of the day, 480.
Source: Vacaville High nabs boys golf crown – The Reporter
That is what some of Solano County’s top wordsmiths in fourth through sixth grade will be demonstrating when the Solano County Office of Education hosts its 45th annual Spelling Bee, which will be held virtually this year. The preliminary round will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the top spellers advancing to the final round on April 13.
According to an SCOE news release, 25 public and private schools from throughout the county are on tap to participate in this event.
Source: SCOE hosting virtual spelling bee – The Reporter
The preliminary rounds of the 45th annual Solano County Spelling Bee are scheduled to start Saturday and will feature participants from 25 schools.
The contest is open to all public and private schools serving fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students.
“Spelling bees serve as a way to improve a student’s comprehension skills; strengthen listening, spelling and writing proficiencies, while expanding on a student’s extensive vocabulary,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement. “Students participating in the Spelling Bee competition also have the opportunity to gain confidence in public speaking and learn to be gracious winners, while having fun with their peers.”
Source: Prelims of Solano County Spelling Bee set to begin Saturday – virtually
By Ryan Hill
“It feels really good to be back,” Caitlyn Chalmers, a senior at Will C. Wood High School, said.
Being masked-up and socially distant means a lot for Chalmers. She and the rest of her senior class are able to have somewhat of a normal ending of her senior year.
“It means a lot just to see everyone for a little bit before we go our separate ways,” Chalmers said.
“As we got further along with staying at home, I really didn’t think it was going to happen.”
Chalmers told CBS13 that she was a junior when she and her classmates were forced into distance learning.
Source: Vacaville Students Welcomed Back For In-Person Learning After Over A Year – CBS Sacramento
By Nick Sestanovich
Putting up festive displays is a hallmark for the first day of the academic year is a hallmark for Will C. Wood High School. While not technically being the first day of the year, Monday had a big reason to celebrate: it was the first day of in-person learning since March 2020, when all campuses closed because of the coronavirus.
Wood — as well as all of Vacaville Unified School District’s middle and high schools — reopened its campus for the district’s new hybrid schedule Monday, following the reopening of the district’s elementary schools Thursday.
The secondary schools are gradually easing students back in with the 25 percent hybrid model, where students come to campus one day a week, based on the first letter of their last name, and continue to learn from home the rest of the week. This will change after students return from spring break on April 12, where half of the students are on campus Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other half of the students are on campus Thursdays and Fridays. All students will continue to learn remotely Wednesdays.
Source: Coronavirus: Middle, high school students return to campus – The Reporter
The California Department of Education (CDE) today has posted estimated local education agency (LEA) allocations from the $6.6 billion made available as part of the Assembly Bill (AB) 86 External link opens in new window or tab. COVID-19 relief package. The funding provided by AB 86 will accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and provide schools the resources to expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.
“As more school districts across California announce plans to bring students back into classrooms, we at the CDE are providing the technical support our schools need to access resources in a timely way so educators can focus on providing a safe return to in-person learning, accelerate learning, and begin recovering,” said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.
A breakdown of how the $2 billion for In-Person Instruction (IPI) Grants and $4.6 billion for Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grants were determined for each LEA are available on the CDE IPI and ELO Grants Funding Results web page.
Source: $6 Billion in Reopening/Expanded Learning Funding – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent William Spalding made dates for hybrid learning official on Friday.
The dates were previously tentative, but Spalding said in a video that transitional kindergarten through sixth grade will begin on Monday, April 12. Meanwhile, seventh through 12th grade has been moved up a week to April 19.
The district has been in distance learning since March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a VCUSD meeting earlier this month, Spalding said that Gov. Gavin Newsom would like all of the state to begin returning to in-person instruction by April 1, but if the district had a spring break during the next month, no penalty would be accessed as long as there was a plan in place for schools to return on the first possible day after the break.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District announces official starting dates for hybrid learning – Times-Herald