Will C. Wood freshman named 2023 Youth of the Year – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Just a few months after starting high school, Linda Hernandez is already set to have a busy 2023.

The Will C. Wood freshman was named the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club’s Youth of the Year for 2023, where she will serve as the club’s ambassador for the year and be entered into the National Youth of the Year competition.

Linda’s new title was announced in a ceremony held at the Opera House Wednesday evening, where the Boys & Girls Club kickoff the first major celebration of what will be the club’s 20th year of operation in Vacaville. The evening not only looked back at the past but also toward the future, which will see a much larger main campus on Brown Street.

Source: Will C. Wood freshman named 2023 Youth of the Year – The Vacaville Reporter

Solano to run special election for Benicia Trustee Area 5 – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Solano County supervisors on Tuesday set April 11 for a special election to fill the vacant Trustee Area 5 seat on the Benicia School District board.

The action allows the county Registrar of Voters to conduct the election.

The district board had appointed Ariana Martinez to fill the vacancy after no one ran for the post in the November election. The three others considered for the appointed, however, filed a petition arguing there was a conflict of interest and contended the board intentionally kept active parents from serving on the board, nepotism, collusion and failure to disclose that Martinez, who holds a master’s degree in social work, is the daughter of the executive assistant to the superintendent.

Source: Solano to run special election for Benicia Trustee Area 5

School funding proposal aims to achieve equity, but does it go far enough? – The Vacaville Reporter

By Joe Hong

Black students’ standardized test scores and graduation rates have long trailed those of their white and Asian peers. For decades, educators and legislators have tried to close that achievement gap, and a school funding proposal in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget illustrates just how difficult it is to do.

The idea for the proposed funding began as a bill authored last year by Assemblymember Akilah Weber, a Democrat from La Mesa, that would have provided more money for Black K-12 students. The bill made it through both the Assembly and Senate with unanimous support. While Newsom never vetoed the bill, he ultimately refused to sign it. Weber agreed to drop the bill when the governor promised to include the funding in his proposed budget for the next fiscal year.

Source: School funding proposal aims to achieve equity, but does it go far enough? – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun trustees hear about student testing shortfalls – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Students at many of the schools in the Fairfield-Suisun School District are performing poorly when compared to their peers across the state, according to state test results and related assessments from the prior school year.

Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent for Educational Services, gave a report Thursday on the 2022 State Dashboard, which provides a snapshot of student performance on tests that assess English-language arts and math proficiency across grade levels. The assessments make up California’s school accountability system.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees hear about student testing shortfalls

Fairfield-Suisun board may ax Matt Garcia campus – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Matt Garcia Career and College Academy is struggling and it is possible in the future the Fairfield-Suisun School District will shut it down.

After a tour by staff and board members a few weeks ago, issues were revealed that put the question of the school’s continued value in the spotlight.

Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent of Educational Services, and Kristen Witt, senior director of Secondary Education, gave a summation Thursday night of the positives and negatives facing the school.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board may ax Matt Garcia campus

$4M SCOE grant to support mental health, wellness – Daily Republic

Solano County Office of Education has received a $4 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The grant’s focus is to advance healing and improve social determinants of health among youth and families in communities that have experienced community violence, disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and other significant collective trauma over the past 24 months.

Source: $4M SCOE grant to support mental health, wellness

Fairfield-Suisun board considers implications of governor’s budget – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Fairfield-Suisun School District – along with public schools across the state – are feeling the pinch of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2023-24 budget, with the likely end of pandemic-driven one-time funding and no no relief provided as CalPERS retirement rates increase and CalSTRS retirement rates remain high.

The situation is such that schools will likely see most – if not all – spending for recent programs curtailed just to maintain baseline programs.

That was the gist of the message provided Tuesday to trustees of the Fairfield Suisun School District by Laneia Grindle, assistant superintendent of Business Services, who presented the governor’s budget plan and resulting budget year projections for the district.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board considers implications of governor’s budget

Travis trustees hear high, low points of student progress, well-being – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Trustees of the Travis School district last week received information about how students are faring both academically and socially, along with an update of what the district is doing to help both students and their parents.

Sue Brothers, assistant superintendent of Educational Studies, presented an update Tuesday on the midyear Local Control and Accountability Plan.

Brothers covered student performance and district progress on both school board goals and state-mandated Local Control and Accountability Plan goals in the areas of basic services, family involvement, student social-emotional wellness and academic achievement.

Source: Travis trustees hear high, low points of student progress, well-being

SCOE awarded $4 million grant for mental health, wellness – The Vacaville Reporter

The Solano County Office of Education was awarded a $4,000,000 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The aim, according to a press statement, is to “advance healing and improve social determinants of health among youth and families in communities that have experienced community violence, disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other significant collective trauma over the past 24 months.”

“SCOE is honored and well-positioned to be entrusted with such an important grant that will support building capacity for increased mental health supports in our school communities,” said Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson in the statement. “Schools across Solano County have seen an increase in student mental health and wellness needs, and we will use this grant to continue to be a conduit and leader in this work for students and families.”

Source: SCOE awarded $4 million grant for mental health, wellness – The Vacaville Reporter

HS diplomas available for Solano vets who left school for war – Daily Republic

U.S. military veterans and Japanese-American citizens who were unable to finish high school due to wartime circumstances can now get their diplomas. The Solano County Office of Education is again hosting the “Operation Recognition” event, scheduled March 24, and is accepting applications from eligible individuals or from families of someone who is eligible.

Source: HS diplomas available for Solano vets who left school for war

January 26 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Faces and Places – Times-Herald

U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-04) and John Garamendi (CA-08) presented a $2 million check to officials from Solano County Transit (SolTrans) for the 100 percent Battery Electric Commuter Coaches project. This funding was secured in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill.

“Climate change is an ever-pressing issue that demands our immediate attention, and any step we can take to reduce emissions is a good one,” said Thompson. “The electrification of public transit is a big step in the right direction that will help SolTrans reduce pollution and provide a cleaner transportation option for the people of Solano County who rely on public transit. I was proud to work with SolTrans to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing these electric buses in action soon.”

Source: January 26 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Faces and Places – Times-Herald

Youth in a bright spotlight again with Solano Symphony – The Vacaville Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Youth will have its day once more when longtime Solano Symphony conductor Semyon Lohss and the orchestra accompany three winners of the 2022 Young Artists Competition during the annual Salute to Youth concert in Vacaville on Feb. 5.

The music begins at 3 p.m. in the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre, 1010 Ulatis Drive.

In a press statement, symphony Board President Melinda Ellis said the trio of winners are active music students at Davis Senior High School in Davis.

Source: January 19 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Youth in a bright spotlight again with Solano Symphony – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun schools prep to open kindergarten registration – Daily Republic

Registration for the 2023-24 Fairfield-Suisun School District for school year opens Monday.

Children who turn 5, with birth dates from Sept. 2, 2017, to Sept. 1, 2018, can register for kindergarten classes. Transitional kindergarten classes are available for children who turn 5 after the kindergarten cut-off date.

To register, visit fsusd.org/register.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools prep to open kindergarten registration

Leaven Kids program to be named for late Fairfield Mayor Harry Price – The Vacaville Reporter

The Leaven Kids Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion to name an existing or in-development educational program after late Fairfield Mayor Harry Price, it was announced this week.

As a founding member and longtime supporter of Leaven Kids, this naming recognition is meant to memorialize Price’s contributions to the organization’s mission. The motion was led by Board Member Len Augustine.

Source: Leaven Kids program to be named for late Fairfield Mayor Harry Price – The Vacaville Reporter

Mayrene Bates, longtime educator and SCOE Board trustee, dies at 88 – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Mayrene Bates — a longtime Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) educator, trustee with the Solano Board of Education and active community supporter — died Jan. 6. She was 88.

“It’s a community loss,” longtime friend and retired Solano Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Snedeker said.

Bates was born April 15, 1934 in the small town of Liberty, Tenn. At the time, the South was in the midst of segregation, and Bates had to take a bus to attend a high school that was twice as far away as the school that was designated for white students.

Source: Mayrene Bates, longtime educator and Solano Board of Education trustee, dies at 88 – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun trustees to hear reports on student performance, state budget – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees will hear several presentations Thursday, including updates on student performance and the state budget.

Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent, Educational Services, will talk about the College/Career Indicator update. This is one of several state indicators that the California Department of Education reports on the California School Dashboard that serves as a statewide accountability measure, according to the staff report.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to hear reports on student performance, state budget

Travis board backs changes to graduation requirements – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Travis School District trustees on Tuesday approved a change in the graduation requirements starting with the Class of 2024.

Specifically, the governing board removed the health course graduation requirement.

The reason the district was considering this change is because many students and families have stated the students wanted to take additional electives courses but the schedule didn’t allow for it, according to a staff report.

Tiffany Benson the director of Curriculum and Instruction, gave part of the presentation.

Source: Travis board backs changes to graduation requirements

New state data paints grim picture of Vallejo schools’ performance – Vallejo Sun

By John Glidden

Vallejo City Unified School District students’ performance was poor or very poor in every metric, well below statewide standards in both English language skills and math, as the district had an absenteeism rate and suspension rate double the statewide average, according to new data released on the California School Dashboard.

It’s the first set of data to be released on the state dashboard since it was suspended for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five-person Vallejo school board will review the data, which includes the district’s graduation rate and student academic performance, during the board’s meeting Wednesday.

Source: New state data paints grim picture of Vallejo schools’ performance

Travis school board considers change to graduation requirements – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Travis School District is looking to make a change to graduation requirements starting with the Class of 2024.

Specifically, the governing board on Tuesday will consider removing the health course graduation requirement.

The reason the district is considering this change is because many students and families have stated the students wanted to take additional electives courses but the schedule didn’t allow for it, according to a staff report. Removing this requirement will offer an opportunity for 11th grade students to take an additional class, including advanced studies and courses for remediation.

Source: Travis school board considers change to graduation requirements

Buchanan Miles, 23-year Hemlock teaching veteran, is Vacaville Unified’s Teacher of the Year – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Walking through Buchanan Miles’ fourth-grade classroom at Hemlock Elementary School, it is already apparent that he is a highly exalted teacher. Sitting atop a bookshelf of grade-appropriate novels in his classroom’s Reading Corner is a set of trophies in the shape of Oscars and racing cups proclaiming Miles as the “Best Teacher” as well as an award from KUIC naming him the Teacher of the Month for Dec. 2013.

Now, Miles has a new award he can add to his shelf: one proclaiming him as Vacaville Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year for the 2022-23 year.

Miles, who is in his 23rd year of teaching at Hemlock, was honored by his peers for his selflessness, dedication to his students and contributions to the school’s culture of positivity.

Source: Buchanan Miles, 23-year Hemlock teaching veteran, is Vacaville Unified’s Teacher of the Year – The Vacaville Reporter