As the federal sequestration budget cuts kick in, Head Start providers across California are struggling to decide how to absorb the shortfall without hurting children.
For most programs, it boils down to a question of whether to cut school days or serve fewer children.
“It’s kind of like a ‘Sophie’s Choice,’” said Rick Mockler, the executive director of the California Head Start Association. “Do you diminish everyone’s education a little bit (by cutting days) or do you cut out some children altogether?”
via Head Start programs across the state cut services, children – by Lillian Mongeau.
Fabian Núñez, who once was an organizer for the California Teachers Association and counted on the CTA as an ally when he became state Assembly speaker, has been hired as a strategist by StudentsFirst, the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee reported.
The hire is the latest signal that StudentsFirst, the Sacramento-based advocacy organization founded by ex-Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, plans to step up its political work in Sacramento. In pushing an aggressive national agenda that focuses on expanding charter schools, teacher evaluations and an end to teacher seniority and tenure, the organization has been at odds with teachers unions. In this month’s school board election in Los Angeles Unified, it gave $250,000 to candidates backing Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy and opposed by United Teachers Los Angeles.
via StudentsFirst hires former Assembly Speaker Núñez – by John Fensterwald.
Zydeco was the winning word! Congratulations to all the excellent spellers at the Solano County Elementary Spelling Bee last night. Alex Topp, from Cooper Elementary School in the Vacaville Unified School District, placed first, and Stephanie Teding, from Nelda Mundy Elementary School in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, placed second. Topp and Teding will advance to the California State Spelling Bee Championship on April 20 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton. There were a total of 398 words spelled including furnariidae (a large family of small suboscine passerine birds found in Mexico, and Central and South America), and volauvent (a small hollow case of puff pastry)!
via Zydeco was the winning word! Congratulations to all the excellent spellers at t….
Although the unemployment rate in many places in the country is dropping, the recent recession and jobless state that lingers for many parents is having a profound effect on children and their education, a new report says.
In “Unemployment from a Child’s Perspective,” the Urban Institute and First Focus note that while children could benefit from having more time with their parents at home, parents who lose their jobs can be irritable, depressed, and they may shift from parenting that is supportive to parenting that is punitive.
via Parents’ Unemployment Affects Students at Home, School.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
The Dixon Police Department is partnering with local schools to offer trainings to teachers and staff that can help keep adults and children safe in case an emergency were to occur on campus.
This week, Dixon Police Lieutenant Nathan Steele was at Dixon Montessori Charter School to provide a 45-minute training to staff and teachers on school safety and active shooter education.
via Police provide free safety training to local teachersBrianna BoydEditor The….
Living close to a safe, clean park increases the amount of time California teenagers spend exercising, a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research shows.
The findings, while not necessarily surprising, have implications for park-starved areas of California and for neighborhoods where parks are not considered safe, according to Susan H. Babey, a senior research scientist at the UCLA center and lead author of the study.
via California teens who live close to safe parks exercise more – by Jane Meredith Adams.
The PBS documentary “180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School,” debuted Monday and Tuesday and received a great deal of feedback on Twitter. Emotions ran high in the audience as viewers learned about the trials of Washington Metropolitan High School, in the District of Columbia. (Affectionately known as D.C. Met.) And trials there were, in everything from school climate to financial aid for college.
via 10 Tweets That Summarize PBS School Documentary ‘180 Days’.
It was not enough to win the Cooper Elementary Geography Bee in January. Not enough to win the Grace B. Powell Citywide Spelling Bee in February, for the second time in as many years. So perhaps it was inexorable, i-n-e-x-o-r-a-b-l-e, something fated, that Alex Topp of Vacaville on Wednesday would end up hoisting the first-place trophy at the end of the Solano County Elementary School Spelling Bee Championship.
But after more than 50 rounds of words, going toe-to-toe with Stephanie Teding of Nelda Mundy Elementary for about half of them, it was unclear if Topp would walk away with bragging rights at the annual spell-off at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center in Suisun City.
via Vacaville sixth-grader wins Solano County spelling bee, adds to ….
While that article speaks more about police response, readiness among teachers and administrators has become a major focus as well.
That’s one reason the Dixon Police Department began training local teachers and school employees Wednesday on how to respond in the event of an active-shooter situation.
While the department hopes that no such tragedy ever strikes in Dixon, the possibility always exists.
via Police Prepare Teachers for Possibility of Armed Attack at Dixon School (VIDEO).
FAIRFIELD — Nominees for Solano County Educators of the Year for 2013-14 were announced Wednesday.
Leading the way is Sally Nishida, who was announced as the Solano County Office of Education’s 2013-14 Teacher of the Year. Nishida is a speech and language therapist working with deaf and hard-of-hearing children at Cordelia Hills Elementary School in Fairfield.
via Nominees for Solano County educators of the year announced.
SUISUN CITY — Champion Alex Topp knew it was important to fuel up with plenty of brain food Wednesday before competing in the countywide spelling bee. After all, he’d competed for the title twice before.
So with a belly full of a ham sandwich with Swiss cheese from Subway, complete with spinach and avocado, Topp correctly spelled zydeco to punch his ticket to the state bee in April.
“All the other years, it was just silly mistakes,” the sixth-grader at Cooper Elementary School said of his previous exits.
via ‘Zydeco’ earns Vacaville boy spelling bee crown.
Women may be underrepresented in science and technology not because they are less skilled in those areas or because they face specific gender barriers to entering these fields, but because they may find better opportunities elsewhere.
That’s the conclusion from a new study by Ming-Te Wang and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh. According to the researchers, women have broader intellectual talents, which provide them with more occupational options.
via The Real Reason Women Don’t Choose STEM Careers.
A California Distinguished School site validation team made up of SCOE administrators Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Associate Superintendent of Student Programs and Educational Services; Sandy Jessop, Director of District and School Support; Rick Vaccaro, Director of Alternative Education; and Nick Girimonte, Principal of Dixon High School, spent March 25 at Buckingham Charter Magnet High School in Vacaville. The team reported out to Buckingham staff at the end of the school day. A written report will be submitted to the California Department of Education that will include the findings of the validation visit and the team’s recommendation to move forward in the process. The California Department of Education will make the final determination and will notify the Vacaville Unified School District and Buckingham of its decision in April.
via A California Distinguished School site validation team made up of SCOE administr….
SCOE presents a Bullying Webinar on Thursday, May 16. Learn the definition of bullying, gain access to online resources, and learn how to support your child. Watch from your home computer! Registration is open to the first 35 participants. For more information: http://www.solanocoe.net/apps/events/2013/5/16/1439266/?id=0
via SCOE presents a Bullying Webinar on Thursday, May 16. Learn the definition of bu….
Ask Curt Johnston about Solano Community College and chances are you might get some little known facts about its students. For example, you might learn that Solano’s county assessor and the attorney who represented Rodney King got their start at the school, or that half of local high school seniors enroll there after graduation.
After eight months as the new Solano Community College Educational Foundation interim executive director, Johnston is on a promotional mission with two key events planned in April.
via Solano College Educational Foundation aims to link with business.
Dr. Melanie Lutz, Engineering and Physics Departments, Solano Community College
Bond Measure Q, which was passed by the voters in November, provided $348 million for capital improvements at Solano Community College. The administration is currently working with architects to develop construction plans. Although a final decision has not been made, the administration is considering demolishing Building 300, the Physical Sciences building, which was only recently renovated with $5 million of funds from 2002 Bond Measure G.
via Don’t waste ‘Q’ dollars.
Dixon Unified leaders plan on selling three parcels of district property, totaling 105 acres, and will accept sealed bids on April 30, it has been announced.
The parcels, at 5750 Sievers Road, will be sold “at a minimum acceptable purchase price” of $725,000, Cecile Nunley, the district’s chief business official, said in a press release.
via Dixon Unified School District to sell off 105 acres.
The nine California districts seeking a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Law have got their foot in the door. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it has accepted their waiver application and will treat it as they would an application from other states, with a formal review.
via U.S. Ed Department agrees to review 9 districts’ plan for NCLB waiver – by John Fensterwald.
By Mark Slavkin / commentary
A well-rounded education that includes the arts is essential to prepare California students for college and careers. A year of fine arts is required for admission to the CSU or UC campuses. Further, the skills students gain in the arts – imagination, creativity and innovation – are essential for success in the California economy, no matter the industry or sector.
While the California Education Code has long established the place of the arts in the required course of study, actual implementation in California classrooms varies widely. Recognizing these disparities and understanding the need for additional resources, the Legislature in 2006 established the Art and Music Block Grant, a $105 million line item in the California Department of Education budget that provides every school district an allocation based on their total enrollment.
via Hold districts accountable for restoring funding for the arts – by Mark Slavkin / commentary.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
In a contest as nail biting as a sporting competition, over 300 avid readers from Gretchen Higgins Elementary faced off in the Battle of the Books Monday.
Instead of using balls and bats in this competition, the third to sixth graders used their reading, memory and comprehension skills to field questions on a number of pre-selected books. Close to 100 third graders, divided into 24 teams of four, faced off in a grade-level battle that morning. Meanwhile, 170 fourth to sixth graders, divided into 43 teams, split into two groups for the first round of battles, with the top 10 teams facing off in a site battle that afternoon.
via Over 300 children battle with books at Gretchen Higgins