Josephine Parsons, president of SMW, Fairfield
I’d like to recognize and give a special thanks to the following schools: Fairview, Anna Kyle, Laurel Creek, Rolling Hills, Sheldon and Suisun Elementary.
Every year, members from the Society of Military Widows take treats to the veterans at Yountville. In these times of budget cuts, the teachers came through. Due to the generosity of the teachers and talents of the children, we were able to deliver a valentine to every veteran.
via Thank you to teachers, students.
SACRAMENTO—As California moves toward full implementation of the Common Core State Standards, a separate effort underway to translate the English-language arts standards into Spanish has now been completed, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.
“Common Core en Español” is a joint effort between the San Diego County Office of Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, and California Department of Education.
via Spanish Version Common Core Standards Available.
The New Foundations Program was honored to host a guest speaker, Ms. Leah Vautrot, on March 21. Leah is the daughter of Leonard Vautrot, a recently retired SCOE JDF teacher, and travelled from Los Angeles to share her story.
via The New Foundations Program was honored to host a guest speaker, Ms. Leah Vautro….
Even though a healthy school climate can lead to strong academic outcomes, principals lack training in how to build relationships for support and learning among staff and students.
Despite the proven effect school environment can have on student performance, it appears that most states aren’t sure of what kind of training in school culture leaders get before taking charge of a school, my colleague Sarah D. Sparks wrote recently.
via Principals Appear to Lack Training in Addressing School Climate.
At Washington Metropolitan High School, in the District of Columbia, many students struggle to keep going. The alternative school for at-risk youth features a litany of the toughest problems schools have to cope with: Chronic absenteeism, dropouts, violence, teenage pregnancy, suspension, tight budgets, and an ongoing challenge to meet adequate yearly progress.
In an ambitious project, a film crew went into D.C. Met for the entirety of the 2011-12 school year to give a broad picture of what a school in dire straits faces. The result, “180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School,” debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, with the other half showing tomorrow night.
via New PBS School Documentary ‘180 Days’: A Grueling, Hopeful Journey.
Student enrollment rates in California’s community colleges have dropped to a 20-year low in the wake of unprecedented cuts in state funding. Colleges have reduced staff, cut courses, and increased class sizes—all of which have led to declines in student access.
This research was supported with funding from the Donald Bren Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and The James Irvine Foundation.
via PUBLICATION: The Impact of Budget Cuts on California’s Community Colleges.
Continuous budget cuts have taken their toll on community colleges, resulting in a 20-year low in student enrollment, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California report.
Since the so-called Great Recession began in 2007, California’s community college system has sustained $1.5 billion in cuts, which has resulted in reductions in faculty and course offerings, according to the report, “The Impact of Budget Cuts on California’s Community Colleges.”
via Community college enrollment falling in California.
Crystal Middle School students placed in the middle school division of the Solano County Science Fair. Go, Cougars – you make us proud!
via COUGAR PRIDE!
Crystal Middle School students placed in the middle school divisi….
State education officials in California have offered a tepid blessing of the No Child Left Behind waiver application that a group of nine districts have submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.
In a March 22 letter to federal officials, Tom Torlakson (the state chief) and Michael Kirst (the board president) said the California Board of Education “expressed enthusiasm” for the waiver.
via The Precedent for NCLB District Waivers.
By John Fensterwald
An even 50 percent of respondents told pollsters they favored – while 39 percent opposed – the idea of having “some money diverted from middle and upper class children to low income children and English language learners.” That’s a key element of the Local Control Funding Formula for schools that the governor is proposing to phase in over the next seven years. Brown plans to use increased revenue from Proposition 30, approved in November, and the growth in state revenues, and he adds the caveat that, in shifting resources to needy children, no district will receive less money than it currently spends.
More California voters favor than oppose Gov. Jerry Brown’s sweeping plan to reform school finance, and most are against the idea of lowering the threshold for approving local school parcel taxes from two-thirds to a 55 percent majority, according to a new statewide poll.
via Poll finds the less you make, the more you like Brown’s school finance reform – by John Fensterwald.
By John Fensterwald
Even though there are more potential students who should be served by community colleges, “funding shortfalls throughout the community college system have led to significant reductions in staff, considerably fewer course offerings, and severely restricted enrollment,” write the researchers of “Impact of Budget Cuts on the California Community Colleges,” which was released on Monday.
A decline of 24 percent in per-student funding over five years has led to a record decline in access to community colleges and has jeopardized the services to those students who are enrolled, an extensive study by the Public Policy Institute of California concluded.
via Budget cuts create unprecedented stress on community colleges – by John Fensterwald.
With unusual speed, the California Teachers Association on Friday endorsed a bill Assemblymember Joan Buchanan introduced three days ago that would quicken the process for dismissing teachers. The teachers association joins Sen. Alex Padilla, who is dropping his own dismissal bill in support of Buchanan’s, thus creating a consensus among opposite sides of one of the most contentious issues last year in the Legislature.
via In meeting of the minds, CTA also backs teacher dismissal bill – by John Fensterwald.
Gen-STEM partnership to energize Vacaville and Dixon Transition Kindergarten students! Educators from the Solano County Office of Education, Vacaville Unified School District (VUSD), and Dixon Unified School District (DUSD) met at the VUSD district office on March 20 to discuss the new Gen-STEM grant. The $22,500 partnership grant from Genentech will serve 90 transitional kindergarten students at three schools in VUSD and DUSD.
The Gen-STEM pilot project will allow Genentech, in partnership with the Solano Educational Partnership Foundation, Vacaville and Dixon Unified School Districts, the Solano County Office of Education, and UC Davis, to lead the way in providing access to innovative learning for the youngest learners. Gen-STEM focuses on opening doors to the magic of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for economically disadvantaged and English Learner students in the Vacaville and Dixon communities. The project will serve to stimulate an excitement about STEM starting with transitional kindergarten students, generating an early interest in career opportunities, and show infinite possibilities for what they might become when they grow up, as well as what they may want to do to contribute back to their community.
via Gen-STEM partnership to energize Vacaville and Dixon Transition Kindergarten stu….
The unfunded liability at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System is $73 billion currently and growing at the astonishing rate of $17 million per day. If corrective action is not taken – that is, if the state, school districts or teachers don’t contribute more into the fund – CalSTRS could deplete all its assets by 2044.
The spreading red ink at the teachers’ retirement system “may be the state’s most difficult fiscal challenge,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office warned in a recent report.
via Editorial: State must fix liabilities that loom at CalSTRS.
Culture is fundamental for humans. We each have one and we all help cultivate it. Today’s culture was cultivated in the past and our attitudes and actions are shaping its future.
It’s what humans do.
Schools cultivate culture. Home schools, private schools and public schools all are in this business and no two school cultures are identical.
via Cultivating a better culture for our schools.
Two FSUSD students recently received the Soroptimists’ Violet Richardson Award, a recognition program for young women ages 14-17 engaged in volunteer action within their communities or schools. Nesrine Majzoub of Rodriguez High was recognized for her efforts to reach out to the homeless both locally and internationally. Lucienne Altman-Newell of Armijo High was recognized for her concern for the environment and her efforts to start a Green Team to improve recycling at her school. (photo: Pat Shamansky)
via MAKING THE COMMUNITY AND WORLD A BETTER PLACE
Two FSUSD students recently recei….
By Susan Frey
In a new twist to professional development in a post-Sandy Hook world, some teachers in the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District will not only be learning Common Core state standards and classroom management, but also how to handle a gun.
“We have a small-town feel here, so we could all relate to what happened at Sandy Hook,” said Superintendent Karen Schauer of the Dec. 14 shooting of 20 elementary school students and six teachers and administrators in Newtown, Conn. Galt, which has about 24,000 residents, is located 20 miles south of Sacramento along Highway 99, adjacent to the Consumnes River Preserve. The district serves about 3,900 K-8 students.
via Gun safety courses offered to elementary teachers in Galt – by Susan Frey.
By Seth Rosenblatt / commentary
We’ve seen this pattern time and again. Some public agency or public official gets negative press for apparent bad behavior. Often it is deserved, and sometimes not. But far too frequently the press oversimplifies the situation and reduces the story to sensational sound bites. Then politicians jump into the fray, promising to fix the situation and “protect taxpayers” (who wouldn’t support that?). But it’s likely that the issue is more nuanced than at first perceived, and policymakers risk overreacting. And the worst part is that often the cure is worse than the disease.
via Proposed restrictions on school bonds would harm districts – by Seth Rosenblatt / commentary.
By John Fensterwald
State Board of Education President Michael Kirst and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson expressed support Friday for nine districts’ application for a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. In letter to the U.S. Department of Education, they also raised questions about how the waiver would be implemented and enforced.
While stating that they would have preferred that Congress revise NCLB (or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as it’s formally known), which they called a failure, Kirst and Torlakson wrote that “absent such action by Congress we are supportive of any attempt that will grant California’s local education agencies the relief they need.”
via Torlakson, Kirst write letter supporting nine-district NCLB waiver – by John Fensterwald.
FAIRFIELD — The path of continued change, then permanency, came a step closer to reality with the recent installation of the second interim police chief at Solano Community College.
The new interim, Scott Paulin, will be instrumental in finding a permanent leader for the district’s police department. That goal is expected to be accomplished by August. Paulin also plans to continue filling vacancies to fill the holes in the understaffed department.
via Solano College to see more officers, new police chief this year.