FAIRFIELD — Parents and students took one last look at their projects Saturday as the inaugural Solano County Science Fair at Vanden High School came to an end.
Put on by the Solano County Office of Education, students competed in either middle school or high school categories for six slots – three each for middle and high school – that will go on to the California State Science Fair in April.
via 1st countywide science fair comes to a close.
FAIRFIELD — The winners were chosen Saturday for the inaugural Solano County Science Fair.
First-, second- and third-place winners were chosen out of 110 projects from either middle or high school divisions. The six first-place winners are eligible to go on to the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles on April 15 and 16.
via Winners named in 2013 Solano County Science Fair.
Science and engineering’s version of March Madness was in full swing Saturday, when the finals of the Sacramento-Davis Regional Robotics Competition held sway at the University of California, Davis, and Vacaville-area robotics fans walked away at the end with something to give a wholehearted, throaty cheer about.
Vanden High School’s robotics team, the RoboVikes, shared first place with two other teams, besting 53 other squads from throughout Northern California.
via Robotic ‘Rumble’: Vanden High School wins, earns spot in nationals.
By Keri Luiz, Assistant Editor
The Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees opted unanimously Thursday to appoint a new trustee to the board, rather than go through the more lengthy and expensive process of a special election.
Dana Dean, in accepting a seat on the Solano County Board of Education March 6, left the board with only four members and 60 days to fill the vacancy from the time she stepped down.
via Wanted: BUSD trustee.
A focus on parent engagement and messaging has brought kindergarten absenteeism rates in New Britain, Conn., down by 30 percent in the past year, part of an overall reduction in chronic absence district-wide.
The percentage of kindergartners missing 10 percent or more of school days dropped from 30 percent in the past school year to 21 percent so far this year. “We’ve put most of our resources and work on parent engagement into the kindergarten level because getting to them early is so important,” said Joe Vaverchak, New Britain’s director of attendance. “It’s working.”
via New Britain Strategies Improve Kindergarten Attendance.
Local educators went to Sacramento on March 17 and 18 for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) annual Legislative Action Day.
The event, which attracts more than 400 practicing ACSA members each year, provides a unique opportunity for school leaders to tell their personal stories of how legislation, policy and the budget affect their districts, schools and students. By meeting face-to-face with their constituency, legislators gain a better understanding of the real-life implications of their work.
SCOE’s 2013-14 Legislative Priorities can be found here: http://www.solanocoe.net/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=299278&id=0
via Local educators went to Sacramento on March 17 and 18 for the Association of Cal….
Consider whether accreditation activities need to be restarted in 2013-14. If restarted, establish fees to recover the full cost of accreditation activities.
via Teacher credentialing.
Presented to Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 1 on Education
via Overview of Special Education Budget Proposals.
Vanden High School’s gym and multipurpose room was transformed early Thursday morning into a courtroom.
More than 300 sleepy seniors left their classrooms to assemble in the “courtroom” for a real Driving Under the Influence trail at their campus.
“Now it’s Department 4 of the Solano County Superior Court,” said Judge E. Bradley Nelson who called the case of Vacaville resident Tiarra Roberts.
via Vanden High School students get front row seat at DUI trial.
Donna Lass, Vallejo
This is the time of year when cities and counties start looking for ways to balance their budgets. Our Vallejo City Unified School District is no different. The very subject of “budget cuts” brings fear into the hearts of employees of every government entity, as well as the citizens who avail themselves of the services offered.
Sadly, some of the cuts considered include programs currently offered at the Vallejo Adult School. Most of the programs being targeted are those of particular interest to our senior citizens, such as the Stars Program, a two-day-a-week program offering day care for seniors with dementia and ambulatory disabilities. This is a much-needed program to help seniors with disabilities, as well as a means to offer respite for their caretakers (usually spouses of the participants who are themselves senior citizens).
via Save senior programs.
Announcements that Vacaville Unified trustees and labor groups are entering into contract negotiations, as well as the second interim budget report, are on the agenda when the governing board meets tonight in Vacaville.
Randy Henry, the district’s chief human resources officer, said tonight’s announcement of pending contract negotiations is part of a “sunshining” process that lets the public know what may happen in a couple of months, when labor contracts from the Vacaville Teachers Association and Service Employees International Union are presented to the board.
via Vacaville school trustees review budget.
Within minutes after getting under way Thursday, the annual hostile act drill at Will C. Wood High changed from reports of a “hostile intruder” to “reports of a man with a gun.”
At 1:02 p.m., as air-raid like sirens blared campuswide and as Vacaville Police Sgt. Kim Humbert and officer Joe Curtis heard reports over their radios, teachers and staff members locked down their classrooms from the inside. In keeping with drill protocol, several other Vacaville police officers made their way to the Marshall Road campus when they heard the reports.
via Vacaville schools participate in safety training drill.
BENICIA — The Benicia school board voted Thursday to begin the process of appointing a new member.
The trustee would replace Dana Dean, who resigned earlier this month after being appointed herself to the county school board.
via Benicia board to choose new trustee.
CHESS WE CAN!
The Third Annual District-wide Chess Tournament drew participants from Green Valley, Grange and Wilson Middle Schools. Andrew Lucas took first place, Karl Flores took second and Ivan Espiritu took third. Congratulations!
via CHESS WE CAN!
The Third Annual District-wide Chess Tournament drew participants….
From guest blogger Alyssa Morones:
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 50 school-aged children has an autism spectrum disorder. That’s a significant increase from 2008, when the CDC estimated that 1 in 88 children had the disorder.
The data for this report came from a study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, which surveyed more than 95,000 parents with children under 17 years old.
via CDC Study Pegs Autism Prevalence at One Child in 50.
So now that school districts are coping with a 5 percent across-the-board cut to all federal programs, thanks to sequestration, many advocates are asking the department for what they see as the next best thing to more money: Greater flexibility with the funds they actually have.
For instance, advocates are wondering how the cuts will affect maintenance of effort, which requires states and districts to keep their own spending up at a certain level in order to tap federal funds. Do they get a break because they’re getting less Title I and special education money?
via Will Funding Flexibility for Schools Come With Sequestration Cuts?.
When Gov. Jerry Brown talks about paying down the state’s “wall of debt,” he doesn’t mention the state teachers’ retirement system. And yet the towering $73 billion unfunded shortfall in the state pension fund for teachers and administrators, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, makes Brown’s wall, at about $30 billion, look like a picket fence.
On Wednesday, at a joint legislative information hearing, speakers from CalSTRS, groups representing educators, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office urged the Legislature to act now to address the outstanding liability. If nothing is done, CalSTRS won’t have enough money to cover the retirement benefits it promised to the teachers and administrators who will one day be drawing it down. Fully restoring the financial health of the pension fund will be tremendously expensive – requiring $4.5 billion to $5 billion annually in additional contributions, primarily by school districts and the state.
via Solving teacher retirement system’s shortfall would cost billions – by John Fensterwald.
FAIRFIELD — Sir Isaac Newton figured out in the 17th century that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
About 150 eighth-graders at B. Gale Wilson Elementary School put Newton’s Third Law of Motion to use Thursday. They made small, car-like contraptions and had to figure out a way to power them forward.
via Students use Newton’s law to power creations.
FAIRFIELD — School trustees approved new high school boundaries Thursday to even out high school populations.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s governing board members voted 7-0 to create the new boundaries and create uniform feeder schools. No current high school students will be affected as the new boundaries apply only to incoming freshman.
via New Fairfield-Suisun high school boundaries a reality.
VACAVILLE — One candidate remains out of a pool of dozens for the superintendent’s position at the Vacaville School District.
Two closed session meetings last weekend enabled the school board to winnow the candidates to a finalist, said David McCallum, the board president.
via 1 candidate left in Vacaville school leader search.