FAIRFIELD — Jerry Sagala was caught off guard recently when child told him, “I wish summer school could be all year long.”
Sagala is one 10 teachers at Fairview Elementary School who are staying on the job through Friday. Fairview is one of the schools in the Fairfield-Suisun School District to host summer school.
“We work hard on the basics and try to make it fun,” said Dave Marianno, Fairview’s principal.
Brief summer school focuses on academics in low-key setting Daily Republic.
For the past several weeks, we have celebrated our successful high school graduates in Solano County. While I congratulate them, let us not forget the 16 percent of Solano County high school students – 859 students – who dropped out.
In Fairfield and Vacaville, one out of every 11 students dropped out of high school; in Vallejo, one out of every three students dropped out. Those 859 high school dropouts are eight times more likely to end up in jail or prison than the students who graduated.
Let’s find ways to improve graduation rates Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz
Katelyn “Kia” Wolfe moved to Benicia to live with her mother a couple of years ago.
She’d dropped out of high school in Reno, and when she tried to register at Benicia High she was told she didn’t have enough credits and “wouldn’t be able to catch up.”
Liberty valedictorian reflects on moving on | The Benicia Herald.
By Keri Luiz
Chief Business Officer Tim Rahill presented the draft budget information for the 2013-14 school year at a special meeting of the Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees on Thursday.
Most of the $33.8 million in the draft budget comes from the state, Rahill said, with about $1.1 million coming from federal sources and $2.2 million from local sources; much of the latter comes from special service funding.
But as Rahill told trustees, what the district’s final budget actually looks like is still anyone’s guess.
School district budget still up in the air, trustees told | The Benicia Herald.
Several senior classmates from Vacaville High School visited the Irene Larsen Center’s special day class classrooms on June 3 to introduce the preschoolers to helpers they might meet in the community. The seniors each played a role as a community helper, had a fun activity station, and talked to the preschoolers about their job.
Community Helper’s Day at the Irene Larsen Preschool | Facebook.
The recently mobilized Inventor’s Lab has a steady lineup scheduled for the summer, with stops countywide.
The grant-funded Inventor’s Lab, a satellite center for University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, was housed at Vallejo’s Norman C. King Center for the past year and a half.
While it searches for new funding and a permanent home, some of its programs will be available at local libraries.
Mobile Inventor’s Lab announces library visits across Solano County – Vallejo Times Herald.
By John Fensterwald
The Legislature will vote today on a bill establishing Gov. Brown’s historic school funding system that punts to the State Board of Education some key decisions on how dollars for disadvantaged students must be spent and accounted for:
Senate Bill 91, the 178-page “trailer” bill containing statutory changes for Gov. Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, was released Thursday, one day before lawmakers must vote on the $96 billion state budget that includes funding for the new system. Its provisions won’t satisfy advocates for disadvantaged children who had called for restrictions tightly tying funding to targeted students along with detailed information on how every school spends its money. But the bill also may not please districts that wanted broad district control over allocations under the LCFF. The bill indicates the solution – that extra dollars must be spent “in proportion” to the high-needs students who generate them – is somewhere in between.
State Board handed job of defining rules of new funding system | EdSource Today.
Jaguars in the wild are solitary creatures.
But it’s just the opposite at Jesse Bethel High School, whose Jaguars roared together Thursday one last time.
“The four years have gone by much faster than we imagined,” senior class president Nancy Nguyen said, shortly before she asked her 400 or so classmates to turn their tassels and officially become alumni.
In a show of camaraderie, the entire class sang Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” at the start of the proceedings.
Jesse Bethel Jaguars roar into graduation – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Ted Lempert
California is about to embark on the most comprehensive reform to its school finance system in 40 years, putting local communities in the driver’s seat and making a historic investment of more than $10 billion in high-needs students. The compromise Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to be voted on by the state Legislature by the June 15 deadline also fairly addresses the earlier “winners-losers” concern by increasing the base grant and ensuring that all districts receive additional funding.
The new funding formula also benefits all districts by increasing local flexibility. Communities will be able to craft locally determined approaches to how they will educate all students, and develop their own specific services and support for high-needs students. In addition, if a student begins to show poor academic outcomes, educators can now respond quickly to address the situation and get that student the services needed to get back on track. Districts can also look to neighboring regions that are yielding quality results for new ideas and solutions, and tailor them to meet their local needs.
After historic win, much collective work lies ahead | EdSource Today.
By Lillian Mongeau
Child care and early education advocates were pleased to see $55 million restored for state preschool and child care programs in the budget compromise working its way to the governor’s desk.
“It’s a start,” said Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, who has pushed for several measures aimed at expanding and improving early childhood programs in the state. “We’re not doing as much as we hoped, but we are beginning to see dollars directed back into preschool and early child care.”
Early childhood advocates cheered by $55M in restored funding | EdSource Today.
By Susan Frey
Advocates for adult education and regional occupational centers, which provide hands-on learning in specific careers, say they are satisfied that the language in the budget bills expected to be voted on Friday is strong enough to protect their programs for another two years. The legislators and governor did not mince words, they say, in requiring districts that currently have programs to fund them for two more years.
Dawn Koepke, a lobbyist for the state’s two adult education organizations, said it is clear that even if a district voted to close its program at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year, it would be obligated to continue the program at its current funding level for two more years.
Adult ed, regional occupational center advocates satisfied with budget deal – for now | EdSource Today.
By Susan Frey
Among the winners and losers under California’s new budget, one student group stands out as a big winner: the state’s 42,000 school-age foster children. Often neglected by their schools as well as their families, foster youth can no longer be ignored.
Schools, districts and county offices will be held accountable for the academic progress of their foster youth as a separate subgroup under the state’s Academic Performance Index. The API measures the performance of a school’s students as a whole, but also tracks the performance of separate subgroups of traditionally low-achieving students; current subgroups are based on ethnicity and family income, and also include disabled students and English learners.
Foster youth win big in California’s new budget | EdSource Today.
FAIRFIELD — The state budget picture will likely change as early as Friday, but the positive news is expected remain intact for local schools.
Members of the Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board got their first budget report Thursday, including a surplus in five years. Even with the state budget still up in the air, the district will likely receive more money to add to the projected $3 million the district is currently counting on, said Kelly Morgan, assistant superintendent.
All smiles during Fairfield-Suisun district budget talks Daily Republic.
VACAVILLE — Very little is certain about the Vacaville School District’s budget for the 2013-14 school year because the state has yet to determine how much money it has to split up between the state’s districts.
Kari Sousa, the associate superintendent of business and operations, updated the board on where the district’s budget stands as the final adoption vote looms.
Vacaville school board continues budget discussion Daily Republic.
FAIRFIELD — Kristina Yee, a 2006 graduate of Armijo High School, has found herself among the likes of Spike Lee, John Lasseter and Robert Zemeckis.
Yee picked up the student equivalent of an Oscar at the recent Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards ceremony. Lee, Lasseter and Zemeckis have also won student Oscars.
Armijo High graduate wins student Oscar Daily Republic.
by Hedy Chang
The headlines out of Texas this week have been about the strict truancy policies in Dallas: Critics say students as young as 12 are being marched out of class in handcuffs and charged with crimes for missing school or even being late to class. Interest groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday.
But a day early, a group of advocates and educators in central Texas came together to pursue an entirely different approach to improving school attendance. About 200 education, business and community leaders gathered in Austin to learn the results of a study of why absences occur, where they are concentrated and what can be done to reduce them.
By Diana Lambert and Jim Sanders
Woodland school leaders want to shrink kindergarten class rosters now jammed with 30 students. Natomas Superintendent Chris Evans wants to add a week of school. And Washington Unified leaders will give raises to teachers in West Sacramento.
After Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders struck a deal this week to increase education funding for years to come, local districts are eager to expand programs for the first time since a recessionary wave of budget cuts hit schools in 2009.
via Schools eye smaller classes, teacher raises after California budget deal.
Two top Travis Unified administrators signed off on contract extensions after trustees unanimously approved the resolutions during their Tuesday board meeting in Fairfield.
In her ninth year, Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak agreed to a new contract, through June 2016, which includes a one-year extension of her current contract. She will be paid $156,000 in base salary, and receive the same benefits package enjoyed by other district managers. Wren Gavlak will earn 24 paid vacation days and 15 days of paid sick leave.
via Travis district OKs contracts.
Students come to Peoples High School in Vallejo for various reasons, often to overcome difficult situations.
But on Wednesday, they all left the same way — with a high school diploma in hand.
“I came a long way from not going to school every day, getting suspended and overall not caring about my education,” salutatorian Gregory Mitchell said.
via Peoples High students defy odds, graduate.