Investigators are calling suspicious a fire that damaged a jungle gym and slide early Saturday morning at the old Elm School in Vacaville.
At 1:30 a.m., Vacaville police dispatchers received a call about a structure fire at the school, 123 Elm St. When firefighters arrived, they discovered a plastic slide and the plastic coating on the jungle gym on fire, Battalion Chief Steve Bowman said.
via Vacaville school playground set on fire – The Reporter.
By Jane Meredith Adams
Traditional school safety techniques had students huddling in locked classrooms and waiting for rescue if danger approached during school hours. But tragic lessons in Newtown, Conn., and Columbine, Colo., have given rise to new recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education for keeping students safe: Run away and hide, they say. Or if you have to, fight.
via ‘Run, hide, fight’ new mantra for schools in post-Newtown environment | EdSource Today.
By guest blogger Gina Cairney
Tracy Martin, the father of the African-American teenager who was shot and killed last year in an incident that renewed national debates over race relations, urged members of Congress to improve the educational opportunities of black boys.
Nationwide, statistics show that African-American boys tend to have poorer educational outcomes than their white peers. An Education Week report found such students are disproportionately affected by school discipline policies, effectively funneling them into “school-to-prison pipelines.”
via Congress Urged to Expand Opportunities for African-American Boys – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
Solano County is two weeks into its declaration of candidacy period for the November election and so far, only one person has pulled paper to run in the Dixon Unified board of trustee race, where three seats are up for grabs.
Caitlin O’Halloran, a founding board member of Dixon Montessori Charter School and a current district director for Senator Lois Wolk, pulled her papers on July 16, the day after the declaration period opened and less than a week after she declared her candidacy with a kick-off party. She has not yet returned her papers.
via Two weeks in and only one person has… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Richard Bammer/ RBammer@TheReporter.com
Longtime Vacaville Unified School District trustee Larry Mazzuca will resign his post, effective Aug. 12, less than two years after being re-elected to the district governing board.
In a one-page letter to board president David McCallum, Mazzuca on Thursday wrote that he had bought a home outside of Vacaville, precluding his service as a trustee, his term of office ending in 2016.
via Vacaville schools trustee Larry Mazzuca resigns post – The Reporter.
By Alyson Klein
President Barack Obama used a high-profile speech on the nation’s economic future today to bolster his administration’s case for investing in education programs. This will be a hot issue as Congress crafts the spending bills for fiscal year 2014, which starts on Oct. 1. Those spending bills will give lawmakers an opportunity to stop “sequestration”—a series of across-the-board cuts to federal education spending slated to go into effect.
“If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century,” the president said in prepared remarks released in advance of the speech at Knox College in Illinois. “If we don’t make this investment, we’ll put our kids, our workers, and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades.”
via Obama Stumps for Education Spending, Pre-K – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By John Fensterwald
Two dozen organizations advocating for disadvantaged students wrote county and school district superintendents and charter school administrators Wednesday, reminding them that the new funding formula directing more money to low-income kids and English learners is now the law even though the initial regulations for the system are months away. The message: Start spending money on your high-needs children this year; don’t make commitments that might encroach on future obligations to these students.
via Advocates: Start spending new money now on high-needs students | EdSource Today.
By Marie F. Estrada/Times-Herald staff writer
Monique Liguori, of the Suisun Wildlife Center, spoke in a gentle voice and said, “shh” to calm the excited crowd before her. When children in the front row quieted, a volunteer brought out a tiny owl, exciting the crowd once again.
“This is Milo, but I have to let you guys know, he isn’t a baby, he’s just reeeally small.”
Except for the children too young to understand the presentation, all in the audience were captivated by the owls, snakes, and Pogo the possum.
via Solano library effort readies kids for new standards – Vallejo Times Herald.
In a closed session, new Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Ken Jacopetti and district trustees will hold a special governing board workshop today in Vacaville.
Jacopetti will join the board in a goal-setting discussion and review the superintendent evaluation process with Phil Quon, a former school superintendent and an associate with Leadership Associates, a Southern California-based executive search firm.
via School board to hold closed session today – The Reporter.
Several Solano Community College district buildings are undergoing upgrades in various areas, it has been announced.
In addition to the solar panels parking lot projects, workers at the main Fairfield campus, at 4000 Suisun Valley Road, will be renovating its Administration Building 600, on the east side of the property. Officials estimate the work will be done in 17 months.
via Solano Community College renovations underway – The Reporter.
by Cory Turner
Almost all the states and Washington, D.C., are grappling with a big challenge as the new school year nears: getting teachers up to speed on the Common Core, a sweeping set of new education standards for English language arts and math.
The Common Core will soon apply to most of America’s students from kindergarten through high school. The policymakers behind the Core know that it could fail if they don’t help teachers make the change. So this summer, the state of Maryland has been hosting what it calls “academies” to do just that.
via Teachers Hit The Books To Master New Education Standards : NPR.
By Alyson Klein
As Congress shifts into budget season, education advocates are getting ready to renew their push to fight the across-the-board cuts to federal K-12 programs, better known inside the Beltway as “sequestration.” But to make their case, education organizations will likely have to hand lawmakers examples of how the cuts are actually hurting school districts.
That may be easier said than done.
via How Did Sequestration Impact K-12 Schools? – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By John Fensterwald
California Charter Schools Association chief executive Jed Wallace turned rhapsodic in a message last month to charter school operators summarizing the impact of the new school funding system on their campuses. The Local Control Funding Formula represents a landmark victory, he said, a sort of Brown v. Board of Education moment for the charter school movement.
via Irritation or two aside, charter leaders pleased with new funding system | EdSource Today.
By John Affeldt / commentary
California’s shift to a new weighted student funding model represents just the most recent example of how Democratic state policymakers here are charting a different course in education policy than the Obama Administration and Congress.
As I noted in a post last week, California and Washington have taken distinctly different approaches to achievement gaps that increasingly are most closely associated with economic inequality. Rather than focusing on firing “bad” teachers and closing schools, California has moved to direct more resources to low-income districts and increase local decision-making, with sanctions a last resort after support and technical assistance have failed.
via California moving away from Washington’s corporate education reform | EdSource Today.
By Mike Corpos
VACAVILLE —The Vacaville school board will meet in closed session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday for a workshop.
According to the agenda, the board will use the evening meeting as a goal-setting session for the new superintendent, Ken Jacopetti.
via Vacaville school board to meet in closed session Daily Republic.
By Christina Samuels
The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, an advocacy coalition based in Washington, is calling for the U.S. Department of Education to rescind a regulation that allows some students with disabilities to be tested on “modified academic achievement standards.” Such tests are sometimes called known as “2 percent tests” because regulations allow 2 percent of all students, or about 20 percent of students with disabilities, to take such assessments and be counted as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act.
via Advocates Call for End to Testing Under Modified Academic Standards – On Special Education – Education Week.
By Kimberly K. Fu/KFu@TheReporter.com/
There’s a miniature jungle in central Vacaville, where produce is king and youths eagerly tackle roles of guardian and gardener.
It’s a great gig, the kids assured on a recent day, as they clambered among fat pumpkin vines, meandering beanstalks and row after row of twining strawberry plants.
via Youth program grows in popularity – The Reporter.
By Alyson Klein
It’s been almost five months since Congress slashed education spending through across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration,” which were intended to force a still completely elusive, long-term bipartisan budget deficit-reduction deal.
The school districts that became the poster children for these cuts? The ones that get money from the $1.2 billion Impact Aid program, which helps districts that have a big federal presence (such as a military base or an American Indian reservation nearby) make up for lost tax revenue. About 1,200 districts receive those funds, and a small handful rely on them heavily.
via Federal Cuts Force Impact-Aid Districts to Cut Staff, Close Schools – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Michelle Maitre
While summer classes targeted at struggling students are nearing extinction on many school campuses, several districts are rebooting the traditional summer education model by blending academics with recreational activities intended to prevent students from falling even further behind.
Unlike traditional summer classes that districts had to pay for out of their own budgets, these programs are funded with help from federal and state initiatives or grants from philanthropic foundations. Many of the programs are typically offered in partnership with nonprofit groups, some of which have already been working on campuses to provide after-school programs during the regular school year.
via Rebooted summer programs make learning fun to prevent ‘summer slide’ | EdSource Today.
By Susan Winlow
FAIRFIELD — Several parent and child eduction classes are being offered by the Solano Parent and Child Education program, located at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, 900 Travis Blvd.
Classes typically are for children up to 5 years old or for parents of children in that 0 to 5-year-old age range.
via Adult School introduces program schedule Daily Republic.