By Susan Winlow
Governing board members at Solano Community College heard a brief update Wednesday on the first draft of a report required by the accrediting commission that monitors the college.
The report is due to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges on Oct. 15.
via Solano College leaders hear accreditation update Daily Republic.
Times-Herald staff report
A small fire in the roof of a walkway between Liberty High School and Benicia Unified School District office Wednesday afternoon led to evacuation of both buildings.
The cause is still being investigated and its unknown exactly how much damage the minor blaze caused.
A district office employee called 911 about 3:15 p.m. after seeing smoke coming from the roof of the walkway between the two buildings at 350 East K St, Benicia Fire Division Chief Thomas Nicolas said.
via Cause of small fire at Benicia school district office being investigated – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Christina Samuels
My colleague Catherine Gewertz blogged earlier today that states have been given the option by the Education Department of suspending for one year their own state exams for the 2013-14 school year, if they are administering the Common Core field tests being designed by the two common-assessment consortia in math and English/language arts.
Digging further into the guidance from the department released Tuesday, this one-year flexibility waiver—intended to help states avoid “double-testing” their students—has some particular points relevant for students with disabilities.
via New ‘Double-Testing’ Flexibility and Students With Disabilities – On Special Education – Education Week.
By John Fensterwald
The federal Department of Education specified for the first time Tuesday what states would have to do to receive a waiver from giving state standardized tests next spring in the one-year transition to implementing the Common Core standards.
Within hours, California’s two top education leaders acknowledged in a press release what observers had been saying: There’s no way the state will get such an exemption under the terms of a bill now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.
via Feds elaborate on the requirements California can’t meet for testing waiver | EdSource Today.
During Attendance Awareness Month, we’ll be running several guest blogs from allies who are working to improve school attendance and student achievement. Windy Lopez, Director of Community Affairs for Scholastic, contributed this post about the extraordinary work going on in Gainesville, Georgia. The blog post originally appeared on Scholastic’s blog Frizzle.
How can students benefit from effective classroom teaching if they are chronically late and often not in the classroom at all? Research continues to demonstrate the direct correlation between academic achievement and school attendance as well as how excessive absence in the elementary years leads to truancy and school dropout in middle and high school.
via A Framework for Learning Leads to Better Attendance & Achievement « Attendance Works.
On September 9, 2013, FSUSD students who received perfect scores 600 on two sections of the California Standards Test last spring were honored for their academic accomplishments. Congratulations to the students, their families, their teachers and their schools!
via DOUBLE 600s | Facebook.
By Jane Meredith Adams
Never has school lunch meant so much for California education.
Delivering significantly more money to schools based on the number of low-income children they serve is at the heart of the sweeping new K-12 finance system approved by the state Legislature in June. The new system defines “low income” as those students eligible for the school’s free and reduced-price meals program.
via School finance reform prompts dispute over counting low-income students | EdSource Today.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) will co-host the West Coast Tour Leg of the Education Built to Last best practices tour, the national U.S. Department of Education tour of Green Ribbon School facilities.
via Built to Last Tour – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
With as many as 7.5 million U.S. students missing nearly a month of school each year, state education leaders have begun mining attendance data to find out how many students and schools are at risk academically and how to turn around absenteeism, according to a report released today by Attendance Works.
For as long as teachers have taken the roll, schools have recorded attendance data. But most schools and districts treat monitoring absenteeism as a matter of compliance with compulsory education laws rather than a key data point that serves as a red flag that a student or school is headed off track academically.
via The Attendance Imperative: State Policy and Chronic Absence « Attendance Works.
By Susan Winlow
Solano Community College is poised once again to answer to the accrediting commission that has held the college accountable in numerous ways since it landed on sanctions several years ago.
The college put together a first draft report in answer to an Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges action letter dated Feb. 13. That action letter, which advised the college it was remaining on warning sanctions, followed a meeting and site visit in late 2012.
via Solano College board to hear draft accreditation report Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
The Solano Community College governing board will be greeted with various agenda items to do with administrative positions when it meets Wednesday at the Vacaville Center.
The contract of the college’s president, Jowel Laguerre, is up for approval. The $237,350 salary is based on 223 duty days of service per year. On top of the base salary are professional and vehicle allowances, plus a stipend for a doctorate degree.
via Several administrative positions up for review by Solano College board Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
A second Vacaville School District board member has resigned because of a move to another community outside the school district.
Teri Nutt is moving to Suisun City and her resignation, announced Monday, will be effect Oct. 1, said Dave McCallum, president of the Vacaville school board.
via 2nd Vacaville school board member resigns Daily Republic.
By Richard Bammer
As symbols, their quilts may have said it all: How they felt about one another. What they will remember about working together for decades. The special bonds they share, a collective heritage, love and commitment.
Displayed for all to see during a retirement lunch, four handmade quilts hung on a wall Saturday in Murillo’s restaurant on East Monte Vista Avenue, where four Vacaville Unified bus drivers — three recently retired and one due to hang up her keys on Oct. 4 — celebrated a worklife that has ended or is about to end.
via Vacaville school bus drivers retire – The Reporter.
Do you find yourself wanting (more) help from parent volunteers, but are either not getting it, or not getting the kind of help that would be truly useful to you and your students? Is managing parent volunteers time-consuming or burdensome? If so, you’re not alone, according to a new survey (see infographic) of a thousand educators and parents by WeAreTeachers and my organization, VolunteerSpot. Even though guardians and teachers overwhelmingly agree that parent volunteers in the classroom are an important ingredient in student success, the study also reveals big gaps in expectations and problems with communication. These issues leave teachers feeling unsupported and parents feeling left out!
via 5 Tips for Engaging Parent Volunteers in the Classroom | Edutopia.
Brianna Boyd, Editor
Dixon High will soon be a place where students can not only complete their high school graduation requirements, but also kick start their college careers. Dixon Unified’s board of trustees voted 4-0 Thursday to approve a resolution with Solano Community College to hold classes on the Dixon High campus, beginning in the spring semester. Trustee Herb Cross was absent.
“A lot of work is being done by a number of people to get Solano Community College courses returned to the Dixon High campus,” said Superintendent Brian Dolan. “When we opened, we had them there but then they went away.”
via College classes return to DHS this… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.
By Alyson Klein
A collection of big-name state and local government groups really, really wants U.S. Senate leaders to bring a bill to the floor to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and soon.
“State governments, localities, and schools need a long-term resolution for the issues raised by the current federal education law, the No Child Left Behind Act,” write the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National League of Cities, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and four other groups, in a letter sent to Senate leaders today.
via State and Locals to U.S. Senate: Rewrite No Child Left Behind Act – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
Bills backed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to take major steps forward in updating how schools prepare students for success in college and careers are now on their way to the Governor’s desk, Torlakson announced today.
In addition to Assembly Bill 484, which would overhaul the state’s testing system and passed the Legislature Wednesday, lawmakers also approved Senate Bill 201 [http://info.sen.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=sb_201&sess=CUR&house=B&site=sen] , AB 899 [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB899] , and SB 300 [http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0251-0300/sb_300_bill_20111008_chaptered.html] . The first two bills authorize the State Board of Education to move forward on aligning the state’s English language development standards with the Common Core English language arts and math standards.
via Bills Advance CCSS and NGSS – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).
According to Sandra Stotsky, one of five members of the Common Core Validation Committee who refused to validate the standards, “The quality of the standards are my main concern. If we don’t have first-class standards, there is no reason to have standards at all.” She continues to say, “No teachers K-12 were involved in writing the standards.”
Despite claims to the contrary, “the standards are not benchmarked, and there has been no verification.”
via Is Common Core shortchanging our students? Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Ten teachers and administrators from the Fairfield-Suisun School District will travel to Texas next month on a $12,000 trip to attend the No Excuses University national convention at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter.
Gretchen Schwab, a teacher at Fairfield High who will travel to Texas, said participants in the Oct. 6-9 event stay in a nice hotel and she understands “if people are worried about how much money is being spent on this.”
via School board OKs Texas trip for teachers, administrators Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
A request for firms to study a parcel tax in the Fairfield-Suisun School District won support Thursday from trustees who were told such a study is expected to cost between $20,000 to $30,000.
Kelly Morgan, assistant superintendent for business services, said she’ll return in about a month and recommend to trustees whether to move forward with a firm to review a possible parcel tax on land within the district’s boundaries. The firm would study the funds proposed to be raised through a tax that would go before voters, Morgan said.
via Fairfield-Suisun school officials eye parcel tax Daily Republic.