By Susan Winlow
The Vacaville School District is looking to explore energy savings partially by tapping into state energy efficiency money that could reach $650,000 each year for five years.
In order to do this, district staff is asking the governing board for approval to do a request for proposal process in order to find an energy services consultant to help develop at districtwide energy plan that complies with Proposition 39 of 2012.
The Proposition 39 program provides energy projects to local districts for five years, from 2013-14 through 2017-18. Funding is based on average daily attendance and the free-and-reduced lunch enrollment.
via Vacaville schools to explore districtwide energy plan Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
School district staff is seeking approval Thursday to request a California “constitutional advance” from the county Board of Supervisors because of a deferral of regularly scheduled revenue payments for 2013-14 by the state.
This usual deferral by the state could cause the district to come up short in meeting its payment obligations for this year.
If approved, the Vacaville School District would request $14.8 million, which is 85 percent of 2014-15 accruing property tax revenues. The advances would be made available to the district between July 1, 2014, and the last Monday in April 2015.
via School district may seek routine advance to cover costs Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
Eric Tretten, principal of Armijo High School, and Sharon Bacinett, a member of the Citizens Oversight Committee, pointed to a skylight during a tour Wednesday of the new $5.1 million Administration and Counseling building at the school.
Fairfield-Suisun School District officials hope to have Armijo High staff in the new building by the end of the school year. Measure C funds paid for the building. The citizens panel oversees spending of the money.
via Tour shows $5.1M Armijo High building Daily Republic.
By John Takeuchi
Fairfield-Suisun’s school board heard last month from a consultant on a possible parcel tax. This tax will be used to fund programs that were curtailed when budgets got tight during the past couple of years. It will be paid by property owners within the district’s boundaries.
Step One of the campaign is to see if there’s support for the tax. The school district has hired a company to survey at least 400 households, at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000. The survey is being done by phone. In case you get that phone call, here are things to think about now.
First, look at your current property tax statement. Do you want another $50 to $100 added to what you’re already paying? If you rent, don’t think you’re escaping. Your landlord is going to put his tax increase into your rent.
via Do you want another tax? Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
The nonprofit Young Artists Conservatory of Music says it’s in a financial fight for its life and that founder Wanda Cook will defer her $28,000 salary because the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association blocked children from attending music conservatory classes – an assertion the union disputes.
The nonprofit said it needs $5,700 immediately to continue operations in March and must raise another $14,300 through June.
The music conservatory said in a Thursday release that the teachers union action to block children from attending classes caused 150 children to discontinue before- and after-school music enrichment classes. That meant the loss of nearly $10,000 in monthly revenue to support the remaining 500 children in the nonprofit’s programs, the conservatory said.
via Nonprofit music says it’s in fight for life due to teachers union Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
An 8-year-old who wants to become a pediatrician saw one of her inspirations Friday when the university band with the distinctive name came to Crescent Elementary School and performed in front of about 600 children.
Third-grader London Young saw the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh!, with its maverick outfit of blue jeans, long-sleeve white shirts and customized hats, play, sing and dance. Young, among those who are pen pals with band members, saw the cymbal player she corresponds with and whose letters tell of the university, including its band.
via Band helps drive home Suisun City school’s plan Daily Republic.
By Adrienne Harris
“After a storm comes a rainbow.”
Inspiring axioms could be found on the Solano Community College campus Saturday, as hundreds walked a 5-kilometer route to raise awareness of mental illness and suicide. Families who lost a loved one, service members who are familiar with the struggle and advocates who strive to erase the stigma were among the motivated yet emotional crowd that participated in the second annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk.
“Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death of college kids,” said organizer Susan Labrecque, of the Solano County Office of Education, which is contracted by the county’s Mental Health Services to provide education and employment for youths at risk of mental illness.
via Campus walk aims to fight suicide Daily Republic.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
The Vallejo school board delved into the complex issue of gender identity Wednesday as it discussed the implications of a new law guaranteeing the rights of transgender students.
At issue is AB 1266, also known as the School Success and Opportunity Act, which went into effect in January.
Among other things, the law mandates schools to provide facilities to transgender students based on their gender identity. A transgender person is one who identifies as a gender different from what was assigned at birth, said Phillip Shelley, director of school support and management for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
via Vallejo schools mull transgender student law – Vallejo Times Herald.
by Donna Beth Weilenman
Reception at Arts Benicia on Sunday for ‘Imagination’
A celebration at Arts Benicia on Sunday will recognize a new magazine of student-produced writing and art that itself was created by a local student, Benicia High School senior Anjuli Peters.
“Since junior year, I wanted to challenge myself with a personal project that would let me utilize my skills in writing, editing, layout design and leadership,” Peters said.
“I wanted to lead, construct, and work on a community service project that was unique to my community and hadn’t been done before.”
via Benicia High School senior publishes children’s magazine.
By Reporter Staff Posted:
One more informational meeting has been scheduled for eighth-grade students and their parents who may be interested in learning more about Vacaville Unified’s Early College High School Program.
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. on March 26, at the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road.
Early College High School — an educational partnership between the district and Solano Community College — allows students, starting in their freshman year, to earn up to 60 college credits, which may be used to obtain an associate’s degree or used to transfer to a four-year college.
via Meeting offers information on early college – The Reporter.
By Kathryn Baron
They can send two-thumbed text messages at the speed of light; deploy an infantry of firebats to quash a Zergling attack against the Terran species in StarCraft while doing their algebra homework; and take, edit and post a photo on Facebook while skateboarding. Yet, even with this seemingly innate technical aptitude, many students will be stymied when they sit down to take the computer-based field test aligned to the Common Core standards starting this month.
“It’s a quantum leap going from a multiple-choice paper test to an open-ended computer test. We’re now testing something in a format that most students aren’t used to,” said Joel Hampton, superintendent of Owens Valley Unified School District in Inyo County. The test, aligned to the Common Core State Standards in math and English, replaces the pencil-and-paper bubble test for students in grades 3 through 8 and 11; the test was developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, a states-led group developing the most effective way to test students in the new standards.
via Online test will challenge students’ computer savvy | EdSource Today.
By Ryan McCarthy
Two parents had to rush their children from Crystal Middle School to the hospital Thursday and emergency vehicles were at the school Friday to respond to other incidents involving children playing the “Choking Game,” Mayor Pete Sanchez said of the school where police and the director of the NorthBay Trauma Center will speak Tuesday about the dangers of the game.
Sanchez said he was told the children were all right. The game is known by other names that include Chinese Knockout, Space Cowboy and Purple Dragon.
via ‘Choking game’ spurs talks at Crystal Middle School Daily Republic.
By Sarah Rohrs Posted:
Learning about ships, oceans and undersea life in a classroom is one thing, but it’s quite another to build a vessel and maneuver it through the water, about 40 Benicia High School students found out Friday.
Benicia teens Christina Colombo and Jacey Anderson were among oceanography students who got a first-hand experience of engineering, water and vessels through a unique partnership with California Maritime Academy cadets.
Friday morning, students brought the SeaPerch ROVs they had made, put them in the Cal Maritime pool and maneuvered them around. That sounds a lot easier than it really is, they found.
via Benicia oceanography students test the waters at Cal Maritime – Vallejo Times Herald.
Times-Herald staff Posted:
The Vallejo school board will hold a workshop Wednesday to discuss the impact on the Vallejo City Unified School District of a new law assuring transgender students of certain rights.
AB 1266, passed last year, took effect in January and guarantees transgender students the use of the bathroom and locker facilities of their gender identity as well as participate in any corresponding sex-segregated activities, such as sports.
The district is familiar with dealing with lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender issues in its schools. In 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union and the district reached a settlement with an out lesbian Jesse Bethel High School student who alleged that district staff harassed her because of her sexuality.
via Vallejo school board to discuss new student rights at workshop – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Ryan McCarthy
A revived lost art brought Angel Cueva, 8, and Beth Riess, 78, together last week, along with scores of others for spaghetti and meatballs at Paradise Valley Estates.
Third-graders from Laurel Creek Elementary School met Tuesday for lunch with residents of the retirement community after the two generations traded letters as part of a pen pals program that began at the start of the school year.
Angel’s correspondence included his catching crawdads and a question for Riess: What is her favorite sports team?
via Lost art of writing links generations in Fairfield Daily Republic.
By Richard Brammer
Vacaville High sophomore Austin Haddox, 15, neatly summed up why the Robodogs, the school’s robotics team, enjoyed third place after more than two days of competition at the Sacramento-Davis Regional Robotics Competition in Davis.
Shortly after noon, standing amid the cavernous ARC Pavilion on the University of California, Davis, campus, where the competition was held, he said the team was “focused” and its robot, built in January and February, was “reliable.”
The Robodogs on Saturday, indeed, appeared focused as they worked out of their 10-by-10-foot makeshift pod on the gymnasium floor. There, more than 50 other Northern California teams had gathered for the competition, sometimes called “a varsity sport for the mind.”
via Vacaville Robodogs have their day – The Reporter.
By Barry Eberling
The Transition Information Fair will explore what may be the next step for students in middle school and beyond who have disabilities and students who are in special education programs.
It will provide information on various programs and agencies that assist with higher education, training, employment and independent living. More than 30 agencies will be present at the fair.
via Event to help special education students Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
You can be anything you want, teens were told this week by a speaker who emphasized how much character counts during her keynote speech at the first Talent & Fashion Show at Fairfield High School for Women’s History Month.
“We’re in a society where everything is based on how you look,” Vallejo resident Deloris Johnson said. “Everything is for the visual.”
It’s good that we want to present ourselves well, added Johnson, a mother of five children who retired after a 37-year career with Wells Fargo Bank. But work on the inside as well and be beautiful with truth, honesty and integrity, she said.
via Teens told character counts at talent, beauty event Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
When Judi Honeychurch was a little girl, she played school with her teddy bears and dolls.
She was the teacher.
That was the beginning of Honeychurch’s career in education. As an adult, the career started in 1971. She was a teacher, an administrator and a principal at the former Falls Elementary School, then Suisun Valley Elementary School before retiring in 2008 after spending eight years as principal at Tolenas Elementary School.
But that wasn’t the end of students and education for Honeychurch.
via Educator continues her love of teaching after retirement Daily Republic.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Astred Castro could probably make millions by bottling and selling her abundance of enthusiasm.
The Armijo High School senior is the recipient of this year’s Violet Richardson Award from Soroptimist International of Central Solano County. It’s given to a young woman, age 14 to 17, who is making a difference through volunteer service.
Castro, a Fairfield native, chuckled as she talked about attending H. Glenn Richardson School, only to have it close. It has since re-opened as an educational complex.
via Armijo senior contributes to school, community Daily Republic.