By Tony Burchyns
Vallejo young people were urged Wednesday night to show courage in standing up to violence during a peace forum featuring speeches by high school students, the mayor and a police captain.
“Stop the violence is not just a slogan,” Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis told dozens of students during the second night of Solano Community College’s 9th annual Stop the Violence/Peace Summit.
Davis encouraged the crowd of mostly college students and teachers to speak out against violence and crime in their community by sharing information with law enforcement to make their community safer.
via Speakers: Violence ends when people cooperate – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer
For the first time in at least five years, Fairfield-Suisun Unified teachers will receive a pay raise, 3 percent across the board, retroactive to July 1, 2013.
The result of months of talks, the wage hike, which will be approved tonight during the district’s governing board meeting, comes after similar boosts in pay for classified, or school support, and some management employees in Solano County’s largest school district.
Besides the raise, elementary teachers were given four hours per month of “release time” for instruction in music, art and physical education, said Laurel Salerno-White, president of the 950-member Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association.
via Fairfield-Suisun board inks new labor accord – The Reporter.
By Matt Davis
Every year, National Teacher Day is celebrated in early May! There are so many different ways to show teacher appreciation, from poems, to thank-you notes and gifts. But I thought I’d put together a little bit of everything. Here there are inspirational teaching quotes, fun video clips, and a database of educator discounts, to name a few.
But these are just a couple of ideas; let us know how you’re celebrating this year. Here’s one from the Edutopia vault: VideoAmy’s Five-Minute Film Festival for Teacher Appreciation Week (1).
via Celebrate Educators on National Teacher Day | Edutopia.
By Michelle Maitre
Lesson plans and teacher training programs at the K-12 level aren’t the only things being updated to reflect the new Common Core State Standards.
The requirements of the battery of courses – called “a-g” – that students must take to be eligible for California public university admission have also been revised to reflect the new standards.
The change is a reflection of the robustness of the Common Core, educators said, and also heralds a stronger correlation between what’s being taught at California schools and what colleges want students to know.
via Common Core now the common element in college-preparatory courses | EdSource Today.
By Irma Widjojo
The vicious bullying of a Wisconsin man about two decades ago became the focus Tuesday night of an anti-violence discussion at Solano Community College.
“We tend to focus on the violence that is in your face,” the session’s facilitator Professor Sandra Moore said. “But there are some more understated forms of violence, like bullying, that are not so in your face. By talking about it we can prevent it from escalating into a bigger problem.”
Moore teaches a class at the college on peace and non-violence conflict resolution and Tuesday night’s talk and screening of a short documentary film was part of the opening day of the college’s three-day Peace Summit.
via Solano College’s Peace Summit discusses bullying – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Reporter Staff Posted:
For the second time in as many years, Reporter Staff Writer Richard Bammer has been named a winner of a writing competition sponsored by the California Teachers Association.
A panel of professional journalists cited his six stories as examples of continuous coverage of educational news for a John Swett Award for Media Excellence. He competed in the category of Community Daily Newspaper, publications with up to 100,000 subscribers.
Bammer submitted articles that gave a wide-ranging snapshot of where his beat takes him, from a financial literacy program and Vacaville Unified School District’s hostile act drill to VUSD’s Early College High School program and the shocking rise in the number of Solano County students technically classified as homeless.
via Reporter staffer wins award for schools coverage – The Reporter.
By Eric Westervelt
President Obama has called repeatedly on Congress to help states pay for “high-quality preschool” for all. In fact, those two words — “high quality” — appear time and again in the president’s prepared remarks. They are also a refrain among early childhood education advocates and researchers. But what do they mean? And what separates the best of the nation’s preschool programs from the rest?
NPR found one answer to those questions in Tulsa, Okla. The city is known as a national leader in early childhood education. There, preschool means teachers are unusually well-educated, well-trained and well-paid. Educators in Tulsa have worked to make classrooms safe and nurturing, but also challenging.
via One Approach To Head Start: To Help Kids, Help Their Parents : NPR.
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today commended three California schools and one school district honored by the U.S. Department of Education with its third annual Green Ribbon Schools award.
Californias 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are: Encinitas Union School District, Encinitas, San Diego County; Lowell Elementary School, Long Beach, Los Angeles County; Mark Twain Elementary School, Long Beach, Los Angeles County; and San Domenico School, San Anselmo, Marin County.
“I applaud these schools and district for their excellence in sustainability education, health and wellness, and environmental stewardship,” Torlakson said. “Each of these Green Ribbon Schools is preparing Californias students to be active, innovative, and caring adults.”
via Californias National Green Ribbon Schools – Year 2014 CA Dept of Education.
Times-Herald staff Posted:
The 9th annual Peace Summit, a 3-day “Stop the Violence” jamboree, gets underway today at the Solano Community College Fairfield and Vallejo campuses.
Stop the Violence Summit starts at 9:30 a.m. in Building 1400 on the Fairfield campus with a panel discussion on “The Impact of Violence,” followed by a “Peace Vigil” and a “Peace Walk” starting at noon at the Clocktower.
Sherie Labedis, civil rights worker, teacher, and author will share excerpts at 1 p.m. from her book “You Came Here to Die, Didn’t You.” That will be followed by a call to action led by Solano College teacher Karen McCord.
via ‘Stop the Violence’ jamboree starts in Vallejo, Fairfield today – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Tony Burchyns
Local artist and former school board member Bonnie Weidel, whose passion for teaching children’s art and engagement in a wide range of community activities touched many over the years, died Friday after battling lung cancer.
She was 84.
Weidel, who served on the Benicia Unified School District Board from 2007 to 2011, founded the nonprofit arts organization Benicia Community Arts in 1980. She taught private art classes for toddlers and elementary school children and was known for organizing Benicia’s annual Arts in the Park program. She also was a key organizer for many years of Christmas at the Clocktower, which brought together artisans from all over the Bay Area to sell their wares in a two-day event.
via Longtime Benicia children’s art teacher Bonnie Weidel dies – Vallejo Times Herald.
After a high school student posted a video suicide note on YouTube, then killed herself early this week, officials from the 101,000-student Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Ky., temporarily shut down school-based access to YouTube and Twitter, prompting renewed attention to the role of social media in responding to school tragedies.
“The safety and security of our students is our number one priority,” said district spokeswoman Mandy Simpson in a statement. Removing access to the sites, Simpson wrote, “was an effort to ensure that students who are emotionally impacted could get the help they needed as we worked with officials to address the situation through the most appropriate and efficient channels.”
Simpson said that 20 grief counselors were dispatched Tuesday to Louisville’s Male High School, and access to the sites was quickly restored.
via Does Your District’s Crisis-Response Plan Include Social Media? – Rules for Engagement – Education Week.
By Ben Johnson
“Why did I want to be a teacher?” We all face burnout, sometimes on a daily basis, and in my case, especially after fourth period. Most of the time, we can pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and go back to the drawing board to try another strategy to find success with student learning. I have to admit that it is getting more and more difficult to make that transition back to a willingness to try again. I can’t help to think students are more difficult than they used to be a few years ago, and pressures from accountability are becoming more oppressive. And of course, the pay for teachers is inadequate. With all of this we may ask, is it worth it?
Rather than provide a list of things to avoid, I would like to take a more proactive stance by sharing things that will help diminish burnout feelings and help you answer, yep, it is worth it.
via 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout | Edutopia.
By John Fensterwald
Parents made suggestions in the form of post-it notes at an LCAP forum in San Diego Unified. Credit: Karla Scoon Reid, EdSource.
State and county education officials are seeking to reassure school districts that might be worried that county superintendents will reject the new accountability plans they’ll submit by July 1 for the 2014-15 year. Tighter scrutiny will come, just not for the initial plan.
“The approval process is fairly objective, at least this year” and should be non-judgmental, Christine Swenson, director of the state Department of Education’s Improvement and Accountability Division, told the State Board of Education last month.
via County offices to cut districts some slack for now on their LCAPs | EdSource Today.
As the agency authorized by the United States Department of Education to approve California kindergarten through grade twelve K–12 local educational agency LEA indirect cost rates, the California Department of Education CDE has reviewed the 2012–13 standardized account code structure SACS expenditure data and has finalized the approved indirect cost rates. The rates are for use, as allowable, with 2014–15 federal and state programs.
Approved Indirect Cost Rates
Please share the enclosed listing with the school districts and joint powers agencies JPAs in your county. The indirect cost rates are also posted on the CDE Indirect Cost Rate ICR Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/ac/ic/index.asp.
via 2014-15 Approved Indirect Cost Rates – Correspondence CA Dept of Education.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
The Vallejo City Unified School District has reached a tentative contract agreement with its classified employees.
The agreement, which the school board will consider Wednesday, provides a 2.5 percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2013, among other provisions.
In addition to the employee contract, the board also is expected to review a federal agreement with the district concerning student disciplinary procedures.
The tentative agreement could end a year of salary, benefit and working condition negotiations that have been going on with its nonteaching employees, who are members of the California School Employees Association, Chapter 199. The district also has been negotiating with the Vallejo Education Association.
via Vallejo school board to consider new employee contract – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
Two Vallejo classrooms celebrated victory Saturday when they took the top prize in their division for best recycled art piece.
“We rolled up paper and put them together to make a heart,” said Federal Terrace Elementary School second-grader Zuzeth Ibarra, 8, about the project.
The heart sculpture was a collaboration between Elizabeth Lewis’ second-grade class and Lani Ramos’ kindergarten class at Federal Terrace. Ramos brought the idea to Lewis to submit a joint entry for the annual Recycled Sculpture and Art contest.
“It looked really nice,” said second-grader Adriana Vittelli, 8.
via Vallejo classes win recycled art contest – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Mayrene Bates
“Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men – the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”
– Horace Mann, renowned U.S. educator
Horace Mann’s premise is no less true today. As the daughter of a sharecropper, I can’t imagine my life, though with access only to a very inferior education in segregated schools in the South, is still so much better than it would have been otherwise. I remain forever grateful for educators and others who encouraged me, no matter how difficult it would be, not to give up on getting an education.
via Implementing Common Core: A work in progress Daily Republic.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
The Rodriguez High School Jazz Band and Jazz Combo came home from Reno as winners.
The two groups participated in the 2014 Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada, Reno. The competition draws schools from up and down the West Coast, including Seattle and Los Angeles. It features middle, high school and college bands.
The 52-year-old event is an important competition for students, said Scott Miller, who directs the band and combo.
“It’s one of the biggest next to the Monterey Jazz Festival,” Miller said. “It’s a big deal to get awards.”
via Rodriguez musicians win big in Reno Daily Republic.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
Mare Island Technology Academy, Vallejos oldest charter school, doesnt have a library.But thats about to change, according to three freshmen at the school.
“Our goal is to get everyone to start reading more,” Beatrice Lopez, 14, said.
Beatrice, along with William Baumgardner, 14, and Regina Grajo, 17, formed a group in teacher Tyler Grinbergs leadership class. He charged them to think of a project that would better the community.
The three settled on creating a Little Tiny Library, based on the Little Free Library concept.
“You take a book, but you leave another book,” William said.
via Vallejo students aim to write first chapter in school library – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Lanz Christian Bañes
Hundreds of Vallejo students celebrated a milestone Wednesday when they received certificates of English proficiency.
“I’m happy,” said Brian Munguia, 10, a fifth-grader at Dan Mini Elementary School and one of 26 students from that campus to be reclassified as fluent English proficient.
Students who are learning English have two opportunities a year for reclassification — once in the fall, and another in the spring, said Marietta Tretasco, assistant director for categorical and English language learners at the Vallejo City Unified School District.
via Vallejo students earn English proficiency status – Vallejo Times Herald.