By John Fensterwald
The staff of the State Board of Education will decide in the next several weeks whether to tinker further with regulations governing the Local Control and Accountability Plans – the accountability and budget plans that school districts completed for the first time in June.
Board members heard testimony Thursday from those urging further changes and those saying in effect, “Enough – it’s time to move on.” Further tweaking would push off final adoption to January, creating uncertainty for school districts as they begin a year-long process of addressing the commitments they made in their initial LCAPs.
“Districts would rather have a document sooner than later; we can live with it as it is,” Teri Burns, senior director of policy and programs for the California School Boards Association, told the state board.
via One (maybe final) step closer to new LCAP rules | EdSource.
By Susan Winlow
“Oh, wait. Lunch is over.”
That one exclamation Wednesday from a group of high school freshman that included Alondra Chavez, 13, and her friends Sara Hobson, 14, and Adriel Ceja, 14, as they scrambled to join classmates heading back to their classes, kind of punctuated one of the differences between the dual enrollment Early College High School program and traditional high school.
No bells. No bells in the adult world to remind students to hurry up or they will be late. No bells to say, “Oops, you’re already late.” No bells equals another step in responsibility and time management for these students who took a leap straight from middle school to Solano Community College and the Early College High School program rolled out this year by the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
via Fairfield school district rolls out dual enrollment program Daily Republic.
By Keri Luiz
Trustees warm to idea of over-arching strategy.
Benicia Unified School District trustees met early and briefly Thursday so they and staff could attend back-to-school events at the city’s four elementary schools.
Foremost on the abbreviated agenda was Superintendent Janice Adams’s request for direction from the board on development of a plan for coordinated fundraising efforts in the district.
Though there was no formal vote, Adams received strong support from the board for moving forward to develop such a plan.
Adams told trustees of a presentation she attended by Paul Lanning of RPR Fundraising, a Los Angeles company that consults with nonprofits on efficient fundraising strategies.
via Schools supe gets green light on fundraising plan.
By Richard Bammer
In a vision of how Vacaville Unified desired educational outcomes may change in the near future, district leaders on Thursday heard a report on 21st-century and career readiness, learning pathways geared largely for high school students, ranging from product development and the building trades to biotechnology and food science.
Mark Frazier, the district’s chief academic officer, led a computer-aided slide presentation during the governing board’s meeting in the Educational Services Center.
“All of our students need to have a path and a plan once they graduate from our high schools,” he told the six trustees (board president Sherie Mahlberg was ill and did not attend).
via Vacaville school board leaders hear report on possible new career-training programs – The Reporter.
State Board of Education Commends Higher Education’s Endorsement of Common Core and Comprehensive, Coordinated Approach for Implementation
In an unprecedented action, the four systems of higher education announced their endorsement of Common Core standards and have engaged in a comprehensive, coordinated approach for implementation that links the K-12 system with higher education on standards, assessments and teacher training.
The leaders of the University of California, California State University, California Community Colleges, and Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities outlined their endorsement of Common Core standards in a letter to the State Board of Education. The announcement is part of the California State Board of Education’s National Governors Association grant for K-12/higher education collaboration.
“This endorsement reinforces other significant actions by higher education to align standards and assessments with Common Core including major revisions to the PSAT and SAT, updates to the a-g requirements for the University of California and California State University, improvements to teacher preparation, and collaboration on the Early Assessment Program and Smarter Balanced assessments for 11th grade,” explained California State Board of Education president Mike Kirst.
via SBE News Release for September 3, 2014 – State Board of Education (CA Dept of Education).
This blog post by Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang was originally published on the California School Board Association’s blog.
Do you know why the Local Control Funding Formula holds districts accountable for monitoring chronic absence? It is because investments in improving curriculum and instruction, including adoption of the Common Core – only make a difference if students are in the classroom. Chronic absence, missing 10% or more of school for any reason, as early as prekindergarten and kindergarten is associated with lower third grade reading scores. By sixth grade it becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. In ninth grade, it’s a stronger indicator of dropout than eighth grade test scores. Low-income students, who don’t have the resources to make up for time lost in classroom instruction, are especially hard hit.
via Reducing Chronic Absence in California « Attendance Works Attendance Works.
By Susan Winlow
Solano Community College’s 2014-15 deficit budget returns to the governing board later this month for formal adoption as the district and its leaders work to reduce the shortfall.
The budget is a subject that has been visited in earnest recently – one that now comes with a $1.6 million structural deficit. The good news is the deficit has been reduced by $1 million since last month. The bad news, it’s still a deficit number, and if things don’t change, the structural deficit is likely to continue with a significant drop in reserves.
via Solano College tackles deficit as budget nears adoption Daily Republic.
By Ryan McCarthy
A $199,960 federal grant for the biotechnology program at Solano College brought local and regional dignitaries for a celebration Wednesday with words about the key role biotechnology plays in the Bay Area economy and the 15,000 new jobs the industry is expected to add in the region over the next two years.
“This is the Bay Area speciality,” said college biotechnology professor Jim DeKloe.
California will never have less expensive land or labor than other states, DeKloe said.
“Our advantage is a trained workforce,” the professor said.
via Solano College gets federal funds for biotech Daily Republic.
Vacaville Reporter Posted:
Dixon Unified leaders will hear a report on the school district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, when they meet tonight in open session in Dixon.
Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will report on the plan’s first goal, its rollout and its monitoring.
A key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, LCAPs, as they are called for short, lay out in detail what educators, governing boards and teachers must do to educate students and how they are going to measure results.
Months in the making, the plans required community stakeholder meetings and give more power to school site leaders as they seeks to focus on student achievement for all and narrow the so-called “achievement gap,” the difference in standardized test outcomes between various ethnic groups.
via LCAP on DUSD agenda tonight – The Reporter.
By Richard Bammer
Teacher and school-support employee contract proposals top the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet tonight in open session in Vacaville.
Randy Henry, the district’s chief human resources officer, and Brenda Hensley, chief negotiator for the Vacaville Teachers Association, will lead a discussion about contract proposals between the district and the 600-member union.
Trustees likely will approve the contract “reopeners” on wages, work hours, part-time employment, class size and evaluation procedures for the 2014-15 academic year.
via Employee contract proposals top VUSD agenda tonight – The Reporter.
By Susan C. Schena
The following was submitted for publication on behalf of the California Highway Patrol:
With children heading back to school, motorists should expect to see more children riding to and from school on their bicycles. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) would like to remind the public that on September 16, 2014, a new law affecting motorists and bicyclists takes effect.
According to the law, a driver must allow three feet of distance when overtaking or passing a bicyclist. If three feet is not available, a driver must then slow to a safe speed and pass when no danger is present.
via New California Law Aims to Provide Extra Safety for Kids Biking to School – Police & Fire | Suisun City, California Patch#.VAjgfJ3n_Gg.
By Susan Hiland
The Solano County Office of Education is kicking off a countywide poster contest to help spread the word about the role that school attendance has on student achievement.
Students will be given the chance to create a poster with messages that will focus on the importance of regular school attendance – and could win prizes for their efforts.
Chronic absenteeism is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble, the county education office said in a press release announcing the poster contest. Research shows that chronically absent students are less likely to succeed academically and are more likely to be suspended and eventually dropout.
via Poster contest pushes school attendance Daily Republic.
by Keri Luiz
Superintendent, staff call for ‘coordinated’ effort, greater efficiency
The Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees will meet early Thursday, with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and open session at 6 p.m. In the open session, trustees will discuss fundraising in the new school year.
Superintendent Janice Adams wrote in a report that she will seek direction from the board for development of a strategic plan for coordinated fundraising efforts.
“In order to support high-quality programs and enhance opportunities for students the district is committed to supporting efforts to enhance revenue for the district,” Adams wrote.
She added that the district is fortunate in its community support from many organizations, including Benicia Education Foundation, parent-teacher groups, booster clubs, service organizations, nonprofit groups and faith-based organizations.
via School board to strategize on fundraising.
By Susan Winlow
The Solano Community College governing board will consider a $6.5 million contract Wednesday for the purchase of property located at 1683 to 1699 N. Ascot Parkway in Vallejo.
The original letter of signed intent indicated the sale price would be $7.2 million, according to staff reports. The property will be purchased, using Measure Q money, for parking and athletic fields in the continued growth of the Vallejo Center.
via Solano College looks to add land to Vallejo Center Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
The governing board of Solano Community College will once again take a look at its looming 2014-15 deficit budget Wednesday during its evening study session.
The college district’s unadjusted budget showed a $2.6 million deficit in early August. Since then about $1.7 million in cuts have been identified in the form of vacancies not yet filled, benefits for those unfilled vacancies, external events and library equipment, said Yulian Ligioso, vice president of finance and administration.
via Solano College board to delve into deficit budget Daily Republic.
By Susan C. Schena
Solano Community College (SCC) proudly hosts the 30th annual Arty Awards Gala to honor live theater.
The Performing Arts Network (PAN), whose roots date back to 1990, is taking over the event. The Arty Awards Gala will debut this year’s premier affair in Solano County at Solano Community College, Theater Building (1200) on Sunday, Sept. 14.
The Welcome Reception is at 5 p.m., the ceremony is at 6 p.m., followed by a reception.
“The unique trait of the Artys is that 50 percent or more of the nominees’ work is from the youth of our local high schools’,” stated Darcia Tipton, SCC Theater Arts Faculty. “In addition, our College students have nominations, so it’s exciting to recognize the artistically creative work that the students in the community are producing!”
via 30th Annual Arty Awards Gala at Solano Community College Theater – Schools | Benicia, California Patch.
Times-Herald staff report Posted:
The Vallejo City Unified School District announced that existing Full Service Community Service resources and support will be given to students and their families, in response to Sunday’s South Napa earthquake.
“Vallejo’s schools are standing strong, but some of our students, parents, and staff members may be struggling. School staff is ready to assist parents and students who are dealing with the emotional and physical effects of the earthquake,” said VCUSD Superintendent Ramona Bishop in a press release. “Each of our Full Service Community Schools can help students and their families cope with the trauma caused by this natural disaster.”
According to the same release, all VCUSD schools were open on Monday, after the district’s maintenance and operations staff performed safety inspections and found limited structural damage to school site facilities.
via District schools open students and families after earthquake – Vallejo Times Herald.
By Richard Bammer
Event will be Sept. 17 at Pietro’s No. 2 in Vacaville
The Vaca Valley Tea Party will hold a public forum in mid-September for the nine candidates seeking four trustee seats on Vacaville Unified governing board.
Organizers said the event will 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Pietro’s No. 2, at 679 Merchant St., Vacaville. Pizza and salad will be served.
Each candidate will have an opportunity for a short statement, three to five minutes.
In a brief press release, Colleen Britton, president of the organization, said that candidates can expect to be called upon to “address the following areas of interest to our members and the community”:
via Vaca Tea Party sets VUSD candidate forum – The Reporter.
By Susan Winlow
There is nothing like watching one of your favorite teachers get a bucket of ice water dumped on their head.
Multiply that by four, and that’s what the delighted student body at Green Valley Middle School witnessed Friday at lunch – four of their teachers participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge in the quad.
It’s a trend sweeping the nation, burning up social media. Despite the millions of dollars it’s bringing to the ALS Association, it’s causing a wee bit of controversy in drought-stricken California. To date, it has brought in donations of more than $100 million, compared to just $2.8 million in the same time frame last year. The primary “rules” are that if you don’t accept the challenge, you donate $100 to the ALS Association. If you do the challenge, the donation is $10.
via Green Valley teachers get wet for a good cause Daily Republic.