By Irma Widjojo
A new pilot program to help students with bus passes is up for approval by the Benicia Unified School Board on Thursday.
The one-year agreement between Soltrans and the school district states that monthly bus passes — up to 90 — will be sold at 50 percent discount to the district, from the beginning until the end of the year.
The bus passes are given to students who have trouble getting to school because of transportation.
“In our district there are students whose attendance is problematic because they do not have transportation and are unable to afford the cost of bus passes,” a district staff report states.
Currently, there are 27 middle and high school students who have been identified and are receiving bus passes from the district.
They were verified by school officials and their situations are assessed monthly, according to the district.
via Pilot program to provide Benicia students with bus passes on agenda.
By Jessica Rogness
Travis Unified School District trustees appointed local teacher Jamilah Whiteside to fill a vacant seat on its governing board during a special meeting Tuesday evening.
Whiteside, who teaches history at Rodriguez High School in the Fairfield-Suisun school district, will now serve as Trustee for Area 1 in the Travis Unified district, which covers Travis Air Force Base, until the end of the term on Dec. 7, 2018, as if she were elected to the post.
A special election was going to be held in March for the open position, but no candidates filed. California Education Code allows that in the case of insufficient nominees in a school district election, the school board makes appointments. The board had through Monday, March 2, to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.
via School board appoints teacher to vacant seat.
By Susan Winlow
Board members will hear the results Thursday of a special education report contracted by the district to an independent company in November primarily to curb escalating special education program costs and also to look for ways to enhance the program.
The report, prepared by Total School Solutions of Fairfield, met with a variety of stakeholders in preparing the multiple-page report that focuses on four areas: fiscal operations review, comparative data and analysis, staffing analysis and program evaluation.
“There was a lot of effort put into the report – a lot of in-depth work,” said Ken Jacopetti, superintendent of the Vacaville School District. “They’re really peeling back the financial situation. They’re coming forward with some really healthy recommendations for us.”
via Vacaville district gets special education blueprint Daily Republic.
By John Glidden
Should the Vallejo school board attempt another general obligation bond worth a few hundred million dollars, or seek a much smaller bond amount in the coming years?
That is the question the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will discuss Wednesday at its meeting, as district staff seeks board authorization to hire a consultant on the matter.
According to a staff report, a new poll is requested to “seek information on the position of district voters in such areas as facility needs, the cost of facilities, methods to finance facilities and other related issues.”
Once complete, the poll information will be presented to the board, which will determine if the district is going to ask city voters again to support a bond.
via Vallejo school board to mull over poll about new bond measure.
By Ryan Chalk ,
With more than 50 years of teaching between them, a Vacaville couple who have been a big part of the local school music community are set to retire at the end of the school year.
John and Patty Phillips have taught for a combined 50 years in the Vacaville Unified School District from elementary, to middle school and high school band. Through those years they have seen the number of students who participate in learning to play an instrument in elementary school and carry on to middle school and beyond, grow.
The two met at California State University, Hayward, where both were majoring in music and playing clarinet in the band.
John, who received his teaching credential upon graduation, began teaching music in Castro Valley. After seven years, the two were lured to Vacaville.
via Husband and wife music instructors to retire from Vacaville Unified School District.
By Reporter staff
The Travis Unified School District Governing Board will hold a special meeting tonight in Fairfield to interview candidates and appoint one of them to fill a vacant seat on the board.
A special election was going to be held for the open position in March. However no candidates filed for the vacancy prior to the filing deadline. California Education Code allows that in the case of insufficient nominees in a school district election, the school board makes appointments. That means the board has through Monday, March 2, to appoint someone to fill its current vacancy.
The person selected will serve Trustee Area 1 (which covers Travis Air Force Base) until the end of the term on Dec. 7, 2018, as if they were elected to the post.
via Travis Unified school board to interview candidates to fill vacancy.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Starla Rupp had three generations on hand to watch her bowl at the annual Joy Graham Bowling event, which took place Wednesday and Friday.
The Grange Middle School seventh-grader was missing in action – briefly. Her great-grandmother, Pat Wooten, sat at a table hoping to see the teen throw a strike.
Linda Rupp and her daughter, Misty Rupp, Starla’s biological mother, rounded her up from the arcade area of Stars Recreation to join her fellow students at the adapted physical eduction event.
“She loves bowling,” Linda Rupp said of the granddaughter she’s raising. “She ice skates, too.”
via Special needs students love bowling event Daily Republic.
By Ian Thompson
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tad Riley and his wingmen’s photo-reconnaisance RF-8A Crusaders cleared the coast of Cuba flying a little more than 50 feet off the ground, their jets’ exhaust sending up rooster tails of dust from the fields of startled Cuban farmers.
Their mission on Oct. 23, 1962, was to take detailed, low-level photos of the sites of missile and other military sites the Soviet Union was setting up in Cuba, sites which had previously been spotted by high-flying U-2s a few days earlier, kicking off the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“We were right on the deck,” the now-retired Navy flier and intelligence officer told the Fairfield High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets who were interviewing him. “Our primary mission was to figure out if they (the missile sites) were ready yet.”
via Fairfield High ROTC works to preserve veterans’ heritage Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
From page A5 | February 18, 2015 |
FAIRFIELD — A newer version of the Measure Q Bond Spending Plan will be looking for trustee approval and a horticulture project is looking for initiation approval at Wednesday’s Solano Community College Governing Board meeting.
If approved, the spending plan for Measure Q will see its first revision on Wednesday after the original document was approved on Aug. 20, 2014. The update includes three project adjustments:
- The Vacaville Center biotechnology and science building will increase in size to include a program area encompassing a full STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – curriculum. Approval would increase the project budget from $28 million to $34.5 million;
via College staff to ask trustee approval for bond project revisions Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
Several items ranging from audits to appointments to Measure Q property approvals hit the Solano Community College Governing Board Wednesday evening.
Staff is looking for the approval of three mandated, independent financial and performance audits, according to staff reports. All the audits were performed by Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Company LLP.
The first is for the district’s 2013-14 financial statements and to evaluate management controls. The second and third are Measure G and Measure Q 2013-14 audits required by Proposition 39. Performance audits are done to ensure funds are spent only on specific projects listed on the ballot. Financial audits are performed in order to audit proceeds from the sale of bonds. This is done until funds are depleted.
via College board to look at myriad approvals Daily Republic.
By Donna Beth Weilenman
Benicia City Council will hear a request Tuesday from interim police Chief Joseph Kreins to continue having School Resource Officers at Benicia Middle and High schools.
In a Feb. 6 report to City Manager Brad Kilger, Kreins wrote that if the Council concurs, the city and Benicia Unified School District would continue to share the cost of the program, with the school district paying $150,000 to the city’s General Fund.
Kreins wrote that the program “enhances the safe and positive learning environment within the district, promotes a positive working relationship with school staff members to prevent juvenile delinquency, promotes positive attitudes regarding the police role and informs students of their rights and responsibilities as lawful members of the community.”
via Council to hear request to continue School Resource Officer program.
By Mary Beth Hertz
These days, social media gets a pretty bad rap. It seems like every other day there is a celebrity apology or a story about a teen who commits suicide due to cyberbullying. It’s true, social media can breed some pretty awful stuff. And that awful stuff is great material for the digital citizenship unit that all of my school’s incoming freshmen are expected to complete.
Our school is unique in Philadelphia in that it’s one of the few public schools with a 1:1 program that allows students to take devices home. We give our students access to the world, and with that access comes a lot of responsibility. As such, it’s vital that, from the beginning, we prepare students to use caution and be thoughtful when using their laptops.
via Social Media at School: Teaching Safety on the Virtual Playground | Edutopia.
By Alyson Klein
The national, four-year graduation rate has ticked up for the second year in a row, growing from 80 percent in the 2011-12 school year, to 81 percent in the 2012-13 school year, according to data released in January by the U.S. Department of Education. (The data from the National Center for Education Statistics has been out for almost a month, but the official release was Thursday.)
Most individual states made gains. For instance, the District of Columbia’s grad rate grew from 59 percent in the 2011-12 school year to 62 percent in 2012-13.
via National Graduation Rate Hits All-Time High (Again) – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Susan Frey
Whether solving math puzzles to help a penguin waddle across a computer screen or sounding out words in Mr. Sounders’ virtual classroom, K-2 students are increasingly embracing technology in California schools.
Mixing academic software programs with traditional classroom instruction – often referred to as blended learning – is moving from high schools and middle schools to the early grades, even reaching some 4-year-olds in transitional kindergarten. Teachers say the programs they are using adapt to the young students’ needs and give teachers time to delve more deeply into the reading and math concepts required under the Common Core State Standards.
via Technology takes hold in the early grades | EdSource#.VN4ysGctHGg#.VN4ysGctHGg.
By Susan Winlow
The school board paved the way Thursday with a unanimous vote to make changes within the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Gifted and Talented Education program in 2015-16 that will facilitate future alterations beyond next year.
The vote at the governing board meeting pertained mostly to elementary school and contained “components” approved that would give “full flexibility” for a to-be-formed committee of stakeholders to continue with the changes that will affect the middle school GATE program.
Currently the GATE program is third through eighth grade with an elementary magnet or main program at K.I. Jones Elementary School and two middle school magnets at Grange and Green Valley middle schools. The other elementary and middle schools have “cluster” programs with varied advanced instruction that is inconsistent or nonexistent, district officials have said.
via School district to roll out some GATE program changes next year Daily Republic.
By Melissa Murphy
Grins from ear to ear, hands in the air and high-fives all around were just the beginning of a day outside the confines of a typical middle school classroom for a group of local students with special needs.
Raul Calberon sat quietly at a table at Stars Bowling Center among the hustle and bustle of fellow classmates cheering, and the loud drops of bowling balls onto the wooden lanes and the crash of bowling pins.
When it was his turn, Calberon confidently picked up a neon yellow bowling ball and tossed it with ease. He didn’t even need the bumpers to earn his first strike for the day. His peers and teachers cheered loudly, and just as if nothing happened, the 13-year-old quietly sat back down.
via Joy Graham Bowling Event gives special needs students a day of fun.
Vanden High School will respresent Solano County at the California Academic Decathlon in Sacramento next month.
The school’s decathlon team won the post during last weekend’s 2015 North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon.
In addition to Vanden, Casa Grande High School will represent Sonoma County, St. Helena High School will represent Napa County, and River City High School will represent Yolo County at the state competition on March 19.
The second and final day of the North Bay Regional Academic Decathlon was held on February 7 at Solano Community College in Suisun. While addressing students and families, Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck said, “Communication, critical thinking, and collaboration have always been important skills and are critical to the success of our youth. Through hard work and dedication, the students in this competition have developed skills that will last them a lifetime.”
via Vanden to represent Solano County at state academic decathlon.
By Susan Winlow
Budget priorities for the upcoming year, along with administration recommendations, will be discussed at Thursday’s Fairfield-Suisun School District’s governing board meeting.
The governing board set priorities at a January study session that included looking at employee compensation; extracurricular school activities; science learning in a secondary school setting; wrap-around counseling services to include a variety of aspects such as social, emotional, academic and career; and bilingual outreach and improving communication structure.
via School board to discuss budget priorities Daily Republic.
By Kevin W. Green
Solano County is moving ahead to participate in the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program, which provides county agencies with state funds for foster children who live with relatives.
“It really makes the field balanced because the federal caseloads receive a foster care rate which is much higher than those when we place with relative care providers,” said Aaron Crutison, deputy director of health and social services child welfare services.
Crutison made his presentation before the Board of Supervisors, prior to the board’s unanimous vote Tuesday for the county to opt into the state-funded program.
via Solano opts for state program for foster children who live with relatives Daily Republic.
By Susan Winlow
Changes could be coming to the Gifted and Talented Education program – also known as GATE – which could see the reduction of a magnet site at the middle school level, but the increase in “cluster” sites at current schools within the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
School district officials said it’s a way to meet the needs of all GATE-identified students by supplying additional access and also enhancing the program. Not everyone agreed, however, with the possible shifts set on the proverbial table, and a recent parent poll indicated unhappiness with the current cluster programs.
The GATE program is currently a third- through eighth-grade program with the main magnet program at K.I. Jones for the elementary level and two main magnet programs at Grange and Green Valley middle schools.
via School district mulls over GATE program changes Daily Republic.