TUSD recognizes retirees and other longtime employees – The Reporter

Travis Unified School District earlier this week recognized this year’s retirees and granted service awards to longtime teachers and classified, or school-support, employees during a ceremony at the Travis Education Center.

The retirees include Dwayne Adams, Barbara Boyer, Sonja Brown, Jim Bryan, Emely Jordan, Marsha Morris, Lois Pierce and Kay Sullivan.

For 10 years of service in a district department or school, those honored included Roberta Brewer, Transportation; Cheryl Chatmon, Community Day School; Eileen Coll-Gieg, Cambridge; Amy Hernandez, Vanden; Kit Hoang, Cambridge; Dawn Lundholm, Travis; Frank Quevedo, Vanden; Eleanore Rodriguez, Cambridge; Olivia Ruiz, Cambridge; Penny Stokholm, Cambridge; Flordeliz Tanada, Foxboro; and Andrew Wren, Vanden.

via TUSD recognizes retirees and other longtime employees.

School site plans, LCAP on DUSD agenda tonight – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Superintendent Brian Dolan will lead the discussion about the district’s school sites and update the five-member governing board about the LCAP, a document that guides all district spending.

A key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, LCAPs are comprised of eight “priority areas,” from course access to parent involvement. It also describes for the public how educators will meet annual goals for all students and identified subgroups, such as ethnic minorities and special needs students. It was unclear from agenda documents how much the district would receive in grants from the state to meet those needs.

via School site plans, LCAP on DUSD agenda tonight.

Solano College president finalist for top positions in East Bay, New York – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

Jowel Laguerre, the president of Solano Community College, walked onto campus six years amid myriad troubles, namely accreditation issues that threatened to shut the college and necessitated the administration of a special trustee.

In May 2009, two months before his official start date of July 1, he’d already been to the campus three times to get a feel for things and to introduce himself.

“I’m jumping right in so I’m not a stranger when I come in July,” he said, back then, as he was finishing his tenure as the vice president for academic affairs at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno.

via Solano College president finalist for top positions in East Bay, New York.

Solano Office of Education showcases student art – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Some of the best local artists, in the fourth through 12th grades, will exhibit art in the Solano County Student Art Faire through Wednesday at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive.

Viewing is free and open to the public between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The show, also sponsored by the Solano County Office of Education, features more 300 pieces of artwork from students throughout Solano County in the following categories: computer art, clay pottery/sculpture, drawing, fiber, mixed media, painting, photography, print making and sculpture.

via Solano Office of Education showcases student art.

Full slate for BUSD trustees; certain positions to be reduced – Benicia Herald

By Keri Luiz

The Benicia Unified School District governing board has a busy night ahead.

As part of its full slate tonight, the board will hear a presentation from Assistant Superintendent Michael Gardner on a plan to reduce the number of classified, or non-teaching, positions.

The move is being made because of a reduction of some kinds of services for the 2015-16 school year, according to Gardner’s report to the board.

“With the uncertain funding of grants, categorical funding and the needs assessments changing for the District, Benicia Unified School District needs to reduce classified staffing for the 2015-16 school year to offset their losses in revenue,” the report said.

via Full slate for BUSD trustees; certain positions to be reduced.

US Graduation Rates on Track to Reach 90% by 2020 – Education News

By Kristin Decarr

A new report released this week suggests that American schools are still on track to reach the national goal of having 90% of high school students graduate on time by 2020.

The 2015 report, Building A Grad Nation, which was released by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, is the sixth annual update on the topic.

According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education, the nation saw a record high of 81.4% of high schoolers graduate on time in 2013. This is in part due to an increase in the graduation rates of minority and low-income students.

The US has seen an increase in the graduation rate of Latino students of 4.2 percentage points between 2011 and 2013. At the same time, African American students generated an increase of 3.7 percentage points. These gains have also allowed for the closing of the graduation rate among these groups with their white peers.

via US Graduation Rates on Track to Reach 90% by 2020.

10 Solutions for Students Who Fidget in the Classroom | MindShift

By Anya Kamenetz

Our story last week about the connection between ADHD, movement and thinking struck a nerve with readers. We reported on a small study in which students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder performed better on memory tasks when they were allowed to spin and move around in a swiveling chair.

We got hundreds of comments, tweets and emails. Even the CEO of Donors Choose, a fundraising site for teachers, wrote in to say that there are 1,455 projects with the key word “fidget” on his site. More than 1,000 teachers requested something called a “Hokki Stool” — a backless seat that allows kids to sit and wiggle.

via 10 Solutions for Students Who Fidget in the Classroom | MindShift | KQED News.

School districts struggling to get reserves cap repealed | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

Advocates for school districts are still hoping they can persuade legislative leaders and the governor to repeal the limit on how much money districts can annually keep in reserve. So far, though, they’ve struck out.

Last week, on a party-line vote, the majority Democrats on the Assembly Education Committee rejected Assembly Bill 1048, sponsored by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin. The bill would have rescinded the reserve cap, which has yet to go into effect. Democrats and Republicans disagreed on how much of a problem, if any, the ceiling on reserves will create. A Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, failed to move out of that body’s Education Committee.

School management groups were incensed over a last-minute deal last year in which Democratic leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown attached the cap on district reserves to the bill containing legal language associated with the state budget, called the trailer bill, without a hearing. The school management groups say they didn’t learn about the cap until shortly before the vote on the budget.

via School districts struggling to get reserves cap repealed | EdSource#.VVzAl2fbLGg#.VVzAl2fbLGg.

11 Ways to Help Students Overcome Creative Blocks | Edutopia

By Stacey Goodman

While creative writing, art, and maker classes are great for relieving some of the stress of life and school, perhaps the most unreasonable burden we place on our kids is asking them to be inspired and creative on demand.

Should we really be grading students on creativity if we dont fully understand the creative process? Maybe that answer should be left for another blog, but meanwhile, it is worth exploring strategies and tricks for that will help kids get past the creative slump and do inspired, creative work.

Artists and writers have been known to get writers block and creative slumps, and they use many methods to get past them — and love sharing them. Yet students have an extra challenge. They are not asking themselves to be creative — we are asking them.

via 11 Ways to Help Students Overcome Creative Blocks | Edutopia.

New Autism Research Outlines Gender Differences in Social Interactions – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Boys and girls with autism spectrum disorder may share difficulties in communicating, but how those problems manifest themselves differs between the sexes—an important element for educators to remember, according to new research examining children with autism and their peer interactions.

For example, because boys tend to play more structured games, its easier to spot when a boy with autism is being excluded. Socialization among girls tends to be more fluid, so a girl with autism may appear to be fitting in with her peer group—but a closer look might reveal less-obvious rejection.

The research also shows that in general education classrooms, girls remain more connected to peers when they are in larger classrooms—21 students or more. Boys tended to have better social connections when they were in classrooms of 20 students or fewer. Researchers hypothesize that boys might do better with more individualized attention, while girls may thrive if they have more friendship options.

via New Autism Research Outlines Gender Differences in Social Interactions – On Special Education – Education Week.

Gov. Brown calls for ‘balanced’ approach to testing and accountability | EdSource

By Louis Freedberg

As millions of California students tackle new assessments aligned with the Common Core, Gov. Jerry Brown in one of his more expansive comments on testing and measurements last week called for a “balanced” approach to testing, and expressed skepticism about pressures to hold schools more accountable for achieving results, and on students to show constant improvement.

At the same time, he said at a press conference about his proposed revisions to the state budget, billions of additional funds that will be pouring into public schools should make parents feel “optimistic and hopeful that their children will get a better education.” The extra funds, he said, should also help teachers get paid more, create more programs, and to fund those that have been cut during the recession.

“Tests, metrics, measures, these are good,” he said in response to a question about whether the state has sufficient accountability measures in place to ensure that its funds are being used adequately, and that children are making sufficient progress. But he questioned the need for uniform metrics to measure how all children and teachers are doing.

via Gov. Brown calls for ‘balanced’ approach to testing and accountability | EdSource#.VVtsgmfbLGg#.VVtsgmfbLGg.

SCC 4-year biotech degree program approved – The Reporter

By Robin Miller

Solano Community College will offer a four-year bachelor’s degree program in biotech manufacturing — one of just 15 community college baccalaureate pilot programs in the state — beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.

The announcement came Monday after a vote by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

“This is very exciting, it takes us to a brand new level,” said SCC President Jowel Laguerre. “To see how our college has progressed in the last six to seven years is really fantastic.”

Jim DeKloe, founder and director of SCC’s biotech program, agreed.

“This is just a great day for the Solano College and for the students and former grads,” he said. “It means that we can design a program that follows seamlessly from our current program so that students can graduate on time and lose no credits, and without debt because the whole thing from start to finish will cost about $10,000.”

via SCC 4-year biotech degree program approved.

Solano beats out 13 colleges to earn 4-year degree slot – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

Solano Community College slid into an unexpected vacancy Monday, ending its quest to become part of a statewide pilot program offering four-year degrees at select community colleges.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office board of directors unanimously approved the move to allow Solano College to offer a bachelor’s degree in biomanufacturing. It beat out 13 other colleges vying for the spot.

“It’s a day for celebration,” said Jim DeKloe, the head of the current biotechnology program. “We’re very happy that Solano College is included in this historic effort.”

via Solano beats out 13 colleges to earn 4-year degree slot.

Browns Valley Cleans Up to Prepare for Outdoor Education – The Reporter

By Ed Finkas

Two towering, thick oak trees, each possibly 75 to 100 years old, frame Browns Valley Elementary School’s amphitheater. Rolling hills are in view from the seven curved rows of wooden benches, soon to be home for outdoor education opportunities at the school.

Saturday morning, several parents, children, and Browns Valley School staff joined celebrity landscaper Ahmad Hassan, former host of HGTV’s show “Yard Crashers,” to spruce up the amphitheater area, first built in the 1990s.

via Browns Valley Cleans Up to Prepare for Outdoor Education.

Green Valley Middle School raises money for Malala fund – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Green Valley Middle School students Siddhi Upadhyaya and Kaitlin Harold spearheaded a campaign by the school’s Honor Society to collect money for Malala’s Education Fund for Girls.

They collected $525 and made a card with 78 Honor Society members’ signatures that they are sending to Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of the Malala Fund. Malala is an education activist. She was born in 1997 and grew up in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan.

The Malala Fund empowers girls through quality secondary education to achieve their potential and inspire positive change in their communities, according to www.malala.org.

via Green Valley Middle School raises money for Malala fund.

Fairfield may contribute $375,000 to Travis USD for Peabody Road closure – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The city will contribute $375,000 to offer all Travis School District students a reduced-fee bus pass as well as provide additional school buses and routes during construction of the Fairfield Train Station and improvements to Peabody Road in a proposal the City Council takes up Tuesday.

Peabody Road will be closed June 12 until August 2016 from Vanden and Cement Hill roads to Huntington and Whitney drives. Peabody Road is one of the main corridors to transporting students, a city staff report notes.

Fairfield will contribute $125,000 for student bus passes and $250,000 to assist Travis School District with costs of additional buses and routes for the Peabody Road closure.

via Fairfield may contribute $375,000 to Travis School District for Peabody Road closure.

Hard work earns seniors Assist-A-Grad scholarships – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

More than 80 sponsors invested almost $130,000 in local youth Sunday as high school seniors stepped up to receive scholarships at the 46th annual Assist-A-Grad Scholarship Foundation, Inc. awards.

Some of the recipients were called to the stage three times to receive their monetary gifts for college. Even more were called twice.

Armijo Class of 2015 member Spencer Butler earned scholarships from his school’s alumni foundation as well as one from the Fairfield Sons of Italy Lodge.He’ll use the money for his studies at Humboldt State where he plans on majoring in fisheries and biology.

via Hard work earns seniors Assist-A-Grad scholarships.

Brown puts forth record state budget – Daily Republic

By The Associated Press

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday proposed a record $115.3 billion California spending plan that would send billions more to public schools, freeze in-state undergraduate tuition and establish a new state tax credit for the working poor.

The spending plan reflects surging revenues that have climbed by $6.7 billion since Brown offered his preliminary budget proposal in January.

Adding in special funds and bond money, the proposed state budget tops $169 billion for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

Lawmakers have until midnight on June 15 to enact a balanced budget and send it to Brown for his signature.

via Brown puts forth record state budget Daily Republic.

Fairfield-Suisun school board OKs 3.75 percent raises – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board approved three agreements between employee groups giving members of each a 3.75 percent raise worth more than $1.7 million retroactive to July 1, 2014.

The contracts between the school district and the California School Employees Association Chapters 301 and 302, the Mutual Organization of Supervisors and the Fairfield-Suisun Management Association were each approved after a public hearing during the regularly scheduled board meeting Thursday.

via Fairfield-Suisun school board OKs 3.75 percent raises Daily Republic.

Educators pleased with governor’s May revise budget plan – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

Before Gov. Jerry Brown released the May budget revision, Kris Corey just hoped for status quo from January’s initial budget proposal, which finally gave schools a long-needed financial boost.

Good news came from the state government Thursday for both K-12 and community college education.

Both Corey, the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s superintendent, and educators throughout California saw a big boost to schools in the feared May revise.

“It’s so positive,” Corey said. “We’re just so excited. When we were looking through some of (the proposed budget) we just started clapping.”

via Educators pleased with governor’s May revise budget plan Daily Republic.