State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California students made significant progress in the second year of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) online tests, with the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards increasing at every grade and in every student group.
Nearly half the students tested met or exceeded standards in English language arts, and nearly four in ten met or exceeded standards in mathematics (see Table 1). These online tests, based on California’s challenging academic standards, ask students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems, just as they will need to do in college and on the job.
“The higher test scores show that the dedication, hard work, and patience of California’s teachers, parents, school employees, and administrators are paying off. Together we are making progress towards upgrading our education system to prepare all students for careers and college in the 21st century,” Torlakson said.
Source: Statewide Student Test Results Released – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Hip-hop star E-40’s mission was simple on Tuesday.
He came back to give back.
Also known as Earl Stevens, 48, E-40 was at his former Vallejo junior high school — now Franklin Middle School — to hand out backpacks to every student there. And, not just any backpacks, but Jansport backpacks with lifetime warranties, filled with needed school supplies, organizers said.
Principal Michelle Jordan Faucette said that this is not the only way E-40 returns the favor to the city he still considers his own. He is also funding the construction of a music studio on campus, she said.
Source: Rapper E-40 back in Vallejo with school supplies-filled backpacks for students
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano Community College’s foundation will honor a group of alumni during the 2016 Annual Benefit Gala at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and it’s not too late to take part in the celebration.
The 2016 class includes:
- Dee Alarcon, retired Solano County Office of Education superintendent.
- Retired U.S. Army Col. Nestor Aliga, the 14th Assembly District’s 2016 Veteran of the Year.
- Dr. Luis A. Godoy, University of California, Davis, cardiothoracic surgeon.
Source: Solano College foundation to honor distinguished alumni
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano Community College President and Superintendent Celia Esposito-Noy and two of the college’s vice presidents, Leslie Minor and Greg Brown, will attend the California College Promise Conference on Tuesday in Oakland.
The general focus of the conference is making college more accessible to all students, according to a college press release. The conference will host more than 400 professionals representing colleges throughout California.
Source: Solano College administrators to attend conference
By Evie Blad
A Texas federal judge issued a nationwide order late Sunday, temporarily halting application of the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender students while a 13-state legal challenge on the issue, led by Texas, is decided.
The case is one of a number of legal challenges related to the May guidance, in which the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice said that, under Title IX, public schools must allow transgender students to use single-sex restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity, even if it differs from their sex at birth. A related case, brought by a transgender Virginia student, may be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor sided with Texas and 12 other state plaintiffs in his order for a temporary injunction, which bars the federal agencies from enforcing the guidance and from from initiating civil rights investigations in schools based on their interpretation that Title IX’s discrimination protections apply to gender identity until he makes final judgment on the case.
Source: Judge Halts Obama Administration’s Transgender-Student Rules Nationwide – Rules for Engagement – Education Week
By Theresa Harrington
When Pedro Martinez arrived at La Joya Middle School in Visalia, Liz Serrato knew she had to reach him.
“I want to challenge you,” she told him when he said he preferred learning with other Spanish-speaking students. She urged him to take up the trumpet, which helped him meet new classmates.
Martinez came from Michoacán, Mexico – the same part of Mexico where Serrato spent her childhood. Feeling a connection to him because of their shared Mexican heritage, Serrato knew all too well what he and other English learners face. She was 15 when she came to the United States.
Now she’s on a mission to help spread her methods for teaching English learners and closely monitoring their progress throughout the Visalia Unified School District.
Source: Former English learner spearheads new system for tracking students | EdSource
By Nick Sestanovich
As Benicia Unified School District prepares to wrap up spending Measure S bond funds from the first issuance of bond funding known as Series A, it is ready to collect the second and final set of bond funds— which is not to exceed $29.6 million— for Series B. BUSD’s governing board voted to approve a resolution authorizing the refunding and support of legal documents for Series B bonds.
Measure S was passed by voters in 2014 for a total of $49.6 million in bond funding to be used for construction and renovation projects at BUSD schools. Jon Isom, a managing principal with Walnut Creek-based service planning and financial advisory company Isom Advisors, delivered a presentation on the updated district general obligation bond program.
Source: Benicia Unified School District: School board votes to approve resolution for remaining Measure S funds
By Kimberly K. Fu
Starting a new school year is exciting when you know that you have all your gear ready to go in your brand new backpack.
But when you’re financially strapped, the situation can be a strain.
Which is where two local organizations have stepped in.
Burlington Stores Inc. has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for a backpack drive.
Through Sept. 5, clients can participate in “#GiveBackPacks: Help Kids Get What They Need to Succeed!”
New or gently used backpacks are being sought and will be distributed to needy local children by the Vacaville branch of the Boys & Girls Club.
Source: Vacaville organizations partner to obtain backpacks for kids – The Reporter
In a victory for teacher unions, a divided California Supreme Court decided Monday to let the state’s teacher tenure law stand.
The high court decided 4-3 not to review a lower court ruling that upheld tenure and other job protections for teachers. That ruling came in a lawsuit by a group of students who claimed that incompetent teachers were almost impossible to fire because of tenure laws and that schools in poor neighborhoods were dumping grounds for bad teachers.
The case was closely watched around the country and highlighted tensions between teacher unions, school leaders, lawmakers and well-funded education reform groups over whether policies like tenure and firing teachers with the least seniority keep ineffective instructors in the classroom.
Source: California court decision keeps teacher tenure protections – The Reporter
By John Glidden
The African-American Alliance (AAA), the NAACP Vallejo Branch 1081 and the Solano County Black Chamber will host a candidates’ forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Vallejo City Hall, Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara St.
All Vallejo City Council, mayoral, and Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education candidates will be asked questions obtained from various community residents, according to a joint press release from the organizations.
The forum will be divided into three sessions, officials said.
“We believe providing a forum where candidates running for office can provide information regarding their commitment to our city and their goal for improving the city is very important,” said AAA representative and forum organizer Eva Coley. “Our goal is to educate and to inform, which hopefully will allow the citizens of Vallejo to make an informed choice when voting.”
Source: Vallejo candidates’ forum set for Wednesday – Times Herald
The Solano County Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program team welcomes students back to school and is excited to work again with schools across Solano County.
During the 2015-16 school year, 58 schools and 17,000 students took part in the program. The goal of the SR2S program is simply to increase the number of students walking and bicycling to school. The program works with schools to teach students how to walk and ride in a safe manner, slow traffic near schools and reduce congestion and air pollution in school drop-off zones. And these efforts help to increase and promote physical activity for students before and after school.
“I am proud of the positive impact Solano’s SR2S program has in our communities since it began in 2008,” said Rio Vista Mayor and Solano Transportation Authority Board Chair Norman Richardson. “Every school district takes part in the program — I hope we can get every school to join in for our kids’ safety and health.”
Source: Keep students safe and healthy with Safe Routes to School
By Ryan McCarthy
Positive Prevention Plus – sexual health education curriculum for middle and high school students that reflects the California Healthy Youth Act to affirmatively recognize people have different sexual orientations and discuss same-sex relationships – goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday.
The sexual health instruction is among new instructional materials for spring 2017 that go before the school board as an information item.
Action by trustees on the curriculum would follow Oct. 5, when public viewing ends for textbooks recommended for adoption.
Source: Sexual health education curriculum goes before Fairfield-Suisun school board
By Ryan McCarthy
Nine people will be appointed to a citizens Bond Oversight Committee for the $249 million bond Measure J if trustees for the Fairfield-Suisun School District meeting Thursday follow a staff recommendation.
Charles Wood, Jana Modena, Rochelle Sherlock, Barbara Pisching, LeRoy Purvis, Sylvia Robertson, Nicole Mallari, Rick Wood and Robert C. Thomas Sr. are recommended for appointment.
They would meet every other month once Measure J expenditures have begun, a school district staff report said.
Source: School district eyes 9-member Measure J oversight panel
By Ryan McCarthy
Approving the nomination of state Assemblyman Jim Frazier for the Legislator of the Year award by the California School Boards Association goes before trustees for the Fairfield-Suisun School District when they meet Thursday.
Given his commitment to public education, and specifically the Fairfield-Suisun School District, Assemblyman Jim Frazier is worthy of this recognition, a school district staff report said.
Source: School board considers Frazier nomination as legislator of year
By Nick Sestanovich
Students who return to Benicia High School this year will notice several major changes: the construction of a new stadium, a new vice principal—Dr. James Brown, who was hired to fill Brianna Kleinschmidt’s place after she was promoted to principal- and a new counselor, bringing Benicia High’s counselor total to four.
Mynor Maldonado will be joining Megan Guenther, Justin Keppel and Kathleen Wallace to make up Benicia High’s counseling department, where he will be assisting students with their academic goals, helping them with personal issues and overall providing them guidance throughout their high school careers. Previously, the department had to do all of this with only three counselors, which Keppel said created some problems.
Source: Benicia High School hires fourth counselor
By Richard Bammer
On the first day of the new school year, Vacaville Unified on Thursday welcomed nearly 12,800 students across 16 campuses, a sizable boost in enrollments compared to previous years.
Jennifer Leonard, the district’s public information officer, called the tentative numbers “significant growth,” while acknowledging that attendance numbers will go up and down for several days but finally settle in the coming weeks.
“Our schools are very, very full,” she said. “There were a lot of last-minute enrollments.”
Source: New year begins for Vacaville Unified, with “significant growth” – The Reporter
By Michael Morris
When former Vanden Vikings standout Kris Negron signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs in January, the Vacaville native knew there was a chance this day could come.
Although he admits that he had hoped his return to a California ballpark was adjacent to a much larger body of water, Negron is just happy to be playing a game he has loved even before his days out at the old Travis Credit Union Park.
“We definitely knew about it because (my wife and I) looked early on in the season,” laughed Negron. “I’d rather miss this trip and be in Chicago. But we knew that worst case scenario we would be able to play in front of my family and friends.”
Source: Former Vanden baseball player Kris Negron makes long-awaited return
By Doug Ford
Leo J. Ryan is most remembered now because of his tragic death on November 18, 1978. He was known for his earnestness in getting to the root of any issue about which he felt obligated to do something about. As a Bay Area assemblyman during the Watts Riots of 1965, he traveled to Watts to get a temporary job as a substitute teacher in order to learn and report on what led to the tragedy.
In 1970, when he was chairman of the Assembly committee on prison reform, he arranged to be arrested under a pseudonym and placed in Folsom Prison as an inmate so that he could learn first-hand what conditions were like in California’s prisons.
Elected to Congress in 1972, he gained fame for his demands for better Congressional oversight of the CIA’s covert operations which led to the Hughes-Ryan Amendment of 1974.
Source: Doug Ford: The Ryan Act established standard for teacher training
By Ryan McCarthy
Kris Corey, superintendent of the Fairfield-Suisun School District, and Kristen Witt, director of secondary education for the school district, will attend the White House Next Generation High School Summit on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C.
The event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building “will be part of a national conversation on transforming high schools” and build on the meeting that occurred in November.
The White House then announced $375 million in commitments from business and government to advance Next Generation High Schools, according to the domestic policy council for the White House.
Source: Corey, Witt to attend White House high school summit
By Todd R. Hansen
A lot of things could have gone wrong as Sierra Vista Elementary School reopened its doors for the first time in five years.
Not to mention, it was now the first school with a K-8 configuration in Vacaville School District history, and was implementing a college-readiness curriculum at the elementary level for the first time as well.
Of yeah, there is still some construction going on at the Bel Air Drive campus, too.
“It was probably one of the smoothest starts I’ve ever had,” said Cathy Bozzini, the principal at Sierra Vista and a 22-year schools veteran, 16 in administration. “If anything slowed us down, it was the kids had never visited the campus before.”
Source: Vacaville schools welcome 12,700 on first day of classes