By Nick Sestanovich
The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District unanimously voted to approve the Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA) at Thursday’s meeting.The SPSA is established by school site councils to develop goals, aligned to BUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which would support the academic performance of all students. At the high school level, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) goals act as the SPSA, with the goals and actions updated each year to represent continuous growth cycles. Each site team studies state and local measures to gauge progress and put together plans that represent the uniqueness of each school.
Benicia Middle School
Damian Scott, the principal of Benicia Middle School, was the first to present. The first two goals were to increase literacy and math proficiency respectively by 10 percent. The previous year, literacy proficiency had decreased by 5 percent, but math had remained consistent. In terms of other goals from the 2015-2016 school year, Scott noted that BMS saw a 59 percent decrease in suspensions and a 53 percent decrease in incidents. It also met its goal of using technology to promote 21st century learning by having two Chromebooks per every one student and allowing all professional learning opportunities to have a technology focus.
Source: School board OKs achievement plans for middle, high schools
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville Unified trustees on Thursday mostly listened without comment during a presentation of the final Environmental Impact Report on the Will C. Wood High School football stadium project, which the governing board will consider for approval Nov. 17.
But the presentation led by Dan Banowetz, the district’s director of facilities, also included remarks by a Wood neighborhood resident who cautioned that traffic congestion and parking during home football games will be problematic.
Johanna Wigley, who for 28 years has lived with her husband on Spindrift Way and raised a family there, urged the governing board to make accommodations for off-site parking during home games at the planned $14 million stadium, which, once completed in December 2017, will seat 4,000 people in bleachers. The existing number of parking spaces at the campus will not be enough for stadiumgoers and require substantial off-site parking that currently does not exist or is in nearby limited commercial business and residential areas, she said during an interview after she left the meeting.
Source: VUSD trustees to vote on Wood stadium final EIR on Nov. 17
By Paul Farmer
When Steve DeVries is referred to as a “hall of famer” it won’t just be for the Sac-Joaquin Section.
The former Armijo High boys tennis great is among eight former University of California greats set to inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.
DeVries, who played No. 1 singles all four years with the Bears, was named a singles All-American his final three seasons, adding doubles as a senior.
Source: Armijo grad Steve DeVries to be inducted into Cal Hall of Fame
By Alyson Klein
Both Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, and her GOP opponent, Donald Trump have sketched out bare-bones plans to improve the teaching profession. But neither has offered hard-and-fast details.
Clinton says teachers need more time to collaborate, more opportunities for professional development, and oh yeah, much better pay. She’s also said she wants to launch a national campaign to improve the teaching profession, but hasn’t really said what that would look like, or how much it would cost.
And in his one big speech on education, earlier this fall, Trump, gave the thumbs-up to paying teachers who can improve student outcomes—a key Obama-era policy that Clinton isn’t a fan of. Other than that, he hasn’t said much about teachers beyond denouncing “education bureaucrats” in his nomination acceptance speech. That could be a reference to teachers’ unions—or not.
Source: What Would a Clinton or Trump Presidency Mean for Teachers? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Pat Maio
The State Board of Education on Thursday approved a new science framework that makes California the first state in the nation to produce a framework based on the Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 grades.
“This has been a long time in coming. It is really an exemplar for the nation,” said Ilene Straus, vice president of the board.
The framework, which represents a major overhaul of how science is taught to the state’s 6.2 million K-12 students, is essentially a blueprint for creating a curriculum based on the new standards that can be implemented in the classroom. The standards, more commonly known as NGSS, emerged after educational leaders nationwide met in 2010 and pushed for rewriting a science curriculum that had not been changed since the late 1990s.
Source: State board approves science framework, first in nation | EdSource
By Richard Bammer
When we cast a critical or observant eye on U.S. culture, high or low, we bring ourselves to the task, our life experiences, but we can also adopt a specific point of view, as Vacaville author Gary Dreibelbis has in his newly released nonfiction book, “The Gospel According to ‘Sesame Street’: Learning, Life, Love, and Death.”
In its 150 pages on the Westbow Press imprint, he examines the iconic children’s TV show through what he calls “a lens of faith,” ascribing Bible references to its co-founder and characters, such as Elmo, Big Bird, and adding moral and spiritual dimensions to the show’s lessons in equality, social justice, kindness, and how to deal with tragedy, among others.
Source: In new book, educator looks at “Sesame Street” Through “lens of faith” – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
In Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” the character Ebenezer Scrooge, a name universally synonymous with being a cold-hearted miser, fails to adopt an attitude of gratitude until he comes face to face with his bankrupt moral inventory.
Right up until Christmas Eve, as written in the short 1843 novel, Scrooge, ever the stingy creditor, continues his bad-tempered ways, rejecting a Christmas dinner invitation from a nephew and all the warm trappings of the holidays. He yells at charity workers and abuses his earnest employee, Bob Cratchit, before he is redeemed by a self-understanding and a power greater than himself.
The well-known story contains a message about the meaning of Christmas, which may explain why the Will C. Wood High School Singers will stage it Dec. 1 to 3 in the Vacaville Opera House, 560 Main St.
Source: Wood High choral group to stage Madrigal Dinner
By Daily Republic Staff
The Travis School District on Thursday announced the retirement of Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak effective Feb. 1, according to a press release.
Wren Gavlak arrived at Travis in 2005 and worked over that time to help modernize and expand the district’s enrollment numbers. She credited the district’s strong working relationship with both the communities of Vacaville and Fairfield, as well as Travis Air Force Base, according to the release.
Source: Travis School District announces superintendent’s retirement
By Richard Bammer
For many veterans of American wars and many Japanese-Americans interned during World War II, time and circumstance interrupted their high school education.
During the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, thousands of young men and women left high school and their homes to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Additionally, during World War II many Japanese-American citizens were forced into relocation camps across the nation, often to remote areas. After these wars — World War II, the Korean or Vietnam wars — many were unable to finish high school and receive a diploma.
For anyone affected by the three wars or internment, that will change in the coming days, and, if qualified, they will be granted a diploma, Lisette Estrella-Henderson, the superintendent-designate of the Solano County Office of Education, said in a press release. But the deadline to apply is Nov. 11, she noted.
Source: Application deadline nears for Operation Recognition
By Richard Bammer
An update on Measure Q and a teachers union contract for 2016-17 are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet Thursday in Dixon.
Superintendent Brian Dolan will encourage trustees, district staff and the general public to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, as “an encouragement for all eligible voters to get out and exercise their right” to vote.
If approved by 55 percent of voters, the $30.4 million general obligation bond will pay for upgrades and modernization of several of the rural district’s campuses, including Old Dixon High, built in 1940, and Anderson Elementary, built in 1949.
Leanne Medina-Estrada, director of human resources, and Shawn Tutt, president of the Dixon Teachers Association, will present the DTA’s initial collective bargaining proposal, or “sunshine” proposal, for the current academic year.
Source: Measure Q message, initial teacher contract proposals on DUSD agenda
By Richard Bammer
The final environmental impact report for the Will C. Wood High football stadium project and a $938,000 Measure A contract for Sierra Vista science classrooms are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified trustees meet Thursday night in Vacaville.
Members of the five-member stadium project team — Dan Banowetz, facilities director; Arron McGuire, district project manager; Jim Kordakis, capital program management; Dave Davis, a CEQA consultant; and Brian Meyers of HMC Architects — likely will begin their presentation with a brief review the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. Basically, it requires state and local agencies to follow a step-by-step analysis and public disclosure of environmental impacts of proposed projects and adopt measures to lessen the severity of any impacts. CEQA makes environmental protection a mandatory part of every state and local agency’s decision-making process.
Source: VUSD agenda: Final Wood Stadium EIR, large Measure A contract
By Jessica Rogness
When they first joined Boy Scout Troop 180, five Vacaville boys dubbed themselves the “Eagle patrol” with a common goal in mind.
They intended to become Eagle Scouts.
Now high school seniors, Ryan Campbell, Travis Getty, Christopher Howley, Collin Pihl and Vincent Walsh have been friends since Cub Scouts. They will be celebrating their Eagle Scout achievement together on Saturday.
Only a nominal percentage of scouts will reach this rank, Campbell noted.
Source: Five Vacaville teens achieve Eagle Scout rank – The Reporter
By Ryan McCarthy
One candidate supported another at a Wednesday forum for people running Nov. 8 for the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees.
District elections mean Mike Wright isn’t seeking the same trustee seat as Joan Gaut, who he praised for her wealth of knowledge and said he supports.
Candidates at the forum held by Music for Our Children also agreed about the importance of music education and spoke about the school district employing six full-time music teachers but 25 physical education teachers.
Source: Music education instrumental, Fairfield-Suisun School District candidates agree
By Maureen Sullivan
Do you know how much, on average, Americans spend on each of the more than 46 million students in the country’s public schools?
It’s about $11,000. But only 15% of respondents to a new poll could estimate the correct range of per-pupil spending. That’s according to a study released this month by EdChoice, the new name of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
The “2016 Schooling in America Survey: Public Opinion on K–12 Education and School Choice” also finds that 9% of respondents say “education” is the most important issue facing the nation. That’s down from 17% in last year’s survey. The issues named as top priorities are “economy and jobs” (33%) and healthcare (12%). Immigration, values, crime, taxes, environment and housing all finished in the single digits.
Source: Americans Are Clueless About Education Spending#6b8737ce2bbb
By Nick Sestanovich
Two weeks ago, the principals of Benicia’s four elementary schools presented their Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA) at Benicia Unified School District’s governing board meeting. On Thursday, the principals of Benicia’s middle and high schools will be presenting their goals.
The SPSA is established by school site councils to develop goals, aligned to BUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which would support the academic performance of all students. At the high school level, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) goals act as the SPSA, with the goals and actions updated each year to represent continuous growth cycles. Each site team studies state and local measures to gauge progress and put together plans that represent the uniqueness of each school.
For its plan, Benicia Middle School Principal Damian Scott has outlined five goals as well as provided progress not he goals from the 2015-2016 year. For example, one of the previous year’s goals was for students to increase their literacy proficiency by 10 percent on the CAASPP English Language Arts Assessment.
Source: Benicia Middle, high school achievement plans on slate for Thursday’s school board meeting
By Todd R. Hansen
There is no crying in baseball, and no need for tears in Suisun City as matriarch Phyllis Cleaver led her “A League of Their Own” family down Main Street to a first-place trophy at the 65th annual Halloween Parade and Costume Contest.
Each of the six-member team has a background in baseball and softball, and each was quick to point out their relationship to Vanden High School star Andrew Aplin, who is playing for the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A club of the Houston Astros.
Source: Suisun Harbor area gets all dressed up for Halloween
By Richard Bammer
When Betty Silva, a retired public school librarian, says, “I’ve always devoted my life to education,” there is an extensive resume to confirm her statement.
For more than three decades, including 27 years at Fairfield High, the 70-year-old Fairfield resident served as a librarian. In the early 1990s, she was president of the California School Library Association and state treasurer for that group for many years. Silva was, at one time, co-president of the California Retired Teachers Association and today still serves as a board member, representing Area No. 1, a vast region from San Francisco north along the coast to the Oregon border. Once active in Fairfield-Suisun Unified labor issues, she was head negotiator for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association for 13 years.
Silva presents her considerable experience in public education, in part, as a reason voters should consider her favorably for the Trustee Area No. 2 post on the Solano County Board of Education.
Source: County ed board candidate boasts considerable resume