Will C. Wood Jazz Earns 1st Place In Division – Daily Republic

By Richard Cook

Congratulations to The Will C. Wood Jazz Band who performed at the 40th Annual Grape Bowl Classic in Lodi on Saturday November 4th. The band earned 1st Place in their division. Will C. Wood will compete again on Saturday, November 18th at Fairfield High School to end the season.

Source: Good News: Will C. Wood Jazz Earns 1st Place In Division

Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees are poised Thursday to slash property taxes on more than 8,700 parcels and possibly retire millions in school facilities debt as much as three years early.

Plans for debt within Community Facilities District No. 5, established during the 1989-90 school year, are up for consideration. The bounds of the district have since grown to include 8,703 parcels.

Property tax assessments for those who own property in the district have paid for construction or partial construction at B. Gale Wilson School, Crystal Middle School, Green Valley Middle School and Rolling Hills Elementary School, among other lesser projects, according to a staff report.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District board looks to cut property taxes

Vallejo trustees holding special workshop Wednesday – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Team building, identifying district strengths and weaknesses, and evaluating the superintendent are all before the Vallejo school board during a special workshop Wednesday.

Leadership Associates — the firm hired to conduct the recent district superintendent search — will host the workshop. Trustees will also identify 2017-18 fiscal year priorities and goals, along with holding an initial discussion regarding strategies of building a strong governance team, according to the board’s agenda.

The workshop’s cost, $2,500, will be paid from the district’s general fund.

A closed session to evaluate district Superintendent Adam Clark’s performance is slated to take place at the end of the workshop.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will meet at 1 p.m., Wednesday, inside the Governing Board Room, 665 Walnut Avenue on Mare Island.

Source: Vallejo trustees holding special workshop

 

SCOE to discuss achievement plans for Juvenile Court, Detention Facility students – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A Local Control Accountability Plan update, a state and federal legislative update, and achievement plans for students in the Juvenile Court and Community School program, Juvenile Detention Facility, and Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services are on the agenda when the Solano County Office of Education leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Nicola Parr, director of student and program support, will offer the seven-member governing board a brief update on the county school’s LCAP, the document that guides virtually all of the agency’s spending, especially for poor, English language learners and foster youth programs.

Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Henderson will provide an update on state and federal legislation.

Victor Romualdi, associate superintendent for student programs and educational services, and Gricelda Rodriguez, program administrator of education options, will lead the reports on Single Plans for Student Achievement at the Golden Hills Juvenile Court and Community School, at the Juvenile Detention Facility, and the Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services.

Source: Solano County Office of Education to discuss achievement plans for Juvenile Court, Detention Facility students

Will FSUSD add days to the end of the school year to make up for the days missed during wildfires? – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

FSUSD is submitting a waiver request to the California Department of Education. We anticipate this request will be approved as the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, is in support of it. An approval of this waiver would mean that our schools would not be required to make up the days that were missed.

Regardless of the outcome with our waiver request, our high school graduation dates are set and won’t change.

Source: Will the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District add days to the end of the school year to make up for the days missed during wildfires?

A helpful $38K for Vacaville schools – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A symbolic $38,000 check in hand, David McCallum of Vacaville (center), a former Vacaville Unified trustee and member of the Vacaville Public Education Foundation, smiles at governing board president Michael Kitzes as Superintendent Jane Shamieh looks on during Thursday’s trustee meeting. McCallum, in an update about the nonprofit group’s most recent activities, presented the money to boost enrichment activities in district classrooms, from paying for field trips and lab equipment to robotics and music programs. He noted that VPEF, founded in 2003 and has since donated more than $3 million to district schools, received some $270,000 in requests for this year’s round of grants but only had $40,000 to distribute.

Source: A helpful $38K for Vacaville schools

Torlakson assails DOE changes to federal sex harassment, assault guidelines – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson assailed U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for repealing guidance letters under Title IX that made it easier to protect the rights of victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment.

“Victims of sexual assault and harassment must know that they will have a fair chance at justice when they come forward with serious accusations,” he said in a press released issued Monday. “California has changed our laws to make our system more just and to make certain victims are heard. The actions by the federal government take us backward.”

As state schools chief, Torlakson, who is also a University of California regent and a California State University trustee, vowed to fight for the rights of victims while protecting the rights of the accused.

Source: Torlakson assails DOE changes to federal sex harassment, assault guidelines

Vacaville teens learn police use of force tactics – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

In a matter of hours Monday, they’d fired Tasers, deployed their firearms, engaged in a vehicle chase and used batons to encourage compliance.

But more importantly, the Will C. Wood Service and Safety class students learned the whys behind use of force tactics and what it’s like to be a police officer and having to make a split second decision in a potentially deadly situation.

“What do you see? What was he saying? Did you feel like your safety was in jeopardy?” asked Fairfield police officer and firearms instructor Jimmie Williams of two teens following a simulation where a suicidal man unexpectedly turned his gun, which had been pointed at his head, on police.

Source: Vacaville teens learn police use of force tactics

Math festivals help elementary students — and their families — see math as fun | EdSource

By Ashley Hopkinson

A dozen parents gathered around veteran math educator Leanna Baker, moments before students show up for what is billed as a math “festival” for students at Allendale Elementary School in Oakland.

“Do your best not to give them an answer,” Baker told the dozen parent volunteers about how best to help the transitional kindergarten to fifth grade students participating in math activities arranged for that day. “We want them to be problem solvers.”

Interviews by EdSource with educators at several school districts suggests that a growing number of elementary schools are hosting events like these for students and families to convey the message that math is fun and can be practiced every day in simple ways in their own lives, not just in the classroom.

Source: Math festivals help elementary students — and their families — see math as fun | EdSource

School board OKs first half of elementary student achievement plans – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District unanimously approved the Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSAs) at two of its elementary schools Thursday. The plans were written by the school’s site councils and presented by their principals.

Robert Semple Elementary

The first to present was Christina Moore, the principal of Robert Semple Elementary School. The first thing she did was go over the previous year’s goals.“These goals were written by our Site Council, taken to my staff and developed in a way that we thought would really allow us to monitor progress,” she said. “What we found was that it was actually more difficult than we anticipated.

”The first two goals were to increase the amount of students meeting and exceeding math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards by 5 percent, as measured by the results of the Benchmark and California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) exams. Most grades showed increases in these areas and some showed decreases, but Moore said additional work needed to be done to analyze this data for future goals.

Source: School board OKs first half of elementary student achievement plans

A “fantasmagroico” day at Markham – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

As Thursday’s sun set and skies turned silvery purple with a hint of orange, the evening, in Spanish, turned “fantasmagorico,” or spooky, during Markham Elementary’s annual observance of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, at the Vacaville campus.

Amid the half-light were dozens of excitable, costumed students gathered on the playground, with some sporting lurid black, white and red makeup or handmade crowns adorned with skulls, cobwebs and roses. Others had created small, lovingly handmade ofrenda altars, which were displayed on tables under a pop-up tent, to honor specific family members who have died. Throughout the two-hour event, which began at 5 p.m., deejay and Markham parent Rene Ortiz blasted Spanish-language tunes, including, at one point, “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens, and commanded a light show with splashes of iridescent colors washing across a portable classroom’s exterior. In a first-grade classroom, students sprinkled glitter on hand-size sugar skulls.

Source: A fantasmagorico day at Markham – The Reporter

District by the numbers and adult ed growing again – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The majority of Vacaville Unified teachers have less than 10 years on the job, and the school district’s Adult Education program is “growing again.”

That information surfaced during Thursday’s governing board meeting, when several district departmental leaders updated trustees with presentations.

Janet Dietrich, assistant superintendent for human resources, provided a statistical snapshot of teachers and school enrollment numbers, and Manolo Garcia, director of human resources, provided a similar picture about classified, or school-support, employees.

Source: District by the numbers – The Reporter

Solano College aeronautics expansion 5 years out – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

The $15 million expansion of the Solano Community College aeronautics program is still at least five years away, but existing course curriculum is putting students in the middle of an industry boon.

Lucky Lofton, the executive bond manager for the college, said the Measure Q expansion project for property located between the Nut Tree Airport and the Nut Tree shopping center is in an early design phase.

“Right now, we are still in the planning process. We have developed a schematic design for a new facility, but the project is scheduled to be dealt with further out in time,” Lofton said. “It is a number of years away.”

Source: Solano College aeronautics expansion 5 years out

What Can We Do About Teacher Turnover? | Edutopia

By Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond

As students started a new school year this fall, far too many were greeted by substitute teachers and others who were unprepared for their jobs, as teacher shortages continue to hinder the ability of districts to find fully prepared teachers to fill all of their classrooms.

This year, more than 100,000 classrooms in the U.S. are being staffed by instructors who are uncertified for their assignments and lack the content background and training to teach their classes. These classrooms are disproportionately in schools serving mostly students from low-income families and students of color. In some key subjects, like math, science, and special education, districts of every type and in nearly every state have been hit.

Source: What Can We Do About Teacher Turnover? | Edutopia

Fairfield Sister City student information meeting set for Nov. 12 – Daily Republic

The Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Program will hold a student information meeting from 3-4 p.m. on Nov. 12.

The meeting is for high school students interested in being members of the 2018 summer exchange group to Nirasaki, Japan.

Each year, the program selects six students who travel to Japan in July for a three-week stay. While there, the students live with host families, travel to Kyoto and Hiroshima on the famous bullet train, visit Tokyo, and meet with Nirasaki students and officials. Any high school student residing in Fairfield or attending a Fairfield school is eligible to apply to be part of the group.

Source: Fairfield Sister City student information meeting set for Nov. 12

Vacaville boxer, Ivan Vergara, helps straighten path of Markham student – The Reporter

By Michael Morris

Vacaville boxing product Ivan Vergara, 20, has created a name for himself by making an impact in the face of his opposition.

But as of late, the greatest impact Vergara has made is in the lives of Markham Elementary student Nate Latta, 9, and his mother Carrie.

“If you have the ability to help someone, you should help them,” Vergara said. “It’s not something you think about, it’s just something you do.”

When the school year first started, the Vacaville mother and son found themselves at a fork in the road. With a child on the way and Nate no longer able to take boxing lessons at the Georgie Duke Center, her son was barreling down a path set for juvenile hall, or worse. His grades were at an all-time low, he consistently disrespected his mother, and he was caught bringing a knife to school.

Source: Vacaville boxer, Ivan Vergara, helps straighten path of Markham student

Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Fairfield-Suisun Unified teachers and district negotiators have reached an impasse on several parts of a new contract, including class sizes, pay and unpaid but required “adjunct hours,” and a state mediator will be brought in an effort to reach a settlement.

After a full year of negotiations in 2016, in addition to eight days this year, negotiators for the teachers union accepted a 2 percent raise for 2016-2017 school year, retroactive to July 1 of last year. However, the pay hike will not be in effect until the new 17-18 contract is settled and therein lies the rub, Nancy Dunn, president of the 1,100-member Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said Thursday.

Frustrated, the teachers union and district officials on Tuesday formally declared impasse over class size, salary, and adjunct duty — the latter the 16 hours of overtime work per year (such as attending PTA meetings, social and athletic events, etc.) that teachers are required to put in without pay.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun teachers, district reach impasse on class sizes, salaries

Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

The teachers association for the Fairfield-Suisun School District opposes a petition by a former Vallejo City School District superintendent to open charter schools in Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo.

The board for the Solano County Office of Education is expected to take up Ramona Bishop’s proposal for the Elite Academy on Dec. 13.

Nancy Dunn, president of Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association, said all students in the district can succeed without a charter school.

Source: Charter schools proposal spurs Fairfield-Suisun teachers union opposition

Will C. Wood Singers’ madrigal returns to Vacaville Opera House – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Will C. Wood Singers’ 21st annual madrigal dinner production is Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 at the Vacaville Opera House.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. There will be a 2 p.m. matinée Dec. 2. The evening performances feature a catered meal. The venue is at 560 Main St., Suite C.

Source: Will C. Wood Singers’ madrigal returns to Vacaville Opera House

Child Haven shares plans for holiday luncheon – The Reporter

By Daily Republic Staff

The 29th annual Child Haven Holiday Luncheon, Toy Drive and Raffle is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at The Clubhouse at Rancho Solano, 3250 Rancho Solano Parkway.

Proceeds benefit Child Haven, which, since 1983, has offered therapeutic services for children traumatized by abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, domestic and community-based violence.

Source: Child Haven shares plans for holiday luncheon