State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) is offering resources aimed at preventing those under 21 from using marijuana, something even more important now that Proposition 64 has taken effect.
Proposition 64, besides legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, creates a tax on cannabis for wholesalers, retailers, and purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products. Eventually, some of these tax funds will be directed by the CDE to promote health, education, and drug prevention.
“This is an excellent time to remind parents, students, educators, administrators, and the public about the detrimental effects of marijuana, especially to the developing brains of children,” Torlakson said. “In this new environment we need to be even more vigilant in making certain school-aged children understand the importance of making healthy decisions. We are committed to making sure that new resources will effectively support schools, families, and communities in this charge.”
Source: Education and Marijuana – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Ryan McCarthy
Tommie Smith, who as a U.S. Olympian raised a gloved-fist during the medal ceremony 50 years ago in Mexico City, spoke Thursday at Solano College about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope that the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would one day be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
“I am living Dr. King’s dream,” Smith said.
A Georgia resident, Smith noted King during his “I have a dream” speech in 1963 referred to the red hills of Georgia as the site for that table of brotherhood.
Source: Tommie Smith at Solano College: ‘I am living Dr. King’s dream’
By Richard Bammer
Do you know someone who does the extraordinary in their service to students with disabilities?
SELPA Community Advisory Committee members are seeking nominations for their 12th annual Recognition Awards event.
Nominations, due Feb. 16, may be submitted online at www.solanocountyselpa.net.
The CAC awards are given to educators, youth, and community members for outstanding service “who go above and beyond in service of students with disabilities,” Kanani Cherry, SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) coordinator for Solano County, noted in a press release issued Wednesday.
Award recipients come from each school district within the local plan area, unified school districts in Vacaville, Dixon, Fairfield, and the Solano County Office of Education.
Source: SELPA seeks nominations for community recognition awards
By Paul Farmer
Sometime this summer Monmouth, Oregon, will be invaded by Vikings.
Three, in fact.
In a backyard National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Wednesday, Vanden High football players Matt Casner, Luis Vicino and Israel White signed to play for the Western Oregon Wolves, while teammate Armon Bailey committed to play for the Hornets of Sacramento State.
“It’s amazing to see four move on to the next level,” Vikings football coach Sean Murphy said. “They’re all great young men. To watch them grow into the men they’ve become is amazing. It’s just exciting to see what they’ll do in their journey. I’m excited for their future.”
So are the four.
Bailey, the 2017 Solano County Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, said he chose Sacramento State because “I’m more comfortable there. I have a lot of connections, that it’s close to home and I get to play football”
Source: Four Vikings sign to play football in college
By Richard Bammer
A discussion of 2018-19 budget priorities will be among the more significant items of an otherwise relatively light agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will lead the discussion, which will be based on Gov. Jerry Brown’s $190 billion 2018-19 state budget proposal, released in January and due for revision in May.
Her presentation, casting an eye on the impact of the state’s numbers on the district’s, will come two weeks after she led a budget presentation at the trustees’ Jan. 25 meeting.
Specifically, Henson will note that projected average daily attendance (ADA) funding for the coming year will be about $9,450 for each of the district’s estimated 20,550 students, yielding some $194 million in state funding under Brown’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula. Additionally, she will tell the seven-member governing board, one-time discretionary funds from the current year will account for some $6 million in additional funds spent on students.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to discuss 2018-19 budget priorities
By Paul Farmer
Nadiah Martinez of the Armijo HIgh girls soccer team battled older sister Jazmine Carranza, who played for Rodriguez, for two years, but starting next fall they’ll be college teammates.
In a lunchtime National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at Armijo’s E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium, Martinez and teammates Mikeila Martinez and Abby Wolf, along with Jesse Mercado of the Indians football team, in committing to whom they’ll play for in college.
Nadiah Martinez, no relation to Mikeila, signed to play for Chico State, for whom Carranza started at defender as a freshman for the Wildcats last fall.
Martinez said she chose Chico State because “I went to a few camps there and I fell in love with the campus. It’s a very green campus. That’s what I love.”
Source: 4 Armijo athletes ink college letters of intent
By Daily Republic Staff
Elizabeth Kolakowski from the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School accepted a check for $500 for a scholarship given to the school during the January meeting of Fairfield Women in Action.
Kolakowski explained that so many students are truly in need of financial assistance in order to take the classes needed to secure a better job through education. The money provided by the women over the years has been used to help many students achieve their goals.
Fairfield Women in Action has been recognized by the Fairfield-Suisun School District administration for the many years of scholarships provided.
Source: Good News: Fairfield Women in Action donate to adult school
By Daily Republic Staff
The Travis School District board will consider approval of a contract with the Travis Unified Teachers Association when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The 2017-18 contract, if approved, includes a pay hike of 3.25 percent, an additional $100 to the district’s monthly contribution to the employee medical benefit and selected adjustments to work schedules. Stipends also will be awarded to the athletic director, leaders of Vanden Robotics and Golden West Robotics, the district library lead, the teacher in charge for alternative education and secondary department chairs, a district document states.
The financial impact for the entire school year is about $1.19 million, the report states.
Source: Teacher contract goes before Travis school board
By Daily Republic Staff
Nominations are being accepted for the 12th annual Community Advisory Committee Recognition Awards, recognition given to people who have gone “above and beyond” in their service of students with disabilities.
Awards are presented to educators, youth and community members. Recipients are from each school district within the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area: Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis and Vacaville, as well as the Solano County Office of Education.
Additionally, a student and representative from a community organization who have demonstrated dedication to supporting people with special needs will be honored.
Source: Committee seeks nominations for those who serve Solano students with disabilities
New research shows that California’s overhaul of public education finance and accountability is narrowing achievement gaps between groups of students and helping parents learn about school progress.
The Learning Policy Institute on Friday released “Money and Freedom: The Impact of California’s School Finance Reform External link opens in new window or tab.,” a study by researcher Sean Tanner and U.C. Berkeley professor Rucker Johnson.
The authors examined the impact of the landmark Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which gave school districts greater control over the use of state funds in exchange for greater accountability and parent engagement at the local level. LCFF, which was approved in 2013, also increased funding to districts that serve students needing extra support.The authors found that LCFF “led to significant increases in high school graduation rates and academic achievement, particularly among children from low-income families.” Students in the highest poverty districts showed greater academic gain, the authors reported. The study also found that LCFF funding was used to improve classroom learning by lowering student-to-teacher ratios and helping districts recruit and train new teachers.
“Money targeted to students’ needs can make a significant difference in outcomes and narrow achievement gaps,” the study concludes. “Money matters.”
Source: School Reforms Are Narrowing Achievement Gaps – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By John Glidden
With a need to cut $8 million from its budget by March, the Vallejo school board will review a second round of proposed cuts during its meeting Wednesday night.
On the agenda is $1.5 million in additional position eliminations from various district offices, including food service, special education, and child development.
The central kitchen manager, several paraeducators, along with a special education teacher, and three child development teachers are expected to receive layoff notices. Overall, the district is recommending 28 employee positions be slashed. Late last month, trustees approved the elimination of 50 district positions, for a savings of $4.3 million. Those cuts included 30 classroom teachers, several administrators, eight site safety supervisors, and a handful of secretaries.
Source: Vallejo school board to review additional budget cuts
By Richard Bammer
Teacher and coach, union president, assistant principal, then principal, and, now, assistant superintendent for educational services for the third-largest school district in Solano County.
Vacaville High Principal Ed Santopadre will move into his new office in the Vacaville Unified Educational Services Center on May 1. He will replace Mark Frazier, the 12,600-student district’s longtime chief academic officer, who is stepping down for personal reasons, and, as Superintendent Jane Shamieh noted in a text message to The Reporter, “will return to his roots and passion for working directly with students as a school psychologist next fall.”
As principal, Santopadre earns about $125,000 annually and is expected to received a pay boost and a standard senior manager’s benefits package in his new job.
Source: Longtime high school principal, Ed Santopadre, named chief of ed services for Vacaville Unified School District
By John Fensterwald
Nearly 4 in 10 parents say they’re familiar with or know a lot about the California School Dashboard, which grades schools and school districts using multicolored metrics, and those who have visited the website generally like what they’ve seen and found it useful.
That’s an unexpected finding of a poll released Friday of 2,500 registered voters in California, including 595 parents, and runs counter to sharp criticisms of the website by civil rights and student advocacy groups.
The poll was conducted last month by the USC Rossier School of Education and Policy Analysis for California Education, or PACE, a university-affiliated research nonprofit organization. Participants reflect a geographical cross-section of Californians by party affiliation but not ethnicity. Because of lower voter registration, Hispanics, who make up about 40 percent of the population, were 24 percent of the respondents. (Go here for detailed results for all voters; go here for results of the parent subset.)
Source: Contrary to critics, parents tell pollster they find California’s school dashboard useful | EdSource
By Daily Republic Staff
Scholarships are available through the C. Shirley Michel Scholarship Fund to Solano County residents who have bachelor’s degrees and are seeking California teaching credentials at accredited universities.
The scholarships are administered by Division 24 of the California Retired Teachers Association. Nine $2,500 scholarships were awarded last year.
Source: Solano group offers scholarships for those who seek teaching credentials
By Ryan McCarthy
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation will monitor the Rockville campus entry sidewalk project – after trenching work discovered a potential cultural resource – if Solano Community College District trustees meeting Wednesday approve a proposed agreement.
“Because of the potential for undiscovered cultural resources within the project area, monitoring of ground-disturbing construction activities by a tribal cultural monitor is required,” a college district staff report said.
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation can trace its historical ties to land in the project and is considered the most likely descendant tribe, the report said. The contract allows up to 40 hours of monitoring and is an amount not to exceed $5,000.
Source: Solano College eyes pact with Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation for cultural monitoring
By Ryan McCarthy
Title from Suisun City to an abandoned right of way needed for a new building at Fairview Elementary School goes before Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees Thursday.
A survey during design and development for a new administration and kindergarten building at the school on First Street in Fairfield identified the waterline right of way in the area best suited for the new building, a school district staff report said.
Because the waterline associated with the right of way was believed to be abandoned, the district asked the Suisun-Solano Water Authority to investigate, the report said.
Source: Fairview Elementary project requires end to century-old Suisun City right of way
By Nick Sestanovich
Benicia Unified School District would need to make $800,000 in ongoing adjustments for its budget to break even, Chief Business Official Tim Rahill reported at Thursday’s school board meeting.
On Jan. 10, Gov. Jerry Brown announced his final January budget proposal. After gathering information from the proposal, Rahill said BUSD would need to make $800,000 in continuing budget adjustments for the budget to become balanced and provide for California’s required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainties— which is currently $1.4 million— and the board policy reserve— which stands at $2 million.
“Both of those reserves are enacted to help provide financial stability for the district in tough economic times, such as continuing declining student enrollment which our district has experienced for at least two years in a row,” Rahill said.Reserves can also provide security in times of state or national recessions or economic slowdowns, Rahill said.
The chief business official said BUSD would receive an estimated $1.3 million in one-time funds, which would be spent on items like books, technology, 21st-century classrooms and professional development, including the instructional coaching model. The money would not be spent on items that have a cost to the district over multiple years.
Source: BUSD business chief: $800K needed for balanced budget
By Nick Sestanovich
Several Benicia Unified School District teachers rallied outside City Park an hour before Thursday’s school board meeting to raise awareness of ongoing negotiations between the Benicia Teachers Association (BTA) and BUSD.
On Jan. 24, BUSD and BTA held a negotiations meeting one day after a budget workshop which focused on providing information related to school funding, namely revenues and expenses, according to an update on the BUSD website.
“With declining enrollment, steep and ongoing pension, step and column and special education cost increases, even with the proposed budget update from the Governor, which still must pass in June, BUSD needs to make budget adjustments totaling_$800,000 for the 2018-19 school year,” the post read.
BUSD proposed a one-time bonus of 1 percent off the salary schedule for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, citing a desire to remain competitive with surrounding school districts. BTA countered with a 5 percent salary increase for the current school year and a 4.25 percent increase for the following school year. The post noted that while school board trustees are committed to reaching a “fair and equitable” settlement, the proposed raise by BTA would cost $3.2 million.
Source: Teachers rally for higher funding priorities
By The Buckingham PR Team
Still pushing through build season during the third week, the RoboKnights are working hard through each day. Still continuing the game of Power Up, the RoboKnights hope to finish their bot by the end of this week. Although the progress on the bot is moving smoothly, the PR department has since moved forward with the construction and painting of the pit for competition.
This year for the RoboKnights have taken a big step towards progress, they decided to take the initiative and expand their workspace. In previous years the space was taken up by a gymnastics center, and it has since been out of business, leaving the area to those who need the space and can afford it. The Buckingham High School has previously used this space for their own large events, such as Noche De Los Muertos by the Spanish classes.
Source: Class News: RoboKnights Push Through Week Three Of Build Season
By Tim Goree
Over 800 high school sophomores. Nearly 30 local companies. Over 25 buses. 9 high schools. 7 organizational community partners. 3 keynote speakers. One amazing opportunity to explore future career paths!
February 2nd is not only Groundhog Day, it is National Job Shadow Day, but moving forward, high school students in Solano County may start to think of it as Inspire Day.
Inspire: Dreams Move Forward is the second leg of a program that began three years ago with the Inspire: Dreams Start Now event for 8th grade students and will eventually include a component for high school seniors. The goal of the Inspire program is to connect Solano County’s workforce pipeline with the dreams and aspirations of K-12 students in the local area.
Source: Students Connect with Local Companies at Inspire: Dreams Move Forward