By Kimberly K. Fu
As the clock struck 10 a.m. Wednesday, students all over the country, including in Vacaville, poured out of their classrooms and gathered for the National School Walkout at a designated area in memoriam of the 17 classmates and faculty killed in the recent Parkland school massacre.
For 17 minutes — one for each victim felled by a gunman’s bullets — they remained outdoors, sharing a moment of silence for those lost and pondering their role in how to make the world a better place.
At Will C. Wood High School, silence was golden.
Source: Vacaville students take a stand for school safety, remember fallen Parkland students
By Todd R. Hansen
Students from around the county walked out of class Wednesday as part of a national effort to remember the 17 students killed in Parkland, Florida, and to call for solutions to school shootings.
“Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough!”
The chant rose from the E Quad at Vacaville High School after a moment of silence to remember the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who died Feb. 14 at the hands of a gunman.
Source: Solano students remember Parkland dead; speak out against campus violence
By Nick Sestanovich
Tim Rahill, Benicia Unified School District’s chief business official, will be presenting the second interim financial report at Thursday’s school board meeting. The report shows, among other things, that BUSD is operating at a $1.9 million deficit.
At the Dec. 14 school board meeting, Rahill presented the first interim financial report which was approved by the board later that evening, although Trustee Peter Morgan voted against it and suggested the district take a serious look at the budget. After Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his final budget proposal in January, Rahill said BUSD would need to make $800,000 in continuing adjustments for the budget to become balanced.
The operating deficit of $1.9 million outlined in the second interim financial report is slightly higher than the $1.8 million figure in the first report. Rahill said the 2017-18 deficit includes one-time spending funds of $900,000 and a $1 million operating loss for general ongoing operations. It does not include costs for negotiations with the district employee groups.
Source: Second draft of BUSD financial report up for review
By Richard Bammer
Solano County Office of Education leaders likely will approve the 2017-18 second interim budget report when they meet tonight in Fairfield.
By law, California school districts must issue two annual budget reports for their current fiscal year, usually by mid-December and mid-March, to let state officials know that they can pay their bills.
In her overview, Becky Lentz, director of internal business services, will tell the seven-member governing board that Gov. Jerry Brown continues to predict a recession “but the timing is unknown.”
Additionally, cuts to federal programs are expected and so are changes to the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 during the Obama administration and intended to constrain healthcare costs. SCOE, which administers community and court schools and some special education programs, among others, is experiencing declining enrollment in its Alternative Education program, Lentz will add.
Source: Solano County Office of Education leader to mull over interim budget
By Richard Bammer
The second interim 2017-18 budget report, an open enrollment update, and the setting aside of $750,000 for future facilities and land purchases are on the agenda when the Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy leaders meet tonight in Vacaville.
By law, California public school districts — and Kairos, as an independent TK-8 charter, is essentially its own school district — are required to present annually two interim budget reports, typically one by mid-December, the other by mid-March, to declare whether or not a district can pay its bills.
The school’s executive director, Jared Austin will tell the governing board of directors that the Elm Street school has increased its operating surplus by nearly $180,000 since the first interim budget report and estimates are that revenues exceed expenses by $306,000. The school will have an operating surplus for the next two academic years, Austin, who has led Kairos since its founding four years ago, will tell the directors.
The budget report also will serve as something of a statistical snapshot of the school: Enrollment is nearly 560 for the current year and will be the same for the next two. Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula will be fully funded two years ahead of schedule, Austin will note, adding that cost-of-living adjustments will be 1.56 percent this year and 2.51 and 2.41 for the two outlying years, respectively.
Source: Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy agenda includes discussion on cash reserves for school expansion
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, will consider and likely approve Safe School Plans for all district campuses, a second interim 2017-18 budget report, and agree to “sunshine” a new wage-and-benefits contract for teachers next year.
By law, California public schools are required to have a Safe School Plan that includes multiple elements: mission and vision statements, a school profile, procedures for reporting child abuse, disaster procedures, ways to notify teachers of dangerous students, a policy on sexual harassment, a schoolwide dress code, safe entrances and exits procedures, ways to ensure a safe and orderly environment, and rules and procedures on school discipline.
The district operates eight campuses, including two in Vacaville, Cambridge and Foxboro elementaries; two elementaries, Travis and Scandia, on Travis Air Force Base; and Golden West Middle and Vanden High schools.
Source: Travis Unified School District leaders to consider Safe School Plans
By Reporter Staff
Applications are being taken in the main office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
For those families enrolling TK (transitional kindergarten) students, the child must turn five between Sept. 2 and Dec. 1, 2018; for kindergarteners, the child must turn 5 on or before Sept. 1, 2018.
Kindergarten class schedule will be as follows: 8 to 11:35 a.m. Aug. 16 to March 11. The schools kindergarten classes will become extended Kinder classes starting March 11, 2019.
The Kinder schedule will be as follows: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays.
Source: Registration season continues
By Daily Republic Staff
The Solano County Child Care and Development Planning Council will host a community meeting on Child Care and Early Education from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Mary Bird Early Education Center, 420 E. Tabor Ave.
Guest speakers include Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson and Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, who will discuss his transitional kindergarten expansion bill.
The meeting will include a public hearing on the state of early care and education in Solano County and updates on local, state and federal policies affecting the field.
Source: Community meeting set to discuss Solano child care, early education
By Todd R. Hansen
Fairfield-Suisun school officials said a planned walkout by students and teachers Wednesday is not a protest, but rather a 17-minute remembrance of those shot and killed Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Seventeen students died at the school when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz went on his shooting rampage.
“We are aware of a number of nationwide walkouts being planned,” states an announcement posted on the district website. “We know you entrust us with your child’s safety and we are actively planning for varying scenarios.”
The walkout gaining the most interest from students is planned from 10 to 10:17 a.m. March 14 “and is not a protest,” according to the statement.
Source: Officials expect Fairfield-Suisun students to hold remembrance, not protest
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
It’s K all the way for Michelle Rippee, the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Teacher of the Year.
She spent her first 15 years teaching kindergarten at Fairview Elementary. She contemplated a change and took a job at Cleo Gordon planning on teaching second grade. Then it became a second- and third-grade combo class and eventually a fourth- and fifth-grade combo.
“I went from kindergarten to fifth grade awful fast,” she said, sitting in her classroom Monday.
A kindergarten teaching position opened at Tolenas Elementary and Rippee was back working with the children she loves for their honesty and willingness to learn.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun’s top teacher third generation of her family to work in classroom
By Nick Sestanovich
Once again, the artistic youth of Benicia have their works displayed in the same gallery often reserved for seasoned artists. In other words, Arts Benicia’s “Next Generation” exhibition is open for viewing.
“Next Generation,” a semiannual exhibit showcasing work by Benicia artists ranging from kindergarteners to high school seniors, had its official opening yesterday. The show was first held in 1996 and continued to be an annual gallery highlight until it was replaced by other events. “Next Generation” was resurrected in 2010 by then-Arts Benicia Director Larnie Fox and has remained a staple ever since.
Through a partnership with Benicia Unified School District, teachers bring in the top pieces their students have worked on, whether in the STEAM Wheel program at the elementary schools, art classes at Benicia Middle School and Benicia High School or the Afterschool Art Club at Liberty High School, sponsored by Arts Benicia.
Source: Arts Benicia highlights ‘Next Generation’ of local student artistry
In observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, Solano County Health and Social Services, in partnership with the DisABILITY Planning Group, will host a Disabilities Resource Fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the County Events Center, 601 Texas Street in Fairfield. This event is free and open to the public.
At the resource fair, the County will unveil the SolanoCares.org — Disabilities website, an online hub of resources, services, health topics and events designed specifically for Solano residents with disabilities. Like its sister site SolanoCares4Seniors.org, this one-stop resource website provides people with disabilities, their family members, caregivers, and health care professionals a means to easily look up disability-related information.
Key features of the website include a comprehensive service directory of local, state and national resources, community calendar, learning center, nationwide news stories and health library. The website aims to empower people with disabilities by providing them a streamlined platform to find resources in an easy-to-read format. SolanoCares.org is ADA-compliant and available in multiple languages.
Source: Solano County to host resource fair and launch website for people with disabilities
By Reporter Staff
Will they learn to how to make their own “volcano”? What about building a soap-powered model boat? Like a magician, will they figure out how to “bend water” with static electricity?
They might, if they attend the city of Suisun City’s Spring Break Science Camp.
The six-day camp, from March 26 to April 2 (no camp on Saturday and Sunday) and sponsored by the city’s Recreation & Community Services Department, is open to children in grades one to six and will be held at the Anson G. Burdick Center, 1101 Little Rock Circle, in Suisun City. Daily hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Organizers say the camp will be a fun and educational experience for the children, as they learn how the world works through field trips to Rush Ranch Open Space, the Imagine That! Museum in Vacaville, and through experiments and other activities.
Source: Science fun for kids during holiday week
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
It’s not an understatement when Rodriguez High School junior Olivia Frenkel tells you she’s busy.
The longtime Fairfield resident is on the school’s varsity swim team, active in Suisun Valley 4-H, spends her summers as a swim coach and lifeguard and helps out in the community – all while maintaining a 4.1 grade-point average.
Frenkel is the recipient of this year’s Violet Richardson Award given by Soroptimist International of Central Solano County. It honors a young woman, ages 14-17, who is engaged in volunteer activities within her community or school.
Source: Women Making a Difference: Rodriguez junior earns Violet Richardson Award
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the release of an “Open Letter to President Trump” opposing efforts to arm teachers, calling for the elimination of military-style assault weapons from our communities, and providing increased access to mental health services.
The open letter to President Donald Trump was signed by 61 California Teachers of the Year, including Michael Hayden (2014) and Brian McDaniel (2018).
California Teachers of the Year are selected from among California’s 295,000 teachers each year through a rigorous process of applications, interviews, and classroom visits. They are considered the best of the best.
“As teachers, all of us prefer to focus on education policy, our classrooms, and our students, but we can no longer remain silent while students and educators are being murdered and injured across our nation,” said Torlakson, who was a high school science teacher and coach. “We must talk about guns.”
Source: Teachers Join Torlakson to Oppose Guns in Schools – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Ashley Ching
I have always thought of myself as Asian and only Asian. After all, my last name is Ching.
My basic assumption came into question when I came across the “Inspire Learning” scholarship organized by the Solano Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“This looks really interesting,” I shared with my friend. “I just wish I were eligible to participate.” “Well, it’s not like you’re a real Asian,” he joked. “You’re Filipino. Couldn’t that count as Hispanic?”
Whoa. Me — Hispanic?
The notion didn’t seem out of the question. Watching the Disney movie, Coco, its portrayal of Hispanic culture perfectly mirrored my own Filipino culture in three key ways — food, religion, and language.
Source: Filipino Applies for Hispanic Scholarship
By Reporter Staff
Famed American children’s author Maurice Sendak once said, “There’s so much more to a book than just the reading.”
A child would understand that, especially some of those who receive free books from the women of Delta Kappa Gamma.
The sorority’s Delta Xi chapter will host a fundraising evening of Bunco March 22 at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, 350 Stinson Ave., Vacaville.
Social hour starts at 5 p.m. with a salad dinner and refreshments. Bunco — a parlor game with 12 more players in groups of four who try to score points rolling three dice — begins at 6.
Source: Benefit to provide free books to needy children
By Richard Bammer
Several Solano County education leaders on Thursday told their staffs and school district families that students may very well join in the nationwide walkout from classes Wednesday morning, to be prepared for the mass action and what to expect at 10 a.m., when the walkout, prompted by the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., school, begins.
The notifications came in the ongoing wake of the killing of 14 students and three educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, prompting a nationwide debate about gun violence, school safety, easy access to military-style semi-automatic rifles and ammunition, mental illness, and the NRA’s influence on American cultural and political life, among other things.
Source: District supes, school principals brace for nationwide student walkout Wednesday
Travis School District trustees have scheduled a public hearing Tuesday on their initial 2018-19 contract offer to the Travis Unified Teachers Association.
That initial proposal does not include details, such as a salary offer, but rather just those articles in the contract that will be subject to negotiations, a district official explained.
The board is also scheduled to recognize the district’s top teachers: Paul Kruckewitt, Cambridge Elementary School; Kerry Ann Sullivan, Center Elementary; Jan Bishop, Foxboro Elementary; Jennifer Slaughter, Scandia Elementary; Gena Rickon, Travis Elementary; Jasen Yung, Golden West Middle School; Jason Ott, Travis Education Center/Community Day School; and Marilyn Lewis, Vanden High School.
Source: Teachers contract offer heads to Travis school board
By Richard Bammer
The second interim 2017-18 budget report, and two public hearings about collective bargaining agreements with two employee unions for the 2018-19 academic year are on the agenda when Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
California school districts twice yearly are required to certify their ability to pay their bills for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Interim budget reports are the way they do it, official documents due by mid-December and mid-March at the latest.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of business services, will tell the seven-member governing board that the district, the county’s largest with some 21,500 students across some 30 campuses, can meet its financial obligations this year.
She will note cost-of-living adjustments of 1.56 percent for the current year, 2.51 percent in 2018-19, and 2.41 percent in 2019-20.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District leaders review budget, bargaining agreements