By Richard Freedman
Sonia McClellin was warned. Surviving the gauntlet called legislation wouldn’t be a cakewalk. And, cynics said, she could end up with pie in her face.
No matter. The Fairfield woman persevered, carrying the indelible memory of her sister’s death at the hands of a boyfriend everywhere she talked, including the State Capitol.
Thanks to McClellin’s crusade and Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s AB 643 — instruction on how to recognize early warning signs of adolescent relationship abuse and intimate partner violence — is law, implemented into already-mandated health instruction for ninth graders starting this next school year.
By Daily Republic Staff
ECH20 Academy students from Benicia High School pulled out the last sample of creek water being studied by students throughout Solano County for the Solano Resource Conservation District’s 10th annual Solano County Biomonitoring Program on Tuesday.
Funded by Solano County, Vallejo Flood and Wastewater District, and the city of Benicia, the program engages ninth- through 12th-graders as community scientists. They measure and analyze the biological, chemical and physical elements of a local creek to determine its overall health.
The results can then be used by local officials to define the necessary actions, if any are needed, to improve pollution prevention and water quality programs.
Source: Solano County students monitor health of 8 creeks for 10th year
Viewed from overhead, students at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville circle up Monday morning around chalk drawings of the state of Texas, surrounded by numerous flowers. There was also a message of support, “You Matter,” to students at Santa Fe High School, where eight students and two teachers were killed in a Friday shooting. Students from schools across Vacaville joined in a “1,000 Flowers” movement Saturday downtown, chalking flowers throughout Andrews Park. They drew inspiration from a video titled “1,000 Flowers,” which features Vacaville High School Principal Ron Thomas.
Source: Sending love to Santa Fe High School
By Nick Sestanovich
Benicia is a community that is well-known for its art, and Benicia Unified School District’s art programs have been honored by the state. However, many feel that more work can be done to take art education in Benicia to the next level, and that was the catalyst for the formation of the Benicia Arts Now Community (BANC), which had its launch event Friday at Benicia Middle School.
BANC is a coalition of stakeholders in Benicia who share the goal of advocating for art education for every child in Benicia. Some of these goals were presented at a launch breakfast at BMS, with food catered by Sprankle’s Deli and attendance by several notable figures in Benicia. The event was also a showcase for the artistic talents of Benicia’s youth. Artwork and centerpieces created by students at all school levels lined the room, and BMS students got to demonstrate their acting skills. Seventh-grader Miah Chao and sixth-grader Liam McGee performed theatrical monologues, and seventh-graders Katie Wade and Natalia Trumm acted out a skit titled “The New Kid.”
Source: Breakfast celebrates launch of art education advocacy organization
By Nick Sestanovich
In the past, Robert Semple Elementary School has received honors as a California Distinguished School, a Gold Ribbon School and for its implementation of Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions. Now, through large-scale analysis by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE), Semple is one of almost 1,800 public schools in California to be named to the state’s Honor Roll.
The California Honor Roll recognizes public schools, districts and charter systems in the state which made large strides in closing achievement gaps among higher-poverty student populations, according to a news release. The list is compiled by ERP, a nonprofit organization that applies scientific data toward methods that expedite student success, improve educational equity and promote career readiness.
Source: Robert Semple Elementary honored for college, career prep
Hundreds of students from Vacaville filled downtown and the surrounding streets of Vacaville with a plethora of colorful flowers throughout Saturday morning. Wielding inspiration brought on by a video titled “1,000 Flowers” — which features Vacaville High School Principal Ron Thomas — students at Will C. Wood High School paid homage to the heartwarming video by uniting with 12 other schools in town. But chalk art wasn’t the lone way students of all ages got to showcase their artistic prowess and empathetic spirit. While over 100 students from Vacaville and Wood began the community project at 9 a.m. Saturday at Wood, Willis Jepson joined in by creating flowers made from tissue with students at Cooper Elementary shaping origami flowers.
Source: Chalk it up for unity
By Tim Goree
This year, Armijo’s FRC robotics team went to the World Wide robotics competition in Houston, Texas. Even though the team was formed last year, they have gone to the World Wide competition twice. In their first year, they won the “All-Star Rookie of the year” award, which qualified them to go to Worlds. This year, they place second in the Sacramento Regionals at Davis, California and was given a “Wild Card”, which qualified them for Worlds, yet again.
The FRC (FIRST) team is actually a branch of Armijo’s robotics program, which was formed four years ago. Another branch of Armijo Robotics (VEX) also qualified for Worlds, which took place in Louisville, Kentucky. Originally, the program only supported VEX teams, but over the years, the students formed a FIRST team in order to further their engineering skills. The VEX branch provided a foundation for the students to learn coding, designing, and building while the FIRST branch allows them to build upon this foundation in a more complex setting.
Source: Armijo High School Inspiring Engineers One Student At A Time
By Susan Hiland
Vacaville and Will C. Wood high school students, inspired by the “Plant 1000 Flowers” video featuring Vacaville High assistant principal Ron Thomas, brought a message of peace Saturday to the sidewalks of Andrew Park.
Students from both school came down early to the weekly farmers market and covered the ground with flowers and positive messages using safe, nontoxic sidewalk chalk.
The idea was presented at a recent Vacaville Youth Roundtable meeting and was received with enthusiasm by the group.The goal is simple: Plant seeds of love, acceptance and goodness in the Vacaville community. The idea came to Thomas as he was listening to the way teenagers were talking to one another.
Source: Vacaville schools come together to plant seeds of kindness
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Gustavo Macias didn’t need music to enjoy the annual Adapted Physical Eduction prom Friday morning at the E. Gary Vaughn gymnasium on the Armijo campus.
Before the DJ started playing tunes, Macias was already showcasing his joy. Once the music began, the Armijo High student could be found near the free throw line, breakdancing.
His prom dates, Julia Harrison and Madison Kudsk, both members of Armijo’s leadership class, cheered him on.
“It’s fun to see the kids so happy,” Kudsk said.
Source: Promise of prom: Special-needs, general ed students dance morning away
By Katy St. Clair
The Benicia Teachers Association and the Benicia Unified School District appear to have reached a tentative agreement after a more than year-long series of contentious negotiations, according to an internal email obtained by the Times-Herald.
“There is a mediated, tentative agreement that needs to be voted on by (B.T.A.) membership … all organizing actions are suspended until further notice,” the email reads.
The teacher’s union and the district mediated a “fact finding” discussion with a panel of three independent entities. Both sides presented their cases in a marathon meeting that ran from 9 a.m. on Thursday morning until 6:45 a.m. on Friday, according to the email.
Source: Benicia district, teachers reach tentative agreement
Guys, you aren’t going to believe this…Bill Gates and his wife spend a lot of money to influence education policy.
This testing story from Tennessee is pretty fantastic. You’re a state and your testing company isn’t doing a great job for you so you bring in another company to help with capacity and then – surprise! – the second company is owned by the first company. And neither company is named Pearson!
Anyway, I’m always struck how in any conversation about testing things immediately turn to Pearson – certainly a major player – but you don’t hear a lot about ETS, one of the two companies involved here or the American Institutes for Research, another major vendor.
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Nate Hernandez took a big leap of faith in October 2014.
The gamble appears to be paying off for the Fairfield native who attended local schools and the University of California, Davis, before pursuing a music career in New York City.
Recording under the moniker Kisos, Hernandez recently released an alt-pop, rhythm and blues-inspired EP of five songs he wrote, composed, mixed and performed – on his own.
“Voices” is the result of hard work, heartbreak and sleeping on a hammock in Harlem to save money.
Source: Fairfield High grad finds his way in Big Apple music scene
By Ian Thompson
The best and brightest of Fairfield-Suisun School District’s graduating students were honored Thursday night.
Students were awarded almost a dozen certificates of appreciation ranging from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Rep. John Garamendi to the Chamber of Commerce and the California School Employees Association.
One hundred and twenty-nine students from Armijo, Fairfield and Rodriguez high schools and from the Public Safety Academy gathered with their families at the Fairfield Community Center.
The ceremony honors those students who make a 4.0 or higher grade-point average.“This is one of our very favorite events,” Superintendent Kris Corey said. “This is one of the highlights of our year.”
Source: District salutes Fairfield-Suisun’s top students
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) proudly announces students from the Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility (JDF) School will receive their high school diploma at a Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The JDF School, operated by SCOE, serves minors that have been remanded to the Solano County Juvenile Probation Department’s Juvenile Detention Center. “Our students demonstrate their resiliency daily while prevailing above their current circumstances. They are receiving a valuable education, through our SCOE programs, that will make a difference in their lives and help them become contributing members to our community,” says Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.
Students at JDF receive a rigorous course of study that provides an opportunity for them to earn course credit toward meeting their home district’s graduation requirements. Students receiving their high school diploma on June 5th have completed all graduation requirements outlined by the California Department of Education. After graduation, students can enroll in Solano Community College courses online and earn units toward an associate degree or complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year college. Students at JDF also receive career technical education instruction and earn Work-Ready Certification which prepares them as they seek employment by developing the skills local businesses consider essential when hiring.
Source: Solano Co. Juvenile Detention Inmates Earn High School Diplomas | Dixon, CA Patch
Putting the Governor’s 2018-19 May Revision in Context
Several key considerations provide the backdrop:
•State revenues for the coming fiscal year are projected to be higher than previously forecast.
•Economic hardship – overall poverty as well as child poverty – remains very high in most parts of the state, even several years after the end of the Great Recession.
•Various key public services and supports continue to operate at diminished levels due to state cuts made during and after the recession
Source: Microsoft PowerPoint – CAPPA May Revise Handout
By John Glidden
Vallejo resident Karen Sims has announced her candidacy for the Solano Community College Governing Board representing Area 1.
Sims is seeking election this November to the seat held by Trustee Pam Keith.
In an exclusive interview with the Times-Herald on Monday, Keith confirmed she would not be running for re-election after serving 24 years on the board.
Source: Sims says she’s running for college board seat
Multiple $10,000 scholarships are being awarded by the Julia I. Carrington Foundation to undergraduate students majoring in an agricultural field who attended high school in Solano County.
Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and plan to, or currently attend, a California University that offers a Bachelor’s degree or higher in an agricultural field. Scholarships can be applied for year-round and are awarded throughout the year.
Consideration is given first to applicants who have resided in Solano County for a minimum of two years and have a family member who derives their living from farming or other agricultural means.
Scholarships will be paid directly to the university.
Source: Solano County students majoring in agricultural field have opportunity for scholarships
By Nick Sestanovich
How important are the arts in education? That is a question that will be discussed at the Benicia Arts Now Community launch breakfast at Benicia Middle School.
The new local art education advocacy organization, in conjunction with the statewide California Alliance for Arts Education, will be hosting a special event to discuss ideas on how to grow art education in Benicia. Benicia Arts Now Community was formed last year by a group of parents who wanted further access to art education for their children. The group has expanded to include businesses, city officials, the Benicia Unified School District and local organizations such as Arts Benicia.
The goals are in line with those of the statewide California Alliance for Arts Education.
Source: Launch event to highlight arts education tomorrow
By John Glidden
After 24 years on the Solano Community College Governing Board, Trustee Pam Keith will not be running for re-election in November, she announced Monday.
“After a quarter of a century, it’s time for someone new to be on the board,” Keith said in an interview with the Times-Herald.
The longtime Vallejoan said she worked with a great set of trustees during her time on the board.
“It was a team effort,” Keith, 71, explained when asked if she got everything done that she wanted while on the board. “Nobody gets anything done by themselves.”
Keith said she has watched as the college’s main campus in Fairfield, along with centers in Vallejo and Vacaville have grown over her two plus decades on the board.
Source: Keith announces she will not seek re-election to college board
By Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce
Amid joyous applause and cheers, the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce recently bestowed its Buzz Awards to some of the best and brightest individuals and businesses in the community.
More than 150 people from the local business community attended the May 4 Buzz Awards inside Suisun City’s Harbor Arts Theatre, where Gillespie’s Abbey Carpet & Floor and SK Creative Arts were named the Business of the Year, respectively, for Fairfield and Suisun City.
Source: Chamber’s Buzz Awards honors community’s best