By Reporter Staff
Several changes have been made within Vacaville Unified School District this summer. Here’s a look at some of the reshuffling going on at schools in the area.
Vaca Pena Middle School
Colleen Moe is now the principal at Vaca Pena Middle School. Moe has been a positive force on campus and is passionate about the students and excellent programs that Vaca Pena provides, according to district officials. She has served in the district since 1999, first at Markham Elementary and Vacaville High School before landing at Vaca Pena.
Daniel Crombie is now the assistant principal at Vaca Pena Middle School. Crombie began working in the VUSD in 2008 as a campus supervisor at Will C. Wood High School. He became an education specialist and special education department chair in 2010. In 2015, Crombie became the dean of learning support at Will C. Wood, where he has successfully worked with staff, families and students to address attendance and academic barriers to learning. Known for his confident and calm presence, the district said, Crombie has developed strong relationships in the community and is a strong advocate for students and a great ambassador to the district.
Source: Changes made this summer within Vacaville Unified School District
Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition (TEC) is looking for community volunteers to advocate for smoke-free environments, promote activities that prevent underage vaping/smoking and help reduce tobacco use.
Community members interested in a healthy Solano are always welcome at quarterly TEC meetings. This Tuesday, there will be updates on several new projects including preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
The meeting is from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at the Solano County Health and Social Services Department, 275 Beck Ave. in Fairfield.
TEC advocates and volunteers assist Solano County Tobacco Prevention and Education Program in its mission to “reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Source: Solano County Tobacco Education Coalition seeks volunteer advocates
By Tim Goree
On November 6, 2018, many school districts across California will have Board trustee vacancies on local election ballots. The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) will have positions open for election in the following Trustee Areas: Area 4, Area 5, and Area 7.
This election of ordinary citizens to a board that oversees the public education of our community’s youth is an important example of a democratic approach to local control. After all, it is the Governing Board, elected by the people, who are entrusted with the lives of our children and their future in our society. Serving as a trustee is no small task, yet it promises big contributions.
Source: Press Release: I’m Running for School Board – What Should I Know?
By Justin Goss
As the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) repeal of net neutrality phases in, concerns that Internet service providers (ISPs) could speed up or slow down traffic from certain websites or prioritize certain content loom large. Changes to Internet service, if any, will probably be slow and gradual; however, the repeal has potentially important implications for the digital divide in and outside of California’s schools.
K‒12 schools rely increasingly on online content and management systems to deliver instruction (e.g., blended learning), administer standardized tests (e.g., Smarter Balanced assessments), and manage educational data (e.g., cloud computing). As online learning becomes ubiquitous, access to high-speed Internet is no longer optional—it’s a necessity. Most schools receive discounted Internet services through the federal E-rate program, but if providers decide to introduce tiered pricing based on content, students and educators could lose access to quality education programs. Tiered pricing could also exacerbate the digital divide between urban and rural districts. PPIC research shows that close to 70% of rural districts lack sufficient bandwidth for digital learning, compared to 18% of urban districts. If this gap persists or widens, students in rural areas may be left behind in the digital race.
Source: What Does the Repeal of Net Neutrality Mean for California Schools? – Public Policy Institute of California
By Lillian Mongeau
Science could be considered the perfect elementary school subject. It provides real life applications for reading and math and develops critical thinking skills that help students solve problems in other subjects. Plus, it’s interesting. It helps answer all those “why” questions — Why is the sun hot? Why do fish swim? Why are some people tall and other people short? — that 5- to 8-year-old children are so famous for asking.
Young children are “super curious,” said Matt Krehbiel, director of science for Achieve, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students graduate high school ready to start college or to pursue a career. “We want them to be able to harness that curiosity to help them make sense of the world around them.”
Source: Will New Standards Improve Elementary Science Education? | MindShift | KQED News
By Daily Republic Staff
Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District will consider a contract Thursday for the district’s top administrator that if approved will likely push her total compensation past the $300,000 mark.
Kris Corey became superintendent July 1, 2013, upon the retirement of Jacki Cottingim-Dias.
Corey had served as the assistant superintendent of educational services since July 2010. Her tenure with the district began in 1987 as a teacher. She served for seven years as principal of Foxboro Elementary in the neighboring Travis School District before returning to Fairfield-Suisun.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun superintendent’s contract up for school board vote
By Nick Morrison
Schools have been accused of pushing out students with low levels of achievement, in a practice where the students become the victims of a high-stakes testing regime.
School inspectors have identified 19,000 students who left their publicly-funded school shortly before crucial public examinations.
And while around half of those moved to another state-funded school, around half did not, and simply vanished from school registers.
Some may have moved into fee-paying schools, but with no information on their destination, the likelihood is that many will have effectively left education altogether.
Source: Departing Students Are Victims Of High-Stakes Testing
By Tovia Smith
It would take a computer about a nano-second to mark “D” as the correct answer. That’s easy.
But now, machines are also grading students’ essays. Computers are scoring long form answers on anything from the fall of the Roman Empire, to the pros and cons of government regulations.
Developers of so-called “robo-graders” say they understand why many students and teachers would be skeptical of the idea. But they insist, with computers already doing jobs as complicated and as fraught as driving cars, detecting cancer, and carrying on conversations, they can certainly handle grading students’ essays.
Source: More States Opting To ‘Robo-Grade’ Student Essays By Computer | MindShift | KQED News
By Morgan S. Polikoff
There is increasing momentum behind the idea that curriculum materials, including textbooks, represent a powerful lever for education reform. As funders are lining up and state leaders are increasing their policy attention on curriculum materials, this report discusses the very real challenges of this effort. The report draws on my experience over the last several years collecting and analyzing textbook adoption data, as well qualitative interviews of school district leaders and teachers. It identifies challenges in three main areas: collecting and analyzing textbook adoption data; encouraging districts to make different adoption decisions; and encouraging teachers to make different use decisions. The report concludes with specific recommendations, which are aimed primarily at state policymakers who seek to use curriculum materials as a policy reform.
Source: The Challenges of Curriculum Materials as a Reform Lever – Education Next : Education Next
By Daily Republic Staff
A financial boot camp that targets young adults returns Wednesday to Fairfield.
The Mad Money program has for the past nine years helped many young adults – ages 14 to 24 – learn about properly handling finances as an adult.
The session is scheduled from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive. Walk-ins are welcome. To register as an attendee, or if interested in volunteering as a sales merchant, visit www.traviscu.org/mcm. On-site registration starts at 12:30 p.m.
Source: Travis Credit Union offers annual Young Adult Financial Boot Camp
By Daily Republic Staff
A four-year contract with Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Superintendent Kris Corey goes before the district’s governing board Thursday.
The initial base pay of $270,000 annually will increase 2 percent per year, with a satisfactory evaluation.
She will also earn 25 days of vacation annually, with pay, and receive 15 days of sick leave each year.
The district will also provide her with a $200,000 life insurance policy and contribute $14,500 annually to a tax-sheltered instrument she chooses.
Source: New superintendent contract goes before FSUSD board Thursday
By Jessica Rogness
A federally funded college advising and tutoring program that recently expanded to Vacaville high school students still has openings for the summer and fall semesters.
Plan of Action for Challenging Times’s (PACT) program services — free tutoring, college advising, mentoring and enrichment, among others — have been extended to the Vacaville Unified School District for grades 9-12 as part of the Department of Education’s Upward Bound program.
PACT’s program services include:
• College admissions assistance and information.
• Academic tutoring, mentoring, coaching and enrichment.
• SAT/ACT registration.
• Academic profiles.
• Career exploration.
Source: Upward Bound program still has openings for Vacaville high school students
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
As far as Jim Kern is concerned, Independence Day “is the best day of the year in Vallejo.”
At every July 4 parade since moving to town in 1989, the executive director of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum said what he likes about it is the crowd it draws.
“Everybody comes out,” he said.
That was a common theme among many of the people at Wednesday’s 165th Annual July 4 Parade among spectators and participants alike.
Source: Vallejo’s 165th Annual July 4 parade
By Jessica Rogness
The Solano Coalition for Better Health, the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club and Dixon Family Services were just some of the Solano County nonprofit organizations that recently received grant funding from Kaiser Permanente.
Kaiser is awarding a total of $956,459 in grants to 38 nonprofit organizations that improve the health of under-served communities in Solano and Napa counties.
These community benefit grants are awarded every year to local organizations working on specific programs and projects that align with Kaiser’s missions and goals.
The program supports local nonprofit, public health and human service organizations by investing in programs that focus on improving access to care and coverage, community and family safety, mental health and wellness and Healthy Eating Active Living.
Source: Kaiser Permanente awards nearly $1 million in grants to Solano, Napa nonprofits
By Christina Samuels
The U.S. Department of Education is delaying, by two years, implementation of a rule that would require states to take a closer look at how school districts identify and serve minority students with disabilities.
The “Equity in IDEA” rule, issued by the Obama administration in December 2016, would have gone into effect for the 2018-19 school year. It created a new process for states to follow when they monitor how districts identify minority students for special education, discipline them, or place them in restrictive classroom settings.
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act requires this monitoring. Districts found to have “significant disproportionality” in one or more of these areas must set aside 15 percent of their federal special education funding to spend on remedies.
States have always been in charge of determining how significant a problem must be before it merits the set-aside. And, just a fraction of the nation’s school districts have ever been identified as having problems severe enough to require federal dollars to remedy. (About 3 percent of districts were identified in the 2015-16 school year.)
Source: Special Education Bias Rule Put on Hold for Two Years by DeVos Team – On Special Education – Education Week
By Donna Lawson
Some people are not aware that adults can earn a high school diploma in Vallejo. They can, and the proof was at an inspiring June graduation ceremony for the Vallejo Regional Education Center.
The Center offers various programs for adults including high school credit classes and high school Equivalency preparation. VREC is a fully accredited school for adults 18 years of age and above.
On June 25, 45 students earned high school diplomas and seven students earned an HSE, High School Equivalency.
After the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” procession and the Pledge of Allegiance, Principal Laura Dutch welcomed representatives of the Vallejo City Unified School District: Dr. Adam Clark, Superintendent, Cheri Summers, Chief Academic Officer, Burky Worel, President of the VCUSD Board and Board Trustee Robert Lawson.
Source: Vallejo Regional Education Center’s inspiring graduation
By Daily Republic Staff
Twenty-one students from high schools across Solano, Contra Costa and Napa counties got a hands-on experience at Touro University California’s seventh annual Biotech Academy Summer Internship Program.
Students participated from June 18 to Thursday in several intensive sessions on a variety of topics, including osteopathic medicine, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, anatomy, diversity and inclusion in medicine, and nursing.
They used an ultrasound during a lab exercise and got a first-hand look at how Touro conducts outreach by providing free diabetes screenings to community members through its Mobile Diabetes Education Center.
Source: High school students pick up medical knowledge at Touro University
By Richard Bammer
After more than two months of medical leave, Dixon Unified Superintendent Brian Dolan will return to work Monday, The Reporter has learned.
Nick Girimonte, assistant superintendent for educational services, made the announcement in an email Friday.
“As you can imagine, he is excited to be back and resume serving the students and staff of Dixon Unified,” Girimonte, who served interim superintendent while Dolan was sidelined, wrote.
Dolan’s executive secretary, Cicely Bernhardt, confirmed the superintendent’s medical leave in mid-April, but provided no further details.
Serving in the rural eastern Solano district’s top post for some seven years, Dolan oversees nearly 3,500 students, hundreds teachers and support staff and is helping to guide the district through the administrative processes of Measure Q, a $30.4 million bond measure passed by voters in 2016, as a way to upgrade and refurbish the district’s many aging school buildings.
Source: Dixon Unified School District Supervisor Brian Dolan returns from medical leave