FSUSD Board: Area 4 candidate Wilson hopes to beat out opponent – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

There are very few guarantees in life.

One guarantee this year will be for the Fairfield-Suisun School District Area 4 race. That guarantee is that Wilson will win the election.

The big question is will it be the incumbent, Chris Wilson? The challenger hopes it is him, Craig Wilson.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School Board: Area 4 candidate Wilson hopes to beat out opponent – Wilson

FSUSD Board: Incumbent Wilson offers perspective in Area 4 race – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

Few candidates in any of the local elections throughout Solano County can claim to know their respective area of service quite like Chris Wilson, the incumbent trustee for Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Area 4.

Not only has Wilson served on the board for the past four years, he is himself a product of the school district, having gone to district schools when he was a student.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School Board: Incumbent Wilson offers perspective in Area 4 race

Inspire Program Recognized with Top Statewide Educational Honor – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

The Inspire Program has been chosen as one of 51 recipients of the state’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award. The Golden Bell Awards, now in their 39th year, are sponsored by the California School Boards Association to recognize outstanding public school programs for innovation, sustainability and best practices that facilitate positive student outcomes. Inspire will receive its award at a recognition reception and ceremony on Thursday, November 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in San Francisco at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis located at 780 Mission Street.

Inspire is a collaborative network that includes local cities, chambers of commerce, businesses, government entities, public school districts, county offices of education, and workforce development agencies. Its mission is to motivate students to find their passion and pursue their occupational dreams within their own community by building and leveraging strong community partnerships.

Source: Press Release: Inspire Program Recognized with Top Statewide Educational Honor

Markham Elementary School students become citizen scientists – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Stepping off the bus in Lagoon Valley Park, about 40 third grade students from Edwin Markham Elementary School in Vacaville were transformed Monday into citizen scientists thanks to the educators from the Solano Resource Conservation District.

The new program was launched this month and teaches the students how to collect critical ecological data about the animal and plant life around the park. The information will then be passed along to researchers across the United States.

“The idea of the program is to see how nature changes with the seasons,” Said Carla Murphy, a program educator with the Solano Resource Conservation District before she led a group of eager students on a nature hike around the park.

Source: Outdoor Education: Markham Elementary School students become citizen scientists – The Reporter

VUSD leaders seek input for ‘by area’ elections map – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders seek public input about the school district’s “by-area” voting map, the first stages of which are still under development.

Facing the possibility of a lawsuit, district trustees on Sept. 20 passed a resolution declaring an intent to transition from an “at-large” to a by-area election system. The governing board’s decision came years after at least three other Solano County districts — Travis, Fairfield-Suisun and Vallejo City — switched to the by-area format, in which trustees represent certain city sectors rather than the entire district.

The ongoing forums continue today from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the McBride Senior Center, 91 Town Square Place. Coffee and donuts will be served.

Source: VUSD leaders seek input for ‘by area’ elections map – The Reporter

Enjoy Halloween events throughout Solano – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

‘Tis the weekend when costumes simple to fantastical are worn in abundance, treats are gobbled by the cauldron-full and reality, for just a moment, is suspended as kids — and adults — engage in some whimsical fun.

Halloween is just around the corner and you’re invited to grab your family and friends and head over to any number of celebrations in Vacaville and beyond. There’s so much to do and see in Solano County. Below are just a few happenings scheduled for today through the Big H, which is Wednesday.

Source: Enjoy Halloween events throughout Solano – The Reporter

An in-depth look at California’s First 5 early-childhood initiative | Education Dive

By Linda Jacobson

This series about the history and impact of First 5 is supported by a University of Southern California 2018 Center for Health Journalism fellowship.

  • What did California’s novel approach to funding early-childhood programs achieve? The impact of the First 5 initiative, spearheaded by actor-director Rob Reiner, is complicated to measure because of the lack of longitudinal data. ​
  • How filmmaker Rob Reiner put early childhood in the limelight Recruiting Hollywood A-listers for help, Reiner paved the way for passage of a tobacco tax to fund programs for California’s youngest children — and helped to spread a national movement.

Source: Special report: An in-depth look at California’s First 5 early-childhood initiative | Education Dive

Torlakson Applauds Expanded Learning Leaders – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated the California Department of Education (CDE) 2018 California Expanded Learning award winners.

“Expanded learning programs are an important extension of a student’s typical school day. The programs provide additional academic support, cultural enrichment, and social and emotional learning opportunities,” said Torlakson. “These awards are a way to recognize the talented and dedicated staff who are helping students learn, thrive, and succeed inside and outside the classroom.”

Studies show that expanded learning programs increase student attendance, cut dropout rates, reduce juvenile crime, and boost academic success.

The awards are part of Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide event celebrating the role of afterschool programs in keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn, and helping working families.

Source: Torlakson Applauds Expanded Learning Leaders – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)

‘Incredible:’ Armijo High graduate working on ‘Toy Story 4’ – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

If you purchased “Incredibles 2” when it came out on digital format Tuesday, look closely at the credits, particularly the animators.

Among them is Suisun Elementary, Grange Middle School and Armijo High graduate Frank Abney III.

The married father of two is starting work on Pixar’s “Toy Story 4.”

It was the first “Incredibles” flick, released in 2004, that got Abney interested in computer-generated imagery. Abney was studying animation.

“It was something that turned the corner for me,” he said. “It was the first film that showed me what that medium could do.”

Getting to work on the second “Incredibles” was a “dream come true.” He got to work with amazing artists as well as Brad Bird, who directed the flick.

Source: ‘Incredible:’ Armijo High graduate working on ‘Toy Story 4’

School Bond Measures On November Ballot – SFGate

Two cannabis tax measures, three school bond measures and a sales tax measure are on ballots around Solano County for the Nov. 6 election.

Voters in Suisun City and Benicia will consider a cannabis industry general tax that requires majority approval.

The tax rate under Measure C in Suisun City would be no more than 15 percent of gross receipts and $25 per square foot of space used for commercial cannabis activities.

The estimated $2 million in annual tax revenue will pay for public safety, street maintenance and other city services until voters repeal it.

Source: Cannabis, Street Repair Sales Taxes, School Bond Measures On November Ballot – SFGate

Inspire: Dreams Start Now 2018 – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

Every 8th grader in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District visited the Kroc Center in Suisun City on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 for a unique opportunity to interactively explore future career paths. That’s over 1,600 students.

It’s the 4th annual Inspire: Dreams Start Now event for the Fairfield-Suisun area, a program developed in collaboration with Vacaville Unified School District, Travis Unified School District, Dixon Unified School District, Solano County Office of Education, Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, Dixon Chamber of Commerce, Solano Economic Development Corporation, Solano Workforce Development Board, and many other government agencies and commercial companies in Solano County.

Source: Inspire: Dreams Start Now 2018

Vallejo school board candidates’ forum available for viewing – Times-Herald

By Vallejo Times Herald

Residents seeking more information about the Vallejo school board candidates are encouraged to view the Citizens for Vallejo candidates’ forum held on Sept. 30, the group announced.

Recorded by Marc Garman, the videotaped forum has been edited and is now available for viewing at the CFV website — www.citizensforvallejo.net.

“Learn more about the candidates positions. Watch the candidates speak on issues of importance to the Vallejo school district,” CFV officials said in a news release. “This may be your last opportunity to hear these candidates views on the Measure S school bond, district hiring, student absenteeism, solving the district’s deficit and charter schools, a few issues addressed at the forum.”

Officials said that seven of the eight candidates participated in the forum. Questions were prepared in advance by CFV and selected from the attending audience, they added.

Source: Vallejo school board candidates’ forum available for viewing – Times-Herald

Buckingham robotics team preps for Capital City Classic – Daily Republic

By Buckingham PR Team

Buckingham Charter Magnet High School’s Robo Knights are gearing up for the Capital City Classic at Davis High School on Oct. 27-28.

The Capital City Classic is an off-season tournament for all teams to gear up for the new season of competition starting just after the new year.

“Cap City is always an adventure. It’s a great way to show off and get started with the new season,¨ said A.J. Clifford, president of the Robo Knights.

The Robo Knights will battle with other North Bay teams. Veteran competitors enjoy the return to competition, and newcomers can dip their feet into the water and experience the excitement of robotics games.

Source: School Event: Buckingham robotics team preps for Capital City Classic

Vacaville teachers announce candidate endorsements – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Familiar and not-so-familiar names are among candidates endorsed by the Vacaville Teachers Association for Vacaville and Solano county schools district posts up for grabs on Election Day, Nov. 6.

For the Vacaville Unified governing board, the 760-member union gave nods to incumbents John Jansen, a retired Vacaville firefighter, and Shelley Dally, a longtime educator and former school administrator. Solano Community College biotechnology professor Michael Silva received the educators’ endorsement for the third opening on the board overseeing the 14,000-student district.

“This was not an easy decision,” said Tracy Begley, VTA president. “Our members talked with everyone who sought our endorsement and, at the end of our process, we felt that John, Shelley and Michael would be the best candidates for us to support during this election cycle.”

Source: Vacaville teachers announce candidate endorsements – The Reporter

Major design award for SCC’s Biotech/Science building – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A new era for Solano Community College’s acclaimed biotech manufacturing program began 14 months ago with the opening of a gleaming, $34.5 million, 38,000-square-foot cutting-edge structure in Vacaville that helps to prepare graduates for 21st-century jobs.

The Biotechnology and Science Building was clearly a significant boost to the school’s educational mission and perhaps the envy of other colleges.

Now there is another reason for envy:

The building, at the SCC Vacaville Center on North Village Parkway, is the recipient of a National Award of Merit in the educational facilities category.

The award, given by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), is of the highest honor, and will be announced during the Design-Build Conference & Expo in November in New Orleans, Jennifer Aries, a spokeswoman for the Fairfield-based college, noted in a press release.

Source: Major design award for SCC’s Biotech/Science building in Vacaville – The Reporter

A Spectacular Trio – Daily Republic

By RHSEU Boosters Communication Officer

There are three outstanding high school marching bands in the Fairfield Suisun Unified School District led by three outstanding directors. Scott Miller leads the Rodriguez High School Entertainment Unit, Louise Jacob leads the Armijo Super Band, and Brian Swetland leads the Fairfield High Scarlet Brigade. All three directors work steadfastly to provide the “ultimate experience in musicianship, teamwork, and leadership.” (– Fairfield HS, Scarlet Brigade website). Even though I only speak for the REU, I know we recognize the important force these three adults play in our children’s lives. Today we would like to give thanks to these marvelous teachers who help guide and inspire the students in our community, even before they get to high school.

Thank you, band directors, for instilling a sense of responsibility, pride, honor, work ethics, high standards, and moral fiber in the young citizens of our community. We think with such great training they have a better chance to go into the world as successful contributors to our society! Keep up the good work.

Source: Good News: A Spectacular Trio

VUSD encourages students to drink more water – The Reporter

During a special assembly at the end of school Friday, students at Padan Elementary School got a special gift courtesy of the Vacaville Unified School District and the Solano County Health Department.

During her classes all week, Padan Elementary School, physical education teacher, Carly Wudel worked with the students on the importance of staying hydrated.

“We talked about the importance of choosing less sugary drinks, and how water has no sugar.” Wudel said Friday.

Source: Vacaville Unified School District encourages students to drink more water with special refill stations in schools – The Reporter

Peña Adobe Presents “Kids’ Day at the Adobe” Saturday – Daily Republic

The Peña Adobe Historical Society will host “Kids Day at the Adobe” at the Peña Adobe Park in Vacaville, on Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The park is located at 4966 Pena Adobe Road in Vacaville’s rural southwest section just off of Interstate 80 to the left of the Lagoon Valley Park entrance.

Come see the historic Peña Adobe, one of the oldest structures in Solano County. Dating back to 1842, the Adobe was once the home of the Juan Felipe Peña family, who with the Vacas, settled in Vacaville over one hundred seventy five years ago. Stop in the adjacent Mowers-Goheen Museum, and see local artifacts that include Peña family children’s toys, ladies dresses from the turn of the century and a woolly mammoth bone!

Source: Peña Adobe Presents “Kids’ Day at the Adobe” Saturday, November 3, 2018

How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM | MindShift

By Paul Darvasi

A group of Grade 9 students in Texas who substantially outperformed their district on a statewide standardized test all had one surprising thing in common: they all were members of the school’s Dungeons & Dragons club.

A coincidence? Otherwise, how does a fantasy role-playing game produce improved test scores? The obvious explanation is that the club draws the bright kids who are already academically inclined. But many of the kids in the club at the Title I school had histories of struggling with academics.

For Kade Wells, the teacher who runs the club at Davis Ninth Grade School outside Houston, the answer is simple: “Playing Dungeons & Dragons makes you smarter.”

Source: How ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM | MindShift | KQED News

War veterans have until Friday to apply for high school diplomas – Daily Republic

By Ian Thompson

Korean War and Vietnam veterans who never received high school diplomas have until Friday to apply to the Solano County Office of Education for its Operation Recognition program.

The program awards high school diplomas to World War II Japanese-Americans and all U.S. veterans who could not graduate from high school due to wartime circumstances.

Veterans can apply to get a diploma, and next of kin may do so if the veteran in question is deceased.

Source: War veterans have until Friday to apply for high school diplomas