State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California History-Social Science Project (University of California, Davis) have won the American Historical Association’s Beveridge Family Teaching Prize for distinguished K–12 history teaching. The two organizations collaborated to create the groundbreaking History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, which was approved by the State Board of Education in 2016 and published last year.
“California is leading the way in helping our students recognize the diversity of our great state and nation,” Torlakson said. “Thanks to the partnership between the California Department of Education and the California History-Social Science project, California students will learn from the latest research and have a deeper understanding of the important contributions and challenges faced by many individuals and ethnic groups that have sometimes been overlooked. These include every major ethnic group, as well as members of the LGBT community and people with disabilities.”
Among other things, this framework adds more detail on Latino history, the Armenian Genocide, the role Filipinos played in World War II, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and African American history—including slave narratives and firsthand accounts of uprisings, and protests during the Civil Rights movement.
Source: CA History-Social Science Frameworks Win Prize – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Glen Faison
Hundreds of children from kindergarten through eighth grade swarmed Laurel Creek Park to push themselves to the limit Wednesday during the 42nd annual Doug Butt Run.
Among them were Eli Blunt, 9, a fourth-grader at Browns Valley Elementary School, and Joseph Ortega, 13, an eighth-grader at B. Gale Wilson Middle School.
Both were there to run, but for different reasons. Young Eli – who says he’s a soccer player and not really a runner – was there mostly for the fun of it. Ortega was there to push himself to a 5-minute time on the 1-mile cross-country course set up at the park.
Source: Young runners swarm Laurel Creek Park for Doug Butt Run
By Nick Sestanovich
Students at Anna Kyle Elementary School in Fairfield gained a whole lot of civic knowledge when Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano, stopped by Wednesday morning to answer questions on the political process.
Garamendi, whose congressional district includes Fairfield and Vacaville, visited area schools that morning to host conversations on educational policy and civic engagement with the youth of Fairfield. The congressman began his tour by visiting Anna Kyle, where students in third through fifth-grade came prepared to ask him their burning questions on government, a topic they were studying in social studies.
An introduction was delivered by Principal Steve Philips, who recognized local dignitaries in attendance, including Kris Corey, the superintendent of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School Distrct; and Judi Honeychurch, vice president of the Fairfield-Suisun school board. He then turned the microphone over to third-grade teacher Thomas Warsaw, who spearheaded Garamendi’s visit.
Source: Garamendi speaks to students about civic involvement – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
The Travis Unified governing board seeks applications from district residents to fill a term left vacant by the Sept. 26 death of trustee Angela Weinzinger.
Depending upon the number of responses, board members intend to interview all or selected candidates.
Eligible candidates must be a registered voter in California and must also live within the school district’s Trustee Area 2. This area covers all territory within the district boundaries, except Travis Air Force Base.
The successful candidate will remain in office until the next regularly scheduled election for governing board members, Nov. 3, 2020, the end of Weinzinger’s four-year term.
Source: Applicants sought for Travis USD board – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
Anyone interested in filling the final two years of the Trustee Area 2 term on the Travis School District board is encouraged to apply now.
The seat came open with the death Sept. 26 of Angela Weinzinger. The trustee area covers the district boundaries except for Travis Air Force Base.
Interviews will take place during the regular board meeting Nov. 13. The times will be set depending on the number of applicants. The successful candidate will be appointed directly after the interviews and will be sworn in at 6 p.m. Dec. 11.
Source: Search on for new Travis school board member
By Paul Warren, Julien Lafortune
The California Department of Education recently released 2018 SBAC test scores that showed very modest improvement. Since last year, the percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards grew 1.1 percentage points in math. But focusing only on these year-to-year comparisons means that we miss the longer-term picture. That is, we don’t see how the same group of students are progressing over time. When we look at SBAC math scores in this manner, we have some cause for concern—but there are bright spots, too.
In the figure below, we show the growth in math test scores from grade to grade—that is, we can see how last year’s third graders performed in fourth grade, and so on. If growth is less than 100 percent, students aren’t keeping up with grade-level standards. If it is greater than 100 percent, student growth is outpacing what is expected by the standards. For instance, fourth grade students gained roughly 80 percent of the increase needed to keep pace with the proficiency standards.
Source: Are K–12 Students Keeping Pace in Math? – Public Policy Institute of California
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
How the Vallejo City Unified School District is going to address its students’ poor standardized test scores is scheduled for discussion at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
Some of the other items include the district’s business office action plan, a progress report on its plan for increasing the number of students graduating college and/or career ready and an update on staffing.
A report on the California School Dashboard — data reported through the state information systems and by local districts, which is required to be updated by Nov. 16, is also on the agenda as are a slew of contracts with outside vendors.To qualify for its $4 million in federal funds, state law requires district schools to develop single school plans for student achievement, aimed at bringing all students’ academic performance to state standards level. Only Vallejo Charter School has developed a Local Control Accountability Plan instead. The plans must be reviewed annually and submitted to the Governing Board for approval.
Source: Addressing test scores, staffing update at VCUSD meeting – Times-Herald
By Richard Bammer
A teacher is generally considered the most important element in the classroom, but just because he or she is trained and credentialed does not necessarily mean that their training ends after graduating from college. They must receive ongoing training even as they work day in and out, to develop the knowledge and skills needed to meet students’ learning challenges and to keep up with the latest education trends. It’s called professional development.
To that end, more than 100 educators from Solano, Yolo and Napa counties will attend a daylong conference Saturday at Will C. Wood High, one offering a series of workshops on topics ranging from classroom management to school culture to the latest technology tips. The event is sponsored by the California Teachers Association.
Theresa Montaño, vice president of the 325,000-member state teachers union, will kick off the conference with a keynote speech at 9 a.m. at the 998 Marshall Road campus.
Source: Teachers to educate teachers Saturday at Wood High – The Reporter
By Reporter Staff
Travis Credit Union is holding its 12th annual Financial Education Forum on Friday at Solano Community College. The event seeks to provide education to local youth about financing opportunities for college. The event is hosted in partnership with Travis Credit Union, the California Student Aid Commission and Solano Community College. This year, nearly 400 students from 11 local high schools in the Solano, Napa and Yolo areas are expected to participate.
Friday morning, participating schools are provided transportation to Solano Community College. During the forum, students will hear from various financial leaders and experts on college financing opportunities (such as Cal Grants). Students will also participate in a resource fair and receive a tour of the Solano Community College campus.
This year’s event features a keynote speaker from co-founder and director of the LEGACY Youth Project in Napa, Carlos E.C. Hagedorn. Carlos has spent the last 20 years as a local educator and community organizer. Carlos and his work was also featured in the 2015 documentary “The Mask You Live In” about masculinity in America.
Source: Students to experience Financial Education Forum – The Reporter
By Bill Hicks
Area high school marching band participants could soon be earning PE credit as they practice their halftime routines if the advocates who spoke during Thursday night’s Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board meeting have anything to say about it.
The board currently is mulling an idea in place by a handful of surrounding school districts that allows the repetitive and sometimes rigorous physical training involved in marching band field shows – and parade events – to be counted as adequately meeting physical education requirements.
Parents and others affiliated with the district’s band programs testified to the board that band members can put in as many as 90-plus hours of training in the two weeks prior to the start of school, as well as 12- to 13-hour days of marching and loading/offloading of bulky band equipment during weekend competitions.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun band members could soon march for PE credit
By Susan Hiland
The Empty Bowls fundraising dinner Saturday for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has grown over the past two years, thanks to the help of some teens from the community.
Olivia Frenkel of Rodriguez High School and Alec Merodio of Armijo High School assisted in serving the dinner a couple of years ago as part of the Suisun Valley 4-H.
“We saw that the event could be improved and made better,” Frenkel said.
Updating the marketing materials was first on the agenda.
Source: Students help make Empty Bowl fundraiser a success
By Daily Republic Staff
The deadline for veterans who missed out on a high school diploma due to their service has been extended.
The California Association of County Veterans Service Officers 2017 Annual Report states that 17 percent of World War II veterans, 11 percent of Korean War veterans and 5 percent of Vietnam War veterans do not have high school diplomas.
To help address this situation, the Solano County Office of Education will participate in “Operation Recognition,” which awards high school diplomas to World War II Japanese-Americans and U.S. veterans who could not graduate from high school due to wartime circumstances.
Source: Operation Recognition High School Diplomas deadline looms
By Courtney Lee and Jacob Jackson
In California and across the nation, there has been a growing focus on increasing college access by improving college readiness for high school students and encouraging more eligible students to attend college. To this end, many states and educational institutions have changed how they use college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.
One approach has been to have more students take the SAT or ACT in hopes of identifying those who are eligible for college but might not have taken a college entrance exam on their own. As of 2016–17, 25 states use the SAT or ACT as their standardized test for 11th graders.
Assemblymember O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) has proposed AB 1951, which would give districts the option to use the SAT or ACT in place of California’s 11th-grade standardized test. Though Governor Brown vetoed the bill at the end of the 2017–18 legislative session, O’Donnell promised to bring it back in the next session, when California has a new governor.
Source: Standardized Testing and College Eligibility – Public Policy Institute of California
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Vallejo public schools were not the lowest scoring in the state, and the scores didn’t fall compared to last year. That’s the good news.
Results from the most recent statewide standardized tests are in, and Vallejo City Unified School District students remain in the bottom quarter of test takers, but have improved slightly over last time, Superintendent Adam Clark said.
The 2018 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System — comprehensive, year-end assessments of grade-level learning that measure progress toward college and career readiness — test in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. They are comprised of two parts: a computer-adaptive test, and a performance task. Students in grades three through eight, and grade 11 are tested, Clark said.
Source: Vallejo public school student test results need improvement – Times-Herald
By Bill Hicks
The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with an application for grant funding via Proposition 51 that would allow for the improvement and upgrade of Career Technical Education facilities at Armijo High School, as well as the establishment of a welding vocational program.
If approved, the grants would provide the district with as much as $2.7 million for the CTE upgrades at Armijo.
School districts throughout the country turned their focus at some point in the past away from traditional vocational programs in favor of programs oriented on getting students prepared for college.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board approves pursuit of $2.7M in grants to boost vocational ed
By Bill Hicks
The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s governing board heard a progress report Thursday about the district’s 2018 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress.
The report broke down the district’s performance in both language arts and mathematics – both of which were relatively flat compared to scores from 2017, according to Sheila McCabe with the district’s Educational Services division.
The flat test scores were not bad news but not the sort of good news the district had been pursuing, McCabe said.
Source: Report: Fairfield-Suisun student assessment scores flat
By Richard Bammer
What a difference nine months apparently make for a charter school petition.
The Solano County Board of Education on Wednesday voted 5 to 2 to overturn the Aug. 1 denial of the ELITE Charter School petition by the Vallejo City Unified School Board.
The action by the seven-member county governing board comes after it denied in January a previous ELITE petition for a countywide charter school and after the Aug. 20 appeal of the VCU decision to the county board by petitioner Ramona Bishop, a former VCU superintendent; and after a Sept. 17 public hearing at SCOE offices in Fairfield.
Bishop’s latest petition was for a single K-12 school, an independent charter, in Vallejo, and, with the vote, will be aligned with — or fall under the jurisdiction of — the county district.
Source: After previous denial, Solano County Office of Education trustees OK Elite Charter petition – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
Trustees of the Fairfield-Suisun School District will be asked Thursday to give the green light to seek a pair of grants to help pay for nearly $5.5 million in planned upgrades to the wood shop and welding shop areas at Armijo High School.
The district’s Educational Services Department and Facilities Department have been working together since May to develop a facilities modernization project that will enhance and expand the Building Trades pathway at Armijo.
Staff is seeking permission from the board to submit a grant that will provide half the money needed for a $2.7 million facility project that includes upgrades to the wood shop facility, according to a staff report. Staff is also seeking leave to submit a grant that will provide half the money needed for a $2.7 million facility project that includes upgrades to the school’s welding shop facilities, according to a separate staff report.
Source: School board considers grants to help fund $5.5M in shop upgrades at Armijo
By Susan Hiland
Michelle “Shelley” Dally has been on the Vacaville School Board since 2013 and wants to continue making a difference for future generations.
Because of her husband’s health issues, she has limited her time to helping him and governing on the board, which she said has become a huge help for her.
“I am dedicated to education and helping the system,” she said. “It has been my life.”
Source: Vacaville School Board: Dally strives to continue service
In the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, thousands of young men and women left high school and the comforts of home to serve in the United States Armed Forces to defend our Country in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Additionally, during World War II many Japanese-American citizens were interned in relocation camps across the United States. After these wars, many of these individuals were not able to finish high school and receive a high school diploma.
California Education Code section 51430 authorizes the retroactive awarding of high school diplomas to eligible Veterans and persons who were detained in internment camps during World War II. The Solano County Office of Education is proud to participate in “Operation Recognition” which honors U.S. Veterans and interned Japanese-American citizens who were unable to continue high school due to wartime circumstances by awarding them with high school diplomas. “Operation Recognition is an opportunity to honor individuals who sacrificed their lives for our country” said Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County
Source: Deadline Extended For ‘Operation Recognition’ Diplomas | Suisun City, CA Patch