State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named five extraordinary educators as the 2019 California Teachers of the Year.
Torlakson, who began his career as a science teacher and coach, said he is pleased to honor five outstanding and talented teachers who have made a great impact in their schools and communities.
“These five remarkable teachers deserve thanks and admiration for their deep commitment, hard work, and creativity,” he said. “They make profound differences in their students’ lives and provide students the tools they need to succeed. They’re an inspiration and an example of the exceptional work going on in California schools.”
Presented by California Casualty and the California Teachers of the Year Foundation, the California Teachers of the Year Program began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.
Source: 2019 California Teachers of the Year Announced – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan Hiland
John Jansen said he is not finished yet with his position on the Vacaville School Board.
The incumbent faces competition from challengers Khala Hastings, Kristina Bell and Michael E. Silva and another incumbent, Michele “Shelley” Dally. All are seeking three open seats.
Jansen is will aware of the changes ongoing in the schools with increased violence, limited funding and the need to keep children in school to get a good education.
Source: Vacaville School Board: Incumbent Jansen keeps focus on children’s education
By Susan Hiland
Khala Hastings is running for the Vacaville School District’s board of trustees for the first time. She brings focus to her campaign.
“I want to check on the kids and teachers and see what I can do to help them,” she said.
With five children, who attend three different school, the stay-at-home mom is versed in helping the schools with her volunteerism. She worked on the Vacaville Public Education Foundation as a volunteer from 2014 to 2017.
Source: Vacaville School Board: Hastings makes bid with focus on support, safety
By Susan Hiland
Children’s safety is one of the biggest concerns for Kristina Bell, one of the candidates for the Vacaville School Board.
She noted that during the region’s wildfires last year, school bus drivers were wearing masks but students were not.
“Why didn’t the school let parents know that they needed them?” Bell said. “The schools should have better communication with the parents.”
Source: Vacaville School Board: Bell looks at school safety as biggest concern for students
By Susan Hiland
Michael E. Silva looks to the future for students and hopes that being on the Vacaville School Board as one of trustees will help bring that to fruition.
“I really want to address how we use test scores,” he said. “Because there are other ways to show knowledge that students have.”
Silva sees the future in Vacaville as one where the students will be able to have good-paying jobs in the tech industry.
Source: Vacaville School Board: Silva focuses on path to ‘good-paying’ jobs
By Reporter Staff
Vacaville Unified School District recently announced its policy to serve nutritious meals every school day under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Snack Program and Supper Program.
Effective July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income is less than or equal to the federal guidelines. Students may buy lunch for $3 (grades K-6), $3.25 (grades 7-8), or $3.50 (grades 9-12) and/or breakfast for $1.50 (grades K-6) or $1.75 (grades 7-12).
Households do not need to turn in an application when the household receives a notification letter saying that all children automatically qualify for free meals when any household member receives benefits from CalFresh, CalWORKs, or FDPIR.
Source: Vacaville Unified will serve nutritious meals for free to eligible students – The Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) secured $1 million in grant funding under the federal STOP School Violence Act. The funds will be used to provide violence prevention and mental health training to students and staff in school districts that have been the most affected by violence on their campuses.
The CDE will partner with Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit led by family members who lost loved ones in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, to implement the Project Cal-STOP training initiative.
“We are pleased to receive this grant and to partner with Sandy Hook Promise on the joint mission to keep students and schools safe,” said Torlakson.“These funds will allow us to provide the training and support to those districts battling high rates of violence and suspensions. Our goal is to stop acts of violence on campuses and allow schools to be what they should be—safe places for students to learn and thrive.”
Source: Violence Prevention and Mental Health Grant – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
The Dixon chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association (SCTA) launched a website recently to provide residents with access to documents regarding Dixon Unified School District’s Measure Q bond funds.
Measure Q is a $30.4 million revenue initiative that was passed by Dixon voters in 2016 to provide funds for construction and renovation projects at DUSD schools. Such projects include reopening the old Dixon High School site as a new middle school, repairs and renovations at Anderson Elementary School, and providing security and safety improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance upgrades at all the district schools.
Following the passage of Measure Q, the school board established a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) made up of independent volunteers in Aug. 2017 to ensure that the Measure Q money would only be spent on its projects. Per Proposition 39, which was approved by California voters in 2000, school districts that pass bond measures are required to have a CBOC that meets at least once a year and provide information to the public about bond revenues.
Source: Dixon taxpayers group launches Measure Q Oversight website – The Reporter
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The Vallejo City Unified School District came “this close” to losing its 45-year-old Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program for lack of interest, but signed up the required number of students just under the wire.
Until about two weeks ago, there were some 80 students enrolled in the Jesse Bethel High School program, which needs at least 100, officials said.
“The Vallejo city Unified School District has one NJROTC teacher and the U.S. Navy provides a second NJROTC teacher,” Vallejo school district superintendent Adam Clark said in an email a couple of weeks ago. “Each high school teacher can teach a maximum of 160 students per day and no class will exceed 35 students. There are currently 81 students enrolled in the NJROTC program. The Navy has set the minimum enrollment number at 100 students.”
Source: Vallejo’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program survives – Times-Herald
By Daily Republic Staff
Former Solano Community College student Nicholas Sherman has been named the recipient of the 2018 LeRoy Apker Award, according to a press release.
“This award is a great honor in my field, and on a personal level it gives me the confidence that I have what it takes to succeed in the field of physics,” Sherman said in the release. “Furthermore, this award bears a lot of prestige in my field and will certainly help make me stand out when looking for a Ph.D. adviser and future career positions.”
The LeRoy Apker Award, given by the American Physical Society, recognizes outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate students and provides encouragement to students who have demonstrated potential for future accomplishments.
Source: Former Solano College student earns prestigious award
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that 2018 scores for the online California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English Language Arts and mathematics increased further from the gains students made in 2017.
Statewide, in all tested grades, 49.88 percent of students met or exceeded the English Language Arts/Literacy standards (Table 1), a 1.32 percentage point increase from 2017 and a 5.88 percentage point increase from 2015. In mathematics, 38.65 percent of students met or exceeded standards (Table 2), a 1.09 percentage point increase from 2017 and a 5.65 percentage point increase from 2015.
This is the fourth year of the computer-based tests, which use California’s challenging academic standards and ask students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems, as they will need to do in college and 21st century careers.
Torlakson expressed optimism with continued progress made by students and emphasized much work still needs to be done.
Source: CAASPP Test Scores Released – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
The fourth annual Teen Summit will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Harbison Center at the Nut Tree, 1681 E. Monte Vista Ave.
The main focus is leadership and helping teens find their own superhero power. There will be interactive workshops, free snacks and lunch and community service credit.
Speaker Jose Cordon turned to poetry and songs and found solace and inspiration in the written word after previously spiraling down a dark path. With the help of family, teachers and the written word, Cordon says he has learned how to use his anger in a positive way.
Source: Summit aims to help Vacaville teens tap into their own superhero power
By Richard Bammer
California and Vacaville-area public school students generally boosted their scores in English and math on the state’s major 2018 standardized test, education leaders in Sacramento announced today.
Results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) indicated more gains from those made in 2017, state schools chief Tom Torlakson said during a morning press conference.
Statewide, in all tested grades — three through eight and 11 — nearly 50 percent of students met or exceeded the English Language Arts/Literacy standards, a 1.32 percentage point increase from 2017 and a nearly 6 percentage point increase from 2015. In mathematics, nearly 39 percent of students met or exceeded standards, a 1.09 percentage point increase from 2017 and a nearly 5.7 percentage point increase from 2015.
Source: California, local students post gains on major state test – The Reporter
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
A new “positive news” page on the Vallejo City Unified School District website was the direct result of a Times-Herald letter to the editor, and the author couldn’t be more pleased.
The VCUSD Journal was born in response to a letter from community activist Paula McConnell, according to a letter that school district superintendent Adam Clark sent out several months ago.
“Dear All,” the letter reads, “Today, the Vallejo Times Herald published a letter to the editor by Paula McConnell. In this letter she wrote ‘…Vallejo schools have devolved into chaos, specifically at the middle and high school levels. They have suffered so badly that it will be a long time before they can be resurrected to some semblance of decency. Many families refuse to put their children into these unsafe havens of destruction and deterioration.’
Source: Vallejo school district offers positive ‘news’ on its website – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated 12 California public schools that have been chosen as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This coveted award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve high learning standards.
“Congratulations to all the schools on this list that are helping students achieve their dreams and to the leaders dedicated to and invested in finding ways to close the achievement gap,” Torlakson said. “The teachers, parents, administrators, and community members at these schools are outstanding examples of innovative things happening in California education.”
The award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. In its 36-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented this award to more than 8,800 schools.
Source: 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools Named – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The Vallejo City Unified School District’s Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday will include an update on teacher staffing; a list of those who have attained tenure, certifying this year’s teaching materials, work to be done at various sites and another slew of contracts with outside vendors.
The meeting will also recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Bullying Prevention Month.
The Education Code stipulates what Governing Boards must do to receive funds for textbooks and instructional materials and to expend those funds. Resolution No. 2874 is presented to the Governing Board to provide for the annual certification for 2018-2019 school year. Its adoption permits the district to use this school year’s state instructional materials funds, which is estimated to be approximately $600,000.
Source: Newly tenured teachers, more vendors on tap for VCUSD’s board meeting – Times-Herald
By Doug Ford
At last someone in Californian education is approaching long-needed reforms in the way I have long been advocating. Eloy Ortiz Oakley is the first Latino educator to lead the California Community College (CCC) system, selected in July 2016 and installed as chancellor on Dec. 10, 2016. He was with the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) from 2002 to 2016, serving as Superintendent-President from 2007 to 2016. Under his leadership the LBCCD “received numerous awards and recognitions for its efforts to improve student completion rates and for directly supporting a strong business and entrepreneurship eco-system throughout the greater Southern California region” (California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office biography).
The best-known initiative he is recognized for is the Long Beach College Promise, worked out by partnering with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), and California State University at Long Beach (CSULB). Through the College Promise, “LBUSD administrators and high school teachers work with college faculty and staff to create clear structured pathways for students to follow as they move from one education institution to another.
Source: Doug Ford: Educators can learn from California Community College system leader – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Longtime Travis Unified trustee Angela Weinzinger, who suffered from a prolonged heart condition, died Wednesday at her home in Vacaville.
District Superintendent Pamela Conklin made the announcement in a press release issued Friday.
“I can tell you that she was among the most selfless persons I have ever known,” Conklin said in the prepared statement. “She had a smile a mile wide. She was approachable, kind, and compassionate. She was one of those people to whom others naturally gravitated. I can truly say that she inspired the lives of all those who knew her.”
Source: TUSD trustee Weinzinger dies of heart condition – The Reporter