By Joel Rsoenbaum
Returning from morning recess Thursday, the second graders of Laura Ilcau’s class at Padan Elementary School had a special group of visitors in their classroom.
Peering through the doorway many could barely contain their excitement. There, sitting at the front of their classroom was the big man himself, Santa Claus.
Beginning in 2005, Santa has had a group of elves at NorthBay Healthcare who adopt a classroom at the school and help fulfill the holiday wishes of the students and teachers. In all 77 classrooms spread between both Padan Elementary School in Vacaville and Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield, employees in many of the departments at NorthBay shop for the students providing gifts like crayons, coloring books, Play-Doh, and even a little candy. They also get a “wish list” item from the teachers to use in the classroom.
Source: NorthBay Healthcare employees bring holiday cheer to students and teachers at Padan Elementary – The Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
A few more dogs in Solano County will have their own mini-homes to sleep and spend time in this winter, thanks to the efforts of Vacaville High School’s building and construction trades class.
Tony Farina’s students created doghouses which they delivered to the SPCA of Solano County on Thursday. Farina said it took two weeks of class periods for students to construct the homes.
“I try and find products for the students that will be something practical for them where they can learn some skills, primarily using hand tools and power tools, but also that we can potentially sell to staff or the students could take home for themselves,” he said. “I try and find something that teaches them some skills, but we can actually utilize the project for good.”
Source: Vaca High students donate doghouses to SPCA – The Reporter
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Aaliyah White snuggled in her new multicolor blanket Wednesday as she ate pizza.
In a Christmas gift bag, almost as tall as her, the Fairview transitional kindergarten student showed off a bevy of gifts provided by NorthBay Healthcare’s administrative medical staff.
She announced each item – a coloring book, a stuffed bear, a hat, socks, gloves, crayons, a card game and Hatchimal.
The coloring book and crayons were her favorites, she said, adding that she loved everything.
Source: NorthBay Healthcare ‘elves’ bring Christmas cheer to Fairview
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson issued the following statement today on the report of the federal School Safety Commission. The commission was put together as a response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, which took the lives of 14 students and three teachers, while injuring dozens of others.
“I am extremely disappointed that the School Safety Commission report contains a misguided recommendation to eliminate a policy that has nothing to do with the continuing tragedy of school shootings—the quest for disciplining students in a proportionate, fair manner. At the same time it ignores one of the key contributors to school shootings—easy access to military-style assault weapons.
I strongly oppose this recommendation and the Department of Education’s reported plans to rescind the Obama administration’s guidance encouraging schools to work to reduce the disproportionate suspension and expulsion rates for students of color and students with disabilities that are found throughout our nation.
Source: Torlakson Criticizes Safety Commission Report – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
The story about Vacaville Unified’s new by-area trustee map, which will affect how governing board members are chosen in the future, is not quite finished.
The Solano County Committee, comprised of the Solano County Office of Education trustees, will host a public hearing today in Vacaville to review the newly configured elections map approved Nov. 29 by Vacaville Unified trustees.
The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. in the Catwalk Theater at Will C. Wood High, 998 Marshall Road, Vacaville.
Source: SCOE leaders host Vaca public hearing about new trustee map – The Reporter
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Two Vallejo City Unified School District schools may close and a third relocate, in a bid to close a multi-million-dollar structural budget deficit the district faces, Superintendent Adam Clark announced.
Clark revealed his plan in a letter to stakeholders — in English and Spanish — on Friday.
“The Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) is committed to ensuring that we fully implement our Local Control and Accountability Plan. The three LCAP goals are:
- Goal 1: Increase parent and community engagement in improving student outcomes.
- Goal 2: Create safe, supportive and engaging learning environments for students and staff.
Source: Vallejo school superintendent proposes school closures – Times-Herald
By Suzanne Carlson
Solano retired teachers were in a generous mood at the Division 24 California Retired Teachers Association holiday party Dec. 4 at The Clubhouse at Rancho Solano.
Members collected $3,285 for the Butte County Camp Fire victims and $700 for grants for teachers in Solano County. The retired teachers also donated $723 to the Green Valley Middle School band program.
The jazz band, under the direction of Dan Peckham, provided holiday music for the organization’s festive event.
Source: Community News: Retired teachers group raises money for Camp Fire victims, Green Valley school band, area teachers
By Nick Sestanovich
School groups and families of children with special needs braved the cold, overcast weather Friday to visit Silveyville Tree Farm in Dixon, where they were treated to hot cider and popcorn, a sleigh ride and a visit from Santa Claus.
It was the farm’s 27th annual holiday celebration for children with disabilities.
The tradition was established in 1991 through the efforts of parents of special needs children.
Source: Silveyville’s day for special needs children brings families together – The Reporter
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark is proposing the consolidation of two schools and the relocation of another to help close a $22 million budget deficit.
In a letter to school district stakeholders Thursday, Clark said he will present his proposed solutions at parent and community meetings at the affected school sites in January.
Twenty years ago, the school district had a population of 20,000 students and 22 schools. School enrollment is now 12,000 yet 22 schools are still operating, Clark said in the letter.
Source: School Consolidation Proposed To Reduce $22 Million Deficit – SFGate
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
If there’s one thing just about everyone who keeps up with the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees agrees on, it’s that the board is in need of a culture adjustment.
With the swearing in of the newly elected trustees on Wednesday, some think that change is already under way.
“It’s a new dawn for our school board with the swearing in of John Fox, Tony Gross and Tony Ubalde,” said Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan on Facebook. “Do what’s right for the students and Vallejo. We see great things happening with the new makeup of our school board!!”
Source: New Vallejo Unified School Board members sworn in – Times-Herald
By Patti Neighmond
Many American teenagers try to put in a full day of school, homework, after-school activities, sports and college prep on too little sleep. As evidence grows that chronic sleep deprivation puts teens at risk for physical and mental health problems, there is increasing pressure on school districts around the country to consider a later start time.
In Seattle, school and city officials recently made the shift. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the district moved the official start times for middle and high schools nearly an hour later, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. This was no easy feat; it meant rescheduling extracurricular activities and bus routes. But the bottom line goal was met: Teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.
Researchers at the University of Washington studied the high school students both before and after the start-time change. Their findings appear in a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. They found students got 34 minutes more sleep on average with the later school start time. This boosted their total nightly sleep from 6 hours and 50 minutes to 7 hours and 24 minutes.
Source: How A Later School Start Time Pays Off For Teens | MindShift | KQED News
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
A special meeting of the Vallejo City Unified School District is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to adopt the initial joint re-opener proposals for the Vallejo Education Association.
The meeting will be held in the District’s Governing Board Room, 665 Walnut Avenue, with a public session sometime after 7:30 p.m., according to the meeting agenda.
GiGi Patrick will present the initial joint re-opener proposals for 2018-2019 year from the Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) and the Vallejo Education Association (VEA).
All initial proposals of exclusive representatives and of public school employers, which relate to matters within the scope of representation, are required by law to be presented at the public meeting of the public school employer “and shall thereafter be public record,” according to the agenda.
Source: Vallejo school district, teachers union, re-open negotiations – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 57th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Lauren Kong of Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County), a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in the Palos Verdes Unified School District, and Cindy Aguilar-Castaneda of Gonzales (Monterey County), a senior at Gonzales High School in the Gonzales Unified School District, were selected for their outstanding leadership qualities, scholastic achievement, and contributions to their schools and communities.
“These outstanding students are among the best and brightest leaders in their schools and communities and have a heart for public service,” Torlakson said. “They are strong advocates who desire to make our world a better place. I am amazed at all they have done in their young lives and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in their future. I know they will achieve great things due to their commitment and dedication. They make me optimistic for our future.”
Torlakson also selected two alternates in the event that one or both of the delegates are unable to attend. The first alternate is Channing Lee of Fullerton (Orange County), a senior at Cornelia Connelly School in Anaheim. The second alternate is Gabriel Drill of La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), a senior at La Cañada High School in the La Cañada Unified School District.
Source: Torlakson Announces 2019 U.S. Senate Youth – Year 2018 (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
Tobacco prevention programs in four Solano County school districts have received a $1.2 million grant designed to reduce illegal sales to minors and fund other prevention programs.
The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with Benicia, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis and Vallejo City school districts and the Fairfield Police Department, received the grant from the state Department of Justice.
“Tobacco cessation, intervention and support services for students to quit smoking will be implemented, along with new signage that will be posted at schools and youth engagement events,” a statement released by the Office of Education said.
Source: Tobacco grant to fight illegal sales to minors, fund prevention programs
By Evie Blad
Nutritious school meals don’t do anyone any good if kids just throw them into the trash. So we’re empowering local schools by providing more options to serve healthy AND appetizing food. We’re publishing our final rule in the Federal Register. Details: https://t.co/tUz8II29Zp pic.twitter.com/rpwF4wjQ30
— Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) December 6, 2018
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its final school rule on school meals Thursday, relaxing nutrition standards championed by former first lady Michelle Obama more than most advocates had expected.
The new directive, which finalizes a plan announced in May 2017, will ease requirements related to flavored milk, whole grains, and sodium in meals served through the National School Lunch and breakfast programs.
Source: Trump Administration Further Relaxes School Lunch Rules – Rules for Engagement – Education Week
By Arletta Kelley Cortright
The Fairfield-Nirasaki Sister City Program is looking for local high school students with an interest in Japan to be part of next summer’s three-week student exchange visit to Fairfield’s sister city.
Interested students and their parents are invited to attend an information meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Fairfield Adult Recreation Center, 1200 Civic Center Drive.
Any high school student in the Fairfield-Suisun School District or Travis School District is eligible to apply to be part of the summer exchange delegation, as well as high school student residents of Fairfield who attend schools outside of the two districts.
Source: Community News: Committee invites Fairfield high schoolers to Japan student exchange info session
By Richard Bammer
A newly revised “report card” on schools, the California School Dashboard, just got a little easier to use, with broader measures of district and school effectiveness, state Department of Education and state Board of Education leaders said on Thursday.
The launching of the second version of the Dashboard, a website found at www.cde.ca.gov, gives parents, students, and educators access to key school and district data in ways more telling than results from a single standardized test, the officials said.
The 2018 Dashboard includes two new metrics for evaluating school and district performance and a new, user-friendly look that makes complex data easier to understand, Scott Roark, a CDE spokesman, noted in a press release.
Source: State launches updated School Dashboard – The Reporter
By John Glidden
It appears that Vallejo school board President Marianne Kearney-Brown may have not officially resigned from the school board, after all.
Kearney-Brown confirmed to the Times-Herald on Thursday night that earlier in the day she sent a resignation letter, via email, to Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark and board Vice President Bob Lawson.
However, according to the district’s board bylaw 9222, a written resignation letter from a trustee needs to be sent to the Solano County Superintendent of Schools.
Source: Kearney-Brown’s resignation as Vallejo school board president not yet official – Times-Herald
By Vallejo Times Herald
Vallejo City Unified School District President Marrianne Kearney-Brown has resigned from the board, she confirmed Thursday evening.
Kearney-Brown said she sent an email letter of resignation to board vice president Robert Lawson and Superintendent Adam Clark. The move comes after a contentious school board meeting on Wednesday where she walked out.
Source: Vallejo school board president resigns – Times-Herald
By Glen Faison
The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board got a first look Thursday at the process to review whether or not the Armijo High School mascot – the Indian – is an appropriate mascot in the 21st century or if it should be changed.
They also heard from people who consider themselves stakeholders in the outcome – both for and against continued use of the mascot.
Speakers who support keeping the current mascot spoke of the history of the school that was founded in 1891 and its legacy among its graduates, and the costs associated with essentially rebranding the school. One described the depiction of the Indian mascot as “beautiful and respectful.”
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board hears process for Armijo mascot review