The Vacaville Twilight Soroptimist club just completed a G.R.E.A.T. (girls realizing empowerment and talents) Academy. Girls in the 8th, 9th and 10th grade from Solano County were invited to spend 2 Saturdays in March with mentors from the Soroptimist Club. The program included curriculum from the Soroptimist Dream it Be it; Career Support for Girls program. A grant from SIA provided funds to support this program with money for the venue, materials, food, and prizes.
Over the two days 8 Chromebooks were given away and over $200.00 in gift cards. Speakers included Dr. Matt Holve, MD, speaking on stress management, President Michelle Strand making a presentation on nutrition, and other Soroptimist members speaking on a variety of problem-solving skills, goal setting, and self-care.
Source: Great Things are Happening in Vacaville
By Christina Samuels
There’s been more than 24 hours of social media furor over the Trump administration’s proposal to cut the federal government’s $18 million contribution to Special Olympics.
But at least some anger also has been directed at a cut that doesn’t really exist, amplified by media outlets who repeated a congressman’s misreading of a budget table. When U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited a House education subcommittee on Tuesday, she was pressed on the budget by Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin. After sparring over Special Olympics, Pocan interrupted DeVos to talk about other programs.
Source: What Special Education Cuts Are Really Proposed in the Trump Budget? – On Special Education – Education Week
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 20 schools, three districts, and one county won 2019 California Green Ribbon Schools Awards. Among these winners, California also nominated one school district and four individual schools to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition program, which honors schools that conserve resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. The full list of recognized schools is attached at the end of this press release.
“Congratulations to this year’s honorees,” said Thurmond. “California Green Ribbon Schools engage our kids to understand and act on behalf of their environment. From global-sized problems like climate change to local challenges like water quality, sustainability education grows the creativity, critical thinking skills, and environmental literacy our students need in order to lead now and into the future.”
Source: 2019 California Green Ribbon Schools Award Winners – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the release of 2018–2019 enrollment data for California’s K–12 public schools. The data breaks down enrollment by ethnicity and grade, along with English Language Acquisition Status, and can be sorted by county, district, or school.
“This data provides a critical snapshot of all students in California, highlighting trends that show areas where students are improving, where they’re struggling and where additional resources are needed,” Thurmond said.
One important category updated for 2018–2019 is school-level data for Free or Reduced Price Meals, which is an effective indicator of student poverty. All data is utilized for state and federal reporting purposes, including determinations for supplemental grant funding through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
Source: 2018-2019 Enrollment Data for California Schools – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
They didn’t make “the walk” across a stage with their high school classmates back in the day. They were, instead, wearing military uniforms and serving their country.
But five smiling veterans — Clarence Cleaver, Manuel Concepcion, Cicilio Lopez, Joe McKnight and Carl Worsham — finally picked up coveted diplomas earlier this week during the Operation Recognition ceremony at the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.
“SCOE is thrilled to be a part of Operation Recognition, to honor veterans who could not complete their education because they were serving our country,” Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Solano County superintendent of schools, said in a press release issued Tuesday. “On behalf of our entire community, we thank them for their sacrifice.”
Source: Five smiling military veterans earn their high school diploma, finally – The Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students at Vaca Pena Middle School got a glimpse at a potential career field — biotechnology — when they visited Solano Community College’s Vacaville campus Tuesday.
SCC biotech professor and Vacaville Unified School District trustee Michael Silva said that as part of the department’s outreach program, different elementary, middle and high schools throughout the area are invited to visit the biotech labs and often take part in different activities. The schools are not limited to just Solano County. Last week, students at Enoch High School in Modesto came to visit, and on Monday, a group of students from Calistoga High School stopped by.
“It goes to speak how valuable of a resource this biotechnology lab and curriculum is to the community, and really the whole region,” he said.
Source: Vaca Pena students learn biotech skills at Solano Community College – The Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
Education, mental health, bullying and homelessness topped the biggest concerns of Solano County youth, according to survey results presented Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors.
The survey results and other information was provided in a presentation by the Solano Youth Voices, a program under the umbrella of the Children’s Network of Solano County.
Nathen Jordan, 17, one of the council members for Solano Youth Voices, and Alyssum Maguire, the coordinator, made the presentation.
Source: Solano youth list education as top concern; mental health 2nd
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County supervisors on Tuesday threw their support behind a proposed constitutional amendment that would lower the voter threshold required to pass bonds for public infrastructure and affordable housing.
The Legislative Committee of the Board of Supervisors, comprised of Chairwoman Erin Hannigan and Supervisor John Vasquez, recommended the board take a position of support.
Public safety facilities and library facilities were recently added to the list of what can be included as “public infrastructure.”
Source: Solano board supports lower voter-approval for more than school bonds
By Todd R. Hansen
Four U.S. veterans were presented their high school diplomas this week, years after their military service had interrupted their educations.
Clarence Cleaver, a Navy seaman, Manuel Concepcion, a sergeant in the Marine Corps, Joe McKnight, a tech sergeant in the Air Force, and Carl Worsham, a staff sergeant in the Army, each received his high school diploma at the Operation Recognition Graduation Ceremony on Monday at the Solano County Office of Education in Fairfield.
Cicilio Lopez, who served in the Coast Guard, also will get a diploma, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
Source: Vets gets high school diplomas years after military service intervened
The Fairfield-Suisun City Visual Arts Association invites the Public to the Solano Town Center Gallery, located at 1350 Travis Blvd., Fairfield, on the second floor outside of Macy’s. Join us in celebrating the opening of a new Exhibit, “All About Texture”. The show opens on Wednesday, April 3 at 11am and runs thru May 19. The Gallery is open Wednesday thru Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. The Opening Reception will be held on Saturday, April 6, 3-5 pm. The show will spotlight artwork by Featured Artist, Cherol Ockrassa from American Canyon. During the Reception, you can meet Cherol and other local artists, enjoy wine supplied by BackRoad Vines and light refreshments provided by the FSVAA.
Source: “All About Texture” & Adult Education Fundraiser
By Dan Walters
The biggest issue facing the nation’s biggest public school system – California’s, with six million students – is a stubborn “achievement gap.”
That’s the term educators use to describe persistent differences between what white and Asian students learn, as revealed by academic testing, and what Latino, black and poor students are getting from the public schools.
The differentials eventually result in much higher rates of high school graduation and college attendance by the former, thus preparing them for success in an increasingly complex and technology-driven economy.
Source: CALmatters Commentary: Can California close ‘achievement gap’?
Story by Madison Garay, FSUSD Communications Intern
In the modern age, society has maximized efficiency of daily life in innumerable ways – and Fairfield Suisun Unified School District is keeping pace in an innovative way. On February 21st, 2019, Fairfield-Suisun Unified’s Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Jenn Roush, presented principals from across district with a fresh proposal: all-access libraries for FSUSD students.
Now, what does that necessarily entail? The backbone of the plan is to integrate the Solano County Library’s card system with the school district’s student ID system, which means that any student with a school ID card could check out a book from any Solano County library. These student accounts would allow three physical books to be checked out, and provide access to downloadable eBooks and audiobooks, digital magazines, and premium databases. By bridging the gap between school and public libraries, students and their families will be encouraged to visit their local library and indulge in the activities unique to the center.
Source: All for One, and One for All: Unifying Libraries in Solano County
By Daily Republic Staff
The Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club is expanding in partnership with the Vacaville School District.
Markham, Fairmont and Hemlock and Padan elementary schools will soon be served by the Boys & Girls Club. The expansion is funded under the After School Education and Safety grant that provides free after-school care to the children attending the schools.
“We are excited and humbled in the district’s confidence in us to implement the program to their students and families. We share the sentiment that they are all our kids and this mutual agreement will only set us on a path to helping more youth achieve success,” Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Anna Eaton said in a press release.
Source: 4 Vacaville schools will start next school year with Boys & Girls Club offerings
By Ian Thompson
Custodial manager Steve Haynes initially hated coming to work at Armijo High School during the day.
“At first, I thought I had made a mistake,” Haynes said of his decision to move from the night shift.
“One day, I woke up and decided to come to work with a good attitude,” Haynes said. “I started talking to the kids, saying hello, making them feel welcome. Now, I know the kids. Now, they know me.”
Source: Steve Haynes makes students’ lives better with a smile and a hello
By Matt Sieger
Her gymnastics coaches scoured the records and couldn’t find a single gymnast who had done what Nevaeh DeSouza had just done.
The 17-year-old Vacaville High senior scored a perfect 10.0 in the vault at the State championships at Pleasanton on March 16.
“We looked all the way back to 2000, and it hasn’t happened in Northern California,” said DeSouza’s coach Jennifer Hudson at Dream Xtreme Gymnastics in Vacaville. “Any event, any athlete, at any level.”
Source: Vacaville High senior Nevaeh DeSouza nails a perfect 10 on vault in State gymnastics meet – The Reporter
By Joel Rosenbaum
The task for Friday for the students in the Gifted and Talented Education or GATE program at Alamo Elementary School was to create a capsule that will keep a raw egg from breaking after it has been dropped from the height of about 12 feet.
Starting with a 2-liter plastic bottle and working with items like popcorn, rice, cotton balls, marshmallows, and even mustard and mayonnaise, the students set forth to design the safest container to keep their egg from going splat.
Other guidelines for their capsules included the egg having to be 25 percent visible, no bubble wrap, Styrofoam or any material that is specifically designed and used for sending packages, including cardboard and egg carton materials.
Source: Eggstraordinary students in Vacaville – The Reporter
By Richard Freedman
Talk about sheer madness… but in a good way.
Roughly 3,200 third graders representing every Solano County school district swarmed the fairgrounds Tuesday for the 17th Annual Ag Day.
The cornucopia of animals, insects, plants and information was a rousing success, said Mike Ioakimedes, executive directive of the Solano County Fair Association, adding that it’s a ninth-month logistical challenge.
“The goal is to expose the kids to health eating and healthy lifestyles … and let them know milk doesn’t come from the grocery store. It comes from a cow,” Ioakimedes said.
Source: Thousands of third graders swarm Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo for Ag Day – Times-Herald
By Todd R. Hansen
Francis Pedeglorio, 9, liked the cows. His Annie Pennycook classmate, Avery Pagtakhan, 8, preferred the pigs.
“They’re cute and nice,” Pagtakhan said about the pigs.
The Vallejo boys were among the 3,284 third-graders – representing 138 classrooms from 47 schools – who attended the 17th annual Youth Ag Day on Tuesday at the Solano County Fairgrounds. There were 39 presenters.
For some of the children, it was the first time they had seen farm animals up close, and that fact was not lost on Allen Clayborn of Vallejo, who was one of the chaperones for his nephew’s Highland Elementary class.
Source: Fairgrounds become ag classroom for Solano third-graders
By Nick Sestanovich
The Vacaville Unified School District will be holding its first Community Conference on Tuesday. All parents, guardians and community members are invited to attend.
VUSD has joined forces with local organizations including the Vacaville Police Department, Kaiser Permanente, NorthBay Healthcare, Foster Kinship Care Education Program and the Solano County Office of Education to provide free educational programs on 17 different topics, offered in both English and Spanish. These topics include healthy eating, parenting principles, career exploration, e-cigarettes and vaping, coping with ADHD, school-based mental health and more.
Additionally, the VPD will be offering presentations on four different topics, including drug and gang awareness.
Source: Vacaville Unified to host community conference – The Reporter
By Matt Sieger
When Matt Garcia was in sixth grade, he told his parents he wanted to be the mayor of Fairfield one day. His dream might have come true, as he was elected to the Fairfield City Council in 2007.
But on September 1, 2008, he was gunned down while standing in a driveway with a friend. The shooter claimed he thought Garcia, who was just 22 years old, was someone else, a drug dealer he wanted to settle a score with.
But Garcia’s dream lives on through the Matt Garcia Foundation. That dream was to create safe places for youth activities and to change the culture of crime and violence in the city.
Source: Matt Garcia Foundation keeps the dream alive at second annual baseball clinic – The Reporter