By Nick Sestanovich
In 2007, filmmaker and producer Joey Travolta founded Inclusion Films to teach filmmaking skills to individuals with developmental disabilities. This gave way to a series of camps aimed at imparting these skills to children and adults with disabilities and helping them make their own short films.
This past week, Solano students got their turn when Inclusion Films partnered with the Solano County Office of Education to bring the camp to Golden Hills Community School in Fairfield.
For the past two weeks, 48 students in the camp have been coming up with story ideas, writing scripts, memorizing lines, shooting film and doing everything that is typical of a Hollywood production.
Source: Adults with developmental differences learn film skills at camp – The Reporter
After some 30 years teaching music in the Vallejo City Unified School District, Merlin Chestnut says he doesn’t know what’s going to become of decades worth of equipment, as its longtime home is being razed.
“Where do I put all of our stuff that we use to deliver our music program to students? I mean instruments…all the wind instruments…all the percussion instruments (drums)…all the large keyboard instruments (Marimibas, xylophones, bells, chimes)…all the electronics/sound system…all sheet music/technique materials…props/floors that we recycle to save money…cases for all the percussion…supplies and a myriad of other items linked to the success of our kids,” he said.
“Oh, yeah, and right now it would be nice to have a specific assignment with school(s) and program planning. Also, our kids are preparing for the 166th, 2019 Annual Vallejo 4th of July Parade and Waterfront activities. That pretty much sums it all up in a nutshell.”
Source: Vallejo’s music teacher hopes to save decades of accumulated stuff – Times Herald
By Tim Goreee
We are delighted to introduce Mrs. June Collins, a 3rd grade teacher at Dan O. Root II Health and Wellness Academy and the 2019 Fairfield Suisun Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year.
Mrs. Collins is an amazing teacher who has had a positive impact on her students. In addition to serving as the Student Council Advisor, she has sought out partnerships to ensure her students know the importance of being connected to the community.
Source: June Collins Awarded 2019 Chamber Educator of the Year – Daily Republic
By Joel Rosenbaum
Vacaville High baseball stand out Tony Gonsolin got the call he’s been waiting for.
The 2012 graduate will be promoted Wednesday from the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A team in Oklahoma City and according to mlbtraderumors.com is scheduled to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Drafted by the Dodgers in 2016 in the ninth round out of St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Gonsolin moved through the farm system earning the promotion to Triple-A this season where he’s earned one win against one loss in 26 innings giving up just 20 hits and striking out 31 and an earned run average of 2.77.
Source: Vaca High grad Tony Gonsolin called up to big leagues by Los Angeles Dodgers – The Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today congratulated the Trabuco Hills High School Unified Champion School Program in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District for winning the 2019 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) award. This award is given annually by the California Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE), recognizing an outstanding program that serves students with disabilities.
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools provide students with and without disabilities opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement through sports and leadership programs.
“The inclusion practices initiated through this program provide a tremendous benefit to not only the students participating, but the entire school community,” said Thurmond. “When students with and without disabilities are provided authentic opportunities to learn and play together, this creates a climate where inclusion is the norm and diversity is honored.”
Source: State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Congratulates Winner of Special Education Learning Award – CDE
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The end of an era, concerns over the state of music instruction, approving millions in budget cuts plus spending millions on transforming district campuses were the main issues at Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting.
Board trustees heard again that the district’s budget would need to shrink by nearly $8 million next year and the year after to maintain its required 3 percent reserves.
Pam Hatter, the retiring principal of Widenmann Elementary School, told those present that the campus was packed into more than 2,000 boxes and ready for its move to the lower floors of what over the summer will become the Solano/Widenmann K-8 school. The campus of Solano Middle School will undergo a Measure S-funded transformation to accommodate the Widenmann students and faculty, a move made necessary by the launch of the ELITE charter school, which will inhabit the Widenmann campus. Although the Vallejo school board rejected the charter school — the brainchild of former VCUSD superintendent Ramona Bishop — the county office of education approved it, and directed the district to supply it a facility.
Source: Vallejo school district says farewell to one year, prepares for the next – Times Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The Vallejo City Unified School District will need to cut nearly $8 million in the next two years. With that in mind, its board of trustees will consider approving next year’s budget, an agreement with its bargaining units and an arrangement with ELITE Charter School at the school board meeting.
They will also consider approving millions in construction/improvement projects to be paid through Measure S funds at the meeting set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Revenue enhancements and/or budget reductions of $7,750,000 in 2020-2021 and $7,750,000 in 2021-2022 will be included in the district’s 2019-2020 first interim report.
Source: Vallejo school district to weigh cuts, expenditures – Times Herald
By Richard Freedman
At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, every Vallejo school was dismissed for the summer, returning for a fresh start Aug. 19.
For Elsa Widenmann Elementary staff and students, it’ll be …. different. A lot different for many. Not so much for some.
After 58 years, the school packs up everything and relocates to the second floor at Solano Middle School. For Principal Pam Hatter, it’s been challenging keeping her usual happy face as the staff packed all belongings with district trucks arriving June 19.
Source: Elsa Widenmann bids farewell to longtime home
By Susan Hiland
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE), Youth Development Department, took 15 members of the Solano Youth Coalition (SYC) on a leadership retreat June 10 in Sacramento.
SYC is comprised of youth from Solano County’s high schools and colleges and supported by an advisory team of adults from the Youth Development Department at the Solano County Office of Education. The mission of the Coalition is to raise awareness by advocating safe and healthier choices in communities.
Source: Solano students attend leadership event
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
It’s a truism spoken by Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark, to explain the circumstances that brought the 58 graduates of the district’s Regional Education Center, to Friday’s commencement ceremony.
Also known as the “adult school,” the center is where many people who didn’t finish high school the usual way still accomplish their goals when the time is right.
There were high-fives all around, and loud shouts and applause from a crowd that filled the Hogan Middle School auditorium which was just as celebratory as those attending typical high school graduations.
Source: Vallejo adult school grads
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The graduation ceremony of Vallejo’s Jesse Bethel High School class of 2019, held at Vallejo High School’s Corbus Field on Thursday, differed in a couple of unusual ways from the typical such event.
For one thing, the Valedictorian’s speech hit some seriously political notes, not to mention the Valedictorian herself was the school’s first Latina woman to earn the honor.
But also, the class included two people tied to tragedies that shone an unfortunate spotlight on the city of Vallejo some 50 years apart.
By Natalie Schwartz
The proposal resulted from a negotiated rulemaking session earlier this year that covered wide-ranging issues in higher education, including accreditation, online education and faith-based schools. Although negotiators reached consensus, some say the Ed Department failed to give consumer protection advocates a seat at the table.
The department’s 400-plus pages of proposed regulations would make it easier for colleges to get program approval, give accreditors more leeway over taking action against institutions, and ease federal review of accrediting bodies.
Source: Ed Dept unveils proposed accreditation rules | Education Dive
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that he has appointed new directors for the California Department of Education (CDE) Improvement and Accountability Division (IAD) and Career and College Transition Division (CCTD).
Denise Parnell, E.D., an expert administrator of student support services, will lead the IAD.
Pradeep Kotamraju, Ph.D., a nationally recognized researcher in career technical education (CTE), will head the CCTD.
“Dr. Parnell and Dr. Kotamraju are two established and highly regarded educators in their fields,” said Thurmond. “Both bring extensive experience, knowledge, and unique perspectives to their new positions. They are welcome additions to the CDE team, and their leadership will enable the work that supports and improves educational opportunities for all of our students to continue.”
Source: New CDE Division Directors Appointed – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Vallejo Times Herald
On Friday, 24 eighth-graders graduated from Vallejo’s first Spanish dual-immersion public TK-8 school, Elmer Cave Language Academy, teacher James Quinn said.
The graduation event was held at the Vallejo Community Center.
Making Cave unique is its providing the foundation for biliteracy — and thereby opening “numerous doors of opportunity” for its graduates, Quinn said.
Source: Vallejo graduating class from Elmer Cave Language Academy makes history – Times-Herald
By Vallejo Times Herald
With temperatures heating up, Vallejo school district officials are keeping an eye on students and a third Spare the Air Alert was issued in as many days.
“We will monitor the situation,” Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark said Monday. “It is currently 90 degrees. Luckily, most of our schools have an early release today. Things we would do if it gets too hot includes limiting outdoor activity.”
Nevertheless, as the Bay Area Air Quality management District issued its third Spare the Air day in three days — the third this year — residents are urged to find alternatives to driving alone.
Source: Spare the Air Day on Tuesday for Vallejo students – Times-Herald
By Daily Republic Staff
Vanden High teacher Andrea Terry has been selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Workshop for Teachers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Tsongas Industrial History Center.
The weeklong workshop is titled, “Social Movements and Reform in Industrializing America: The Lowell Experience.” Terry was one of 36 teachers selected from 199 applicants from around the United States.
Source: Center taps Vanden High teacher for prestigious workshop
By Ian Thompson
Will C. Wood High School sent 348 of its graduating seniors out into the world Friday night amid cheers, applause and a few air horns as the students came up to accept their diplomas.
“I have looked forward to this moment from the first time that I stepped on this campus,” said Class of 2019 graduate and Valedictorian Kendal Hiemke.
She was just one of many graduates who lauded what they called “their Wildcat family.”
Source: Wood High graduates Class of 2019
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Aswani Ulloa-Lopez was about halfway through her senior year of high school when doctors diagnosed her with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
At a time when most young women were looking forward to prom, senior trips and all the trimmings that come in the last semester of high school, she would be on the receiving end of chemotherapy.
Source: Graduation 2019: Health challenge keeps student at home last semester of high school
By Richard Bammer
Yellow daisies ringing her mortarboard, a string of blossoms hanging from her neck and her high school diploma in hand, Lilly Orr looked deeply satisfied Friday morning for a number of reasons.
One was the two-hour Buckingham Charter High graduation ceremony that ended shortly after noon and she and her mother were exiting The Mission, where the school’s 25th annual event was held, and her high school days were only moments — but, happily, permanent ones — behind her.
Another was Orr appeared ready to leave the Leisure Town Road church to have lunch with family; and still another was the prospect of a graduation party with classmates.
Source: Joyous last hurrah for ‘super relieved’ Buckingham seniors – The Reporter