By McNaughton Newspapers
The Solano Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual Young Artists Competition on Saturday, Nov 9, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Union Avenue in Fairfield. Classically trained musicians between the ages of 12 and 21 are invited to apply and compete in four categories: vocal, piano, winds and strings.
The first-place winner in each category will win a monetary prize and the chance to perform as a featured soloist with the Solano Symphony Orchestra during its “Salute to Youth” concert, under the direction of Semyon Lohss, on Feb. 9.
Source: Youths invited to apply for classical music competition
By Susan Hiland
The children who took part in the 13th Annual Freedom Walk were not even born when 9/11 happened but the day is still a somber reminder of all that was lost – even for the youngest child.
Children from Travis and Scandia elementary schools walked Wednesday in memory of those fallen during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Teachers – many dressed in red, white and blue – escorted the first-, second- and sixth-graders to an open space on the lawn by the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.
Source: Children’s walk at Travis commemorates 9/11 attacks
By Naaz Modan
As there is a national push for increased computer science literacy, many states are requiring high schools to offer courses in the subject, with some districts even making computer science a requirement for graduation. Some states are even requiring elementary and middle schools to offer computer science, the report says.
Georgia is among those phasing in the change through an incremental approach over the course of six years. The state has put in place benchmarks to see the plan through:
Source: 33 states adopted 57 computer science ed policies since 2018 | Education Dive
By Thomas Gase
Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program instructor Tiffanee Jones was overcome with emotion Tuesday afternoon at John Finney High School as she hugged student Tayleese Deans. Jones’ motto at work is to make a dream become a reality and that’s exactly what she was witnessing with kids at the U-CAN go to college Historically Black Colleges and Universities Recruitment Fair.
“All of this is too overwhelming,” Jones said after momentarily crying with tears of joy. “I’ve known a lot of these kids for five to six years, some as far back even as when they were in second grade. It’s been kind of like a relay to college.”
Approximately 25 colleges were at the school’s gym to give students advice and application fee waivers and to be admitted on the spot if qualified. Some were even given scholarships and financial aid if they qualified.
Source: Dreams become reality for students at historical black college fair in Vallejo – Times-Herald
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond would like local educational agencies to share how the California Department of Education (CDE) can best assist them in working to close the persistent achievement/opportunity gap. A survey will be sent out two weeks prior to the town hall to gather input.
Source: Closing the Achievement Gap Virtual Town Hall – Initiatives & Programs (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Benicia High’s Friday Night Live film club is offering citizens a potential glimpse of a better, healthier future. Call it a teaser if you will.
The high school’s Friday Night Live club recently won an award for a public service announcement (PSA) on Tobacco Use Prevention. The club’s nearly-two minute video is already being featured as a preview before movies at the Brenden Theatre in Vacaville and is in the works to be shown in Vallejo theaters by the end of the year.
The clip, which was put together by current and recently graduated Benicia High students, features no dialogue, but the silhouette of a club actor, Josh Hathaway, smoking a cigarette that then produces smoke which forms certain words like cancer and lung disease. Meanwhile other actors’ silhouettes are seen coughing or falling while an ambient score rolls in the background.
Source: Benicia High’s Friday Night Live club wins award with PSA – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
Rick Seidenzahl of Vacaville has brought one of his four vintage cars to every Ball Metal Car Show. His daughter, Jennifer Murray, also brings her car – a 1970 Chevrolet Nova SS. They both work for Ball Metal Beverage Packaging Company.
“It’s for a good cause,” Seidenzahl said, “and it helps the community.”
Ball Metal Beverage Packaging Company hosted its sixth annual car show Saturday to help raise money and classroom supplies for local schools, with registrants able to enter the show by donating school supplies.
Source: Ball Metal Car Show helps area schools
By Susan Hiland,
Justin Robinson, 17, of Vacaville High School, came to the annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair hosted by Mount Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday looking to his future.
“I want to be a pastor,” he said.
The majority of black colleges are on the East Coast but that didn’t bother him at all.
“My family can fly out to see me,” Robinson said.
His family is predominantly teachers. He wants to follow his own path but still talk with people and help them to learn.
Source: Solano students look to future at college fair
By Nick Sestanovich
Kids, settle down. Your principal is going to read you a bedtime story.
That’s the premise of Vacaville Unified School District’s newly launched “Bedtime Stories with VUSD,” in which books are read to elementary schoolers in district-made videos every Tuesday night.
The program began Tuesday with Jennifer Austin, principal of Hemlock Elementary School, reading Carol McCloud’s “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”
Elaine Kong, VUSD’s communications director, said the idea was inspired by Belinda George, a principal at Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas. She began reading children’s books over Facebook Live to ensure students were read to at home. George’s program received national coverage and caught the attention of several VUSD administrators.
Source: Vacaville Unified launches bedtime stories video series – The Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in recognition of September as Attendance Awareness Month, encourages local education agencies (LEA) throughout the state to continue efforts to combat chronic absenteeism.
“Students of color, foster youth, homeless youth, students with disabilities and students who are in rural areas have some of the highest chronic absenteeism rates in the state,” said Thurmond. “When these students – who are already facing academic challenges due to poverty, unstable home environment or inequitable resources – miss school that widens the achievement gap, especially for our early learners. Everyone who comes in contact with our students can contribute to their learning success. Parents, teachers, attendance supervisors, caregivers and community groups must work as a cohesive unit and implement positive strategies to ensure that students are in class each day.”
Source: Continuing to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism Rates – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the approval of more than $275 million to assist school districts in repairing schools and providing new classrooms. The funds were approved by the State Allocation Board (SAB), on which Superintendent Thurmond serves as a voting member.
“I would like to thank the State of California’s voters for these much-needed funds, which combined with local funds, will help to improve the learning environment for California’s students, and prepare them for the challenges of the future,” said Thurmond. “The research is clear that high-quality facilities improve student outcomes and helps districts recruit and retain highly qualified teachers.”
The SAB convenes monthly to distribute state matching funds for the construction of new classrooms, the modernization of existing schools, and other programs to improve learning environments, and adopts policies and regulations regarding SAB programs.
Source: Funding for School Construction and Modernization – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board on Wednesday is set to hold its second of two pre-map public hearings in connection with transitioning from at-large to by-trustee area elections.
During the public hearing, residents will have the opportunity to offer their respective opinions on the potential voting areas throughout the city of Vallejo. Currently, all Vallejoans elect the five-person Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education via the at-large format.
The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format to by-trustee area meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.
Source: Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
The beginning of a new school year can be difficult as some students may have trouble adjusting to a new classroom or school while others may be struggling socially.
Members of Vacaville Girl Scout Troop 20345 want to make sure no students feel lonely so, as a special project, they constructed a “buddy bench” at Markham Elementary School to help them make friends.
The troop, currently consisting of fifth and sixth-graders, began work on the project in January for their Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can receive. The project for this award must benefit the community and the members must put in at least 20 hours to bring it into fruition.
Source: Girl Scouts create buddy bench for Markham – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
The recent Stuff the Bus campaign resulted in more than 700 backpacks being delivered this month to Solano County school districts and group homes – earmarked for foster, homeless and other students in need.
“The first day of school can be challenging for some students. Having brand new school supplies and a fashionable new backpack can help foster and homeless youth feel supported and prepared to learn. We are so grateful for the outpouring of support that the Solano community shows our students in need year after year. Their generosity really does make a positive difference,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement released Friday.
Source: Stuff the Bus supplies homeless, foster children with school needs
By Susan Hiland
Downtown Fairfield has yellow-vested street cleaners walking both sides of the road looking for trash the last Saturday of each month. It’s a tradition begun by Matt Garcia and continued for the past 11 years by the foundation that carries his name.
Matt Garcia, the youngest city councilman elected in the state of California in November 2007, was 22 years old when he was shot and killed in Fairfield on Sept. 1, 2008, but that wasn’t the end of his story.
Teresa and Raymond Courtemanche, Matt Garcia’s mother and stepfather, help the volunteers set up tables and tents at the Starbuck’s on Texas Street on the last Saturday of the month year round for the Matt Garcia Foundation.
Source: Matt Garcia Foundation keeps namesake’s legacy alive, cleans up Fairfield’s downtown
The average school start time for California middle and high schools is 8:07 am and a proposal to push that back to 8:30 am for high schools, and move it up to 8 am for middle schools is getting closer to going to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 328 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Friday by a vote of 14-3.
Rural counties would be exempt from specified start times.Questions have been raised about the cost. Bill Analysis shows tens of millions of dollars statewide would need to come from the Proposition 98 General Fund. That money would go to districts t make changes to school transportation routes, and hire additional bus drivers. School districts would need an additional amount, projected in the low millions, to add staff both before and after school. Districts would also need hundreds of thousands of dollars for “additional workload associated with collectively bargaining work hours.”
Source: School Districts Could Need Millions Of Dollars If Plan To Push Back School Start Time Passes – CBS Sacramento
By Maggie Avants
More than 700 foster children, homeless students and students in need are starting the school year with a new backpack thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, according to the Solano County Office of Education. After collecting the backpacks through the annual countywide Stuff the Bus campaign, SCOE distributed them to Solano school districts, group homes and other organizations who work with foster youth, homeless and those in need.
“Thanks to the outpouring of local community members, SCOE was able to collect over 295 new backpacks during the campaign,” said Kimberly Govi, SCOE program manager and educational liaison.
Source: 700 Solano Homeless, Foster Youth Get New Backpacks For School | Benicia, CA Patch