By Paul Fournier
While the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the spring sports season, Vanden High began fall sports conditioning workouts Monday – with safety of the student-athletes as part of every step of the plan.
“It’s not like before with conditioning where you walk out an hour ahead of time because you’ve done it so many years before,” said Matthew Bidou, Vanden athletic director. “That’s not the case. We didn’t have coaches meetings, we had coaches training, doctors training, Zoom training sessions. We think we did things 100 percent right. I think we can have the safest environment. And the turnout’s been overwhelming.
”According to Vikings coach Sean Murphy, “Out of the 90, 95 kids signed up, we had 87 (show up). Long day, loooong day.”
Source: Vanden football begins summer conditioning – with an abundance of caution
By Daily Republic Staff
The Travis School District plans to offer an expanded home-based independent study program in the 2020-21 school year that will allow children and teens from kindergarten through 12th grades to learn the curriculum outside of the classroom.
The program will have students work with a credentialed advisory instructor who will help create a plan that reaches state standards, district officials said in a statement. Educational materials will be provided to parents, along with additional support as necessary.
District officials said as restrictions on gatherings are lifted, families will be offered optional participation in field trips, parent workshops and other family support activities.
Source: Travis school district to offer expanded independent study
An effort to teach young girls about robotics shifted gears last week when a group of middle schoolers took part in a virtual camp that aims in part to close the gender gap in science-based career fields.
The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with Vacaville School District and UC Davis Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, piloted a five-day virtual Girls in Robotics Leadership Camp for middle school girls.
In-person GIRL Camps, offered in previous years, were paused this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Source: Vacaville district, county schools office, UC Davis team for virtual GIRL camp
The Solano County Office of Education’s (SCOE) Annual Student Art Faire is going virtual this year. In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Art Faire is getting a new look, but will continue to showcase student artists from across Solano County.
Artistic expression is a healthy coping strategy and is beneficial to physical and mental development in children and youth. The Solano County Art Faire encourages youth to express themselves and the emotions they are feeling. Anxiety and stress may be increased for students due to the current social and global conditions, so providing students with a healthy coping mechanism and outlet is important.
Source: SCOE’s Student Art Faire Moves Online | Benicia, CA Patch
BY Kimberly K. Fu
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District is providing free lunches to kids 18 and under throughout the summer.
Lunch will be served from Monday to Friday (unless otherwise noted and except on July 3) at the following locations:
- Crystal Middle School, 400 Whispering Bay Lane, Suisun, noon-1 p.m. through Aug. 8
- Grange Middle School, 1975 Blossom Ave., Fairfield, noon-1 p.m. through Aug. 8
Source: Fairfield-Suisun offers kids summertime meals – The Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
In light of the many recent events both nationally and locally regarding race, the Vacaville Unified School District has established its first Equity Task Force aimed at bringing communities together to listen and find ways to build true representation.
“The Vacaville Unified School District is ready to step up and be part of the solution for this community,” VUSD Superintendent Jane Shamieh wrote in a letter to families. “We must be bold and unafraid to say that we have a problem. It is not enough to not be racist, we must also be anti-racist.
“In VUSD, we are committed to being proactive and leading this conversation.”
Source: Vacaville school district establishes Equity Task Force – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
During freshman year, Katie Han was one of 80 students tied for third place in class ranking.
By senior year, she stood alone as the valedictorian at Benicia High School.
Han was recognized for that honor when Benicia handed out diplomas during a drive-thru ceremony — in accordance with the COVID-19 pandemic — last weekend. That same day, the school unveiled a film compiled over a three-day span where the students walked Drolette Stadium in small groups, practicing social distancing.
Source: Stanford-bound Katie Han is Benicia High School’s valedictorian – Times-Herald
By Thomas Gase
Jesse Bethel High seniors and longtime friends Jared Dela Cruz and Nika Esta are both headed to Cal Berkeley for college in the fall and will soon have their mascot be the Bears. That’s not the only thing the two have in common.
The duo were named the school’s co-valedictorians earlier this week during a filming for their virtual graduation ceremony. Both students have a GPA hovering around a 4.2.
“We’ve been good friends for a while,” Dela Cruz said. “It’s cool to share this position (valedictorian) with her. We met in seventh grade and it will be cool to have some more years together in college.”
Source: Jesse Bethel High students ‘Bear’ed down to become valedictorians – Times-Herald
By homas Gase
Thursday’s graduation marked the 150th for Vallejo High School, although the venerable institution has never had a ceremony quite like this one.
Since 1870, most graduation ceremonies have included the students sitting together in one area, usually Corbus Field, where they would throw their caps in the air collectively. But that opportunity left when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
Still, Vallejo High did they best it could to give the Class of 2020 some kind of celebration. A line of cars on Nebraska Street in front of the campus stretched as much as 30 deep at times, as students waited to collect their diplomas and Class of 2020 sign, along with some praise from teachers before they rode off into the sunset.
Source: Vallejo High seniors graduate in drive-through event – Times-Herald
By Bill Hicks
A number of positive developments will need to fall into place before area students can return to campuses after the shutdown of campus activities during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Travis School District trustees took initial steps Tuesday to examine how that process might work, depending on guidelines laid out by state and local health officials.
A presentation before the district’s Board of Trustees outlined five potential possibilities, each considering a different level of population on campuses depending on state guidelines.
Source: Travis trustees approve framework of plans for potential return to campus
By Nick Sestanovich
Golden Hills was alive Thursday with the sound of music: upbeat dance music intended to pump up graduates as they drove through to pick up their diplomas.
Like all schools throughout the county, Golden Hills Community School’s Fairfield campus has been closed since mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Thursday was a chance for students to not only pick up their diplomas but also see their former teachers again for the school’s first graduation parade.
Seniors drove up, received their diplomas from Principal Chris Morris; received cheers from teachers, staff, administrators and family members from the sidelines; and even got out of their cars to have their pictures taken in front of a backdrop.
Source: Golden Hills seniors parade on to next chapter – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
The Fairfield-Suisun School District, in collaboration with the USDA, has extended operation of its nutrition program through the summer months.
The program, which provides children 18 and younger with breakfast and lunch items Monday through Friday, unless otherwise noted, will run through Aug. 7 at most participating sites.
There are currently nine pickup sites, with two additional sites set to begin food distribution Monday. The program will conclude July 31 at two sites, with a final date of Aug. 7 at other locations.
Source: School district food program continues through summer
By Peter Fournier
Golden Hills Community School’s graduating seniors from across the county came to the school Thursday in Fairfield to pick up their high school diplomas and take the next step in their lives.
The school’s 12 graduates participated in a drive-thru ceremony at the Solano County Office of Education’s campus, which serves seventh to 12th grades. Staff cheered them on and congratulated them as they cruised by in vehicles and also took part in a cap-and-gown photo shoot.
School director Amy Chavez said staff knew graduation would be different when Covid-19 forced schools to close in March.
Source: Golden Hills sees dozen grads pick up diplomas
By Nick Sestanovich
As the quarantine has given Solano County’s creative youth more opportunities to utilize their artistic skills, the Solano County Office of Education is once again showcasing their work through the annual Student Art Faire.
Only it won’t be a physical event but rather a virtual one.
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Art Faire is being held through Facebook but will continue to feature the works of Solano’s young artistic visionaries.
Source: Coronavirus: SCOE holding virtual Student Art Faire – The Reporter
Any K-12 students who wants to submit artwork to the annual Student Art Faire can do so now – only this year there is a twist.
The faire has gone virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This year is a little different to be sure,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.
“During these challenging times, the role of art can become more central to our lives, whether we realize it or not. Through art we can move to the vast inner said in the statement of our thoughts and imagination, a place we have perhaps neglected. Art is a cornerstone in the development of one’s creativity and can be a great coping strategy for our youth,” Estrella-Henderson said.
Source: Solano Student Art Faire goes virtual for 2020
Legislators will vote on a new state budget Monday, even though they have yet to strike a deal with Gov. Gavin Newsom on a plan to close California’s $54.3 billion deficit.
The move could be largely procedural. State Senate and Assembly leaders said Wednesday that lawmakers plan to vote and then continue “productive” talks with Newsom, to meet a June 15 deadline for passing a budget or have their pay cut off.
Their plan is to take up a budget that legislative leaders announced last week, which differed in several respects from the version Newsom put forward in May.
Source: California Legislature pressing forward on budget vote without deal with Newsom [San Francisco Chronicle]
By Thomas Gase
Some day, Vallejo High student Tiffany Hernandez Donaire wants to use her engineering knowledge to help build houses and other structures. But for the last four years she’s been the architect of the highest grade point average on campus.
Hernandez Donaire will graduate from high school on Thursday with a 4.2 GPA, good enough for her to be named the school’s valedictorian.
“I found out about a month ago and I was a little surprised,” Hernandez Donaire said. “It kind of came out of nowhere. My goal was always to work hard, but I never thought something like this would actually come.”
Source: Tiffany Hernandez Donaire is Vallejo High valedictorian – Times-Herald
By Bill Hicks
Travis School District trustees met Tuesday just a few hours after the final funeral services for George Floyd, who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
His death sparked nearly two full weeks of protests around the world. Those emotions spilled over into the Travis board meeting Tuesday night.
Board President Ivery Hood, one of three African American board members, the others being Trustee Janet Jackson Forbes and Student Board Member Isaish Carter, called for a 4 minute, 46 second period of silence to start the meeting, which represented the period of time in a video depicting Floyd’s fatal encounter with the Minneapolis police where Floyd stopped moving.
Source: Travis School Board honors George Floyd, decries racism
By Peter Fournier
How often can someone say they received a diploma with their brother or sister? Let alone in the same graduating class, but in the same car with children in the back seat?
That was the case for Alicia and Salvador Martinez, who were among 65 graduates of the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School expected to pick up their diplomas Wednesday morning. The siblings, eight years apart, showed up in relatively positive spirits to get their General Education Diploma certificate, although they weren’t technically walking a graduation stage.
“Siblings, to graduate, and me being older, anybody can do it,” Alicia said. “We got jobs, we got kids – it’s never too late.”
Source: Fairfield-Suisun Adult School grads get their drive-thru moment
By Galen Kusic
As the country continues to mourn in anger over the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, activists and protesters have taken to the streets to call for justice and accountability for not only Floyd’s murder, but the countless other black and brown people that have been murdered by the police without repercussion or consequence.
While surrounding cities like Vallejo, Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco and others have experienced police violence toward protesters, Benicia thus far has experienced peace. As looting continues and curfew restrictions have been put in place county-wide, Benicia High School students organized a peaceful Youth Against Brutality Black Lives Matter march and protest on Sunday in honor of Floyd and the many other black people that have been killed at the hands of law enforcement or racists.
Source: Benicia High School students hold Youth Against Brutality protest and march on First St.