By Nick Sestanovich
Vacaville High School seniors returned to campus Monday to pick up their sashes, cords and Sober Grad Night raffle prizes. In return, they received cheers from staff who had not seen them since the campus closed two and a half months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It was a spirited day in the parking lot of the otherwise empty front parking lot as Vaca High hosted its Class of 2020 Drive Through Gauntlet. Principal Ron Thomas said the school usually has a day to pick up caps and gowns, but with the coronavirus closing campus for the remainder of the year, administrators had to find another avenue.
Source: Coronavirus: Vaca High seniors pick up graduation insignia, Grad Night prizes – The Reporter
By Bill Hicks
Graduation for any college student might have a similar feeling to a dream.
That dreamy state was present during Solano Community College’s recent virtual graduation, recognizing the Class of 2020.
The virtual graduation was similar to a dream in that it looked and felt real, but largely wasn’t. There were no balloons, no ribbons, no banners, no cheers from the stands when names were called.
Source: Solano College celebrates Class of 2020 with virtual commencement
By Daily Republic Staff
Travis School District officials announced various administrative changes Monday to help the district cover an expected budget deficit for the 2020-21 school year.
The changes were announced in a press release from the district and were described as a first step to help close a multimillion-dollar budget gap caused by the current health crisis.
Matt Smith, current superintendent of MIT Academy in Vallejo, will begin July 1 as Director of Student Services at the district office.
Current Director Vince Ruiz will begin as the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources as a result of the retirement of Clay McAllester.
Source: Travis School District announces staff changes in initial step to close $4M budget gap
By Glen Faison
Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara declared an emergency Tuesday and imposed a two-day curfew that will initially start at 8 p.m. Tuesday and end at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
It will begin again at 8 p.m. Wednesday and continue until 5 a.m. Thursday.
The curfew was announced after the Board of Supervisors took part in a closed session. County buildings, as a result of the public safety emergency, will be open to the public by appointment only starting at noon Tuesday.
Source: Solano sheriff declares emergency; imposes curfew
By Roger Riddell, Naaz Modan and Linda Jacobson
The nation’s public school districts faced unprecedented disruption to the school year as the novel coronavirus pandemic shut down buildings and forced learning online, to the extent educators were able to do so. Shutdowns forced districts and policymakers alike to make strides in addressing the “homework gap” resulting from a lack of home internet and device access that already adversely affected many students prior to shutdowns. Further complicating the situation: Educators needed additional training, the delivery of curriculum had to be rethought, and many low-income students’ only guaranteed meals throughout the day were through school programs.
And that’s not even considering the impending funding tsunami expected from the economic impacts of the shutdowns, or the challenge of reopening schools in the fall and planning for a variety of scenarios.
Source: Tracking how the coronavirus is impacting school districts | Education Dive
The California Department of Education (CDE) has opened the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Annual Update in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) for School Year (SY) 2020–21 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021).
The CDE recognizes the challenges that School Food Authorities (SFA) face while preparing for the upcoming SY. As a result, we want to provide as much time as possible for the Annual Update process. The CDE is actively developing re-opening guidance for schools and will continue to release resources as they are developed. Those SFAs that have already established re-opening plans for the fall can complete their required annual participation updates in the CNIPS now.
Source: School Year 2020–21 Annual Update Now Open – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)
By Daily Republic Staff
A series of Monday webchats to help teens and young adults to cope with the stresses of Covid-19 has been extended through June.
The Mental Health Mondays webchats will be facilitated by Student Wellness Specialists from Solano County Office of Education Student and Program Support Department.
“In the wake of the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, our young people are facing unprecedented challenges and stresses that can have a lasting impact on their overall well-being,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement. “I am inspired by SCOE staff’s commitment, cooperation and collaboration to use technology to problem-solve and place priority on our students.”
Source: Webchats to help Solano teens with Covid-19 stresses
By Peter Fournier
The stadium sat empty. The parking lot not anywhere near capacity. Pomp and Circumstance was playing, but graduates weren’t walking toward a stage, they were driving to a station set up on asphalt for photos.
However, what remained at Vanden High School on a sunny and breezy Thursday morning were positive attitudes, excitement and an up-close experience for families as high school for Vikings seniors comes to a celebratory, if somewhat altered, end.
Graduates on Thursday rolled and will continue to roll Friday through the student and staff parking lots to receive their diplomas at the campus located just outside of Travis Air Force Base.
Source: Vanden High begins drive-thru graduation ceremony
By Peter Fournier
The biggest challenge on day two of Vanden High School’s drive-thru graduation ceremony wasn’t keeping the cars full of graduates and their families flowing in the parking lots, but rather battling the wind that was howling through the campus.
Grads were seen trying to keep the caps – which they were allowed to decorate for the first time in school history – on their heads for their graduation pictures, as streamers and balloons blew in the wind.
Source: Vanden High wraps up drive-thru graduation ceremonies
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District secured a two million dollar grant from the California Department of Education (CDE) to implement social-emotional supports and programs for students and staff. As part of the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, the CDE awarded twenty-one grants throughout California that ranged from $15,000 to $2,000,000. Fairfield-Suisun Unified was only one of four grantees throughout California to earn the top award.
Source: Press Release: Fairfield-Suisun Secures $2 Million Grant
By Joel Rosenbaum
In addition to the familiar notes of “Pomp and Circumstance,” the sounds of engine noise filled the air Friday at Vanden High on the second day of its mobile graduation ceremony celebrating the 380 members of the Class of 2020.
The plans for the unique celebration began several weeks ago. The staff was starting to plan a day for seniors to pick up diplomas when they received ideas from parents and devised a mobile graduation ceremony, according to principal, Kristin Shields.
“It came together over a couple of weeks as we started adding piece by piece (flags, banners, and flowers) to make it as detailed as we could to give each student their time in the spotlight,” Sheilds said Friday as she observed the festivities in the student parking lot on campus.
Source: Coronavirus: Vanden High School salutes the Class of 2020 with unique ceremony – The Reporter
By Maggie Fusek
Solano County youth 14 to 21 years old are invited to participate in an upcoming series of free mental health webchats held through Zoom. Mental Health Mondays Webchats are facilitated by student wellness specialists from Solano County Office of Education’s Student and Program Support Department, giving youth a safe space to ask questions and exchange information with their peers about mental health.
Last month, SCOE’s Youth Development Department hosted the “Coping with COVID” webchat series for youth on a wide range of topics including: mental health, stress and anxiety management, mindfulness, and routine and schedules. The series, particularly Mental Health Mondays, was successful and received positive feedback, and is now extended through June.
Source: Solano Youth Invited To ‘Mental Health Mondays’ Zoom Webchats | Benicia, CA Patch
By Joel Rosenbaum
Members of the Vacaville Unified School District’s Transportation Department wave from a school bus Friday as it drives past Markham Elementary School. Driving around town past several schools in the district, drivers and staff held a parade say hi to their students and let them know that they miss them.
Source: Photo: Bus parade salutes Vacaville students – The Reporter