By Nick Sestanovich
Two years ago, Will C. Wood High School senior Bryanna King, alongside fellow student JD Harrison, created banners of influential Black figures that adorned the walls of the school’s quad as part of their legacy project for their leadership class.
King has since graduated from Will C. Wood, but her project indeed became a legacy. For Black History Month this year, students are creating their own banners which are now displayed on the bleachers at Wildcat Stadium, making them more visible to motorists along Peabody Road.
“I’m very grateful that I was even given the opportunity to do this at Wood and that there are students carrying it since I’ve been gone,” she said. “It’s always scary to think that something could end up stopping once you leave, and I’m so grateful that Rope (leadership teacher Jared Ropelato) and all of these wonderful students have gotten to carry it on.”
Source: Will C. Wood Black History Month banners expand – The Reporter
By Kris Corey
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) was one of thirty Northern California public school districts hand-picked to apply for a new initiative titled Reach for the Upside! This initiative is funded by Genentech in collaboration with Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school).
Over the last several months, Genentech conducted extensive research on public school districts with strong leadership and a track record of innovation. FSUSD emerged out of this research and was invited to submit an application to participate in a “design sprint.” The “design sprint” will consist of four workshops and three coaching sessions on innovative programming and funding.
Source: Press Release: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Selected for Reach for the Upside!
By Los Angeles Times
Gov. Gavin Newsom said he believes California schools can begin to reopen even if all teachers are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19, provided that proper safety measures and supports are in place — although some teachers unions, including United Teachers Los Angeles, have said vaccinations should be a prerequisite to resuming in-person instruction.
“We can safely reopen schools as we process a prioritization to our teachers of vaccinations,” Newsom said Wednesday.
“I’d love to have everybody in the state vaccinated that chooses to be vaccinated,” he said during a briefing held to announce the future opening of a new community vaccination center at the Oakland Coliseum. “Not only would I like to prioritize teachers, we are prioritizing teachers.”
Source: California schools can safely move to reopen, Newsom says
By Nick Sestanovich
Usually, students receiving their novels during the spring semester is nothing more ceremonial than a teacher passing out copies in class. For students at John Knight Middle School in Dixon, it was an opportunity to set foot on campus after a long period of distance learning.
And it was not just any campus they set foot on but one that had not been occupied by students since before most of the current Knight student body had been born.
On Wednesday, the school hosted a spring novel pickup, where students could come by to obtain novels, textbooks and supplies for the next semester. It marked the first student event at 455 East A St. since the relocation of Dixon High School in 2007. The newly rebranded John Knight Middle School, previously known as CA Jacobs Middle School, was scheduled to open at the old high school campus in the fall of 2020, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a delay in the final stages of renovation pushed Knight’s opening back to January.
Source: John Knight Middle School students pick up books, get glimpse at new campus – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
Solano Community College athletics has not struck out with 2021 yet.
The school opted out of having sports like men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball for 2021 but others like baseball, softball, tennis and swimming are still in contention to compete, according to athletic director Erik Visser.
Source: Solano Community College still could have late spring sports – Times-Herald
By John Woolfolk
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are in talks on a new path for getting more public schools to reopen as the governor’s late-December plan offering money and aid for those that move quickly to bring students back on campus comes under withering fire from districts, teacher unions and legislators.
Monday was the deadline in Newsom’s $2 billion Safe Schools for All Plan announced Dec. 30 for schools to file reopening plans and qualify for the funding, but the Legislature has yet to act on it, leaving its status in doubt.
And last week, a bill was pulled from committee that would set a requirement for schools to reopen within two weeks of case rates falling to the level state and local health orders say is safe to resume in-person instruction. Nannette Miranda, spokeswoman for Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco who authored that proposal, AB 10, said lawmakers and the administration are now working on a single compromise solution.
Source: Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom, lawmakers in talks on school reopening path – Times-Herald
Ford Motor Co. has designed and created clear N95 face masks so that hearing impaired people can read lips while protecting themselves from Covid-19, the company announced Tuesday.
A patent is pending for the new design, which is awaiting federal approval to qualify for N95 status from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The low-cost, reusable respirators may supplement or replace the use of cloth masks that block facial expression and lips from view as mask wearers seek protection from the increased threat of new coronavirus variants. In addition to the hearing impaired, these masks could be used by people who depend on facial expressions to better do their jobs, like teachers.
Source: Clear N95 face masks designed by Ford could be huge for hearing impaired, teachers
By Nick Sestanovich
For decades, Solano Community College has dedicated February to Black History Month with a series of events and discussions centered around the issues Black people have faced and continued to face.
Past events have all been on campus and included film screenings, panel discussions and speeches from Tuskegee Airmen and icons like Olympic runner Tommie Smith, whose raised fist during the national anthem at the 1968 summer games has become one of the defining images of the Civil Rights era.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s slate of events will not be held in person but rather presented virtually over Zoom. Shirley Lewis, SCC’s dean of student services, said the platform has worked well in conducting operations during the pandemic and she expects a strong turnout.
Source: Solano Community College hosting virtual Black History Month events – The Reporter
By Katy St. Clair
Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted stay-at-home orders for Californians last week, but businesses and schools still seem to be operating on varying protocols as the state continues through the COVID-19 epidemic.
Bay Area public and private schools each have their own approaches to holding school during this time — some with in-person, others still fully virtual — and all districts say that they cannot predict exactly when things will change but that they are monitoring data and some guidance from state government.
Some districts have stressed that they do not want to follow the path of small businesses and restaurants and have to open and then close again, depending on rates of the virus. Therefore, reaching normalcy will be a very gradual process.
Source: Vallejo Unified School District remains in distance learning – Times-Herald
By Jacob Jackson
California is on the verge of creating a cradle-to-career data system that could help policymakers identify effective educational policies while providing students and families with new tools to investigate college and career options.
With support from Governor Newsom, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Act in 2019 established an inclusive, transparent planning process that outlined how to build and implement such a system. To begin creating the data system, the governor’s 2021–22 budget proposes $18.8 million to improve existing data, develop the capacity and technology to link data across systems, and expand student-facing tools for college and career planning.
The completed data system may take four years to phase in, but it would allow the state to answer important questions, such as how prepared are high school students for college? What are the effects of financial aid on college completion and workforce success? How does early childhood education affect students in the long run?
Source: Newsom’s Budget Advances Long-Overdue Education Data System – Public Policy Institute of California
By Nick Sestanovich
For the first time in five years, a girl was chosen as the top ambassador for the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.
Judges named Diana Luu as the club’s Youth of the Year in a virtual “Raise Your Glass” ceremony hosted by the club Thursday evening.
That is not the only diversity that the Will C. Wood High School junior will bring to the position. As Luu said in her speech, she is also the daughter of immigrant parents and a member of the LGBTQ community.
“I come from many things that I believe a Youth of the Year representative should be,” she said. “I feel like I can bring that to the table. I can provide hope to those who cannot find it for themselves.”
Source: Will C. Wood junior Diana Luu named Youth of the Year – The Reporter
By Susan Hiland
A review last week of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget by the Fairfield-School School District shows both cause for optimism and concern.
Staff shared highlights of the governor’s 2020-21 budget plan for the coming year at the school board meeting Thursday. The discussion was cut short due to time limits for virtual meetings.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of Business Services, gave the presentation, which showed that the past year’s $5.6 billion state surplus is gone and the budget reflects a $54.4 billion deficit.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board hears overview of governor’s proposed school budget
By Kris Corey
Mr. Joseph Arbizu was selected as the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. The official announcement was made at the January 28, 2021 meeting of the Governing Board. Mr. Arbizu was one of twenty-six outstanding educators celebrated and recognized by the Governing Board for their outstanding excellence. Mr. Arbizu will represent FSUSD as the district’s Teacher of the Year at the upcoming Solano County recognition.
Mr. Arbizu was initially nominated by his peers at Armijo High School for this award. Now in his eleventh year as a teacher, Mr. Arbizu currently teaches Algebra II, Integrated Math I, and Geometry. He shared that he came into the teaching profession to share his love of mathematics with his community. He passionately states, “Mathematics to me is sacred. It’s as much a part of our humanity and culture as are the arts.” Principal Sheila Smith said this of Mr. Arbizu, “He is the best! He gives of his time to support students throughout the year, no matter what time of day. He finds time to check in on people and he makes their day brighter. He demonstrates leadership beyond the school day and is a champion for each and every one of his students.”
Source: Press Release: Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Announces District Teacher of the Year