By Kris Corey
Green Valley Middle School (GVMS) continues to connect with families through a Virtual Family Engagement Series this spring. This five part series offers monthly virtual events to continue the strong connection of the GVMS community.
GVMS kicked off the Virtual Family Engagement Series on Thursday, February 18. Counselor Elizabeth Bates hosted “Cooking with Our Counselor,” leading the Green Valley Vikings and their families on how to make homemade sugar cookies with homemade frosting. To assist in participation, Green Valley provided the necessary supplies to any family that requested them.
Source: Press Release: Green Valley Middle School Offers Virtual Family Engagement Series
By Joel Rosenbaum
Smiling under her mask, Vacaville High School senior Ciera Howse, 17 reacts to the cheers of her friends and family after she was crowned the 2021 Homecoming Queen during halftime of the Bulldogs’ 63-12 victory over Armijo High School Friday at Tom Zunino Stadium.
Source: Vaca High celebrates homecoming royalty – The Reporter
By Tony Wade
Pandemic, schmandemic; the show must go on.
That appears to be the philosophy of Solano College Theatre professor Christine Mani, who is not only executive directing “Deathtrap,” the student-led drama that debuts April 1, but also the theater company’s first musical during the pandemic, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” later on in the month.
The 1967 musical based on the “Peanuts” comic strip characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Schulz was deemed by Mani to be the perfect choice to perform at this particular moment in time for a variety of reasons.
Source: Solano College Theater presents ‘You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown’
By Susan Hiland
Schools in Fairfield and Suisun City returned to limited in-person instruction over the past two weeks, an achievement that now has school board members and district staff turning their attention to the future.
“I had to fight back tears of joy,” Sheila McCabe, the district’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services, said Thursday during the Fairfield-Suisun School District Board of Trustees meeting. “It was wonderful seeing students returning to school.”
The plan is to introduce students back into in-person learning slowly over the next few weeks. Students in transitional kindergarten and kindergarten returned to in-person learning March 2 and by all accounts were happy to be back with friends.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools set to roll out more in-person classroom instruction
Travis Unified School District welcomed its first round of students back for in-person learning Friday, officials announced in a news release.
Following the Travis school board’s approval of a hybrid reopening model at its March 9 meeting, the first cohort of students returned to campus Friday.
Under this model, small groups of students will attend school on campus one day a week until spring break begins Friday. When students return on April 12, that number will be bumped up to two days a week while learning from home the other three days. For families who choose to remain in distance learning, that will still be an option as well.
Source: Travis Unified campuses reopen for in-person learning – The Reporter
By Matt O’Donnell
Almost every student knows what it’s like to cram for a test.
For the Vallejo High School football team, that exam will come April 2 when the team travels to Rodriguez.
The Redhawks got off to a much later start than others in Solano County when football conditioning was delayed until March 22 by the Vallejo City Unified School District. Almost every other football program in the state began at least a month earlier.
Source: Vallejo High School football team rushing to get ready for season opener – Times-Herald
The Solano County Office of Education teacher of the year is Ron Major and the classified employee of the year is Shelia Vogel.
Recognition of Major and Vogel was announced in a press release.
The Office of Education hosts the annual Solano County Educators of the Year awards each year. The county agency began recognizing exemplary teachers in 1978 and the program has expanded to recognize outstanding teachers and classified school employees for Solano school districts and charter schools.
Source: Solano County Office of Education honors 2 staff members
By Nick Sestanovich
A teacher at Golden Hills Educational Center in Vacaville and a college and career development specialist for the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) have been named as the top Educators of the Year for SCOE, officials announced in a news release.
Ron Major is SCOE’s teacher of the tear, and Sheila Vogel is SCOE’s classified employee of the year. Both were selected by SCOE’s nomination committee which annually chooses “two employees who work passionately to contribute to student achievement, educational innovation, and advance community involvement in schools,” according to the release.
Source: Major, Vogel named Solano County Office of Education’s top educators of the year – The Reporter
By Matt Sieger
The formula for determining the golf team champion of the Monticello Empire League is a bit complicated.
Vacaville High, however, kept it simple and erased all doubt by not only going 10-0 in the regular season but also winning the league tournament on a sunny but windy Tuesday afternoon at Rancho Solano golf course.
The Bulldogs were led by Jack Mitchells’s 86 over 18 holes, followed by Ben Wilhite (89), Dylan Dzierman (97), Tyler Riley (100), and Evan Wilson (108), for the low team score of the day, 480.
Source: Vacaville High nabs boys golf crown – The Reporter
That is what some of Solano County’s top wordsmiths in fourth through sixth grade will be demonstrating when the Solano County Office of Education hosts its 45th annual Spelling Bee, which will be held virtually this year. The preliminary round will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the top spellers advancing to the final round on April 13.
According to an SCOE news release, 25 public and private schools from throughout the county are on tap to participate in this event.
Source: SCOE hosting virtual spelling bee – The Reporter
The preliminary rounds of the 45th annual Solano County Spelling Bee are scheduled to start Saturday and will feature participants from 25 schools.
The contest is open to all public and private schools serving fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students.
“Spelling bees serve as a way to improve a student’s comprehension skills; strengthen listening, spelling and writing proficiencies, while expanding on a student’s extensive vocabulary,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement. “Students participating in the Spelling Bee competition also have the opportunity to gain confidence in public speaking and learn to be gracious winners, while having fun with their peers.”
Source: Prelims of Solano County Spelling Bee set to begin Saturday – virtually
By Ryan Hill
“It feels really good to be back,” Caitlyn Chalmers, a senior at Will C. Wood High School, said.
Being masked-up and socially distant means a lot for Chalmers. She and the rest of her senior class are able to have somewhat of a normal ending of her senior year.
“It means a lot just to see everyone for a little bit before we go our separate ways,” Chalmers said.
“As we got further along with staying at home, I really didn’t think it was going to happen.”
Chalmers told CBS13 that she was a junior when she and her classmates were forced into distance learning.
Source: Vacaville Students Welcomed Back For In-Person Learning After Over A Year – CBS Sacramento
By Nick Sestanovich
Putting up festive displays is a hallmark for the first day of the academic year is a hallmark for Will C. Wood High School. While not technically being the first day of the year, Monday had a big reason to celebrate: it was the first day of in-person learning since March 2020, when all campuses closed because of the coronavirus.
Wood — as well as all of Vacaville Unified School District’s middle and high schools — reopened its campus for the district’s new hybrid schedule Monday, following the reopening of the district’s elementary schools Thursday.
The secondary schools are gradually easing students back in with the 25 percent hybrid model, where students come to campus one day a week, based on the first letter of their last name, and continue to learn from home the rest of the week. This will change after students return from spring break on April 12, where half of the students are on campus Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other half of the students are on campus Thursdays and Fridays. All students will continue to learn remotely Wednesdays.
Source: Coronavirus: Middle, high school students return to campus – The Reporter
The California Department of Education (CDE) today has posted estimated local education agency (LEA) allocations from the $6.6 billion made available as part of the Assembly Bill (AB) 86 External link opens in new window or tab. COVID-19 relief package. The funding provided by AB 86 will accelerate the safe return to in-person instruction across California and provide schools the resources to expand academic, mental health and social-emotional supports, including over the summer.
“As more school districts across California announce plans to bring students back into classrooms, we at the CDE are providing the technical support our schools need to access resources in a timely way so educators can focus on providing a safe return to in-person learning, accelerate learning, and begin recovering,” said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.
A breakdown of how the $2 billion for In-Person Instruction (IPI) Grants and $4.6 billion for Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grants were determined for each LEA are available on the CDE IPI and ELO Grants Funding Results web page.
Source: $6 Billion in Reopening/Expanded Learning Funding – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent William Spalding made dates for hybrid learning official on Friday.
The dates were previously tentative, but Spalding said in a video that transitional kindergarten through sixth grade will begin on Monday, April 12. Meanwhile, seventh through 12th grade has been moved up a week to April 19.
The district has been in distance learning since March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At a VCUSD meeting earlier this month, Spalding said that Gov. Gavin Newsom would like all of the state to begin returning to in-person instruction by April 1, but if the district had a spring break during the next month, no penalty would be accessed as long as there was a plan in place for schools to return on the first possible day after the break.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District announces official starting dates for hybrid learning – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
Familiar back-to-school scenes played out at Markham Elementary School Thursday — students lining up to enter their new classrooms, teachers laying down ground rules, cars lined up along the curb to drop off students and crossing guards back in full force.
There were also differences from past years — it was a cold March day instead of a hot mid-August one, social distancing markers on the ground, plastic barriers around some desks. And, the fact that students were simply continuing their lessons from the previous day but in a new environment.
One year and five days since Vacaville Unified School District made the decision to close all of its campuses for in-person learning because of the coronavirus, elementary students throughout the district returned to campuses Thursday for the new hybrid model, in which cohorts of students meet at different times of the day to ensure social distancing.
Source: Coronavirus: Excitement evident as Markham students return to in-person classes – The Reporter
By Heather Janssen
The pandemic has led to many missed milestones for students and their families, but there’s new hope graduation may go on.
The California Department of Public Health says districts can start making plans for possible in-person graduation ceremonies, as numbers trend in the right direction. The catch is that the ceremonies will likely be outdoors, with limits on who can attend.
Source: California Allows School Districts To Begin Making Plans For In-Person Graduations With Limits – CBS Sacramento
By Richard Bammer
Like most of us, Vacaville area educators, students and families recall the week in March 2020 when their world began to change. A year and some days since, many long for the “before times.”
However, across Solano County and the nation, online education has taken root. As classroom instruction is about to resume in a hybrid model for what’s left of the academic year, local educators hold out hope that students will welcome the change.
In emailed responses to a series of Reporter questions, Ed Santopadre, associate superintendent for Vacaville Unified, noted ways student learning and achievement has been affected by the pandemic and remote learning.
Source: Coronavirus: Solano public schools unlikely to return to the ‘before times’ – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Local educators on Friday weighed in the state Board of Education’s approval of guidelines to help local high schools develop or enhance ethnic studies courses, classes that researchers say can improve graduation and college-going rates among all students — and especially teens of color.
From the Vacaville Unified board president to area superintendents to ethnic studies teachers, they say there is a need to offer students, increasingly racially diverse in numbers, instruction about other cultures, knowledge that can be life-changing for all.
In their responses to Reporter questions, the local educators more or less reflected what state schools chief Tony Thurmond said Thursday after the state board voted unanimously on the model curriculum guidance. This ended years of often divisive debate over ethnic studies in California’s K-12 schools and how to show the histories, struggles, and contributions of Asians, Blacks, Latinos, and American Indians — and the racism and marginalization they have experienced in the United States — to millions of students.
Source: Local educators weigh in on state’s historic ethnic studies guide for high schools – The Reporter
By Richard Bammer
The Solano County Office of Education will offer a clinic in Fairfield Friday for county teachers needing a second-dose coronavirus vaccine.
The clinic will held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at SCOE offices, 5100 Business Center Drive.
Jennifer Leonard, a spokeswoman for SCOE, said the clinic is the second such event for more than 1,000 Solano County school employees.
Source: Coronavirus: Second-dose vaccinations set today for Solano County educators – The Reporter