By Richard Bammer
Public schools, including those in Solano County, for years have sometimes come up short when it comes to having enough teachers to fill all openings, especially in math, science, special education and foreign languages.
But with the fall semester well underway, and with students back into classrooms full time, the challenge to find and hire teachers and substitutes for any subject has become acute, in part because of the lingering pandemic, which has prompted a spike in retirements and resignations.
It has also led to a day-to-day scramble to find enough substitute teachers, leading to the unexpected necessity of having school and district administrators fill in, as they do in the Fairfield-Suisun and Vacaville unified districts. And a Vacaville teachers union official said there are “no quick fixes” and it’s only going to get worse.
Source: Teacher, substitute shortages force FSUSD, VUSD administrators into the classroom – The Vacaville Reporter
You are invited to join us in celebrating our Inclusion Film Camp participants at the red-carpet premier of their short film, Tales from the Grave on October 28, 2021 at Sunrise Event Center in Vacaville at 6:00 PM.
All attendees must reserve tickets in advance. Attendees must wear masks. Social distancing is strongly encouraged.
We hope you will join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our young people with unique abilities at this fun-filled event.
Source: Solano County Office of Education
Chief Deputy Superintendent Mary Nicely announced today the release of the first ever “Stability Rate” (SR) reports created by the California Department of Education (CDE). These reports were developed in response to requests from educators, policy makers, and educational partners across the state, and identify the number and percent of students who receive a “full year” of learning in the same school.
“I commend the work of the Analysis, Measurement & Accountability Reporting Division at the CDE in creating this report, which is another valuable tool for us to identify and assist our most vulnerable students,” Nicely said. “While most students do not move schools, some students move schools once or twice, and very few students move a lot. State and national foster youth advocacy groups have been requesting for years that California publish this data, since it is a great conversation starter on the rights of our vulnerable students on still attending the same school even if they are forced to relocate.”
Source: First-Ever CDE Student Stability Reports Announced – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
Kairos Public Schools was identified as one of the top elementary schools and middle schools by US News and World Report Monday.
Kairos Public Schools operates two educational options within Vacaville: a TK-8 classroom-based option on Elm St with 500 students and a K-8 Independent Study/Homeschool program with 130 students on Alamo Drive.
“We are proud of our scholars and our staff for their commitment to excellence and we are thrilled to be recognized nationally,” Jared Austin, co-foudner and executive director, said in a statement. “We are committed to empowering a generation of learners to think critically, analyze and apply knowledge strategically and utilize relevant tools to interact thoughtfully with a global community and this recognition is another example of how we are meeting our mission.”
Source: Kairos Public Schools recognized by US News and World Report – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
Trustees of the Vacaville School District have approved a contract to assist a student who is hard of hearing – even though the necessary personnel are not yet available.
The contract with Interpreting and Consulting Services Inc. is not to exceed $203,000 for the 2021-22 school year.
The contract, which was approved Thursday, will provide American Sign Language interpretation for a student in the school district who is hard of hearing.
Source: Contract for American Sign Language interpreters gets green light from Vaca trustees
By Joel Rosenbaum
Dressed as the character, “Tuk Tuk” from the Disney movie, “Raya and the Last Dragon,” Rory Hill, 3 of Vacaville (left) gets a piece of candy from Lego Frankenstein, also known as Henry Jones, 6, of Vacaville, a first-grader at Callison Elementary School of Vacaville during the school’s Trunk or Treat event Friday on the playground at Callison. Organized by the school’s Parent/Teacher Council costumed students walked through a collection of decorated cars by parents and teachers to collect their treats.
Source: Photo: Ghosts And Goblins Hunt For Goodies At Callison – The Vacaville Reporter
The Solano Community College District has announced its most recent bond initiative that it says will lower property taxes and save district taxpayers millions in future debt payments.
The district was able to achieve savings of approximately $13.9 million for local taxpayers by refinancing existing general obligation bonds, according to a press release.
The district has taken advantage of previous refinancing opportunities since 2005. The combined savings from all of the refinancing efforts now totals more than $46 million, the college district reports.
Source: Solano College announces bond refinancing results
By Susan Hiland
School board members have approved the proposed commercial lease with Shelley Dally Early Learning Village and Pleasant Valley School.
A commercial lease with Pleasant Valley School at the Shelley Dally Early Learning Village site was approved Thursday for the coming school year.
The agreement is a no-cost land lease for 880 square feet of play area space to be used by the Pleasant Valley School.
Source: Vacaville school board approves playground lease with neighboring school
By Susan Hiland
Travis School District trustees accepted the reworded Tuesday of the district’s No. 1 goal.
The previous language reads, “Focus on instructional excellence to increase achievement for every student using support systems to improve student learning and to close achievement gaps in order to prepare students for college and career.”
The reworked language is, “Focus on instructional and institutional excellence to promote equity for all, close the achievement gap, and improve student learning in preparation for opportunities beyond high school including college and career.”
Source: Travis school board OKs goal change that aims to improve student learning
By Susan Hiland
The Travis School District’s governing board this week approved the broad outline for how to spend more than $1.3 million in pandemic relief funds.
Sue Brothers, assistant superintendent of Educational Services, gave a presentation Tuesday night on the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III funding plan, and sought the board’s approval.
School districts, county offices of education or charter schools, collectively known as Local Education Agencies, that receive these pandemic relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act, are required to develop a plan for how they will use their funds.
Source: Trustees at Travis schools adopt pandemic relief fund spending plan
The Vacaville Unified School District now offers a free and quick COVID-19 test in a centralized location for students and staff. According to the district, the testing site made possible by VUSD’s registration with the California Public Health Service’s Antigen Testing Program will reduce the burden on administrators while keeping children learning in the classroom. At the beginning of the school year, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing took place on individual campuses. The school district’s new test site allows healthcare professionals to handle these tasks and helps managers do their best. Or stay away from the leadership leadership you provide to teachers in the classroom, “said Sasha Begall, assistant supervisor of education options and support at the Vacaville Unified School District. A quick test allows students to stay in class with minimal interruptions in class. Even if they come into contact with COVID-19-positive classmates, they will learn. “Under the modified quarantine, we can keep them in the classroom as long as they remain asymptomatic, participate in the tests and wear their masks,” Vegal said. Explained.
Source: California district’s rapid COVID testing allows for ‘modified quarantine’ – California News Times
By Richard Freedman
The votes have been counted and eight of 11 applicants will get a chunk of the Participatory Budgeting’s Cycle 7 $547,000 set aside by the city.
Basic Need Resources and Services for Homeless, with partner Fighting Back Partnership, received the most votes — 545 — and is set to receive $75,000. No Child Goes Hungry, with Fighting Back again involved, this time with Faith Food Fridays and the Vallejo City Unified School District, totaled 535 votes and is earmarked for $74,800.
The third vote-getter with 480 was Animals Matter Project by the Humane Society of The North Bay, another $75,000 recipient. Also at $75,000 is the fourth place vote-getter with 474, Foster Youth Support Services and First Place for Youth.
Source: Participatory Budgeting votes are in for Vallejo – Times-Herald
By Thomas Gase
There is no arguing it, Benicia High sophomores Gabriel Stockwell and Micheal Delgado know how to debate.
Stockwell and Delgado won gold and came in first place last week in the sixth annual Cal Parli Debate tournament. The tournament, normally held on the UC Berkeley campus, was much larger in 2021 due to it being online. The event drew teams from southern California and as far away as Connecticut. Still, it was Stockwell and Delgado that stood out above the rest.
“These two young men are talented, natural debaters, and they are supported by a skilled coaching staff and a dedicated group of fellow team members,” Benicia coach Michele Gaines said. “Michael and Gabe went the distance. We were all ecstatic. They were exhausted.”
Source: Making a case: Nobody argues like Benicia sophomores – Times-Herald
By Summer Lin
San Jose High senior Jordan Fricke knows of one class that’s had a revolving door of three long-term substitute teachers so far this fall. Berkeley High School teacher Hasmig Minassian has seen a librarian supervise four classes because no one else was available. Logan Mengotto’s father said his son didn’t have a teacher in two classes the first week at Hercules High School.
Public schools throughout the Bay Area and the state are grappling with a spike in teacher absences and vacancies as schools have reopened, coupled with a shortage of substitutes, leading them to increase pay for subs, offer signing bonuses for new hires and ask other school and district staff members to take over classes.
Source: School districts hit hard by teacher, substitute shortages – The Vacaville Reporter
By Ali Tadayon, EdSource
Despite this year’s return to in-person learning, districts throughout the state are seeing major declines in both enrollment and average daily attendance and fear the reductions could result in significant funding cuts next school year.
Without state intervention, many districts face substantial cuts in state funding and could be forced to make significant budget cuts in the 2022-23 school year due to a fall in enrollment and attendance to which funding is tied. Districts’ baseline funding depends on the number of students enrolled, minus the daily average number of absent students.
Source: California districts anticipate major hits to their 2022-23 budgets as enrollments drop – Times-Herald
By John Fensterwald, EdSource
The unexpected drop in statewide school enrollment last year of 160,000 students may prove to be a blip, ready to rebound as the coronavirus recedes. Or that one-year 2.6% drop could be an oversize harbinger of what demographers are predicting will be a decade-long enrollment decline in California.
The fiscal crisis may be a migraine now or a mounting headache later; the answer is not if, but when, according to Michael Fine, the state’s respected fiscal worrywart. He said districts would be wise to start planning now, and take action starting next year, to deal with what for many districts will be a substantial loss of revenue from a system that ties funding to the number of kids who show up to class every day.
Source: Projected K-12 drops in enrollment pose immediate upheaval and decade-long challenge – Times-Herald
By Nicole Langarica
The beginning of any school year can be a time of significant adjustment for students. Balancing club and sports schedules, building homecoming floats, and making sure the final touches of classroom assignments are completed before progress reports are examples of students’ daily tasks. One could easily argue that the first few months of a new school year are packed with plenty of activities to keep high school students busy. For some Armijo High School IB students, however, it is just the beginning.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, hosted at Armijo High School, is a highly regarded internationally-minded program that promotes rigorous inquiry, critical thinking, and a strong sense of social justice and cultural awareness. Those wishing to enroll in the IB Program are required to complete an application, submit to placement tests, and abide by the program’s high expectations. Once enrolled in the program, students must maintain a grade point average of 2.75 or higher each semester while participating in sequential and rigorous coursework.
Source: Armijo Royals Volunteer and Help Local Food Bank Feed the Need
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today named five exceptional educators as the 2022 California Teachers of the Year. These educators are ambassadors for the profession and serve as representatives of the state for the calendar year. Thurmond, who has 12 years of direct experience in education— teaching life skills classes, after-school programs, and career training—said he is thrilled to honor five outstanding and talented teachers who have gone above and beyond during a challenging time in education, and in our lives.
“In what may be the toughest ever time for California families, students and educators, these five innovative and caring teachers have made profound differences in the lives of their students and communities,” said Thurmond. “I’m proud that these educators are receiving this prestigious honor for their continued effort to connect with students even during unimaginable circumstances, to address their needs, and support them in any way they can.”
Source: 2022 CA Teachers of the Year Announced – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
Travis School District trustees will consider a reworded No. 1 goal for the district when they meet Tuesday.
The current language reads, Focus on instructional excellence to increase achievement for every student using support systems to improve student learning and to close achievement gaps in order to prepare students for college and career.”
The reworked language is, “Focus on instructional and institutional excellence to promote equity for all, close the achievement gap, and improve student learning in preparation for opportunities beyond high school, including college and career.”
Source: Travis trustees to examine school district’s top goal
By Susan Hiland
School Board members will consider items connected to the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village at the next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The first issue is a request by the staff for approval of a commercial lease with Pleasant Valley School at the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village site. This agreement is a no-cost land lease for 880 square feet of play area space to be used by the Pleasant Valley School.
Pleasant Valley School is adjacent to the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village.
Source: Vacaville School Board set to consider Shelly Dally land lease plan, preschool grant requirements