The following information has been compiled to provide easy access to new updates, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and other information pertaining to Independent Study for the 2021–22 school year. The California Department of Education (CDE) remains committed to providing support to local educational agencies (LEAs) as they implement Independent Study requirements. As we receive questions, we continue to create and share helpful updates to resources to support LEAs through this process.
CDE provides key information and resources on Independent Study programs, including FAQs and guidance for the provision of services, on the CDE Independent Study web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/is/. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding legislative amendments to the Independent Study framework for 2021–22, CDE is providing a series of updates to guidance and resources for schools for the current year. In addition to its typical uses, this school year, Independent Study is the vehicle being used to provide families with an alternative to in-person instruction as well as for use by schools for students who cannot participate in classroom instruction due to temporary quarantine or COVID-19 caused school closure. Contact IndependentStudy@cde.ca.gov for general questions.
Source: What’s New in Independent Study for 2021–22? – Letters (CA Dept of Education)
By John Fensterwald, EdSource
Diverting funds intended for California’s high-needs students for other spending “dampens” the potential to significantly close the achievement gap between high-poverty and low-poverty students, new research from the Public Policy Institute of California has found.
School districts on average are directing only 55 cents of every dollar of extra funding from the Local Control Funding Formula to the schools that high-needs students who generate the money attend, research fellow Julien Lafortune concluded in a policy brief and full report.
Lafortune examined school-level financial data reported to the state for all districts with more than 250 students and with more than 10 schools. He was able to do the research using federally mandated school-level data available for the first time.
Source: Nearly half of money for high-needs students not getting to their schools, analysis finds – The Vacaville Reporter
By Matt Miller
The Solano County Office of Education’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Plan.
The nearly $1.07 million in pandemic relief comes from funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funds address students’ academic, social, emotional and mental health needs as well as alleviating gaps that existed before and may be worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Source: Solano Board of Education approves $1.07M in pandemic relief spending
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? public education partnership with AltaMed Community Health Network. This critical campaign expands access to lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines throughout the state of California. This vaccine effort is focused on communities hit hardest to keep our schools safely open so that our students can recover from learning loss caused by the pandemic. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected millions of Latinos throughout California, and the ¡Ándale! ¿Qué Esperas? campaign aims to get 450,000 Latinos vaccinated in medically underserved areas of California through grassroots COVID-19 vaccine outreach, education, and support services, including a statewide call center. In addition to getting access to COVID-19 vaccines, the call centers will connect our families to five regional health care partners who will also provide much needed social services.
“We are helping schools connect with community health centers to not only get the vaccines for eligible students and family members, but also to help find the best times and spaces to provide the vaccinations like mobile clinics at convenient locations or even pop-up sites at school events,” said Thurmond. “Additionally, we want everyone to know about the call center that will connect callers to the closest vaccination site at a certain time and can take questions in English and Spanish—call (855) YA-ANDALE or (855) 922-6325.”
Source: SPI Launches New Vaccine Outreach Effort – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
The Solano County Office of Education will conduct its regular meeting of the Board of Education at 6 p.m. Wednesday to consider how best to spend nearly $1.07 million in pandemic relief funds.
The meeting will be take place virtually.
Members of the public may attend via the Zoom webinar format, or by telephone. The links are available on the Solano County Office of Education website, www.solanocoe.net/agendasminutes.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Plan for pandemic funds from the American Rescue Plan Act is among the unfinished business to be discussed, and how the money will be utilized.
Source: Solano Board of Education to consider plan to spend $1.07M in pandemic relief
By Joel Rosenbaum
Will C. Wood High School seniors, Christina Edwards, 17 (left,) and Elyjah Ebuen, 17, embrace as they celebrate being crowned homecoming royalty during halftime of the Wildcats’ 33-25 victory over Rodriguez High School Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
Source: Will C. Wood crowns Homecoming royalty – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
The school board got an earful Thursday from a packed house of parents concerned with the possible Covid-19 mandate coming from the governor’s office that would require parents to give children the Covid vaccination in order to attend classes on campus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans earlier this week to add the Covid-19 vaccine to the list of vaccinations required to attend school in-person once the vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration for middle and high school grades.
Source: School board hears from parents concerned by governor’s vaccine plan
By Katy St. Clair
Women tend to engage more that men with the community college online, according to information presented Wednesday to the Solano College governing board.
James Thomas Media handles web and social media issues for the college district.
Tom Gachis, founder, told the body that the landscape has changed since the beginnings of Covid-19 at the end of 2019.
Gachis presented visuals of how social media use and the district’s website traffic spiked in the first few months of the pandemic. They leveled off but were still robust.
Source: Solano College board hears report on social media efforts
By Katy S. Clair
The Solano Community College board bid farewell Wednesday to two returning staffers.
Two long-term employees have announced their retirements, and both received fond sendoffs before the board.
Dean of Liberal Arts Neil Gline asked the body to “take a moment to recognize the greatness that is Donna Meyer.”
Meyer has worked for the community college system for 34 years, he said, and most recently worked as division administrator for the liberal arts department.
Source: Solano Community College Board salutes retirees, Hispanic Heritage Month
The City of Vacaville kicked off Manufacturing Week, partnering with Solano Community college and the Vacaville Unified School district in hosting the next generation’s students with the current cutting-edge manufacturing and education providers in the area.
“Our local high school students are quickly becoming the future of our city,” Vacaville Mayor Ron Rowlett said in a press statement. “Vacaville is a hub for advanced manufacturing in California and it is important to expose our students to the many careers that are available in the industry. Connecting our students with local opportunities, through both Solano College and local businesses, is at the heart of what our Manufacturing Week is about.”
Source: City of Vacaville celebrates Manufacturing Week – The Vacaville Reporter
By Rachel Wulff
It’s the ABC’s of COVID19: School districts learning how to keep kids in class amidst the new delta variant, protocols for exposures, and quarantine.
“It’s pretty convenient,” said Eric Pakroo.
When Pakroo’s daughter Aubrey didn’t feel well, he brought her into the new centralized COVID-19 testing center run by the Vacaville Unified School District.
“We’re really not in the public health business, but with COVID everybody is into every business,” said Associate Superintendent Ed Santopadre.
Source: Vacaville Schools Lean On Rapid COVID Testing Center To Keep Students In Class – CBS Sacramento
The Vacaville School District and Ron DuPratt Ford will turn the ignition Friday on the first automotive pre-apprenticeship program in Solano County.
Students will receive an inside look at opportunities in the automotive industry in a partnership that includes the Solano County Office of Education.
Will C. Wood High School’s Career Technical Education instructor, Chip Reeves, has had a long-standing partnership with Ron DuPratt Ford in Dixon. This partnership has provided students enrolled in Wood’s automotive courses with ample resources, which include vehicle donations and access to Ford’s automotive training modules.
Source: Vacaville school district, DuPratt Ford team up on pre-apprenticeship program
By Matt O’Donnell
The Vallejo City Unified School District, in an email sent to students and their families across the district Wednesday, says it will comply with a state mandate that students and staff must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school in person.
The district will host two upcoming vaccination clinics for students and staff: Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Vallejo High School and Thursday, Oct. 14 at the same time at Hogan Middle School.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that students and staff would need to be vaccinated to attend school in person.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District plans to follow vaccine mandate for students, staff – Times-Herald
By Joel Rosenbaum
Elijah Muller, 14 a freshman at Will C. Wood searches for the correct piece as he competes in a LEGO building contest Monday in the quad during lunchtime. To celebrate homecoming week, the student council organized activities all week during lunch. Today and Wednesday, students will compete in Hollywood-themed fashion shows. A rally on the field at Wildcat Stadium is scheduled for Thursday night. It all culminates with the coronation of the queen and king during halftime of the Wildcats’ game against Rodriguez High School Friday.
Source: Will C. Wood Kicks Off Homecoming Week – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
No longer will students at Vacaville Unified School District sites have to wait too long to return to campus as they await the results of a COVID-19 test. With a new centralized rapid testing lab, they will have an answer in a matter of minutes.
Through a partnership with San Francisco medical lab Bay Area Phlebotomy and Laboratory Services (BayPLS), VUSD opened its centralized testing center at the new Shelley Dally Early Learning Village, located in the former site of Bethany Lutheran Church. The center offers free, walk-in rapid antigen testing and is open to all students and staff.
Ed Santopadre, associate superintendent of educational services, said the center was open to a handful of schools a few weeks ago and became a school wide service this past week. Previously, testing was available at each school site, which he said was “unsustainable.”
Source: VUSD opens new centralized COVID testing center – The Vacaville Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders at a press conference today at Sunset Elementary School in Fresno for the signing of legislation marking historic and unprecedented investment in early childhood education that will expand opportunities for every child across the state.
Of the bills signed today, Assembly Bill 1363, sponsored by Superintendent Thurmond and authored by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), will develop procedures for state preschool contractors to identify and report data on dual-language learners. As part of the Governor’s $123.9 billion pre-K and K–12 education package, California will be providing free, high-quality, inclusive pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds beginning in the 2022–23 school year, with full implementation by 2025–26.
“We know from research and from experience that the early years are critical to support a child’s learning and development,” said Thurmond. “Universal pre-K is a first of its kind effort and California’s opportunity to ensure every child—regardless of background, race, ZIP code, immigration status, or income level—gets the fair start they need and deserve on their path to success. I’m proud to have sponsored the Universal Transitional Kindergarten legislation and to partner with the Governor and the Legislature on implementing this major step forward.”
Source: SPI Announces Early Childhood Legislation – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
How schools plan to responds to any emergency situation on campus will be just one topic presented at Thursday’s Dixon school board meeting.
By law, schools are required to submit safety plans to ensure that their campuses are prepared for emergencies that may arise on campus. The California Department of Education has a checklist that schools are required to meet.
The safety plan that was included in the agenda packet for Thursday’s meeting was the emergency operations plan for Dixon Unified School District’s three elementary schools, although the middle and high schools have their individual plans as well.
Source: Dixon school board to discuss site emergency response plans – The Vacaville Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced a statewide effort to secure donations with the goal of providing one million books for students and their families. This book drive happens in conjunction with a statewide literacy campaign launched last month that includes a task force working toward the goal of helping all California students reach the goal of literacy by third grade, by the year 2026. Superintendent Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) are working closely with First 5 California and are seeking further partnerships to reach the goal of providing one million books to students and families.
“Our literacy effort is multifaceted, with legislation that will be introduced in 2022 for providing resources and advancing literacy and biliteracy goals through professional learning and family engagement—as well as this effort of to get a million books into the hands of California students and their families,” Thurmond said. “Students who can’t read by the third grade are at greater risk to drop out and end up in the criminal justice system, so this effort is more than just reaching a literacy milestone—it’s also about equity, justice, and putting students on a path that can create a lifetime of success.”
Source: SPI Announces Effort to Provide One Million Books – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
The Vacaville School District has created a new centralized Covid-19 testing site that will be open from 7 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Shelley Dally Early Learning Village, 621 S. Orchard Ave.
Free walk-in rapid antigen testing will be available to all Vacaville students and staff.
The Vacaville school district in August and September administered nearly 3,500 tests, detecting only 55 positives, with the large majority of tests being offered to students, the district reports.
Source: New Covid-19 testing center open to all Vacaville School District students
The Solano County Office of Education is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Irene Larsen Center, 1707 California Drive.The schools office is looking for qualified para-educators, teachers, custodians, student wellness specialists, bus drivers, clerical administrators, accounting analysts, substitutes and others.For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 399-4440.
Source: The Week Ahead: Solano Office of Education hosts job fair Friday