By John Woolfolk
More than four in 10 parents say their kids fell behind academically during the COVID-19 pandemic, when California trailed the country in reopening classrooms to in-person learning, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Now that their kids are back in the classroom, three out four parents support the state’s decision to no longer require masks. But two-thirds of them are OK requiring students to receive COVID-19 vaccines once they’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California offers a glimpse of how parents in the Golden State feel state leaders and educators have dealt with the turmoil from the pandemic and the impact it’s had on the state’s 6 million K-12 students.
Source: More than four in 10 parents say kids fell behind from school closures – Times-Herald
By Matt Miller
Police Officer Joshua Bender said he never expected to get any awards for the work he does in the community.
“I’m just trying to find ways to help others,” he said.
Bender, who spends the bulk of his hours at Grange Middle School, was recently selected as the National School Resource Officer of the Year. The award goes to those who have made significant contributions to their schools and community.
Source: Grange resource officer earns nod as nation’s best
The Solano County Office of Education is expanding in-person Girls in Robotics Leadership camps.
Free camps will be hosted this summer in Benicia, Fairfield, Vacaville and Vallejo for middle and high school girls. Interest forms for the 2022 GIRL camps are due May 16 and are available at the Solano County Office of Education website, www.solanocoe.net/girlcamp.
All camps will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are three options for middle school students to select from: (1) June 6-10 at Solano Community College, Vacaville Center; (2) June 13-17 at Solano College in rural Fairfield; and (3) June 20-24 at Solano Community College, Vallejo.
Source: SCOE accepting applications for free GIRL camps
By Susan Hiland
The idea of smaller classroom sizes has been bouncing around for many years and the staff at the Fairfield-Suisun School District has put together a presentation for Superintendent Kris Corey to present to the board Thursday.
The state has some rules and codes that must be followed for class sizes that are tied to funding for schools.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun district eyes class size limits to maximize state funding
Kairos Public Schools has received the state 2022 Pivotal Practice Award for its pandemic response – the only Solano County school to receive the recognition.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the award Tuesday.
“We are proud of the courageous efforts of our staff and students as they responded with student-centered decision-making in the most challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team’s perseverance and dedication to create learning systems for our scholars in a time when no school was prepared speaks to our spirit of innovation,” Jared Austin, the executive director of Kairos, said in a statement.
Source: Kairos Public Schools earns state award for pandemic response
By Thomas Gase
The Vallejo City Unified School District announced in a news release Tuesday that it sent out draft Notices of Violations and Opportunity to Cure to Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) concerning its four charter schools.
Those schools include Mare Island Technology Academy middle and high schools as well as Griffin Academy middle and high schools.
The VCUSD’s Board of Trustees will review, consider, and vote on whether to formally issue the draft notices sent to GTA’s four schools on Thursday at 5 p.m. during a special board meeting.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District sends notices to four charter schools – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced the winners of the newly created 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program. The award program is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program. It celebrates schools and districts that implemented an innovative practice during the 2020–21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m incredibly proud of these schools and districts for their creativity, dedication, and innovation in the face of adversity,” Thurmond said. “These schools led incredible efforts to engage students, distribute technology, provide meals, and support the social and emotional well-being of students during an incredibly difficult time for schools and families.”
Source: 2022 CA Pivotal Practice Awardees Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan Hiland
Suisun Valley K-8 School is among the 2022 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.
Suisun Valley was nominated for the award by the California Department of Education for its work to create a campus and school community focused on environmental sustainability and education.
Award honorees were recognized for their efforts and leadership in reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness and ensuring effective sustainability education.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school earns Green Ribbon designation
Beginning next month, the Vallejo school board intends to return to in-person meetings for the first time in two years.
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent William Spalding announced during Wednesday’s school board meeting a tentative plan for the five-person school board to return to in-person meetings starting on May 4.
The board typically would meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month inside district offices on Mare Island. But it has met via teleconference for nearly two years following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Vallejo school board plans lifting pandemic restrictions, return to in-person meetings
California is seeing a boom in homeschooling. State numbers show it’s more than doubled since before the pandemic.
A controversial factor is possibly driving the increase. Nicole Nowling plans to pull her four children out of the Fairfield Suisun Unified School District if California enforces a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for kids.
“When you have the government essentially telling you, ‘We’re gonna tell you what to do, and what’s best.’ That’s a hard pill to swallow,” she said.
Source: Homeschooling In California Sees Boom; Looming Kids’ COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate May Be Driving Increase – CBS San Francisco
By Richard Bammer
At Suisun Valley K-8 School, what a way by which to remember Earth Day, April 22, 2022.
State and federal officials came knocking, figuratively speaking, at the Lambert Road school Friday, announcing it was among 18 California schools, two school districts, and one county office of education that earned 2022 California Green Ribbon Schools awards.
A rural campus of nearly 600 students in bucolic Suisun Valley, the school was one of five recognized as a “Green Achiever,” for environmental excellence, nominated by state schools chief Tony Thurmond also to receive honors from the U.S. Department of Education.
Source: Fairfield school accorded state, national ‘Green Ribbon’ honor – The Vacaville Reporter
By Thomas Gase
As hundreds of kids ran around laughing and shrieking at Loma Vista Farms Saturday, Julia Allen looked around her and could only smile.
“I feel so great to be out here today and see all of the people,” the current President of Friends of Loma Vista Farms said. “We have such a loyal following with the families that come here over and over, but I’m always also looking forward to meeting new people. I have no idea how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh my God this place is great and I never knew it was here this whole time.”
Loma Vista Farms held a Spring Open House on Saturday and the event served the community in an educational way as well as a form of entertainment.
Source: Vallejo’s Loma Vista Farms opens up to kids, families – Times-Herald
“In most school districts, the second-largest yearly expense after salaries is the energy bill.”
That’s a quote from Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking earlier this month at an elementary school in Washington, D.C.
She was announcing a new, multibillion-dollar federal push to renovate public schools in ways that are healthier both for children and the planet – and often, that save money too.
Source: Schools are going green with money from the federal government : NPR
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, today on Earth Day, announced that 18 schools, two school districts, and one county office of education earned 2022 California Green Ribbon Schools awards. Among the state honorees are five “Green Achievers” nominated by the State Superintendent to receive U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition. The U.S. Department of Education today confirmed all five Green Achievers as ED-GRS honorees, recognized for conserving resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. California’s honorees are among 27 schools, five districts, and four postsecondary institutions being honored nationally.
“This year, California Green Ribbon Schools maintained sustainable practices and environmental education through the unprecedented challenges created by the global pandemic,” Thurmond said. “Their flexibility and ingenuity helped them produce leading-edge models for improved indoor air quality, well-designed outdoor classrooms, and meaningful environmental education. I also want to recognize that more than half of our award-winning sites are within some of the state’s highest-needed communities. We are proud of how California’s Green Ribbon Schools provide our students with the skills needed to lead impactful environmental change in their local areas.”
Source: 2022 CA Green Ribbon Schools Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
Last year, as part of Vacaville People’s Forum’s efforts to host inclusive community events, the local group hosted its first special needs awareness event, “Be You,” in Andrews Park.
The event featured a parade, music, speeches by local dignitaries, and fun activities for all. It ended up drawing an audience of approximately 100.
Organizer Danielle Shea was very pleased with the turnout.
“We were very happy with it,” she said. “We had a lot of feedback from the community saying they had a lot of fun.”
Source: Second annual special needs awareness event returns Sunday – The Vacaville Reporter
Art submissions for the 2022 Solano Student Art Showcase are being accepted.
The May 21 event, which will feature divisions for students in fourth through sixth grades, seventh and eighth grades, ninth and 10th grades, 11th and 12th grades and nontraditional, will take place at McCormack Hall on the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo.
“Art can be an amazing outlet for creativity and self-expression, especially during difficult times. Year after year, the art submitted by Solano students is a remarkable representation of the voices, personalities and resilience of our young people. I am excited to see what students create this year,” Solano Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.
Source: County Office of Education accepting entries for Student Art Showcase
Travis Credit Union is challenging youths to be fiscally aware.
April is Financial Literacy Month and TCU is giving teens ages 13 to 18 the opportunity to complete four online money challenges and learn about managing money.
Every challenge will be a new online financial education activity on organizing finances, Avoiding debt, establishing savings and building credit. Those who complete every challenge will be entered to win an Apple iPad.
Source: Program teaches teens money management – The Vacaville Reporter
California public health officials announced Thursday that they will delay implementation of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus vaccine requirement in schools until at least July 1, 2023, pointing to the Food and Drug Administration’s lack of full approval for the vaccine for children of certain ages.
Vaccines will not be required for students for the 2022-2023 school year in order to “ensure sufficient time for successful implementation of new vaccine requirements,” California Department of Public Health officials said in a statement.
Requirements for coronavirus vaccines will not take effect in the state until the FDA approves them for children in grades 7 through 12 and “no sooner than” July 1, 2023, state public health officials said.
Source: COVID vaccine mandate for California schools delayed until 2023 [San Francisco Chronicle]
By Susan Hiland
It is a tsunami of needs that has impacted our schools, according to Allyson Rude Azevedo, Director of Student Service, at the Travis school board meeting, Tuesday evening.
She along with Sylvia Crowder, School Social Worker, provided an overview of the mental health and climate of the school district.
The revelations rocked the attending parents, causing much outrage.
In February of this year an anonymous survey was handed out to students from elementary school through high school to judge how things were going emotionally for them.
Source: Travis hears report on mental health of students in district
The Vallejo City Unified School District will host an in-person job fair on Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at the district offices at 665 Walnut Ave.
Currently, open positions include teachers, substitutes, support staff, and managers.
Attendees will be able to interview for positions and, if qualified, be offered a job on the spot.
“We are very excited to be able to provide job offers that day,” Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Gigi Patrick said in a news release. “If we find the right fit for one of our vacancies, we want to hire them. We have all types of positions available, and we are hoping that this event will attract candidates who could thrive at VCUSD.”
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District to host job fair – Times-Herald