By Susan Hiland
New law requires local food purchases starting in January 2024
Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District heard a presentation Thursday about finances for the child nutrition programs – a presentation that looked ahead to how a new state law may change where and how the district purchases food.
The district’s nutritional programs include a Seamless Summer Feeding Program, and Community Eligibility Provision School Nutrition Programs which includes At-Risk After School Supper Program.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school board reviews school nutrition programs
By Elizabeth Aguilera, CalMatters
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination advisors voted earlier this month to recommend all children get the Covid-19 vaccine, a move that does not change California’s list of vaccines required for children to attend school.
The addition of the Covid-19 vaccine to the CDC’s recommended vaccines for kids is not a mandate for states’ school attendance requirements. Any additions to California’s list must be made by the state Legislature or the state Department of Public Health. In the last 12 months, the Newsom administration and the Legislature separately tried to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for kids to attend school, and both failed.
Source: CDC paves way for California to require school Covid vaccines
By Richard Bammer
The stories have made headlines for several years: A young person bought a pill they thought was Oxycodone, Norco, or similar opioids.
But it wasn’t. It was a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl and that person who had so much more living to do ended up cold, perhaps naked and lying on the coroner’s examination table, leaving behind a grieving family and friends.
“Teens take street pills thinking they’re Oxycodone, Adderall or Xanax,” Robin Cox, bureau chief of Solano County’s Health Promotion & Community Wellness (VibeSolano). “They don’t realize they are counterfeit pills until it’s too late — their first encounter with the counterfeit pill can often be fatal.”
Source: County health leaders issue fentanyl warning – The Vacaville Reporter
By Richard Bammer
The Vacaville High School drumline thundered away with chest-rattling rhythms. The cheer squad was in sync with sharply rehearsed moves. A choir sang under a curved array of orange-and-black balloons, the school colors, and Vacaville Unified leaders sat in anticipation of several featured speakers as the sun shone on the object of all the hub-bub.
The sounds and sights — most of them in no-surprise orange and black, and the people, including families, young children and school staff members — added a natural celebratory feel late Thursday afternoon when the school community dedicated the Steve Green Memorial Gymnasium at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus, a beige-painted, gleaming $4 million, 7,000-square-foot building with a seating capacity of nearly 400 that was completed in recent days and will be baptized Monday, when Bulldog basketball season begins.
Source: Vaca High dedicates gym, joyously, to beloved teacher, coach Steve Green – The Vacaville Reporter
By Thomas Gase
It’s not hard to imagine: The person who finally cures cancer could be from Vallejo.
Or the person who rehabilitates you through a tough injury or conducts a successful surgery on your friend could be from Vallejo.
Now, more than ever, people are being sought for positions in the field of health care. On Tuesday and Wednesday representatives and workers from Kaiser Permanente partnered with schools in the Bay Area for Youth Career Day 2022 to let students know that job opportunities in the health care industry are there for them if they choose to pursue them.
Source: Vallejo students learn about healthy career choices – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
Trustees in the Fairfield-Suisun School District will hear presentations Thursday that center on finances: one on child nutrition programs, and one on deferred maintenance and future projects.
The first presentation is an annual update on Child Nutrition Services.
The district’s nutritional programs include a Seamless Summer Feeding Program, Community Eligibility Provision School Nutrition Programs and an At-Risk After School Supper Program.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school trustees to hear updates on financial matters
By Todd R. Hansen
Navy Rear Admiral Leonard “Butch” Dollaga on Wednesday took a tour of the Mare Island shipyard, and visited some Junior ROTC students at Vanden High School.
Dollaga, chief of Legislative Affairs for the Navy, grew up in Vallejo and graduated from Hogan High School.
“The more you interface with your people, the more you train them, the more effective they will be. Just trust those people,” Dollaga told the nearly two dozen cadets of the Vanden Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training program.
Source: Vallejo native Rear Adm. Dollaga visits Mare Island, Vanden High
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board is expected to appoint a new trustee on Wednesday following a second round of interviews with residents seeking to join the five-person board.
The school board began the process of filling the vacancy after no one registered to run in November’s election for Trustee Area 1, which represents most of West Vallejo and Mare Island. The area also includes South Vallejo west of Interstate 80.
Source: Vallejo school board to appoint new trustee
By Thomas Gase
Per usual, Loma Vista Farms in Vallejo was full of animals, apple cider, train rides and puppet shows on Saturday. However, when Loma Vista Farms Events Chair Jennifer Shinar was asked what her favorite part about the farm’s annual Harvest Festival was, she didn’t hesitate.
“Oh, the kids. No doubt. Seeing their faces light up when they see everything here,” Shinar said. “That’s what keeps me coming back year after year. I especially like seeing them with the old-school cider house. I love watching the kids crank it up and then crush it and then taste it. We do it every year and I love watching the kids’ reaction to it.”
Source: Loma Vista Farms harvests fun family time in Vallejo – Times-Herald
By Joel Rosenbaum
Maryjane Schooler of Vacaville (left) gets some assistance in filling out her application for a job as para-professional aid with the Vacaville Unified School District from Dianna Villa, who works in the district human resources department during a job fair Saturday at Markham Elementary School. The event was organized by the district with the goal of filling substitute teaching positions as well as filling openings in areas like classroom aids, nutrition staff, and yard duty staff. Some of the applicants hired Saturday could be starting their new jobs as soon as Monday.
Source: Photo: Vacaville Unified School District puts out the call – The Vacaville Reporter
Fifth- and sixth-graders across the Fairfield-Suisun School District are receiving formal training that coincides with National Anti-Bullying Month.
The training is designed to help the fifth- and sixth-graders reflect on class and school culture.
It is part of the district’s ongoing efforts “to implement a culture of kindness and respect and works to maintain spaces where students feel safe and welcome,” according to a press release from the school district.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools provide anti-bullying workshops to 5th-, 6th-graders
Drama students at Vanden High School are busy setting the stage for a one-act play early next month that offers audiences a pair of separate short performances.
“Hard Candy” is a one-act comedy about people interviewing for a job who are willing to do anything – bribery, nepotism, blackmail, seduction and even an attempt at mind control – to get to the top of the corporate ladder.
Vanden drama teacher Jerald Bolden said students in the Drama 1 and Drama 2 classes will also present two other short stories.
Source: Vanden students prep to open award-winning ‘Hard Candy’
By Nick Sestanovich
Between walking to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and walking along the back hill to meet wooden cutouts of famous Halloween characters, students at Fairmont and Padan elementary schools definitely got their steps in Thursday.
It was all part of the church’s Pumpkins on the Hill event, where pumpkins and other goodies are sold at cheap prices, with proceeds distributed to Opportunity House and the Feed the Hungry program at Church of the Epiphany.
As part of this program, Fairmont and Padan students at all grade levels are invited to walk over to the pumpkin patch, play games, be led on a tour where they receive free pencils and other items along the way, listen to songs sung by Mr. Pumpkin — an alias of music minister Chris Holmes, and maybe buy a pumpkin, small toy or snack while there.
Source: Students tour pumpkin patch, meet Halloween characters – The Vacaville Reporter
By Richard Bammer
For every major issue in American society, there is a month, it seems.
And October is National Anti-Bullying Month, which emphasizes the need to reflect on class and school culture, according to Fairfield-Suisun Unified officials.
This month, striving to implement a culture of kindness and respect and to maintain spaces where students feel safe and welcome, they have arranged for a speaker to visit every fifth- and sixth-grade class in the district to deliver an anti-bullying workshop, a six-part series in a span of six weeks.
Source: Speaker series part of National Anti-Bullying Month in FSUSD – The Vacaville Reporter
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board is scheduled to interview six residents who have applied to represent Trustee Area 1 on the five-person board, with the first round of interviews scheduled for Wednesday.
The school board began the process of filling the vacancy after no one registered to run for the office in November’s election.
Vallejo spokesperson Celina Baguiao said that 11 applied to represent the trustee area and that the remaining applicant names will be released on Friday. The board is scheduled to interview those applicants on Oct. 26.
Wednesday’s interviewees include Clarence Martin, Michael-Riley Brann, Carlos Flores, Helen-Marie Gordon, Dedrick Weathersby, and Gilbert Dodson.
Source: Vallejo school board to interview first round of candidates for vacant seat this Wednesday
By Kristen Hwang and Ana B. Ibarra
California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end Feb. 28, 2023, nearly three years from its initiation, officials from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced Monday.
The announcement came as new variants spur concerns that there will be another deadly winter surge across the country and as test positivity rates plateau in California following a nearly three-month decline. More than 95,000 Californians have died as a result of COVID-19, according to state data.
The state of emergency gave Newsom broad, often controversial, powers to issue masking and vaccination mandates and temporary stay-at-home orders in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. It also enabled the governor to enter into nearly $12 billion dollars worth of no-bid emergency response contracts with testing facilities, personal protective equipment suppliers and temporary workforce agencies. Some of those contracts were with untested vendors who failed to deliver services.
Source: California to end the COVID state of emergency – The Vacaville Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today named five exceptional educators as the 2023 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 began his career as a social services worker, said he is pleased to recognize the five outstanding teachers who have had a tremendous impact in their schools, on students, and in communities, and have gone above and beyond during a challenging time in education and in our lives.
“These five educators receive the prestigious honor of 2023 California Teachers of the Year for their extraordinary talents and efforts to teach young people in California during historically challenging circumstances,” said Thurmond. “Using their exceptional skills, creativity, and experience, they continue to create positive learning environments and make meaningful contributions to the academic and social–emotional needs of their students.”
Source: 2023 California Teachers of the Year Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
With many schools in Vacaville within walking distance of students’ homes, traffic and pedestrian safety can be a concern, especially when school starts or lets out.
Parents, students, neighbors, teachers and other school staff likely know of ways to improve travel around their schools, and the city wants to hear from you.
In conjunction with Solano Safe Routes to School, the city is calling upon the community to submit their traffic safety concerns and ideas to ameliorate them through Jan. 31.
Source: Vacaville calls upon community for ideas to improve safety around schools – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
The city of Vacaville has filled two major positions by promoting two longtime employees.
Reggie Hubbard has assumed the role of Parks and Recreation director, and Brian McLean has been elevated to Public Works director. Both have served with the city for more than a decade, and in Hubbard’s case, exactly three decades.
According to a city news release, Hubbard received a bachelor’s degree in history at Oregon State University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. In 1992, he was hired as a part-time program coordinator in Vacaville but was soon promoted to full-time housing and redevelopment specialist. In 2003, he was named recreation supervisor followed by recreation manager a few years later.
Source: Two longtime employees promoted to top roles in Parks and Rec, Public Works departments – The Vacaville Reporter
The city is accepting ideas on where Safe Routes to School locations should be considered for the program’s plan.
“City staff will evaluate each submission to determine if there are physical improvements that can be constructed to mitigate areas of concern. Evaluation of data and conditions will guide the types of potential physical improvements (e.g. enhanced crosswalks, radar feedback signs, installation of gap sidewalks, etc.). Please note, not all issues can be solved by physical improvements,” the city said in a statement.
Source: Vacaville wants ideas for Safe Route to School locations