The 2022 California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab., restarted for the first time since 2019 and publicly available today, shows that California’s four- and five-year high school graduation rates hit all-time highs in 2021–22, while the state’s chronic absenteeism rate mirrored national trends. The Dashboard is a key component of the state’s school accountability system, which includes the latest data on graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores, English Learner progress, chronic absenteeism, and local indicators.
The four-year “cohort” graduation rate—which measures the number of students who started as ninth graders and graduated with their peers four years later—climbed to 87 percent, up from 83.6 percent in 2020–21. Every student group showed improvement. Acknowledging high school staff challenges in calculating and assigning grades in the earliest months of the pandemic, the state enacted Assembly Bill 104, altering some specific policies to encourage students in the Class of 2022 to push on toward earning a diploma. The graduation rates likely reflect those accommodations designed to give a boost to students most impacted by COVID-19.
Source: The 2022 California School Dashboard – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan HilandManveer Sandhu
Three new trustees joined the five-member Travis School District governing board Tuesday and quickly shuffled roles.
Manveer Sandhu was selected to lead the newly constituted board as president. This is his first time serving as board president.
The district bid farewell to the former board president, Janet Jackson Forbes, giving her a vase of flowers and a plaque acknowledging her years presiding over school board meetings and serving the community.
Source: New board majority in place at Travis School District
By Susan Hiland
Two new trustees at the Travis School District wasted little time Tuesday in placing their stamp on how the district is governed by questioning what could have been routine approval of the board’s Governance Handbook.
Matthew Bidou, who won his seat in the Nov. 8 election and was sworn into office Tuesday, questioned several parts of the handbook and wanted to discuss them further at a special study session meeting before he felt comfortable signing off on document.
Source: New Travis trustees question board handbook restrictions
By Nick Sestanovich
Seeing vintage and new automobiles up close is pretty neat, but so is being able to donate to people in need this holiday season. This Saturday at Will C. Wood High School will provide an opportunity for both.
The school will be the venue for Cars and Toys, an event organized by local realtor Bradley Morin which will feature an assortment of automobiles up close with a space to drop off toys. But the event’s amenities are not limited to what is in its name. It will also feature food trucks, games and more.
By day, Morin is an agent at Realty One Group Fox, but he said he is “a car guy at heart,” back when he was working on vehicles with his father.
Source: Cars, toys come to Will C. Wood Saturday – The Vacaville Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and counselors from the Mt. Diablo Unified School District visited homes of families today whose students were identified as being chronically absent. These visits are one of many outreach efforts, which also include online guidance and webinars, taken on by Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) to combat the serious issue of chronic absenteeism, defined as missing at least 10 percent of the instructional days that a student was enrolled to attend school.
Thurmond, who worked for a community-based program that focused on reducing chronic absenteeism prior to serving in the California State Assembly, has made this issue a priority of his administration and has started setting up visits to school districts to volunteer directly on outreach efforts.
“We have to recognize this has been a challenging two years, likely the toughest time these students will face in their lifetime,” Thurmond said. “We have seen serious issues around attendance affect every area throughout our state over the past year. Now it’s important we do everything in our power to get those students back in the classroom.”
Source: SPI Takes Measures to Battle Chronic Absenteeism – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Nick Sestanovich
With the Vacaville and Dixon school board elections now in the rearview, there is only one thing left to do: swear in the recently elected and re-elected trustees before they sit on the dais.
The swearing-in ceremonies for both school boards will take place this Thursday.
For Vacaville, the oath of office will be administered to three individuals: President John Jansen and Trustee Santiago Serrato, who ran unopposed for Trustee Areas 3 and 5 respectively, and Nancy Dunn, who defeated Jacqui Nguyen, a communications specialist and former TV reporter, for a seat in Trustee Area 1. Dunn is a former longtime educator who’s served as president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association. She will be succeeding Shelley Dally, who decided not to seek re-election after eight years on the board.
Source: Vacaville, Dixon to swear in new school board members – The Vacaville Reporter
The World Cup is happening right now, but there is another more local championship happening in January: an Olympics of the mind, if you will.
Solano County Office of Education is hosting its Academic Decathlon at Solano Community College’s Fairfield campus. A total of 17 high schools from throughout Solano, Contra Costa, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo counties will be sending students to put their academic skills to the test and compete for a trophy.
Volunteers are being sought for the roles of interview judge, room monitor, Super Quiz proctor, Super Quiz assistant, speech judge and runner/escort. More information on what each portion entails as well as a link to register can be found at Docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBw-5n26-VjBaXCEkF-9mjuygKJuA-Y2Ad1yeHbbX6feFiEQ/viewform.
Source: SCOE calling upon volunteers for Academic Decathlon – The Vacaville Reporter
Earlier this month, Travis Credit Union (TCU) hosted its first Volunteer Recognition Ceremony through its Travis Community Union Foundation (TCUF) to celebrate individuals and community partners for their commitment to supporting local communities. Almost 100 guests were in attendance.
Honorees were recognized for their contributions to various TCU and TCUF financial wellness initiatives, including Mad City Money’s Teen Financial Boot Camp, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), community volunteerism through TCU’s Volunteer Time Off program, free shredding events and more.
“Travis Credit Union’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program has been my lifeline,” Glenda Myers, a VITA client and TCU member of 33 years, said at the event.
Source: Travis Credit Union recognizes community partners, volunteers – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
One of the best-known faces on campus at Alamo Elementary School looks a bit different than your average student or faculty member.
She has a large black nose, an extra pair of legs, and a tail, and communicates in barks. She is Pepper, Vacaville Unified School District’s first facility dog, and the three-year-old black Labrador retriever has commemorated one year of alleviating stress or other negative feelings for students by allowing her to be pet.
Pepper resides in the classroom of her handler, fifth-grade teacher Julia Borges, and when she is not lying on her bed below Borges’ desk and drawings of her created by her students, she is walking about the classroom poking her head near students’ desks, hoping they will extend their hands out and pet her. To that end, Pepper is never disappointed.
Source: Pepper commemorates first year as Alamo Elementary facility dog – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees will shuffle roles this week and welcome the newest member.
The board will elect a president, vice president and a clerk from among its members Thursday. Teresa Lavell from the Solano County Board of Education will administer the oath of office to newly elected Trustee Jack Flynn prior to the meeting.
Trustees will also discuss changing meeting nights for the coming school year.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to select new officers; welcome newest board member
By Susan Hiland
Travis School District trustees will likely see some changes in the new year.
The board at Tuesday’s meeting will select a president, vice president and clerk. Trustees will also will select representatives to the Solano County School Boards Association and the Travis Regional Armed Forces Committee.
Superintendent Pam Conklin will serve as board secretary.
The changes will take effect immediately after the election.
Source: Travis school board considers course changes, meeting dates for coming year
By Matt Miller
Jericho Johnson has a voice mail on his cellphone that sounds like a little kid pranking a caller.
“What if a college coach calls?” he is asked.
“I should change that,” he says.
“What if Deion Sanders calls?”
“I should really change that,” he adds.
Source: Armijo’s Jericho Johnson, a top NorCal prospect, has good head on his broad shoulders
By Nick Sestanovich
On Friday morning, the gym at Armijo High School was an inclusive place where all students could play a game of basketball, regardless of ability.
It is one of a few events Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, in conjunction with the Special Olympics of Northern California, puts on each year where both general education and special education students take part in the world of sports. The athletes were certainly competitive, but the goal was more about giving all students an even field to compete on.
The department also hosts soccer and track and field events, but Friday’s event was all about basketball. Special Olympians came in from four of FSUSD’s high schools — Armijo, Fairfield, Rodriguez and H. Glenn Richardson Education Complex — to shoot hoops with general education students, play other games and overall have a good time.
Source: Special Olympics brings players of all abilities onto Armijo court – The Vacaville Reporter
Middle and high school students from throughout Solano gathered at the Sunrise Event Center Saturday in Vacaville for the fourth annual Solano Youth Resiliency Summit.
The event was sponsored by the Solano County Office of Education in partnership with Club Stride, Drug Safe Solano, Fighting Back Partnership, Nature of Sound, Friday Night Live Partnership, Solano Youth Coalition, Touro University, Vallejo Project and VIBE Solano.
About 65 students spent the morning learning to “develop resiliency, leadership skills, healthy coping strategies” in an effort to make positive changes in their communities.
Source: Summit inspires youth to become leaders – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Solano County sheriff’s deputies, all off duty, descended on Target in Vacaville early Saturday with one aim in mind — to make the holiday season bright for 20 students throughout the county.
Just after 7 a.m., the “Shop with a Deputy” event, sponsored by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, was in full swing. Kids from pre-K to 10th grade, all who thrived despite experiencing adversity, were partnered with a deputy and then embarked on the ultimate shopping adventure.
“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the community,” advised Sgt. Christine Castillo. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Source: Deputies bring cheer to Solano students – The Vacaville Reporter
Commencing in school year 2022–23, CA Education Code (EC) Section 49501.5 required public school districts, county offices of education (COE), and charter schools serving students in kindergarten through grade 12 to provide a breakfast and lunch, free of charge, during each school day, regardless of a student’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. This is known as the state meal mandate and universal meals. The state meal mandate also applies to public school students in certified nonpublic schools (NPS). This is because the public school students attending the NPS remain under the jurisdiction of the public school district or COE, per EC Section 56365.
Eligible Local Educational Agencies (LEA), specifically public schools, COEs, and charters schools, can be eligible for state reimbursement for meals served to public school students attending an NPS. The NPS must be listed as a site under the sponsorship of the eligible LEA and be a participant in both the school breakfast and national school lunch programs. Please note that the NPS sites are not eligible for state reimbursement for meals served to nonpublic school students, and NPS sponsors are not eligible for state meal reimbursement.
Source: State Reimbursement for Nonpublic School Sites – Nutrition (CA Dept of Education)
BY Thomas Gase
Athletic teams are coming to Griffin Academy High School and Mare Island Technology Academy High School.
Both schools were granted California Interscholastic Federation Associate Memberships in the Oakland Section of the Bay Area Charter School Athletic Conference (BACSAC) this week, starting the process for both schools to have teams for the winter and spring seasons. Founded in 1999, Griffin Technology Academy schools now serve 1,050 students (growing to 1,900 by 2023).
“We are grateful and excited to be accepted by BACSAC as a CIF Associate Member in the Oakland Section,” said Chris Owens, the athletic director for both schools, in a news release. “The BACSAC staff are quite familiar with the infrastructure of charter schools and have provided immediate guidance since we began building our program from scratch. Our student-athletes are eager to represent our schools in strong and healthy competition.”
Source: Griffin Technology academies granted CIF Associate membership for sports – Times-Herald
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Fiona Lu of Irvine (Orange County), a senior at Northwood High School in the Irvine Unified School District, and Summer Sun of Chico (Butte County), a senior at Chico High School in the Chico Unified School District, were selected for their exceptional leadership skills, noteworthy commitments to their schools and communities, and academic and extracurricular achievements as California’s delegates in this highly competitive program.
“These extraordinary students are among the best of the best in their schools and communities and have already accomplished so much in their young lives. I know they will continue to achieve great things and be excellent representatives for California,” Thurmond said. “I am impressed and encouraged by their strong leadership, passion, and commitment to making positive change and helping those who are underserved. I applaud their civic involvement and their advocacy work on issues such as equity, mental health awareness, the environment, social justice, and more. Their dedication assures me that our future is in good hands.”
Source: 2023 U.S. Senate Youth Program Students Announced – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)