By Nick McConnell
Amy Tran Russell was elected to the Vacaville Unified School District Board of Trustees Area 6 seat after leading the early vote tally in the special vacancy election held Tuesday.
Russell led the final unofficial count released at 8:42 p.m., with 834 votes. Opponent Tracee Stacy received 694 votes at that time. Russell led with 739 votes to Stacy’s 631 of the mail-in ballot count, which were released shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m.
A total of 1,531 ballots were cast, about 18.68 percent of registered voters in Area 6. Solano County Assistant Registrar of Voters John Gardener said this was the first time a special vacancy election has been held in December.
Source: Amy Tran Russell wins VUSD Area 6 election – The Vacaville Reporter
A five-member, all-girls team from three schools and three school districts leads the VEX robotics league heading into the final competition.
“And they are killing the boys,” Lilibeth Pinpin, director of Innovation Programs and Student Success at the Solano County Office of Education, said in an interview about Team Solano, formally known as Solano County Girls Who Code Club.
The group is comprised of four high school students and one middle school student, organized by parents, and representing Vacaville Christian High in the Vacaville Christian Schools, Rodriguez High in the Fairfield-Suisun school district, and Golden West Middle School in the Travis school district.
Source: All-girls team leads Vex robotics league heading into finals | News | dailyrepublic.com
It is election day in the Vacaville Unified School District, again.
The Trustee Area 6 special election marks the second for the school district since September. This one pits Amy Tran Russell against Tracee Stacy to fill the seat vacated by Kelly Welsh when she moved out of the district.
Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
The Solano County Registrar of Voters reported that it had received 1,172 mail-in ballots as of Monday morning. Polling locations are established at Shiloh Baptist Church, 185 Chandler St., Vacaville Bible Church, 490 Brown St., and the Community Presbyterian Church, 425 Hemlock St. There are 8,195 registered voters in the trustee area.
Source: Voters in Trustee Area 6 of Vaca Unified to pick school board rep | News | dailyrepublic.com
The 2023 California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab. is now online with data showing statewide improvements in student outcomes in several areas. 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, the college/career indicator, chronic absenteeism, and local indicators.
Among other highlights, the 2023 Dashboard shows that students in California are graduating at higher levels than before the COVID-19 pandemic and are missing less class time year-over-year.
Source: California School Dashboard 2023 Update Released – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
By Richard Bammer
Laura King, Sherrice Taramasso, and Heather Cole sat at or stood near computer keyboards and monitor Monday afternoon on the fourth floor of the Solano County Government Center, where the Registrar of Voters tallies election results.
The three women — King is an elections coordinator, Taramasso and Cole are elections clerks — were getting ready for the electronic tabulation of the Vacaville Unified School District’s Trustee Area 6 special vacancy election, which will be held on Tuesday.
As of Monday afternoon, Assistant Registrar of Voters John Gardnerhis’ office had received 1,172 mail-in ballots for the trustee area contest. Two candidates — Amy Tran Russell, a University of California, Davis, senior assistant dean, and Tracee Stacy, a parent and educator — are in the race.
Source: Registrar of Voters preps for VUSD Trustee Area 6 special vacancy election – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick McConnell
The Vacaville Unified School District Board of Trustees elected Area Three board member John Jansen as President of the board for 2024. Jansen, previously serving as Vice President, has served on the board for over 8 years and was elected unanimously. Area Two member Daniel Santellan was elected as Vice president, and Area One representative Nancy Dunn was elected clerk.
Trustees had little chance to settle into their new positions before being asked to vote on a material revision and memorandum of understanding with Kairos Public Charter Schools, which will allow them to create a high school level program under their existing charter. The board voted 4-2 in favor of the proposal, with trustees Dunn and Santiago Serrato voting against the motion.
Source: VUSD approves Kairos high school program, elects new board president – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
The discussion on fencing three schools – Vanden High School, Golden West Middle School and the Travis Education Center – continued at Tuesday night’s meeting for the Travis governing board.
At last month’s meeting, the board asked the staff to draw up plans for completing the project in phases rather than one at a time, to detail the cost difference.
This idea of fencing in the three schools has been discussed for many years. The increase of gun violence over those years has made some board members concerned about student safety.
Source: Travis school board continues talks on fencing | Education | dailyrepublic.com
By Susan Hiland
The Travis Unified School District governing board approved an increase in price for second servings in the cafeteria at the Tuesday night meeting.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service requires that the price of an adult meal must fully cover all costs, including the USDA Food’s fair market value.
The breakfast and lunches served are still free but if students wants seconds, they will have to pay for it.
Source: Meal seconds will cost students more in coming year | Education | dailyrepublic.com
The Public Safety Academy has been selected to receive the prestigious 2023 AP Honor Roll Recognition according to a press release from the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
The AP Honor Roll Recognition is an annual distinction that acknowledges schools nationwide whose Advanced Placement programs have consistently delivered remarkable results for their students while expanding access to advanced education.
These schools are selected based on specific criteria that reflect a strong commitment to fostering a college-going culture, creating opportunities for students to earn college credit, and enhancing college readiness. In the 2023 cohort of recognized schools, the Public Safety Academy proudly stands among the 4,570 institutions nationwide receiving this award.
Source: Good News: Public Safety Academy received AP Honor Roll Award | Education | dailyrepublic.com
This week, U.S. Representative John Garamendi (D-CA-08) introduced the “Impact Aid Infrastructure Partnership Act” – a bill that aims to provide a total of $1 billion over four years for Impact Aid Construction Grants to address the significant backlog of facility needs at federally impacted school districts.
In addition to Representative Garamendi, the bill was cosponsored by Representatives Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-37), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-07). This legislation was first introduced in the Senate by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
The “Impact Aid Infrastructure Partnership Act” aims to ensure that federally impacted school districts have the resources needed to provide every student with a quality education and safe learning environment by authorizing $250,000,000 annually for four years for Impact Aid Construction Grants. Of this funding, 25 percent would be made available via formula funding to all eligible school districts. The Department of Education would disseminate the remaining 75 percent as competitive grants with priority for those school districts with acute emergencies in their facilities.
Source: Garamendi introduces bill to provide funding to school districts serving military, Native Americans – Times Herald Online
The Solano County Office of Education is seeking adult volunteers to help with the Bay Region Academic Decathlon scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 2024, at Solano Community College in Fairfield starting at 8:00 a.m.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and can register online at the Solano County Office of Education website at www.solanocoe.net. Volunteer opportunities include interview and speech judges, room monitors, runners, Super Quiz proctors, and Super Quiz assistants. All volunteers will receive an orientation packet and in-person orientation.
The Bay Region Academic Decathlon includes high schools from Santa Clara, Solano, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, and Yolo Counties. This year, over 200 high school students are expected to compete in the regional competition.
Source: Volunteers Needed for Academic Decathlon | Independent Voice
By Lynzie Lowe
After receiving Cannabis Education and Enforcement Grant Program funding, the Traffic Unit of the Fairfield Police Department is now ramping up its efforts to educate the public about the dangers of driving under the influence of cannabis while working to keep impaired drivers off the road.
“The Cannabis Tax Fund Grant Program marks an important step toward reducing impaired driving crashes, increasing public awareness surrounding the dangers of impaired driving, and making California’s roadways a safer place to travel,” read a statement released by California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials.
Source: Fairfield PD expanding cannabis education, enforcement efforts – The Vacaville Reporter
By Diana Lambert
Dixon Unified Superintendent Brian Dolan, 62, has reached the “sweet spot” — the age where superintendents begin to reap the best retirement benefits. He’ll retire after this school year.
Although Covid-19 took the fun out of the job for a while, Dolan is glad he stayed long enough to see things almost return to normal.
“If I were at retirement age, just coming out of Covid, I would’ve needed to work another year just to put a little shine back on the apple,” he said.
Source: Why five superintendents decided to walk away from their jobs | EdSource
By Karenna Meyer
The spirit of the holidays will be alive and well in the hands (and instruments) of students from the Young Artists Conservatory of Music (YACM) as they take the stage for a performance of Christmas tunes and other musical selections.
This three-day holiday extravaganza, which kicks off with a Harmony Gala on Dec. 13, will occur at Journey Downtown in Vacaville. Ticket holders to YACM’s Holiday Harmonies can come celebrate the music of the season while also supporting the musical aspirations of local youth.
Across the three nights of performances,YACM will feature 119 of its students ranging in skill level from beginning musicians to top level students.
Source: December 7 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: YACM’s budding musicians perform holiday classics – The Vacaville Reporter
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced two outstanding high school students to represent California in the 62nd annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP). Aaron Combs of San Diego (San Diego County), a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in the San Dieguito Union High School District, and Emi Sakamoto of Culver City (Los Angeles County), a senior at Culver City High School in the Culver City 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.
“I am incredibly proud of and impressed by these extraordinary students, who are doing so much in their schools and communities to make a difference in the lives of others. Their significant accomplishments speak to their impressive character and dedication,” Thurmond said. “They will make excellent representatives for California.”
Source: 2024 CA U.S. Senate Youth Program Representatives – Year 2023 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Vallejo City Unified School District (VUCSD) Superintendent William Spalding has announced he will be retiring at the end of June.
According to a news release, Spalding will have his last day of his 37-year career on June 30. He’s been at the helm of the VCUSD for three years.
Spalding was not available for comment before the Times-Herald Friday deadline, but in a news release he expressed gratitude for the portion of his career in Vallejo, initially as a vice principal contributing to the establishment of Jesse Bethel High School and most recently as Superintendent.
“My return to the district granted me the privilege to reconnect with a community that holds a special place in my heart,” Spalding shared in the release. “The support and trust extended by the Board of Education have been instrumental in driving positive change and progress.”
Source: William Spalding announces he will be retiring in June – Times Herald Online