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Lisa Reyes, Human Resources, Solano County Office of Education

Benicia principals: ‘We’re all in this together’ – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

School buses may be grounded, but schools remain rolling from home computers and it’s all about a team effort, said two Benicia school principals and a Solano County Board of Education trustee.

“These are unprecedented times to which we need to rise up and unite against this terrible disease,” said Christina Moore, principal at Robert Semple Elementary, adding that she’s “in awe of how teachers and staff, district personnel, parents and students are adjusting to distance learning.

”Moore described Semple’s teachers as “warriors.”

“When we received the call that we would be closing school, teachers jumped into action without batting an eye,” Moore said. “They logged every student into Google Classroom, fed them lunch, packed up their rooms, and sent their students home with all of their textbooks not knowing when we would see each other again.”

Source: Benicia principals: ‘We’re all in this together’ – Times-Herald

Solano County higher education adjusts well to outbreak guidelines – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

If there is a silver lining in the Covid-19 outbreak that has so many individuals and organizations practicing social distancing, remote working and distance learning, the students, staff and faculty at Touro University California, as well as Solano Community College, have found it.

Both schools have programs that deal directly with the crisis in some way, with Touro’s numerous public health and health care graduate programs, and Solano College’s Nursing, EMT and Fire Academy programs, and the transition from a primarily on-campus setting to an online format was as smooth as possible.

Source: Solano County higher education adjusts well to outbreak guidelines

Some Solano school district leaders to close sites for remainder of year – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statement, made public on Wednesday, that he expects California K-12 campuses to remain closed for the remainder of the school year, at least two educators have announced their district sites will not reopen until the fall.

Vacaville Unified Superintendent Jane Shamieh and Dixon Unified Superintendent Brian Dolan have announced they will close their respective classrooms for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, affecting some 15,000 students and thousands of employees.

“This does not mean the 2019-2020 academic year is finished,” Shamieh said in a press release issued Friday. “It means we have to find even more innovative ways to educate our students while adhering to the ‘shelter-at-home’ orders.”

Source: Coronavirus: Some Solano school district leaders to close sites for remainder of year – The Reporter

Wood Graduate Ashley Ramirez helps fight COVID-19 – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

Ashley Ramirez established her athletic credentials on the courts and fields of Will C. Wood High School in the early 2000s. But her academic and professional credentials are equally impressive.

The advanced practice nurse is on the front lines, helping her fellow nurses and other health professionals combat the deadly COVID-19 virus.

The 2002 graduate was inducted into the Will C. Wood High School Athletic Hall of Fame last year. Ramirez earned seven varsity letters in volleyball, basketball and softball. But she truly made her mark on the softball field.

Source: Coronavirus: Ashley Ramirez helps fight COVID-19 – The Reporter

Vacaville High’s Tom Zunino Stadium upgrade on target – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

Vacaville High’s gridiron has borne the name of its legendary football coach Tom Zunino since 2004. After 16 years, the field was due for a makeover and it’s getting a good one, to the tune of $6.7 million.

The stadium project began after the homecoming football game in September and is scheduled for completion by May 18.

That date was set originally to ensure the new field would be ready in time for June graduation. Now, if graduation is set back due to the coronavirus, the grand opening for the updated stadium could come for a delayed graduation ceremony. Or it could be held on any given day unattached to an actual event. Or it could be held at the Bulldog football team’s home opener on September 4.

Source: Vacaville High’s Tom Zunino Stadium upgrade on target – The Reporter

Amid COVID-19, FSUSD leaders host ‘Virtual Senior Information Night’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In the ongoing COVID-19 era state and county officials have ordered most people to stay at home, but California schools are still in session and one particular group, seniors, harbors justifiable anxiety about their futures, including their pending graduations.

To allay some of those concerns, Fairfield-Suisun Unified leaders on Thursday evening connected virtually with nearly 900 high school seniors and their families in the largest Solano County district, with 22,000 students across two cities.

District officials, in their effort to dispel worries, livestreamed Virtual Senior Information Night on YouTube, which aired in English and Spanish, Coverage included graduation requirements, satisfying the University of California “a-g” requirements, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, college entrance requirements, credit recovery, graduation ceremonies and senior events and activities, district spokesman Tim Goree said in a press release issued Friday.

Source: Coronavirus: Amid COVID-19, FSUSD leaders host ‘Virtual Senior Information Night’ – The Reporter

Dr. Adam Clark says schools ‘not done for the year’ in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that California schools will remain barren until the next school year doesn’t mean students can switch from academic mode to the video gaming world of Little Big Planet, Minecraft or Marvel’s Super Heroes.

Families, teachers and administration should continue until the first week of June “with the expectation now that schools will not reopen, but classes are in” for the rest of the school year, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Wednesday.It’s the latest schedule tweak following May 1 as the previous extension.

Source: COVID 19: Dr. Adam Clark says schools ‘not done for the year’ in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Dixon school board closes campuses through end of academic year – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The Dixon school board voted unanimously Thursday to extend its closure of campuses for the remainder of the academic year. Students will continue to learn in a “distance learning” format.

The meeting was closed to the public and broadcast over Zoom and Facebook Live, with the board trustees sitting more than 6 feet apart.

As the global coronavirus pandemic continued to evolve by mid-March, Solano County’s school districts all made the determination to close schools until March 27. As time went on, those closures were extended through April 17 and again through May 1.

Source: Coronavirus: Dixon school board closes campuses through end of academic year – The Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun Connects with High School Seniors and Their Families – Daily Republic

By Tim Goree

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District connected virtually Thursday evening with nearly 900 high school seniors and their families. The Virtual Senior Information Night presentation was conducted via livestream on YouTube. The important information was shared on the topics of graduation requirements, satisfying the University of California “a-g” requirements, Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate exams, college entrance requirements, credit recovery, graduation ceremonies, and senior events/activities.

“We could have just sent an email or a letter to our families, but we wanted to try a different approach to reach our students,” said Superintendent Kris Corey. “I’d say it was a huge success based on the number of viewers who logged in. We were especially pleased to have nearly 90 viewers for our presentation conducted in Spanish.”

Source: Press Release: Fairfield-Suisun Connects with High School Seniors and Their Families

Amid COVID-19 outbreak, CA college, K–12 systems issue joint statement – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the state college and K–12 systems on Thursday issued a joint statement on college admissions and placement agreements, including distance learning, strategies for flexible grading and guides for “adjustments” of local graduation requirements.

In a press release, university, college and K-12 officials advised that the new accommodations marked a historic collaboration among California’s education leaders, including the California State Board of Education, California Department of Education, California State University, University of California, California community colleges, and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.

“California’s K–12 and higher education communities are committed to helping high school and community college students overcome university admissions and placement challenges due to the suspension of in-person classroom teaching” caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, a CDE spokeswoman, Janet Weeks, said in the prepared statement.

Source: Coronavirus: Amid COVID-19 outbreak, CA college, K–12 systems issue joint statement on college admissions, placement agreements – The Reporter

State schools chief: $100M in COVID-19 funding available to districts – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For California school district leaders worried about the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, help is on the way.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Thursday announced that $100 million will be sent to the more than 1,000 school districts.

The money, included in SB 117, one of two COVID-19 emergency bills passed by the Legislature on March 17, comes as California’s districts — classified as elementary, high school or unified — have suspended classes until early May and may face the possibility of closure until the fall.

Source: Coronavirus: State schools chief: $100M in COVID-19 funding available to districts – The Reporter

Loneliness of the long-distance runners – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

They would gather each day for practice on the Vanden High track after school, scores of young runners, hurdlers, pole vaulters and shot putters, enjoying the sunshine of the mild winter, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

Now the track lies silent and may stay that way this spring, as California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that schools will not reopen until the fall. The Vacaville Unified School District has not yet made an official pronouncement on sports, but track, particularly running, is not a sport one can let lie dormant, even if runners won’t compete again until the fall cross country season.

Source: COVID-19: Loneliness of the long-distance runners – The Reporter

New remote teaching is learning experience for California’s teachers, students – The Reporter

By Diana Lambert

With California schools remaining closed longer than initially anticipated in response to the coronavirus pandemic, most districts are planning to start more formal distance learning programs in April, after their spring break.

In the meantime, teachers have had to be creative to keep students engaged and learning after campuses shut down in March. Teachers who are tech-savvy and are working at schools that have enough computers or tablets for all students have started teaching online, while others are communicating with students and their families about suggested reading or assignments on education-based web services, such as Google Classroom or Schoology. They have also been emailing or texting students and parents.

Source: New remote teaching is learning experience for California’s teachers, students – The Reporter

Travis school district cancels board meeting – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The Travis School District has canceled its Board of Trustees meeting that was scheduled Tuesday.

The district announced the cancellation Thursday. The next scheduled meeting is slated to take place May 12.

For more information about the Travis district, visit www.travisusd.org.

Source: Travis school district cancels board meeting

Dixon businessman donates signs of encouragement to graduating seniors – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Senior year is what every high schooler looks forward to. It marks the end of a significant chapter in their lives and the start of a new one, all while having more freedoms than they did in previous years and enjoying activities like prom, class trips and graduation.

However, the global coronavirus pandemic has dealt a cruel blow to this year’s seniors. Due to statewide stay-at-home orders, many school districts have shifted to a model where students learn from home. While Dixon Unified School District students had been scheduled to return May 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that schools would be physically closed for the remainder of the academic year. Moreover, the status of prom and graduation ceremonies remain uncertain due to the prohibition of large gatherings.

Source: Coronavirus: Dixon businessman donates signs of encouragement to graduating seniors – The Reporter

Dixon school board seeking new trustee applications following resignation of John Gabby – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District is seeking applications to fill the seat vacated by Trustee John Gabby, who resigned last month.

The application is open through 4 p.m. April 16. Applicants are required to complete a form and submit a written statement of no more than 500 words explaining why they wish to serve on the school board. They also must be Dixon residents and registered voters, and also must not be current employees of the district or prohibited by federal law from running for office.

The chosen applicant will serve through Dec. 17, and the remaining two years of Gabby’s term will be added to the November ballot. The appointee has the option to run for that seat or the other two seats up for re-election — those of President Luke Foster and Trustee Melissa Maseda.

Source: Dixon school board seeking new trustee applications following resignation of John Gabby – The Reporter

Adam Clark says Vallejo will move to distance learning – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Citing concerns over spreading the novel coronavirus, the state’s school campuses are expected to remain closed for the rest of the academic year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials announced Wednesday.

“To all of the moms, all the teachers, all the caregivers, I know how stressful this is, trust me,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “I know what we’re asking of you over the course of the next few months.”

Newsom said parents and educators should operate with the expectation that schools are closed but classes, through a greater emphasis on distance learning, will continue.

Source: COVID-19: Adam Clark says Vallejo will move to distance learning – Times-Herald

High school choir in Vacaville puts together YouTube performance – Fox40

By Lonnie Wong

Teachers throughout the state are diving into ways to develop online learning methods. But what can they do when what’s being taught requires interacting with others?

The Sylvan Singers at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville live for performing on stage, like at last year’s spring concert. But the whole idea is to feed off one another, which is not possible now that classes and rehearsals are canceled.

“We are starting to feel the isolation and the impact of the quarantine for sure,” said Colby Hawkins, the director of choirs for the Vacaville Unified School District.

Source: High school choir in Vacaville puts together YouTube performance

Solano education chief emphasizes school still in session – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Closing school campuses for the rest of the school year does not mean class is dismissed.

That was the message Wednesday from Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson after Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier in the day said he expects school sites to be closed for the remainder of the traditional school year.

“It is important to remember that even though our campuses are not currently physically open, educators across Solano County are still working hard to serve the children and families in our community. Educators have been working tirelessly to provide meals to students, plan for distance learning and support for our youth,” Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.

Source: Solano education chief emphasizes school still in session – and will be

Staying Connected in the Era of Coronavirus – Attendance Works

The closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic has created an uncertain future in many ways. Although most students are not in a school building, we believe it is still essential for educators to keep up relationships with students and families who may be experiencing stress related to covid-19. Principals and other administrators can play a key role in organizing and leading this outreach.

Research shows that caring support can buffer the negative effects of adversity and stress students and families might experience. As our September 2019 brief, Using Chronic Absence Data to Improve Conditions for Learning explains, a sense of belonging and connection is an important factor of academic engagement.

To maintain relationships, schools can stay in touch with families using their regular methods, whether it be making phone calls home, sending text messages or emails, or posting letters on school websites. Many parents and students use social media, so consider posting information to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Make the connection positive and let individuals know that you care about them even if you aren’t meeting in person.

Source: Staying Connected in the Era of Coronavirus – Attendance Works