Yesterday’s signing of the 2022–23 state budget package marks another historic year of funding levels for education programs in California. Not only does this budget increase the base funding of the Local Control Funding Formula by approximately $9 billion, a 13 percent increase, it also directs key investments to areas specifically identified by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE), addressing declining enrollment and funding for mental health services, community schools, literacy programs, universal school meals, and programs focused on improving all student outcomes in the wake of the pandemic.
Thurmond issued the following statement in response to the signed budget for the fiscal year 2022–23:
“I am grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for a budget that prioritizes recruiting mental health care providers to serve in our schools, addressing learning gaps, and investing in people and programs to serve all students, especially those most vulnerable. As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, California public schools will see a much-needed infusion of investments at a time when students and schools, especially those that have been traditionally underserved, require more support than ever before.
Source: SPI Champions Budget Package as a Key Win for CA – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Continuing with its remedy for being served with a Notice of Violation by the city’s school district, Griffin Technology Academies is appointing new members to its accountability team this week.
Nick Driver, the Vallejo City Unified School District’s new superintendent, named Brent Zionic — an educator and technology expert with a deep background in workflow and compliance processes — as GTA’s new Chief Accountability Officer.
Driver also named Jane Henzerling, charter school founder and educational systems and measurement expert, as a second key member of the new team.
Source: Griffin Technology Academies announces new members to accountability team – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
Alison Guernsey has been selected as the Elementary School Administrator of the Year by the Solano Charter of the Association of California Administrators.
Guernsey, a principal at David Weir K-8 Preparatory Academy in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, was recognized for her leadership in welcoming students back to campus while meeting the challenges of staffing shortages and Covid-19 disruptions.
She was nominated by her peers.
Source: David Weir principal recognized by local ACSA Charter
Soroptimist International of Central Solano County installed the 2022-23 officers at their meeting June 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Outgoing President Becky Lessler conducted the meeting, with Joan Towner installing the newest board members: President Judy Lloyd, Vice Presidents Susan Dever and Sally Silvia, Secretary Suzanne Ng, Treasurer Lynn Recknagel and Assistant Treasurer Karen Rees, according to a press release from the club.
Source: Soroptimist International of Central Solano County installs new board
The Solano County Office of Education’s series of free Girls in Robotics Leadership camps wrapped up Friday.
The camps were offered to middle school and high school girls throughout Solano County. The Office of Education hosted the weeklong camps in partnership with UC Davis Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The camps provided opportunities for Solano County students to learn leadership skills as well as STEM and coding concepts through a robotics-based curriculum.
Source: More than 80 attend Girls in Robotics Leadership camps
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District will once again host a Back-to-School Resource Fair for more than 1,500 of our community’s most vulnerable students and families.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 13 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fairfield.
This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the community, the school district reports while asking anyone who would like to volunteer to give the district a call. Organizers are also looking for donations and have created a registry of items needed.
Source: Back-to-school event organizers seek volunteers, donations
The Griffin Technology Academies Board of Directors announced this week that Nick Driver, who has been serving as acting superintendent since March, will fill the position permanently starting July 1. The board voted to approve his three-year contract during its June 14 meeting.
Driver’s base salary is set at $196,720 for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. He will lead the charter school network, which operates two middle and two high schools. Originally known as Mare Island Technology Academy, GTA became the first to operate as a charter school within the boundaries of the Vallejo City Unified School District in 1999. The network has since expanded and currently has about 1,300 enrolled students.
GTA also announced that Shawna Gilroy was elevated to board chair, while Vivian Wesley was made the board’s vice-chair. The network also announced that Alex Insaurralde will return as chief academic officer.
Source: Vallejo charter network names Nick Driver as new superintendent
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that California has been named as winner of the 2022 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation, the nation’s preeminent award for education innovation. The annual award—now in its 24th year and presented by the Education Commission of the States (ECS)—recognizes a state or U.S. territory that is enacting education reforms or implementing programs to improve student outcomes on a large scale.
“This is an incredible honor, and while the work continues, we’re proud of this national recognition that shows how California is improving educational outcomes for its students, closing equity gaps, and transforming education for students from prekindergarten to adulthood,” said Thurmond. “State and local leaders, educators, and school staff put in tremendous effort every day to ensure our students and families heal from the effects of the pandemic, recover, and thrive.”
Source: CA Wins National Award for Education Innovation – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
The Griffin Technology Academies Board of Directors announced several new leadership positions on Wednesday, including new Board Chair Shawna Gilroy, Board Vice-Chair Vivian Wesley and the appointment of Nick Driver as permanent superintendent.
Driver has spent nearly two decades in a variety of roles serving students and the charter school community. As a founding staff member at the California Charter Schools Association, he supported GTA and its schools beginning in 2004.
“I’m very excited about the future of GTA and our new school leadership,” Driver said in a news release. “I’m incredibly honored to be selected as permanent Superintendent and entrusted to lead our schools forward. Ms. Gilroy and Ms. Wesley are committed leaders, and also strongly believe in supporting the Vallejo community through activism, volunteerism, and resilience — and I’m convinced they will continue to bring that same commitment to their new board roles.”
Source: Griffin Technology Academies announces new board officers – Times-Herald
By Nicole Langarica
The temperature was already headed towards the 80s on Thursday morning, heating up the spirits of the 84 students graduating from Sem Yeto High School.
Inside Fairfield High School’s Schaefer Stadium, families and friends fanned themselves with paper programs while waving and cheering as their favorite graduates walked in to take their seats on the field. In her welcome address, Superintendent Kris Corey thanked Sem Yeto graduates for taking advantage of the school and its learning opportunities, naming each student a miracle for achieving this significant milestone.
Source: Good News: Sem Yeto High School Sends Students off to a Brighter Future
By Nicole Langarica
Armijo High School graduate and valedictorian Melissa Theodorus addressed her fellow Royals, recounting each student’s unique journey on the path to this milestone. In her speech, Melissa reminded all in attendance, “It’s important to be proud of who you are and where you come from.” As a pre-med bioengineering major at UC Berkeley, Theodorus hopes to conduct research and focus on cell and tissue engineering.
The Royals Class of 2022 graduated five valedictorians, including Theodorus. Nicole Go, Ria Patel, and sisters Faustina and Flora Wan each left compelling messages with their peers. These five high achievers were a part of a graduating class of 520 students who were lauded by friends, family, and Armijo High School staff for this academic achievement that Superintendent Kris Corey said embodied the “pride and spirit of those graduating from Armijo High School.”
Source: Good News: Armijo High Class of 2022 Together on Campus for the Last Time
By Nicole Langarica
Staff, families, and loved ones gathered at Schaefer Stadium Thursday evening for the 54th Commencement Ceremony that would send 354 falcons soaring into their bright futures.
The graduating class of 2022 has much to celebrate. Students are committed to attending UC Schools, State Schools, and community colleges. Each of the four military branches will have falcons in its ranks. Sixty students have earned athletic and academic scholarships totaling $50,000. Many will enter the trades and local workforce ready to enrich the communities in which they live.
Source: Good News: Fairfield High School Falcons Ready to Leave the Nest
By Kris Corey
Families, friends, and loved ones gathered Thursday afternoon at Willow Hall in Fairfield to beat the heat and celebrate a momentous occasion as 43 graduates donned blue caps and gowns to receive their High School Diplomas or GEDs.
Many of these graduates have been working towards this goal for a number of obstacle-ridden years, and the excitement for reaching this milestone could be felt by all in attendance.
Source: Good News: Fairfield-Suisun Adult School equips 43 adults with the tools for a better future
By Nicole Langarica
Friday evening’s heat wave did not dampen the mood surrounding the Angelo Rodriguez and Early College High School Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony. The infamous Cordelia wind didn’t blow anyone away either.
Stadium stands were packed with family, friends, and staff eagerly awaiting their chance to cheer for their graduate. Over 500 Mustangs walked onto the high school field while the award-winning Rodriguez High School Entertainment Unit performed the ceremonious Pomp and Circumstance.
Source: Good News: Over 500 Mustangs Earn Their High School Diploma
By Nicole Langarica
Fifty-three Cadets took the long walk last week, marking the milestone achievement of yet another Public Safety Academy class to graduate 100% of their seniors. On Friday, June 10, 2022, family and friends gathered in a packed Willow Hall of the Fairfield Civic Center to witness their cadets take the next steps on their journey through life.
Various speakers referenced the obvious reality that their high school years were unlike any other years at the Academy. Indeed, the same could be said for every school in Fairfield.
Source: Good News: Public Safety Academy Celebrates Students’ Persistence
That’s what the brand-new Community Partnership Team at Solano College is slated to foster.
A product of SCC’s Department of Public Safety, the team — led by Sgt. Bryant Williams — will work toward building and strengthening ties with those who use the campus.
“Our team will work to educate students on what to expect from their campus department of public safety officers and how we can work together to build a safer and a more inclusive community,” explained Chief Brian Travis in a press statement. “Our officers strive to be guardians of our community and model for the future of campus safety. We recognize that students may come to campus with a variety of different experiences with law enforcement, and we are committed to building a positive relationship with our community.”
Source: New SCC team slated to foster relationships – The Vacaville Reporter
By Thomas Gase
Griffin Technology Academies says it agrees with school district issues with its four charter schools and is acting in good faith to resolve the concerns.
The Vallejo City Unified School District sent out draft Notices of Violations and Opportunity to Cure to GTA last month. A Notice of Violations is the first step in initiating charter revocation proceedings against the four charter schools. If not corrected, the VCUSD Board can consider the action of sending a Notice of Intent to Revoke to one or more of the four schools — Mare Island Technology Academy middle and high schools as well as Griffin Academy middle and high schools.
Source: Griffin Technology Academies hope to move forward after getting ‘wake up call’ – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
The Travis school board will hear a presentation on the Local Control Accountability Plan at Tuesday’s meeting.
The LCAP focuses on closing the achievement gap through effective actions and services that create a solid pathway to success for all students, according to district information.
Source: Travis school board to hear update on LCAP, other finances
Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Jane Shamieh will retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year, she announced in a press statement released Thursday afternoon.
Her last day will be June 20, 2023.
“Vacaville Unified is an exceptional district because of the amazing staff, students, families and community that work together. I am so proud of our collective accomplishments over the past several years,” she said in the statement. “Together, we’ve established a renewed focus on student achievement, facility modernizations, choices and options for students and fiscal discipline. Collaboratively, we’ve established a culture of kindness and respect for everyone who walks through our campus doors.
Source: Vacaville schools superintendent announces retirement plans – The Vacaville Reporter
Soroptimist International of Central Solano County presented $12,000 in support of the Foster and Homeless Youth Services Program during a recent meeting at the Solano County Office of Education.
The check was received by Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson and Program Coordinator Akon Walker.
Funds are earmarked to help provide school supplies, as well as to meet other urgent needs of foster and homeless youth, according to a press release.
Source: Soroptimist Club gives $12,000 to SCOE for Foster and Homeless Youth Services