By Todd R. Hansen
The City Council on Tuesday proclaimed June 15 as Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Appreciation Day – noting the district’s efforts to allow the council and other city panels to use its boardroom for meetings.
The council chamber was not available due to renovation.
“Whereas with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic on March 14, 2020, FSUSD worked tirelessly to assist the city in making certain all safety protocols were followed so the meetings could continue safely,” the proclamation signed by Mayor Harry T. Price states.
Source: Fairfield council says thanks to Fairfield-Suisun School District
Armijo High student Fayola Fayusi was the grand prize winner in the annual Congressional High School Art Competition in the 3rd District.
Fayusi was recognized for her piece, “Heroes Like Me,” and was one of 23 students recognized by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.
“Every year, I’m always amazed by the incredible talent and quality of art we receive for the Congressional High School Art Competition,” Garamendi said in a statement released by his office. “Congratulations to Fayola Fayusi, Alexandra Gionco and all of our county winners.”
Source: Armijo High student is grand prize winner in congressional art contest
By Kris Corey
The Family Resource Center (FRC) of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) is working in partnership with the County of Solano, Catholic Charities of Yolo and Solano County, and Children’s Network of Solano County to assist individuals seeking help with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application process.
The Suisun-based FRC, located at 725 Golden Eye Way, Suisun, is one of seven Solano County locations providing ERAP application assistance through December 2021. Additional centers are located in Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Vacaville, and Vallejo.
ERAP is a federally funded program designed to provide eligible households with emergency funds to assist with rent and utility payments. Tenants and landlords of rental properties located in Solano County who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply.
Source: Good News: FSUSD Family Resource Center Provides Assistance for Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dolores Huerta, and Dr. Karen Korematsu are living icons who have made significant contributions to culture and society with work and messages that transcend divisions of race, gender, and other social and political constructs and inspire us with universal lessons that can take us in new directions with their talent and impact.
Today, these significant figures received special recognition as Ambassadors to California Education by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond for demonstrating outstanding dedication and contributions to support the education of California’s students. Abdul-Jabbar was honored for leading efforts to boost after-school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities for California’s students. Huerta and Korematsu received the recognition for being key voices in the development of California’s new Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, which provides guidance to assist local high schools in developing ethnic studies courses, which are classes that research shows can improve graduation and college-going rates among all students—and especially teens of color.
Source: Thurmond Names California Education Ambassadors – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)
By Zaidee Stavely and Betty Márquez Rosales, EdSource
A program that prepares bilingual teachers for the growing number of dual-language classrooms in California is set to end this month, potentially worsening a chronic bilingual teacher shortage.
School districts in California have struggled for years to hire teachers with bilingual credentials. That’s a major obstacle to achieving the state’s goal, under the Global California 2030 Initiative, to enroll half of all K-12 students in “programs that lead to proficiency in two or more languages” by 2030. The same initiative has set a goal to increase the number of new bilingual teacher credentials from 700 in 2015-16 to 2,000 in 2029-30. In 2019-20, 1,075 bilingual credentials were issued, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Source: Why training California bilingual teachers just got harder – The Reporter
By Matt Miller
Solano County’s Office of Education wants to see students and their families out and about this summer and has created a new, interactive game to help make it happen.
The Solano Outdoor Explorer Quest has begun at Lagoon Valley Park and will run through the summer and into the fall. It is part treasure hunt and part Geocaching, offering explorers and their families outdoor adventure utilizing smartphones and tablets.
Hidden QR codes have been placed throughout the park, referred to as Questcaches. Each Questcache leads to the discovery of native plants and animals living in the area through videos, and a secret Questcache log to record discoveries.
Source: Lagoon Valley home of new ‘Outdoor Explorer Quest’
Solano County Public Health is distributing free lunches beginning Tuesday to children under 18 as part of the 2021 Summer Meal Program.
The program was established to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. No applications are required. To find out more, text the word “Food” to 877-877.
Breakfast for the next day will also be given from 11 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, through July 29. No lunches will be available July 5. Solano Public Health is distributing from 2101 Courage Drive in Fairfield.
Source: Solano Public Health offers summer meals to youth
By Nick Sestanovich
The past year has undoubtedly been a difficult one for those who have been stuck inside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) has come up with a way to get people outside while also learning about the different native wildlife in existence.
SCOE launched its first Outdoor Explorer Quest program in Lagoon Valley Park, allowing young and old alike an opportunity to become nature explorers, with smartphones and QR readers in hand, as they learn more about the different plants and animals that inhabit the park, from buckeyes to birds to beavers.
Jennifer Leonard — SCOE’s assistant superintendent of communications, community engagement and emergency management — said staff wanted to create an opportunity for students to go outside, spend time with family and hopefully spark an interest in nature.
Source: SCOE course utilizes technology for lessons on native wildlife – The Reporter
By Thomas Gase
Benicia High School graduate Olivia Mackey says she felt great that she was able to recently end her college softball career with a bang. And by “bang” she means a clutch triple off her bat that helped lead Southern Oregon to another NAIA Softball World Series title.
Although it was the second time in three years (there was no winner in 2020), Southern Oregon won the second of its back-to-back titles last week with a pair of same-day wins over Oregon Tech. Southern Oregon won the first game 3-2 in Georgia to force a second game, which it took 7-5 behind Mackey’s two-out RBI triple for a valuable insurance run in the ninth inning.
“I was getting thrown outside pitches all game but I was still hitting the ball to left,” Mackey said. “That final at-bat, I kept looking for an outside pitch to drive to the opposite field and I finally got one that seemed like a gift. When I got to third base I was so juiced up because we needed to score that huge insurance run. Words can’t describe how super dramatic that was for me.”
Source: Benicia High graduate Olivia Mackey helps Southern Oregon go back-to-back – Times-Herald
Solano County Office of Education is accepting applications for new Solano Youth Coalition (SYC) student members.
SYC engages students in open conversations and collaboration among a new generation of youth advocates and is open to youth residing in Solano County, ages 14-21 years old, who are attending school full time. The mission of SYC is to raise awareness and advocate for safe and healthy choices in Solano communities.
The student-based coalition educates peers and community members on issues surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs preventions, mental health awareness, violence prevention, social justice and racial equity. The coalition strives to build positive and healthy youth-adult partnerships as well as engage youth in being active leaders.
Source: Solano County Office of Education seeking new Solano Youth Coalition members – Times-Herald
By Kimberly K. Fu
Clear blue skies, tropical temperatures and cooling breezes Saturday were a perfect backdrop for Dixon High School’s Class of 2021 graduation.
Gathered at Finney Field, loved ones cheered and foot-stomped as their loved ones entered through a green-and-white balloon arch and took their places on white folding chairs.
An estimated 220 teens were slated to hang up their student status and graduate to academic adulthood, moving on to jobs and careers, the military, college. With their diplomas in hand, every pathway would be open for exploration.
Source: Sky’s the limit for Dixon High graduates – The Reporter
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun School District should start the year with a bit more money set aside than is required by the state but will have to keep a watchful eye in coming years when budget cuts may be required.
Trustees heard a presentation on a draft of the budget for the 2021-22 school year when they met Thursday.
Laneia Grindle, director of Fiscal Services, said the budget is based on the governor’s proposed budget, which means it might be revised over the next month and a half.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school trustees hear proposed budget summary for coming year
Travis School District trustees will consider approval of the 2021-22 budget when they meet Tuesday.
Also on the agenda is the consideration for approval of the Local Control Accountability Plan and Local Control Funding Formula Budget Overview for Parents.
The virtual meeting is set for 5 p.m.
Source: Travis School District trustees to consider 2021-22 budget
By Thomas Gase
When giving his speech Friday morning, Jesse Bethel valedictorian Ethan Shull decided to quote the late Scott Heinecke — a longtime teacher and coach at the school who passed away recently:
“Work hard and party even harder.”
The last four years, the Bethel Class of 2021 navigated through numerous difficult situations. On Friday morning at Corbus Field, however, it was finally time to party.
Three-hundred forty-four Jaguar students graduated in a two-part ceremony divided by last names due to COVID-19 safety reasons with maximum occupancy. Although many students wished it could have been done in one ceremony, all of the graduates seemed to be thrilled to have the chance to have a more normal ceremony a year after the 2020 class received its diplomas in a drive-thru parking lot event.
Source: Jesse Bethel Class of 2021 ready to party – Times-Herald
By Katy St. Clair
Graduation Day is always a time to celebrate, and the students of Vallejo High School could not have asked for a more perfect day on Thursday as they took to the stage to grab their diplomas and grasp a whole new future.
Most of the grads were born in 2003, the year the Iraq War began, Martha Stewart was indicted for insider trading, “Finding Nemo” was released, and 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” dominated the charts. Now they are emerging in a world where the internet is an even larger part of their lives, Tik Tok rules, and BTS and K-Pop have millions of United States fans.
The school’s Class of 2021 consists of 291 graduates, with 53 students (18 percent) graduating with the Golden State Seal Merit, showing “mastery” of at least six high school subjects.
Source: Vallejo High School Class of 2021 embraces its destiny – Times-Herald
The Solano County Office of Education is accepting applications for the Solano Youth Coalition.
Applicants must be Solano residents, 14 to 21 years old and full-time students.
“The mission of (the youth coalition) is to raise awareness and advocate for safe and healthy choices in Solano communities. The student-based coalition educates peers and community members on issues surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drug preventions, mental health awareness, violence prevention, social justice and racial equity,” a statement from the Office of Education said.
Source: Solano Office of Education accepting applications for youth coalition
By Thomas Gase
Vallejo High School senior Aevril Figueroa envisions a job and a future for herself in architecture. For now, she’s building up quite a resume, including the latest addition: Class Valedictorian.
Figueroa is the top student in the Class of 2021, just four years after moving to Vallejo from Daly City and the Philippines before that.
“I’m in disbelief since I learned I was valedictorian,” Figueroa said. “I didn’t think I would win it and I almost didn’t believe it until one of my friends who is a salutatorian told me it was true. But I’m still kind of in disbelief right now.”
Source: Aevril Figueroa is Vallejo High valedictorian – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
The graduation ceremonies at Maine Prairie High School are always inspirational events, given all that students have had to accomplish just to reach the stage.
Wednesday’s ceremony was momentous on another level: Students had the added challenge of a global pandemic, and it did not deter their graduations one bit. Some had even graduated early.
“(It’s) a relief,” new graduate Joel Chambers said ahead of the ceremony. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Source: Maine Prairie graduates resilient in more ways than one – The Reporter
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Kristel Laurora and Lindsay Mayo weren’t able to secure tickets to watch their senior friends graduate Wednesday morning at Schaefer Stadium.
They weren’t far away.
The pair arrived at 9 a.m. and let out loud cheers and horn honks when the names of their graduating pals were called. The ceremony started at 10 a.m.
They spent their time decorating the exterior of their friends’ cars.
Source: Speaker encourages Fairfield High School Class of 2021 to continue being strong souls
By Matt Miller
Armijo High School not only graduated its class of 453 during two ceremonies Wednesday at Brownlee Field, it also graduated one principal.
Sheila Smith is moving on after four years herself in charge of the Washington Street campus. She is also eager for new adventures just like the students who were assembled in straight rows of purple and yellow robes.
“I am sort of a graduate,” she told those assembled students, faculty, fellow administrators, family and friends. “I’m retiring.”
Source: Armijo principal ‘graduates’ along with large senior class