By Madison Hirneisen
California lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk this week that would require cash-strapped school districts to run an “equity impact analysis” before closing a school.
If enacted, supporters say it will require school districts to be transparent about the impact of closures beyond the fiscal cost.
Lawmakers advanced Assembly Bill 1912 on Tuesday, which requires school districts to develop an equity impact analysis with metrics that analyze the condition of a school facility, the operating cost of the school, special programs available at the school, pupil demographics and transportation needs of students, among other things, before considering closure or consolidation.
Source: California bill slowing school closure process heads to Newsom | National News | kpvi.com
By Richard Bammer
Just in time, as Solano County and the nation show signs of living with the pandemic and a return to a new idea of normal, Solano Symphony Orchestra leaders have laid out the sonic road map for their 36th year of concerts.
It all begins with an invitation to the public to strut their musical stuff.
As usual, the orchestra’s 2022-23 season, led by longtime conductor and musical director Semyon Lohss, features five concerts, all of them at 3 p.m. in the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre, with one new surprise this year: A community “Play-In” event during Vacaville Arts Week, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25, in Andrews Park.
Source: August 25 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Solano Symphony’s 36th year includes public ‘Play-In’ during Vaca Arts Week – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees will hear several presentations at their next meeting Thursday, to include an update on Measure J projects as the district seeks approval of another property tax measure to finance future projects.
Measure J, a $249 million general obligation bond that’s being repaid through property tax assessments, was approved by voters June 7, 2016, with the third and final bond sale occurring Feb. 20, 2020.
Construction started with the replacement of the synthetic track and fields in the stadiums at all three comprehensive high schools in 2016. The district has completed several projects and is in design for most of the final projects of the bond program.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees to hear updates on school bond projects, other programs
By John Glidden
Vallejo school board Trustee Ralph “Tony” Gross secured his spot on the November ballot on the final day to submit candidacy paperwork, setting up one of the more unusual situations in Vallejo this election season as he and fellow trustee John Fox will vie to represent the newly created Trustee Area 5.
Gross, who was first elected to the school board in 2018, told the Vallejo Sun that he is seeking a second term “to continue to improve the city’s public education system.”
“I bring a depth of experience, belief, and commitment to providing a more robust and relevant educational experience for our students.” Gross added.
Source: Longtime Vallejo educator Tony Gross seeks second term on school board
Jarrett Bush, a Will C. Wood graduate and member of the Super Bowl XLV winning Green Bay Packers, will speak at the annual Wake Up Your Heart Breakfast on Aug. 31.
The event supports the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club.
“Every year we meet men and women who were a part of Boys & Girls clubs when they were young, and have gone on to be distinguished members of our community,” club chief executive Anna Eaton said in a statement.
Don Burrus, director of economic development for Vacaville, and Monte Hoover, of Gillespie’s Abbey Carpet & Floor, were club members growing up and will be speaking at the event as well.
Source: Will C. Wood alum, Super Bowl champ to speak at Boys & Girls Club event
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that he secured an additional $1.4 million in private funding for teachers in California high schools to help deliver financial literacy courses. He was joined in a virtual press conference by Tim Ranzetta, Co-Founder of California-based nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), who is partnering with the state to provide teacher stipends and professional development for financial literacy. This public–private partnership provides $1.4 million in professional development grants to train high school teachers, enabling them to offer personal finance electives at their high schools, and a district-matching grant program for personal finance specialists.
Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults, resulting in less debt, and a higher quality of life. According to a NGPF report, while 70 percent of high school students nationwide have access to a personal finance elective or a guaranteed course, only 26 percent in California do. Superintendent Thurmond is working to change that.
Source: Thurmond Unveils Financial Literacy Grants – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Thomas Gase
Instead of welcoming returning classmates back from summer break with a handshake or a quick “hello,” students at Vallejo Charter instead created a mural, “Our Message of Self Discovery.”
The mural project, from Vallejo Teaching Artists in partnership with the Vallejo City Unified School District Expanded Learning Program, introduces students to public art through the collaborative process of creating a mural with a professional muralist — in this instance Leah Tumerman, a muralist for years who was inspired by the work of the five students behind the greeting.
Source: Painting a welcoming picture – Times-Herald
By Richard Bammer
An important back-to-school lesson on Thursday, the first day of the 2022-23 academic year in the Vacaville Unified School District, appeared in a unexpected place.
A visitor to history and leadership teacher John Dolan’s class at Vaca Peña Middle School found it high up on a far wall, a simple but profound quote on a poster depicting Malcom X, the Black American political activist during the 1960s civil rights movement: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
The day began at 8:30 a.m. at Markham Elementary with Principal Jose Bermudez personally greeting some 970 students, prekindergarten to sixth grade, at the Markham Avenue campus, one of 17 K-12 schools in the district.
Source: In VUSD, a new year with full staffing, more students, capital improvements – The Vacaville Reporter
By Matt Miller
Principal Ashley Kelley greeted each parent and student with a “Good Morning!” and “Buenos Dias!” at the new Sullivan Language Immersion Academy on Union Avenue while answering questions in the drop-off area, and occasionally pulling out a walkie-talkie and communicating with staff around campus.
“I’m pretty good at multitasking,” Kelley said.
In two languages, no less.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school district says welcome to its more than 21,000 students
The Solano County Office of Education will host an Early Learning Career and Education Expo from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at its main office at 5100 Business Center Drive.
This is a hiring event, as well as a resource fair for career and educational opportunities in the field of early learning and care. Educators, college students, home-based and center-based preschool and child care providers, and others interested in learning more about opportunities in the career field, are invited to attend.
Source: Solano Office of Education schedules Early Learning Career and Education Expo
By Todd R. Hansen
Sustainable Solano is launching a program designed to improve air quality but also engage youth.
Youth Air Protectors is a high school-based program.
“The Youth Air Protectors program will engage high school students around air pollution. Each team of students will make a five-month commitment to the program, with the first group starting work this fall,” organizers said in a statement.
Source: Fairfield high schoolers to be part of Youth Air Protectors program
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District reopened its classrooms Wednesday to welcome students back to school.
Students who were arriving at Fairfield High School walked up to the sounds of construction for a new performing arts center on campus.
According to district officials, the new center is meant for the entire community to enjoy.
Source: Fairfield HS to get performing arts center, renovated kitchens & repairs for athletic fields
The three incumbents whose seats on the Solano County Board of Education were up for election Nov. 8 will get new terms without a challenge.
In fact, Dana Dean (Trustee Area 3), Teresa Lavell (Trustee Area 4) and Ginger L Dunne (Trustee Area 6) will not even appear on the ballot.
A number of other scheduled contests across the county had similar endings.
Source: Board members for Solano County Office of Education walk into new terms
By Thomas Gase
Dr. Charles Young may not be the Benicia Unified School District superintendent, but the city still believes it has the “Wright” stuff.
Damon Wright is the new superintendent of BUSD. After a series of interviews and “meet and greet” events in May, Wright was offered the position on June 9 at the Governing Board meeting. Young retired from the position on June 30.
“The interview process was rigorous, and I grappled with a rollercoaster of emotions throughout it,” Wright said on Tuesday. “I rushed home and shared the news with my family. I was excited about the opportunity to return and lead the District. I am very fond of BUSD.”
Source: Damon Wright ready to lead Benicia Unified School District – Times-Herald
Opportunities in education abound at the Early Learning Career and Education Expo, set for Aug. 23 in Cordelia.
The event, sponsored by the Solano County Office of Education, will run from 4-7 p.m. at SCOE’s main office, at 5100 Business Center Drive.
Explore employment possibilities with agencies such as Solano County school districts and charters, community colleges, universities and community-based organizations.
Source: SCOE hosting Early Learning Career and Education Expo – The Vacaville Reporter
As students and teachers head back to the classroom, they are turning to GoFundMe to seek financial assistance for all their back-to-school needs. Rising inflation is taking a toll on household budgets across the country, making help from the community more important than ever.
Vacaville teacher Ashley Kelly started a GoFundMe effort seeking community support as she heads into her eighth year of teaching and fifth year at Will C. Wood.
“All of my class markers, crayons, pencils, rulers are all dried out, missing, broken, and oddly chewed on,” she writes on the fundraising page. “I’m looking to stock my classroom up with new classroom supplies including the above along with glue sticks, scissors, etc., maybe even a paper cutter which would be so helpful.”
Source: August 18 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Faces and Places – The Vacaville Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
More than 8,000 students were signed up for Solano Community College classes for opening day on Monday – though some are still opting to learn from a distance.
The head count was better than 1,000 students more than at the same time last year, said Celia Esposito-Noy, superintendent and president of the 77-year-old college. She took over the reins in January 2016.
There is free Covid-19 testing available, and while not mandatory, a small percentage of students were wearing masks at the main campus in Fairfield on Monday. The college also has campuses in Vacaville and Vallejo.
Source: Solano College opens to rush of students on campus, online
By Nick Sestanovich
Vaca Pena Middle School was abuzz with activity Monday, as hoards of people excitedly greeted each other back after a long summer and enjoyed sack lunches of sandwiches and potato chips.
This could have been a typical back to school scene, but the first day of school in Vacaville Unified School District isn’t until Thursday, and the individuals who occupied Vaca Pena were not students but faculty members throughout the district as the school hosted VUSD’s annual kickoff luncheon for the 2022-23 year.
Typically, this luncheon — catered by Panera Bread — is held at Vacaville High School, but due to ongoing construction there, it was held at Vaca Pena for the first time.
Source: VUSD kicks off year with luncheon – The Vacaville Reporter
By Thomas Gase
Temperatures may have soared into the high 80s on Monday, but kids in Vallejo were hitting books, not waves.
Class was back in session — and summer was unofficially over — for the first day of school in the Vallejo City Unified School District. Benicia Unified began last week.
Although students and teachers are still required to wear masks indoors, the mood on campus suggested that a return to the pre-pandemic days of school wasn’t far off.
Source: Vallejo classes back in session – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
The start of the school year is near for students in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. To help them get ready, the district on Saturday hosted a Back To School Resource Fair at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church to give away backpacks filled with school supplies.
Juanita Domingued, 18, who graduated from Armjio High School last year, was back again, this time to help support her siblings getting ready for the school year.
Source: Fairfield school district gets ready for new year with resource fair, backpack giveaway