By Matt Miller
Principal James Hightower looked out at his graduating Sem Yeto High School students Wednesday night at Armijo’s Brownlee Field and said, “You are valued. You are needed. Recognize your worth.”
The Sem Yeto Class of 2023 numbered 160 with the bulk of them in attendance, dressed in blue caps and gowns colorfully decorated with their own personal flair. The graduates marched into the stadium to the familiar refrains of “Pomp and Circumstance” and walked out once the evening was complete as high school graduates.
The Sem Yeto class overcame many obstacles that continuation students often face in trying to achieve the goal of graduation. But on top of that, the first two years for many of them was made even more challenging by the Covid pandemic.
Source: Principal tells Sem Yeto High School graduates, ‘You are all amazing’
By Kimberly K. Fu
Warming temperatures signal the onslaught of summer and, just before that, the milestone of high school graduations.
Congratulations to outgoing seniors. We at The Reporter wish you the very brightest of futures.
Following is a partial list of northern Solano graduations. They include:
- Wednesday, 6 p.m.: Maine Prairie, at Dixon High Theater
- Thursday, 7 p.m.: Vacaville Christian Schools, at Falcon Field
- Friday, 3 p.m.: Travis Education Center, at Gammon Stadium
- Saturday, 9 a.m.: Dixon High, at Rams Stadium
- Saturday, 10 a.m.: Vanden High, at Gammon Stadium
- June 7, 6:30 p.m.: Muzetta Thrower AEC, at Wildcat Stadium
- June 8, 6:30 p.m.: Ernest Kimme, at Wildcat Stadium
- June 9 at 10 a.m.: Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy, at Zunino Stadium
- June 9 at 6:30 p.m.: Will C. Wood High, at Wildcat Stadium
- June 10, 9 a.m.: Vaca High, at Zunino Stadium
Vacaville Unified School District will be livestreaming the graduations of Will C. Wood High, Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy, Vaca High, Muzetta Thrower Adult Education Center and Ernest Kimme Charter Academy on both YouTube and Facebook.
Source: Graduation season is upon us – The Vacaville Reporter
By Richard Bammer
With the goal of creating a safer and healthier community, nine active Solano Friday Night Live programs will host a series of activities focusing on student advocacy, health and wellness in coordination with the Solano Youth Coalition.
Beginning Wednesday, the FNL at Sem Yeto Continuation High in Fairfield will host Denim Day, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, during which students and school staff are encouraged to wear denim.
Also on Wednesday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Youth Coalition will host its first student-led education forum for middle and high school students. Superintendents and school board presidents from Solano County districts will discuss student issues and how to support students. The forum will be at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive, Fairfield.
Source: Youth Coalition hosts student-led forum, with goals of health, wellness – The Vacaville Reporter
The California State Board of Education (SBE) today approved $58 million in contracts to build a network of support for community schools—campuses where every classroom is focused on high-quality teaching and learning, every student is connected to the services they need to thrive, and every family is empowered to partner in decision-making.
The $4 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) is the nation’s largest investment in the success of high-needs students through a whole-child approach. Community schools partner with education, county, and nonprofit entities to provide integrated health, mental health, and social services alongside high-quality, supportive instruction with a strong focus on community, family, and student engagement.
Research shows that community schools can result in better school attendance, better grades and test scores, higher enrollment in college-prep classes, and higher graduation rates.
Source: $58M Approved for Community Schools Support System – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan Hiland
Proud parents, friends and family member were thrilled Thursday to have an in-person graduation at Schaefer Stadium to cheer the Sem Yeto graduating Class of 2022.
Imshala Edwards was the student speaker. He spoke about the journey of the past 12 years from childhood to adulthood.
“We began our journey as children and leave here as adults,” he said. “Although time seemed to drag on forever. It is surprising how fast time went by.”
Source: Sem Yeto grads take first steps into adult world
By Todd R. Hansen
Alfredo Arriaga is a 19-year-old electrician’s apprentice with a union company.
That story, as successful as it is in its own right, is not particularly unusual. In fact, Solano County schools have refocused their education profile to include more vocational training and working in the trades more and more.
But Arriaga did not get to where he is today through a traditional route.
He began learning his craft while incarcerated in the Solano County Juvenile Detention Center, and with four felonies hanging over him, just getting to the point where he paid attention to probation workers was its own journey.
Source: Trades classroom dedicated at Juvenile Detention Center brings work skills to inmates
By Matt Miller
The ribbon was cut and a new era was ushered in Wednesday on a new trades classroom at the Solano County Probation Department’s Juvenile Detention Facility.
Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said incarcerated youth “have such potential and that’s what today is all about.”
“They’ve made mistakes,” Estrella-Henderson said. “They have skills. They just need a hand up. This is a way to help make them positive contributors to society. This is a long time in coming.”
Source: Construction trades classroom opens at Evergreen Academy
The Solano County Probation Department’s Juvenile Detention Facility in collaboration with the Solano County Office of Education will host a grand opening of the new construction trades classroom.
Probation Chief Chris Hansen and Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Juvenile Detention Facility, 740 Beck Ave.
Source: Education partnership to bring trades classroom to incarcerated youth
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced the Travis Education Center is one of 36 schools in the state recognized as a Model Continuation High School for 2022.
“These model schools provide invaluable resources and academic opportunities to our high-needs students, who often are dealing with difficult life events,” Thurmond said in a press release. “Students reap the benefits of social and emotional learning, mentorship programs, student wellness and restorative justice practices, among other exemplary methods.”
Source: State recognizes Travis Education Center as model continuation high school
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that 36 schools throughout the state were recognized as Model Continuation High Schools (MCHS) for 2022.
“These model schools provide invaluable resources and academic opportunities to our high-needs students, who often are dealing with difficult life events,” said Thurmond. “Students reap the benefits of social and emotional learning, mentorship programs, student wellness, and restorative justice practices, among other exemplary methods. The efforts of teachers and administrators at our Model Continuation High Schools provide students with the social support, goal-setting, and coping skills that they need to succeed in the academic setting and in their lives after high school.”
Source: SPI Announces 2022 Model Continuation High Schools – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Meghan Bobrowsky, CalMatters
Fifteen years ago, Kenny Butler was at a low point. He had just been sentenced to life in prison.
Now Butler, 47, is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree through a new program at Pitzer College, a small private liberal arts school in Southern California.
The program, which began last December and which the school says is the first of its kind in the nation, is based on Inside Out curriculum — a type of teaching that brings college students and professors into prisons to learn alongside incarcerated students. Pitzer, a selective school that accepts fewer than 20% of applicants, started the Inside Out program with the goal of helping incarcerated students better engage with coursework and make connections with the outside world — a key factor in reintegrating back into society.
Source: New program allows incarcerated students to get bachelor’s degrees alongside peers on the outside – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
The stands at Schaefer Stadium were full of proud parents, guardians and friends watching the Class of 2021 from Sem Yeto High School hit a huge milestone Wednesday – graduation.
About 200 seniors clad in navy blue gowns eagerly waited to receive their diplomas.
Superintendent Kris Cory addressed the audience by acknowledging what a tough year it has been, but the seniors were strong in the face of adversity.
“You have accomplished so much and seeing you all in your gowns is magical,” she said. “Getting this diploma will open doors just like magic.”
Source: Sem Yeto sends graduates off to a brighter future
By Matt Miller
Going to school during a pandemic is challenging enough. Going to school, working and raising children takes another level of dedication.
Jessica Calderon was one of the 118 graduates Tuesday who earned their high school diploma or high school equivalency with the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School.
Calderon completed her coursework while holding a job and learning to take care of her children, one of which was recently diagnosed with autism.
Source: Large Adult School class overcomes obstacles on path to diploma, certificates
By Todd R. Hansen
One speaker evoked the memory of her friend Daniel Hughes.
Another called on her classmates and generation to speak out for the Palestinian children of Gaza, who she said are far less worried about high school graduation as they are about surviving the bombs and bullets of the ever-tumultuous Hamas-Israel conflict.
“I pray for Palestinians, and I pray for Gaza and that place,” said Maiya Beltran, a 2020 graduate of the Travis Education Center, who said her generation has a responsibility to speak out for those who have no voice of their own.
Source: Graduates of 2021 – and 2020 – bid farewell, extend gratitude to TEC
By Todd R. Hansen
Allyson Rude-Azevedo emceed her eighth Travis Education Center commencement ceremony Friday – her first since 2019.
That is why graduates from the Class of 2020 were invited to participate along with the Class of 2021.
“For kids who struggle in school, graduation is very important,” Rude-Azevedo said in an interview prior to the start of the ceremony on the Vanden High football field. “So this is a real big deal for the kids and their families.”
Source: Outgoing TEC principal calls pandemic grads special
By Kris Corey
During this very different 2020-2021 school year, Sem Yeto students are still finding ways to be successful. Sem Yeto staff are finding creative ways to recognize their students’ efforts.
When the pandemic hit, Sem Yeto staff did not want to lose sight of the accomplishments of their students. A virtual celebration was developed as an alternative to an in-person recognition ceremony. This recognition serves as a conduit for Sem Yeto staff and families to come together to support, recognize, and appreciate the quarterly accomplishments of Sem Yeto students.
Source: Good News: Sem Yeto Recognizes Student Accomplishments During Pandemic
By Peter Fournier
That was the theme of Thursday morning’s drive-thru diploma ceremony for graduates of Sem Yeto High School, located at the Fairfield High School campus.
An expected 61 graduates rolled through the parking lot to pick up their diplomas and take the next step in their lives after moving on from the continuation high school.
Principal James Hightower commended the staff for putting together the drive-thru ceremony, which consisted of a location for students to get their actual diploma, and then a stop for graduates to get a picture in their caps and gowns.
Source: Persistence pays off at diploma event for Sem Yeto grads
By Susan Hansen
Sem Yeto Satellite graduates only needed to wait a little while for their senior year to be completed Thursday.
About 130 students came to the Armijo High School campus and waited in cars with parents and siblings to receive the final paper – the diploma for all of their hard work.
Mason Ferrer, 18, felt great about graduation day.
“I’m not sure about next year,” he said. “But I’m working at Walmart at the moment.”
Source: Sem Yeto Satellite graduation ushers seniors into new lives
By Nick Sestanovich
Golden Hills was alive Thursday with the sound of music: upbeat dance music intended to pump up graduates as they drove through to pick up their diplomas.
Like all schools throughout the county, Golden Hills Community School’s Fairfield campus has been closed since mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Thursday was a chance for students to not only pick up their diplomas but also see their former teachers again for the school’s first graduation parade.
Seniors drove up, received their diplomas from Principal Chris Morris; received cheers from teachers, staff, administrators and family members from the sidelines; and even got out of their cars to have their pictures taken in front of a backdrop.
Source: Golden Hills seniors parade on to next chapter – The Reporter
By Peter Fournier
Golden Hills Community School’s graduating seniors from across the county came to the school Thursday in Fairfield to pick up their high school diplomas and take the next step in their lives.
The school’s 12 graduates participated in a drive-thru ceremony at the Solano County Office of Education’s campus, which serves seventh to 12th grades. Staff cheered them on and congratulated them as they cruised by in vehicles and also took part in a cap-and-gown photo shoot.
School director Amy Chavez said staff knew graduation would be different when Covid-19 forced schools to close in March.
Source: Golden Hills sees dozen grads pick up diplomas