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
By Maggie Fusek
More than 200 high school students from Solano and Napa counties took a trades tour last week during which they visited local training centers for trade workers in Napa, Fairfield, Benicia and Vacaville. The tour has taken place for the last several years and is sponsored by Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, Solano County Office of Education (SCOE), North Bay Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, and Napa-Solano Building Trades.
During this year’s tour, which took place from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, the high-schoolers received information on the opportunities a union construction career can offer.
Source: 200 Students Take Part In Napa-Solano Trades Tour | Napa Valley, CA Patch
By Todd R. Hansen
More than 200 students got a firsthand look Thursday at what work in the trades could mean for their futures.
The groups from Solano and Napa counties took a tour of training centers that included sheet metal workers in Fairfield, plumbers and steamfitters in Vacaville, iron workers in Benicia and electrical workers in Napa.
The students also visited carpenter trade centers in Fairfield and Napa.
The tour is an annual event sponsored by the Napa-Solano Central Labor Council, the North Bay Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, the Napa-Solano Building Trades and the Solano County Office of Education.
Source: Solano, Napa students see futures in the trades
By Nick Sestanovich
Vacaville Unified School District has decided not to move forward with a plan to create two smaller credit recovery campuses at the Will C. Wood and Vacaville high school campuses.
Instead, the school board will be considering a new proposal to move Country High School to the Buckingham Charter Magnet High School campus, move Buckingham to the current Country High campus and merge Country High with the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy for Independent Learning, which will move into the building across the way, the district announced in a Facebook post.
The goal is for both programs to work together to bring more resources to students.
In September, the district announced that it was considering establishing smaller continuation campuses on the general education high school campuses for Country High students to take classes in self-contained classrooms. However, Country High students, parents and staff expressed concerns about this proposal — namely that Country High students benefited from being in a smaller campus away from the larger comprehensive campuses — at the Sept. 28 school board meeting and on social media.
Source: VUSD to consider new proposal for Country High School – The Reporter