Connecting education, workforce, real-time dollars key to economic growth – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

An automobile manual requires reading skills that are higher than entry-level college abilities – and it is layered in technology, math and other academic competence.

But a future auto mechanic does not necessarily need to go to college. The same can be true for nursing and other medical professions.

In fact, there is a growing number of high-paying job and career opportunities for which the traditional college education is not required, but they do require skills that need a more rigorous academic platform than offered right now at traditional high schools.

Source: Connecting education, workforce, real-time dollars key to economic growth

Solano unveils trades classroom for incarcerated youth – The Vacaville Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

A cache of brilliantly-colored balloons heralded the unveiling Wednesday of a new tool slated to help incarcerated Solano youth succeed.

With the snip of a ribbon, officials revealed an interactive classroom at the Solano County Juvenile Detention Facility aimed at teaching their young clientele all about the construction trades.

The long-awaited program, advised Dean Farrah, Superintendent of the Juvenile Detention Facility, will aid the young men and women when they’re back in their communities.

Source: Solano unveils trades classroom for incarcerated youth – The Vacaville Reporter

Solano Office of Education highlights CTE programs – Daily Republic

The Solano County Office of Education is joining the Association for Career and Technical Education’s February awareness campaign to highlight CTE opportunities available to Solano students.

The Office of Education will showcase the numerous CTE programs across the county to raise awareness of the role the program has in ensuring students are ready for college and careers.

“Solano schools are offering a wide range of CTE pathways to students,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a press release. “Solano County Office of Education supports local CTE high school programs and facilitates the Work Ready! Certification program that provides workshops to help students build skills like creating effective resumes, preparing for interviews, social media responsibility and teamwork. These are all important skills that students need to learn to obtain and keep good jobs.”

Source: Solano Office of Education highlights CTE programs

Members sought for Career Technical Education Workforce Advisory Council – The Vacaville Reporter

The Solano County Office of Education is launching a biannual Career Technical Education (CTE) Workforce Advisory Council and invites Solano County businesses to become a member, share expertise and provide guidance as well as knowledge of industry needs locally and regionally.

The first meeting is set for 3:30-5 p.m. Feb. 17 via Zoom. Industry partners interested in attending can register online at www.solanocoe.net/ccreadiness.

“To ensure our students have the best career preparation experience possible, it is vital that we partner with local industry,” said Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson in a press statement.

Source: Members sought for Career Technical Education Workforce Advisory Council – The Vacaville Reporter

Solano Office of Education seeks business reps for new CTE panel – Daily Republic

The Solano County Office of Education is seeking business representatives who want to be part of a new Career Technical Education Workforce Advisory Council.

The council members will “share their expertise, and provide guidance as well as knowledge of industry needs locally and regionally,” the county education office stated in a press release.

The first meeting is set for 3:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 17. Those interested can register and learn more about College and Career Readiness in Solano County at www.solanocoe.net/ccreadiness.

Source: Solano Office of Education seeks business reps for new CTE panel

27 local high school students finish SCOE’s Work-Ready Certification program – Times-Herald

The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) has recognized 27 local high school students for completing SCOE’s Work-Ready Certification program.

High school students from across Solano County enrolled in the program to develop skills that will help them succeed as they enter the workplace. This year’s program was offered virtually to keep students and staff safe and in compliance with state imposed physical distancing during the pandemic.

Students participated in various workshops, learning the work-ready skills, appropriate use of social media, personal finance, job search and application processes, cover letters, resumes and interviewing. Students who completed the program had the additional benefit of participating in mock interviews with local members of the business community, leaving the program with a professional portfolio.

Source: 27 local high school students finish Solano County Office of Education’s Work-Ready Certification program – Times-Herald

Solano students receive work-ready recognition – Daily Republic

Twenty-seven local high school students have been recognized for completing the Work-Ready! Certification program.

“We are proud of our students for their dedication to furthering their skill set in preparation for work and post-secondary education,” Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with our school districts and local chambers and for the support of area businesses. This is truly a collaborative endeavor.”

Source: Solano students receive work-ready recognition

Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced today that public comment is now open for the draft California Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) State Plan. The plan was developed by the California Department of Education (CDE), California State Board of Education (SBE), and California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO).

“This plan is a significant opportunity to strengthen Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and pathways for all students in both the K–12 and community college systems,” Thurmond said. “I encourage educators and stakeholders in the CTE field to submit their valuable input on this plan. These programs provide valuable skills to meet industry needs.”

Perkins V was signed into law on July 31, 2018. This bipartisan measure reauthorized the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to provide nearly $1.3 billion annually in federal support for CTE programs across the nation. California receives approximately $127 million annually to support CTE programs and pathways.

Source: Public Comment Open for CTE State Plan – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

What Does ‘Career Readiness’ Look Like in Middle School? – MindShift

By Stephanie Strom

Juliet Basinger pressed a button on a remote control, and the drone she built did a somersault, first in one direction, then in another, before taking off around the room, cheekily snapping photos of the adults looking on. Juliet won’t finish high school before 2025, but the 11-year-old already has big plans: She wants to be a mechanical engineer.

This year alone, Juliet has used 3D printers, servo motors and microcontrollers to build the parts needed to construct a therapeutic robotic dog that she hopes will help those afraid of canines overcome their fears, a project she did as part of a lesson in her English class. She has learned to use technology-enabled woodcutting tools and is at work creating a virtual tour of her school, Laing Middle School in Charleston County, using another drone she built in the school’s Fab Lab.

A narrow room crammed with high-tech equipment including 3D printers and an electrophoresis chamber to separate molecules and study chromosomes, the Fab Lab gives students at Laing a chance to get hands-on experience with the sorts of tools they might find in the workplace. “I really have fun doing these things,” says the rising seventh grader, “but I also like that it’s preparing me to be an engineer.”

Source: What Does ‘Career Readiness’ Look Like in Middle School? – MindShift

Thurmond Announces Exemplary Program Awards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced additional honors for 22 California Distinguished middle schools and high schools selected as having an Exemplary Program in Arts Education, Career Technical Education, or Physical Activity and Nutrition. Distinguished Schools applied separately for these honors. This year’s honorees include 10 schools for Arts Education, nine for Career Technical Education, and four schools for Physical Activity and Nutrition—with one school receiving honors in two categories.

“We know that closing the achievement gap includes world-class instruction, including access to STEAM, career technical education, physical education, and nutrition education.” said Thurmond. “Instruction outside of core academic subject areas—like job training, entrepreneurship, and STEAM—helps all students prepare for 21st century jobs and sparks creative and healthy minds. I congratulate these 22 Exemplary Program Award winners for their outstanding work.”

Source: Thurmond Announces Exemplary Program Awards – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)

24th Transition Fair is scheduled for March 20 in Fairfield – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

The 24th annual Transition Information Fair for students in middle school, high school or an adult/transition program who has a disability and/or in a special education program will be held March 20.

The fair will occur from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive.

More than 40 agencies from Solano and surrounding counties will be on hand to provide information about programs and agencies that can assist with higher education, training, employment, adult day programs and independent living.

Source: 24th Transition Fair is scheduled for March 20 in Fairfield

Fairfield-Suisun board approves pursuit of $2.7M in grants to boost vocational ed – Daily Republic

By Bill Hicks

The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with an application for grant funding via Proposition 51 that would allow for the improvement and upgrade of Career Technical Education facilities at Armijo High School, as well as the establishment of a welding vocational program.

If approved, the grants would provide the district with as much as $2.7 million for the CTE upgrades at Armijo.

School districts throughout the country turned their focus at some point in the past away from traditional vocational programs in favor of programs oriented on getting students prepared for college.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun board approves pursuit of $2.7M in grants to boost vocational ed

CTE: Funding & New State Oversight – Public Policy Institute of California

By Rafujio Gonzalez, Courtney Lee

President Donald Trump recently signed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, or Perkins V, which reauthorized $1.2 billion dollars in federal funds for career and technical educational (CTE) programs. The new law gives states more flexibility to set their own goals for CTE programs, along with reporting progress toward those goals. Who might benefit from these changes, and what new challenges do they present to the state?

Perkins V supports programs that integrate career skills and prepare students at the secondary, postsecondary, and adult education level for the workforce—for such careers as IT technician, accountant, or nurse. Funding is based on student enrollment, and each year California receives more than $110 million in Perkins dollars, the vast majority (85%) of which go to CTE programs in high schools and community colleges. During the 2017–18 school year, close to 780,000 (40%) high school students and 420,000 (35%) full-time community college students participated in CTE.

Source: Career Technical Education: Funding & New State Oversight – Public Policy Institute of California

Solano College hosts Doing What Matters event – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano Community College will host “Doing What Matters for Jobs in Solano County” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the school’s cafeteria, Building 1400.

The event will update Career Technical Education opportunities, provide for tours of facilities, as well as offer a chance to meet faculty and staff. The event will also discuss the next steps and feature a tour of the college’s Maker Space and Advanced Manufacturing facilities.

Source: Solano College hosts Doing What Matters event

Career Technical Education in California – Public Policy Institute of California

Career technical education is critical to meeting the state’s workforce needs.

If current trends continue, roughly one-third of new jobs in California will require some training beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. Career technical education (CTE), also known as vocational training, connects students to these career opportunities by providing industry-based skills. In addition to improving career options in the short term, CTE can provide pathways to higher education; for example, about a third of high school CTE courses meet the admission requirements for California’s public four-year universities.

Public high schools and community colleges are the primary providers of CTE.

During the 2016–17 school year, close to 800,000 high school students (45%) enrolled in a CTE course. Arts and media courses are especially popular, as are CTE courses in information technology, agriculture, and health. At community colleges, nearly 420,000 students (35%) participated in CTE. Arts and media is once again the most popular industry sector, followed by education, business, health, and public services. While for-profit colleges also offer CTE training, enrollments have declined in recent years.

Source: Career Technical Education in California – Public Policy Institute of California

Solano Voices: Year-end events celebrate accomplishments – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

As I do every year, I make every effort to attend as many year-end events as I possibly can. I love to celebrate the accomplishments of educators, students, parents, nonprofits, the business community and, even the newspaper reporters who take the pictures and write the stories.

That’s what makes all of these events so great, because we celebrate as a community the accomplishments of everyone involved. Needless to say, there’s not enough space here to write about every successful program across the county.

Someone once said that throughout history, there have been few events of significance that have occurred purely by accident. We know that success happens, because many care enough to make a difference for the good of all. According to Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”

Source: Solano Voices: Year-end events celebrate accomplishments

High schoolers begin design, innovation challenge at Travis Air Force Base – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Solano County Office of Education leaders, in a partnership with Travis Air Force Base, are launching an event, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, that will enlist the help of Solano County high school students to tackle real-world problems at Travis Air Force Base.

A group of student will visit the sprawling base today so can participate in the next phase the Phoenix Spark Challenge — described as a strategy used by the military to solve problems shared by military operational experts, academia and government agencies — will take place May 18 at the sprawling base.

Airmen will lead student tours of the base and show them three real-life issues the consumer sector and the Department of Defense are trying to solve. Students will have a chance to ask questions, then select which challenge they want to resolve through design and problem-solving processes.

Source: High schoolers begin design, innovation challenge at Travis Air Force Base

School board to hear quarterly bond update at Thursday’s meeting – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

As Measure S bond projects continue to move along, attendees of this Thursday’s school board meeting can get a greater understanding of which projects have been completed, which ones are nearing completion and which projects will be taken on next. The discussion will be presented by Bond Director Roxanne Egan.

Measure S was a ballot initiative approved by Benicia voters in 2014 aimed at providing $49.6 million in bond funding for improvements at each of the Benicia Unified School District’s seven schools. As of Dec. 31, 11 projects had been completed, technology infrastructure upgrades at all the schools, playground modernizations at the elementary schools, fixing the roofs at Benicia Middle School and Mary Farmar Elementary School, painting the exteriors at Benicia High School and renovating Benicia High’s stadium.

Egan also identified 10 approved bond projects in progress. These include fire alarm replacements at Liberty High School and the District Office as well as Mary Farmar, Joe Henderson and Robert Semple elementary schools, a fire alarm upgrade at Matthew Turner Elementary School, a modernization of Benicia Middle School’s campus, miscellaneous infrastructure upgrades, alternative education improvements and repairing the gym floor at Benicia High. Another approved project is improvements to Benicia High’s Performing Arts Building, which Egan said is part of the district’s efforts to apply for a Career Technical Education grant for the building. If the grant is awarded, then the district will be required to match up to a maximum of $3 million in local funding. If the grant is not awarded, then a minimum amount of $400,000 will be allocated for PAB improvements.

Source: School board to hear quarterly bond update at Thursday’s meeting

Solano County Office of Education board holds special meeting – Times Herald

By Richard Bammer

Solano County Office of Education leaders, when they meet tonight in Fairfield, will face a relatively light agenda, followed by a special meeting and a closed hearing.

Nicola Parr, director of student and program support, will update the seven-member board on the SCOE’s Local Control Accountability Plan, a key part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula. LCAPs are annual documents that guide virtually all of a school district’s spending, especially for English learners, low-income students and foster youth.

Parr will note the stakeholders “engagement process,” to include the frequency of meetings with parents, students, staff and foster youth advocates.

Additionally, she will note a pending Career Technical Education advisory meeting, to include a guest speaker who will offer an update on the economic climate for the North Bay; input from local businesses about the skills they want in graduates, among other things.

Source: Solano County Office of Education board holds special meeting

BUSD applying for grant funding for BHS Performing Arts Building renovation – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

The school board will be voting to approve the submission of two applications requesting grant funding for renovation of Benicia High School’s Performing Arts Building (PAB) at its Thursday meeting.

In May, an informational meeting was held at Benicia High to discuss two items. One was a new set of graduation requirements that had recently been approved by the school board, which parents, students, faculty and community members felt decreased opportunities for performing arts students. The new requirements were later rescinded by the board and the old ones reinstated. The other item was the PAB. Many felt the 36-year-old building was not being treated as a high priority for Measure S funding, despite safety concerns including overhead lights without support beams.

Benicia Unified School District is seeking funding from a California Proposition 51 Career Technical Education Grant. Proposition 51 was approved by California voters in the 2016 election to provide $9 billion in bond funding for construction and improvement of K-12 schools and community colleges in the state. The funding would include renovation of the current building as well as new construction. Among the improvements planned by the district are replacing the “outdated” lighting and acoustic fixtures, converting and expanding old the costume shop into a dance studio, adding changing rooms in the backstage and production support space in the backstage, and expanding the stage to provide more performance space.

Source: BUSD applying for grant funding for BHS Performing Arts Building renovation