By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board will be asked to approve a tolling agreement with Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) on Wednesday as the charter network works to fix several alleged violations levied by the school district.
The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education voted on April 28 to send a notice of violations to each of the four charter schools operated by GTA alleging the charter network mismanaged its finances, allowed mold to flourish inside school facilities, and violated the state’s open meeting law.
Source: Vallejo school board to consider new agreement with charter network
By Richard Bammer
Thirty seniors made their way to the stage and, about 30 minutes later, it was all about diplomas, that emblem of adulthood and a figurative ticket to a new life.
Newly graduated from Vacaville Unified’s summer school, the seniors, who picked up their diplomas Friday afternoon in the filled-to-capacity Catwalk Theater at Will C. Wood, did not walk across the stage in June with their respective classmates at Vacaville, Buckingham Charter and Wood high schools, and Ernest Kimme Charter Academy.
Source: New roads ahead for 30 VUSD summer school graduates – The Vacaville Reporter
By Thomas Gase
Continuing with its remedy for being served with a Notice of Violation by the city’s school district, Griffin Technology Academies is appointing new members to its accountability team this week.
Nick Driver, the Vallejo City Unified School District’s new superintendent, named Brent Zionic — an educator and technology expert with a deep background in workflow and compliance processes — as GTA’s new Chief Accountability Officer.
Driver also named Jane Henzerling, charter school founder and educational systems and measurement expert, as a second key member of the new team.
Source: Griffin Technology Academies announces new members to accountability team – Times-Herald
The Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) Board of Directors formally responded this week to allegations of wrongdoing levied by the Vallejo school board in late April.
The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education voted on April 28 to send a notice of violations to each of the four charter schools operated by GTA – paving the way for the district to strip the charters of their status. The district alleged the charter board committed numerous violations, including failing to protect students, mismanaging the network’s finances, allowing mold to flourish inside school facilities, and violating the state’s open meeting law.
Source: Vallejo charter schools promise ‘turnaround’ after district’s threat to status
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun school board will hear a presentation Thursday on the California Interscholastic Federation Multi-School Agreement that could allow students at private and charter schools to compete on public school athletic teams.
A CIF agreement such as this is between two schools and allows students from a school that does not have an athletic program to participate in their “resident school’s” athletic program.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board to consider multiple-school sports agreement
The Vallejo school board took its first steps toward potentially stripping Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) of its four school charters over concerns that the organization has mismanaged finances, failed to protect students from mold infestations, and violated state open meeting law.
The five-person school board unanimously approved sending notice of violations to the GTA board of directors on Thursday, giving them until June 6 to remedy or refute the alleged violations. If the school board believes the organization hasn’t shown enough improvement, the board could continue the process of revoking the charters.
Source: Vallejo school board tells charter schools to fix issues or risk losing status
Kairos Public Schools has received the state 2022 Pivotal Practice Award for its pandemic response – the only Solano County school to receive the recognition.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the award Tuesday.
“We are proud of the courageous efforts of our staff and students as they responded with student-centered decision-making in the most challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team’s perseverance and dedication to create learning systems for our scholars in a time when no school was prepared speaks to our spirit of innovation,” Jared Austin, the executive director of Kairos, said in a statement.
Source: Kairos Public Schools earns state award for pandemic response
By Thomas Gase
The Vallejo City Unified School District announced in a news release Tuesday that it sent out draft Notices of Violations and Opportunity to Cure to Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) concerning its four charter schools.
Those schools include Mare Island Technology Academy middle and high schools as well as Griffin Academy middle and high schools.
The VCUSD’s Board of Trustees will review, consider, and vote on whether to formally issue the draft notices sent to GTA’s four schools on Thursday at 5 p.m. during a special board meeting.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District sends notices to four charter schools – Times-Herald
By Susan Hiland
McKayla Klein brought her handmade jewelry collection to the vendor fair to help support her school, Buckingham Charter on Saturday.
The seventh-grader began making jewelry for Girl Scouts and found it so relaxing she just couldn’t stop creating.
Last year she began selling her creations at craft fairs with the help of her parents.
Source: Buckingham vendor fair helps support teachers and students
Congressmen Mike Thompson and John Garamendi announced on Thursday that Solano County schools will receive $3,944,431 from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF).
This includes $2,013,524 to the Vallejo City Unified School District and $657,375 to the Benicia Unified School District.
The ECF program, which was created as part of the American Rescue Plan, helps schools and libraries ensure that students can connect to the internet at home, allowing them to take advantage of online learning and do their homework. Known as the “homework gap,” students who lack access to the internet at home often fall behind their peers as curriculums and educational opportunities rely more and more on the ability to conduct online research and connect to the web.
Source: Thompson, Garamendi announce nearly $4 million for Solano County schools – Times-Herald
By Thomas Gase
Once denied, Caliber Public Schools is still attempting to open a high school in Vallejo to accompany its current kindergarten to eighth grade campus in the city — Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy.
Earlier this week a public hearing was held in front of the Solano County Office of Education for the Caliber High School petition. In December, the Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) denied the petition on the basis of fiscal impact.
Caliber’s high school petition was originally submitted in September of 2021.
Source: Caliber Public Schools appealing VCUSD denial – Times-Herald
By Matt Miller
The Solano County Board of Education held a spirited public hearing Wednesday at City Hall concerning a petition from Caliber Public Schools to start a high school in Vallejo.
Caliber Public Schools filed a petition in January to appeal the decision in December of the Vallejo City School District governing board. The Vallejo board unanimously denied Caliber’s petition to establish a new high school because of the district’s ongoing fiscal troubles.
The Solano Board of Education held the first public hearing Wednesday to consider the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the school district, other employees of the school district, and parents.
Source: Board of Education holds hearing for proposed Caliber High School in Vallejo
By Joel Rosenbaum
America Perez-Ochoa, 14 (right) a freshman at Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy takes notes as she speaks with Dr. Jacquae Walker (left,) a family practice physician, with Kaiser Permanente in Fairfield during the school’s annual career fair Thursday at the Georgie Duke Sports Center. Students from the school were able to speak and network with a variety of professionals from a range of careers including, medical, military, engineering, public safety, and journalism during the school-wide event.
Source: Photo: Buckingham Students Plan For The Future – The Vacaville Reporter
The Solano County Board of Education will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday to hear input on the Caliber Public Schools petition filed earlier this year.
The hearing will take place at Suisun City Hall in the City Council chamber, 701 Civic Center Blvd. The Vallejo City School District Governing Board in December denied Caliber’s petition to establish a new high school. Caliber in January asked the county board to appeal the decision.
The county board, in accordance with Education Code Section 47605(b) and board policy, will conduct a public hearing to consider the level of support for the petition by teachers employed by the school district, other employees of the school district, and parents.
Source: Solano Board of Education schedules public hearing on Caliber schools plan
By Nick Sestanovich
Ethical question: Is it OK for students to throw colorful powder at their principal?
The answer: No, unless the students raise $6,100 for a charitable cause and have the blessing of their principal.
It might sound farfetched, but that is exactly what happened Wednesday at Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, where students took turns tossing radiant dust at Executive Director Jared Austin, which was their reward for raising money for the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. It was a win for all: Kairos students got to donate to charity, and Austin got to walk away with a new quasi-tie dye shirt.
Source: Kairos principal gets a colorful makeover – The Vacaville Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
There may still be debates about Covid-19 and the medical response to the pandemic.
But the nearly three dozen people who attended the second “Above the Noise” forum in Vacaville on Wednesday seemed far more concerned about what decision they may have to make about their children’s education choices if California follows through with the mandates to vaccine all students 5 or older.
The mandate would not likely be implemented until July at the earliest, and even later for the lower grades.
Source: Is state going to break ‘education contract’ with American families?
A second forum to discuss Covid-19 vaccine mandates in schools is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Journey Downtown.
“Continue the conversation to navigate the recently announced vaccine mandate for school-aged children,” an announcement for the event states.
The first, held Oct. 20, drew about 120 people, plus the online listeners, not long after the Governor’s Office announced the mandates, which will likely not be implemented until at least July.
Source: Second ‘Above the Noise’ Covid forum set in Vacaville
Kairos Public Schools was identified as one of the top elementary schools and middle schools by US News and World Report Monday.
Kairos Public Schools operates two educational options within Vacaville: a TK-8 classroom-based option on Elm St with 500 students and a K-8 Independent Study/Homeschool program with 130 students on Alamo Drive.
“We are proud of our scholars and our staff for their commitment to excellence and we are thrilled to be recognized nationally,” Jared Austin, co-foudner and executive director, said in a statement. “We are committed to empowering a generation of learners to think critically, analyze and apply knowledge strategically and utilize relevant tools to interact thoughtfully with a global community and this recognition is another example of how we are meeting our mission.”
Source: Kairos Public Schools recognized by US News and World Report – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Dozens gathered at Nashe Mesta Park in Vacaville’s Brighton Landing neighborhood Friday to enjoy food, fun and celebrate progress of Kairos Public Schools’ school expansion.
As students scampered around the playground during the Kairos Innovative Scholars Program annual picnic, parents and education officials perused renderings of two phases of the planned Kairos campus. It will be located just beyond the park, on 11 acres owned by the school.
Jared Austin, Kairos co-founder and executive director, detailed the soon-to-be 11,000 square foot learning center complete with ample bells and whistles.
Source: Officials unveil plans for new Kairos learning center, campus – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
Kairos Public Schools hosted its annual Kairos Innovative Scholars Program family picnic Friday with a little more to celebrate this year.
The school will soon be opening an 11,000-square-foot Kairos Learning Center in the Brighton Landing Development area. The Silicon Schools Fund gifted the school $125,000 at the picnic Friday with about 75 families and children in attendance.
“At the moment we are going through the city to get everything approved,” Kairos co-founder and executive director Jared Austin said. “We are looking at developing this over five years.”
Source: Kairos Schools growing in Vacaville thanks to cash infusion