Dixon school board members at a special meeting Monday unanimously approved tabling a resolution to reopen schools — due to the resolution’s concerning language.
Though members support a March 18 reopening date, the resolution also establishes an emergency resolution in the event of a concerted refusal by teachers to work, despite Dixon Teachers Association (DTA) members emphasizing that they have no intention to do so.
At its Feb. 18 meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve a phased-in approach to return students to on-campus classrooms, which have been closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dixon Unified School District aimed for schools to return to in-person classes in the middle of March, provided Solano County remains in the red tier for two weeks. With cases declining in Dixon and the anticipated announcement of a return to the red tier — which occurred Tuesday — the district set March 18 as a possible return date with the board asked to finalize it Monday.
The Dixon school board unanimously approved a hybrid reopening plan that aims to bring students back to school for in-person learning at its Thursday meeting.
The reopening of Dixon Unified School District campuses will be dependent upon Solano County returning to the red tier, but Superintendent Brian Dolan said the district is aiming to have students back in class March 16 in the “best case scenario.” If conditions do not improve, the reopening date will be modified.
Dolan said Thursday’s meeting was the most important in a long time and acknowledged that the closure of schools on March 13 to stop the spread of the coronavirus has been very difficult for students and their families.
Students at Dixon Unified School District may be heading back to class soon. The when and how will be up for debate once the school board considers a reopening plan at Thursday’s meeting.
As with all schools in California, DUSD schools closed for in-person learning in the middle of March to stop the spread of COVID-19. Initially, the campuses were to remain closed until May 1, but as cases continued to rise throughout the state, the school board voted to keep campuses closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.
Schools continued to remain closed through the Fall 2020 semester and the start of the Spring 2021 semester. In the intervening time, students have been taking part in distance learning through applications like Zoom.
Usually, students receiving their novels during the spring semester is nothing more ceremonial than a teacher passing out copies in class. For students at John Knight Middle School in Dixon, it was an opportunity to set foot on campus after a long period of distance learning.
And it was not just any campus they set foot on but one that had not been occupied by students since before most of the current Knight student body had been born.
On Wednesday, the school hosted a spring novel pickup, where students could come by to obtain novels, textbooks and supplies for the next semester. It marked the first student event at 455 East A St. since the relocation of Dixon High School in 2007. The newly rebranded John Knight Middle School, previously known as CA Jacobs Middle School, was scheduled to open at the old high school campus in the fall of 2020, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a delay in the final stages of renovation pushed Knight’s opening back to January.
An incumbent and a newcomer are the apparent winners in the Dixon school board election.
With all precincts reporting, Trustee Melissa Maseda leads at 40.01 percent followed by David Bowen, a math teacher at Armijo High School in Fairfield, at 33.22 percent. Board President Luke Foster fell short of another term with 26.77 percent of the vote so far.
Maseda was happy that the voters appeared to have given her another term.
The recent transition of Solano County into the red tier in the State’s monitoring system for COVID-19 allows schools within our county to begin in-person instruction for students. Dixon Unified has not made any decisions about in-person instruction and wants to involve our families before doing so.
These Town Hall Meetings are intended to provide families with information, take input, and answer any questions there are about the possibility of students returning to their campuses.Please note that the purpose of these meetings is to get input prior to any decision regarding a physical return to school. The District is committed to having an open process that allows for public input before any decision about in-person instruction is made.
The Solano County Office of Education on Wednesday celebrated all the certificated and classified employees nominated as part of the Educators of the Year program.
“The video highlights that honor each nominee in this year’s virtual celebration are truly heartwarming. Solano County’s certificated and classified employees of the year nominees are all passionate and committed people who have put their colleagues and students first. We are so proud to recognize each honoree with a video celebration of their dedication and hard work,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement.
Solano schools’ common mission to support, educate and graduate students was in high relief Wednesday when the Solano County Office of Education held an online celebration for a select group of school-support employees and teachers.
Every year, school districts countywide nominate one teacher and one classified employee to be recognized as an Educator of the Year.
The prerecorded celebration, which got underway at 3 p.m. and made necessary because of the ongoing pandemic, was a salute to six classified employees and seven teachers and paraeducators.
As most of you are already aware, Solano County moved from the purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier in the state’s color-coded reopening matrix yesterday. This shift is based on the improved condition in our county with regard to numbers of cases of COVID and other related factors. This is good news and hopefully marks a trend that will continue with our adherence to the safety precautions and protocols that we all are so familiar with.
As has been reported previously, schools in counties that are in the red tier are eligible to reopen with precautions in place. Those precautions, again, are all of the ones that we are so used to. Should conditions remain as they are over the next several weeks, or improve, schools in Solano County will be eligible to reopen on October 13th.
Computer distribution days and times have been changed from what was announced on Friday. Please use the information below:
Wednesday, August 19th, 11:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.
Thursday, August 20th, 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Distribution will still happen at Dixon High School. Due to the high temperatures, devices will be handed out in the Gym to provide our staff with a safe place to work. Park on the front of campus to get closest to the entrance.
Judi Honeychurch did not face a challenger in her last election and will have no need to campaign this fall, either.
Judi Honeychurch“I look forward to the challenges of the future and working with the superintendent and the teachers and staff,” said Honeychurch, who will enter her third term on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees.
She is the only incumbent who does not have a challenger.
Clifford Gordon, owner of Gordon’s Music & Sound in downtown Fairfield, pulled and filed candidacy papers Thursday for the Trustee Area 1 seat held by Bethany Smith. Trustee Area 2 incumbent Joan Gaut will run against Leslie Unverferth, and Area 6 incumbent John Silva faces Ana Petero.
Schools in Dixon will be starting two weeks later than initially scheduled, as the school board voted to extend the start date for the 2020-21 school year by two weeks at a special meeting Monday.
Dixon Unified School District schools were originally going to commence for the year Aug. 10, as had been scheduled for the school calendars that were adopted in February. However, with campuses closing the following month due to the global coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders by the state, the start date will now be Aug. 24 to give teachers more time to prepare.
DUSD Superintendent Brian Dolan said this was not an agenda item the district ever wanted to consider, but the coronavirus created a unique situation.
Going back to school in Dixon will look very different this year, but one thing that will not change is the need to buy school supplies.
One local group has come up with a way to potentially get the necessary supplies for free in a manner that will also allow youngsters to have fun while doing so.
The Dixon Booze Fairies will be hosting a scavenger hunt in August, open to elementary and middle schoolers. The local group makes unprompted deliveries of snacks, sanitizer and — as the group’s name would imply — bottles of alcohol to residents’ doorsteps, and encourage the recipients to pay it forward.
The last two years have been a period of loss for Dixon High Schoolers. In that time, three students and one teacher have had their lives cut short, causing grief for their classmates and students.
One Dixon native is working to ensure that all four will continue to be remembered on campus. She painted a mural with symbols of their personality traits interspersed across the backdrop of Dixon changing through the seasons, which will be installed in the DHS quad.
Painting Dixon is a natural fit for Colleen Gnos, who now lives in Pismo Beach but grew up in the city, where she graduated from Dixon High in 1993. She has returned on occasion to paint pieces like the murals inside St. Peter’s Catholic Church or the farmer and his dog overlooking Interstate 80 on the outskirts of town. Gnos’ newest piece, “Remember: Life’s Seasons,” was described by the artist as one of her more emotional works.
Education Week reported that schools in at least 11 states suspended high school sports activities in June after players or coaches tested positive for coronavirus amid a resurgence of cases across the United States.
Games, practices or training and conditioning sessions have been suspended in parts of Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas just weeks after schools reopened athletic facilities for students and coaches.
Close to home, on July 5 Dixon High School suspended its athletic activities. The school issued a press release stating, “Based upon recent COVID 19 cases locally and information from the state, we have to suspend workouts for Dixon High School athletics. We expect to hear from the county health office early in the week. We will be in touch as soon as we have county approval.”
We are living in unprecedented times in so many ways, and while the District has had a large and ongoing response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have not addressed the current conditions within the country related to race, equity, and our role related to these critical issues outside of comments at recent Governing Board Meetings.The mission statement of the District reads, in part, that we will “close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and career readiness. . . ” As evidenced in such overt and disturbing ways recently, some of our students come to us with experiences of being subject to racism, discrimination, harassment, and other injustices in both explicit and implicit ways. No child should live in these conditions. They negatively impact a child’s ability to learn and develop to their fullest potential.
Call it a mobile party with about 300 guests of honor.
So it was Saturday morning as Dixon High School celebrated the Class of 2020 with a parade through the city followed by a final stop at the school, where they received their received their diplomas before heading off into the next big chapter of their lives.
The event kicked off at 7:30 a.m. at Hall Park, where the graduating class queued up in vehicles festooned with streamers, balloons, photo likenesses and more. It would be an hour and a half before the parade would begin, giving the seniors time to reconnect with friends they haven’t seen since March, when school shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
In order to keep you informed regarding the planning for the 2020-21 school year and the details on how we will reopen, we will publish an update every Friday throughout the summer. Additional updates will be provided as developments occur and decisions are made.
Our General Approach to Reopening:
We want to be able to reopen with campuses operating with all students and staff present.
We know that conditions may not allow for this, so we are planning for the possibility of distance learning continuing for all students.