Genentech provides grant to foster Kids’ love of science and nature – The Reporter

Genentech’s Vacaville and Dixon facilities announced last week that they are providing a $100,000 grant to the Explorit Science Center to support the center’s mission to ignite and foster curiosity about science and nature through hands-on exploration.

Specifically, the grant would support the following initiatives:

• “Community Science Project,” which partners with middle schools and elementary schools in Solano and Yolo counties to encourage students in science discovery through a variety of topics. The content is integrated into teachers’ on-going curriculum and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards.

 

via: The Reporter

Sign-ups for Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program conference still possible – The Reporter

It’s not too late to sign up for Solano Conference 2016, “Catch a Wave,” set for today through Sunday at Courtyard Marriott, 1350 Holiday Lane, Fairfield.

The 20th annual event, aka the Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program Annual Training Conference, offers something for everyone.

From human trafficking to trauma-informed caregiving, from learning how to positively discipline youth to better communication with them, and from youth advocacy and empowerment to navigating the child welfare system, a variety of topics are touched on, organizers said.

Source: Sign-ups for Solano College Foster Kinship Care Education Program conference still possible

Bunco fundraiser to benefit foster youth agency – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Heart 2 Heart, an organization that provides services to emancipated foster youth, is the recipient of a bunco fundraiser Feb. 13.

The event will take place at the Solano Community College cafeteria, 4000 Suisun Valley Road.

Doors open at 1 p.m. Play is from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is being hosted by the college’s Foster Youth Success Initiative.

via Bunco fundraiser to benefit foster youth agency.

States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource

By Susan Frey

The U.S. Congress may soon be following California’s lead in requiring states to provide data on the academic progress of all homeless and foster youth and provide additional resources to those students.

A bill amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to include homeless and foster youth as two new subgroups of students has passed the U.S. Senate, and two similar bills are being considered by the House of Representatives. Under the current version of the ESEA, known as No Child Left Behind, student subgroups are based on race and ethnicity, English learner status and disability.

“Too many students in our classrooms are worried about where they will sleep that night, where their next meal will come from, or who they can turn to if they need help,” said Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., who introduced a homeless and foster youth bill in the House with Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa.

via States may soon have to report on progress of homeless, foster youth | EdSource.

Solano agencies team up to help homeless students – The Reporter

During the last school year, Solano County schools have identified nearly 2,000 homeless students and nearly 500 foster students, county officials said and now a group of agencies is teaming up to help them with school supplies.

Homeless youth may be unaccompanied and couch surfing from home-to-home, living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends due to a loss of housing or financial problems. Foster youth may reside with a relative, in a foster home or in a group home.

To assist the foster and homeless youth of Solano County, the Solano County Office of Education, Educational Partnership Foundation of Solano, Sutter Medical Group, Sutter Solano Medical Center and Wednesday Club of Suisun are supporting the regional Stuff the Bus program.

via Solano agencies team up to help homeless students.

New Solano Community college program gives students a hand up – The Reporter

By Ann Fogarty

Solano Community College student Breanna Rodriguez is, by any standards, a parent’s dream.

Ambitious, disciplined and focused on her future, the attractive 20-year-old exudes a sense of poise and confidence that belies her years. You could easily imagine her to be supported by a loving family that offers all the comfort and stability she needs to realize her substantial dreams.

But you would be wrong.

Rodriguez was born prematurely, addicted to the methamphetamines her mother could not seem to get enough of, even while pregnant. Never knowing who her father was, she endured an unpredictable and dangerous life with her mother and older brother before being completely abandoned at a neighbor’s house when she was just 13.

via New Solano Community college program gives students a hand up.

Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth | EdSource

By Susan Frey

A review of California district plans for improving school climate shows that few districts have identified specific goals to improve attendance and reduce suspensions and expulsions of foster students.

Public Counsel, a public interest law firm based in Los Angeles, reviewed the Local Control and Accountability Plans of the 64 districts in the state with at least 150 foster students. The plans are supposed to describe goals and actions the district will take to improve in eight priority areas, including school climate, with specific goals and actions for three subgroups of students – low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

The 64 districts include 55 percent of the state’s foster students, said Laura Faer, a co-author of the report, Fostering Education Success, released Wednesday.

via Report calls for districts to create specific goals for foster youth | EdSource#.VOYYJmctHGg#.VOYYJmctHGg.

Solano opts for state program for foster children who live with relatives – Daily Republic

By Kevin W. Green

Solano County is moving ahead to participate in the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program, which provides county agencies with state funds for foster children who live with relatives.

“It really makes the field balanced because the federal caseloads receive a foster care rate which is much higher than those when we place with relative care providers,” said Aaron Crutison, deputy director of health and social services child welfare services.

Crutison made his presentation before the Board of Supervisors, prior to the board’s unanimous vote Tuesday for the county to opt into the state-funded program.

via Solano opts for state program for foster children who live with relatives Daily Republic.

Solano College students reach out to help peers – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

A group of Solano Community College students who happen to also be emancipated foster youth went the extra mile to help their peers with a leg up toward their futures by becoming involved in Senate Bill 1023.

The recent passage of SB 1023 gives additional support to California foster youth who are bound for community college by including them in the state-funded, eligibility-based Extended Opportunity Program and Services, or EOPS, which is a statewide community college program that provides financially and educationally disadvantaged students with support that includes counseling, financial assistance, referrals and assistance toward textbooks.

via Solano College students reach out to help peers Daily Republic.

Program collects needed school items for homeless students – The Reporter

Vacaville Reporter Posted:

In the course of the past school year, Solano County schools have identified more than 1,400 homeless students in the community, according to Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, chief executive officer of Travis Credit Union.

“Due to the loss of housing and financial problems, these young people may be living on the streets, in shelters, or staying temporarily with family or friends,” she said.

To assist the homeless youth of Solano County, Travis Credit Union has partnered with the Solano County Office of Education, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and Educational Partnership of Solano in support of the regional Stuff the Bus Campaign. Donations will help stuff the bus with school supplies to benefit Solano County’s homeless children as they prepare for the coming school year.

via Program collects needed school items for homeless students – The Reporter.

Where foster kids live affects school performance, report says | EdSource Today

By Susan Frey

Foster youth perform worse in school depending on where they are placed, such as group homes, and how long they stay there, according to a new report that reveals the impact of living conditions and other factors on the academic achievement of foster children.

The Invisible Achievement Gap, Part 2 follows an earlier report that detailed the dismal academic achievement of California’s 43,000 school-aged foster youth.

In the latest report, the researchers found that older foster students – particularly those who live in group homes or have experienced three or more foster placements in one school year – have the lowest academic achievement of all foster youth.

via Where foster kids live affects school performance, report says | EdSource Today.

Sensitivity training for educators on foster youth issues needed, advocates say | EdSource Today

By Susan Frey

Under the new school finance system, the state will soon be sending districts lists of their foster students so schools can direct more resources to them. Although the students will benefit, they fear their personal lives may be widely exposed and they may be stigmatized if educators don’t handle the information sensitively.

“Foster kids are very nervous about this,” said Michael Paynter, the Foster Youth Services liaison for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. “They don’t want to be called out in public or identified in a way where they aren’t choosing the moment. We need some sensitivity training around the release of these lists.”

via Sensitivity training for educators on foster youth issues needed, advocates say | EdSource Today.

Districts develop goals for foster youth | EdSource Today

By Susan Frey

As districts set their goals for the next school year and allocate funding under the new California school finance system, they have to consider for the first time a small, highly at-risk subset of students: youth in foster care.

Under the new Local Control Funding Formula, districts must develop Local Control and Accountability (LCAP) plans, and they must give particular consideration to the needs of English learners, students from low-income families, and students in foster care.

Districts are used to considering the challenges faced by low-income students and English learners, said Teri Burns, senior director of policy and programs for the California School Boards Association. But “the area of foster youth is a new one for most districts,” she said. “It’s not one where districts have taken real direct action in the past.”

via Districts develop goals for foster youth | EdSource Today.

Foster youth switch schools at huge rate | EdSource Today

By Kathryn Baron

It’s well known that foster youth change schools more frequently than other students, but a new study using pioneering data analysis shows foster youth are more than twice as likely to switch schools as their classmates.

Researchers at UC Berkeley’s Center for Social Services Research and at the Institute for Evidence-Based Change, a nonprofit based in Encinitas, found that about 95 percent of foster youth changed schools the first year they were placed in care compared to 37 percent to 38 percent of students in a comparison group.

via Foster youth switch schools at huge rate | EdSource Today.

Foster youth team advocates for others in care – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

FAIRFIELD — Tanya Ortega just graduated from high school and is beginning college in the fall.

She is also working.

As a foster youth, the 18-year-old has bucked the statistics that show fewer than 60 percent of foster youths graduate from high school and fewer than 5 percent finish college. Fewer than 50 percent are employed.

via Foster youth team advocates for others in care Daily Republic.

Despite drop in number of foster youth, significant educational obstacles remain | EdSource Today

By Kathryn Baron

Children’s advocates are welcoming a new report showing a sharp drop in the number of foster youth in California, but also caution that less isn’t necessarily a sign of improvement. This is especially the case in education, where most schools still have not figured out how to help foster youth succeed academically.

“The truth is that schools and school districts have not historically been good at educating foster youth,” said Jesse Hahnel, founder and director of FosterEd, a project of the National Center for Youth Law. Most school districts don’t have the expertise to meet the population’s unique needs, he said.

via Despite drop in number of foster youth, significant educational obstacles remain | EdSource Today.

EdSource Today: Foster youth win big in California’s new budget

By 

Among the winners and losers under California’s new budget, one student group stands out as a big winner: the state’s 42,000 school-age foster children. Often neglected by their schools as well as their families, foster youth can no longer be ignored.

Schools, districts and county offices will be held accountable for the academic progress of their foster youth as a separate subgroup under the state’s Academic Performance Index. The API measures the performance of a school’s students as a whole, but also tracks the performance of separate subgroups of traditionally low-achieving students; current subgroups are based on ethnicity and family income, and also include disabled students and English learners.

Foster youth win big in California’s new budget | EdSource Today.

EdSource Today: Elk Grove program brings stability, sense of normalcy to foster youth

By 

Shuffled from home to home and school to school, often with no one to turn to for guidance and support, foster youth can end up feeling isolated, alienated and without purpose. A simple but effective program at Elk Grove Unified is helping to restore a sense of normalcy and stability to the lives of foster students, allowing them to connect to their school and community.

The brainchild of district resource teacher Mike Jones, the program brings together all the foster youth at a high school for a weekly “advocacy” class where the students can support each other and develop a feeling of family and a desire to succeed.

via Elk Grove program brings stability, sense of normalcy to foster youth – by Susan Frey.

SCOE’s Facebook Wall: Project HOPE provided free training to foster parents and those who work with foster youth (photos)

Project HOPE provided free training on state law and interagency agreements to foster parents and those who work with foster youth. The all-day workshop was held on June 4 at the County of Solano in Fairfield.

The training was a partnership between SCOE, Solano County, A Better Way, the National Center for Youth Law, and Tracy L. Fried and Associates, Inc.

via Project HOPE provided free training on state law and interagency agreements to f….

EdSource Today: Budget plan makes foster youth a priority, but takes away dedicated funding

By 

Students in foster care will be moving to the front of the class if the new school accountability rules the governor proposed in his budget revision become law.

For the first time, districts, county offices of education and state agencies will have to keep track of and account for the academic progress of their foster students under Gov. Jerry Brown’s May revision.

via Budget plan makes foster youth a priority, but takes away dedicated funding – by Susan Frey.