Only one in three seventh-graders pass fitness test – Times Herald

By Sharon Noguchi

California students are less fit than they were in 2014, although they’re marginally in better shape than five years ago, according to tests released by the state Department of Education.

Statewide, the percentage of students who met all six of the state’s fitness goals declined half a percentage point or less. Yet, only 26.4 percent of fifth-graders, 32.5 percent of seventh-graders and 37.6 percent of ninth-graders, the only grades tested, were declared fit.

In local counties, students generally performed better than their statewide peers, except for ninth-graders in Alameda County.

Results varied widely by school and district, correlating somewhat — but not always — with socioeconomic status. In the Los Gatos School District, for instance, more than 61 percent of fifth- and seventh-graders tested as fit, while in Oakland Unified just 21 percent of both grades did.

via Only one in three seventh-graders pass fitness test.

Schools hurting children by banning rough play – Daily Republic

By Virginia Postrel

No roughhousing. No superhero games. No turning your fingers – or your Pop-Tart – into a make-believe gun. No tag. And certainly no dodgeball.

Stories of zero-tolerance play-policing by schools are a well-established news genre.

Most recently, parents in Washington state mounted a successful campaign to force the Mercer Island School District to reverse its ban on playing tag during “unstructured playtime,” or what used to be called recess. In his backpedaling press release, district superintendent Gary Plano puzzlingly insisted that “asking students to keep their hands and feet to themselves at all times, including recess” wasn’t a ban on tag.

via Schools hurting children by banning rough play.

Test results, planning services contract, athletics budget on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A presentation about the recent standardized state test results, a facilities master planning services contract, and the athletics budget are up for discussion by the Dixon Unified trustees.

They meet at 7 p.m. tonight.

Of the state tests, Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will tell the board that 69 percent of some 1,700 students tested, in grades three to eight and 11, failed to meet state standards in mathematics. And 67 percent failed to do so in English.

How educators are doing statewide since Sept. 9, when the results were released, he will break down the scores by school and subgroups, including ethnicities and income levels. (Dixon Unified is a Title 1 district, meaning most of the students are classified as poor or low-income under federal guidelines.)

via Test results, planning services contract, athletics budget on DUSD agenda.

Vallejo’s ‘Midnight basketball’ attracts hundreds of players – Times Herald

By Dianne de Guzman

Summer is looking to be a great time for basketball fans in Vallejo.

With the Bay Area still excited from the Golden State Warriors winning the NBA title, the tipoff for Late Night Basketball at Vallejo High School on Friday could not have been timed better.

From 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night, kids and young teens from ages 12 to 25 crowded the gym shooting hoops — as well as meeting community members and police officers, getting health screenings or learning about conflict resolution.

via Vallejo’s ‘Midnight basketball’ attracts hundreds of players.

‘Midnight basketball’ to start Friday at Vallejo High School – Times Herald

By Dianne de Guzman

Vallejo High School’s basketball courts could be packed this summer as part of the city’s new “midnight basketball” program, iBallVallejo, which starts Friday night.

Local teens and young adults are being invited to Bottari Gym between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. to not only shoot some hoops on Friday and Saturday nights, but to take part in a host of other services being offered: Health screenings, such as eye exams and dental checkups, CPR training, learning about conflict resolution or refreshing interview skills (just to name a few).

The program was created in cooperation between a number of local groups, law enforcement and school officials in what they hope will not only be a fun diversion for teens in town, but also a way to build community and relationships with local law enforcement and the courts.

via ‘Midnight basketball’ to start Friday at Vallejo High School.

Solano schools participate in Girls on the Run event – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

A Girls on the Run Napa & Solano event took place May 9 at Napa Valley College. to celebrate the women and their families through a 5K run that saw participants from Solano County schools.

More local girls took part this year with 440 participants versus 309 last fall, according to a press release about the event. Organizers hit new levels of overall participation with 825 runners and total of 1,200 in attendance, to include spectators.

Solano County schools whose students took part in the run include Crescent Middle School, Dan O. Root Elementary School, K.I. Jones Elementary School, Anna Kyle Elementary School, Cleo Gordon Elementary School, Tolenas Elementary School, Cordelia Hills Elementary School, the Fairfield Police Activities League and the Matt Garcia Youth Center, Cooper Elementary School, Fairmont Elementary School and Steffan Manor Elementary School.

via Good News: Solano schools participate in Girls on the Run event.

Program helps students forge successful paths – Daily Republic

By Susan Winlow

The middle school students who congregated together Thursday for lunch in Room D-105 came from all walks of life and have had myriad obstacles tossed in their way.

However, the two things they all have in common are the moniker of being considered, in most cases, an at-risk student; and the most important, they rely on a group of four dedicated mentors who form the backbone of a Green Valley Middle School program called Legacy, which at its root strives to help students become academically and socially successful.

Isela Chacon, 14, said she saw last year how it helped other students. She admitted to not doing well herself with grade and behavior problems.

via Program helps students forge successful paths Daily Republic.

Benicia Education Foundation’s 8th annual fundraiser set for sunny Sunday – Benicia Herald

By Keri Luiz

On your marks …

Sunday morning will see hundreds of runners — local, regional and otherwise — preparing for and competing in the eighth annual Run for Education, the Benicia Education Foundation’s big fundraising event to help library and technology programs in the Benicia Unified School District.

At the moment, however, the number of registered runners is down from previous years.

Race Director Teresa Zabrek said Monday that pre-registration is around 450, down a bit from last year, a development she said could be attributed to several factors.

“A few reasons for the lower turnout might be that the beloved teacher, Andy Leiser, from Joe Henderson (Elementary School) that always rallied a huge team of ‘Hounds’ moved away and we had spring break hit right before the run,” Zabrek said. “We hope for a high in-person turnout this week to bring our numbers up.”

via Runners at the ready: Benicia Education Foundation’s 8th annual fundraiser set for sunny Sunday.

Mundy runners hit stride in 100 Mile Club – Daily Republic

By Marcus Lomtong

The rain causes a lot of issues for some people. For about 70 children at Nelda Mundy Elementary School, it just might have made things more fun Friday, but it certainly didn’t stop them.

Children who attend Nelda Mundy have been running three times a week since November in the 100 Mile Club after school, all for the goal of reaching 100 miles ran in one school year. Club members were out running Friday like they always do, staying semi-dry under the awnings.

There was a mix of smiles on the children’s faces, along with determination for those who had their target set on some important milestones for the session, but none were down about the weather because they had other things in mind.

via Mundy runners hit stride in 100 Mile Club Daily Republic.

Players draw inspiration from classmate’s quest to beat cancer – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis

Calista King is often described as a quiet and studious young woman.

The 15-year-old Buckingham Charter Magnet High School sophomore carries a 3.7 grade point average and lists her favorite subjects as pre-calculus, chemistry and engineering design. She loves Japanese anime, Marvel Comics and anything historical.

Her own history will include her efforts to survive a cancerous brain tumor.

The news was delivered Oct. 29 after months of severe migraines and nausea. Surgery and radiation followed. The young woman has completed 30 radiation treatments and is taking a breather to let her body recover and let her celebrate her 16th birthday.

via Players draw inspiration from classmate’s quest to beat cancer Daily Republic.

Lawsuit agreement to force schools to provide physical education | EdSource

By Jane Meredith Adams

As schools tout the importance of exercise in an era of childhood obesity, a California parent and his lawyer have agreed to a settlement with dozens of districts across California that will force elementary schools to prove they are providing at least the minimum amount of physical education required by state law.

“We think it’s a huge accomplishment and it’s going to benefit public health in California,” said attorney Donald Driscoll, who represents Alameda parent Marc Babin and the advocacy group Cal200 in a 2013 lawsuit that alleges 37 school districts, including Los Angeles Unified, the largest district in the state, are out of compliance with state physical education law.

The districts, which educate more than one in five elementary students in 1st through 6th grade in the state, have agreed to a settlement that requires elementary school teachers to publicly document how many minutes of physical education students receive, according to lawyers involved in the case. Under the state education code, schools are required to provide 200 minutes of physical education every 10 school days in grades 1 through 6, but physical education classes have sunk to the bottom of the priority list in many schools that focus on preparing students for standardized tests.

via Lawsuit agreement to force schools to provide physical education | EdSource#.VNAQf2ctHGg#.VNAQf2ctHGg.

CDE report: Vaca students lag slightly behind state physical fitness averages – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified students continue to slightly lag behind state averages in physical fitness, data from a Department of Education report indicate.

While the report, released Thursday, notes that California students are becoming more fit in six tested areas, local students are generally not matching or exceeding statewide averages in the tests that measure aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength, and flexibility.

via CDE report: Vaca students lag slightly behind state physical fitness averages – The Reporter.

Exercise Before School Can Ward Off ADHD Symptoms, Study Finds – Education Week

By Christina Samuels

Want to help improve the focus of a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Try some jumping jacks before class.

That’s the main finding of researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Vermont who examined 200 kindergarten, 1st and 2nd-graders, about half of whom were deemed to be at risk of developing ADHD. Students were randomly placed in two groups: one group participated in 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise before the school day, while the other group engaged in more sedentary activities.

Over the 12 weeks that the children were studied, those who were exercising before school saw benefits across a broader range of outcomes than children who were spending time doing low-key activities.

via Exercise Before School Can Ward Off ADHD Symptoms, Study Finds – On Special Education – Education Week.

Solano College positions to redefine athletic director position – Daily Republic

By Mike Corpos

The Solano Community College governing board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a proposal to redefine the duties of the athletic director after the reorganization of the School of Human Performance.

The new job description is part of a larger, ongoing process in which a number of departments have been reorganized.

Staff reports define the position: The athletic director shall be directly responsible to the chief student services officer. The athletic director is responsible for providing the overall leadership and management of the intercollegiate athletics program and compliance of the Title IX within the laws, policies, procedures and guidelines established by Solano College, the Bay Valley Conference, the California Commission on Athletics, the California Community College Athletic Trainers and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

via Solano College positions to redefine athletic director position Daily Republic.

To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative : Shots – Health News : NPR

Avery Stackhouse, age 7, of Lafayette, Calif., says he wishes he had more time for phys ed.

“We just have it one day a week — on Monday.” There’s always lunch and recess, he says.  “We play a couple of games, like football and soccer,” he tells Shots.

But at Happy Valley Elementary, where he goes to school, recess last only 15 minutes and lunch is 45. Between eating and mingling, he says, “there’s only a few minutes left where we play games and all that.”

Fifty-six percent of parents say their elementary school kids are getting just one or two days of physical education a week, according to a poll NPR conducted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health

via To Get Kids Exercising, Schools Are Becoming Creative : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Will C. Wood stadium study goes public next week – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Even as another Black and Blue Bowl will be played Friday night at Tom Zunino Stadium, the issue of possibly building a stadium at Will C. Wood High School continues to percolate among those with a stake in the matter, from city officials and coaches to administrators and the public.

Many in the Wood community would like, one day, to see the annual cross-town football rivalry played in alternating years at the Marshall Road campus rather than, year in and out, at Zunino Stadium on the Vacaville High campus.


via Will C. Wood stadium study goes public next week – The Reporter.

Physical Fitness Test Results for 2012-13 – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education)

SANTA ANA—California school kids made slight gains this year in two of the most important indicators of health and physical fitness, and held relatively steady overall, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

About 1.34 million fifth, seventh, and ninth graders took the FITNESSGRAM® this year (Table 1), nearly 94 percent of students enrolled in those grades in public schools statewide. Students in grades five and seven improved in aerobic capacity and body composition, two of the six areas that are assessed annually and considered among the most important gauges of health. Students in grade nine showed improvement in aerobic capacity, but dipped a tenth of a percentage point in body composition (Table 2).

via Physical Fitness Test Results for 2012-13 – Year 2013 (CA Dept of Education).

Fairfield-Suisun school board sets budget priorities – Daily Republic

By Mike Corpos

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun school board agreed on four main budget priorities Thursday for the 2013-14 school year, with a boost in employee compensation topping the list.

The decisions came after an extensive discussion during a budget workshop.

As each board member listed his or her priorities. Four topics rose to the top of the list. The board handed them off to the district administration to research and come back with dollar figures attached.

via Fairfield-Suisun school board sets budget priorities Daily Republic.

Meet Angela Scheuring, DHS Athletic… – Dixon Tribune | Facebook

Cutter Hicks, Sports Reporter

Meet Angela Scheuring, DHS Athletic Director

Teaching in the morning and managing sports in the afternoon. This is the normal routine for Dixon High School’s newest athletic director Angela Scheuring.

She played basketball at UC Davis and has coached in numerous sporting leagues. Angela was even Teacher of the Year in the district last year at Dixon High.

via Meet Angela Scheuring, DHS Athletic… – The Dixon Tribune | Facebook.

Jerry Brown signs bill empowering transgender students – Sacramento Bee

By Jeremy B. White /

California students will soon be able to use the bathrooms and join the teams that best match their gender identity, as Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill enshrining rights for transgender youth.

The legislation, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, advanced from both houses of the Legislature on largely party-line votes. Supporters said the bill protects young people who often endure intolerance and bullying as they travel a twisting road toward self-awareness.

via Jerry Brown signs bill empowering transgender students – Education – The Sacramento Bee.