With the Vacaville and Dixon school board elections now in the rearview, there is only one thing left to do: swear in the recently elected and re-elected trustees before they sit on the dais.
The swearing-in ceremonies for both school boards will take place this Thursday.
For Vacaville, the oath of office will be administered to three individuals: President John Jansen and Trustee Santiago Serrato, who ran unopposed for Trustee Areas 3 and 5 respectively, and Nancy Dunn, who defeated Jacqui Nguyen, a communications specialist and former TV reporter, for a seat in Trustee Area 1. Dunn is a former longtime educator who’s served as president of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association. She will be succeeding Shelley Dally, who decided not to seek re-election after eight years on the board.
The race for Vacaville City Council District 4 continues to swing back and forth.
On Wednesday, realtor Kristen Navarro led in the race to succeed outgoing Councilman Nolan Sullivan after Solano Community College Board Trustee Sarah Chapman had an early lead on Election Night. However, with the latest batch of vote-by-mail ballots counted Thursday night, Chapman regained the top spot with 42.02% of the vote, giving her a 50-vote lead over Navarro, who has received 40.39% of the vote.
Reached by email earlier in the day in response to a previous request for comment, Chapman wrote that she and her team were monitoring the results and acknowledged that it was “incredibly tight.”
With campuses now open on a hybrid schedule, following a year of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dixon Unified School District is already looking ahead toward how campuses might look in the 2021-22 academic year.
Following the discussion at the last school board meeting on potential COVID-related funding sources for the district, the board will hold a special meeting Thursday to review the input gathered from family, staff and student surveys.
A presentation at the April 15 meeting highlighted 10 funding sources for DUSD to use over the next three years. One of these is an in-person instruction grant, with $474,354 to be spent starting July 1. Permitted uses for this money outlined in the presentation include COVID-19 testing, ventilation and other site upgrades for health and safety, personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfecting, salaries for employees providing in-person instruction or services, and social and mental health support provided in accordance with in-person learning.
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.
School and college boards governed over the end of one school year and the beginning of another in a very, very different world.
The Covid-19 pandemic added the term distance learning to the common educational lexicon.
And some of those boards got a new makeup of members in November.
Judi Honeychurch, for the second election cycle, faced no opposition and therefore did not appear on the ballot for her Trustee Area 3 seat on the Fairfield-Suisun School District. Bethany Smith similarly returns as the Trustee Area 1 representative.
After taking a weekend off, the Solano County Registrar of Voters’ Office resumed its work counting votes Monday.
More provisional and mail-in ballots continue to be tallied, although it has not drastically altered the tallies in many races in Vacaville in Dixon, despite some candidates in second place gaining ground against their opponents.
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.
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.
The four incumbents and two challengers for seats on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees have filed candidacy papers, the county Elections Office reported Monday evening.
This is the last week to file for anyone interested in running for a position on 10 school or two college district boards.
Fairfield-Suisun school incumbents Joan Gaut, in Trustee Area 2, and John Silva, in Trustee Area 6, each faces a challenger. Leslie Unverferth, a real estate agent, looks to unseat Gaut, while Ana Petero, a teacher, wants to replace Silva.
Incumbents Bethany Smith, in Trustee Area 1, and Judi Honeychurch, in Trustee Area 3, are thus far unchallenged.
The Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District will hear an update on the process to get furniture and equipment ready before the new John Knight Middle School opens in January.
John Knight Middle School, the new name for CA Jacobs Middle School, will be operating out of the old Dixon High School campus on East A Street.
The renovation of the old Dixon High campus to house DUSD’s lone middle school is one of the largest projects funded by Measure Q, a district improvement initiative approved by voters in 2016. The remodel was initially slated to be completed over the summer with middle schoolers starting at the new campus in the fall, but a delay in the final stages of renovation due to the coronavirus caused it to be pushed back to January.
The Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District voted 3-1 at Tuesday’s meeting to appoint longtime educator Dr. Lloyd McCabe to fill a vacancy that was created following last month’s resignation of Trustee John Gabby.
McCabe — a part-time lecturer at the University of California, Davis with an extensive background in education and local programs — was one of two individuals to apply for the seat, the other being former board trustee and Ohlone College professor Andy Bloom.
Superintendent Brian Dolan said both applicants were very qualified and used a coin flip to determine who would go first in the interview process. The coin landed in McCabe’s favor, and President Luke Foster asked questions of both of the applicants that were drafted by Dolan as well as trustees Jewel Fink and Caitlin O’Halloran. Dolan said the candidates received the questions in advance earlier that day so they could be prepared to respond.
The Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District is seeking applications to fill the seat vacated by Trustee John Gabby, who resigned last month.
The application is open through 4 p.m. April 16. Applicants are required to complete a form and submit a written statement of no more than 500 words explaining why they wish to serve on the school board. They also must be Dixon residents and registered voters, and also must not be current employees of the district or prohibited by federal law from running for office.
The chosen applicant will serve through Dec. 17, and the remaining two years of Gabby’s term will be added to the November ballot. The appointee has the option to run for that seat or the other two seats up for re-election — those of President Luke Foster and Trustee Melissa Maseda.
When Dixon middle schoolers return at the end of summer, they will not only be stepping onto a new campus but one with a new name.
The Dixon school board voted unanimously Thursday to rename CA Jacobs Middle School after longtime principal and educator John Knight when the school relocates to East A Street.
A committee of staff, students and parents was tasked with choosing a new name, mascot and school colors to signify a new beginning when CA Jacobs moves to the refurbished former Dixon High School campus at the start of the 2020-21 school year. The committee chose burgundy and gray as the new colors and Mavericks as the new mascot.
Two potential names for Dixon’s relocated middle school will go before the Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District at Thursday’s meeting.
One of the largest projects to be funded by Measure Q — a $30.4 million initiative passed by Dixon voters in 2016 to fund district construction and renovation projects — is the remodel of the old Dixon High School campus to house the district’s new middle school. The campus has sat mostly vacant since 2007 when Dixon High moved operations to a new campus on College Way, but will be open once again at the start of the 2020-21 year when sixth through eighth-graders will move to the old building at 455 East A St.
However, the new campus will not be just a relocated CA Jacobs Middle School. It will feature a new identity, as well.
It is not often that the past, present and future can be equally represented, but that’s what the Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District got Tuesday.
Officials received a glimpse at the construction progress of two of the district’s largest projects — the new farm at Dixon High School and the remodel of the old DHS campus to make way for the new middle school campus — during a special school board meeting.
In a tour attended by board trustees Jewel Fink, Luke Foster and Melissa Maseda; Superintendent Brian Dolan, Nick Girimonte, assistant superintendent of educational services; and Tad Smith, chairman of the Measure Q Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, officials got to see how the two large-scale projects are coming along. The tour was led by Jim Bombaci, the senior project manager for School Site Solutions which is constructing both projects.
The Governing Board of the Dixon Unified School District will vote on the Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSAs) for three of the district’s schools at Thursday’s meeting.
Per California’s Education Code, each Site Council of a school receiving Title 1 Funds is required to develop an SPSA with input from stakeholders and site committees. SPSAs outline schools’ goals to support the academic performance of all students.
According to a staff report by Nick Girimonte, DUSD’s assistant superintendent of educational services, the district is using a new state template to complete SPSAs for the 2019-20 school year. The template would more closely align the site plans with DUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which Girimonte wrote would “allow for more effective monitoring of strategies, a more cohesive approach to services for students and a more manageable document for parents and other stakeholders to understand.”