VUSD Board set to consider Shelly Dally land lease plan, preschool grant requirements – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

School Board members will consider items connected to the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village at the next regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The first issue is a request by the staff for approval of a commercial lease with Pleasant Valley School at the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village site. This agreement is a no-cost land lease for 880 square feet of play area space to be used by the Pleasant Valley School.

Pleasant Valley School is adjacent to the Shelly Dally Early Learning Village.

Source: Vacaville School Board set to consider Shelly Dally land lease plan, preschool grant requirements

Vaca school board delays final discussion on plan to spend nearly $10M in Covid relief funds – Daily Republic

By Katy S. Clair

School board members put off a decision this week on how best to spend nearly $9.235 million in pandemic relief money.

Superintendent Jane Shamieh outlined how the district would use the money to:

  • Comply with Covid-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Address the impact of lost instructional time.
  • Respond to the needs of all students, particularly those disproportionately affected by the pandemic, such as low-income, unhoused and children and teens with special needs.

Source: Vaca school board delays final discussion on plan to spend nearly $10M in Covid relief funds

Parents, students sound off at Vacaville school board meeting – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Thursday’s Vacaville Unified governing board meeting, with updates on the district’s pandemic-related safety plan, sports activities, and mental health on the agenda, drew 24 speakers.

All but one expressed a desire to quickly return to in-person instruction, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and some voiced antagonism toward employees unions’ cautious approach.

Parent Kristina Holden alluded to a district survey that she said indicated a majority of parents want schools to reopen. Addressing the seven trustees, she wondered if members of the Vacaville Teachers Union are more important than students’ wishes to return to in-person instruction in the district’s 17 schools that serve 12,500 students.

Source: Coronavirus: Parents, students sound off at Vacaville school board meeting – The Reporter

Updates on school safety plans, sports, mental health services on VUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Updates on a COVID-19 safety plan, school sports activities permissible during the pandemic and mental health services are on the agenda when Vacaville Unified leaders meet Thursday night via a Zoom webinar.

For those interested, members of the public must register to attend in order to view and, if desired, participate in the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

To register, visit https://vacavilleusd.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZzX7g9LVQm-SPhCY9hRrwA.

After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent.

Source: Updates on school safety plans, sports, mental health services on VUSD agenda – The Reporter

VUSD board unanimously taps Santiago Serrato as newest trustee – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Endorsed by Vacaville Unified teachers and classified employees, Santiago Serrato, a naturalized U.S. citizen and unit supervisor at Napa State Hospital, saying among his goals is to provide the best for every student, was appointed on a unanimous trustee vote tonight to fill a vacant seat on the district governing board.

Taking the oath of office administered by Superintendent Jane Shamieh, Santiago, who lives in the district’s Area 5, admittedly grew “emotional” during the swearing-in for the two-year post, which will complete the at-large term vacated by former trustee Michael Silva, who was elected to the Vacaville City Council in November.

Answering a series of questions during the 2 1/2-hour online special governing board meeting, Santiago, whose children attend Markham Elementary, often repeatedly returned to the issue of equity and underscored the need for all educators to enhance their cultural literacy as the 12,500-student district, like the state, becomes increasingly racially diverse.

Source: VUSD board unanimously taps Santiago Serrato as newest trustee – The Reporter

VUSD leaders to appoint Vaca resident to fill Area 5 trustee seat – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified School District leaders will meet online Tuesday evening for a special governing board meeting to appoint a Vacaville resident to fill a trustee vacancy for Area 5.

The link to the 5:30 p.m. meeting is https://agendaonline.net/public/Meeting.aspx?AgencyID=59&MeetingID=81964&AgencyTypeID=1&IsArchived=False.

Members of the public must register in advance to view and/or participate in the meeting, which will be held via Zoom, at https://vacavilleusd.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_-qwTOh7cSXO-tip2jnGZ_Q.

Source: VUSD leaders to appoint Vaca resident to fill Area 5 trustee seat – The Reporter

Voters fill plethora of Solano school, college board seats – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

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.

Source: Voters fill plethora of Solano school, college board seats

New numbers come in for Vacaville and Dixon races, standings remain unchanged – The Reporter

By Nicks Sestanovich

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.

Source: New numbers come in for Vacaville and Dixon races, standings remain unchanged – The Reporter

Area school board races appear to be settled – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Based on the latest election results posted Wednesday by the Solano County Registrar of Voters, many area school boards will feature new trustees.

With all 15 precincts reporting in Travis, which oversees two elementary schools in Vacaville, Foxboro and Cambridge, the apparent winner of the trustee Area 1 is Meghan M. Thompson, a district parent, who received 6,059 votes, or 68 percent of 8,968 votes cast. Challenger Renell L. Travis, a U.S. airman stationed at Travis Air Force Base, received 2,909 votes, or 32 percent, of the total.

Source: Area school board races appear to be settled – The Reporter

Welsh, Kitzes keep their leads in Vacaville Unified races – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In early mail-in ballot returns, Kelly Welsh and Michael Kitzes jumped out to significant leads and held them later in the late-evening hours Tuesday in the Vacaville Unified races for areas 6 and 7, respectively, in the school district’s first-ever by-area election.

At 11:32 p.m., the Solano County Registrar of Voters, in a fourth update and posting, with some Election Day ballots counted, reported that Welsh had gained 2,322 votes, or 57 percent of some 4,098 votes cast, and Tracee Stacy, a current governing board member and publisher, trailed with 1,776, or 43 percent, of the total at the time.

“I feel pretty good at this time,” Welsh, an attorney and mother of two, said after the first ballot tabulation and post. “I would say that I’m definitely encouraged by the level of support that I’m receiving.”

Source: Welsh, Kitzes keep their leads in Vacaville Unified races – The Reporter

Former VUSD trustee ‘Whit’ Whitman, 77, dies – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Horace Tufts “Whit” Whitman was a former Air Force officer and former commercial airlines pilot who, in retirement, became a fierce advocate for public education.

He served on the Vacaville Unified governing board for nine years, his tenure ending in 2018, and was known for his strong opinions but also his generosity of time, spirit and money related to school district matters.

Whitman, 77 and a native of the Upper Midwest, had battled depression for some time and committed suicide Sunday, said family spokeswoman and sister-in-law Lois Chancellor. District officials on Monday also reported information about his death on the VUSD website.

Source: Former VUSD trustee ‘Whit’ Whitman, 77, dies – The Reporter

VUSD candidate forum yields wide-ranging responses during online gathering – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Trusteee candidates for two seats on the Vacaville Unified governing board, plus two candidates running unopposed for two more, fielded a variety of questions during Thursday night’s virtual Vacaville People’s Forum.

Participating candidates with opponents included Tracee Stacy, an educator and publisher, and attorney Kelly Welsh, each vying for a seat to represent Trustee Area 6. Others were incumbent Michael Kitzes, manager of the Vacaville Children’s Clinic for Solano County Mental Health; and George Burton Jr., a district parent and businessman, each seeking the Area 7 seat. Khala Hastings, also seeking the Area 7 seat, declined to participate in the one-hour, 40-minute forum.

Source: VUSD candidate forum yields wide-ranging responses during online gathering – The Reporter

Vacaville teachers endorse local, county education candidates – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 800-member Vacaville Teachers Association on Thursday announced its endorsements for four seats on the Vacaville Unified governing board, two for the Solano County Office of Education board and a City Council candidate who currently serves as a district trustee.

By occupation, the seven candidates range from an incumbent and an administrator at Travis Federal Credit Union to an attorney and a physician, among others.

In a press release, union president Todd Blanset, an English teacher at Will C. Wood High, said the ratification vote was held Tuesday, with final selections coming after “a long and exhaustive process.”

Source: Vacaville teachers endorse local, county education candidates – The Reporter

Vacaville School Board to take part in special closed session talks – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Members of the Vacaville School District governing board will meet in special closed session Tuesday to consider two items related to personnel.

People may comment on those items at the start of the meeting, but will be limited to three minutes each, with a 20-minute time limit for each item. The board is required by law to report any action that may be taken in the closed session.

The first item under consideration falls under the heading of Public Employee Employment/Discipline/Dismissal/Release/Re-Assignment/Resignation.

Source: Vacaville School Board to take part in special closed session talks

Solano school, college district nomination period ends, mostly, for Nov. 3 election – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

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.

Source: Solano school, college district nomination period ends, mostly, for Nov. 3 election

Last week for candidates to join Solano school district trustee races – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

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.

Source: Last week for candidates to join Solano school district trustee races

Vacaville school board to hear update on potential school openings by fall – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Trustees of the Vacaville School District will hear a presentation Thursday about the progress made from a committee looking into different scenarios that could lead area schools to reopen in August.

The committee has examined numerous factors that would need to be considered prior to reopening the schools, including safety, preparedness and risk assessment.

Committee members heard a range of comments from parent feedback engagement, ranging from supportive to expressions of mixed emotions.

Source: Vacaville school board to hear update on potential school openings by fall

Vacaville school board to consider graduation, teacher staffing – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Trustees of the Vacaville School District will discuss graduation options for the Class of 2020 when they the gather virtually Thursday.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a closed session then opens to the public at 6:30 p.m. for regular business.

All board members will attend the meeting via teleconference using the Zoom platform.

Source: Vacaville school board to consider graduation, teacher staffing

VUSD trustees’ meeting to be online, also available by call-in – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

When Vacaville Unified leaders meet Thursday night, Superintendent Jane Shamieh will present her COVID-19 update, and trustees will consider several salary-related matters for district employees, including employment contracts for two senior managers.

Because the district adheres to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 12 executive order, the 6:30 p.m. open session will be livestreamed on Zoom, the virtual meeting platform that has come under increased scrutiny for its data security, encryption policies, and a phenomenon known as “Zoom-bombing,” when individuals and pranksters “crash” and hijack meetings.

Responding to the development, the San Jose-based company, headed by CEO Eric S. Yuan, recently indicated that all Zoom meetings now require a password to join.

Source: Coronavirus: VUSD trustees’ meeting to be online, also available by call-in – The Reporter

VUSD to consider new proposal for Country High School – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Vacaville Unified School District has decided not to move forward with a plan to create two smaller credit recovery campuses at the Will C. Wood and Vacaville high school campuses.

Instead, the school board will be considering a new proposal to move Country High School to the Buckingham Charter Magnet High School campus, move Buckingham to the current Country High campus and merge Country High with the Ernest Kimme Charter Academy for Independent Learning, which will move into the building across the way, the district announced in a Facebook post.

The goal is for both programs to work together to bring more resources to students.

In September, the district announced that it was considering establishing smaller continuation campuses on the general education high school campuses for Country High students to take classes in self-contained classrooms. However, Country High students, parents and staff expressed concerns about this proposal — namely that Country High students benefited from being in a smaller campus away from the larger comprehensive campuses — at the Sept. 28 school board meeting and on social media.

Source: VUSD to consider new proposal for Country High School – The Reporter