Vallejo school board honors Maria Guevara – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

“Thank you, Maria, for all you did for us.”

The end of Wednesday’s Vallejo school board meeting turned somber as President John Fox took time to acknowledge the passing of community advocate Maria Guevara.

Guevara, 45, was struck and killed May 7 by a train in Suisun City.

“She was such an inspirational person to know,” Fox told the other trustees. “She basically dedicated her life for finding a way to help homeless people here in Vallejo.”

Source: Vallejo school board honors Maria Guevara – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board tables vote on ‘anti-Jewish’ ethnic studies curriculum – J.weekly

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

During its regular meeting on May 6, Vallejo’s school board tabled a resolution in support of a draft of an ethnic studies curriculum deemed “anti-Jewish” by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

The resolution, titled “Affirming Support of AB 2016 California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Draft,” was included on last week’s agenda after being introduced by the Vallejo City Unified School District’s superintendent, Adam Clark.

It was scuttled in a 5-0 vote.

AB 2016 is a 4-year-old piece of legislation, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, mandating an ethnic studies curriculum be drafted as a guide for California high schools.

Source: Vallejo school board tables vote on ‘anti-Jewish’ ethnic studies curriculum – J.

Vallejo school board tables support of ethnic studies curriculum – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A proposed Vallejo school board resolution supporting California’s proposed ethnic studies curriculum was tabled by the trustees during their May 6 meeting.

Several of the trustees expressed that they were uncomfortable supporting the draft document which is expected to go up for review and possible approval by the State Board of Education next year.

“I think that it’s premature in approving something that is currently in draft form,” said trustee Christy Gardner during the meeting. “That is being revised as we speak and until the total, complete document is finished I feel very uncomfortable approving a draft.”

Source: Vallejo school board tables support of ethnic studies curriculum – Times-Herald

Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy name proposed to school board – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A special citizen advisory committee is recommending the Vallejo City Unified School District board consider renaming Solano Middle School to the Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy.

The school board received information about the new name during its meeting Wednesday afternoon. Trustees appointed the special committee in April after the district moved Widenmann Elementary School to the middle school site for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

“By keeping a portion of both schools in the name, we can continue to acknowledge the history of our region, the different cultures that make up our schools, and the contributions of both individuals to our community,” wrote Victoria Grace, committee spokesperson, in a letter to the school board.

Source: Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy name proposed to school board – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board approves multiple Measure S contracts – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Without comment, the Vallejo City Unified School District approved several Measure S related items during Wednesday’s board meeting.

They approved a contract between the district and Miller Pacific Engineering for geotechnical evaluation for the Corbus Field resurfacing project, according to a staff report to the five-person school board.

The $14,500 contract includes a field drainage assessment, assistance with field design if needed and construction observation and testing, staff said.

Source: Vallejo school board approves multiple Measure S contracts – Times-Herald

Vallejo board to head recommendation on new name for school facility – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A citizen advisory committee will present its recommendation on renaming the Solano Middle School facility during Wednesday’s Vallejo school board meeting.

The five-person committee was convened by the board to find a suitable name for the facility which is combination of two schools: Solano Middle School and Widenmann Elementary School.

Due to a request from Ramona Bishop’s ELITE Chater school for a suitable school site in Vallejo, the district decided to provide the Widenmann school to fulfill the request.

Source: Vallejo board to head recommendation on new name for school facility – Times-Herald

School superintendent: Merlin Chestnut job never in jeopardy – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

The outcry by supporters of Vallejo music icon Merlin Chestnut and alumni of his Solano Middle School music program is simply a misunderstanding, said Dr. Adam Clark, Vallejo City Unified School District superintendent.

A letter to the Times-Herald signed by about 200 people “dismayed to hear about the district’s current proposal to eliminate the music director position and the music program at Solano-Windemann” is inaccurate and based on Chestnut’s belief his 28-year stint guiding the middle school was over, Clark said by phone Thursday.

In an initial proposed budget to slice $6 million from a $15 million deficit, the band director position was listed. After considerable board input, that position remained intact “weeks ago,” Clark said. An updated budget released last Friday lists a band director position and $71,200 be on the budget hit list, but that was for the current position at Hogan and doesn’t impact Chestnut.

Source: School superintendent: Merlin Chestnut job never in jeopardy – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board gets first looks at additional cuts – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo school district heads into a new fiscal year, trustees will get their first look at proposed budget cuts meant to keep the district fiscally solvent.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will meet Wednesday to receive information only about the district’s plan to slash at least $5.4 million from the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. Fiscal years run from July 1 to the following June 30.

The plan to be presented includes over $6 million in cuts with a bulk of that amount coming from the elimination of 62.81 full-time equivalency (FTE) positions.

Source: Vallejo school board gets first looks at additional cuts – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board asked to give Adam Clark $20,000 raise – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo’s top school official is expected to receive a $20,000 raise and have his employment contract extended by several years during the school board meeting on Wednesday.

If approved by trustees, Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark will start making an annual salary of $250,000 starting on Feb. 1.

When he began with the district in September 2017, Clark made a base salary of $230,000 each year, according to his current employment contract with the district. The new contract is retroactive to July 1, 2019 and runs through June 30, 2022.

Source: Vallejo school board asked to give Adam Clark $20,000 raise – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board asked to approve project labor agreement – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A year after Vallejo voters overwhelmingly approved Measure S — a $194 million bond to repair local schools — the school board will be asked to approve a project labor agreement (PLA) with numerous trade organizations and unions.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m., Wednesday, inside the Governing Board Room, at 665 Walnut Avenue on Mare Island in Vallejo.

The PLA will apply to construction projects of $1.5 million or more in the school district using Measure S bond monies. PLAs are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements establishing terms and conditions of employment for certain projects.

Source: Vallejo school board asked to approve project labor agreement – Times-Herald

Vallejo committee recommending Lincoln and Beverly Hills schools be closed – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Pleas from local parents and students last month apparently didn’t sway a special Vallejo school district committee from recommending the closure of Beverly Hills and Lincoln elementary schools.

The Vallejo school board will receive a final report on Wednesday from the District Property Advisory Committee, which is recommending students from both schools be relocated, freeing up the property for sale or re-use as another district facility.

The board is expected to make a final decision on whether to implement the recommendations at a future meeting.

Source: Vallejo committee recommending Lincoln and Beverly Hills schools be closed – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board asked to approve tentative agreement with CSEA – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school district has reached a tentative agreement with the non-teaching district employees for a two-percent salary increase and a one-time $500 bonus to each employee covered by the California School Employees Association (CSEA).

The tentative agreement will go before the Vallejo school board for approval on Wednesday.

It’s expected to cost the district $997,442 with a bulk of that cost, $488,756, set aside for the two percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2018. The increase will paid to the employees on Feb. 28, 2020.

Source: Vallejo school board asked to approve tentative agreement with California School Employees Association – Times-Herald

VCUSD budget update — expected to drop under 10,000 students in two years – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Vallejo Unified School District officials anticipate there will be less than 10,000 students attending district schools by the 2021-22 school year, continuing the trend of declining enrollment.

The Vallejo school board on Dec. 11 unanimously approved the first interim report for the district’s budget — which includes anticipated student attendance.

Adrian Vargas, the district’s chief business official, said the district expects to have about 9,892 students in two years — down at least 1,300 students from the current count of 11,259. He noted student loss to ELITE Charter School and the new Griffin Academy High School as two of the primary reasons.

Source: Vallejo district gets budget update — expected to drop under 10,000 students in two years – Times-Herald

Committee recommends renaming Vallejo middle school in honor of John Finney – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A special advisory committee is recommending that Vallejo Middle School be renamed in honor of longtime educator John Finney — however, not everyone agrees.

Committee members presented their ideas during Wednesday’s Vallejo school board meeting of renaming the former middle school site to the John W. Finney Education Complex. The complex would be home to a professional development center, independent study, the Everest Academy, and the continuation school named in Finney’s honor.

“John W. Finney had a long illustrious career in education as an administrator in this district,” said committee spokesperson Elissa Shanks Stewart.

Source: Committee recommends renaming Vallejo middle school in honor of John Finney – Times-Herald

District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Eight different Vallejo school district properties – including the home of the oldest public school in the city of Vallejo – are up for possible closure.

A special Vallejo City Unified School District committee will hold a public hearing Dec. 17 to discuss the sale or leasing of the properties as the district continues to face financial challenges.

The list includes active school sites like Lincoln Elementary, Franklin Middle, Beverly Hills Elementary, and Farragut Academy, while the district’s main office building on Mare Island is also up for possible closure.

The former home of John Finney High School on Colusa Street and the shuttered Grant Elementary and Crest Center on Gateway Drive are the other district properties being considered.

Source: District eyeing possible closure of schools; public hearing Dec. 17 – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board approves new trustee-area map – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Starting in November 2020, Vallejo residents will elect board members on Vallejo City Unified School District by geographic area.

The school board voted 3-2 on Wednesday to adopt a final trustee area map, which creates five different areas with a governing board member elected by the residents living in that particular area.

Both Board President Bob Lawson and Trustee Christy Gardner opposed selection of the map, known as Scenario 2, in favor of a fourth map submitted by Lawson. Both will be up for election in 2020. Lawson was first elected to the school board in 2016 and Gardner was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy created when Marianne Kearney-Brown resigned from the board.

Source: Vallejo school board approves new trustee-area map – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps – Times-Herald

The Vallejo school board is holding a public hearing on Wednesday to receive public input regarding three different by-trustee area maps.

Each proposed map depicts how the district could be split into five distinctive distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The Vallejo City Unified School District previously said the change to trustee areas comes as a way to avoid a challenge letter from a third party claiming the district’s at-large election violates the California Voting Rights Act.

Source: Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps [Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.]

Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo City Unified School District prepares to transition to by-trustee area elections, district officials have released three different maps for community review.

The maps show how the district could be split into five distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format from at-large, with each trustee being elected by the entire city electorate, to by-trustee areas, meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board on Wednesday is set to hold its second of two pre-map public hearings in connection with transitioning from at-large to by-trustee area elections.

During the public hearing, residents will have the opportunity to offer their respective opinions on the potential voting areas throughout the city of Vallejo. Currently, all Vallejoans elect the five-person Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education via the at-large format.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format to by-trustee area meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo school district continues to stave off financial insolvency, the Board of Education will meet Wednesday to establish the process of selling off surplus district-owned property.

In June, the five-person board approved a resolution declaring the district needed to identify over $15 million — $7,750,000 during fiscal years 2020-21, and 2021-22 — in savings to prevent a second state takeover.

Trustees will consider a request from district staff to solicit an appraisal for the Rollingwood property. Located along Rollingwood Drive and Benicia Road, the nearly 18 acres of land is home to four unused little league baseball fields.

Source: School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald