By Kris Corey
Every summer, the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s (FSUSD) Maintenance Department oversees several large maintenance projects, and this practice will continue for summer 2021. The necessary repairs are above the threshold that the Maintenance Department is allowed to self-perform according to California Public Contract Code. As a result, bids are released for contractors to perform the required work. Projects for summer 2021, include HVAC replacement at one site, roof replacement at four sites, asphalt work at nine sites, exterior painting at three sites, and gym bleacher service at all high schools and middle schools. The estimate for all the projects is $2.2M. Any remaining funds will go toward tree removal, flooring repair, and cafeteria table replacements.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD Prepares for Summer Maintenance Projects
By Todd R. Hansen
The Solano County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to purchase the former Falls Elementary School site in order to protect the Cordelia Fire Protection District Station No. 29 that is located on the property.
“It really was to look at future fire protection services . . . and response is critical,” Supervisor Jim Spering said about why he brought the issue to the county administration and now the board. “This location is absolutely critical.”
The county agreed to pay the Fairfield-Suisun School District $550,000, plus administrative fees and estimated closing costs, to buy 10 acres located at 1624 and 1634 Rockville Road in rural Fairfield.
Source: Solano to buy old school site to secure Cordelia fire station location
By Nick Sestanovich
Usually, students receiving their novels during the spring semester is nothing more ceremonial than a teacher passing out copies in class. For students at John Knight Middle School in Dixon, it was an opportunity to set foot on campus after a long period of distance learning.
And it was not just any campus they set foot on but one that had not been occupied by students since before most of the current Knight student body had been born.
On Wednesday, the school hosted a spring novel pickup, where students could come by to obtain novels, textbooks and supplies for the next semester. It marked the first student event at 455 East A St. since the relocation of Dixon High School in 2007. The newly rebranded John Knight Middle School, previously known as CA Jacobs Middle School, was scheduled to open at the old high school campus in the fall of 2020, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a delay in the final stages of renovation pushed Knight’s opening back to January.
Source: John Knight Middle School students pick up books, get glimpse at new campus – The Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County supervisors announced the county’s intent Tuesday to purchase the former Falls School site.
The county announced it will pay the Fairfield-Suisun School District $550,000, plus half of the closing costs, to purchase the property at 1624 and 1634 Rockville Road.
A public hearing on the matter is set for March 2.
The school closed in 1998.
The county did not indicate what its plans are for the property, and when asked what those plans are, the email response was ambiguous at best.
Source: Solano County plans to purchase old Falls School site
More than $5 million in work to upgrade the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s designated preschool center has been completed, the district has announced.
Mary Bird Early Childhood Education Center has, since it opened in 2016, served as what district officials describe as a model preschool program to districts across the state and has received recognition and awards for how it serves children ages 3 to 5 years old.
Three classrooms were added to the site, in addition to other projects.
Source: School district completes $5.1M in projects at Mary Bird campus
By Kris Corey
January 21, 2021 – Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) has recently completed a construction project at Mary Bird Early Childhood Education Center. Since opening in 2016, the school has served as a model preschool program to districts across the state, and has received recognitions and awards for successfully serving children ages three to five years old. Now, Mary Bird has three new, spacious 1,250 square feet classrooms, each with a student restroom, three hand-washing sinks, built-in storage, and solar tubes (alternative skylights) to allow for more natural daylight. This brings the school’s total to ten classrooms, each designed to meet the specific needs of a preschool program. Adjacent to the classrooms is a new 1,953 square feet main office as the previous location was inadequately sized to serve as the main office and enrollment center for all State Preschool sites across the District. In addition, the site received a new parking lot and an expanded kitchen. The expanded parking will allow the parents and numerous staff serving the District’s youngest students adequate space to park and safely access the campus.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD Completes Project at Mary Bird Early Childhood Education Center Receives New Classrooms and Main Office
By Kris Corey
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) has recently completed a two-year construction project at Fairview Elementary, one of the oldest campuses in the District. The K-5 school received a new 12,096 square foot administration and kindergarten complex with five kindergarten classrooms and play area. The new 5,055 square foot library, previously housed in a portable, includes an innovation lab with a large roll-up door to incorporate outdoor learning experiences. All twenty-three classrooms of the original school built in 1954 were modernized and the offices reconfigured to allow ample working space for staff. Other improvements include modernized and expanded kitchen, new play equipment, new shade structures, an expanded parking lot, and a refurbished play field.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD Completes Measure J Project at Fairview Elementary School
By Richard Bammer
The value of the arts, which supports creative and critical thinking skills so highly prized in a 21st-century economy, is getting more than symbolic due in Fairfield-Suisun Unified.
The district, the county’s largest with some 22,000 students across 30 campuses, recently broke ground on a $6 million performing arts building at Oakbrook Academy of the Arts in Fairfield. When completed in August, the structure is projected to enhance the TK-8 school’s mission of commingling core academic subjects with a wide array of arts offerings, from the visual arts and dance to music and theater.
The news comes 11 months after state schools chief Tony Thurmond cited the Oakbrook Drive school for its “exemplary arts education,” one of 13 California schools that demonstrated a high level of arts education programs and practices as it transformed into an arts academy. The academy also was a 2020 recipient of the distinguished California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award, given to creative programs and meet the needs of a diverse population of students.
Source: FSUSD breaks ground for $6M performing arts building at Oakbrook Academy – The Reporter
New turf was installed at Corbus Field in Vallejo this week. The money for the project is paid through Measure S funds, according to the Vallejo Unified School District. The work on the field is part of phase one of a makeover. Phase two is not expected to happen until 2024 and will be much more involved. Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high schools share the field for sports like football, soccer and track.
Source: Photo: Corbus Field gets December makeover – Times-Herald
By Kris Corey
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) has recently completed a two-year construction project at Sheldon Academy of Innovative Learning that has dramatically altered the appearance and functionality of the campus. The K-8 school received a new 24,360 square feet two-story classroom building that replaced the 18 aging portables and two portable restrooms. The new 5,965 square feet library, previously housed in a portable, includes a college and career classroom and an innovation lab with a large roll-up door to incorporate outdoor learning experiences. The classrooms in the original 1963 building were modernized and the front office was relocated to a central location, clearly indicating for the first time where visitors are to enter the campus.
Source: Good News: FSUSD COMPLETES MEASURE J PROJECT AT SHELDON ACADEMY OF INNOVATIVE LEARNING
By Todd R. Hansen
A public hearing on facility needs for the Travis School District and a proposed Level 2 fee on new residential construction will be conducted Tuesday when the Board of Trustees meet during a virtual session.
Board members also will take public comment on the proposed 2020-21 budget, and will later in the meeting consider adoption of the budget, which also includes financial projections for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
“The Proposed Adopted Budget for 2020-21 demonstrates that the district will be able to meet its financial obligations for (2020-21) with the use of ending fund balance reserves. However, the district will not be able to meet its obligations in the subsequent years without substantial reductions to expenditures,” the budget document states.
Source: Travis school trustees to consider budget, new construction impact fees
By Nick Sestanovich
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.
Source: Dixon school board to discuss timeline to procure furniture for middle school move – The Reporter
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
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
By Tim Goree
Suisun Elementary School students are looking forward to their next recess even more than usual! REM Construction began mobilizing at Suisun Elementary on Monday, April 13th to start construction of two new playground structures. Manufactured by Gametime, the new structures will be placed on the lower grade and the upper grade playgrounds.
The equipment is designed to promote physical activity and fitness through active play, which includes six key elements: spinning, sliding, swinging, climbing, brachiating, and balancing. The lower grade structure will include multiple slides, a climbing wall, and gizmo panels; the upper grade structure will include multiple slides, a climbing wall, and swings. Playground construction, which is part of a larger project at Suisun Elementary School, was originally scheduled to start June 15th and end in October. Due to school building closures the project has started early and is anticipated to finish in August.
Source: Press Release: Suisun Elementary to Receive Two New Playground Structures
By Nick Sestanovich
Campuses may be closed for the remainder of the academic year, but Vacaville Unified School District officials are still working to move the progress of Measure A projects along.
Last week, VUSD was able to price its Series D bonds, which will be the fourth and final series of bonds from the 2014 election where Measure A was approved, officials wrote in a news release.
The bonds were approved by the school board at its March 19 meeting.
Source: VUSD issues final series of Measure A bonds from initial authorization – The Reporter
By Tim Goree
Superintendent Kris Corey announced last night during the meeting of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Governing Board, that FSUSD will continue distance learning for students through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
“I had hoped we would be able to allow students to come back to their schools in person during the last week or two of the school calendar, since our school year ends on June 12th, a bit later than most districts. This would have been a wonderful opportunity for students to reconnect and celebrate some of their school’s end-of-year activities. Unfortunately, it seems this won’t be possible,” Superintendent Corey stated.
Source: Press Release: FSUSD Announces School Building Closures for 2019-2020 School Year
By Matt Sieger
Vacaville High’s gridiron has borne the name of its legendary football coach Tom Zunino since 2004. After 16 years, the field was due for a makeover and it’s getting a good one, to the tune of $6.7 million.
The stadium project began after the homecoming football game in September and is scheduled for completion by May 18.
That date was set originally to ensure the new field would be ready in time for June graduation. Now, if graduation is set back due to the coronavirus, the grand opening for the updated stadium could come for a delayed graduation ceremony. Or it could be held on any given day unattached to an actual event. Or it could be held at the Bulldog football team’s home opener on September 4.
Source: Vacaville High’s Tom Zunino Stadium upgrade on target – The Reporter
By Andrew Ujifusa
Senators have passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that includes $13.5 billion in dedicated funding to shore up K-12 education budgets, as well as additional aid for student nutrition and child-care services. It also gives U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos new waiver power to grant states and schools flexibility under the main federal K-12 law.
The $13.5 billion earmarked for K-12 schools is included in the bill’s Education Stabilization Fund, which also contains $14.25 billion for higher education, and $3 billion for governors to use at their discretion to assist K-12 and higher education as they deal with the fallout from the virus. The legislation also states that any state or school district getting money from the stabilization fund “shall to the greatest extent practicable, continue to pay its employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.”
Source: Senate Passes Coronavirus Bill With $13.5 Billion for Schools, DeVos Waiver Power – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Nick Sestanovich
The weather might have been freezing and the winds might have been blowing heavily, but none of that could dampen Edwin Markham Elementary’s school spirit Monday morning.
After all, this was no ordinary day at Markham but a day to celebrate a set of newly opened classrooms that were financed through Measure A.
Measure A is a $194 million general obligation bond that was approved by voters in 2014 aimed at providing technology upgrades, building renovation and new construction at Vacaville Unified School District schools.
Source: Markham celebrates opening of new classrooms – The Reporter