Vacaville High’s Tom Zunino Stadium upgrade on target – The Reporter

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

Senate Passes Coronavirus Bill With $13.5 Billion for Schools, DeVos Waiver Power – Education Week

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

Markham celebrates opening of new classrooms – The Reporter

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

Changes coming for Corbus Field in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

Corbus Field has given Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high school athletes plenty of thrills over the years.

Now the old stadium will receive some much-needed upgrades in the next few years.

The Vallejo Unified School Board approved a contract between the district and the Napa-based Chaudhary and Associates for a site survey of Corbus Field and Casper Oval refurbishment project at last week’s meeting. The contract is worth $16,240 and will be paid through Measure S funds, according to the district.

The district has scheduled construction of phase one, which includes the turf and track, following high school graduations in June. Phase two of the makeover is not expected to happen until 2024 and will be much more involved. That will include demolishing the bleachers on both sides, the press box, bathrooms and locker rooms.

Source: Changes coming for Corbus Field in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Volunteers beautify Fairfield High campus on MLK Day – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

As was typical for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, no classes were held at Fairfield High School Monday. Nonetheless, the campus was alive with activity as close to 100 volunteers worked to pick up litter, paint classrooms and construct garden boxes for the school’s culinary program.

In the words of Rebuilding Together Solano County, it was “a day on, not a day off.”

For the 11th year in a row, Rebuilding Together joined forces with local agencies and volunteers who demonstrated hearts full of grace to help spruce up Fairfield High’s 56-year-old campus as it has for other Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District schools. The work began at 8:30 a.m. and continued until about 4 p.m.

The day drew in efforts from everybody from Fairfield High students and faculty, elected officials and volunteers from such agencies as Travis Air Force Base, Medic Ambulance, Liberty Church, the Matt Garcia Foundation, Vallejo Executive Lions Club, California State University, Maritime Academy, Fairfield Public Safety Academy, Home Depot and Kaiser Permanente, the latter two of whom donated substantial amounts of money to fund the event.

Source: Volunteers beautify Fairfield High campus on MLK Day – The Reporter

Vallejo Superintendent Adam Clark recommending Lincoln remain open – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

It appears the oldest public school in the city of Vallejo won’t close anytime soon.

Vallejo school district Superintendent Adam Clark sent notice Friday afternoon, shortly before the school board’s Wednesday agenda was released to the public, that his office is recommending Lincoln Elementary School remain open.

However, three other school sites — Beverly Hills Elementary School, Franklin Middle School and the Farragut Academy — are being recommended to be closed or consolidated for the 2020-21 school year.

Source: Vallejo Superintendent Adam Clark recommending Lincoln remain open – 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

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

Dixon school board selects John Knight as new middle school namesake – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

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.

Source: Dixon school board selects John Knight as new middle school namesake – The Reporter

California Middle School Debuts New Student Center – School Construction News

By Lisa Kopochinski

The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) recently celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Grange Middle School’s $7.5-million new student center in Fairfield, California.

HMC Architects’ Michael Rath, members of the Fairfield community, and representatives from FSUSD and Grange Middle School attended this event for this expansion that made possible by the Measure J Bond passed in June 2016. Clark/Sullivan Construction was the general contractor on this project.

The $249 million bond aims to improve the quality of education and provide safe, modern schools for all FSUSD students. The new center now features a safe space for students and staff to eat meals, a cafeteria, innovation lab, and a college and career center. Along with the new student center, the design team modernized and expanded the school’s library, converted a multi-purpose building into science labs, and added a locker room to the gymnasium. The school is now prepared to be a resource to current and future generations of students.

Source: California Middle School Debuts New Student Center – School Construction News

Dixon school board to consider new names for middle school – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

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.

Source: Dixon school board to consider new names for middle school – 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

Dozens of Bay Area schools cancel classes; Oakland scales back closures [San Francisco Chronicle]

Schools across the Bay Area are bracing for a power outage, with many district officials warning classes will be canceled during the power outage announced by PG&E Tuesday.

U.C. Berkeley said that “most of the core campus will be without power starting at approximately 8 a.m.,” prompting the university to cancel classes Wednesday.

“The campus, however, will remain open, though services will be limited. Most student-serving offices will be open, however the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union and Eshelman Hall will be closed,” it said in a statement.

Source: Dozens of Bay Area schools — including U.C. Berkeley — cancel classes; Oakland scales back closures [San Francisco Chronicle]

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.]

Country High School community urges school board to not move campus operations – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

A discussion on a proposal to move Country High School’s operations to the comprehensive high school campuses may not have been on the agenda for Thursday’s school board meeting, as it was previously scheduled, but parents, teachers and students still took time to express their concerns.

On Sept. 16, Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh issued a letter to families announcing that the district was considering establishing two smaller continuation school campuses on the Vacaville and Will C. Wood high school campuses. Country High students would be assigned to a campus based on their area of residence and take classes in self-contained classrooms.

The district’s goals were to provide easier access to Career Technical Education courses for Country High students, allow CHS students to participate in lunch and extracurricular activities with their comprehensive high school peers and make it easier for them to transition back to their home campus if they finish up their credits.

Source: Country High School community urges school board to not move campus operations – The Reporter

DUSD officials tour Dixon High farm, future middle school campus – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

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.

Source: DUSD officials tour Dixon High farm, future middle school campus – The Reporter

VUSD postpones discussion of proposed Country High School changes – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

A discussion and action regarding the relocation of Country High School operations that was scheduled to be heard at Thursday’s school board meeting has been postponed, Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh announced in a letter Friday.

Earlier this week, VUSD announced it had agendized a discussion regarding a proposal to establish two smaller continuation campuses for Country High students on the grounds of Vacaville and Will C. Wood high schools. Shamieh wrote in the earlier letter that the goal was to give Country High students easier access to Career Technical Education courses and allow Country High students who were caught up on their credits to transition back to their home campuses to finish up their remaining credits for graduation.

Source: VUSD postpones discussion of proposed Country High School changes – The Reporter

School board to discuss changes to Country High School – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Major changes could be coming to Country High School, Vacaville Unified School District’s continuation school, in the 2020-21 school year. The VUSD Governing Board will be discussing a proposal to establish two smaller continuation campuses on the Vacaville and Will C. Wood High School properties at its Sept. 26 meeting.

According to a letter to families sent by Superintendent Jane Shamieh, major goals of the proposed change include providing Country High students with access to Career Technical Education (CTE) courses and making it easier for students who have caught up on their Country High credits transition back to their home school to finish the credits needed to graduate.

The core classes would be taught in self-contained classrooms on the comprehensive school sites by Country High staff. Students would be placed on campuses determined by their residence, Shamieh wrote.

Source: School board to discuss changes to Country High School – The Reporter