Solano College hires chief for new Dept of Public Safety – The Vacaville Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

Nearly three years after retiring from local law enforcement, Brian Travis will again don a badge.

This time, the former Solano County Sheriff’s lieutenant and former Solano Community College director of Campus Safety and Security will return to SCC as the head of its new Department of Public Safety.

Travis is set to be sworn in on Feb. 1.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to working hard, to building trust and strengthening trust with the community,” he told The Reporter.

Source: Solano College hires chief for new Dept of Public Safety – The Vacaville Reporter

Veteran Vacaville police sergeant to retire after nearly three decades – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

Jason Johnson has always had a heart for community.

Which is why the Arizona native, who grew up around the world in a military family before settling in Vacaville, served 11 years with the California Highway Patrol and the last nearly 17 with the Vacaville Police Department.

And why the sergeant’s pending retirement this April is bittersweet.

“It’s so rewarding,” he said of his job.

He was 16 when he decided on a life of service. The TV show “CHiPS” portrayed fun and excitement and no report writing.

Source

SCOE announces free threat assessment training – Daily Republic

The Solano County Office of Education is sponsoring a course for educators and public safety on threat assessment, scheduled virtually from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 24 and Jan. 31.

The course will be led by Sgt. Jason Johnson of Campus Safety Consultations. There is no cost to participate in the online sessions.

Recognizing Signs of Targeted Violence is a course designed for the school site professional, administrator, academic counselor or mental health clinician who works directly with students.

Source: Solano County Office of Education announces free threat assessment training

VHS principal urges frank talk about keeping campus ‘safe, positive’ – The Vacaville Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Acknowledging campus tensions among students in recent days, the injury of a female student, questionable social media chatter, misinformation, and assorted rumors, Vacaville High Principal Adam Wight, in a Thursday letter to VHS parents, wrote: “This evening I ask that each of us take a moment and talk with our children about the importance of maintaining a safe and positive school environment.”

The Vacaville Police Department deferred comment on the situation at the West Monte Vista Avenue campus, with Sgt. Katie Cardona telling The Reporter that all inquiries should be directed to Wight or Elaine Kong, Vacaville Unified’s public information officer.

Wight confirmed a female student had been injured on campus last week but did not describe the nature of her injuries.

Source: In wake of student violence, VHS principal urges frank talk about keeping campus ‘safe, positive’ – The Vacaville Reporter

Dixon school board to discuss site emergency response plans – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

How schools plan to responds to any emergency situation on campus will be just one topic presented at Thursday’s Dixon school board meeting.

By law, schools are required to submit safety plans to ensure that their campuses are prepared for emergencies that may arise on campus. The California Department of Education has a checklist that schools are required to meet.

The safety plan that was included in the agenda packet for Thursday’s meeting was the emergency operations plan for Dixon Unified School District’s three elementary schools, although the middle and high schools have their individual plans as well.

Source: Dixon school board to discuss site emergency response plans – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield-Suisun trustees set to update Covid Safety Plan – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Fairfield-Suisun school board is expected to adopt updates to the district’s Covid-19 plan when trustees gather Thursday.

The updates are required by law.

Every local education agency, such as a school district, during the 2020-2021 school year was required to develop a Covid-19 Safety Plan.

That plans for the past eight months has consisted of two components: a Covid-19 Prevention Program, based on Cal/OSHA regulations, and a Covid-19 School Guidance Checklist.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun trustees set to update Covid Safety Plan

Task Force on Safe Schools Address School Reform – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today convened a hearing that took a comprehensive look at the role of police officers in schools and the impact that law enforcement presence has on students, learning, and campus safety. The hearing was a three-part panel discussion that examined: different models of school policing, research and data on the impact and consequences of police officers in schools, and a framework for potential policy recommendations for reimagining school safety.

An archived broadcast of today’s hearing can be found on the California Department of Education (CDE) Facebook page External link opens in new window or tab.

As many school districts re-examine the role and impacts of police on their campuses, Tuesday’s Task Force on Safe Schools hearing was the first step to address these issues on a statewide level and within the context of equity and racial justice.

Source: Task Force on Safe Schools Address School Reform – Year 2020 (CA Dept of Education)

Vallejo superintendent: Resource officers much needed – Times-Herald

BY Richard Freedman

In the wake of George Floyd’s death and magnifying glass-like scrutiny of law enforcement, many school districts across the country debate whether to eliminate police officers on campus.

In Vallejo, school superintendent Dr. Adam Clark believes it’s a bad move — at least here.

“I’ve watched closely … two sides to the argument … and I get both sides,” Clark said. “But we’ve had a wonderful relationship with the VPD. They’ve been very supportive. I don’t feel they’ve overstepped their boundary in any way and we work collaboratively to meet the needs of our community. I believe we have the same goals for our students.”

Source: Vallejo superintendent: Resource officers much needed – Times-Herald

Solano sheriff declares emergency; imposes curfew – Daily Republic

By Glen Faison

Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara declared an emergency Tuesday and imposed a two-day curfew that will initially start at 8 p.m. Tuesday and end at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

It will begin again at 8 p.m. Wednesday and continue until 5 a.m. Thursday.

The curfew was announced after the Board of Supervisors took part in a closed session. County buildings, as a result of the public safety emergency, will be open to the public by appointment only starting at noon Tuesday.

Source: Solano sheriff declares emergency; imposes curfew

Amid online transition, schools experience another cyberthreat: ‘Zoombombing’ | Education Dive

BY Shawna De La Rosa

An analysis by The New York Times found 153 Instagram accounts, several Twitter accounts and chats, and active Reddit message boards where thousands of users share meeting passwords to plan Zoom attacks. Sometimes, attacks are carried out by the students themselves, who have piles of homework with no other activity or outlet during self-isolation. Zoombombing can be a way for these students to rebel against the new system.

But school cybersecurity was a challenge long before the pandemic began. Schools and ed tech platforms have been increasingly vulnerable targets in recent years. Now that many schools are completely relying on educational technology to deliver lessons, educators should proceed with additional caution when vetting new software, ensuring that any user agreements fully protect student information and comply with FERPA laws. District administrators should also ensure parents know how to protect their students’ personal information.

Source: Amid online transition, schools experience another cyberthreat: ‘Zoombombing’ | Education Dive

2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills – KQED

By Anya Kamenetz

Ryan Pascal, a 17-year-old student at Palos Verdes High School near Los Angeles, says when her school holds active shooter drills, it’s “chaos.” The first time it happened, not long after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in 2018, rumors started flying over Snapchat and text that the school was really under attack.

“We had some students trying to stack up desks to blockade the door. We had some students sort of joking around because they weren’t sure how to handle this. There are other students who are very, very afraid.”

On top of all the other stresses of high school, she says, some students are now on constant alert: “When the little bell before an announcement happens, or when the fire alarm goes off, you can see this fear in students’ faces as they wonder, is this going to be a lockdown? Is this a drill? What’s happening? There’s so much anxiety just by a little trigger like that.”

Source: 2 Big Teachers Unions Call For Rethinking Student Involvement In Lockdown Drills – KQED

Benicia High launches girls competitive cyber security team – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

In the 1992 film, “Sneakers” Robert Redford’s Martin Bishop/Brice character is asked by a bank teller, “So, people hire you to break into their places… to make sure no one can break into their places?” Redford then replies, “It’s a living,” while the teller then retorts back, “Not a very good one.”

Nearly 30 years later it’s actually a very good living, and Benicia High teacher, Andreas Kaiser, as well as Career Tech Educator, Annette Fewins, want to make sure that more students get interested in the field. Especially women.

Benicia High School has launched a girls competitive cyber security team, Cyber Panther, and approximately 25 students have already joined. The Panthers class is taught by Kaiser and Fewins.

Source: Benicia High launches girls competitive cyber security team – Times-Herald

Vallejo school superintend defends calls on outage, bad air days – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

When Dr. Adam Clark decided it was best to open Vallejo schools Monday despite a power outage, close them later in the day because of poor air quality, and keep schools closed all Tuesday because of the air, he didn’t consult a psychic, do rock-paper-scissors with a third grader or base his decision by arm-wrestling a middle school parent.

Or, as Clark said, “I’m not making this stuff up. I didn’t flip a coin.”

Shutting down a district with about 11,500 students “is one of the toughest decisions I have to make,” Clark said. “I don’t make it in isolation. I talk to my own ‘cabinet’ — folks at the sites. I ask the board if it has concerns. It really is a collaborative effort. There really is a thought process.”

Clark sat for an hour chat at his district office on Mare Island early Wednesday afternoon, explaining the decisions in reacting to air quality from area fires to the apparent new reality of PG&E power outages.

Source: Vallejo school superintend defends calls on outage, bad air days – Times-Herald

City Reactivates Emergency Operations Center – SFGate

The city of Vallejo reactivated its Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday following PG&E’s second Public Safety Power Shutoff in the past week due to high winds that could cause the utility company’s equipment to spark a wildfire.

Significant areas of Vallejo were still without power leading to the second power shutdown. Additional areas may lose power and restoration may take longer, Vallejo officials said.

A city information center for status updates and information on available resources for the public, and commercial services and water billing will be open at City Hall between noon and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday. All other city facilities remain closed.

Source: City Reactivates Emergency Operations Center – SFGate

Schools open, then close because of poor air quality – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Solano County Public Health issued a warning Monday with air quality dropping because of smoke from the Kincade Fire.

Residents should remain indoors and limit outdoor activity, especially those deemed “sensitive to smoke.”

After opening all public schools Monday, Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark dismissed all students approximately 11:15 a.m.

“Due to the smoke and poor air quality, we have decided to cancel school for the remainder of (Monday) and (Tuesday). All student absences for Monday will be excused,” Clark said in a release to all schools and parents.

Source: Schools open, then close because of poor air quality – Times-Herald

Bay Area School Closures Due to PG&E Power Shutoffs and Kincade Fire – NBC Bay Area

By Mandela Linder

Thousands of customers across California are experiencing planned power safety shutoffs as PG&E cuts power due to high fire danger, and thousands more have been evacuated in the North Bay as the Kincade Fire rages. Due to these events, many evacuation centers have opened and schools have closed.For list of evacuation centers click here.

Source: List: Bay Area School Closures Due to PG&E Power Shutoffs and Kincade Fire – NBC Bay Area

Agencies collaborate to host school safety symposium – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

In the 20 years since the shooting at Columbine High School, the number of school shootings has only increased. According to the FBI, between 2010 and 2017, there were about 20.5 school shootings per year, an increase of 8.6 a year between 2000 and 2009.

The glut of school shootings has prompted many to ask questions like “How can we keep our schools safe?” and “How can we recognize the signs of a school shooter before an incident happens?

”These questions were dove into at a school safety symposium held Wednesday morning at Sunrise Events Center. Hosted by several different agencies — including the Solano County Office of Education, Solano District Attorney’s Office, FBI, Vacaville Police Department and Solano County Sheriff’s Office — the symposium went over how to notice indicators of violence and how different agencies can work as a team to address it.

Source: Agencies collaborate to host school safety symposium – The Reporter

Ed Dept allots $71.6M to boost proactive school safety measures | Education Dive

By Shawna De La Rosa

These grants reflect the shift to prevent violence in schools through proactive means like improved mental health services and school climate, rather than hardening schools. Last year, the federal School Safety Commission urged states to take action to physically protect schools, such as removing firearms from at-risk individuals, as well as make it easier for law enforcement and schools to better communicate about potential threats.

Armed school personnel and more metal detectors were among measures discussed at the time, but civil rights advocates countered such measures would only strengthen the school-to-prison pipeline — especially for students of color.

Source: Ed Dept allots $71.6M to boost proactive school safety measures | Education Dive

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]

School districts deploy vaping sensors in e-cig crackdown | Education Dive

By Natalie Gross

The hazards of vaping have gained national attention in recent months as a spike in related illnesses have led advocates, lawmakers and even the president to decry the industry. And now, administrators and school leaders are grappling with how to properly address it in their local schools.

Elizabeth D’Amico, a behavioral scientist with the RAND Corp., recently said that the rise in the popularity of vaping among teens is somewhat to blame on misinformation. Students seem to think vaping is not as harmful or addictive as traditional cigarettes. Yet, as previously reported, half of the teens who vape go on to use combustible cigarettes in one year. And according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the chemicals in e-cigarettes can harm adolescent brains, which are continuing to develop until the age of 25.

Source: School districts deploy vaping sensors in e-cig crackdown | Education Dive