Vacaville school board to consider budgets for district – The Reporter

BY Nick Sestanovich

The Governing Board of the Vacaville Unified School District will consider adopting with a projected $116 million in General Fund revenues for the 2020-21 academic year at its Thursday meeting.

The revenue assumptions used for the budget are based on projections from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May revisions to the state budget. The district’s budget is also linked to the approval process of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), both of which require a public hearing and adoption. The budget approval process will have both at Thursday’s school board meeting, while an LCAP hearing will be held at a later date.

For the 2020-21 school year, VUSD is anticipating $5 million in local funding, $9 million in state funding, $4.6 million in federal funding and $97.9 million in funding from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a funding system which establishes grants in place of funding streams. Combined, the funding systems are projected to provide more than $116 million for the next school year.

Source: Vacaville school board to consider budgets for district, Kimme – The Reporter

Vacaville district, county schools office, UC Davis team for virtual GIRL camp – Daily Republic

An effort to teach young girls about robotics shifted gears last week when a group of middle schoolers took part in a virtual camp that aims in part to close the gender gap in science-based career fields.

The Solano County Office of Education, in partnership with Vacaville School District and UC Davis Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program, piloted a five-day virtual Girls in Robotics Leadership Camp for middle school girls.

In-person GIRL Camps, offered in previous years, were paused this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Vacaville district, county schools office, UC Davis team for virtual GIRL camp

Vacaville school district establishes Equity Task Force – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

In light of the many recent events both nationally and locally regarding race, the Vacaville Unified School District has established its first Equity Task Force aimed at bringing communities together to listen and find ways to build true representation.

“The Vacaville Unified School District is ready to step up and be part of the solution for this community,” VUSD Superintendent Jane Shamieh wrote in a letter to families. “We must be bold and unafraid to say that we have a problem. It is not enough to not be racist, we must also be anti-racist.

“In VUSD, we are committed to being proactive and leading this conversation.”

Source: Vacaville school district establishes Equity Task Force – The Reporter

Country High School students pick up diplomas – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Every year, in addition to the schoolwide graduation ceremony, Country High School hosts an individualized ceremony for each student as they finish up their credits. That tradition continued this year, although with so many students graduating during a period when personalized graduations could not be held because of campus being closed due to the coronavirus, the school got to catch up Monday with a diploma presentation event.

With social distancing rules still in effect, it was still an opportunity for students to return to campus for their own mini-ceremonies before they return for a larger graduation, tentatively scheduled for this summer.

“Our graduates are lucky because technically they get to graduate twice,” Principal Ami Blackstone said.

Source: Country High School students pick up diplomas – The Reporter

Vaca High students feted in first-ever virtual graduation – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

As many speakers noted at Vacaville High School’s virtual graduation ceremony Saturday, it may not have been the kind of graduation that students had been anticipating even four months ago, but they still got to achieve a very important milestone in their lives. They just happened to do so in a way no previous class had.

Because the global coronavirus pandemic closed campuses throughout California in March and large public gatherings have now become temporarily prohibited, Vaca High and Vacaville Unified School District administrators had to find another way to send off seniors. Like many other schools, they settled on a virtual format which was posted to the district’s YouTube channel, which still retained the same general schedule as a typical ceremony.

Source: Vaca High students feted in first-ever virtual graduation – The Reporter

Virtual girls robotics camp starts Monday in Solano – Daily Republic

A free virtual Girls in Robotics Leadership Camp is being offered to middle school girls starting Monday.

The camp is being put on by the Solano County Office of Education in partnership with the Vacaville School District and the University of California, Davis, Computing-Science, Technology, Engineering and Math division.

It runs through Friday.

Source: Virtual girls robotics camp starts Monday in Solano

Vaca High seniors pick up graduation insignia, Grad Night prizes – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Vacaville High School seniors returned to campus Monday to pick up their sashes, cords and Sober Grad Night raffle prizes. In return, they received cheers from staff who had not seen them since the campus closed two and a half months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It was a spirited day in the parking lot of the otherwise empty front parking lot as Vaca High hosted its Class of 2020 Drive Through Gauntlet. Principal Ron Thomas said the school usually has a day to pick up caps and gowns, but with the coronavirus closing campus for the remainder of the year, administrators had to find another avenue.

Source: Coronavirus: Vaca High seniors pick up graduation insignia, Grad Night prizes – The Reporter

Bus parade salutes Vacaville students – The Reporter

By Joel Rosenbaum

Members of the Vacaville Unified School District’s Transportation Department wave from a school bus Friday as it drives past Markham Elementary School. Driving around town past several schools in the district, drivers and staff held a parade say hi to their students and let them know that they miss them.

Source: Photo: Bus parade salutes Vacaville students – The Reporter

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

Local educators: Few specifics from CDE about reopening schools – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Reacting to the state Department of Education’s livestreamed discussion about safely reopening schools in the fall, Solano educators said the Thursday morning event — which included comments from state schools chief Tony Thurmond — offered few specific guidelines on how to do it.

They collectively agreed that, ultimately, the decision will be left to each of California’s 1,000 school districts.

Jared Austin, executive director and co-founder of Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, called the discussion a “missed opportunity.” He said Thurmond and Dr. Gil Chavez, of California Department of Public Health, did not offer specific guidelines for the safe reopening of schools for the state’s 6.2 million students.

Source: Coronavirus: Local educators: Few specifics from CDE about reopening schools – The Reporter

Callison staff parades through neighborhoods to show appreciation for students – The Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Back to school” is not a phrase one associates with the middle of May, but at Jean Callison Elementary School, the phrase took on more meaning Friday.

Callison staff and Vacaville Unified School District bus drivers hosted a car parade, where teachers got to pass by students’ homes and wave from their vehicles. Additionally, former Callison students who are now graduating high school got to visit their old stomping grounds and cheer on the teachers who helped them out in their early years.

Callison’s PAWSOME Parade gave staff a chance to drive through neighborhoods within the school’s attendance boundaries. The parade was largely organized by Callison’s faculty as well as VUSD’s transportation department. Transportation Director Amanda Hightman said the department was planning its own parade at the end of the month for special needs students.

Source: Coronavirus: Callison staff parades through neighborhoods to show appreciation for students – The Reporter

VUSD plans virtual graduations for three high schools – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With input from parents and students, Vacaville Unified leaders have settled on a two-part plan for 2020 graduations: virtual and in-person.

Like many California districts facing the same choices, made necessary by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the virtual graduations for three high schools will be in early June, Superintendent Jane Shamieh announced in a letter sent earlier this week to parents and graduating seniors.

The virtual graduations will be prerecorded and streamed online “for everyone to watch in the comfort of their own homes,” she wrote.

Source: VUSD plans virtual graduations for three high schools – The Reporter

Kairos board positions available – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A “help wanted” sign is out at Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy.

The K-8 independent charter school’s board of directors, serving as the governing body for the Elm Street campus, has openings for two board positions, Jared Austin, school co-founder and executive director, wrote in an email on Wednesday.

General responsibilities for board members, who are unelected, can be found at the school’s website, www.kairospublicschools.org.

The board meets monthly to receive school reports and approve policies and procedures, Austin noted.

Source: Kairos board positions available – The Reporter

VUSD plans virtual graduations for three high schools – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

With input from parents and students, Vacaville Unified leaders have settled on a two-part plan for 2020 graduations: virtual and in-person.

Like many California districts facing the same choices, made necessary by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the virtual graduations for three high schools will be in early June, Superintendent Jane Shamieh announced in a letter sent earlier this week to parents and graduating seniors.

The virtual graduations will be prerecorded and streamed online “for everyone to watch in the comfort of their own homes,” she wrote.

Source: VUSD plans virtual graduations for three high schools – The Reporter

Parents appreciate Vacaville teachers with parade – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

As the clock struck noon on Friday, a caravan of vehicles decked out in streamers, balloons and signs paraded in front of the Kiddie Academy of Vacaville, their horns honking and tiny tots howling joyfully.

‘Twas the first annual Teacher Appreciation Parade, put on by parents and enjoyed by all.

Turns out a parent-sponsored lunch continued the festivities, much to the glee of all of the participants.

Source: Coronavirus: Parents appreciate Vacaville teachers with parade – The Reporter

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

Dixon schools paraprofessional earns Solano’s top classified employee honor – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Susana Perez had just been announced as the Classified School Employee of the Year for the Dixon School District when it also was announced that she was the 2020-21 Solano County Classified School Employee of the Year as well.

Perez has been a paraprofessional and bilingual parent liaison for Maine Prairie High School for 18 years.

Source: Dixon schools paraprofessional earns Solano’s top classified employee honor

Area education leaders await final decisions on school-reopening dates – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Most Vacaville area school district leaders say that — for the time being, at least — they are scheduled to reopen classrooms in mid-August, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Tuesday pronouncement about public schools restarting possibly in late July.

“We are paying close attention to Governor Newsom’s comments throughout this pandemic, and making sure we are working with our local partners to ensure we are prepared for any executive order or directive we need to follow,” Vacaville Unified Superintendent Jane Shamieh wrote Thursday in an email to The Reporter.

Shamieh, whose district includes more than 13,000 students enrolled at more than 15 campuses, made no additional comment about Newsom’s proposal, which is not set in stone and caught state schools chief Tony Thurmond by surprise.

Source: Coronavirus: Area education leaders await final decisions on school-reopening dates – The Reporter

Legendary Vacaville High wrestling coach Larry Nelson passes away – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

Legendary Vacaville High School wrestling coach Larry Nelson passed away on Thursday.

He was such a private person that locals are not sure of his age, estimating that he was in his early 90s.He was also such a private person that those he coached from 1961 to 1994 knew next to nothing about his wrestling accomplishments.

Nelson was a Wisconsin state high school champion who was recruited by legendary coach Cliff Keen to wrestle at the University of Michigan. There he was the Midwest Olympic Trials champion and a Big 10 champ at 123 pounds.

Source: Legendary Vacaville High wrestling coach Larry Nelson passes away – The Reporter

VUSD issues final series of Measure A bonds from initial authorization – The Reporter

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