Kairos Public Schools has received the state 2022 Pivotal Practice Award for its pandemic response – the only Solano County school to receive the recognition.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the award Tuesday.
“We are proud of the courageous efforts of our staff and students as they responded with student-centered decision-making in the most challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team’s perseverance and dedication to create learning systems for our scholars in a time when no school was prepared speaks to our spirit of innovation,” Jared Austin, the executive director of Kairos, said in a statement.
Source: Kairos Public Schools earns state award for pandemic response
By Richard Bammer
Luke Reed tripped on the 11th word, “carcinogen,” which Avery Chizauskie aced, and then word pronouncer David McCallum said in a booming voice, “Let’s hear it for our top two spellers!”
Some 60 people in the audience applauded and Chizauskie, 12 and a sixth-grader at Browns Valley Elementary in Vacaville appearing to be in momentary shock, then flashed a smile as she was declared the first-place winner of the 46th Annual Solano County Spelling Bee Tuesday night in Vacaville.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said during a brief interview afterward, holding her hefty 2-foot-high trophy inside the Journey Downtown auditorium on Main Street, where the bee was held, as her parents, Tim and Samantha Chizauskie, looked on.
Source: Headed to the state b-e-e – The Vacaville Reporter
Avery Chizauskie, 12, a sixth-grader at Browns Valley Elementary School reacts as she is declared the winner after correctly spelling the word “carcinogen” in the finals of the 2022 Solano County Spelling Bee Tuesday at Journey Downtown in Vacaville. Avery was one of 12 finalists who competed to be the county’s top spelling and a berth in the statewide tournament on May 14 in Stockton. For a story on the winners and more photos from the spelling bee.
Source: Photo: County’s top spellers compete for a berth in state tournament – The Vacaville Reporter
Twelve fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from across Solano County will compete Tuesday in the final round of the Solano County Elementary School Spelling Bee.
The event will start at 6 p.m. at Journey Downtown Coffee, 308 Main St. in Vacaville. The top two spellers will advance to the state competition May 14 in Stockton.
The initial round of the county competition was held March 27 with the top 12 moving on to the final round. There were 79 participants in the preliminary competition.
Source: Final round of Solano County Spelling Bee is Tuesday
By Susan Hiland
McKayla Klein brought her handmade jewelry collection to the vendor fair to help support her school, Buckingham Charter on Saturday.
The seventh-grader began making jewelry for Girl Scouts and found it so relaxing she just couldn’t stop creating.
Last year she began selling her creations at craft fairs with the help of her parents.
Source: Buckingham vendor fair helps support teachers and students
By Joel Rosenbaum
Avery Chizauskie of Browns Valley Elementary School pauses as she works out how to spell the word, “faint,” during the second round in the Elementary School division in the 2022 Grace B. Powell Citywide Spelling Bee Wednesday in the Catwalk Theater at Will C. Wood High School. Avery was one of nearly 55 students from around Vacaville vying to be crowned the city’s top speller. For a full story and more images from the competition, see Friday’s Reporter or online later today at thereporter.com.
Source: Photo: Vacaville Students Compete To Be Top Speller – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Mark Richardson touched lives.
As a Vacaville educator, musician, family man and friend, his impact was huge, loved ones said, and his reach, long.
The beloved Browns Valley Elementary teacher, who retired in 2017 after more than 30 years of service and who headed the local band Strut-A-Various, died suddenly in December. He was 69.
By all accounts, Richardson was a kindhearted, generous man who was sincerely interested in everyone he met — which means no one remained a stranger for long.
Source: Longtime Vacaville teacher, musician remembered – The Vacaville Reporter
By Barbara Navolanic
Wildcat Night is March 26 at the Ulatis Community Center in Vacaville after a two-year hiatus due to covid restrictions.
The goal of Wildcat Night is to generate financial resources to support all team sports at Will C. Wood High School, and to foster school spirit and pride. Will C. Wood athletics programs improve the overall high school experience for all students by promoting positive sportsmanship, and inclusive programs for student athletes, family, and community.
Source: Will C. Wood High Wildcat Night is March 26 at Ulatis Community Center
By Diane Barney
In keeping with Women’s History Month, Soroptimist International of Vacaville honoredfour young women for their dreams, dedication and determination via Zoom during its March 15 meeting, including one who was chosen to compete at the regional level.
Amada Madrigal not only earned a first-place award of $2,000 in the Live Your Dreamprogram through the Vacaville club, she will advance as the District II winner to the Founder Region level, where she could earn another $5,000. Should she continue on as a finalist in the Soroptimist International of the Americans competition, she could earn another $10,000.
The Vacaville club voted to send her to the Founder Region conference in Hawaii April 29-May 1, where she will be honored for her award.
Source: Soroptimist honor young women with awards – The Vacaville Reporter
By Corey Kirk
During his days in Pop Warner, 9-year-old Carson Strong wanted to be under center, going back to pass and throwing the ball deep, aiming for the end zone. He dreamed and hoped that one day he would find himself in the NFL.
Fast forward over a decade later, a path of practicing hard and competing at the Division I level behind him, the 2018 Will C. Wood High, graduate now 22, stands on the doorstep of joining the league he had cherished his entire childhood.
What would 9-year-old Strong think now?
Source: Will C. Wood High grad Carson Strong has sights on NFL Draft – The Vacaville Reporter
When the pandemic struck in March 2020, 21-year-old college student Charles Taylor decided to use some of his lockdown time to delve into the role prominent Blacks played in ancient European history and to create a one-of-a-kind web project to display his findings.
“I wanted to create a site that explores unconventional Black history, history that anyone will find interesting, history that has been overlooked or just not thought of ordinarily,” Taylor said in a press release. “The site is for everyone, but I am hoping Blacks, in particular, will read what’s there. It will give any reader a broader sense of our history and culture.”
Taylor, who is African American, wrote and designed the site after doing his own research. He was able to amass a large personal library and has now become an independent historian on the subject matter.
Source: Solano student completes web project on Blacks and ancient European history
By Nick Sestanovich
Will C. Wood High School appeared different Wednesday than it did a year ago since the campus reopened for in-person instruction. Mainly, you could see the expressions on some students’ faces and not others.
On Friday, Vacaville Unified School District changed the guidance to its masking policy that was put in place amid the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than requiring students to wear masks indoors, it is now an option, in keeping with an announcement made by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Feb. 28.
VUSD Communications Director Elaine Kong said the district has been following the California Department of Public Health guidance for K-12 schools from the beginning, and the announcement from Newsom resulted in the mask requirement changing into a strong recommendation.
Source: VUSD switches masking from requirement to recommendation – The Vacaville Reporter
For those high school juniors and seniors who do not want to let their minds wander this summer, the city of Vacaville has the program for you.
In conjunction with the Vacaville and Travis unified school districts, the city will be hosting Summer at City Hall, a four-week program where incoming juniors and seniors learn daily lessons about their local government and participate in an internship at a city department. For their participation, students will receive five units of extracurricular credit and a $250 stipend.
Orientation will take place June 6, and classes will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays June 7 to 30, with a graduation ceremony on the final day. Internships will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on class days.
Source: Summer at City Hall application period opens Monday – The Vacaville Reporter
By Joel Rosenbaum
America Perez-Ochoa, 14 (right) a freshman at Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy takes notes as she speaks with Dr. Jacquae Walker (left,) a family practice physician, with Kaiser Permanente in Fairfield during the school’s annual career fair Thursday at the Georgie Duke Sports Center. Students from the school were able to speak and network with a variety of professionals from a range of careers including, medical, military, engineering, public safety, and journalism during the school-wide event.
Source: Photo: Buckingham Students Plan For The Future – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
Ethical question: Is it OK for students to throw colorful powder at their principal?
The answer: No, unless the students raise $6,100 for a charitable cause and have the blessing of their principal.
It might sound farfetched, but that is exactly what happened Wednesday at Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy, where students took turns tossing radiant dust at Executive Director Jared Austin, which was their reward for raising money for the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. It was a win for all: Kairos students got to donate to charity, and Austin got to walk away with a new quasi-tie dye shirt.
Source: Kairos principal gets a colorful makeover – The Vacaville Reporter
By Matt Miller
School leaders applauded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation Monday to lift mask mandates for students in what amounts to a small start in shifting back to pre-pandemic normalcy.
The mandate will be lifted at midnight March 12. Masks will continue to be “strongly recommended” as students head to school March 14 but not required, likely meaning many students will continue to choose to wear their masks and others will not.
“I appreciate the state’s announcement of moving from mask requirements to masks being strongly recommended for our schools,” Solano Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said by email. “The new guidelines seem to reflect recent Covid data and feedback from California families. California has had among the lowest pediatric hospitalization rates compared to other states, and the data is certainly trending in the right direction in Solano County.”
Source: Solano school leaders applaud state’s first step in lifting mask mandates
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 16 high-performing California middle schools have been recognized by the California Schools to Watch program. Another 31 schools reapplied to the program, demonstrated their sustained progress, and have been re-designated as 2022 “California Schools to Watch.”
“Congratulations to these innovative and exceptional schools for creating systems that support the needs of all students—all while navigating extraordinarily challenging conditions during the pandemic,” Thurmond said. “These schools are outstanding examples of how educational innovation and a dedicated school community can keep students engaged and learning through a critical stage in their K–12 journey.”
Source: CA Middle Schools Selected as “Schools to Watch” – Year 2022 (CA Dept of Education)
By Genny Glassman
A 9-year-old boy and his classmates at Sierra Vista K-8 School in Vacaville, California, wanted to bring chocolate milk back to the school lunch menu — and they were willing to fight to make it happen. Fourth grader Jordan Reed led the protest on February 4 to bring the drink back to lunchtime. And after students used their voices to encourage the school to make the change — they won.
Source: 9-Year-Old Wins Protest Against School’s Lunch Menu — ‘What Do We Want? Chocolate Milk!’ | CafeMom.com
In sports, the term three-peat refers to three consecutive championships by a single team. Examples include the 1972-74 Oakland A’s, 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers, and the Chicago Bulls, who achieved two separate three-peats in the ’90s.
However, the term can also be applied to schools that receive statewide honors. After all, it takes a team of teachers, administrators, students and parents to make a school what it is, and they were all instrumental in Willis Jepson Middle School being named a “School to Watch.” That designation by the California League of Schools is bestowed on middle schools that demonstrate academic excellence, social equity and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents.
Source: Willis Jepson named School to Watch for third time – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Mordowanec
A group of students were not happy with their school district’s recent decision to remove chocolate milk from the lunch menu, so they galvanized and staged their own outdoor protest.
The group effort worked to bring chocolate milk back, albeit in a very limited capacity.
The student body backlash took place last Friday at Sierra Vista K-8, part of the Vacaville Unified School District in Vacaville, California.
Source: Students Protest Removal of Chocolate Milk From School Lunch Menu