Patterson staff, nonprofits gracefully deliver help in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

Depending on how long COVID-19 lasts, school staffs could soon start recognizing the vehicles of parents as much as faces of the students.

In the latest drive-up event, food boxes, backpacks loaded with school supplies, virus masks, and emergency kits were distributed to 100-plus motorist parents Wednesday morning at Grace Patterson Elementary School.

Natalie Kidder, founder of Another Chapter, coordinated the back-to-school outreach with Patterson Principal Megan De La Mater.

Source: Patterson staff, nonprofits gracefully deliver help in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Vallejo, Benicia school districts getting ready for start of fall classes – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Zoom accounts. Masks. Decent WiFi. It’s not the typical back-to-school shopping list, but then again 2020 has been anything but normal due to COVID-19.

With the start of the school year right around the corner (Aug. 17 in Solano County) teachers, administrators and school board members are currently working quicker than The Flash to make things run smoothly when students return back to class.

When the students do return it won’t be on campuses as the Solano County Office of Education announced three weeks ago that local schools will start the new school year with distance learning. This is because Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in July that that schools in counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list begin the school year via distance learning. Solano County is on that list.

Source: Vallejo, Benicia school districts getting ready for start of fall classes – Times-Herald

Vallejo Unified School District announces all grade levels will return with distance learning – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

The Vallejo City Unified School District announced on Friday morning that when school returns in the fall all grade levels will resume with distance learning.

The board agreed Wednesday that the 2020-21 school year will begin with distance learning for all grade levels,” Mitch Romao, the Vallejo interim superintendent wrote in a news release. “We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 conditions that led to this inevitable conclusion, and continue to work with county and state education and public health agencies in an expressed hope to resume face to face instruction at the first opportunity.”

Source: Vallejo Unified School District announces all grade levels will return with distance learning – Times-Herald

School superintendent bids farewell to Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

The man who “changed the culture” of the Vallejo City Unified School District, pared $15 million from a budget deficit, helped get a bond passed, and steered 11,000 students and families through the rough waters of COVID-19, has resigned.

Dr. Adam Clark, the district’s superintendent since 2017, has accepted the same position with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

Clark confirmed his pending move late Tuesday. It was confirmed by school board president John Fox following a Wednesday special meeting.

Source: School superintendent bids farewell to Vallejo – Times-Herald

Changes ahead when schools start in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Richard Freedman

One thing students, teachers and parents can expect when the next school year opens in Vallejo: What’s expected today might be different than what’s expected, say, tomorrow.

The date, however, appears to be in granite instead of COVID-19-changes-everything mush.

“It’s fluid. But no matter what — whether we’re having all students back for face-to-face instruction or it means a hybrid model of half-back and the others at home receiving distance learning — no matter what, we’ll start on Aug. 17,” said school superintendent Dr. Adam Clark.

Source: Changes ahead when schools start in Vallejo – Times-Herald

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

School districts consider reopening classrooms in coming school year | KTVU FOX 2

By Jesse Gary

Educators, staff, students, and parents are turning their collective attention to the month of August, now that the school year turned upside down by COVID-19 is over. Many wonder what shape public learning will take.

Palo Alto Unified School District officials are exploring a return to campus for some students in August. Superintendent Don Austin is meeting with school board members Tuesday night to fine tune possibilities.

Source: School districts consider reopening classrooms in coming school year | KTVU FOX 2

Jesse Bethel High students ‘Bear’ed down to become valedictorians – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Jesse Bethel High seniors and longtime friends Jared Dela Cruz and Nika Esta are both headed to Cal Berkeley for college in the fall and will soon have their mascot be the Bears. That’s not the only thing the two have in common.

The duo were named the school’s co-valedictorians earlier this week during a filming for their virtual graduation ceremony. Both students have a GPA hovering around a 4.2.

“We’ve been good friends for a while,” Dela Cruz said. “It’s cool to share this position (valedictorian) with her. We met in seventh grade and it will be cool to have some more years together in college.”

Source: Jesse Bethel High students ‘Bear’ed down to become valedictorians – Times-Herald

Vallejo High seniors graduate in drive-through event – Times-Herald

By homas Gase

Thursday’s graduation marked the 150th for Vallejo High School, although the venerable institution has never had a ceremony quite like this one.

Since 1870, most graduation ceremonies have included the students sitting together in one area, usually Corbus Field, where they would throw their caps in the air collectively. But that opportunity left when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.

Still, Vallejo High did they best it could to give the Class of 2020 some kind of celebration. A line of cars on Nebraska Street in front of the campus stretched as much as 30 deep at times, as students waited to collect their diplomas and Class of 2020 sign, along with some praise from teachers before they rode off into the sunset.

Source: Vallejo High seniors graduate in drive-through event – Times-Herald

Tiffany Hernandez Donaire is Vallejo High valedictorian – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Some day, Vallejo High student Tiffany Hernandez Donaire wants to use her engineering knowledge to help build houses and other structures. But for the last four years she’s been the architect of the highest grade point average on campus.

Hernandez Donaire will graduate from high school on Thursday with a 4.2 GPA, good enough for her to be named the school’s valedictorian.

“I found out about a month ago and I was a little surprised,” Hernandez Donaire said. “It kind of came out of nowhere. My goal was always to work hard, but I never thought something like this would actually come.”

Source: Tiffany Hernandez Donaire is Vallejo High valedictorian – Times-Herald

Vallejo board makes grade span changes at several elementary schools – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

With a declining student enrollment staring them in the face, the Vallejo School Board approved grade span changes at five of the school district’s elementary schools during its May 20 meeting.

Starting next school year, Federal Terrace, Highland, Patterson, Pennycook, and Wardlaw elementary schools will add the sixth grade, going from a transitional kindergarten (TK) to 5th grade model to a TK-6 school site.

Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark said the changes were necessary as the district continues to consolidate school sites throughout the city.

Source: Vallejo board makes grade span changes at several elementary schools – Times-Herald

Vallejo High seniors pose for graduation pictures – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

A decided lack of pomp and circumstance notwithstanding, most Vallejo High School seniors shared one note of optimism as they showed up on campus Thursday with their caps and gowns for the school’s foray into the COVID-19 era of graduations.

It wasn’t much, but at least it was something.

As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the season’s traditional events and ceremonies across the nation, the school’s planned ceremony for the 2020 class on June 10 is a no-go. The ceremony is still scheduled for June 10, but the 6:30 p.m. event is a virtual graduation ceremony.

Redhawk seniors were given the opportunity to have their pictures taken while standing on a stage holding their diplomas while dressed up. The pictures will then be added to a slideshow that will be part of the virtual ceremony next month.

Source: Coronavirus: Vallejo High seniors pose for graduation pictures – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board honors Maria Guevara – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

“Thank you, Maria, for all you did for us.”

The end of Wednesday’s Vallejo school board meeting turned somber as President John Fox took time to acknowledge the passing of community advocate Maria Guevara.

Guevara, 45, was struck and killed May 7 by a train in Suisun City.

“She was such an inspirational person to know,” Fox told the other trustees. “She basically dedicated her life for finding a way to help homeless people here in Vallejo.”

Source: Vallejo school board honors Maria Guevara – Times-Herald

Vallejo High School seniors celebrated in drive thru event – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

It’s been a strange senior year for the Vallejo High class of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic confining the students to distance learning and a life away from campus during the last two months.

On Friday, however, the Redhawks were welcomed back by teachers, counselors and other faculty with a very personalized greeting.

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. the drive thru event took place in the parking lot in front of Bottari Gym and next to Corbus Field, as the seniors were given their cap and gowns as well as a personalized sign.

Source: Vallejo High School seniors celebrated in drive thru event – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board tables vote on ‘anti-Jewish’ ethnic studies curriculum – J.weekly

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

During its regular meeting on May 6, Vallejo’s school board tabled a resolution in support of a draft of an ethnic studies curriculum deemed “anti-Jewish” by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

The resolution, titled “Affirming Support of AB 2016 California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Draft,” was included on last week’s agenda after being introduced by the Vallejo City Unified School District’s superintendent, Adam Clark.

It was scuttled in a 5-0 vote.

AB 2016 is a 4-year-old piece of legislation, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, mandating an ethnic studies curriculum be drafted as a guide for California high schools.

Source: Vallejo school board tables vote on ‘anti-Jewish’ ethnic studies curriculum – J.

Clark sends out update to parents concerning graduations – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

With the coronavirus pandemic having already wiped out much of the school year, Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark sent out a message Wednesday afternoon updating anxious parents on issues such as graduation, summer school and the upcoming fall schedule.

Clark says that Vallejo, Jesse Bethel and John Finney Continuation High schools, as well as Vallejo Regional EC, will have virtual graduation ceremonies on the school’s original scheduled date and times. John Finney will have its ceremony on Wednesday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m., while Vallejo will have its own later that afternoon at 6:30 p.m. Bethel will celebrate on Thursday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m., while Vallejo Regional EC will have its own at noon on Friday, June 12.

Source: Coronavirus: Clark sends out update to parents concerning graduations – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board tables support of ethnic studies curriculum – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

A proposed Vallejo school board resolution supporting California’s proposed ethnic studies curriculum was tabled by the trustees during their May 6 meeting.

Several of the trustees expressed that they were uncomfortable supporting the draft document which is expected to go up for review and possible approval by the State Board of Education next year.

“I think that it’s premature in approving something that is currently in draft form,” said trustee Christy Gardner during the meeting. “That is being revised as we speak and until the total, complete document is finished I feel very uncomfortable approving a draft.”

Source: Vallejo school board tables support of ethnic studies curriculum – Times-Herald

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

Solano Widenmann Leadership Academy name proposed to school board – Times-Herald

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

Vallejo school board approves multiple Measure S contracts – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

Without comment, the Vallejo City Unified School District approved several Measure S related items during Wednesday’s board meeting.

They approved a contract between the district and Miller Pacific Engineering for geotechnical evaluation for the Corbus Field resurfacing project, according to a staff report to the five-person school board.

The $14,500 contract includes a field drainage assessment, assistance with field design if needed and construction observation and testing, staff said.

Source: Vallejo school board approves multiple Measure S contracts – Times-Herald