Judges needed for Academic Decathlon – Times-Herald

By Kim Fu

Speech and interview judges 18 and older are needed for the Bay Region Academic Decathlon, hosted by the Solano County Office of Education.

The event is virtual, so you can volunteer from the comfort of your home.

The event includes 20 high schools from across the bay area. More than 200 high school students will compete in the regional competition.

The Academic Decathlon is a competitive event modeled after the Olympics to stimulate academic achievement and honor “athletes of the mind.” The competition provides high school students the opportunity to participate in an educational forum which fosters a deep respect for knowledge, cooperation and self-esteem.

Source: Judges needed for Academic Decathlon – Times-Herald

SCOE officials hand out COVID test kits and will do so again in the new year – The Vacaville Reporter

By Richard Bammer

As parents and schools face another reckoning over COVID-19 with the rapid spread of the omicron variant, many may wonder whether in-person classes are worth the risk.

But Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say schools can still be safe when simple protocols are followed. They include paying attention to social distancing, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated.

However, with the variant’s reported ease of transmission worrying many, Solano County Office of Education officials on Wednesday made an effort to allay some fears by distributing iHealth COVID-19 home testing kits to school district representatives, educators and parents who dropped by the SCOE’s main office at 5100 Business Center Drive in Fairfield.

Source: SCOE officials hand out COVID test kits and will do so again in the new year – The Vacaville Reporter

Explore the outdoors this January – Winters Express

By Di Holokahi

Saturday, Jan. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rush RanchGet the Rush: Get the Rush is a free, family-friendly monthly gathering with activities for all. We will have the blacksmith shop, the marsh walk, the storybook walk in partnership with the Library, and the self-guided geocache scavenger hunt, Explorer Quest, presented in partnership with Solano County Office of Education. Registration for the marsh walk is required.

Source: Explore the outdoors this January – Winters Express

New California COVID-19 guidelines: What to know – Times-Herald

By Louis Hansen

The California Department of Public Health has updated quarantine and isolation guidelines for COVID-19 — and this time, things are getting a bit less restrictive.

With the constantly mutating virus and evolving pandemic research, public health officials say the new shorter guidelines for staying at home announced late Thursday reflect a better balance between community health and a healthy, somewhat normal life.

The CDPH regulations mostly align California with federal rules updated Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new guidelines reduce recommended times to quarantine — staying at home and wearing a mask — for healthy people exposed to those infected from 10 to 5 days.

Source: New California COVID-19 guidelines: What to know – Times-Herald

Forbes remains Travis School Board president – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The Travis School District board reorganized its leadership Tuesday with little fanfare.

Janet Jackson Forbes will continue as board president. The new vice president is Manveer Sandhu and the clerk will be Meghan Thompson.

Trustees established the regular meetings of the board for 2022-23.

The meetings in 2022 will occur Aug. 9, Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13. The meetings in the first half of 2023 will occur Jan. 17, Feb. 7, March 14, April 4, May 9, June 13 and June 20.

Source: Forbes remains Travis School Board president

Lavell new president of Solano Board of Education – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

The Solano County Board of Education needed only 16 minutes for its full meeting Wednesday and elected its new president and vice president for 2022.

Trustee Teresa Lavell was selected as the new board president. Trustee Amy Sharp voted no and Elease Cheek was absent from the meeting.

“I’m honored to be nominated by my colleagues and to continue the good work we do for our community,” Lavell said.

Source: Lavell new president of Solano Board of Education

Travis School Board approves $1.1M grant plan for coming school year – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Trustees of the Travis School District approved a grant plan Tuesday to train teachers and other staff to better serve students.

The district will receive approximately $1.139 million in Educator Effectiveness Block Grant Funds for professional development for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals who work with students and classified staff who interact with students.

The funds may be used through the 2025-26 academic year.

Source: Travis School Board approves $1.1M grant plan for coming school year

Travis board OKs 5 new classes for 2022-23 school year – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

The coming school year will see new classes for Golden West Middle School, Travis Education Center and Vanden High School students.

Tiffany Benson, director of the curriculum instructor for the Travis School District, gave a presentation Tuesday on five new classes.

“I did a survey on whether a new guitar class would be welcomed,” she said. “The first survey was at 70% and the second one showed 90% support.”

Source: Travis board OKs 5 new classes for 2022-23 school year

Solano Board of Education to select officers for 2022 – Daily Republic

The selection of officers will be the top order of business for the Solano County Board of Education during its regular organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The board will meet in person in the second floor boardroom at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive. The meeting can also be followed online through solanocoe.net, with Zoom instructions available to those who want to make a public comment.

A board president, vice president and a representative to the Solano County Schools Board Association Executive Board for 2022 will be decided.

Source: Solano Board of Education to select officers for 2022

Trustees to consider Vaca preschool funding strategy – Daily Republic

School District trustees will consider approval Thursday of a plan to help secure future funding for the local preschool program.

Assistant Superintendent Sasha Begell has asked the school board to appoint Preschool Principal Lauren Hylton to serve as the applicant on behalf of the district for submission of a continued funding application for the California State Preschool Program.

This continued funding application is required by the state to serve as notification of intent to continue services for the next contract period.

Source: Trustees to consider Vaca preschool funding strategy

School board in Vacaville to review Covid safety plan – Daily Republic

The school board will vote Thursday on an updated Health and Safety OSHA Covid-19 Prevention and Preparedness Program, as well as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III Plan.

This plan is a living document that will be amended as public health conditions, orders, and/or guidance change, according to a staff report.

Health and safety updates are regularly shared with students, staff and community members via the district website, weekly superintendent letters and blackboard communications.

Source: School board in Vacaville to review Covid safety plan

Vaca district staff seek leave to apply for state grant – Daily Republic

A pair of school district officials will seek approval Thursday to apply for state funding to benefit the city’s schools.

Associate Superintendent Ed Santopadre and Director of Secondary Education Ali Eeds will request approval of the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant Plan for Vacaville School District schools and local charter schools.

The plans will support the professional development for teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals who interact with students.

Source: Vaca district staff seek leave to apply for state grant

Travis trustees to review plan for $1.1M state grant – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Trustees of the Travis School District are scheduled Tuesday to consider a plan of action to train teachers and other staff to better serve students.

Sue Brothers, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, will review the Educator Effectiveness Block Grant Plan with the board.

The district will receive approximately $1.139 million in Educator Effectiveness Block Grant Funds for professional development for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals who work with students and classified staff who interact with students.

Source: Travis trustees to review plan for $1.1M state grant

Vacaville school trustees set to reorganize leadership – Daily Republic

The School Board will reorganize its members Thursday to select a president, vice president and clerk.

Vacaville School District Superintendent Jane Shamieh will serve as secretary.

The Vacaville Library board will also select a president and secretary.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 401 Nut Tree Road and online on YouTube. The link is available through the school district’s website.

Source: Vacaville school trustees set to reorganize leadership

Schools help unload boxes for Wreaths Across America – The Vacaville Reporter

Soon, Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon will become a sea of wreaths as it will be one of more than 2,500 locations participating in Wreaths Across America, an annual holiday event in which boughs are laid on the gravestones of veterans.

Approximately 2,700 wreaths have been packaged and are ready to be bestowed upon the headstones. Local organization Remember a Vet has already gotten a head start on unloading the boxes, and schools were among the various volunteers Friday helping them do so. This included Dixon High School, Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy’s National Honor Society students and Vanden High School’s baseball team.

Source: Schools help unload boxes for Wreaths Across America – The Vacaville Reporter

Vanden captures state crown in comeback win over Aquinas – Daily Republic

By Nick DeCicco

Valhalla, they are coming.

The Vanden High Vikings drove their ships to new lands Saturday night with a come-from-behind, fourth-quarter rally to win the California Interscholastic Federation Division 3-AA State Championship Game, 14-13, over visiting Aquinas of San Bernardino at George A. Gammon Field.

To fight the visiting Falcons horde, Vanden called on the resilience that has been the wellspring of the Vikings’ success throughout the year for a team inspired to succeed after the deaths of teammate Daniel Hughes and coaches Dan Gardner and Michael Belk Sr.

Source: Vanden captures state crown in comeback win over Aquinas

Special Olympics basketball event brings 4 Fairfield high schools together – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

For special education students, every day is a reminder of the phrase “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

This goes for excelling in the same classes intended for general education students or — as Thursday at Armijo High School demonstrated — playing a game of basketball.

Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s adaptive PE department, in conjunction with Special Olympics Northern California, hosted its 4th annual Special Olympics high school basketball event, which brought special education students from four different district high schools together to bounce basketballs and shoot hoops with not as much emphasis on winning. There certainly was a competitive aspect, but more of a focus on having fun and building athleticism in a supportive environment. It is one of several events the adaptive PE department put on each year, including soccer, golf, bowling and track & field matches and even an annual prom.

Source: Special Olympics basketball event brings 4 Fairfield high schools together – The Vacaville Reporter

State Sen. Bill Dodd gathers a Moss – The Vacaville Reporter

By Richard Freedman

A Benicia school board trustee is about to get an education — into politics. And she’s thrilled about it.

Dr. Gethsemane Moss is State Sen. Bill Dodd’s newly-appointed field representative covering parts of Contra Costa and Solano counties.

With a 24-career in education as an elementary and middle school teacher, high school and Solano County Office of Education administrator, Moss said she “basically has done a lot of different roles in education and part of it that’s important is connected to advocacy and legislation.

“It got to the point,” says Moss, “where I wanted to do a little more. I really wanted to look into work where I feel I could make more of an impact and connect with folks.”

Source: State Sen. Bill Dodd gathers a Moss – The Vacaville Reporter

SPI Announces $2 Million in Grants Available – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that California community-based organizations will be able to apply for grants to address the social isolation experienced by students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its ongoing efforts to address the pandemic’s continued impact on students, the California Department of Education (CDE) will award grants of up to $250,000* each to community-based organizations that can demonstrate their ability to partner with schools and districts to provide programs and supports to offset the social isolation experienced by students during the pandemic and help them build healthy social connections.

The application process and criteria are available on the CDE website today, December 8, 2021, and the deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022. The grants are funded through a $2 million appropriation in the 2021–22 California State Budget (AB 130, Chapter 44, Sec. 164).

Source: SPI Announces $2 Million in Grants Available – Year 2021 (CA Dept of Education)

Is state going to break ‘education contract’ with American families? – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

There may still be debates about Covid-19 and the medical response to the pandemic.

But the nearly three dozen people who attended the second “Above the Noise” forum in Vacaville on Wednesday seemed far more concerned about what decision they may have to make about their children’s education choices if California follows through with the mandates to vaccine all students 5 or older.

The mandate would not likely be implemented until July at the earliest, and even later for the lower grades.

Source: Is state going to break ‘education contract’ with American families?