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Late October through January 2020

January 24, 2020

I’ve let quite a bit of time go by since writing. I’ll list the events I’ve attended since I last wrote, with brief summary comments and links to official minutes if they exist.

  • October 22, 2019: High School Showcase Fair at Armijo High School. This was a chance for middle school students to come preview teachers, clubs and activities at all of the high schools. I enjoyed browsing and meeting teachers I have known. I also collected bits of information to put in my calendar for future events.
  • October 24, 2019: Regular Board Meeting. Summary at this link.
  • October 25, 2019: Suisun Elementary School Evening Festival. I dropped by and visited with a few people, including the principal. Suisun Elementary School is one of the handful of schools I am assigned to this year.
  • October 28, 2019: Solano County School Boards Association Planning Meeting, at Solano Community College. Those of us on the steering committee plan the quarterly dinner education meetings.
  • November 1, 2019: Ribbon cutting for the Armijo High School Family Resource Center. This is located in the old office wing. I enjoyed learning a bit about the program, toured the refurbished rooms, and visiting with other attendees. Somewhere out there are group photos of the ribbon-cutting.
  • November 6, 2019: Fund-raiser “Dine and Donate” for Suisun Elementary School at McDonalds on Sunset Avenue. I enjoyed visiting and mingling with a few other guests.
  • November 7, 2019: Regular Board Meeting. Summary at this link.
  • November 12, 2019: Special Board Meeting. This was a combined City and School District meeting where we heard from student representatives and discussed common interests. Minutes available under the board meetings page.
  • November 13, 2019: Meeting of the Superintendent’s Student Council, after school at the district office. I’d wanted to see what this group was like, and I was terribly impressed at the level of engagement and the substance of the discussions.
  • November 13, 2019: Evening Awards and Recognition reception for students at Sem Yeto High School, held at the Fairfield Community Center Willow Hall. I enjoyed visiting with parents, students and staff.
  • November 15, 2019: “An Evening of Improv Theater” at Armijo High School, where the drama students entertained the audience with impromptu sketches. They were so talented! I attended with my wife. Long-ago former board member Gretchen Shilts was also in attendance with family, because one of her grandchildren was performing! What a treat.
  • November 16, 2019: The annual band festival hosted by Fairfield High School “Tournament of Champions” was held on Dover Avenue this Saturday morning. It made me proud to see dozens of bands from Northern California compete.
  • November 18, 2019: The evening dinner and education meeting of the Solano School Boards Association was held at the Alternative High School building in Dixon. I had helped plan this event, and it was a smashing success, I was later told. We had several speakers presenting on communications. Several dozen board members from around the county attended.
  • November 21, 2019: Special board meeting held to approve a grant application. You can see the minutes under the board meetings page.
  • November 21, 2019: Later that evening I attended the Mid-Year Graduation for High School Students at the Kroc Center in Suisun. This honored several dozen students who completed their graduation requirements after the traditional June graduation from any of the high schools in the district. I enjoyed this event, and along with the other board members got to shake hands and congratulate each of the students.
  • December 4-7, 2019: I flew to San Diego (with my wife Gayla, at my expense) for the Annual Education Conference of the California School Boards Association. This was a big deal (my second since becoming a board member), and I wrote a separate report about it for the board, which you can read under the agenda materials of the January 9th board meeting. (I don’t know how to directly link to it, but you can find it on the board meetings page.
  • December 12, 2019: This was the last regular board meeting of the calendar year, and had to be held in a conference room upstairs (324) because the main board room was undergoing improvements to the audio-visual system. You can see the minutes from the board meetings page.
  • December 17, 2019: I met with the Facilities Committee, one of the subcommittees of the board. You can read the minutes here.
  • December 18, 2019: I visited one of my assigned schools, Crystal Middle School, right before Christmas vacation started, and found everyone peppy and ready for the break! I enjoyed meeting all of the office staff.
  • December 20, 2019: I meet with the assistant superintendent of educational services, Dr. Sheila McCabe for a one-on-one briefing on how the California Dashboard works. This is the primary accountability mechanism the state has designed for public schools, and we had received a detailed presentation on it at the last board meeting.
  • January 9, 2020: This was our first regular meeting of the new year, and the new audio equipment was not completely set up, but I think it’s an improvement everyone will appreciate. You can view the official minutes under the board meetings page, but the summary has not yet been posted.
  • January 13, 2020: LCAP Stakeholder Meeting at the Armijo High School Library. This was a meeting for community members to learn about and communicate their priorities for the district at large. The district is writing its three-year plan, called the LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan), which must meet state requirements. I wanted to see what these meetings were like, and very much enjoyed the breakout groups, let by facilitators Eric Cortes (student board member) and Shelley Ghannam (assessment operation manager).
  • January 14, 2020: The meeting of the Facilities Committee. You can read the minutes here.
  • January 16, 2020: I attended another of the LCAP Stakeholder Meetings, this time at the Fairfield Community Center Willow Hall. I enjoyed seeing a different mix of people here, and got to visit with teacher Laura Quertermous, a special education teacher who cares greatly about teacher turnover problems in our district. I was glad to hear that she helps recruit and retain new staff.
  • January 22, 2020: I attended another meeting of the Superintendent’s Student Council, after school in the district office. I was again impressed by the discussion.
  • January 23, 2020: I visited Crystal Middle School during a student basketball game, and visited a bit with the Principal, Mr. Dowd.
  • January 23, 2020: Our regular board meeting. The minutes are not yet posted, but can be located under the board meetings page.

As always, you can see my official calendar here.

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