SCOE Spotlight- January 2023

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Remodeled & Open for Fun! Fentanyl Awareness & Prevention 2022 Highlights
TC McDaniel Early Learning Center


Kicking Off 2023

I recently completed the oath of office for my third term as Solano County Superintendent of Schools, and I again feel honored to be elected to lead the Solano County Office of Education and serve Solano students, families and educators. My colleagues, Trustees Dana Dean, Teresa Lavell, and Ginger Dunn also renewed their oaths of office to serve on the Solano County Board of Education.

The Solano County Office of Education strives to be a high performing organization that despite the recent challenges that have faced our state and community, like recovering from a global pandemic, severe storms, and staffing shortages, will continue to embrace these challenges and view them as opportunities. I personally, am determined to embrace the joys, the hardships, the people, and the lessons learned with determination, compassion and resilience. This is where meaningful growth and positive changes emerge!

Solano County Office of Education's guiding principles are leadership, collaboration and support. This issue of the SCOE Spotlight highlights how we have rolled up our sleeves to address challenges like Fentanyl prevention, awareness and education, student wellness, and crisis intervention. We endeavor to embody our guiding principles with our colleagues, students and families, to spark positive change for students and our communities.

We achieved so much in 2022. I'm excited to begin a new term and embrace what 2023 brings. I encourage parents, guardians, and educators alike to embrace and celebrate accomplishments each day and to support our young people forward from wherever you are.

Lisette Estrella-Henderson Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson Solano County Superintendent of Schools Trustee Dana Dean Trustee Teresa Lavell Trustee Ginger Dunn SCOE Spotlight Solano County Office of Education

Fentanyl Awareness & Prevention

Rise in Fentanyl Exposures Amongst Local Youth

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Fentanyl, an extremely potent and dangerous synthetic opioid, continues to be a major contributor to drug overdoses and accidental poisonings in California.

• Emergency department visits related to non-fatal opioid overdoses in California’s youth ages 10-19 years more than tripled from 2018 (379 total) to 2020 (1,222 total).

• Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in California’s youth ages 10-19 years increased from 2018 (36 total) to 2020 (261 total), a 625 percent increase.

Addressing Fentanyl in Solano County

Solano County Office of Education has focused on Fentanyl awareness and prevention, taking multiple steps to support Solano school employees and families.

Parent Awareness Social Media Campaign

SCOE launched a social media awareness campaign sharing a series of real stories from families who lost their children to accidental Fentanyl poisoning. Our social media outreach will continue with messages about fake pills from Vibe Solano.

Free Naloxone (NARCAN®) Program Implementation for Schools

NARCAN is a lifesaving drug that can prevent fatal opioid overdoses. SCOE has contracted with Campus Safety Consultants to offer free support to school districts that wish to implement voluntary NARCAN programs with employees.

Fentanyl Awareness and Prevention Grants

SCOE has offered $18,000 in grants to Solano school districts for Fentanyl curriculum and prevention materials.

Opioid Awareness, Safe Handling and Intervention Training

Part of SCOE's grassroots approach to addressing Fentanyl has been the training of over 300 school employees about the opioid epidemic, safe Fentanyl handling, assistance laws and NARCAN training.

SCOE will continue our efforts and partnerships to reduce the risk of Fentanyl for Solano students throughout the coming year.

Image from the Fentanyl awareness film Zach's Story Play video
January 2023 SCOE Spotlight

Student Mental Health & Wellness

Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) has been an active partner in the Solano community advocating and working for more robust supports for the social and emotional needs of Solano students. Systems of support for students are in high demand, and SCOE is well-positioned to support the Solano educators who are supporting students.

Solano County School-Based Wellness Center Initiative

SCOE acquired three grants to support the establishment of school-based wellness centers across Solano County. To date, 47 centers have been opened in Solano County, helping to position schools to better serve the social and emotional needs of students. Wellness centers are intended to create a positive culture around mental health on school campuses, reducing negative stigmas.

School-based wellness centers offer students culturally inclusive spaces to decompress for 10-20 minutes. Centers feature art, meditation, music, check-ins with trusted adults, stigma reduction, suicide prevention, student groups/workshops and access points for students who need higher level services.

Spotlight Solano County Office of Education

SCOE Earns $4 Million Grant for Mental Health & Wellness Supports

Solano County Office of Education was recently awarded a $4,000,000 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant's focus is to advance healing and improve social determinants of health among youth and families in communities that have experienced community violence, disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other significant collective trauma over the past 24 months.

As part of the grant work, SCOE will engage the community to plan and deploy culturally relevant, trauma informed prevention, intervention, and post-vention strategies that build school and community capacity, expand service access, and promote healing and healthy development. SCOE will place particular focus on those disproportionately impacted in the past two years including Black, Latino/a, LGBTQ students and families who are more likely to experience mental health symptoms and crises. Prevention activities will be targeted to the whole community.

The goals of the project are to decrease incidents of community violence and the impact of collective trauma, while increasing the knowledge and capacity of schools and other youth-serving entities. The grant will also help increase the knowledge and development of mental health interns at both the graduate and paraprofessional level. SCOE is excited to utilize this grant to further mental health and wellness supports for Solano students, families and educators.

SCOE's School-Based Mobile Crisis Answered 80+ Calls

Through a contract from Solano County Behavioral Health (SCBH), SCOE is providing school-based mobile crisis services and screening/assessment services. These services are being implemented in collaboration with the county, school districts/sites, local police departments and community partners. SCOE has trained clinicians and crisis specialists to respond to crisis situations on K-12 school campuses serving youth experiencing a mental health crisis. So far this school year, more than 80 calls for service to school sites have been answered, demonstrating a significant need for mental health supports.

All students in need are served with the mission of de-escalating situations, linking families to necessary services, and supporting the coordination of care. Schoolbased mobile crisis services provided through SCOE differ slightly from the community-based mobile crisis services provided by SCBH. The SCOE team specializes in supporting schools and districts and is familiar with school initiatives, communities and protocols.

January 2023 SCOE Spotlight

Career Exploration Brought to Life

Medical Science Tour

SCOE recently hosted Major General Michael J. Talley, the 46th Commanding General and Commandant of the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence (MEDCoE), for a visit of the patient care programs at two local high schools.

The tour began at Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District’s Fairfield High with students enrolled in the sports medicine classes and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). The tour then continued to Travis Unified School District’s Vanden High JROTC and medical science courses. As a young man, Major General Talley lived in Fairfield and attended school at Vanden High School. He spoke to students about the wide array of career options in the fields of patient care and in the armed forces and his personal career path that began in Solano County.

SCOE was honored to be called upon by Major General Talley for a tour and grateful for the opportunity to highlight just a few of the amazing students and staff behind state-of-the-art career technical education pathways offered to students in Solano County’s schools.

SCOE Spotlight Solano County Office of Education
7 CTE is "OP" in SC Translation for adults: Solano County schools offer incredible Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for students. Solano County Schools CTE Directory February is Career Technical Education (CTE) Month, and SCOE has created a CTE Directory to showcase Solano County school districts' wide range of CTE pathways and career certifications. CTE opportunities for Solano County students include: Aeronautics Agricultural Mechanics Agricultural Science Animal Care Auto Tech Biotech Building Trades Business Marketing Culinary Dance Digital Media Education Emergency Response Engineering Floral Design Hospitality Kinesiology Law Medical Science Performing Arts Public Safety Video Game Design Video Production Welding January 2023 SCOE Spotlight

$50K for STEM Education

SCOE received a $50,000 donation from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for local students. The donation was presented at PG&E’s celebration for the 100th anniversary of the VacaDixon substation, which now features a museum. A large symbolic check was presented to Lisette Estrella-Henderson, County Superintendent of Schools by Joe Wilson who is the vice president of PG&E's North Valley & Sierra region.

PG&E’s donation will help SCOE expand free robotics, coding and engineering camps aimed at closing gender gaps in STEM and energy related fields for Solano County girls. Funds will also provide supplies for SCOE’s Innovation Lab at the Golden Hills Educational Center in Fairfield. The lab has a career and college readiness focus, supporting students in exploring engineering, robotics, and coding. Stocked with 3-D printers, robotics systems, maker space materials and more, SCOE’s Innovation Lab offers students a wide variety of engineering-based learning experiences. Both the Innovation Lab and GIRL camps promote career exploration in STEM industries as well as collaboration, design thinking, growth mindset, and project-based learning for students. SCOE thanks PG&E for the generous contribution to STEM education for Solano students!

Hands-On Learning for Building & Construction Trades

SCOE has building and construction trades classrooms at Golden Hills Education Center and Evergreen Academy in the Solano Juvenile Detention Facility. These hands-on learning spaces provide students with a broad knowledge base of building and construction concepts including concrete, electrical, plumbing, masonry, HVAC, and woodworking. Safety is also widely covered with both National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Safety and Occupational Health and Safety.

The curriculum and work experience provided in building and construction trades classes gives students viable skills they can carry into the workforce or into personal home ownership.

SCOE Spotlight Solano County Office of Education

"Spinning Salmon" Citizen Science

A mystery emerged in 2020, when experts at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fish Health Laboratory and UC Davis Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory discovered something was causing young salmon in fish hatcheries to swim in corkscrew patterns and die at unusually high rates. Investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s California-Nevada Fish Health Center noticed that a bath of thiamine immediately revived the ailing juveniles. They now suspect the problem is linked to a deficiency of thiamine in returning adult salmon that fed off the coast of central California.

Grant from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Solano County Office of Education was awarded a Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant to engage teachers and students in citizen science to help solve the mystery threatening the salmon population in California's central valley. SCOE's Spinning Salmon Citizen Science Research Project engages Solano students and teachers in authentic scientific research and data collection that is shared with scientific partners.

SCOE's “Spinning Salmon” Citizen Science Research Project launched in September of 2022 and will continue for three years. Funding from the NOAA B-WET grant includes teacher training, aquariums, and student field experiences.

9 January 2023 SCOE Spotlight

Pass It On Inclusion Film Camp Red Carpet Premiere

SCOE hosted the third annual red carpet premiere for Inclusion Film Camp participants at Touro University’s Lander Hall Theater on Mare Island. The evening was filled with limousines, camera flashes, glitz, glamour, shining memories and 300 family and community members cheering on our filmmakers.

On the day of the event, local businesses like Savers Thrift Superstore in Vacaville, Men’s Wearhouse of Fairfield, Mary Kay and Straight or Knot Hair Salon ensured that the 40 VIPs exited their limousines and walked the red carpet in gowns, tuxedos, styled hair and makeup.

Following the premieres of the short films developed at camp, filmmakers received SCOE-Oscars on stage, and certificates of achievement from Senator Bill Dodd, Congressman John Garamendi, and Assemblymember Tim Grayson.

The red carpet film premiere is a celebration of neurodiversity and the achievements and skill development of our Inclusion Film camp participants. SCOE is excited to expand to two film camps next summer, thanks to partnerships with North Bay Regional Center and the Department of Rehabilitation.

Spotlight Solano County Office of Education
January 2023 SCOE Spotlight 11

Youth Advocates

Solano Youth Resiliency Summit

Multiple community groups across Solano County joined Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) in hosting the fourth annual Solano Youth Resiliency Summit. Club Stride, Drug Safe Solano, Fighting Back Partnership, Nature of Sound, Friday Night Live Partnership, Solano Youth Coalition, Touro University, Vallejo Project and VIBE Solano partnered with SCOE to offer a free summit for middle and high school students living or attending school in Solano County.

Representing all school districts in Solano County, 65 youth attended the summit. The day offered inspiring keynote speakers and twelve different workshops, over half student led. Some topics included mental health and wellness; alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention; preparing for life after high school; and leadership skills. The event provided attendees an opportunity to strengthen their resiliency through selfreflection, mindfulness, empathy and healthy coping strategies. Participants also heard about ways to promote creative positive change.

Alphabet Rockers and Ashanti Branch were the keynote speakers. As four-time Grammy-nominated artists, Alphabet Rockers, Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Soulati Shepherd, make music that inspires kids and families to stand up to hate and make positive change. Ashanti Branch, a native of Oakland, founded the Ever Forward Club to provide a support group for African American and Latino youth. He too engaged students with inspiring words focused on the leader within each young person. SCOE appreciates the ongoing partnerships that make the Solano Youth Resiliency Summit an incredible experience for students.

Solano County Office of Education

Friday Night Live Youth Summit

SCOE facilitates the Solano Friday Night Live Partnership and works with local schools and the California Friday Night Live Partnership to provide a youth development framework, which is inclusive, comprehensive and youth-driven for Solano County Friday Night Live (FNL) student chapters.

This November, 42 students from six Solano County FNL chapters joined students from across the state at the Annual FNL Youth Summit in Anaheim. The students participated in an additional leadership day attending specialized workshops designed to further develop leadership skills. Solano FNL students developed and presented six workshops on topics including alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention, distracted driving, mental health and more. The studentled workshops reached approximately 200 students.

Youth Leadership Institute

Solano County high school students participated in the 2022 Summer Youth Leadership Institute (SYLI), hosted by Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) and Touro University California (TUC). The project was created by TUC and SCOE to inspire the next generation to be public health leaders through five days of youth advocacy and leadership development. The institute was led by experts in the field of youth supports, peer education, public health, and environmental prevention.

The institute also included a virtual meeting with U.S. Congressman Garamendi and a field trip to the State Capitol. There, students met with leaders from the Governor’s office, California’s departments of Health Care Services and Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Center for Healthy Communities, Assemblywoman Lori Wilson’s office, and others. These meetings provided opportunities to discuss issues that affect youth, allowing students to actively learn about the process of policy development.

January 2023 SCOE Spotlight 13
Solano FNL at Anaheim conference.

Quality Counts for Early Learning

Early Childhood Education Conference

Solano County Office of Education partnered with First 5 Solano, Child Start, Inc., Solano Family & Children’s Services, Solano Community College, and others to host this year’s Quality Counts Solano Early Childhood Education (ECE) Conference for early care and education professionals. More than 200 early learning professionals from Solano and neighboring counties attended the conference.

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette EstrellaHenderson said, “We know teacher effectiveness matters and is one of the most important school-related factors influencing student achievement. When our teachers have access to quality training and resources, student learning is improved.”

The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Crystal McClendon-Gourdine speaking to “Re-Invigorating Joy with Passion and Purpose.” Attendees chose from 13 hands-on, interactive, and informative topics for break-out sessions.

SCOE values the collaborative community partnerships that make this important professional learning possible, and we look forward to hosting again in 2023.

SCOE Spotlight Solano County Office

Modernization Brings New Meaning to Growth & Learning

SCOE's infant, toddler and preschool programs are designed to provide rich and meaningful educational experiences, based on play that will enhance children's social skills, self-esteem and overall growth and development. In addition to providing specialized instruction and services to children with special needs, we also provide opportunities for interaction with typically developing, same-age peers.

SCOE's TC McDaniel Early Learning Center features a blend of preschool classes and services in partnership with the city of Fairfield. This collaboration offers enriched learning and social experiences for all of the children and families our programs serve.

SCOE secured funding to modernize and remodel the TC McDaniel facility to meet the unique needs of programs, students and families. The fresh new learning center now features a sensory room, community room, new playground, specialized classroom equipment and so much more.

15 January 2023 SCOE Spotlight

Collaborative Learning That Fits

New Asynchronous Collaborative Learning Space!

Solano educators spoke, and we listened! Teachers need support in a variety of areas through a method that is flexible and responsive to their unique learners. The courses offered on SCOE’s Collaborative Learning Space include:

How the Brain Learns to Read

California Health Education Framework Course

Reimagining Math Class: Rich Math Tasks

Tech Tools and Strategies for Distance and In-person

Parent Communication

Introduction to Universal Design for Learning

UDL Planning & Implementation (Part 2)

Wild Spaces and You - Engaging Youth in Community Citizen Science

Utilizing Technology to Create a Highly Engaging Virtual and In-Person Classroom

Learn more about these and other professional learning opportunities and networks in SCOE's Collaborative Learning Space .

SCOE Spotlight Solano County Office of Education

SCOE received over 100 initial applicants and served 34 youth in the initial cohort of October 2022. Students who are in foster care, experiencing housing instability, and who were served by the juvenile justice system were encouraged to participate in the program. Of participants surveyed, 100% indicated that they would like to remain in contact with their mentors. The next program cohort begins February 5, 2023.

Education to Employment

Through support from the Solano County Board of Supervisors, SCOE will be utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the Education to Employment (E2E) program. E2E is a partnership with school districts to identify and reengage youth ages 16-24 who have been out of school or who are at risk of dropping out. E2E is an additional opportunity for students who have not enrolled in their home district programs to return to progress toward completing their graduation requirements, obtain paid work experiences and connect to other needed supports and services. E2E helps students remove barriers to success, practice what they are learning at their workplace and eventually generate a self-sufficient wage. SCOE appreciates the ongoing support and collaboration with Solano County to assist in improving the quality of life for students and families.

Counseling & Cuts

The Solano Counseling and Cuts program is a mentorship and empowerment initiative developed by SCOE in partnership with Solano Community College, local agencies, community-based organizations, local barbers and hair salons. The program is designed for youth between the ages of 13 and 21 and creates opportunities to shadow local barbershops and stylists to learn more about cosmetology and business ownership. Other topics such as positive self-image, mental wellness, pathways to college, and healthy finance habits are also incorporated.

January 2023 SCOE Spotlight
One participant stated, "I don’t want the program to end so soon because I’ll miss it and the people here...being here made me feel like I had someone to talk to and had someone [who] will have my back.”

Solano County Office of Education Governance

The County Superintendent and the County Board of Education are elected officials who have separate duties and responsibilities. County Superintendents of Schools are established pursuant to the California Constitution and are considered county officers (similar to a sheriff, district attorney, or clerk).

The County Superintendent is elected by voters of Solano County. The Superintendent serves as a liaison between local school districts and the state. The Superintendent also serves as the chief executive officer of the Solano County Office of Education. The Superintendent leads SCOE in providing leadership, collaboration, support, and fiscal/program oversight for the county’s six school districts which serve approximately 61,000 students.

The Solano County Board of Education is comprised of elected representatives from seven trustee areas. The Solano County Superintendent of Schools serves as the ex-officio secretary to the County Board. The Solano County Board of Education serves as the governance body for the Juvenile Court and Community School System and may authorize charter schools. The Solano County Board of Education also serves as an appellate body for expulsion, inter-district attendance, and charter school appeals.

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson Elease Cheek Trustee Area 5 Peggy A. Cohen-Thompson Vice President Trustee Area 7 Michelle Coleman Trustee Area 1 Amy Sharp Trustee Area 2 Dana Dean Trustee Area 3 Teresa Lavell Trustee Area 4 Board President Ginger Dunne Trustee Area 6
Solano County Office of Education

Adult Program Completion Ceremony

In December, these amazing young people completed SCOE's Transition to Adulthood Program! This program supports young people as they transition into positive and productive members of their communities. We are so proud of these wonderful young adults, and cannot wait to see what they accomplish next.

Congratulations! Now accepting applications for the 2023 Solano Science & Engineering Fair! Application deadline, February 24, 2023 19 Thursday, March 16, 2023 January 2023 SCOE Spotlight
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