Dear Benicia Community. 

Welcome to 2020!  The Board, staff and I are excited about the outstanding progress taking place throughout our great school district and are enthusiastically looking toward the remainder of the year. Below are some highlights regarding our progress and notable achievements to date.  

California Dashboard Performance On the Rise: I am proud to announce our student performance on the California State accountability measures, known as the California Dashboard, continues to improve. For the 2018-19 school year, students scored in the high achievement range in four out of six categories including English, Math, College and Career Readiness and Graduation Rates. Indicators of concern must be addressed in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) which also functions as our District’s Strategic Plan. 

We continue to be the highest scoring district in Solano County and competitive with surrounding districts. This is a result of the hard work of our teachers, classified staff, District and site leaders. Well done!

This slide, from the California Dashboard data presentation, shared during this Thursday’s Board meeting  provides a quick illustration of student performance.   

We are carefully analyzing all areas of student performance, including those where we need to improve, and will continue to make these targeted areas of focus. An area in particular where we could use your help is student attendance as the data shows this as an area of needed improvement. We appreciate your support in getting your children to school as the research is abundantly clear on this: consistency and duration of the time students spend in school is directly related to student growth, development, and achievement. We greatly appreciate your support with this important effort! Thank you! 

Click HERE to view the entire presentation.

Benicia Reads!: The research is also clear regarding the importance of reading proficiency, particularly by the end of third grade. This is a decided focus for us and includes a city-wide partnership focusing on literacy development for all of our students.  Here is a LINK for information about the Citywide Reading Campaign. 

Strategic Plan-LCAP: Your thoughts and feedback on our District programs are valued and wanted. On January 28, 2020, we will host Stakeholder Engagement sessions for the development of our District’s Strategic Plan–the LCAP.  We hope you can join us on January 28, 2020, between 8:30-10:30 am or 6:00-8:00 pm at 350 East K Street in the BoardRoom. We look forward to hearing from you!

Linked below are three 2-3 minute videos that explain the LCAP and budgeting, requirements and current programs. If possible, please view these videos prior to attending the Stakeholder Engagement sessions.  

Measure S, Bond Update: On the facilities side of the house, we continue to make excellent progress with a host of bond projects. I would like to thank members of the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee regarding their careful and thoughtful input regarding the stewardship of Measure S tax dollars. We have received positive audits each year since the inception of the bond illustrating our unwavering commitment to good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. 

Many bond projects are not easily visible, e.g., fire alarms, school-wide communication systems, technology infrastructure, seismic improvements, etc. So…if you haven’t had the opportunity to view the beautiful modernization efforts at our middle school, please take the time to do so. It is beautiful!  We are thrilled with the outcome and are looking forward to the next phases.

The following is a list of Measure S projects. I also included items related to the Proposition 39 energy grant, where we have also made outstanding progress and will continue to realize energy savings in conjunction with our solar power, cost saving energy system.

COMPLETED BOND PROJECTS TO DATE THRU 4/12/2019:

  • Technology Infrastructure Upgrades: All Schools
  • Phone and Public Announcement Systems: All Schools
  • Playground Upgrades: Elementary Schools
  • Roofs: Mary Farmar Elementary and Benicia Middle School
  • Softball Field Bleachers: Benicia High School
  • Exterior Painting: Benicia High School
  • Security Surveillance: All Schools
  • Fire Alarms: Benicia Middle School, Benicia High School, Mary Farmar Elementary, and Robert Semple Elementary
  • Stadium, Track and Field: Benicia High School
  • Locker Room HVAC Upgrades: Benicia High School (Jointly Funded Prop 39 and Measure S)
  • Benicia High School Performing Arts Building Lighting and Electrical Upgrades
  • Benicia High School and Benicia Middle School Tennis Court Upgrades

BOND PROJECTS CURRENTLY IN CONSTRUCTION:

  • Modernization: Benicia Middle School – Phase 1 of multiple phases
  • Fire Alarms: Joe Henderson; Matthew Turner Elementary Schools
  • Security Upgrades: All Schools
  • IT Upgrades All Schools: Matching ERATE grant funds

APPROVED BOND PROJECTS IN PROGRESS:

  • Campus Modernization: Mary Farmar Elementary School
  • Fire Alarms: Liberty High School/District Office
  • MISC. Infrastructure Upgrades: All Schools
  • Gym Floors: Benicia High School
  • Alternative Education Improvements
  • Bathroom Replacement: Joe Henderson Elementary School
  • Daycare Modular Building: Joe Henderson Elementary School
  • Performing Arts Building (PAB): sound system improvements

Proposition 39 Energy Savings Block Grant:  In 2018 Benicia Unified School District was awarded approximately $1 million from proposition 39 grant monies for energy savings projects.  Summer 2019 we completed projects utilizing all of the proposition 39 monies. Projects completed include:

  • Benicia High School locker rooms HVAC upgrades (jointly funded with bond monies)
  • 4 transformer replacements at BHS and 3 Transformer replacement at Benicia Middle School
  • Districtwide Thermostat replacements.

The District applied for and was awarded an additional $100,000 from PGE incentives for the energy work which assisted in needed HVAC work.

Governance Matters:  It is an honor to speak on behalf of the Board Trustees as we continue to work closely together for our students, staff, and community. Our five trustees are smart, committed to the success of all students and passionate about continuing to make BUSD one of the premier school districts in California.  Thank you, Board!

Enrollment Reminder for 2020-21 SY: TK/Kindergarten and new students to BUSD begins February 1st.  

On we go!

Sincerely,
Charles F. Young, Ed. D
Superintendent