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San Benito County Education Digest

UC Disability Services Understaffed, Students Say


The UC Student Association is calling for California to spend millions more on disability services at the university, as disabled students report long wait times to access the academic accommodations they say they need to succeed.

False Lockdown Announcement Stirs Panic at Hollister High School


“This is not a drill” were the words Hollister High School students heard over the school’s loudspeaker on May 18. Those words sent a wave of fear in the Hollister High community. Afterwards, the school explained it was caused by a glitch in the automated bell schedule.

Why ‘Science of Reading’ May Be the Next Dyslexia Battleground


As the state moves to require dyslexia screening in public schools, experts say teachers need to embrace the “science of reading” approach that emphasizes phonics.

California Inmates Depended on Community Colleges. What Happens When Their Prisons Close?


Newsom is closing and downsizing prisons across the state, putting the future of over a thousand incarcerated students at risk. College administrators say they have few resources to help.

Gavilan Board of Trustees Urged to Restore the Pledge of Allegiance to Meetings


A half-dozen speakers at the May 9 Gavilan Board of Trustees used the time for public comment to ask the board to say the Pledge of Allegiance before their proceedings. The comments focused on similar themes, all urging the trustees to reinstate the pledge as an indication of their patriotism and respect for those in the armed services.

Did Community Colleges Hit a Deadline to Serve Struggling Students?


With thousands of homeless and food-insecure students, state legislators funded new programs to offer support to community colleges. CalMatters explores how it’s going.

Gavilan San Benito Campus in Final Stages of Approval


It’s been 17 years since the Gavilan College Board of Trustees purchased a property in Hollister and 15 years since it signed an interim site development agreement with Fairview Corners LLC. Now, momentum has shifted from planning to construction.

Making Headway on a New Campus


The San Benito High School District is taking steps to open a new high school in the county. At its April 25 board meeting, the SBHSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the district’s request to join the Bond Opportunities for Land Development Program.

Hollister High Robotics Team Gets 3D Printer


Hollister High School’s Team 6884 Deep-Space Robotics received a state-of-the-art printer on from the Shawn P. Herrera and Rodriguez Ochoa foundations.

Booting Disruptive Students Could Get a Lot Harder


A state bill could end suspensions for students who defy teachers’ orders, disrupt school activities, or engage in other types of “willful defiance”—requiring teachers to de-escalate such incidents instead of forcing a child from the classroom.

Parents, Teachers Oppose Potential Move of Accelerated Achievement Academy


The Hollister School District is considering moving Accelerated Achievement Academy from the Calaveras Elementary School site to Marguerite Maze Middle School, where more space is available.

Legislators Step Into Tussle Between Community Colleges, Cal State System


More than a year of mudslinging between the higher education systems has led to delays and anger over the issue of awarding bachelor’s degrees at community colleges.

Groundbreaking Is April 10 for San Benito’s Gavilan College Campus


Gavilan College President Pedro Avila told the Hollister City Council that construction will begin with a groundbreaking April 10 for the new 77-acre San Benito County campus at the corner of Fairview Road and Hwy 25.

San Benito County Free Library Distributes Chromebooks


Anzar High School students and community members stood in line in the school’s library hoping to receive one of the 100 free Acer Chromebooks and Moxie mobile hotspots.

Hollister Literacy Program Making Strides


A Hollister elementary school has implemented a new reading program that has increased the percentage of students reading at grade level.

Marion Joseph’s Crusade Is Paying Off


Marion Joseph died last year, but her years-long battle to improve the reading skills of California youngsters through phonics instruction lives on.

SBC Office of Education Announces STEAM Winners


The San Benito County Office of Education held its annual expo celebrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Visitors saw live demonstrations of STEAM projects, inventions, and artwork.

State’s Promise to Build More Dorms Hits Setbacks


Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to delay state funds to student housing because of the state’s budget deficit. Lawmakers have different ideas on what kind of compromise might be reached.

Aromas-San Juan District Chooses Superintendent


On March 8, the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District’s Board of Trustees approved a three-year contract for interim Superintendent Barbara Dill-Varga to become superintendent.

Many Teachers Support Dyslexia Screening


The California Teachers Association has consistently opposed legislation that would require dyslexia screening for all students in early grades. Yet many teachers say early intervention is key.

Students Can Now Take African American Studies as AP Class


On the opening day of Black History Month, the College Board is making history by releasing details of its first Advanced Placement class on African American studies for high school students.

Hollister Elementary District Exploring Cuts


Hollister Elementary School District said it has a budget deficit of $1.8 million coming into 2023. Chief Business Officer Elizabeth Wilson presented the monthly financial report at a board of trustees meeting.

Consultant Paints Optimistic Picture for Gavilan’s Finances


After hearing consultant Kathy Blackwood’s five-year budget projections for Gavilan College, Gavilan President and Superintendent Pedro Avila told BenitoLink that the district is in good financial shape—and he plans to keep it that way.x

Aromas School Board Reelects Casey Powers as President


At a sometimes contentious meeting on Jan. 4, the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District Board of Trustees litigated the reelection of Casey Powers to her third consecutive term as board president.

Study Shows Lower Lifetime Earning for Pandemic-Era Students


Students nationwide face lower earnings over their lifetime because of a loss of education during the pandemic, a Stanford economist said in a recently completed study.

Hollister High Seeing a Drop in Attendance


Hollister High School has seen a decrease in attendance in the first 76 days of the school year, according to a report presented to the Board of Trustees.

Researchers at New UCSC Facility Capture Images of Proteins


UC Santa Cruz’s new cryo-electron microscopy facility has a unique structure that makes the technique accessible for local researchers and is attracting international business.

California Appeals Court Axes District COVID-19 Student Vaccine Mandate


Just 67 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and and 38 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds have had the primary two-shot COVID-19 vaccine series.

Panel Discusses Supreme Court Case Threatening End of Affirmative Action


A discussion on the possible outcomes of the SCOTUS decision in the case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard. the online event delved into the impact of banning the consideration of race as a factor during the college admission process.

Gavilan Superintendent Speaks on SBC Campus


On Nov. 10 BenitoLink sat down with Gavilan Superintendent Pedro Avila to talk about the San Benito County campus planned on Fairview Road and Hwy 25.

SBC Library to Start Lending Chromebooks, Hotspots in 2023


The San Benito County Free Library announced it will lend Chromebook computers and Mi-Fi hotspots starting in January 2023. This adds to the collection of books, movies, video games, and other items they lend to the public.

Report Finds Racial Bias in Hiring Leaders at UC, CSU and Community Colleges


A report from the College Futures Foundation says racial bias plays a role in hiring for executive-level posts at the UCs, CSUs and community colleges.