We have big news for our residents who like to frequent the Bay Area! On May 12, Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors unanimously approved the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Valley Link rail project. This vote will permit the rail authority to seek funding and continue design work for the construction and implementation of the Valley Link project.

We’re excited for what this project can mean for River Islands residents’ commutes and the environment.The proposed Valley Link project includes seven stations, including a station at River Islands, along 42 miles of track, connecting the existing Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to the proposed ACE North Lathrop Station. This project will offer 74 daily round trips, and by 2040, is expected to carry more than 33,000 daily riders. The FEIR finds that the project will result in the reduction of approximately 141 million vehicle miles traveled per year (by 2040), and could eliminate between 33,000 to 42,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (depending on the vehicle technology).

map-of-future-valley-link-rail-plan

Delighted by the unanimous vote, Tracy Mayor Pro Tem, Veronica Vargas, who serves as the Chair of the Valley Link Board, said, “I am proud that we have reached this important project milestone that moves the project closer toward completion. The project will bring congestion relief to more than 97,900 commuters travelling daily over the Altamont Pass.”

The Board also approved a Mitigation Monitoring Plan for the Valley Link project that includes a range of measures that are focused on minimizing possible environmental impacts. Encouraged by the Environmental Impact Report, Dublin Mayor, Melissa Hernandez, who is Vice Chair of the Valley Link Board, said, “I am pleased we are making these important commitments to support the environment and proud that we are continuing to move the project forward.”

The first Valley Link trains could be placed into service in 2028. To learn more about the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, visit www.ValleyLinkRail.com.

Can you believe we’ve completed the school year at the River Islands Academies? This is the first year that our two established schools in River Islands, STEAM Academy and River Islands Technology Academy, joined together in the unified charter school organization, River Islands Academies. Due to the pandemic, the 2020-2021 school year was mostly held virtually, but after Spring Break, parents of students at River Islands Technology Academy and the STEAM Academy were presented with a choice: they could continue distance learning or return to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year.

Before the option of in-person instruction became available again, our dedicated teachers were teaching in a virtual classroom setting. They were presented with the option of teaching their lessons from their home, or they could teach in their classrooms, which were cleaned and disinfected. Since River Islands Technology Academy already offered a one-to-one device ratio per student, the transition to online learning from home was a huge success.

Brenda Scholl, Executive Director of the River Islands Academies, said this about the innovative curriculum options, “As you can imagine, it has taken enormous cooperation from the administrators, teaching staff and our parents to come up with a program that allows for every student household to make a decision that fits them – and their children – best.”

Scholl credits the amazing teachers and supportive administrative staff for continuing to deliver a high level of education during the pandemic. “There can never be a “lost year” in a child’s education. And it’s the same way with our teaching staff; we supported them with professional development training every Wednesday, even though we could not meet in person,” said Scholl.

We want to give a big congratulations to all the River Islands Academies’ students for finishing up their school year, and a big thank you to their families for offering a supportive environment for their kids to thrive academically. Do you have children who will be attending school this fall? To learn more about the innovative curriculums provided at River Islands Academies, visit our website.