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Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Capistrano school district and teachers union reach tentative accord
After more than a year-and-a-half of often contentious negotiations with its teachers union, the Capistrano Unified School District announced Friday that it had reached an agreement on a three-year contract. The deal comes a little more than a half-year after the district announced an impasse in negotiations. Details of the settlement will not be revealed until Wednesday, Jan. 17, but the deal was announced a day after a fact-finding session attended by the Capistrano Unified Education Association and CUSD bargaining teams with a neutral mediator.

Local teachers receive financial assistance for classroom needs
Links to Learning, a philanthropic program sponsored by the Assistance League of Saddleback Valley, presented checks totaling $24,995 to 32 teachers in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District to help supplement their classrooms budgets with equipment to enhance their curriculum, on Friday, Jan. 12 at the district’s board room.

Retired superintendent will temporarily lead Anaheim Elementary School District
Anaheim Elementary School District trustees recently picked Sandy Barry to serve as interim superintendent after the departure of Linda Kimble, who left to work in San Diego County. Barry worked for the district from 1997 to 2008, including eight years at the helm. Officials expect to name a permanent superintendent in May.

Santa Ana Unified to host school choice fair
The Santa Ana Unified School District will hold a school choice fair on Jan. 20 at the MainPlace Mall, 2800 N. Main St. Representatives from district schools will be present to discuss information on various programs and offerings.

Musical instrument donations sought to help Hurricane Harvey-affected school music programs
An Esperanza High School club is collecting donations of musical instruments to give to Texas music students affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Seal Beach’s 2018-2019 school year will start Aug. 8 and include a February break
The school year will start earlier in 2018 and will include a February break. Most Los Alamitos School District sites will start in Aug. 8, with Weaver Elementary beginning Aug. 1, and ending in late May. The year will include week-long breaks in November over Thanksgiving, in February and in April — and will have a two-week break in December. The first semester will end at the winter break.

La Habra’s Tree Titans win $10,000 award for their project replanting trees at school
Washington Middle School’s Tree Titans were recently announced winner in the Lexus Eco Challenge. The win comes with $10,000 and the chance to receive $30,000 in the final competition. The seven-member team created a plan to replant and care for the trees on campus lost to drought. They held fundraisers to plant more than 20 trees.


Newport-Mesa teachers union reflects on 50 years of solidarity
The Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers is marking its 50th anniversary this school year. The teachers union plans to host a celebration dinner in late spring. Members will also recognize the milestone by attending the California Federation of Teachers convention at the Hilton Orange County in Costa Mesa in March.


How an LA teacher’s lawsuit put White House’s DACA repeal on hold
When the Trump administration announced last fall it would phase out a program that provides deportation relief to thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as young children, Los Angeles teacher Miriam Gonzalez Avila didn’t want her students to think she could be defeated so easily — so she sued.


Goodbye, diesel: California school buses drive toward electric age
The classic American school bus — yellow, loud and trailing diesel exhaust — may soon get an electric upgrade. Each weekday morning, buses running on nothing but battery packs shuttle students to schools in northern Sacramento and the neighboring suburbs. The vehicles — made by Lion Bus of Quebec, Trans Tech Bus of New York state and Motiv Power Systems of Hayward — are cleaner and quieter than their diesel-burning brethren. Since they spend most of the day idle, recharging isn’t a problem.


Can 600-plus California districts narrow the achievement gap?
As part of the California School Dashboard, the state’s new school accountability system, 1 in 4 school districts will receive assistance from county offices of education and the state to help improve the performance of groups of students who have done particularly poorly on criteria set by the state. But an EdSource analysis found that 561 additional districts are not targeted for formal state support, despite large and persistent achievement gaps between African-American, Latino and low-income students and white and Asian students in those districts.


Poor showing of CA’s special ed prompts budget response
Spurred by the dramatically poor showing of students with disabilities in statewide testing last spring, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed new oversight and hundreds of millions of additional dollars aimed at improving special education outcomes.

Refusal: How schools are handling student anxiety
High schoolers at a Maine charter school were racking up a significant number of absences, so administrators hatched a plan to keep them on track for graduation: send teachers to the students. School personnel quickly discovered that some of the more common barriers keeping older students from showing up–teen parenthood or even a lack of sleep, for instance–were rarely the problem among their pupils. Rather, nearly every student they worked with suffered from anxiety so severe that they flatly refused to go to school, believing that it wasn’t a safe place to be.

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