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Friday, January 19, 2018


Anaheim Hills teacher’s lesson of giving inspires student to organize GoFundMe campaign for Christmas
Sometimes a small selfless act can have the greatest impact. That’s exactly what happened when Will Scott began donating to Toys for Tots two years ago. Will, along with his then second-grade classmates at Hephatha Lutheran School, participated in a special service project for Christmas. Their teacher, Linda Staake, gave each student a $5 gift together with a challenge to use that gift to help someone in the community or the world.


When it comes to education policy, it’s ‘the California way’ vs. Betsy DeVos
California is headed toward another standoff with the federal government — this time, over education. The U.S. Department of Education, led by Betsy DeVos, had told the state that its plan to satisfy a major education law had significant flaws. On Thursday, the California State Board of Education voted to send a revised version of that plan, still missing an important component, back to Washington.


California lags behind most states in providing timely services to infants and toddlers
California lags behind most states in providing timely services to infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays, and as a result, those children often wait weeks or months before receiving services.

Impact of marijuana legalization in California on teens uncertain
Now that California has legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years old and older, one pressing public health question is whether legalization will contribute to greater use of cannabis among younger users, especially teenagers. The available evidence from states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational usage does give some indication of its impact. It shows that loosening cannabis laws has not led to large increases in the drug’s use among young people, and in some cases none at all.


To boost achievement, schools step up bilingual ed staffing
In light of the overwhelming demand for bilingual educators, lawmakers and districts across California have using bonuses, subsidized training and other incentives to improve teacher recruitment to staff classrooms with high numbers of English-learners. The clamor for bilingual teachers began once voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 58 in 2016, ending a nearly 20-year mandate that students who come to school speaking other languages receive instruction in English-only–a method research has since shown is ineffective in catching students up and helping reach language proficiency.


California's 2nd attempt to meet federal education law looks much the same
When California submitted its plan to comply with a new federal education law late last year, the U.S. Department of Education officials didn't seem too impressed. California's plan to follow the Every Student Succeeds Act, or "ESSA" — the latest iteration of a longstanding federal mandate that states must identify and help the worst-performing schools — was essentially incomplete, the feds said. That response only fueled the fears of advocates and civil rights groups, already worried California's ESSA plan would shortchange vulnerable kids.

The kids in LAUSD who most need dual language instruction aren’t enrolling yet
Los Angeles Unified school officials often tout the district's "dual language immersion" programs as a huge success story. In dual language programs, students spend at least half – if not most – of their day learning in a languages ranging from Spanish, Mandarin or even Armenian. Each dual language classroom features a mix of native English speakers with students who speak the "target language" proficiently.

Legislators are paying attention to 4-year-olds
The 500,000 four-year-olds in California may not be able to vote yet, but lawmakers are thinking about them. Two bills have been introduced in the state legislature in as many weeks aiming to get these kids expanded access to education before kindergarten. Each has a different strategy for getting more kids high-quality early learning that can have a big impact on school performance and overall life outcomes.


New Classes Solidify Changes at TOW
Some students at Top of the World Elementary returned to campus after the winter break in a whole new environment, entering newly opened classes when studies resumed on Monday, Jan. 8. The hilltop campus now has five additional classrooms, three additional restrooms, and an outdoor learning courtyard, said district spokesperson Leisa Winston. TOW added 5,280 square feet with Gen7 modular units, which were completed the month before.


Voting in the Lowell Joint School District will soon change, after board accepts Malibu lawyer’s demands
Board members of the Lowell Joint School District voted Tuesday to split the district into five areas, with one member representing each, a move made necessary under the threat of a civil rights lawsuit. While all the board members agreed the final map — which was chosen out of a possible six and which mostly lines up with the city borders of La Habra, La Habra Heights and Whittier — was their best option, they all said they would have preferred not to split the district at all.


GGUSD celebrates its ‘homegrown’ employees with new social media campaign
Garden Grove Unified has launched a new social media campaign to celebrate staff members who were once students in the district. And it turns out there are quite a few. The “GGUSD Homegrown” campaign has prompted nearly 500 district employees to share their own Garden Grove origin stories through an online form. Some will be showcased on GGUSD’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

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