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Tuesday, January 05, 2021


COVID-19 update: Questions about the vaccine? Check out this helpful resource
How do vaccines work? When will I be able to get vaccinated? How do I know the vaccine is safe and effective? If you’re having questions about the new COVID-19 vaccine, you’re not alone. The OC Health Care agency has created an effective resource — — to answer the public’s questions and provide news and information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Developed by the county’s top public health officials and updated with the latest facts and figures, the new website features a running digest of top news as well as frequently asked questions and links to state and local vaccine-related resources.


Orange County school districts return to distance learning due to COVID-19 surge
Many Orange County students returned from the winter break without needing a ride to school — just a computer. Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Huntington Beach Union High School District and Huntington Beach City School District are among the local districts that have switched back from a hybrid-learning model to distance learning, effective Monday, for at least part of January. Fountain Valley School District and Ocean View School District have also gone back to distance learning as coronavirus numbers continue to spike, while Laguna Beach Unified School District secondary schools remain in distance learning as well.


Volunteers donate 102 hand-made desks to Escondido students
After seeing students struggling with virtual learning, a group of Escondido volunteers set up socially distanced Santa’s workshops, and built desks to help them out. In November, the Rotary Club of Escondido constructed 102 portable, collapsible student desks for students in the Escondido Union School District, and delivered them to the district for distribution to kids who need them.


Are schools safe? A growing body of evidence suggests that, with the right measures, they contribute little to virus spread.
When panicked administrators shut down schools in the spring, little was known about how the coronavirus could spread among students and teachers. Could children fall critically ill and spread it to peers and teachers, like the flu? Would asymptomatic young people pass it on to their parents or educators? More than nine months after schools closed, some of the answers to those questions are becoming clear. Emerging data on contact tracing — which illuminates the origins of infections — shows that the virus does not seem to spread much within schools when they require masks, urge social distancing, have good ventilation and when community spread is low.


Why California needs to ban preschool suspensions and expulsions, experts say
Throwing a tantrum, crying inconsolably, hitting or biting, and refusing to follow the rules are challenging behaviors that many preschoolers experience on the playground and in the classroom.  For many children, these tear-stained incidents are quickly forgiven and forgotten, dismissed by caregivers as yet another tumultuous developmental stage to be weathered. But for some youngsters, the incidents have repercussions that resonate throughout their childhood and beyond.

Quick Guide: How does Gov. Newsom’s “Safe Schools for All” plan work?
On Dec. 30, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $2 billion “Safe Schools for All” plan to encourage more schools to reopen for in-person instruction in 2021. The following answers some key questions on how the plan is intended to operate.


These South Bay school districts will be back in-person weeks after winter break
Some South Bay school districts are delaying students’ return to campuses after winterbreak to ensure families abide by LA County’s travel restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has surged since Thanksgiving. When the county’s Department of Public Health announced after Christmas that anyone who travels outside of Southern California must quarantine for at least 10 days, Manhattan Beach Unified and a couple of other local districts moved to make sure students and employees can come back to campuses safely.


Marin teacher vaccines could start this month, officials say
California school teachers have been moved up in priority to receive coronavirus vaccines, officials said Monday. Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, said teachers will be the first group to be offered vaccines in phase 1b, which is the next tier of priority after the current 1a phase wraps up in late January or early February. The 1a phase is for frontline health care workers and elderly people in residential care centers.

L.A. pods: In parks, backyards and old storefronts, small groups offer children some of what they’ve lost in months of online instruction
Pam Marton and Sharon Fabian — longtime educators in the Los Angeles schools and friends since kindergarten — were set to celebrate their retirement this year with a trip to Croatia when the pandemic cancelled their plans. It wasn’t long, however, before they “started getting emails and calls from … families, parents who were really freaking out,” Fabian said. “Pam turned to me and said, ‘We know a lot of fabulous instructors. We have reputations. Why don’t we start a company?’”

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