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Monday, October 02, 2017


Yorba Linda school for severe special needs students opens Ontario campus
California’s disabled students can get help at their neighborhood schools, a different campus in the district or at a county-run school. And when things are really challenging, there’s Port View Preparatory. The prep school and others like it offer education services to special needs students with profound challenges that districts and counties are unable to provide.

Teacher, student look back at Top of the World Elementary School’s opening in Laguna Beach 50 years ago
Terry Hustwick still remembers the outfit she wore on her first day teaching at Top of the World Elementary School 50 years ago. Her dress was a straight green sheath with a yellow-and-pink single stripe that ran as a border around the bottom. She wore green high-heels to match. “I was looking sharp,” the 75-year-old said, laughing, while sitting this week on a mosaic bench at the front of the school.

School officials allege flutes used in children’s music program may have been contaminated with semen
Several school districts across Southern California posted updates Saturday, Sept 30 regarding a state and federal investigation into a person suspected of distributing homemade flutes tainted with a bodily fluid to children in school music programs. An official with the Saugus Union School District said she was told the fluid was semen. The Fullerton School District and the Saugus district in Santa Clarita both issued statements saying the state’s Department of Justice is investigating a musical performer associated with Flutes Across the World, a nonprofit music program that has partnerships with school districts in Orange County and Los Angeles as well as with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Shopping spree for school clothes is a volunteer effort
It all began 19 years ago. That is when the Kiwanis Club of Brea started its very successful back-to-school shopping spree for children in need. Then, about eight years ago, the Kiwanis started conducting its Saturday morning shopping event at JC Penney in Brea Mall. Each volunteer shopper is allotted a $100 Penney’s gift card to help the student spend.

New law allows LAUSD – and rest of state’s schools – to donate uneaten food
Under the new law, public schools can give their unopened packaged food, unopened milk cartons (kept cold) and uncut produce, like apples, to food banks and other charities. In LAUSD, kids who don’t eat everything they take in the cafeteria can leave that extra food on “share” tables, where kids who want more to eat can take the food. But what’s left from those tables gets thrown out, LAUSD said. The new law means that food can instead go to charities and food banks.


Committee-backed Newport-Mesa trustee map gets support at public meeting
Some who attended a Newport-Mesa Unified School District hearing Thursday on changing trustee-area boundaries expressed frustration with the process and urged the school board to adopt a new map that they argued would better represent Costa Mesa’s largely Latino Westside. About 30 people, including students, parents and retired teachers, attended the 30-minute hearing in Costa Mesa High School’s performing arts building.

Edison High students learn history with Ellis Island Experience
On Friday morning at Edison High School, juniors in one of the school’s American history courses were playing the roles of immigrants entering Ellis Island in 1908, one of the busiest processing years for the New York facility. Dressed in period garb, they went through various stations, checking in at tables staffed by parent volunteers who were playing roles as immigration agents.


California teachers, other school employees could get 6 weeks paid maternity leave
Almost all teachers and other employees in California public schools and community colleges would get six weeks of fully paid maternity leave starting next year under a bill that is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s approval.


Can we talk? Schools try to wrest cell phones from students' hands
Three hundred and fifty 8th-graders stood around empty-handed after lunch on the courtyard at Fred Korematsu Middle School last week, forming a throw-back tableau that represented one school’s attempt to revive the art of the face-to-face conversation. No earbuds. No head phones. No music. No photos. No bent necks. No phones.


Retiree healthcare costs spark changes in some districts
Like most of corporate America and virtually every government agency, school districts in California face staggering future expenses for the health care benefits of retirees. According to new research from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst Office, the total unfunded liability is almost $25 billion. And the annual cost to schools to keep pace has doubled over the past 13 years, climbing from $91 per student to $171 per student in 2015-16.

Districts ought to personalize teacher training, study finds
As states continue to roll out new standards and curriculum, districts should move away from one-size-fits-all methods of professional development, and ensure educators have access to continuous training so they can be most effective, according to new research. Instead of attempting to cover a topic in one day without any plan to revisit it, researchers at the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education recommend making professional development an ongoing process, personalizing it to a teacher’s subject area, and supporting educators as they practice new skills.


Anaheim Union High School District expands efforts to give parents a voice on campus
The Anaheim Union High School District is putting a face on family and community engagement. Actually, make that FACES. Since last year, the 31,000-student district has staffed family and community engagement specialists, or FACES, at each of its middle and high school campuses. These positions, created through a state-mandated process that districts use to set local priorities, are designed to give parents and the community more of a voice on campus — and to help them become better advocates for children.

Tustin Unified superintendent highlights successes at annual State of the Schools Breakfast
More than 300 community members, business owners and district staff gathered at Tustin High’s Sports Pavilion this week for the Tustin Unified School District’s sixth annual State of the Schools Breakfast. The event, presented by TUSD and the Tustin Public Schools Foundation, took place Monday morning and featured remarks by Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin, who shared an overview of that district’s “contagious culture of success.”

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