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Monday, October 07, 2019


Trabuco Mesa Elementary teacher named a State Teacher of the Year
Mandy Kelly, a sixth-grade teacher from Trabuco Elementary School in Rancho Santa Margarita, was named Friday as one of five 2020 California Teachers of the Year. Kelly has taught sixth grade at the school in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District since 2016. She originally joined the staff as a kindergarten teacher in 2013 and served as a fourth-grade teacher from 2014 through 2016.

VIDEO: Costa Mesa High student’s kindness campaign inspires classmates, community
Costa Mesa High School student Rebekah Robeck wanted to spread kindness to her school and community. So she started by giving out something most teens would likely not pass up — free pizza. Rebekah began this year the Let’s Be Kind campaign with the goal of bringing her classmates “all together to become the most incredible people that our school has ever seen.” Rebekah recently launched her campaign by bringing dozens of pizza boxes to give away at her campus as part of an effort to emphasize how acts of kindness can affect students’ daily lives.


Official’s father lands $1 million contract, sparking claim of nepotism at Los Alamitos school district
A building inspection business owner has hurled nepotism allegations at the Los Alamitos school board for awarding a nearly $1 million contract to a competitor who is the father of a district official. Costa Mesa-based T.Y.R. Inc. submitted a $949,840 bid to the district in July to provide inspections for science, technology, engineering and math classrooms under construction at Los Alamitos High School, said the company’s president, Youssef G. Sobhi. However, the Los Alamitos Unified School District Board of Education rejected that bid and, in August, unanimously awarded a $970,900 contract to Knowland Construction Services in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Facing shortfall, Connelly School announces plans to close — but not everyone’s giving up
Grappling with a decline in enrollment and funding, an acclaimed private high school in Anaheim will close next June, according to an announcement sent to families this week. The all-girls Catholic school opened 58 years ago. Its current enrollment is 124 students, said Ali Aceituno, director of admissions. “Ideally, we would like to have 40 girls per class, freshman through senior.” Enrollment began dropping during the 2008 recession and never quite picked up again, Aceituno said. “Once parents started sending their kids to public school, many just left them there.”


Elementary school in Sacramento area cancels Halloween festivities for attendance reasons
An elementary school in Sacramento County has canceled all things Halloween this year, after many families opted out of the annual celebrations over the years.


‘Vaping in the boys’ room’; schools grapple with surge in teen’s use of e-cigarettes
More than a quarter of high school juniors in San Diego County have tried vaping, and experts warn that teen vaping is erasing the gains from decades of smoking prevention.


Debate underway whether University of California should require SAT and ACT for admissions
There is a lot of uncertainty and even anxiety about what the University of California will do with its current requirement that all freshman applicants take the SAT or ACT exam. Should such tests be dropped altogether, overhauled or replaced by other exams? But one thing is certain: whatever a special faculty task force recommends on those issues when it issues its report early next year will be closely watched and debated around the state and nation.

Gov. Newsom signs bills to expand college student aid, target admissions scandal
The college admission scandal, college affordability and for-profit colleges are targets of new laws signed Friday by Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom signed the laws addressing the college admission scandal on the same day a prominent Napa Valley winemaker was sentenced to five months in prison for his participation in the scandal named Operation Varsity Blues by prosecutors.  The Legislature passed several bills in response to the scandal, which involved parents paying large sums of money to get their children into prestigious colleges nationwide including University of Southern California, UCLA and Stanford.

Charter school reform in California: what state leaders had to say
At the signing ceremony on Oct. 3 of Assembly Bill 1505, which makes major revisions to California’s charter school law, key players on the charter reform front — including those on opposing sides of the issue — provided their insights into the reforms, and their potential impact going forward. As a public service, EdSource is publishing a partial transcript of their remarks, which have been edited for clarity.

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