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Monday, November 25, 2019


Capistrano Unified and Saddleback Valley Unified school districts are asking voters to fund improvements
Two of south county’s biggest school districts are hoping they can get permission from voters in March to issue hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds to pay for updates and repairs to aging facilities. Saddleback Valley Unified School District, which serves cities and communities from Irvine to Rancho Santa Margarita, wants to raise $495 million. Capistrano Unified School District wants to raise $420 million. Property owners in those cities could pay between $30 to $34 a year per $100,000 in assessed value on their property taxes to repay the borrowing.


Time’s up — Huntington Beach students reveal findings of their clock experiment in space
A presentation Thursday afternoon on the results of an experiment designed by students at Brethren Christian High School in Huntington Beach to measure how a clock is affected in space was a long time coming. Members of the private school’s International Space Station program joined up in August 2018 and met after school at least once a week to design and prepare an experiment to be rocketed into orbit this past spring.

Kids experience the thrill of the race in H.B. school’s Pinewood Derby
Student racers were ready to rumble Friday at Village View Elementary School in Huntington Beach, where 12 students from three special-education classes competed in the annual Pinewood Derby Championship. Fourth-grader Arieanna Hewitt snagged first place for the second year in a row. Third-grader Alanah Ketcher was runner-up and kindergartner Noah Waring placed third.


Students Learn About Medical Use of Virtual and Augmented Reality (Video)
Students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School learned about the medical uses of virtual and augmented reality when Dr. Robert Louis made a recent appearance during a psychology class at the school. Louis, the Empower360 endowed chair in skull base and minimally invasive neurosurgery, also is the program advisor for the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Hospital. Louis cited addiction, mental illness and surgical planning as areas in which virtual and augmented reality can be used and applied.

Ambuehl Elementary Renovations Celebrated by Officials, Students
Students at Harold Ambuehl Elementary School and officials with Capistrano Unified School District celebrated renovations at the school with a ribbon-cutting on Friday, Nov. 15. Work included upgrades to the play area, drinking fountains, restrooms and library. The library in particular is being turned into what’s called an Innovation Center, with open room for kids to interact, read and engage in other activities.


Mystery donor gives $500,000 to fight hunger at California’s community colleges
An anonymous donor has given half a million dollars to fight student hunger on community college campuses in California. The money will go to stock up campus food pantries with fresh produce, bread and soup at the 25 neediest community colleges in California, the chancellor’s office announced on Friday. ”There’s never been a donation like this for this purpose,” said Paul Feist, vice chancellor for communications. “We’re very grateful.”

U.S. schools seek to diversify largely white teaching staffs
It wasn’t until she became a high school senior that Kayla Ireland had another black person as a teacher in Waterbury, a former manufacturing hub where the students are mostly minorities and the educators are generally white. The imbalance never troubled her much, except for some moments, like when a white teacher led a discussion of police brutality and racial profiling. But the absence of black teachers has been a frequent topic of discussion among Kayla’s classmates at Wilby High School, which has struggled with high numbers of disciplinary issues, including a mass suspension over dress-code violations.

Oakland appeals ruling that bars it from collecting education tax
Oakland is appealing a ruling on Measure AA, the city’s embattled plan for early childhood education, after a judge declared that implementation of the tax would have been a “fraud on the voters.” The notice of appeal was filed Thursday evening and the decision to file it was made in a closed session of a City Council meeting. The Jobs and Housing Coalition criticized the decision and sued the city when it tried to implement the measure.


This San Bernardino high school is changing the way students approach PE
As uptempo music blares inside Arroyo Valley High’s gymnasium, Scott Smith weaves through lines of underclassmen doing push ups, jumping jacks and other cardiovascular exercises at separate stations. On occasion, the 54-year-old physical education teacher joins in, shouting words of encouragement between deep breaths. Every 45 seconds, the music stops and all 84 students glance at their wrist before rotating to the next set. A few beats later, the gymnasium is rocking again.


As faculty deliberate, UC Berkeley chancellor calls for ending the use of SAT and ACT
While a special faculty task force considers whether the University of California should end requiring applicants for freshman admission to take the SAT or the ACT, UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ has come out strongly in favor of ending the practice. “I’m very much in favor of doing away with the SAT or ACT as a requirement for application,” she said at symposium hosted  by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education.

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