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Friday, February 16, 2018


Capo Unified reassures parents of safety measures after Florida school shooting
In the wake of Wednesday’s school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead and 14 injured, Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Kirsten Vital sent a letter to parents informing them of safety measures taken on the district’s campuses.

Threat against Corona del Mar High School unfounded, Newport Beach police say
Newport Beach police say that a threat reported Thursday, Feb. 15 stating there would be violence at Corona del Mar High School on Friday was deemed not credible. Sgt. Cory Wolik said the threat was seen in some graffiti found on a desk. Upon investigation, officers found the graffiti was probably two months old.

State bill would expand number of college students eligible for free or reduced transit
A bill that would increase the number of low-income residents and college students eligible for free or reduced fares on public transportation was introduced to state lawmakers this week in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion and improve parking around community colleges and universities. The proposal effectively would expand on a pilot program available to Santa Ana College students who can take unlimited bus rides for free as part of an agreement with the Orange County Transportation Authority.


Countdown to expand ban on ‘willful defiance’ suspensions in California schools
With just months to go before California’s ban on so-called “willful defiance” suspensions in early primary grades is set to expire, youth advocates are pushing for passage of a bill making its way through the state Legislature that would both continue the ban and expand it to include all grades from kindergarten through high school.

Michael Kirst weighs another 4 years on state education board after Gov. Brown departs
Gov. Jerry Brown will leave state government in November, but the man most closely identified with Brown’s education legacy for leading the State Board of Education for 15 of Brown’s 16 years as governor, may not head off with him. Michael Kirst is thinking it through. Brown has renominated Kirst and two other current board members, Ting Sun and Patricia Rucker, for additional 4-year terms. The state Senate will have the final say, but Kirst, for one, hasn’t decided whether to pursue it.


Lawmakers skeptical over restructuring SPI’s role
Members of a joint legislative panel struggled Wednesday to find an impetus for drastically rolling back the powers of the state schools chief in favor of the governor. The power-sharing system where neither the Superintendent of Public Instruction nor the state board of education have ultimate authority over public education policy is rooted in the state constitution as it was originally drafted in 1850 when California was admitted into statehood.


Special Education Leader Earns Her Peers’ Praise
Irene White, director of special education for the Laguna Beach Unified School District, was named Special Education Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators Region 17, which covers Orange County. Administrators are selected by the organization for their outstanding performance and achievement in their respective categories.


Five tips to help children cope with a national tragedy
Whenever there’s a national tragedy, whether it’s a hurricane or an act of terrorism, it’s important to remember that kids may be experiencing increased levels of stress or anxiety. Even if they’re not personally affected, exposure to traumatic events through the media or in conversations can affect a child’s emotional well-being. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school, we’re re-sharing this list of things to keep in mind when helping children cope with tragedy, provided by Jim Perez, OCDE’s administrator for Safe Schools and Support Services.

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