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Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Irvine Unified School District gets letter demanding change to the way its leaders are elected
Irvine Unified School District is the latest government agency to receive a letter demanding it change how its leaders are elected to better represent minority groups or face a lawsuit. Cities and school districts throughout Southern California have received similar letters from Malibu-based attorney Kevin Shenkman on behalf of interested groups. Voters now choose from all candidates within the Irvine Unified boundaries for the five-member board, responsible for the district’s policies and decision-making. Most other agencies that have received a similar letter from Shenkman’s law firm were forced to change or voluntarily switched to district voting.


Long Beach schools offer new, free program to help parents with educational development, kindergarten readiness
ReadyRosie, a digital program that emphasizes early educational development and promotes kindergarten readiness, is available for Long Beach families with students enrolled in the school district to try out for free, Mayor Robert Garcia’s office has announced. “The aim is to bridge the gaps between home learning and school learning,” Karissa Selvester, executive director at the Mayor’s Fund for Education, said. “Teachers can extend some of their reach beyond the classroom, and parents can have a resource on hand that connects them to their child’s learning.”


Fresno Unified preps for student walkouts in support of tougher gun laws
Fresno Unified is urging students to “identify alternatives” to walking out of school in protest of the country’s gun laws, following last week’s school shooting in Florida. National campaigns scheduled for the coming weeks will urge students and teachers to peacefully protest by walking out of class in a call for stricter gun regulations. One walkout, scheduled for March 14, is spearheaded by the organizers of the Women’s March, to “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than Tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.” National School Walkout Day, a similar event, is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.


Teacher shortages persist in California and getting worse in many communities
Despite an improving economy and new efforts to recruit teachers, California’s teacher shortage is showing no signs of easing up. In fact, shortages are becoming more severe in many communities. That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Learning Policy Institute, based on a survey of 25 school districts of different sizes and in diverse locations in the state.

Suspension rates for black male students in California higher for foster youth, rural students
Black male students in rural counties and those in foster care are suspended at particularly high rates in California, a new report has found. Black boys in foster care in the 7th and 8th grade have the highest suspension rates of all students statewide. The report also found that the disparity in suspension rates among black male students compared to all students is greatest in kindergarten through the 3rd grade.


Flu season causing school shutdowns across the U.S.
Despite school closures throughout the country tied to high numbers of flu-related absences, relatively few children have received a flu shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With flu activity likely to remain high for several more weeks, various strains of the virus have already led to the deaths of 84 children nationwide. Among reported pediatric flu deaths this season, only 26 percent of children eligible for vaccination had received any flu vaccine this season before they got sick, according to CDC.


Foundation carries on doctor’s dream to assist young athletes in Santa Ana
Since its inception in 2005, the Armstrong Foundation has helped more than 12,000 students participate in intramural sports tournaments. It has also matched physician volunteers with varsity football teams, hosted free echocardiograms and EKGs for young athletes, purchased defibrillators for Santa Ana high schools and launched RunStrong running clubs to train and equip middle schoolers.

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