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Friday, May 22, 2020


COVID-19 update: State superintendent hosts virtual discussion on reopening schools
OCDE continues to track the latest developments related to the COVID-19 respiratory illness while working closely with partner agencies including the Orange County Health Care Agency and local school districts.


Orange County schools re-opening in the fall during pandemic — but what’s the plan?
Smaller class sizes and daily temperature checks. Alternating schedules, with some time learning on campus and other times learning online at home. Face masks for all. Those are just some of the ideas that educators are considering as they wait for specific guidelines from the state and public health officials on how to re-open schools during a pandemic. For now, educators in Orange County say there are many more questions than answers.

Orange County celebrates its teachers of the year with a surprise Zoom party 
The coronavirus pandemic may have put a wrench in many end-of-the-school-year traditions, but it hasn’t stopped the Orange County Department of Education from celebrating the area’s stand-out educators. With help from officials across Orange County school districts, department professionals threw a Zoom party on Wednesday, May 20, for this year’s six teachers of the year. The winners were chosen from nearly 60 educators nominated for the annual award by the county’s school districts.


Capistrano Unified School District Expecting Financial Impacts from 2020 Health Crisis
Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) officials are looking at a possible $35.5 million financial cut to the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to discussions at a Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, May 20.


SF public schools back in session on Aug. 17 — but questions remain
San Francisco public schools will be back in session on Aug. 17, San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said Wednesday. But how that will look is not yet known — although a decision is expected by mid-July.


2020-21 Inland Empire school year could mix in-person, online classes
In about 10 weeks, the 2020-21 public school year will begin. Probably. Whether it will look like it did prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic or like distance learning does now or some combination of the two, no one — at the state level or in the Inland Empire — is really sure yet.


California schools can’t reopen without federal dollars, say state’s education leaders
California schools cannot reopen safely in the fall with such modifications as facemasks, smaller class sizes and frequent sanitation without additional funding, said state Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond in a web conference with local school leaders Thursday, May 21.


Chorus grows among L.A. County school leaders for more reopening support
School leaders in Los Angeles County joined a growing chorus for more state and federal assistance Thursday, May 21, asserting that public school systems will struggle to safely reopen schools this fall without adequate funding. The appeals came in response to an announcement by state Superintendent Tony Thurmond that most California schools would reopen in August or September with public health modifications, ranging from face masks to staggered playtime and smaller class sizes, but need federal dollars to do so.


California districts could pursue teacher layoffs if new state budget cuts K-12 funding
School districts may have another opportunity to lay off teachers, which they normally cannot do after mid-May, if the Legislature approves the budget cuts Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing. If adopted next month, Newsom’s proposed 8 percent cut to districts’ general fund would activate a state law not used since the Great Recession. It would set in motion a layoff period through Aug. 15 for those districts that choose to use it.

In historic action, UC moves to drop SAT/ACT and develop a replacement exam for admissions
UC’s move is expected to have influence nationally. Supporters expect it will result in more ethnic and income diversity on campuses.


UCs ditch the SAT and ACT — set out to make a “fairer” standardized test
UC Regents have done away with standardized testing as part of its admissions considerations for at least five years. In that time the system will see whether it can create a custom test that's more equitable for students of all backgrounds.


California health official: Schools will 'have additional safeguards' when they reopen
The California Department of Public Health weighed in Thursday on what school reopenings could look like. According to Dr. Gil Chavez with the state health department, students and faculty may have to wear masks, be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and schools may have to cohort by grade to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus.

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