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Monday, July 20, 2020


Governor’s new mandate means OC schools will likely start 2020-21 with distance learning
Orange County schools, along with campuses in 32 other counties on California’s COVID-19 watch list, can expect to start the year with distance learning rather than in-person instruction or hybrid models, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday. Speaking during a highly anticipated afternoon briefing, Newsom issued sweeping new directives for public and private schools, spanning distance learning, face coverings — they will be required for staff and students in grades three and up — coronavirus testing for staff, and how to reopen and close schools in the event of an outbreak.


All Orange County schools expect to start year with online classes
Orange County’s public and private schools will reopen with online learning in the fall, unless the number of coronavirus cases drop significantly. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday new school-related mandates that will have most students in the state learning online when the new academic year kicks off. “We all prefer in-classroom instruction, for all the obvious reasons,” Newsom said. “But only, only if it can be done safely.”

Artist of the Year 2020: Winning students receive their awards
The Register’s Artist of the Year program finally wrapped up its seventh season earlier this week with the hand delivery of awards to the top students: Sean Oliu of Servite High School (vocal music), Lilah Dee Horton of Orange County School of the Arts (dance), Zayd Ezzeldine of Irvine High School (film/animation), Renee Tran of University High School (computer-assisted visual arts), Rey Mar Negrete of Aliso NIguel High School (handcrafted visual arts), Christina Tinde Jesenski of Orange County School of the Arts (theater) and Albert Gang of Sage Hill School (instrumental music).


Orange County Schools Likely to Have Online Learning Only at Start of Fall Semester
Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered most large counties to implement online learning, ending a raging debate in Orange County over whether or not children should physically go back to school during the coronavirus pandemic. “We are now putting out guidelines that schools can open for in-person learning when the county is off our monitoring list for 14 days,” Newsom said at a Friday news conference.  OC has been on the watchlist for roughly three weeks, along with most other large counties in the state, because of the rising number of cases and hospitalizations.


Some parents lament school closure order even as they understand why it was given
Molly Dimon, a parent of an 11-year-old daughter with autism, was counting on schools reopening this fall. Her daughter used to receive speech and occupational therapy, and had a special education teacher and a personal aide at her school before it closed due to the coronavirus. Without school, she says, her daughter hasn’t been learning. She has refused to watch Zoom sessions, has meltdowns that can last as long as four hours, and has lost the ability to sit still and focus on a task, Dimon said.


The Learning Curve: The Dystopian Future of ‘Learning Pods’
Parents all across the internet are now talking about “learning pods.” Learning pods are meant to overcome the deficiencies of solitary online learning. Essentially, they are homeschool pods. A small group of families lump their kids together in a group. They meet in person, at one of the families’ homes, where either a hired tutor or one of the kids’ parents guides the students.


‘We have to do better’: Bay Area districts scramble to improve distance learning after spring’s chaotic rollout
When school starts next month for millions of California students, the majority will remain at home, logging into classes online and learning to read and write or solve for X from afar. But that doesn’t mean parents, teachers, principals and kids are happy about another stretch of distancing learning — one that will probably last longer than the marathon in the spring.


Inland Empire educators prepare to shift all classes online after Newsom’s order
With weeks to go before the new school year is set to begin, Inland Empire school districts now have clarity — whether they like it or not — on what lessons will look like. Riverside and San Bernardino county school officials say they've learned from spring's distance learning and are better-prepared for fall.


Governor’s order means most California school campuses won’t reopen at the beginning of school year
California school campuses in 32 of the counties hardest hit by Covid-19 aren’t likely to reopen at the beginning of the school year, announced Gov. Gavin Newsom in a press conference Friday. The campuses that do reopen will have mask requirements for students and teachers, as well as Covid-19 testing and social distancing recommendations for teachers and school staff, according to California Department of Public Health guidelines Newsom released Friday.

California’s top higher education officials urge voters to support affirmative action in hiring and admissions
Top officials of UC, CSU and community colleges say a return of affirmative action will help improve graduation rates and hiring efforts.


Parents of LAUSD special-education students feel adrift during distance learning
As online classes return in the fall, parents want more connection, improved programs.


SoCal Catholic Schools Will Remain Online For Now
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced today that its Catholic schools throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties will open the 2020-21 school year with distance learning due to the new state requirements for resuming in-person instruction. "Though our return to our beloved campuses will be delayed for now, we will return," Paul Escala, senior director and superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese, wrote in a letter to school families, educators and pastors. "Until then, our schools will open at a distance and our community will once again rise to the occasion."

Under Newsom's Order, There's No Telling How Long K-12 Campuses In Southern California Will Stay Shut
Gov. Gavin Newsom issued new rules on Friday that could force K-12 school campuses across much of California — including all of the greater Los Angeles region — to remain closed until their counties see declining rates of coronavirus cases. Under the state's new directive, both public and private schools cannot hold in-person classes if their county has been on California's coronavirus monitoring list at any point in the past 14 days.


San Diego Facing A Child Care Crisis As Pandemic Decimates Finances Of Providers
KPBS in recent weeks has talked to 10 different childcare operators throughout San Diego County and all said their businesses have been decimated during the pandemic, even those that stayed open continuously. Seven said they are in danger of going out of business permanently. The county had a significant shortage of childcare spots before the pandemic. Now, many are worried that a full-blown childcare crisis is unfolding that could sink a local economy already depressed by the coronavirus.


LA County schools shuffle plans as Newsom orders campuses closed
For parents, teachers and especially school district administrators in Los Angeles County, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown them yet another curve ball. With just a month before classes were set to begin in many cases throughout the county offering a hybrid option — part distance, part in-person instruction — that choice has now been taken off the table. As long as cases of the novel coronavirus and hospitalizations stay high, campuses will not reopen in the fall for students in grades kindergarten to 12th.

Whittier high schools to hold drive-thru graduations — with a twist
Whittier Union High School District is going to hold nine drive-thru graduations this week for its 2,800 seniors — but with a twist: Students will get to walk across a stage. In the spring, Superintendent Martin Plourde made the decision to postpone June graduation ceremonies. He made the move in hopes “we can have an easing up of restrictions and have a more traditional graduation,” Plourde said.


Classroom instruction planned in some parts of California
School districts in less-populated California counties are moving ahead with plans for classroom instruction, albeit with face masks, hand-washing stations, socially distant seating and lots of hand sanitizer. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that most counties will start the school year online due to soaring coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. But rural counties in the central and northern parts of the state have seen little of the virus and can bring students and teachers back to campus.

Marin parents seek ‘micro-pods’ to share homeschool, distance learning duties
If they can find the right combination of kindred  families and qualified teachers or tutors, Marin moms  Darcy Alkus-Barrow and Malissa Reyes are planning to go “micro-pod” for the upcoming school year. “I know that distance learning was not working for us,” said Alkus-Barrow, of San Rafael, who has a 6-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. “I’ve known that for a long time.” She posted on Facebook last Sunday inquiring if Marin people were interested in joining the “micro-pod” concept. By Sunday night, more than 200 people had responded.

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