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Wednesday, July 22, 2020


OC Board of Education Releases Previously Silenced Comments on Starting School Without Masks
Orange County’s Board of Education approved recommendations last week calling for a return to schools without masks or social distancing before giving any kind of voice to nearly 4,000 submitted comments from the community. The idea was controversial, becoming a national conversation on multiple news stations before and after the recommendations were approved. Public speakers at the meeting – which was streamed live on Zoom and YouTube – were widely supportive of the board’s plan. The first tally of emails offers a stark contrast in public opinion to the majority of speakers opposing masks.

Fullerton School District Approves Reopening Plans; Will Return Completely Virtual to Start
Kids in Orange County will be learning virtually when the academic year starts up again until the County is off a state monitoring list for two weeks under orders from Gov. Gavin Newsom last week. But students in the Fullerton School District may also have other options if the state allows Orange County schools to reopen in person sometime later this year, under a plan approved Monday night by district trustees.


San Diego parents rush to form ‘learning pods’, micro-schools
With San Diego County and most California schools forced to stay closed for the foreseeable future, parents are rushing to create mini in-person schools of their own — a trend that is raising questions about equity. Parents nationwide are forming so-called “learning pods,” “pandemic pods” or “micro-schools,” which are small groups of students who meet for social interaction and learning and are often led by parents or hired teachers or tutors. The pod trend has rocketed to popularity in California in the days since Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all schools in counties with high COVID-19 rates to remain closed until virus cases drop.


Daycares welcome mask-wearing toddlers as parents struggle to 'make best decision' in COVID-19 world
Sam DeRoze is almost 4 years old. After years of nanny care, he’s supposed to dive into his first organized school experience this fall. But the coronavirus pandemic has his mother mulling. “I’ll need to see the plan from his pre-school before I decide,” says Dianne DeRoze, a business consultant in Leesburg, Virginia. “If it’s safe and a positive experience, that’s valuable. What I don’t want is for him to have a knee-jerk reaction that school is this scary place you get dumped.”


California using virus-closed classrooms for child care
While most California school districts are planning only virtual instruction to start the academic year, some are offering child care programs that will bring students into the same buildings that are off-limits for classroom instruction. In Glendale, education officials opted last week to move to online instruction due to a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. They also started a program for families in need of child care where students will be dropped off at local schools and placed in small groups. They will complete their online lessons with support from a staff member or substitute teacher during what would normally be school hours.


Has California figured out online school? ‘I forgave them for the spring. I’m not going to forgive them for the fall.’
Now that the great summer debate has been settled and most California schools will be teaching online instead of opening their classrooms for the fast-approaching school year, parents like Martin Rauchwerk have one request: Reassure us online instruction will be better this time around. “I forgave them for the spring,” said Rauchwerk, whose younger son will be a junior at San Jose’s Leland High School, “but I’m not going to forgive them for the fall.”


Despite Newsom’s Mandate, Some Elementary Schools Might Be Able To Reopen
With COVID-19 cases surging throughout the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom last week announced strict new measures that forbid school districts in counties with high case counts from reopening their campuses. But the order includes fine print giving districts the chance to seek waivers that would allow them to reopen elementary schools even if their county remains on the state’s monitoring list for those with high infection rates. The Cajon Valley Union School District, which serves most of El Cajon and parts of Rancho San Diego, is already applying for a waiver with the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. And Poway Unified is “definitely considering” it, a spokeswoman said.

Conservative Group Sues Governor In LA Over School Reopening Restrictions
A conservative legal foundation filed suit Tuesday to overturn Gov. Gavin Newsom's order barring schools in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside and elsewhere in the state from bringing students into the classrooms this fall in response to soaring coronavirus infections. The Center for American Liberty brought the complaint against Newsom, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, state Public Health Officer Sonia Y. Angell and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in Los Angeles federal court, challenging new rules that would force many of the state's districts to teach remotely when school starts next month. The plaintiffs allege that the restriction violates the constitutional guarantee to a basic education, federal due process and equal protection guarantees, and the federal right to an effective education for disabled children.


New study does not find stark differences in how district, charter and private schools responded to COVID-19 crisis
The nation’s K-12 schools reacted to the disruption of COVID-19 in broadly similar ways regardless of whether they were district, charter or private, according to new research released Monday. In general, traditional public schools did not lag behind charters or private schools, except for a few days near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis when they were somewhat slower to switch to online learning, according to the study by Tulane University’s National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice.

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