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Thursday, July 23, 2020


Local districts that had tentative plans for summer graduation ceremonies announce cancellations
As graduation plans were being modified in the spring amid COVID-19 concerns, a handful of Orange County school districts were holding out hope that they’d be able to stage traditional, in-person celebrations for the class of 2020 sometime this summer. In fact, several campuses had tentative plans for July and August ceremonies. But with the state continuing to restrict large gatherings — and distance learning looking to be an increasing likelihood for the fall — several districts have officially announced that in-person commencements are off the table.


OC Schools Will Start Online But YMCA Will Offer In Person Child Care Services in Fall
Orange County classrooms will be 100% online when school starts but the YMCA will be offering in-person care, learning support and physical education for children in Kindergarten through 8th grade at more than 40 sites across the county. The YMCA of Orange County, a nonprofit organization, announced that they will be offering these services full time or part time to help meet the child care needs of working families during the Fall.


LA County elementary schools can apply for waivers to open classrooms
If Los Angeles County school districts still want to open elementary and pre-kindergarten classrooms for in-person instruction they might be allowed to do so under a new waiver process announced by Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Wednesday. The details of what exactly will determine whether school districts will be granted such a waiver have not been announced. Ferrer said the department was working out those details with state officials and those from school districts who she was planning on addressing in a conference call Thursday.


AP-NORC poll: Very few Americans back full school reopening
Virtual instruction. Mandated masks. Physical distancing. The start of school will look very different this year because of the coronavirus — and that’s OK with the vast majority of Americans. Only about 1 in 10 Americans think daycare centers, preschools or K-12 schools should open this fall without restrictions, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. Most think mask requirements and other safety measures are necessary to restart in-person instruction, and roughly 3 in 10 say that teaching kids in classrooms shouldn’t happen at all.

San Diego Unified pursues slew of anti-racist reforms
The San Diego Unified School Board voted to ban future “willful defiance” suspensions for all middle school students and to implement a host of other reforms at an online school board workshop on racial equity on Tuesday. California currently prohibits willful defiance suspensions for elementary and middle grades, but there is a five-year sunset on the ban for middle grades. The district will discuss banning such suspensions for high school students in the future.


Bay Area students choose gap year over remote college experience: ‘People are bailing’
Some students, rather than take classes online as college freshmen, are choosing a gap year in 2020-21. Interest in gap years has increased sharply across the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Back to school? Most major schools are heading toward online class as COVID-19 cases spike
As COVID-19 cases rise in most states, the prospect of in-person learning this fall at the country's major school districts is becoming increasingly remote. As of late Wednesday, 11 of the top 15 school systems by enrollment were already either planning to start the fall semester online or in a hybrid of in-person and online classes, according to Education Week magazine's reopening tracker. Still other top districts have shifted school schedules later, hoping for cases to decline or for teachers and administrators to have more time to plan for the school year.


First day of school lesson for these Hayward first-graders: How to mute themselves on Zoom
Park Elementary School is one of the Bay Area’s first schools back in session — from a distance. On the first day of school at Hayward’s Park Elementary, the first lesson Lori Suydam gave her first-graders had nothing to do with reading or writing or math. She taught them how to mute themselves on Zoom.


California is short 1 million laptops and hot spots for kids as it prepares online school
When COVID-19 forced schools to close across California in March, state education officials estimated that 1.2 million students — 20 percent of the total K-12 population — didn’t have the technology necessary to participate in distance learning.


Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest?
Newsom says teachers and other school employees need to be prioritized for child care along with other essential workers.


NAACP Sues Betsy DeVos Over Federal Aid Money For Private Schools
The NAACP has become the latest organization to sue the Education Department over the distribution of more than $13 billion in federal aid intended for K-12 schools. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a rule that says if states want to use the funds to provide services for all students, such as tutoring or extra school buses to allow for social distancing, they must also fund "equitable services" for all private school students in the district. The NAACP's co-plaintiffs are the Pasadena Unified School District in California, Stamford Public Schools in Connecticut and Denver Public Schools in Colorado. A similar suit has been filed by attorneys general in California, Michigan, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

Parents Sue Over California’s School Closures
Nine California parents are suing the state over a plan announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week that would keep most schools closed for the beginning of the coming school year. The 35-page complaint alleges parents and children are being denied their right under the California Constitution to a “basic minimum education” because of COVID-19 prevention measures that will continue distance learning for the vast majority of the state’s schoolchildren. The suit also claims the guidelines violate the Equal Protection Clause by allowing certain schools, summer camps and childcare centers to remain open while forcing others to stay closed.

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