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Monday, July 27, 2020


OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors offers virtual summer camp
While many summer camps have been canceled, Inside the Outdoors — OCDE’s unique, hands-on environmental education program — is offering a free, virtual summer camp for children ages six to 12 years old. Through the virtual summer camp, young learners are supplied with weekly packets full of educational activities that can be completed in their own homes and backyards. Campers participate in daily projects that are science/nature-based and include a daily nature journal prompt, family extension activities, kindness activity, get-moving activity and virtual sharing of ideas with fellow campers.


Laguna Beach school leaders ponder anti-racism resolution
A draft of the two-page resolution, which calls for “a commitment to creating an unbiased and inclusive society through education,” was either too vague or trying to pack in too much, depending on the school board member.


Schools can seek waivers to reopen from San Diego County but criteria is unclear
Elementary schools can reopen for in-person school despite the governor’s order if they get a waiver approved.


Bay Area parents rush to form ‘pandemic pods’ for the school year. The backlash is fierce
The fear and desperation erupted just over a week ago as parents realized schools would not reopen in August as hoped. Privileged parents — those with money and connections — banded together to do something about it. In the past week alone, tens of thousands of families in the Bay Area and across the country have found each other on Facebook, created contact lists organized by city or school, and formed “pandemic pods” — in some cases offering educators $100 an hour or more to tutor or teach small groups in the homes of the children or the teachers. Then came the backlash.


Dozens of Bay Area schools ask about waivers to let kids return to class
Dozens of Bay Area schools have inquired with local health officials about waivers that would let them reopen classrooms to kids since Gov. Gavin Newsom ruled last week that K-12 instruction begin the school year online in counties on the state’s coronavirus watchlist. That includes more than 80 Santa Clara County schools and “several” in San Francisco, according to their health departments. Alameda county said it will not consider waivers until its COVID-19 outbreak improves. Contra Costa county did not respond to a Bay Area News Group inquiry Friday. San Mateo County is currently not on the watchlist so schools don’t need permission.

Here’s homeschool parents’ advice for surviving another round of online learning
Leave it to a homeschool parent to find the upside of having your kids home for school this fall. With the coronavirus keeping millions of California school children stuck at home when the new school year starts, it’s good to know there are some parents out there who not only survive the experience on a year-round basis, but purposely choose it. Helping kids through classes at home has become a strange new reality for most families in the Bay Area. But it doesn’t have to be all bad — homeschoolers say there are plenty of ways to keep kids focused and learning at the kitchen table.


Fontana school district pushes back first day to hone distance-learning model
Fontana students will begin the 2020-21 school year Aug. 24 in an online setting, district leaders announced this week. Previous academic years have started the first week of August. Pushing back the first day of school will give students, parents, teachers and staff additional time to prepare for a new year, Fontana Unified School District officials said in a news release.


Should Fresno Unified postpone the start of the school year? Why some teachers say yes
With the new school year just weeks away, the Fresno Unified School District has not finalized a distance learning plan. Fresno Unified teachers who spoke with The Bee on condition of anonymity because of fear of retaliation, said they are anxious and don’t think there’s enough time to prepare for another semester amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Schools want to hire more counselors amid budget woes
With students facing ever-growing levels of depression and anxiety as the pandemic wears on, nearly everyone agrees that school districts need to expand their mental health services. But budget uncertainties have stymied school districts’ efforts to hire more counselors and psychologists, leaving mental health advocates worried that thousands of students in California won’t receive the help they need.


LA County to require labor-union support to reopen elementary schools
The public health department confirmed the requirements will be part of the waiver process in a written statement in response to questions.


Facing New School Year, Officials Ponder Waiver Process For Elementary Schools
There is a way that elementary schools could reopen in the fall, even if they're in counties on the state's COVID-19 watchlist. The footnotes of the school reopening criteria released by California's Department of Public Health mention a waiver for reopening elementary schools that districts, charters, and private school leaders could request through their county health office. Here's what it says, in full:


Laguna Beach school board to review plan for online learning during pandemic
The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board will hold a special meeting Monday to review school administrators’ plan for a phased reopening of classes during the 2020-21 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Laguna Beach parents and students have been told distance learning will resume Aug. 24 in light of state guidelines for reopening schools in the era of COVID-19.


Should I quit my job? California parents grapple with education in a pandemic
As the majority of schools across the state prepare to start the school year teaching remotely, parents have started investigating their options for how they can maintain their child’s education while still holding down a job.

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