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Tuesday, September 08, 2020


Placentia-Yorba superintendent announces retirement after 35 years in education
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified Superintendent Dr. Greg Plutko has announced that he’ll retire from the district in December. Plutko, who was selected as PYLUSD’s schools chief in 2016, shared the news with staff and families via email on Thursday, Sept. 3. His departure caps a 35-year career in education.


Anaheim Union High School District taking cautious approach in return to in-person instruction
Anaheim Union High School District leaders are cautiously examining a pivot to in-person instruction in mid-October, but might wait until early January depending on local health conditions, Superintendent Michael Matsuda said Thursday, Sept. 3. Orange County’s fifth-largest district, which serves grades seventh through 12th, begins its second quarter of instruction in the middle of next month and starts its second semester in early January – both potential points for changing how students are learning.

Tustin public schools scheduled to start some in-person instruction beginning Sept. 24
The Tustin Unified School District announced its elementary school students will return for in-person instruction on Sept. 24, followed by its secondary school students starting in-person instruction Sept. 29. Orange County Health Care Agency officials have announced that they expect Sept. 22 to be the date that in-class education will be allowed to begin locally – as long as current favorable trends in the coronavirus spread continue. Dozens of elementary schools – primarily private – sought and were granted waivers for earlier starting dates.

Capistrano Unified shares plans for reopening, pursuit of elementary school waiver
Orange County’s largest school district has set plans for reopening schools for in-person instruction, and for joining the quest for an elementary school waiver. Capistrano Unified School District, home to about 47,000 students, announced Friday, Sept. 4, that it aims to first return students in select special education programs to in-person instruction on Sept. 28, kicking off a nearly three-week window for student arrivals. Plans are contingent on Orange County moving to the less-restrictive red tier on the state’s new coronavirus monitoring system on Sept. 8 and staying there for two weeks.

Preschools are getting creative to engage the youngest of Orange County’s learners
Most state-funded preschools started the year online, as they are based on school district campuses that have been closed since March. And for tuition-based preschools that are opening for in-person learning, their classes look a lot different – with state guidance limiting class sizes and students’ interaction. Preschools are finding creative ways to provide socializing opportunities for their students virtually or at a distance, from outdoor classes to live Zoom hangouts.


L.A. teachers union opposes opening campuses for students with disabilities, English learners
Citing safety concerns, the leader of the Los Angeles teachers union said Friday it opposes reopening campuses for small in-person classes or one-on-one services for students who are disabled or learning English — even though county health officials have cleared the way to do so. Some outside advocacy groups pushed back against the union’s position and the unwillingness of the L.A. Unified School District to address the issue directly and publicly.


In-person learning at LAUSD campuses won’t come until safety is assured, union says
United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district, opposes having any of its members return to L.A. Unified School District campuses to provide in-person instruction to the district’s highest-needs students before it is safe to do so, the union’s president said Friday.


School resumes Tuesday. But district, teachers union won’t agree on a schedule
Tens of thousands of families in Sacramento are dealing with a new layer of uncertainty one day before Sacramento City Unified schools are set to begin their first full days of online instruction. Some families are getting conflicting instruction schedules.


Music teachers, fearing a lost generation of performers, are forced to improvise Get them young, or not at all.
For music teachers in schools, that’s been an unwritten rule for a long time. And now, in the age of the novel coronavirus, it’s a bit of a warning. Is a “lost generation” looming?


How Southern California families are making distance learning work
It’s been almost six months since Southern California students left their classrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic. And many haven’t been back yet. Instead, they’re again doing “distance learning,” taking classes and doing homework from home. It hasn’t always been easy for millions of families in Southern California. So we asked readers how they were making it work. What clever ideas had they created to make learning from home — often alongside parents working from home — more successful? Here’s what they told us.


Many California high school seniors still want to take SAT/ACT even though they are optional at many colleges
Many test sessions canceled in pandemic. Some remain scheduled with social distancing and masks.


San Diego Schools With Both Academic, COVID-19 Disparities Face Reopening Dilemmas
Life would be much easier for Natalie La Rosa if schools reopened. For the past six months, she’s been juggling raising two kids, teaching full-time at Smythe Elementary in the San Ysidro School District and serving as the president of the district’s teachers union. But she says reopening schools in her neighborhood isn’t worth the risk. Smythe Elementary’s zip code has the greatest number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents out of all the zip codes in San Diego County.


Laguna Beach USD will seek state waiver for elementary schools to resume in-person classes
The Laguna Beach Unified School District will apply for a state waiver that would allow its elementary schools to resume in-person classes before Sept. 22. The Board of Education on Thursday directed administrators to apply for the waiver that if approved by the California Department of Public Health would provide the relief sought by many parents at El Morro and Top of the World Elementary schools.


Researchers Warn Nearly Half Of U.S. Child Care Centers Could Be Lost To Pandemic
One of the biggest challenges facing parents in the COVID crisis is child care. Recent research says about half of the four and a half million child care spots in the country could be permanently lost because of the pandemic. And that has a huge ripple effect — without child care, it will be hard for so many parents to get back to work. Economists predict this will affect mostly women, who will have to leave the workforce to care for their children.

Sac City School District Files Cease And Desist To Compel Teachers To Follow Distance Learning Plan
Sacramento City Unified School District administrators say they’re moving forward with a COVID-19 distance learning plan on Tuesday, Sept. 8, and have filed a cease-and-desist order to compel cooperation from the district’s 2,500 teachers. But the Sacramento City Teachers Association, the district's teachers union, wasn't clear Monday about whether or not its members would adhere to the new plan. The two sides announced an impasse last week over the COVID-19 distance learning plan, and started the district's 42,000 students on a conditional learning plan last Thursday.

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