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Wednesday, September 09, 2020


OCDE is supporting local mental health needs through distance learning and beyond
When schools closed to students in mid-March, OCDE’s educational and technology teams quickly positioned themselves as a resource, partnering with districts as they assessed their own needs and digital capacities. Along with developing a website to help educators, counselors and families maintain instructional continuity, OCDE distributed nearly 1,800 hotspots to help local districts expand connectivity, and the department worked with the state to deliver about 500 laptops.

COVID-19 update: As expected, OC moves into the state’s less restrictive ‘red tier’ 
Local officials on Tuesday announced that Orange County had successfully made the jump to the less restrictive “red tier” on the state’s color-coded system for tracking COVID-19 progress. That means certain businesses like indoor restaurants, shopping centers, salons and gyms can reopen with restrictions, while other sectors may be allowed to expand their operations. But Orange County will have to spend two consecutive weeks in the red tier before school campuses can reopen, unless they’re elementary schools that have secured waivers.


131 Orange County elementary schools granted waivers to hold in-person instruction
Nearly every Orange County elementary school that sought a waiver to hold in-person instruction got the OK to proceed with campus learning as of Tuesday, Sept. 8. Of 139 schools, 131 schools won approval from both county Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau and the California Department of Public Health. They include six elementary schools in the Los Alamitos Unified School District, the only public school district to request and receive permission to offer its kindergarten through sixth grade students in-person learning.

Los Alamitos school district resumes some in-person learning
Playgrounds were closed and new hand-washing stations dotted campuses as the Los Alamitos Unified School District welcomed its younger students back to campus on Tuesday, Sept. 8 – the first public school district in Orange County to resume some in-person learning. The district used a waiver it had applied for, and received, from the California Department of Public Health to return elementary school students to their classrooms for the first time since March. The new school year started for the district Aug. 31 in distance-learning mode.

Fullerton Joint Union high schools won’t return to in-person instruction until Oct. 5 at the earliest
Many Orange County school district are aiming to return to at least some in-person instruction in two weeks, but Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials have a later date in mind. The district, which services Buena Park, Fullerton and La Habra, has announced it will open to in-person instruction no earlier than Oct. 5. One of its feeder districts, the Buena Park Elementary School District, is also taking a more cautious approach.


Public high schools allowing athletes to return to practices before in-person instruction
Local public high schools are allowing their athletic teams to hold practices on campus while the schools continue with distance learning and no in-person classes because of the coronavirus pandemic. To some, the situation might seem backwards, but it’s not surprising to many of the coaches and athletic directors. The latest information from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department allows high school athletes to participate in supervised practices or conditioning if the activities follow the safety guidelines, which require physical distancing, appropriate face coverings, and outdoor activity only.


How Sacramento families are trying to adapt to inconsistent school schedules
How Sacramento families are trying to adapt to inconsistent school schedules More than 42,000 students in the Sacramento City Unified School District began their first full day of instruction on Tuesday, but some families began the morning confused with which schedule to follow.


Del Mar elementary school students return to campus
As students throughout San Diego County log onto Zoom classes, students at Del Mar Union schools started in-person Tuesday. Wearing backpacks and face masks, students at Ocean Air Elementary School arrived Tuesday for their first back-to-school session since campuses shut their doors in March. “I’m nervous and happy,” said Alexa Quinones, 12, as she entered the campus to meet her sixth-grade teacher in person for the first time.


Kids and teachers showed up for first Bay Area school reopening, but class was canceled
Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, was supposed to be one of the first public campuses in the Bay Area to reopen to in-person learning this fall, but had to reverse course after a staff member’s coronavirus test result came back questionable Monday, said Principal David Finnane. District officials notified parents and teachers at 11 p.m. Monday, but some families never got the message.


Math Anxiety Is Real. Here's How To Help Your Child Avoid It
Does math make you a little nervous? You're in the majority. The phrase "number anxiety" was first coined by researchers back in the 1950s. By some estimates, as high as 93 percent of Americans feel some degree of math anxiety. In 2012, about 30 percent of high school students reported that they felt "helpless" when doing mathematics problems.


Individualize instruction, remove barriers, track student progress: Some tips for making distance-learning special ed work
“Can you give an example of an online lesson that’s effective for students with disabilities?” That’s the question Elizabeth Barker has fielded over and over as schools have prepared to reopen. But it’s the one question that Barker, a special education expert with NWEA, a nonprofit data and assessment provider, can’t answer.

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