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Thursday, September 23, 2021


New WellSpace centers in Buena Park offer students a space to decompress
The Buena Park School District has announced the launch of WellSpace centers at its two middle schools, giving students at each campus a space to relax, recharge and reset between lessons. As we reported back in June, the Orange County Department of Education and CHOC have teamed up with several local districts to install tranquil settings for students to decompress and learn about mindfulness strategies with support from school counselors.

Want to compete in the Academic Decathlon or Pentathlon? OCDE is looking for middle and high school teams
The Orange County Department of Education is recruiting high school teams for the 2021-22 Orange County Academic Decathlon, and middle school teams are encouraged to sign up for the Academic Pentathlon. Founded in 1968 by former Orange County Superintendent Dr. Robert Peterson, the Academic Decathlon is a 10-event scholastic contest staged at the county, state and national levels. Decathletes present speeches, participate in interviews, write essays and take multiple-choice tests in art, economics, literature, mathematics, music, science and social science. The competition typically culminates in a popular live event called the Super Quiz Relay.


The school bell rings and Assistance League of Newport-Mesa springs to action
The organization’s Operation School Bell helped provide aid to 1,500 students in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in August alone.


California school districts rated on student reading performance
More than half of the state’s students are reading below grade level, including students in many Sacramento-area schools, according to a survey that assessed third-grade reading performance in nearly 300 school districts.


Oakland school board 1st in Northern California to require vaccination for students
Oakland's decision could preview the looming discussions Bay Area school boards might face as schools navigate in-person instruction with the delta variant of the coronavirus still spreading.


Could COVID-19 precautions break the stigma and spread of lice? School nurses see promise
The treatment, and perception, of head lice may be changing as students return to classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Long the bane of parents and school health providers, head lice has typically been viewed as an undesirable, itchy insect that spreads like wildfire within schools.  But new safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are upending those assumptions, according to The National Association of School Nurses. Those safety measures also help limit the spread of lice.


Staffing shortage delays ambitious program to extend school day and year in California
One of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s and the Legislature’s most ambitious and expensive education programs — the extension of the school day and of the school year for elementary school students — won’t happen this year, at least in most districts. School districts and charter schools say they are struggling to find enough teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers and Covid contact tracers to fill existing and new pandemic-related jobs, so adding before- and after-school positions is unfeasible, they say.


Students protested Turlock Unified dress code, then helped draft new one. What’s it allow?
A few months after Turlock high school students protested their dress code for unfairly targeting females, school officials drafted a new policy — and for the first time, they invited students to help. The proposed revisions presented at a Tuesday school board meeting permit hats, pajamas, crop tops and spaghetti straps. The policy is gender-neutral, reflecting students’ requests for a dress code that is enforced consistently and promotes a positive body image, director of student services Gil Ogden said at the meeting.


LAUSD and teachers have agreed on a 'continuity of learning plan'
LAUSD and its teachers union have agreed on a "continuity of learning plan" for students and teachers who are sent home to quarantine because of COVID. The deal involves a 5% salary raise and a virtual live-streaming agreement.


COVID-19 creates dire US shortage of teachers, school staff
One desperate California school district is sending flyers home in students’ lunchboxes, telling parents it’s “now hiring.” Elsewhere, principals are filling in as crossing guards, teachers are being offered signing bonuses and schools are moving back to online learning. Now that schools have welcomed students back to classrooms, they face a new challenge: a shortage of teachers and staff the likes of which some districts say they have never seen. Public schools have struggled for years with teacher shortages, particularly in math, science, special education and languages. But the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem.

‘We left those students behind’: 1.9 million low-income youth boxed out of afterschool programs, despite surging parent interest in STEM offerings
Every year, millions of students nationwide participate in afterschool and summer programs that help them gain skills in science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM. But even as student interest surges and the programs continue to expand, financial and transportation barriers have boxed many young people out of these pivotal learning opportunities, particularly students from low-income families, a new report reveals.

LAUSD, teachers union reach deal on COVID safety, wage hike
The Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers union announced a tentative agreement Wednesday on extended safety protocols and learning support for students who must quarantine because of COVID-19 — as well as a 5% pay raise and other financial boosts for educators. The agreement must be approved by a vote of the United Teachers Los Angeles membership and the LAUSD Board of Education. The UTLA member vote is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

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