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Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Inside the Outdoors Foundation to host MLK Day of Service trash clean-up event
Inside the Outdoors Foundation, in partnership with the City of Newport Beach, is providing an opportunity for local residents to give back to the community while honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The foundation will host an MLK Day of Service on Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in the Upper Newport Bay. The trash clean-up event, which kicks off at 10 a.m., is open to families and children of all ages and is free to attend.


Some OC School Districts Have Hundreds of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases After Winter Break
Scores of staff and students at various school districts in Orange County have tested positive for COVID-19 following the winter break, according to local district dashboards. Based on the county healthcare agency’s COVID dashboard for schools that goes back to Fall 2020, the number of confirmed cases at schools now are higher than they have ever been.


30% of students absent as classes resume for LAUSD; district vows to keep kids, staffs safe
Even as hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles Unified students and staff members returned to campus Tuesday, Jan. 11, for the first time since winter break, tens of thousands stayed home, having tested positive for the coronavirus.


COVID updates: California expects record hospital tally; schools pause some activities
California again set new all-time records for COVID-19 transmission Tuesday, as state leaders and health officials brace for the omicron variant to produce one of the most brutal stretches of the coronavirus pandemic.


Judge confirms San Diego Unified can’t proceed with student vaccine mandate, even during appeal
A judge declared Monday night that San Diego Unified cannot implement its student COVID-19 vaccine mandate, even if the matter is under appeal.


Schools ‘nearing their breaking point’ as Bay Area districts grapple with staffing, testing and masking challenges
The current COVID-19 surge has pitched many Bay Area schools into disarray, as districts struggle to keep classrooms open amid a record-high number of cases, too few substitutes, a shortage of tests and teacher sickouts, among other challenges.


'Grim' outlook for California children's well-being, report finds
The 2022 Children Now Report Card, released Wednesday by the Oakland-based research and advocacy organization, offers a glimpse into the struggles — and victories — children have experienced as the pandemic approaches the end of its second year. Education, child care, physical and mental health, homelessness, poverty, juvenile justice and food security are among the topics explored in the report, which issues A-through-F letter grades based on data and state policies.

Teachers at West Contra Costa Unified plan sick-out protests throughout the week
Groups of teachers at West Contra Costa Unified are planning sick-outs throughout the week in protest of what they believe are insufficient safety measures by the district. Similar actions were taken by groups of teachers in Oakland and San Francisco last week. All district schools were closed Monday and last Friday due to high numbers of Covid cases and staff shortages.

State temporarily loosens rules for substitute teachers
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed an executive order relaxing state regulations around the hiring of substitute teachers as districts grapple with staffing shortages exacerbated by the omicron variant of the coronavirus. “We’re working closely with local education officials to cut red tape to allow qualified substitute teachers to help maintain safe learning environments,” Newsom said in a news release. Through March 31, the executive order allows for temporary certificates to be issued to substitute teachers who don’t have credentials.

Cloth masks will no longer be accepted at West Contra Costa Unified
West Contra Costa Unified will not allow students to wear cloth masks after Jan.17, following suggestions by medical experts. Though California Health and Human Services Director Mark Ghaly has encouraged the wearing of well-fitting, higher-grade masks, the state has stopped short of requiring them. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering updating its mask guidance to recommend that people use N95 or KN95 masks, the Washington Post reported Monday. The district will provide each student with a new surgical mask every day. Employees will be required to wear KN95 masks, and will be provided with two each week.


Rapid tests distributed by school districts see few reporting results
Last Thursday, Kern County school districts began to distribute 195,000 rapid COVID test kits from the state to K-12 students — one for just about every student in the public school system. The state’s goal was to provide students with a way to take a COVID test as they returned to class from winter break. The California Department of Public Health instructed school districts to encourage parents to share the test results of students — positive or negative — with Kern Public Health. But so far, few have.


For LA Unified Students, Technical Hassles And A Cautious Return To Classes Amid Omicron Surge
For a first day back from winter break, the campus of Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights was noticeably hushed Tuesday morning. Scores of students hung back from the school entrances on the sidewalks, their faces buried in their cell phones as they repeatedly tapped their screens trying to log onto the district’s mobile app Daily Pass. But with so many students visiting the site at once Tuesday, the app was stalling out and some reported hour-long waits to log on.


California makes it easier to hire teachers amid shortages
California is making it easier for school districts to hire teachers and other employees amid staffing shortages brought on by the latest surge in coronavirus cases, the governor said Tuesday. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he has signed an executive order to allow schools more flexibility in staffing decisions like giving additional hours to substitute teachers and rehiring recent retirees for short stints. The order expires at the end of March.


LAUSD students return to campuses amid COVID surge, testing mandate
Tens of thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District students headed back to classes Tuesday amid a dramatic countywide surge in COVID-19 cases, but officials continue to insist on the effectiveness of infection-control measures on campus. The district required all students and staff to be tested for COVID before returning to in-person activities, even distributing thousands of take-home test kits to students since Friday. Students and employees have been getting tested at district and other sites, with the program encountering thousands of infections.

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