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Tuesday, January 4, 2022


OCDE seeks nominees for music and arts administrator awards
The Orange County Department of Education is currently seeking nominations for the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators — or OCMAA — awards. The annual event celebrates local leaders who’ve gone above and beyond to provide excellence for students while promoting the growth of arts education across the county. Educators and community members are encouraged to recommend art teachers, administrators and advocates by highlighting the ways their leadership has impacted local schools, districts and communities.

Newsom promised 6 million COVID tests for students. Only half have arrived
Gov. Gavin Newsom promised that schools would receive at-home COVID-19 tests in time for students to safely return to campuses after winter break, as health officials warned of a surge in cases over the holidays.


With Students Back in Class after the Holidays, Covid Concerns Again Take Front Seat Across OC
Questions and concerns from teachers and parents over Coronavirus spreading at schools are once again taking center stage in Orange County as many students make their way back this week to the classroom following winter break. The concerns come after hospitalizations in OC doubled last week amid a winter surge. They also come as many school staff in at least one district are reportedly calling in sick as a lot of OC students returned to the classroom Monday. Santa Ana Unified District Spokesperson Fermin Leal said in a Monday phone call that while they are still accumulating attendance counts for students many staff have called in sick.


High school sports dealing with cancellations, uncertainty caused by COVID surge in LA County
The rise in COVID-19 cases in Southern California has been impacting professional and college teams for several weeks, and now high school athletics is feeling it too.


500 test positive in Sac City Unified after thousands of COVID tests given during break
Roughly 500 students and staff tested positive for COVID-19 during the winter break, according to Sacramento City Unified School District officials Monday.


Thousands of Bay Area students returned to schools Monday amid omicron surge. Here’s how it went
As many Bay Area districts reopened Monday after a two-week winter break, some schools saw a jump in staff and student absences amid skyrocketing coronavirus cases as omicron continued to rage through the region.


Long Beach Unified students return to class as county’s schools face tough choices amid COVID surge
The Long Beach Unified School District’s approximately 75,000 students returned to classes as usual on Monday, Jan. 3, as Los Angeles County schools faced some tough choices in the weeks ahead amid the winter coronavirus surge.


Hit hard by Covid, California high school seniors struggling toward graduation
California high school seniors were in 10th grade when the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools and sent them home to learn. This year, many seniors are either struggling to earn enough credits to graduate or, because of a new state law, are graduating with fewer credits and requirements than classes before them. Assembly Bill 104, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July, allowed parents to request that D’s and F’s earned in the 2020-21 school year be changed to pass or no-pass grades. It also gave last year’s juniors and seniors the option to graduate with the state’s minimum requirements, made up of 13 courses totaling about 130 credits. Students also can take a fifth year of high school if needed.

Los Angeles Unified students, staff must take Covid test before returning to campuses
Students and school employees in Los Angeles Unified School District will be required to take a Covid-19 test before they can return to campuses next week, according to the Los Angeles Times. The school board voted to require testing at a special meeting Monday morning because of the high rate of Covid infection in the Los Angeles area. School board members hope to catch cases before students return to the classroom Jan. 11.

Bill seeks to remove average daily attendance from K-12 funding formula
A bill introduced Monday by state senator Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, would base K-12 district’s funding on enrollment, removing average daily attendance from the formula starting in 2023-24. Currently, districts’ baseline funding depends on the number of students enrolled, minus the daily average number of absent students. The formula has caused districts to struggle to budget for all of their students despite only getting funded for those who show up on a given day, supporters of the new policy have said.

Court OKs early childhood education measure in Oakland
An appeals court cleared the way for Oakland to collect more than $30 million to fund early childhood education and college readiness, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The ruling, issued last week, allows Measure AA to pass with a simple majority, instead of a two-thirds majority. The measure, a charter amendment that establishes an education parcel tax, received 62% of the vote in 2018. But a group of property owners sued to stop the measure, saying it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The city lost the case initially but won on appeal.


LA County Adds School Safety Guidelines As Classes Resume And Omicron Cases Climb
As Los Angeles County experiences a surge in new coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant, public health officials are issuing new safety guidelines for K-12 schools. The health order applies to all school districts as well as private schools within the county, many of which reopen this week after winter break.

The FDA Authorizes A Pfizer Booster Shot For Children Ages 12 To 15
The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a Pfizer-BioNTech booster in adolescents 12 to 15 years old. The agency on Monday also shortened the time between the completion of primary vaccination of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose to five months from six. Finally, the FDA allowed for a third dose of vaccine in immunocompromised children 5 to 11 years of age.


Schools reopen amid COVID surge; LAUSD requires testing before spring classes
Amid surging COVID-19 cases, thousands of Los Angeles County children resumed in-person classes Monday, but with tightened safety protocols, while Los Angeles Unified announced all of its students and employees must be tested before returning to campuses next week. To help accommodate the testing requirement, the LAUSD announced the start of the spring semester for K-12 students will be pushed back to Tuesday, Jan. 11. District employees will return to campuses Monday for a "Pupil Free Day."

UCLA, UCI and UC Riverside to begin winter quarter classes remotely
Winter quarter classes began Monday at UCLA, UC Irvine and UC Riverside remotely for a planned two weeks in response to surging COVID-19 cases. UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman wrote in a campus message Dec. 21 that "while we recognize that change is a constant in this pandemic environment, we are committed to doing all we can to maintain in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. At the present time, however, we know it is not prudent to return to in-person instruction immediately after winter break."

Marin schools to shorten COVID-19 quarantine
Marin schools will shorten the recommended quarantine period for students and staff infected with or exposed to COVID-19 from 10 days to five, the county’s top public health official said Monday. “This will be a lot simpler for everyone,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin public health officer. “It will be the same standard as for the community as a whole.” Willis said the decision for schools came Monday after the state Department of Public Health recommended shortening the quarantine and isolation periods for the general public to five days.

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