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Wednesday, January 5, 2022


COVID-19 update: Here’s the latest on OC’s quarantine and isolation guidelines
There have been some questions about local, state and federal quarantine and isolation guidelines — and which rules apply to local schools. On Dec. 31, the Orange County Health Care Agency released the County of Orange Health Officer’s Orders and Strong Recommendations, reflecting recent changes made by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. The order was revised slightly on Jan. 4. The biggest takeaway is that isolation timelines have been reduced for some individuals to five days in alignment with the CDC’s recommendations. This also applies to K-12 students when certain conditions are met.

Local students honored in monthly contest that highlights mental health, suicide prevention
A shared desire to help promote the mental health and wellness of local youth recently inspired two award-winning projects by Orange County students in the monthly Directing Change Hope and Justice Contest. Amariah Garza, a 12th grade student from OCDE’s Pacific Coast High School, was awarded first place in the film and written works category for her entry, “Pawsitively Grateful.” The entire student body at Beatty Middle School in the Buena Park School District earned second place in the art category for their project titled “Beatty Middle School Community Art of Gratitude.”


Can California keep schools open during omicron? Here’s what officials say could cause problems
When California’s 6 million K-12 school students left for winter break in December, the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was hovering around 5%. Now, after weeks of travel, holiday gatherings and the continued spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant, California’s K-12 students, teachers and staff return to classrooms this month facing a positivity rate of 20.4% – nearly quadruple the rate it was prior to Christmas break.


‘Unprecedented’: More than 600 S.F. teachers or aides absent, forcing district top brass to helm classrooms
More than 600 classrooms in San Francisco were without their teachers or aides Tuesday and with only 157 substitutes available, every district employee with a teaching credential was ordered to take a class, including the superintendent and other high-ranking officials.

California schools wait for COVID tests from state after ‘unprecedented’ storms delay delivery
Millions of COVID-19 self-tests headed to California schools have been delayed by winter weather, forcing districts to start the new semester without enough to distribute to all their families.


COVID: Tests find hundreds of Bay Area students infected before return to class
As thousands of kids around the Bay Area return to class this week following a winter break marred by the coronavirus, COVID-19 tests that schools provided over the holidays are turning up hundreds of infections among Bay Area students and teachers — and keeping them from bringing the virus back to campus.


New effort aims to count all California homeless students | Quick Guide
Schools are tasked with figuring out just how many students are homeless, but it’s not easy— even in a state where nearly 270,000 homeless students are estimated to be enrolled in grades K-12. A state bill, AB 27, designed to help school districts count them by standardizing specific identification methods has begun to roll out across the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law in September.

Oakland Unified says about 900 students, staff test positive for Covid before start of school
After Oakland Unified distributed thousands of at-home Covid tests and held a special testing clinic, about 900 students and staff tested positive for Covid, according to the district. Most of those students and staff were able to stay home on Monday, when students returned from winter break, though some may have been on campus before learning of their positive test result, the district said.


As students return to school, so do COVID cases and absences
More school districts returned to in-person classes Tuesday after the holiday vacation, but absences and positive COVID-19 cases are starting back, too. Students in San Diego Unified School District have been back in class since Monday. Attendance dropped to just about 84%. That is down almost 10,000 students from attendance calculated the week before Christmas.

Advocates say drop in San Diego’s unhoused student count signals problems
Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in California have reported a significant drop in the number of students identified as experiencing homelessness. But those “self-reported” student counts by school districts are drastically undercounting the number of homeless students, advocates say, resulting in fewer resources available to assist students now and in the future.


School districts seek help from state to avoid sudden loss of funding
As they await the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2022-23 state budget, school district officials across California are worried about losing millions of dollars all at once, resulting in staffing cuts in a time when students need more attention than ever.


New study shows reading remediation in middle school led more students to attend college and earn degrees
College remediation has earned a bad reputation over the past few years. Hopeful students spend billions of dollars annually to review material they should have mastered in high school, and a huge number never complete the coursework they are assigned. The fact that many undergraduates pay to attend catch-up classes when they are actually capable of succeeding in college-level work has only heightened scrutiny of the practice. But while we tend to associate remediation with older students, it’s not just a feature of university campuses — and new research suggests that adolescents who take remedial classes are better prepared for academic success in high school and college.

Orange County awaits more than 450,000 COVID-19 tests as schools resume
Rapid COVID-19 tests for Orange County students are coming. Just don't ask when they'll arrive. With some OC schools already in session and others preparing to return, several school officials have notified parents that they will provide free COVID-19 at-home test kits as part of an effort to slow the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant.

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