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Thursday, January 6, 2022


COVID-19 update: First shipments of at-home tests for students arrive in OC
Three large trucks carrying COVID-19 rapid antigen tests from the California Department of Public Health arrived at OCDE’s offices on Wednesday morning, but additional shipments will be needed to cover all Orange County students. With supplies said to be based on 2020-21 enrollment data, the state indicated it would provide 456,572 rapid antigen testing kits to distribute to OC families as part of a program aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 on campuses as students returned from winter break. On Wednesday, only 191,376 testing kits were delivered for the county — or about 42 percent of what’s expected.


Delays in COVID home-testing kits ‘unfortunate,’ state schools chief says
Delays in the state’s efforts to get 6 million COVID-19 home testing kits to students – preferably before the start of second semester – have been “unfortunate” and “difficult,” California’s top schools chief acknowledged on Wednesday, Jan. 5. While attributing distribution challenges primarily to delays caused by weather, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond also credited such school districts as Downey, Alhambra, Inglewood and Long Beach, saying that, despite not having received testing kits, some districts have found ways to work with county agencies or local organizations to provide testing nonetheless.


Hundreds of Sacramento-area students and teachers have COVID. Will schools remain open?
Hundreds of public school students in Sacramento County have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days. But so far, district officials say they have no plans to close campuses or return classes to distance learning.


Some San Diego schools postpone reopening as Omicron drives up COVID cases
The fast-spreading Omicron variant is causing some San Diego schools to delay reopening for in-person learning as they resume classes after winter break.


‘Shut the whole system down’: S.F. teachers plan sickout as schools struggle amid omicron surge
A group of San Francisco teachers has organized a “sickout” Thursday, saying they will skip school because they feel the district failed to adequately protect them during the pandemic.

East Bay school district to close classrooms for two days under ‘strain’ of omicron
After a “challenging” few days back in classrooms and a significant number of teacher absences, West Contra Costa officials announced schools will be closed Friday and Monday to alleviate some of the pressure on district staff.


Kid cooks and tasty lunches: One elementary school's recipe for survival
At Pacific Elementary School, lunches are cooked from scratch daily with local produce and pasture-raised chicken donated by a nearby farm. Meals combine old favorites — tacos and homemade pizza — with the exotic: Filipino chicken adobo, Brazilian pumpkin stew, latkes for Hanukkah and Nigerian jollof rice for Kwanzaa. It’s no wonder that families from nearby Santa Cruz fill up many of the seats in the seaside town of Davenport’s only public school, intrigued by the food and the school’s renowned chefs: their own 10- and 11-year-old children.

Pediatric Covid hospitalizations spike in California
Pediatric Covid hospitalizations have shot up over the past few days, surpassing the number of pediatric hospitalizations at the peak of last winter’s surge, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly told reporters Wednesday. However, he did not specify how many beds are filled at pediatric hospitals or how much of an increase California had experienced. Pediatric hospitals throughout the country are also reporting surging Covid hospitalizations. During the week ending Jan. 2, an average of 672 children were hospitalized with Covid each day across the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


Turlock school board meeting canceled last-minute over COVID protocols. Here’s why
Turlock Unified canceled its school board meeting Tuesday just before it was scheduled to start, citing a “failure to adhere” to California’s mask rule.


State COVID kit delivery falls short for many San Diego school districts
Several San Diego County school districts and charter schools received relief Wednesday in their desperate search for COVID-19 home test kits. The State Department of Public Health delivered 193,000 at-home antigen rapid test kits to the County Office of Education late Tuesday. Based on Gov. Newsom’s December promise to provide 6-million rapid tests to public schools across the state, the county had requested 500,000 tests to cover every public school student. The much smaller supply forced a distribution Wednesday of first-come, first-served to districts quick enough to respond to the email alert sent out.


8 ways teachers are talking about Jan. 6 in their classrooms
Teachers across the country face a daunting challenge this week: how to talk with students about the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Discussing it last year, as it happened or the day after, was hard, teachers tell NPR, but this year will likely be harder. Our nation's political divides persist, and polls show Americans still don't agree on basic facts about why a mob overran the Capitol, attacked police and threatened lawmakers. NPR spoke with a dozen educators and civics experts about how they're handling the anniversary in the classroom.


Newsom slammed for California student COVID test shortage
As the number of COVID-19 cases surge in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and state officials are facing criticism for failing to deliver on a promise to provide rapid, at-home tests to all California students and school staff before classrooms reopened after the winter break. Millions of test kits were sent to families before and during winter break but millions more were not — raising concerns about public school safety now that the state’s 6 million K-12 students are returning to classrooms amid soaring rates of COVID-19 cases.

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