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Monday, October 11, 2021


Hispanic Heritage Month virtual forum to celebrate Latino cultures and contributions in OC
Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares will host a virtual forum in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month on Thursday, Oct. 14. As the latest in OCDE’s series of online colloquiums reflecting the theme “Know My Name, Face and Story,” the event will bring together a panel of distinguished guests to celebrate the cultures, contributions and histories of Hispanic and Latino-identified communities. Participants will also talk about educational trends, successes and strategies for ensuring equity, opportunity and inclusion.

Ethnic studies to become a graduation requirement for California high school students
California will add ethnic studies to its list of courses required to graduate from high school, starting with the class of 2030. Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill making California the first in the nation to list ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high school students. Under the legislation known as Assembly Bill 101, all public schools in California will be required to offer a one-semester ethnic studies course by the 2025-26 school year, with the graduation requirement taking effect in 2029-30.


More California colleges remove SAT, ACT requirements during application process
Nearly 130 colleges and universities in California do not require students applying for the Fall 2022 semester to release their ACT or SAT scores, according to updated data from the National Center for Fair & Open Testing. The center, also known as FairTest, is a non-profit organization that lobbies for colleges to treat students as “more than a score,” and expand their admission criteria beyond standardized test results.


Fresno elementary school closes after coronavirus infections involving campus staff
Addicott Elementary School has shut down for 10 days due to multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff, Fresno Unified officials said. The entire school will remain closed for deep cleaning.


California becomes first state to require ethnic studies in high school
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Friday making California the first state to require all students to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies to earn a high school diploma. The mandate will take effect starting with the graduating class of 2029-30, although high schools must start to offer courses starting in the 2025-26 school year. Hundreds of high schools already have such courses, and Los Angeles Unified and Fresno Unified voted last year to require students to take ethnic studies.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs $123.9 billion package to support K-12 education
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a $123.9 billion package to increase broadband infrastructure, develop mental and behavioral health programming and require that all high school students take an ethnic studies course before graduating. The 22 bills included in the package amount to the highest per-pupil funding in state history, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Newsom signs bill creating mental health protocol for schools
The California Department of Education will create a protocol for schools to better address student mental health challenges, under a new law signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Assembly bill 309, sponsored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills) and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), comes amid a surge in youth mental health disorders related to the pandemic. Depression, stress, anxiety and suidical ideation among young people all increased sharply in the past year, in part due to social isolation and economic instability.


California will soon require free tampons in public schools
California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The move comes as women's rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons and other items. California's latest effort builds on a 2017 law requiring low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products.


11-year-old chemistry whiz recognized by Fullerton School District's program
For many children in Ethan Cho's generation, protecting the environment is one of their top priorities. Fueled by his passion for chemistry, the 11-year-old wants to be part of the solution to climate change.  His YouTube Channel called Ethan's Laboratory posts videos about AP chemistry and experiments.  The Fullerton School District chose Ethan to be part of its Dream Catchers program, an initiative to highlight students who are taking learning beyond the classroom.

In California, inconsistent school COVID rules are the norm
Aside from a common pandemic lingo there is little similarity in how California schools are applying COVID-19 rules, leading to a dizzying patchwork of approaches that parents and teachers say can be confusing and frustrating. While California has a few statewide requirements for all schools, such as requiring all public and private school teachers and students to wear face masks indoors, and a vaccinate-or-test rule for teachers starting in mid-October, many other details are left to local school officials.

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