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Wednesday, October 6, 2021


How the teaching of art and language helps knit together diverse SoCal populations
How do you teach culture in Southern California? One way is through language. L’Héritage Français in La Habra, the International School of Orange and The Language Academy at Aronoff Preschool in Irvine, not to mention the Irvine Chinese School and Chinese Cultural Center, are just a few places in our region offering immersive language classes for younger students. Children spend their school days conversing fully in French, Mandarin, Italian and Spanish. Circle time and songs are taught in foreign languages.


‘Educators beware!’ TikTok challenge to slap a teacher prompts urgent warning
Educational leaders throughout the state are urgently warning teachers and school staff about a disturbing TikTok challenge that emerged this month urging students to slap teachers while recording it on a video.


Newsom signs California education budget with universal pre-K, college savings accounts
Speaking to teachers and students at Fresno’s Sunset Elementary School on Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a trio of bills; part of a $123.9 billion legislative package that delivers record-level investments in public schools.


S.F. schools' financial tailspin prompts state to intervene in face of massive shortfall
With a $116 million shortfall increasing the likelihood that the San Francisco school district won’t be able to pay its bills, the California education superintendent is stepping in to address its financial tailspin in a move aimed at avoiding a full state takeover.

Cursing, meltdowns and playground tussles: Schools grapple with emotional toll of pandemic
After a year or more of online learning, students returned to classrooms with forgotten social skills, trauma and pent-up frustration, where staffing shortages make it difficult for some schools to respond.


How a UC Riverside professor got help from her cartoon panda to teach kids online
They say necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, it’s the mother of a talking cartoon named Mrs. Panda. But let’s back up a little. A highly regarded research professor in education at UC Riverside, Linda Ventriglia-Navarrette, Ph.D., directs Project Adalente Moving Forward, an early childhood literacy initiative that develops a curriculum called “ABC Rule of 3,” aimed at leveling the achievement gap for English learners.


Emergency response team helps California schools navigate wildfires
During the height of the wildfire season, Joe Anderson and Jake Wolf met virtually every Thursday morning with exhausted and bewildered school superintendents whose campuses had either been evacuated or destroyed by the wildfires raging through California. The pair make up the California Department of Education’s Emergency Services Team, but to some school district officials assisted by them, they and their director, Juan Mireles, are affectionately referred to as the 3 J’s.

New law will identify preschoolers’ home languages
A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday requires all state-subsidized preschool programs to identify the languages children speak at home and the language spoken by program staff. The bill, AB 1363, authored by Assemblymember Luz Rivas, D-North Hollywood, requires preschool programs that receive state funds to serve low-income children to identify the language spoken at home of every child enrolled, as well as the languages used in the classroom and spoken by the preschool teachers.

Gov. Newsom signs bill improving access to child care for migrant workers
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation today improving access to child care for migrant farmworkers at a press conference held at an elementary school in Fresno. Long a champion of early childhood education, Newsom also touted the transformative nature of the state’s new universal transitional kindergarten program, which will be fully rolled out by 2025, the state’s plan to seed college savings accounts of up to $1,500 for low-income students, English learners and foster and homeless youth and plans to reach out to dual language learners.


Teachers are amping up to help handle students’ pandemic-era trauma
“Ugh! I just walked through spiderwebs! Obviously, we’ve been gone for a while – there are spiderwebs!” Julie Trujillo says as she’s walking from Riverside’s Foothill Elementary School grounds, where she teaches fourth grade, to her car while we’re chatting on the phone. Trujillo is one of the countless teachers gearing up for a new pandemic-era school year as students return after what many are calling a lost year after time away from desks, classmates and teachers.


One loophole remains in student COVID-19 vaccination mandate
California’s recently issued COVID-19 vaccination mandate allows students and staff to opt out for religious or ideological reasons. While a small minority are expected to leave their schools over this mandate, a key lawmaker says he may push legislation to eliminate the personal belief exemption.


San Francisco ethnic studies courses produced major educational benefits, researchers find as country debates anti-racist teaching in schools
Amid a heated political feud over the way educators should teach students about the legacy of issues like white supremacy and slavery, a major new study points to a positive, lasting link between antiracist instruction and improved academic outcomes for teens who struggle in school. The study, published Sept. 14 in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a ninth-grade ethnic studies course in San Francisco was associated with significant, long-term benefits, including improved high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

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