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Monday, November 15, 2021


OC Board of Ed to fill open seat through provisional appointment
The Orange County Board of Education has announced the process for filling the Fourth District seat previously held by Tim Shaw. Trustees will provisionally appoint a successor to complete Shaw’s term, which expires in June, according to a public notice posted on the board’s website. Candidates interested in serving on the board must submit letters of intent and resumes to by no later than noon on Wednesday, Nov. 30.


A fifth-grade teacher’s softball club carries on her father’s work
Erika Cardenas had only recently started her job teaching fifth grade at Orangethorpe Elementary School in Fullerton, when her father, Mark Campbell, longtime softball coach for Pacifica High School and the OC Batbusters, died suddenly. Campbell had been coaching a softball game in La Mirada that day in March 2019 when he suddenly fell ill and was taken to St. Jude Medical Center, he died the following morning. Two weeks later, Cardenas started a softball club for Orangethorpe fifth graders.


Pedal-ED campaign aims to support students pursuing CTE pathways
As students venture deeper into their high school careers, they turn an eye to the future. To many, that means applying to four-year universities, but there are those that want to remind students that they have more than one option. Dr. Brian Dozer, president of the Orange County nonprofit Vital Link, has been cycling to and meeting with students to raise awareness about career technical education pathways through the Pedal-ED fundraising effort.


Anti-vaccine leaflet objects to Sacramento school mandate. Does it target Latino families?
Leaflets in both English and Spanish were distributed on cars in Sacramento last weekend urging parents to reconsider vaccinating their children against COVID-19. And some parents feel they are targeting the Latino community.


Only half of San Diego Unified students showed up at school on bungled mental health day
About 49 percent of students attended school on Friday, which was optional for students, the district estimates. One teacher reported having just 32 out of 120 fourth-graders show up at school, according to the teachers union. Overall, educators didn’t teach anything new on Friday because they didn’t want students who stayed home to miss out on instruction, said Kisha Borden, president of the San Diego Unified teachers union.

How will San Diego’s school districts spend hundreds of millions in COVID money?
San Diego County’s largest school districts are spending their hundreds of millions in COVID aid dollars on everything from pay raises for substitute teachers to Chromebooks for kids.


A few California school districts say they'll defy Newsom's student vaccine mandate. Will more follow?
A handful of Northern California school districts have said they will defy the governor’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, despite the resulting loss of millions in state funding for violating the law.


Why are California schools losing students?
As the number of young people in California continues to drop, “save our schools” has become an increasingly common rallying cry among parents in communities facing the prospect of shutting some of their campuses.


Ontario-Montclair school chief gets 22 weeks of leave a year, cashes it out to become state’s top paid
The superintendent of the Ontario-Montclair School District has become California’s highest paid K-12 administrator for three years in a row through a series of opaque perks. James Hammond swapped 85 sick days and 25 days of vacation for $167,596 this year, just one of the generous perks afforded in his contract. The district also bought him a condo.


How will California districts spend $13.6 billion in federal Covid relief?  
American Rescue Plan Act funding imposes few restrictions, although addressing lost learning and underserved students must be priorities.

Thousands of teachers still unvaccinated in Northern California
The number of teachers who are vaccinated varies widely among Northern California districts, ranging from 98% in San Rafael to about 77% in Manteca, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Some school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified, require all teachers to be vaccinated. However, the state of California allows teachers to remain unvaccinated, as long as they have weekly Covid-19 testing.


Parents use ‘mental health’ day to get kids vaccinated
Just a little more than half the students in the San Diego Unified School District appeared to have taken advantage of a controversial ‘mental health’ day on Friday. District officials' preliminary numbers show student attendance on Friday at about 48%. Students had the option of going to school or not. Sheila Gray is one parent who welcomed the mental day off. She brought her 10-year-old daughter, Ava, to get a children’s dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Ava is a fifth-grade student at nearby Alice Birney Elementary School.


Laguna Beach teacher recognized by Navy for mentoring sailor
Laguna Beach High School teacher Jonathan Todd, was surprised in his classroom on Nov. 4 with the Navy’s Impact Influencer Award. This service recognizes educators like Todd for having a positive impact in the lives of future sailors. Todd’s former student, Jack Strickland, was accepted into the Navy’s Nuclear Engineering program, which is one of the hardest and most sought-after programs in the service.


San Diego Judge Dismisses Carlsbad Group’s Suit to Stop Mask Mandate in Schools
A San Diego Superior Court judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mask mandate in state schools. The lawsuit, filed by the Carlsbad group Let Them Breathe, sought to overturn mandated masking at schools, as well as other state guidance related to quarantines and COVID-19 testing on campuses. In her ruling, Judge Cynthia Freeland wrote that state officials have “a legitimate interest in protecting health and safety by mandating public measures, which measures can include masks.”

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