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Monday, November 22, 2021


Cox Communications awards grant to help rebuild OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program
It’s been nearly a year since the devastating Bond Fire swept through Rancho Soñado, claiming the home of OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program. But with support from the Orange County community and a grant from Cox Communications, the program is working to rebuild. Inside the Outdoors was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from Cox Charities, which will help restore its popular animal ambassador program. Funded by employee donations that are company-matched, Cox Charities grants support organizations like ITO with programs focused on innovative STEM opportunities for K-12 students beyond the classroom.


Trabuco Hills High band heads to NYC for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade after pandemic postponed trip
Then-middle schooler Camden Miller remembers more than two years ago now when confetti rained down during a Saddleback Valley Unified School District concert in March 2019, surprising the Trabuco Hills High School marching unit with the news it would perform in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The experience was just one “convincing reason” to be part of the marching unit when he got to the high school, Miller said.

SpongeBob voice actors help celebrate memorial at Savanna High for creator Stephen Hillenburg
Prior to inventing the denizens of the under-water city of Bikini Bottom for the iconic animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Stephen Hillenburg was a student at Savanna High School in Anaheim. On Thursday, SpongeBob and his pals, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Patrick Star and Plankton – or at least the actors who voice them –gathered in the Savanna quad with the students and staff to celebrate the animator whose imagination brought them to life. Also there were Hillenburg’s wife, Karen, and son, Clay, and Nickelodeon executives as a bright yellow, metal bench installed as a monument to Hillenburg was unveiled.


LAUSD tells students to get first COVID-19 shot by Sunday
Although students have until Jan. 10 to become fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to comply with a Los Angeles Unified mandate, school district officials are telling families their children should get their first shot by this Sunday, ahead of the upcoming holiday season.


Placer, El Dorado school districts ask state to keep COVID vaccine belief exemptions
Education officials in Placer, El Dorado and Yuba counties recently sent letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom, legislators, the California Department of Public Health and other state leaders, urging them to maintain religious and personal belief exemptions for the student COVID-19 vaccination mandate expected to take effect starting in mid-2022.


Hiring shortages, COVID stresses complicate schools’ year of recovery
This was supposed to be a recovery year for schools and for students. But lack of substitute teachers, frequent student absences are hampering academic and mental health recovery, teachers say.

Poway superintendent reports that anti-mask protesters are ‘escalating,’ showed up at her home
Poway Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps said at Thursday night’s virtual board meeting that anti-mask protesters are “escalating” and “stalking my home.” “This type of behavior is not okay,” she said, adding that a protester trespassed through a locked gate and appeared at her front door. The board voted 5-to-1 to keep the Dec. 16 meeting online due to ongoing safety concerns.


S.F. mayor offers to forgive a $26.6 million loan to the school district — with conditions
A $26.6 million city loan to San Francisco’s school district would be forgiven under legislation proposed by Mayor London Breed, but only if the school board comes up with a comprehensive plan to get its budget under control.


Ontario-Montclair superintendent used a town house as a credit card and taxpayers paid the bill
Ontario-Montclair School District’s superintendent took out a line of credit against a town house the district helped him buy and racked up nearly $100,000 in new debt against the property before he persuaded the school board to pay off not only his mortgage but the credit as well, the Southern California News Group has learned.


School board in Rancho Cucamonga widens COVID-19 vaccine exemptions for students
The Etiwanda School District Board of Trustees voted in support of a wider range of exemptions to a state mandate requiring staff and students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a resolution approved by the board on Thursday, Nov. 18. However, more than a dozen teachers, parents and students who strongly oppose any vaccine mandate required for in-person instruction spoke against the board resolution, saying it does not go far enough.


California districts in areas with low vaccine rates offer incentives to get school staff vaccinated
Some California school districts, in an effort to get ahead of California Covid-19 vaccine mandate deadlines and reduce already dire staffing shortages, are paying teachers and other staff to get their Covid-19 vaccinations. Enterprise Elementary School District in Shasta County is one of the latest to offer vaccine incentives to school staff. In August, district officials agreed to pay $500 to each employee who was fully vaccinated against Covid by Oct. 4 – 11 days before a state deadline for school staff to be vaccinated or begin weekly testing.

Few students in special education receiving extra services they need to catch up, survey finds
Only 18% of students in special education have been offered extra services as a result of the pandemic, even though most suffered some degree of learning loss while campuses were closed, according to a national parent survey released this week.

Alameda County to escalate oversight over Oakland Unified
The Alameda County Office of Education plans to implement stricter oversight of Oakland Unified’s finances, over concerns that the board is not taking steps necessary to balance its budget. As reported by Oaklandside, Alameda County Superintendent L.K. Monroe wrote in a letter to board members last week that she is concerned that the district has continued to maintain the same number of staff, despite declining enrollment.

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