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Wednesday, December 15, 2021


State health department will require masking in all indoor public settings for at least one month
Citing the sharp rise in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, state health officials say masks must be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, starting Dec. 15 and continuing through Jan. 15. Since Thanksgiving, California’s seven-day average case rate has increased by 47 percent and hospitalizations are up 14 percent, according to the California Department of Public Health, which said it will make further recommendations as needed in mid-January.


Yorba Linda school quarantines entire 6th grade class due to COVID-19
All sixth graders at Travis Ranch School in Yorba Linda are taking classes from home this week, after numerous students tested positive for COVID-19 and potentially exposed hundreds of their classmates as close contacts to the virus. Officials at the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District and the OC Health Care Agency have been monitoring “dozens of cases,” mostly among sixth graders at the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade campus, with “very few cases taking place among other grade levels and staff members,” according to a news release from the district.


Anaheim High School to Keep ‘Colonists’ Name, But Change Mascot
Anaheim High School students will continue to bear the Colonist name amid uproar from some community members and students who say the name and mascot is offensive to local indigenous residents. But the mascot imagery of a pilgrim carrying muskets will be changed following a 4-1 vote Tuesday night by the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees with Trustee Katherine Smith dissenting.


Severe teacher shortages persist in Sacramento schools. What it means for parents, students
The school year is nearly halfway complete, and school districts across the Sacramento region are still struggling to fill dozens of positions, both with permanent teachers and substitutes.


S.F. school board cuts classroom, administrative spending in bid to avoid state takeover
Hoping to prevent a state takeover, the San Francisco school board approved a budget plan Tuesday to address a $125 million shortfall, including a $50 million cut to schools and another $40 million reduction in support services, operations and administration.


New report: California must address imbalance of too many eligible students and not enough slots at UC and CSU
California has more eligible students for admission to the state’s public universities than those campuses have space for. A new report released Wednesday by The Campaign for College Opportunity highlights that more eligible students are applying to the University of California and California State University campuses than those colleges can admit. The lack of capacity means that fewer qualified Latino and Black students are applying to these universities.

Los Angeles Unified's new superintendent pledges to be 'a voice in the community'
Alberto Carvalho, the incoming superintendent of Los Angeles Unified, on Tuesday pledged to dedicate himself to advancing equity and helping all students in the state’s largest school district reach their full potential. Carvalho’s remarks at Edward R. Roybal Learning Center marked his first public appearance in Los Angeles since taking the job last week and also came after the district’s seven-person board unanimously approved his four-year contract, which pays him an annual salary of $440,000.

LA Unified pushes back deadline for Covid-19 vaccine mandate
Los Angeles Unified — which enrolls about a fifth of California students –will not require students 12 and older to receive both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by Jan.10 in order to attend in-person classes, as previously determined. School board members voted Tuesday to scrap the previous deadline, though some expressed reluctance. Under the new policy, students 12 and older must be fully vaccinated before the start of the 2022-23 school year.


Where are the students? For a second straight year, school enrollment is dropping
The troubling enrollment losses that school districts reported last year have in many places continued this fall, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt public education across the country, an NPR investigation has found. We compiled the latest headcount data directly from more than 600 districts in 23 states and Washington, D.C., including statewide data from Massachusetts, Georgia and Alabama. We found that very few districts, especially larger ones, have returned to pre-pandemic numbers. Most are now posting a second straight year of declines. This is particularly true in some of the nation's largest systems:


Judge denies parent groups’ bid for injunction against LAUSD’s vaccine mandate
A judge has denied a request by two parent groups for a preliminary injunction against the Los Angeles Unified School District's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, finding that the balance of harms weighs in favor of health and safety over the shortcomings of remote learning. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff had heard arguments Wednesday, then took the case under submission before handing down his final ruling on Monday. He said the LAUSD had shown that "LAUSD's community" will be more susceptible to the coronavirus with unvaccinated students on campus.

California education official resigns amid criticism over East Coast residency, hiring process
A highly-paid California education administrator who led the state's equity program from his Philadelphia home has resigned amid criticism over his long-distance status and how he was hired.

San Diego Unified School District Names 2 Finalists for New Superintendent
The San Diego Unified School District board announced Tuesday that the two finalists for superintendent are interim head Dr. Lamont A. Jackson and Dr. Susan Enfield of the Highline district in suburban Seattle. The two candidates will participate in community forums that will offer the public opportunities to engage with them before the board selects the next permanent superintendent to succeed Cindy Marten, who was named deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

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