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Wednesday, December 22, 2021


Mijares: New website, The 101, created to help families unpack complex education issues
Want to better understand how curriculum decisions are made? Need a rundown of the immunizations required to attend school? Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about health education or ethnic studies in California. These are some of the topics explained in a new website developed specifically by the Orange County Department of Education to help parents unpack complex education issues. It’s called The 101, and it can be accessed at


Mystery gift at Los Al High turns into $300 re-gifts from 51 students
In early December, an anonymous hometown business bestowed the 51 members of the Los Alamitos High Associated Student Body with $300 each – for a total of $15,300. The mystery donor who gave a boat load of cash to students at Los Alamitos High had just one mandate: “Make someone else’s day.” All of the students presented their gifts face to face. That was one of the only stipulations. Whatever their choice, the resulting satisfaction was a real-life reminder of the adage that it’s better – and more rewarding – to give than to receive.

La Habra council member quits city job, lands another on OC Board of Education
Tim Shaw left his job as a member of the La Habra City Council Tuesday, Dec. 21, and later in the day was voted back to his former post as a member of the Orange County Board of Education. Shaw stepped down from the school board position in November while facing a lawsuit from a constituent who argued that Shaw’s concurrent roles on both the city council and county school board represented a conflict of interest. Because Shaw had most recently been reelected to the city position, he was forced to give up his seat on the Board of Education.


Tim Shaw Reappointed to OC Board of Education Two Months After Resignation
Tim Shaw took his seat on the county board of education back on Tuesday night after choosing to leave it nearly two months ago to avoid a lawsuit. The suit was brought by Melissa Louden, one of Shaw’s constituents who argued that his position on both the board of education and his 13–year stint on the La Habra City Council created a conflict of interest since their jurisdictions overlapped in La Habra. He abruptly resigned from the La Habra City Council on Tuesday to avoid serving in two separate offices and the potential lawsuit stemming from it.


San Diego Unified says it is ‘100-percent determined’ to keep student COVID-19 vaccine mandate
The San Diego Unified School Board voted unanimously behind closed doors Tuesday to appeal a court ruling from a day earlier that struck down its student COVID-19 vaccine mandate.


One early educator explains the importance of transitional kindergarten
Paula Merrigan knows how to make magic in the classroom, sharing her love of learning with young children while also giving them the emotional boost they often need during the pandemic. She first noticed her affinity for teaching when her own son was in preschool years ago. “I discovered I really enjoy being around these young children,” she said. “They’re so full of wonder. Their little light bulb moments are so fun to be a part of.”

Thurmond plan would add 10,000 mental health clinicians to California schools
Prospective mental health clinicians could get up to $25,000 in scholarship money under legislation proposed Tuesday by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond intended to bolster mental health services for California students. The plan is meant to entice at least 10,000 new mental health clinicians to work in the state’s K-12 public schools, which have been suffering a shortage of counselors, psychologists and social workers at the same time that student mental health needs have escalated due to the pandemic.


Laguna Beach USD names 2021-22 employees of the year
A Thurston Middle School social studies teacher and district human resources assistant were selected as the 2021-22 employees of the year for the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Megan Bhaskaran was named as Teacher of the Year and Kelli Merda was chosen as the Classified Employee of the Year earlier this month. Both women were surprised by staff with balloons and a personalized banner after being elected by fellow employees from throughout the school district.

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