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Friday, February 19, 2021


COVID-19 update: Severe weather delays vaccine shipments; Disneyland Super POD to close temporarily
Orange County public health officials Thursday announced that the Disneyland Resort Super POD site will close temporarily due to shipping delays caused by severe cold weather that has affected many parts of the country. In a press release, the county said the expected Moderna vaccine delivery did not arrive on Tuesday, Feb. 16, resulting in very low inventory. State guidance encourages dispensing all vaccine supplies as quickly as possible and does not allow for maintaining a vaccine reserve. Dependent on vaccine supply, the Soka University POD in Aliso Viejo will remain open to provide second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.


California makes it easier for high school sports to return to competition
The California Department of Public Health made significant updates to its guidelines for youth and high school sports on Friday, paving the way for counties and school districts to start planning for multiple sports in the coming days and weeks, including high school football, if certain health conditions and safety protocol are met. The state health agency adjusted its colored tier system for youth and high school sports to allow outdoor, high-contact sports such as football, water polo and soccer to be played in the less restrictive red (substantial risk) or purple (widespread risk) tiers in the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system with conditions. The sports had previously slotted in the orange tier (moderate risk).


CUSD Board Clears Way for Return of Letter Grades in P.E. Classes
Middle and high school students could again have the option of receiving an A grade in physical education classes, if they feel they have earned one and want it. The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees set up bringing back the option of letter grades for secondary physical education students during a regular meeting on Feb. 17. A designation of credit or no credit—instituted due to difficulties with the online APEX management system used for physical education classes during the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of the district’s “do no harm” policy for students during the health crisis—will remain the default evaluation if students do not request a letter grade.


Attorney to school district: Vaccination demands for reopening will be challenged
San Francisco’s elementary schools should reopen immediately based on health guidelines and irrespective of labor agreements, City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a letter to the school district’s contracted attorney Thursday.


California legislators issue their conditions for reopening schools — without governor’s backing
In a sign that they remain at odds with Gov. Gavin Newsom, legislative leaders on Thursday released legislation laying out their version of what districts must do to reopen schools. What’s missing, however, is the governor’s support after weeks of negotiations.

California students watch and learn through hands-on projects as Mars rover lands
Science teacher Gay Young has followed just about every space expedition in recent memory. This week, she’s taking her elementary students on the journey with her, as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars after a seven-month flight from Earth.

Long Beach Unified is largest school district in California to announce reopening plans
With over 70,000 students, Long Beach Unified is the largest school district in California to announce school reopening plans, although it will be nearly six weeks before any students will return for regular in-person instruction, and even then on a part-time basis.


Long Beach Schools Push Back Elementary School Reopenings To Late March
Despite an announcement from health officials this week that coronavirus cases have subsided enough that elementary students can safely return to campuses, the Long Beach Unified School District has pushed back its planned reopening once again. Classroom instruction for LBUSD students up to fifth grade will resume on March 29, according to an LBUSD presentation given at Wednesday evening's Board of Education meeting. Previously, school officials had said they would start reopening campuses March 1. The presentation said classroom instruction would be on a hybrid schedule, meaning there would be a continued online component.


Lawmakers’ Plan To Reopen California Schools In April ‘Doesn’t Go Far Enough Or Fast Enough,’ Newsom Says
California lawmakers released a plan Thursday that would allow schools in counties with more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions to reopen for in-person learning for younger students as well as give school teachers and staff higher vaccine priority. But its chance of being passed and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom is slim.


Lawmakers blitz governor on school reopenings
Members of the Legislature put forward a bill today that would require schools to reopen by mid-April and guarantee that teachers get offered a COVID-19 vaccine beforehand. The lawmakers have said they’ll vote on the bill next week without hearings or word from Gov. Gavin Newsom.


'They want their babysitters back': school tensions boil over
Residents in one Bay Area community are demanding that several school board members resign after the officials were captured on video disparaging parents in frank and profane ways as tensions mount over prolonged campus closures.

‘Distance learning is killing me.’ 2 SLO County school districts approve reopening plans
The decisions by the boards of trustees for San Luis Coastal Unified and Lucia Mar Unified school districts come as COVID-19 numbers in San Luis Obispo County have improved in recent weeks and new state and federal guidance has been released.

San Francisco Educator Calls for Compromise After City Sues School District
San Francisco is the first city in California to sue its school district to get children back into the classroom. Still, teachers' unions say they won't return to in-person learning until staff is fully vaccinated. Eduardo Abarca, a San Francisco educator, said teachers and parents need to compromise to give children a better education. He has been teaching his 6-year-old nephew Spanish, sign language, and history lessons since the state shut down last March. Abarca said these are difficult subjects to teach through distance learning, which is why he would prefer to teach in-person again.

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