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Tuesday, February 23, 2021


All OC school employees will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting March 1
Based on the latest state guidance, Orange County health officials have announced that 30 percent of new COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be allocated for education and childcare workers along with the food and agriculture sectors. While vaccines are still in limited supply across the state, the shift means school employees who were originally included in Phase 1B of the county’s rollout can begin receiving their vaccinations starting next week.


Orange County football season can start if COVID-19 stats reach new benchmark today
There will be a COVID-19 version of scoreboard watching done by a lot of Orange County high school football teams on Tuesday, Feb. 23. What’s at stake? The green light that says they can finally start their season. The scoreboard they’ll be watching is actually the state’s website that will post the updated COVID-19 statistics on Tuesday. If the numbers for O.C. are as good as expected, football teams will be eligible to begin conditioning immediately and could play their first game as early as March 11-13.


Families demand wider school reopening as LAUSD moves toward in-person instruction
Los Angeles schools will resume some services next week for a small percentage of students with special needs, Supt. Austin Beutner announced Monday.

Newsom touts Long Beach as model for schools reopening
Despite wavering supplies and glaring racial and geographic inequities plaguing Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday praised the region’s distribution efforts.


Los Alamitos High School May Offer New Ethnic Studies Class; Will Placentia-Yorba Linda District Follow?
For a while now some educators, parents and alumni have been voicing concerns over what they describe as a lack of adequate education in Orange County schools about Black history and communities of color. High schools in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, Garden Grove and Laguna Beach already offer ethnic studies classes. Los Alamitos Unified School District might be next to offer an ethnic studies course for eleventh and twelfth graders. 


LAUSD superintendent believes April 9 reopening still feasible
Los Angeles Unified schools Superintendent Austin Beutner on Monday, Feb. 22, doubled down on his challenge to elected officials to get elementary campuses in the nation’s second-largest school district up and running by April 9.


San Diego Unified expected to release reopening timeline, updated plans Tuesday
Amid changing school reopening guidance and delays in getting COVID-19 vaccines to school staff, San Diego Unified is expected to release a new reopening timeline and other details of a revised reopening plan at its school board meeting Tuesday.


Santa Clara County to allow prep football, other outdoor sports
Football and other outdoor sports will be permitted in Santa Clara County beginning Friday, officials announced Monday, bringing the county in line with recent guidelines released by the California Department of Public Health.


Coronavirus school outbreak study ties spread to teachers
Amid debate over reopening public schools closed for almost a year by the coronavirus pandemic, a new federal study Monday indicated that when there were outbreaks on campus, they were chiefly driven by infected teachers.


Fresno Unified launches ‘pricey’ COVID-19 testing program
As Fresno Unified School District students and teachers begin returning to campuses this week, officials are exploring ways to have randomized COVID-19 testing for hundreds of employees but at cheaper prices.


Rising tensions, heated words add pressure to reach a deal soon on reopening California schools
Assembly Budget Committee Chairman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, ended a hearing Monday as he started it, lashing out at school districts for criticizing a bill he and other legislative leaders are proposing that would condition $2 billion in incentive funding on reopening schools, starting April 15. That bill, Senate Bill 86, remains in limbo, with no vote on it scheduled and behind-the-scenes talks continuing. But tensions, if Ting’s comments are an indication, are rising.

California teachers move to the front of the vaccine line in most counties
Thousands of California teachers from urban and suburban school districts who had been waiting for Covid-19 vaccinations finally began receiving their first doses last week, with those numbers expected to climb as the state takes additional steps to prioritize teachers.

In his own words: Dr. Fauci on the complexities of school reopening and vaccinations
On Sunday Feb. 21 Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press. The following is a transcript of his remarks. Fauci was equivocal on whether it is safe for adults to be in school without being vaccinated, underscoring the complexities of reopening schools during this pandemic.

Schools must give standardized tests this spring
States must resume their annual standardized tests in math and English language arts this spring, the Biden administration confirmed on Monday. States are required to administer annual tests in reading and math for students in grades 3-8 and once in high school under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. But the U.S. Department of Education waived federal testing requirements after schools closed for in-person instruction in March 2020 due to the pandemic. Until Monday, it’s been unclear exactly where the new administration stands and whether they would offer testing waivers as many school districts continue to operate with distance learning.

California lawmakers propose Cal Grant reforms to help low-income students
Hundreds of thousands of students attending California’s colleges and universities may soon become newly eligible for financial aid awards if lawmakers have their way with a proposal to reform how the state distributes that aid. Assembly Bill 1456, new legislation introduced late Friday by the chair of the state Assembly’s higher education committee, would make it easier for low-income students to receive Cal Grants, the main source of state-funded financial aid available to students in California. The bill proposes to change the rules to target more of the state’s neediest students.


LAUSD To Offer In-Person Services Next Week And Targets April For More Reopenings
The L.A. Unified School District will resume some specialized on-campus services next week as the district works towards a broader reopening targeted for April 9, Superintendent Austin Beutner announced during his weekly video update on Monday. Next week's in-person offerings will include child care, special education services, athletic conditioning and small-group tutoring, based on existing terms set last October by the district and the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles.


Sacramento City Unified’s youngest students could return to school In April
If all goes according to the Sacramento City Unified School District’s plan, some of the area’s youngest students could be back in classrooms in early April. The district put forth its plan to reopen campuses for in-person learning through a phased-in approach.


Learning loss in California: New analysis digs into how students — particularly English learners — are falling behind during the pandemic
When leading assessment providers released data in November on pandemic-related learning loss, the news wasn’t as dreadful as some had predicted. But new attempts to dig deeper into the results from two states now show that many students, particularly those in the elementary grades, have made far less progress than they would have in a normal school year.

LAUSD Announces App to Coordinate COVID-19 Factors in Step Toward Reopening
The Los Angeles Unified School District Monday announced the launch of "Daily Pass," the first comprehensive system in the nation that coordinates health checks, COVID-19 tests and vaccinations in one online tool. In a statement released Monday morning, the district called Daily Pass "a critical component of Los Angeles Unified's `Safe Steps to Safe Schools' reopening plan.

Some Santa Clarita-Area 1st- and 2nd-Graders Returning to School Monday
Some first- and second-graders are expected to return to school for on-campus learning Monday in the Saugus Union School District in the Santa Clarita Valley after almost a year of virtual classes. Last Thursday, the district's governing board approved returning students enrolled in the hybrid learning program to in-person learning.

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