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Wednesday, February 24, 2021


COVID-19 update: Orange County outdoor, high-contact school sports cleared to resume
The California Department of Public Health Tuesday released updated COVID-19 data, which revealed the adjusted case rate per 100,000 is 11.7 for Orange County. This means that per the state’s revised high school sports guidelines, outdoor, high-contact sports like football are now cleared to resume. As previously mentioned, the CDPH last Friday released new guidelines, now allowing high-contact sports to be played in counties that are in the purple and red tiers of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system, if counties have a case rate at or below 14 per 100,000 people, and if the schools conduct weekly testing for COVID-19.


Orange County plans to open multiple vaccination sites for school employees
School employees could soon have access to multiple locations for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot as Orange County begins to inoculate its education sector. A vaccination site that, for now, is serving educators 65 years or older is expected to reopen for appointments in the Garden Grove Unified district on Wednesday, Feb. 24, as shipments of doses delayed by the recent winter storms across the country begin to arrive. Next, the Orange County Department of Education is planning to roll out several more vaccination pods (points of dispensing) on school properties throughout the county over the next several weeks, department spokesman Ian Hanigan said. In a collaboration with the OC Health Care Agency, the county education department is targeting districts and areas such as Capistrano Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, Santa Ana Unified, Anaheim and Orange Unified as potential destinations for the pods to spread them around the county, Hanigan said. They will be open to public and private school employees.

Santa Ana Unified paid $2.2 million in sex abuse case involving fired coach
Santa Ana Unified School District quietly paid $2.175 million last October to settle a lawsuit filed by the families of six boys who said they were sexually abused and harassed from 2013 to 2015 by a former Segerstrom High School part-time baseball coach. The lawsuit, filed in 2017, alleged that their cases were part of a broader pattern at Segerstrom High, claiming the school was negligent in hiring and supervising Carlos Salcito Sales Jr. and other part-time coaches, and that officials failed to report Sales’ crimes to authorities to protect the school’s reputation. [Warning: This story contains graphic content.]


L.A. school reopening contingent on full staff vaccinations, making for uncertain date
Los Angeles schools Supt. Austin Beutner on Tuesday presented a plan to the school board for reopening campuses that includes the full period needed for employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, delaying the return of elementary students to early April at best. School officials repeatedly targeted April 9 for a campus reopening date, but Beutner described the date as an estimate, saying that the crucial issue is access to vaccines for the 25,000 employees needed for the operation of elementary schools serving 250,000 students in the nation’s second-largest school system.

Pandemic drives parents to put older kids in day care
Preschool and day-care workers across the state say they have spent months managing ad hoc classrooms of older students — tutoring, troubleshooting and teaching supplementary material.


Outdoor Youth Sports Expected to Return in OC, State Officials Consider School Reopening Changes
Orange County kids are expected to be able to play football, rugby, soccer and other outdoor sports starting this Friday, after not playing in organized fashion for nearly a year since the coronavirus pandemic began. The county’s overall virus situation has been getting better, following the massive case spikes that began in November, which led to the tsunami of patients who flooded hospitals throughout December and early January.


San Diego Unified sets April 12 target date for reopening schools
Nearly a year after San Diego Unified closed its schools due to the pandemic, the state’s second-largest district plans to reopen schools for all grade levels the week of April 12.


S.F. school board approves plan with labor unions to reopen classrooms
San Francisco school officials unanimously approved a health and safety agreement with labor unions allowing the reopening of schools before the end of the academic year.


COVID-19: Data show California far behind in reopening schools compared to other states
On a scale of 0 to 100, California’s index score of 11.1 was ahead of only Maryland’s 9.8, and comparable only to Oregon, at 12.8, and Washington, at 19.2.


Riverside County elementary schools cleared to reopen
Riverside County now meets a state standard that allows elementary schools with approved coronavirus-prevention plans to return to in-person instruction, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 23.


Teachers, support staff, can now get vaccine through San Bernardino County
All teachers, school support staff and licensed child care providers living or working in San Bernardino County are eligible to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, Feb. 23.


Homeless students in L.A. charter schools struggle more than peers at traditional schools, study finds
Homeless students attending charter schools in Los Angeles County have significantly lower attendance and graduation rates than their peers at traditional public schools, according to new research from UCLA. Homeless students in Los Angeles County charter schools had a graduation rate of 45% in 2018-19, more than 35 percentage points lower than the rate of homeless students at the county’s traditional public high schools according to “Unseen and Unsupported Students in Charter Schools,” published by the Black Male Institute at the university’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.


Kern County's three biggest school districts saw academic performances take hit during distance learning period
The school year unlike any other has resulted in report cards unlike any other. Students are coming home with fewer As, Bs and Cs and a lot more Ds and Fs compared to last year. That’s been true across the country and state — in schools where they’re still giving grades — and it’s true in the three school districts where 45 percent of Kern County students go to school.


SFUSD Isn’t Alone: Escalating Pressures Facing Lawmakers in School Reopening Debate Across Bay Area
Increasingly organized groups of parents advocating for an immediate return to class are emerging as a potent political counterweight to teachers unions.


California students in richer areas far more likely to be back in classrooms
As pandemic drags on, a CalMatters data analysis reveals that students who currently have no option to attend class in person are much more likely to live in poorer areas.


California governor says deal to reopen schools is close
As the vast majority of California students approach one year of distance learning, Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Tuesday that classrooms will reopen “very, very shortly.” But his forecast was called into question by Los Angeles teachers who continue to insist that the state’s largest school district won’t open without more vaccinations. “The pressure building to return to schools is political. It is not science,” the United Teachers Los Angeles said in a statement. The union said it will vote next week to refuse resuming in-person classes unless certain demands are met, including that all returning staff get access to vaccinations and COVID-19 case numbers in the county continue to decrease.

Newsom feuds with fellow California Democrats over schools
California Democrats and Gov. Gavin Newsom are in rare conflict with the governor slamming a school reopening bill he says would set districts further back.

Parents Divided Over Return to LAUSD Campuses
She’s never stepped foot in a classroom, let alone a protest, but on Monday 5-year-old Cali was on strike. She skipped her daily two-hour Zoom kindergarten session and instead joined her mom, Renee Bailey, at a protest in Westwood. “I’m not a teacher. I have no idea if what I’m teaching her is on track with the curriculum for kindergartners,” said Bailey, who is currently juggling remote work for her full-time job with a pharmaceutical company with educating her two children.

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