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Wednesday, March 31, 2021


COVID-19 update: OC moving to the orange tier; state issues graduation guidance
We’ve waited a long time to write this: Orange County is about to become an orange county. With key COVID-19 infection rates continuing to fall, Orange County now qualifies for the orange tier of California’s color-coded tracking system, signaling moderate transmission. The change takes effect Wednesday, March 31. The shift doesn’t have much of an impact on schools, but it’s certainly good news from a public health standpoint, and it means more establishments get the green light to resume or expand their operations with modifications.


LAUSD students suffered ‘alarming’ academic harm during pandemic, report says
The greatest academic harm fell on younger students and those who were faring worse before the pandemic, the report said.


Sacramento County students are back on campus. But what will school look like in the fall?
Most of the safety measures will still be in place: masks, spaced desks, rapid testing, a prohibition on large gatherings like school rallies, and students will remain in stable groups with limited interaction.


As Oakland schools reopen, students rush into classrooms and parents sigh with relief
There were no tears and no hesitation Tuesday at Oakland’s Madison Park Academy Primary as the youngest students headed through the gates for their first day of in-person learning, joining classmates they had seen on screens for a year.


Kids going back to school in a pandemic are met with another trauma: Active shooter drills
Experts worry that schools may be more vulnerable to violent attacks than they were before the pandemic. That's because underlying factors — including gun-related deaths and reports of mental health concerns among youths — were only getting worse. Active shooter drills — required in roughly 40 states — may only make matters worse, with scant evidence of their effectiveness and growing concern of the traumatizing effect they may have on the children they're intended to keep safe.


‘Fantastic news for the Class of 2021’: California OKs in-person graduations this year
After a tumultuous year of distanced learning and lost milestones, the Class of 2021 can look forward to next-to-normal commencement ceremonies following the release of new guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. All commencement ceremonies will adhere to the state’s existing guidance for outdoor seated events and for gatherings. Attendees will be asked to wear masks, limit groups to a single household unit and maintain six feet of distance from people outside of their household.


More than 800 San Bernardino students returned to distance learning after outreach effort
More than 800 San Bernardino students who were previously absent or truant from class returned to distance learning regularly after school district officials and local volunteers visited them at their homes. Operation Student Recovery, a biannual outreach effort designed to get truant students back to school by offering assistance in overcoming barriers preventing their attendance, was held Feb. 23 and brought more than 165 volunteers together for the cause.


New L.A. school vaccination sites to open for families of students in hard-hit communities
California’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, next week will open new vaccination sites designed to reach the families of students. The plan, a partnership with St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, is considered one way schools could help solve a vexing problem as schools across the state continue to reopen — how to increase access to vaccines for families in areas hard hit by the pandemic.

Teachers reimagine schools and themselves post-Covid [VIDEO]
How should schools welcome back students in the fall? How did a year under Covid change teachers’ view of their work? What online learning practices are worth keeping once students resume full time in the classroom? We asked members of EdSource’s new Teachers Advisory Committee these questions during a recent meeting and recorded their responses. Their reflections, which they agreed to share with readers, are interesting and insightful.


After a year without mass school shootings, experts sound the alarm about a ‘return to normal’
As the pandemic spread across the country, students were swept from their classrooms and isolated in their homes, raising concern that the instability could result in devastating emotional health implications and widespread learning loss. But it also came with an unsettling silver lining: A year without a single mass school shooting.

Court documents reveal how L.A. teachers union gained upper hand in pandemic negotiations, limiting instruction time
As the Los Angeles Unified School District prepares to reopen elementary schools for the first time in 13 months, recently released court documents show that while the district pushed for more instructional time for students earlier this year, the union successfully bargained for a reduced teacher workday — and a lot more of what it wanted.

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