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Thursday, April 15, 2021


Annual arts and disability festival celebrates 45 years
Each year around this time, OCDE and VSA Orange County team up to spotlight the artistic achievements of individuals with disabilities. The VSA Festival is typically a free, daylong event held at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana on a Saturday in April, but the festival has gone virtual for a second year in a row. This year’s theme is “Be Brave, Be Kind, Be You.” The online festival will once again feature links to a variety of offerings such as a 200-piece art gallery, performance videos, activities to help students learn more about individuals with disabilities, and a special video message from actor William Allen Young.

2 OC districts recognized for model school attendance review boards
Two Orange County districts have been recognized by the state for their school attendance review boards, or SARBs, which are being hailed as model programs that devised innovative strategies to support students during distance learning. The Centralia Elementary and Santa Ana Unified school districts were among 20 statewide recipients of Model SARB Awards following unprecedented disruptions to in-person attendance. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced the winners on Wednesday, April 14.


Board’s vote puts LAUSD on path to providing universal preschool by 2024
The board resolution, which passed by a vote of 7-0, directs district staff to return in 180 days with a plan for implementing universal preschool by the 2024-25 school year in an equitable manner based on student needs.


Most Fresno-area schools haven’t fully reopened. Some blame the Fresno teachers union
Teachers say those parents are playing politics with a global health crisis.


Why mental health is the key to dealing with learning loss
The best way schools can help students catch up academically after a year of distance learning is to ensure they feel relaxed, safe and connected to their friends and teachers as they return to the classroom. A year after the pandemic forced school districts to close campuses, students across California are beginning to return to the classroom at least a few days a week. But their experiences during the pandemic and their needs upon returning to school — academically, as well as emotionally — have varied greatly.

California governor doubles down on call to reopen schools in the fall
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday again called on schools to reopen for full-time in-person instruction in the fall, though it remains unclear whether the state will require it.

San Diego County judge declines to order two school districts to reopen on full-time schedule
A judge who sided last month with a parents group that sued the state of California and six northern San Diego County districts claiming schools were reopening too slowly has declined to demand that two of the districts open immediately with full-day instruction for all students.


Newsom Pushes School Reopening As Many Districts Resist
Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration said Wednesday that all California schools should reopen when the new academic year begins next fall, though his guidelines remain merely an expectation rather than a mandate. Facing political pressure and a recall effort, Newsom has said he plans to lift most of California’s coronavirus restrictions June 15 as part of reopening the state to business-as-usual. Earlier this month, he made a similar pronouncement, but many districts and teachers remain reluctant.


Policy Hackathon: How to get schoolkids back on track
Pretty much every student lost ground this year. POLITICO brought together a roundtable of education leaders from across the country to come up with smart strategies for catching them up.

Covid-19 changed education in America — permanently
There was a moment last spring when every parent and employer in America suddenly realized how deeply their lives and livelihoods depended on an institution too often in the background and taken for granted: the nation’s schools. With almost no notice, adults and children found themselves in the middle of a massive national experiment in new ways of teaching and learning, and new ways of dividing responsibilities between home, school and work. It’s been a school year like no other. Here’s what we learned.

Online school. Poor technology. Declining enrollments
The pandemic wreaked havoc with the nation’s schools and colleges. A glimpse at what changed, in four charts.

Governor, LAUSD plot strategies for post-pandemic education. Think more days in class
The Los Angeles school board considered a plan to extend the school year and approved a preschool expansion, while Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants the state's 11,000 campuses to fully reopen by the fall with increased services to students — all steps aimed at making up for a year of distance learning.

Local organization urges LAUSD to follow reopening recommendations
The local organization Great Public Schools Now is taking a stand for low-income students. Its executive director Ana Ponce explained that their mission has been advocating for all LA-area kids to have access to a quality education long before the pandemic. They have now compiled a report with nine recommendations for the district to avoid irreparable harm on this generation of students.

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