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Monday, April 26, 2021


Meet the 2021 AVID high school standouts and scholarship recipients
“AVID is more than a class, it is a school family, a support system, and a way of life for students.” Those are the words from a letter sent to the 2021 Orange County AVID Senior Standouts and scholarship recipients. For more than 20 years, OCDE has been celebrating high school seniors through the OC AVID Senior Recognition Program. And although a live celebration was forced to be held virtually for the second year in a row, that didn’t stop the department’s AVID team from producing this website and slideshow to virtually recognize local students who received awards and scholarships:


Orange County high school Artist of the Year semifinalists announced
The Orange County Register, in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, is proud to announce the semifinalists for Artist of the Year. A panel of arts teachers for each discipline — theater, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, film, handcrafted visual arts and computer-assisted visual arts — selected 105 semifinalists from among 616 nominees based on applications, performance videos, art portfolios, film samples, and artistic résumés.

Opponents to ethnic studies travel to Los Alamitos, again, to fight school board
The timing was coincidental yet ironic. On April 20, as many people around the country celebrated a court ruling they saw as a modicum of justice for George Floyd, speakers took turns denouncing an ethnic studies class recently approved by the Los Alamitos Unified School District. Billed as a town hall, the gathering of about 200 people took place at Cornerstone Church in Long Beach. Panelists included Jeff Barke and Peggy Hall, both known in Orange County for their anti-mask  advocacy during the coronavirus crisis.

Buena Park’s Whitaker Elementary unveils mural inspiring students to grow
Whitaker Elementary School children have a little more inspiration to be creative in their garden. For Earth Day, the Buena Park school unveiled a mural of two young children tending their own flower garden that now decorates its Whitaker Wellness Garden. Established just before the pandemic shutdown the school for months, the garden has become a place for outdoor learning now that students are back on campus at least part-time.


COVID canceled their football season. So a rural school did homecoming their way
The Weaverville Wolves’ far-flung league had already been canceled. So Trinity High School got creative. They would play one game. They would split their own team in half, play themselves, and fill the stands.


San Diego principal connects with troubled kids because he was one
Luis Aparicio uses his experiences and struggles to connect with students, especially those having a hard time adjusting to being back in school in person or those dealing with problems at home that are hurting their academics.


San Diego County Schools Spent Majority of COVID-19 Aid on Employees
Of the nearly $178 million in coronavirus aid funds San Diego County’s 10 largest school districts spent through December 2020, almost $90 million – or 51 percent – went to employee pay and benefit costs, an analysis of district records reveals.


S.F. school board sued over controversial change to Lowell High School admissions policy
Opponents of the move to end merit-based admissions at the academically elite Lowell High School are suing the San Francisco school board, claiming it violated the state’s open meetings law.


California is offering no-cost rapid Covid testing and staff traiing to schools 
Encouraged by the results of an 11-district pilot program, the state of California is now expanding access to cover any school district’s or charter school’s cost of rapid diagnostic Covid testing of students and staff through the summer and likely into the fall. The California Department of Public Health made the offer last week in announcing it has awarded a statewide contract to Primary.Health, a San Francisco company, to expand Covid testing in schools, homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.


Modesto schools’ summer offerings address ‘skyrocketing’ failure, enrichment, special ed
A Modesto City Schools district administrator told the Board of Education this week that the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures and distance learning have meant “higher than usual D and F rates.”


Will California Lawmakers Allow Distance Learning to Continue Next Year?
Despite billions of dollars funneled from the state Capitol, the share of California’s districts offering full-time, in-person learning ranks among the lowest in the U.S. But as more districts begin opening their doors, typically in a hybrid format, state lawmakers are turning their focus to next school year as part of the annual state budget process.


LAUSD Board Names Deputy Superintendent As Austin Beutner’s Interim Successor
Megan K. Reilly, who’s been a top financial officer in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 of the last 14 years, has been selected to succeed Austin Beutner as superintendent — at least temporarily. LAUSD board members announced Friday that they had asked Reilly to take over as interim superintendent on July 1, the day after Beutner’s three-year contract is due to expire.

Teaching Climate Change In The Classroom Is A Challenge — But Experts Want To Help
Lin Andrews taught science for more than 18 years before she left the classroom to join the National Center for Science Education. Now, she helps craft the very curriculum she once taught. Andrews says the best way to teach climate justice to kids is to show, rather than tell.


El Monte Union High School District adjusts graduation requirements for seniors
Seniors in the El Monte Union High School District faced unprecedented academic challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.  In response, the district’s Board of Trustees agreed to adjust graduation requirements for seniors in the class of 2021, reducing the number of credits a student needs to graduate. The credit requirement will be reduced from 220 to 190 and students will have until Aug. 15 to complete their coursework. It is a one-time adjustment and applicable to seniors in the class of 2021.


Kids are finally returning to school. But most of them are white.
President Joe Biden is on the verge of meeting his 100-day pledge to press the majority of American schools into reopening for five days of weekly in-person instruction. But there’s a problem. Most of the kids returning to classes are white. Minority students are most likely to be missing out on in-person learning, despite assurances of classroom safety under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and outreach by local and state school districts.

San Diego Unified, SD Foundation Begin Summer Learning Recovery Program
The San Diego Unified School District and The San Diego Foundation Friday announced a new summer learning and enrichment program intended to serve thousands of students across the city. The goal of this new program is to help them level up for next year through summer learning. There is no cost to families for the classroom instruction or the enrichment programs, made possible by the San Diego Unified Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant.

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