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Wednesday, April 28, 2021


State expands California Distinguished School list to include 10 more from OC
Ten additional Orange County campuses have been added to this year’s list of California Distinguished Schools, bringing OC’s total to 21 in 2021. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced Tuesday that after reviewing the data, an additional 121 schools across the state would earn the prestigious designation, which was initially awarded to 102 middle and high schools on March 18. The newly added Orange County schools are:

#kindness1billion: A roundup of random acts of kindness shared (so far) in 2021
During the past year and a half, spreading kindness has been more important than ever. Even amid a global pandemic, people and organizations across Orange County are showing that kindness is instrumental in caring for people during not-so-certain and often tough times. And if you haven’t noticed, kindness is a big deal at OCDE. So big that in 2016 OCDE launched its One Billion Acts of Kindness initiative to quantify kindness as part of a larger effort to promote civility, character and positivity across our county and beyond.


Class is back in session full-time for Newport-Mesa secondary schools
Newport Harbor High School was abuzz with familiar activity as students and teachers made their returns to campus full-time on Tuesday.

Ethnic studies slammed by some in Orange County as anti-white, divisive
California’s new ethnic studies curriculum is being put to an early test in Orange County, where organizers are riling up parents in the Los Alamitos Unified School District to oppose elective coursework and materials they say promote divisive, anti-white rhetoric.


Students anxious about return to classrooms say grades dropped during the pandemic
Students in the Sacramento region have reported lower grades and higher feelings of anxiety about their future as they struggled with virtual learning during the pandemic.


San Francisco seniors will walk a real stage for Class of 2021 high school graduation
Commencement ceremonies for the largest public high schools will be held at Kezar Stadium at Golden Gate Park, while those for smaller schools will be at the former McAteer High School campus.


California teachers, school staff receive bumps in pay as campuses reopen
Some California teachers and school staff are receiving bonuses, salary increases and stipends as part of union agreements with school district officials eager to reopen classrooms. Recently signed school district agreements with teachers unions include everything from retroactive pay raises and a bonus in Long Beach to bonuses as high as $5,000 for a course in Campbell Union High School District in San Jose and one-time 7% salary increases in April for teachers who voluntarily return to campuses in Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista.


Modesto high school seniors asked for outdoor proms. Here’s what the district says
Citing equity and health concerns, the Modesto City Schools district is turning down seniors’ bid to have outdoor proms to conclude a school year that likely will be remembered most for COVID-19.


Torrance schools won’t resume fulltime until the new academic year
Torrance Unified School District's Board of Education made the decision late Monday night, April 26, at the end of a marathon special meeting.


Mountain View School District students return for in-person instruction
Balloons, banners and displays saying “First Day of In-Person Learning” welcomed back students back.


The wires may be there, but the dollars aren’t: Analysis shows why millions of California students lack broadband
About twice a week, the $9.99 per month internet connection falters. It’s often as Mario Ramírez finally wrangles his kids into their seats — the fourth-grader studies in the bedroom he shares with his 12 year-old sister, who studied in her parents bedroom —  in time for virtual class.  The screens freeze — sometimes during online tests. At times the little one bursts into frustrated tears as they wait for their connection to resume, precious class time slipping away.

How we analyzed why millions of California students lack broadband access
Have your kids spent the last year struggling to connect to their virtual classes because of unstable broadband connections from hotspots or discount internet plans? What about their peers? Or has logging on to remote school been smooth sailing? For most Californians, the answer appears to boil down to whether their families can afford to pay for a high-speed broadband connection, according to an unprecedented CalMatters data analysis of state and federal data.


How a Snapchat post laden with F-bombs and teen angst could give schools broad power over students’ off-campus speech — and why young leaders are fighting back
In a major Supreme Court case that could grant educators the power to regulate student speech far beyond the schoolhouse gate, the nation’s highest court is preparing to weigh the merits of a high school cheerleader’s profanity-laden social media post. Though the Snapchat post central to the case was filled with F-bombs and laden with teen angst, it could carry far-reaching implications for more serious dialogue after the court hears oral arguments Wednesday.

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