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Friday, April 9, 2021


U.S. Department of Education approves California’s school assessment plan
The U.S. Department of Education will allow California to temporarily decouple state assessments from federal testing and accountability requirements, granting school districts some added relief in year two of the pandemic. Unlike last year, federal officials did not allow states to opt out of annual testing altogether in 2021, but they did invite states to seek extra flexibility.


Contrary to what some parents heard, there is no mandate to vaccinate Orange County students
More than 150 parents, falsely convinced that the county planned to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their teenagers without parental consent, showed up at an Orange County Board of Education meeting to condemn the move. Except there is no such plan. It isn’t legal to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine, and there is no county goal of offering vaccines to minors without their parents’ consent. On Thursday – a day after the impassioned Board of Education meeting – Orange County’s Health director, Dr. Clayton Chau called a press conference to put an end to the rumors.


Los Angeles public schools will begin reopening next week. Here’s what you need to know
The Los Angeles Unified School District will begin a phased-in reopening on Monday after more than a year of pandemic-forced school closures. The youngest elementary school students will be welcomed back to campus first.

LAUSD parents seek court order to force wider reopening
A group of parents — who say their children have been illegally shortchanged by Los Angeles Unified School District’s return-to-school plan — is seeking a court order to force the district to reopen “to the greatest extent possible” within seven days.


Orange County Students Won’t Be Forced to Get Coronavirus Vaccines
County officials say they won’t force coronavirus vaccinations on children or turn schools into mass vaccination centers, following text messages and social media posts in the community claiming otherwise. The rumors pushed a wave of residents to speak against the alleged mandatory vaccinations at the Orange County Board Education’s Wednesday meeting.


Capo Unified Increases On-Campus Days for Middle, High School Students
The Capistrano Unified School District recently announced that middle and high school students later this month can return to campus four days a week for the remainder of the school year—more than the amount of time they spend on campus currently but short of the full five-day schedule some parents had requested. The four full days of instruction are for students currently enrolled in the hybrid model, with a virtual day each week. The increase will start on April 26.


Judge denies temporary restraining order against UTLA
A judge on Thursday, April 8, refused to issue a temporary restraining order directing the union representing teachers in Los Angeles Unified to stop “interfering” in the district’s efforts to reopen schools for in-person learning, according to court documents.


California’s economy is set to reopen in mid-June. But are schools part of the plan?
Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week he expects schools in California to reopen at full schedules after June 15 – the date he set as a goal to reopen the state’s economy from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.


Testing requirements dialed down for California schools this year
Last year in the height of the pandemic, schools did not have to administer standardized tests at all. This year, California won’t be test-free, but it will be test-lite.


Local assessments an option if Smarter Balanced tests ‘not viable,’ U.S. education officials affirm
California schools will be expected to administer Smarter Balanced and other statewide tests this spring, but districts can select alternatives in cases where these tests are not “viable” to administer, federal education officials said Tuesday. The decision comes amid an increasingly confusing national testing landscape this spring, as other states have received a mix of approval and denials for various testing proposals.

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