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Thursday, June 10, 2021


COVID-19 update: State eases face covering rules, but for now they’re still required inside schools
Effective Tuesday, June 15, face coverings will no longer be required in most spaces for Californians who are fully vaccinated, according to new guidance from the state Department of Public Health. But a handful of exceptions will remain, including indoors in K-12 schools, childcare and other youth settings. That said, the CDPH noted that its school guidance may change based on forthcoming updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A six-year promise between Irvine students and a Seattle-based CEO turns into nearly $50,000 in college scholarships
In 2015, sixth-grade Woodbury Elementary School teacher Hilary Dimitruk (now Hilary Gray) saw a story on the news about a young Seattle-based entrepreneur and CEO that had cut his million-dollar annual salary in order to pay his then 120 employees a minimum annual salary of $70,000 each. Inspired by his actions, Gray had her class write letters to CEO Dan Price, who was moved by their kind gesture. Price made a surprise visit to the Irvine campus, and asked students to continue writing him letters at the end of every school year until graduation. And this is where their six-year relationship began.


Rossmoor residents debate ethnic studies forums coming to their town
Rossmoor officials got a small taste this week of the controversy that’s coming to town over ethnic studies. Nearly 20 residents spoke on the issue. And the group was divided, with a slight majority in support of the Orange County Board of Education holding local town halls on the controversial topic.

Los Alamitos High grads take to the streets to revisit former haunts
Los Alamitos High seniors went back to where it all began for many of them as they prepare for graduation this week. Driving in all sorts of vehicles, the Class of 2021 on Wednesday, June 9, paraded past the elementary schools where they started their educational careers. On Friday, they will celebrate the end of their high school careers. More than 350 cars participated in the event that was started because of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.


Newport-Mesa seniors ride to the future after graduation in celebratory car parade
The car parade was first organized last year by Newport-Mesa parents, who wanted a way to celebrate graduates in-person.


California families confronted Covid and became invested in education
Patience, resilience and a fierce determination to succeed in school — and life. That’s what California families said they learned after enduring a school year like no other. In EdSource’s final installment of “Education During Covid: California Families Struggle to Learn,” we asked parents and students to reflect on distance learning and the impacts of Covid-19 on their education and personal lives. Even the families who had suffered the most, who lost loved ones or grappled with financial hardship or were stymied by technology, found they gained valuable insights about their children’s education and themselves.

Little action on building state website to track districts’ spending
California school districts and charter schools will soon begin to spend record state funding along with more than $50 billion in state and federal Covid relief funding they are receiving this year. A website that’s intended to let the public see how they are using some of that money won’t be up anytime soon. That’s frustrating for a state senator and groups advocating for low-income students who are criticizing the unexplained delays in creating a public “web portal.” They say state officials aren’t taking transparency in state education funding seriously enough.

U.S. education officials issue report, guidance, webinars to promote equity
In a series of actions Tuesday to emphasize its role in advancing education equity, the U.S. Department of Education announced the first of an Educational Equity Summit Series later this month and issued a directive on using federal pandemic relief funding to help low-income schools. It also issued a 61-page report on the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on the nation’s most vulnerable high school and college students, including low-income youths, English learners, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities. “This report bears witness to the many ways that COVID-19, with all of its tragic impacts on individuals, families, and communities, appears to be deepening divides in educational opportunity across our nation’s classrooms and campuses,” Suzanne Goldberg, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, said in the introduction.


Laguna Beach High School’s Class of 2021 brings jubilation to Main Beach after historic year
The Laguna Beach High School Class of 2021 took a victory lap Wednesday after more than a year of Zoom classes and canceled high school milestones. About 240 Laguna Beach High School seniors paraded from Laguna Beach City Hall to Main Beach to celebrate their imminent graduation, which is set for Thursday evening at Guyer Field. Family, friends, and community members waived signs and enlarged photos as the students walked down Ocean Avenue, escorted by Laguna Beach police vehicles.


Deja vu as Ed Department once again revisits the contentious landscape of Title IX
A group of girls from Berkeley High School will go before a federal judge in California this Thursday to argue that former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos left victims of sexual assault or harassment with fewer protections and shielded those accused of misconduct.

Garden Grove student heading to Harvard credits success to mentor program
Sebastian Lozano spent many nights at his desk studying and planning out every step to get him to the moment when he found out he’s going to Harvard. The student needed a mentor to guide him through a process no one in his family has experienced before. “I try to be like a second mom, but a pushy mom to my mentees,” said Dr. Gabriela Mafi, who is the superintendent of the Garden Grove Unified School District. Dr. Mafi has mentored a group of 100 students, including Lozano, since they were in sixth grade.

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