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Monday, June 7, 2021


Registration is now open for Inside the Outdoors Virtual Summer Camp
For the second consecutive year, OCDE’s environmental education program — better known as Inside the Outdoors — will offer a free virtual summer camp for students ages 6 to 12 years old. From mid July through early August, ITO will offer a series of week-long day camps for kids, led by the program’s field naturalists. Registration is now open and campers can register by clicking the link below.


Santa Ana students recognized as Big Brothers Big Sisters high school volunteers of the year
Esmeralda Muñoz joined the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in elementary school, but she didn’t register in time to get her own big sister mentor. When she reached high school, she turned that around. She became one. Muñoz not only joined the program in her freshman year but resurrected a Big Brothers, Big Sisters club that had floundered at Valley High School in Santa Ana. Once shy, she became more outgoing and encouraged her friends to join, students like Gerson Amaya, who was also shy but saw it as an opportunity to step out of his comfort zone. The Valley High students, who graduated Friday, June 4, were recently recognized for their work at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County & the Inland Empire. They were named the 2021 Orange County high school volunteer award winners.


Figuring Out Details of a $500,000 High School Graduation Event at Angels Stadium Gave Anaheim High School Reporters a Real Education in Journalism
A group of Anaheim High School reporters got a real lesson in journalism after they tried to track down the cost of graduation ceremonies this year — especially the difference between graduating at Angel Stadium compared to using a school-owned field.  The story was dead in the water until they reached out to Voice of OC.


UTLA & LAUSD reps in talks for full-time on-campus instruction in fall
It’s “imperative” that the Los Angeles Unified School District and teachers union reach an agreement soon on COVID-19 health and safety measures for those who are on school grounds year-round, the head of United Teachers Los Angeles said.


San Diego schools need more nurses and counselors, educators say
School nurses and counselors are charged with keeping children healthy and safe so they are able to learn and enjoy school. Educators say those jobs have never been more important than during this pandemic, as students cope with the physical and mental trauma of closed schools, COVID-19 and other struggles. School nurses and counselors say they can do only so much, because they have long been understaffed in public schools.


Students learn about financial literacy with new Riverside County program
Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Edwin Gomez graduated from college in debt. Like many youths today, he hadn’t yet learned how to manage his money. Gomez, who also earned a Doctor of Education degree, feels he made poor decisions at that time because of the lack of knowledge. Today, Gomez believes becoming financially literate is one of the most important investments an individual can make. In April, Gomez launched the Financial Literacy Initiative.


California schools move ahead with fall distance learning plans despite limitations
While parents and state officials are pushing to fully reopen campuses this fall, some families are fearful of sending their kids back into classrooms too soon. But options for distance learning this fall are unclear across the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he expects schools to fully reopen after the distance learning statute expires on June 30 and that students who want to continue with remote learning can pursue existing independent study plans. Although schools receive funding for students in independent study, some say the model has been used to push low-achieving students out of schools and lack accountability over academic experiences and outcomes for students.

New online platform helps California teachers share strategies, resources
California teachers are now able to share teaching strategies and resources, and support one another on an online platform called California Educators Together, launched by the California Department of Education and Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation.


LAUSD’s Planning A Full-Time Reopening In Fall — But Many Black Families Prefer Distance Learning
Most California public schools are likely to return to in-person classes this fall — but in Los Angeles, a new survey suggests many Black parents are not excited about sending their kids back to campus. In a poll commissioned by the advocacy group Speak Up, Black respondents in L.A. Unified School District zip codes gave higher marks to distance learning than parents of any other racial background. The survey also showed Black parents were less willing to send their children back to campus than parents of other racial groups. While COVID-19 safety remains a predominant concern, 43% of Black respondents cited concerns about racism, bullying or low academic expectations as the reasons they would keep their kids home.


Laguna Beach USD board considers letter directing staffers to deflect board member inquiries
The Laguna Beach Unified School District’s Board of Education recently discussed sending a letter reminding district employees that district policy bars them from communicating with individual board members. At its May 27 meeting, the Board voted to table the conversation until July.

Laguna Beach High School seniors to join Main Beach parade on June 9
Families and friends of Laguna Beach High School’s Class of 2021 are invited to cheer for graduating students as they wear their caps and gowns for a procession down Ocean Avenue from City Hall to Main Beach at 3 p.m. on June 9.


New study: After school shootings, well-off families flee and enrollment drops. Low-income kids are left to confront the aftermath
After districts suffer school shootings, student enrollment plummets over the long term as wealthy families move away, according to the new report. The shift carries significant implications for schools and the communities they serve as districts become more socioeconomically segregated. The enrollment declines persisted even as districts shelled out millions of dollars on physical security and student supports like counselors and as educators assured families that the schools remained safe places to learn.

What parents of LAUSD seniors need to do to attend graduation
It’s that time of year, when high school seniors put on their caps and gowns and take the stage to get their diplomas, shake hands with their principals and graduate. As the country emerges from COVID, the LA Unified School District’s class of 2021 is prepping for in-person ceremonies next week.

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