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Tuesday, June 8, 2021


COVID-19 update: New state data shows more than 99 percent of districts will fully reopen in the fall
More than 99 percent of school districts plan to fully reopen for in-person instruction when the 2021-22 school begins, and 89 percent will offer learning acceleration and targeted intervention programs over the summer. That’s according to new data posted on California’s Safe Schools for All Hub, which has been updated with interactive maps and graphics to track the progress of school reopenings and summer programming across the state. All Orange County districts have signaled that on-site instruction will be fully underway in the fall.


Rossmoor residents worry ethnic studies forums will bring problems to their town
Some Rossmoor residents are unhappy that the Orange County Board of Education plans to bring two town halls on the controversial topic of ethnic studies to their quiet bedroom community this summer. They are voicing the same types of concerns that led Los Alamitos police to advise the local school district last month to move its meeting on a related topic to an online forum in hopes of avoiding potential violence. “I’m concerned about safety,” said Rossmoor resident Art Remnet, a board member on the Rossmoor Homeowners Association. “It feels like it’s a large circus event … in the middle of a bedroom community, it’s not safe to bring in all those people and the potential for conflict between the two sides.”

Students keep letter-a-year promise to a CEO, here’s what he did in return
Dan Price, center, CEO of Gravity Payments, is joined by teacher Hilary Gray as they handout letters and checks to high school graduates at Woodbridge Elementary School in Irvine on Monday, June 7, 2021. In 2015 Price visited the 6th grade class of Hilary Gray and promised to give $1000 scholarships to each student if they wrote him a letter each year until graduation. All 33 students in the class wrote Price yearly.


No vaccines for young children, but schools can reopen safely in the fall, a study shows
The masks, the social distancing, the stick-up-the-nose testing: Those unpleasant coronavirus-controlling measures are far from over for K-12 kids returning to in-school learning after summer vacation ends.


A Legislator takes charter school reform bill off the table
A controversial charter school bill that was meant to prevent the kind of fraud highlighted by the A3 charter school scandal is temporarily dead in the state legislature. Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, asked that his charter school reform bill, AB 1316, be moved to the inactive file on Thursday. The action means it’s unlikely the bill will be voted on during this legislative session.


Oakland public school teacher celebrated for her rare girls-only computer science classes
Computer Science teacher Chantel Parnell of Bret Harte Middle School in Oakland recently won Teacher of the Year for Oakland Unified School District. She piloted an all-girls computer science class at her school and brought a group of her students to present at the first-ever Future Trailblazer Challenge, hosted by Salesforce with David Beckham.


Orange County schools join with Children’s Hospital to address student mental health needs
Faced with rates of adolescent suicide and self-harm that have been among the fastest-rising in the country, schools in Orange County have teamed up with a local hospital to boost mental health services on campuses. The partnership between Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education will include a streamlined connection between the schools and the hospital system, and “well spaces” on every campus where students can visit counselors, do yoga or meditate, and generally relax.

Most California schools offering summer school, planning to reopen fully in fall
Almost every school district in California plans to fully reopen its campuses in the fall and to offer summer programming, according to the Governor’s Office. To encourage parents, who may be wary of sending their children back to campuses in the fall, the California Department of Public Health is launching a $1 million public relations campaign this summer, according to the announcement. The campaign will target Latino, African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander families, whose communities have been the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, primarily through advertising in ethnic media and by communications through community and faith-based organizations.

State money alone is not enough, plaintiffs will argue in court hearing on Tuesday
An Alameda County Superior Court judge will hold a hearing Tuesday at 10 a.m. on a lawsuit demanding that the state act immediately to ensure all students receive internet service, mental health care and other services in response to the pandemic. Fifteen parents from Los Angeles and Oakland and two community organizations, The Oakland Reach and the Community Coalition of Los Angeles, sued the State Board of Education, the California Department of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond last fall.

Transgender youth almost 10 times more likely to be homeless as their peers, data shows
Students who identify as transgender are nearly 10 times as likely to experience homelessness as their non-transgender peers, according to new data collected by the Centers for Disease Control. The data, based on the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey distributed to schools nationwide, was analyzed and released Monday by Schoolhouse Connection, an advocacy group that tracks data and policy related to LGBT youth.


Transitional Kindergarten For Every 4-Year-Old Could Reshape Child Care In LA — And Not Everyone Loves That
Offering transitional kindergarten for every 4-year-old could reshape child care and preschool in California. Governor Gavin Newsom proposed the transitional kindergarten, or TK, expansion last month, and state legislators included the estimated $2.7 billion it’ll take to run the program each year in the budget deal passed last week. Lawmakers and the governor have until June 15 to reach a final agreement.


Will California public schools continue free lunches for all?
Legislators want to spend $650 million a year to continue a pandemic program for free meals for all California public school students. The proposal will be decided in budget talks this week.

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