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Thursday, September 22, 2022


New Principal Excited to Lead the Way at OCASA College Prep
Alicia Baillie has been an educator for about 17 years and is bringing that experience to her role as the new principal at Orange County Academy of Science and Arts (OCASA) College Prep, a charter school in San Juan Capistrano. Baillie started Aug. 1 and looks forward to guiding the school’s faculty and students. OCASA College Prep opened in August 2020. Proponents of charter schools often cite the wider variety of curriculum and learning options for students, as opposed to traditional public schools. OCASA students have a mentoring session with teachers every two weeks.


State delays public release of English, math and science test score results to later this year
State denied EdSource's request for data while telling districts data is 'not embargoed' and should be shared with parents and school boards. The California Department of Education told EdSource that it is withholding the scores now, so they can be simultaneously released with other data for the California School Dashboard, such as student absentee rates, suspension rates and rates of chronic absenteeism. The dashboard provides a detailed look at school and district metrics, broken down by student demographic groups.

Lawmakers make it easier to become a substitute teacher
Beginning Jan. 1 prospective substitute teachers will not have to prove they have the basic skills needed to teach, at least temporarily. Senate Bill 1397 waives the basic skills proficiency requirement for an emergency 30-day substitute permit through July 1, 2024. Substitute teacher candidates usually prove basic skills proficiency by taking a test or completing specific coursework. Substitutes are still required to have completed a bachelor’s degree and a background check.

SFUSD takes broader look at changing school calendar, puts Muslim holidays on hold
The San Francisco Unified school board voted Tuesday night to suspend a plan to add two Muslim holidays to the school calendar until staff can study how to best recognize the cultural holidays of all students and recommend changes to the academic calendar. In August, the board voted to add Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as school holidays, but that decision faced backlash, including the threat of a lawsuit by an attorney who argued that the initial resolution violated the Brown Act. The resolution also faced criticism from Jewish parents who noted that the district doesn’t recognize any Jewish holidays.


Despite Promises of Equity, Students at This San Francisco Middle School Still Lack Teachers
At back-to-school night last week, parents at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood got some bad news. "We are missing science teachers," said Ricky Li, whose son is a sixth grader at the school. "So all they do now is just give out handouts. They (are) asking for help from parents. They should have had enough staff. I’m not sure why they are missing teachers."


LAUSD Ended Remote Work Despite ‘Serious Concerns’ About COVID In Its Headquarters. Now There’s An Outbreak
Workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District’s downtown headquarters have failed at least one public health inspection in recent weeks as a COVID-19 outbreak among employees has forced officials to reimpose mask-wearing rules on five floors of the building, according to union representatives and emails obtained by LAist. Data from the L.A. County Department of Public Health show the coronavirus outbreak in LAUSD’s central office building — often called “Beaudry,” after its street address — has sickened 71 employees and exposed another 100 adult workers since it began on Aug. 24.


As Sacramento schools try to address the mental health crisis, vulnerable students suffer
Tears are streaming down Nakeya Bell’s face as she listens to students in her IQ Squad program, Amari Haysbert and Jenalyn Phanh, open up about their trauma. At just 18 years old, Haysbert and Phanh are both young women of color who say their lives were upended by unstable familial structures, housing insecurity and COVID-19 while attending high school.


LAUSD receives unspecified ransom demand over cyberattack
The Los Angeles Unified School District confirmed Wednesday it has received a ransom demand following a Labor Day weekend cyberattack that led to a shutdown of most of the district's computer systems. "We can acknowledge ... that there has been communication from this actor (hacker) and we have been responsive without engaging in any type of negotiations," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told reporters at district headquarters Wednesday. "With that said, we can acknowledge at this point ... that a financial demand has been made by this entity. We have not responded to that demand."

LAPD: 7th teen overdosed recently, apparently from fentanyl
Authorities Wednesday said at least seven local teens, including a 15-year-old Bernstein High School girl who died a week ago, have overdosed in the past month from pills believed to have contained fentanyl. The most recent overdose occurred Saturday morning, when a 15-year-old male student at STEM Academy of Hollywood was found unconscious by his mother in their Hollywood home, according to Lt. Letisia Ruiz of the Los Angeles Police Department. The academy is one of three schools located on the Bernstein High School campus. The boy was treated at a hospital and is expected to survive, officials said.

Panel recommends LBUSD move away from having armed officers on campus
The Long Beach Unified Board of Education on Tuesday heard recommendations from a community group about how the district can reimagine its school safety apparatus in an effort to make students feel more secure while they’re learning. The Safer LBUSD Campaign has been working for the past year to explore ways for the school district to reshape its safety practices, an effort that was re-initiated after 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez was shot and killed by a school safety officer last September.

95% of Sonoma Valley Unified School District teachers authorize strike due to budget impasse
More than 95% of the members of Valley of the Moon Teachers Association voted to strike, if needed, after impasse mediation over salary negotiations with Sonoma Valley Union School District was unsuccessful. The VMTA made the announcement in a news release issued on Tuesday, referring to impasse mediation on Aug. 8 and Sept. 16. Later in the day, some 50 teachers showed up at the SVUSD Board of Trustees meeting to support the VMTA’s position. The union and SVUSD have been some $2.9 million apart as they negotiate increasing teacher salaries and benefits for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

‘Plenty of buses’, not enough drivers for Oroville schools
A shortage of school bus drivers in Oroville has led school districts to consolidate bus routes, limiting the number of students able to get a ride on the bus and leaving the burden of transportation to their families. Oroville Union High School District Superintendent Corey Willenburg said his district has been having a hard time finding qualified drivers to hire since COVID lockdowns began. “I have plenty of buses,” Willenburg said. “I don’t have enough drivers.”

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