Local Education News

LTUSD kindergarten registration dates announced – South Tahoe Now - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) will hold kindergarten registration from April 26 to May 14 for the school year starting in the fall. Parents need to call the school at this time and set up a registration time.

Teacher Appreciation Tuesday – South Tahoe Now - Winner! Rebecca Musalo - Bijou Community School - She wins a $80 pass to Sierra Express Car Wash - - Ms. Musalo goes above and beyond for her students! She cares about their well being and always wants them to feel heard and appreciated in the classroom.

Help plan future of Lake Tahoe Unified School District at vision workshop – South Tahoe Now - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District is holding a vision workshop on Tuesday, April 6 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to participate and help plan the future of the district.

“From Surviving to Thriving!” Free Webinar Series for Parents – Placerville Newswire - Award-Winning Author Dr. Michele Borba to Host.  The first 1,000 registrants from California will receive Dr. Borba’s new book, Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle and Others Shine

Kiwanis Key Club sprouts plan for community garden – Mountain Democrat - … Key Club President Jayce Kaldunski, 15, a sophomore at El Dorado High School, was on hand to make a short introduction and answer council questions about the proposal.

Charter University Prep celebrates 20 years of stellar education offerings – Mountain Democrat - What began 20 years ago as a small group of educators recognizing a need for a pathway for university-bound students within the home-school community has grown to one of the largest high school charter schools in El Dorado County.

Three El Dorado County schools earn state award – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently announced that more than 100 middle and high schools are being honored under the 2021 California Distinguished Schools Program, including three El Dorado Hills area schools — Marina Village Middle School, Rolling Hills Middle School and Miller’s Hill School.

New youth ambassador program being created in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - A new work development program is being created to inspire local youth to pursue career paths in natural resources, forestry, recreation, environment, and related fields.

Deadline nears for Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe student scholarships – South Tahoe Now - Deadlines are nearing for turning in applications for scholarships being offered by the Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe Club. All awarded scholarships are a minimum of $1,000.

El Dorado Transit to Offer Free Rides For COVID-19 Vaccines – Placerville News Wire - Beginning Thursday, April 1, 2021 El Dorado Transit will offer free rides on our Local Fixed Route services to anyone traveling to or from their scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Rotary makes go bags for EDC’s vulnerable – Mountain Democrat - The Rotary Club of Placerville spent a recent Sunday afternoon putting together 600 bags of essential items for those in need in El Dorado County.

3Strands is on a mission to expand its message – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - “A world free from human trafficking” is the vision of 3Strands Global Foundation. The foundation reported that California had a reported 1,500 cases of human trafficking in 2019; nationally, there were more than 118,000 victims.

California moving to pioneer free meals for all students – EdSource - As students gradually return to classrooms, advocates and lawmakers say it’s more important than ever to provide free meals in schools without burdensome eligibility requirements, just as California has done during the pandemic.

Vaccines on tap for California’s children, but what do parents say? - Californians as young as 16 are next in line for the Covid-19 vaccine, potentially moving the state another step closer to reopening all schools for full-time in-person instruction.

How California high schools plan to pull off ‘normal’ graduations – EdSource - Hurtling toward the end of a hectic year, most K-12 and high school districts in California are intensely focused on reopening campuses and giving the Class of 2021 a final send-off to remember in June.

Local assessments an option if statewide tests aren't viable during pandemic, California officials signal – EdSource - California education officials have been told verbally that the state may not need to submit a waiver application to the U.S. Department of Education, thus opening the door for more flexibility this spring when it comes to standardized testing, as school districts continue to navigate reopening plans during the pandemic.

Amid pandemic, infants especially need quality child care, reformers say – EdSource - Children are born ready to learn. In the first year of life, the brain doubles, with about 90% of brain growth happening before kindergarten.

What 3-foot social distance means for reopening of California schools – EdSource - …Some are using the opportunity that 3 feet offers to now switch to a four- or five-day, full-day schedule in elementary schools. Some districts, including El Dorado Union High School District, plan to adopt that schedule for upper grades, too.

El Dorado County Educators Receive Vaccinations at an Accelerated Pace – Windfall Magazine (attached) - Exceptional commitment and partnership have made it possible for all educators to receive a vaccination by the end of March. Several mass clinics have been offered to expand vaccination efforts across El Dorado County. This is made possible through partnerships between El Dorado County Public Health, Emergency Operations Center, El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), Safeway and Walgreens pharmacies, and more.

Nominations sought for South Shore Teacher Appreciation Tuesdays – South Tahoe Now - … Melissa Uppendahl and Lift Literature decided to honor both Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) teachers and staff over the past three weeks with Teacher Appreciation Tuesdays. They solicited nominations from the public and honored them by acknowledging their special attributes and dedication to students with gifts donated by the community and a story in South Tahoe Now.

Teacher Appreciation Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - Let’s take a moment to honor this week’s nominees! Robyn Rasmussen – STHS Counselor (H-O) (former STHS English teacher). Winner! Gift Basket donated by Acqua Hair Design. “Literacy is success in life. If you are not literate, you have far fewer options in life. The ability to read can open you up to new worlds, ideas, people, dreams.”

Bread & Broth 4 Kids adjust schedule due to school changes; Bags available Thursday – South Tahoe Now - Bread & Broth 4 Kids (BB4K) will be adjusting its food bag distribution program to meet the needs of children in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) as they make a shift in school schedules in South Lake Tahoe.

Education and Sharing Day recognized in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - South Lake Tahoe Mayor Tamara Wallace has proclaimed March 24, 2021 to be “Education and Sharing Day, South Lake Tahoe” in recognition of the crucial importance of ethical and moral education.

LTCC to resume limited, in-person student services and face-to-face classes – South Tahoe Now/Tahoe Tribune - With local coronavirus cases falling and vaccines becoming more widely available, Lake Tahoe Community College is bringing back limited, in-person student services and face-to-face classes to campus in the days and weeks to come.

LTUSD moves to Phase 3 of reopening plan; TK-5 in class four days per week – South Tahoe Now - Students in grades TK-5 in Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) will start going to school four days per week as the district shifts to Phase 3 on Monday, March 29, 2021. South Tahoe Middle School, South Tahoe High School and Mt. Tallac High School will remain on their current Cohort A and B schedules at this time.

Operation School Bell helps local students with clothing needs and books – South Tahoe Now - To help children with new school clothes, volunteers from the Assistance League Sierra Foothills visit South Lake Tahoe each Fall to take local children shopping.

ORHS Music Boosters puts its best foot forward – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Oak Ridge High School Music Boosters (oakridgemusic.org) hosts a drive-thru shoe drive fundraiser Saturday, March 27, and Saturday, April 3. Both events run from noon to 4 p.m. and will raise funds for the music programs at ORHS.

2020 EDCAR Top Achievers scholarship winner: Taylor Pearson – Mountain Democrat - Union Mine High School - Taylor Pearson is going to Washington State University in Pullman Washington. “I chose Washington State because I was looking for a school with a lot of school spirit along with being affordable and well known for its programs,” she said. “As soon as I visited WSU I felt at home.”

2020 El Dorado County Association of Realtors Top Achievers scholarship winner: Abbie Curtis – Mountain Democrat - Oak Ridge High School - Abbie Curtis is attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. “I chose Cal Poly because of its amazing animal science undergraduate program, its ‘Learn By Doing’ philosophy and the beautiful location,” she said.

Nature Bowl adapts to the times with Family Challenge – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - The American River Conservancy and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have issued a challenge to all families with school-age kids to participate in this year’s modified Nature Bowl.

Musical auditions announced for area high school students – Mountain Democrat - Auditions have been announced for “Ranked the Musical,” written by local playwrights Kyle Holmes (book), who graduated from Union Mine High, and David Taylor Gomes (music and lyrics), who graduated from El Dorado High. The show will be directed by Paul Tomei and is coming to El Dorado High School’s Carl Borelli Amphitheater.

Student of the Year: Dylan Esten – Village Life - Lake Forest Elementary School student Dylan Esten has earned the title of Student of the Year.Dylan was celebrated at the March 17 Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills meeting. “He is good at so many things yet he is very humble,” said Principal Bruce Peters. “He’s extremely successful as a student … and always reaches for the best in himself.”

Grizzly anglers to cast their lines at nationals – Georgetown Gazette - For the second consecutive year one of the Golden Sierra High School Grizzly Bassmasters fishing teams, consisting of Riley Maloney and Sam Houston, has qualified to fish the Fishing League Worldwide National High School Bass Fishing Championship at Lake Hartwell, S.C., June 29-July 1.

CASA Kids Box Lunch fundraiser back on the menu – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Child Advocates of El Dorado County (CASA) hosts its annual lunch box fundraiser April 15 as a drive-thru event.

Library program aims at ‘Bringing Us Together’ – Georgetown Gazette - The Bridging the Divide Series continues March 20 from 1-3 p.m. with Bringing Us Together: Developing Respect and Creating Channels of Communication.

California lags behind most states in offering fully in-person instruction, new data show – EdSource - California is one of the slowest states to invite students back for fully in-person instruction amid the pandemic, data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education shows.

What are California teachers seeing as the early grades go back to school? – EdSource - Rarely has the prospect of going back to school generated so much glee in the hearts of young children. Now, as many California children in the early grades have started to venture back into the classroom after a long year of lockdowns and distance learning, teachers say they are seeing much rejoicing, as well as some anxiety, on campus.

Quick Guide: California’s plan for getting more kids back to school – EdSource - On Dec. 30, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $2 billion “Safe Schools for All” plan to encourage more schools to reopen for in-person instruction beginning on Feb. 15.  Shortly thereafter, he called for an additional $4.6 billion in his January budget to address the impact of the pandemic on schools.

Coaches, mentors at California schools key to helping keep recent immigrant students engaged during pandemic – EdSource - Fernanda Salazar, 19, struggled to learn English after moving from Guatemala to Los Angeles about three years ago. She was finally feeling like she was able to communicate freely with classmates and teachers when the pandemic hit and learning became a mix of new school schedules, video calls and virtual connections.


State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces 2021 California Distinguished Schools
 – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that over 100 middle and high schools are being honored under the 2021 California Distinguished Schools Program… Miller’s Hill (Latrobe), Rolling Hills (Buckeye), Marina Village (Rescue).

Teacher Appreciation Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - One year ago, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District sent out a text that none of us were quite expecting: schools are closing and we're moving to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From that moment on, the lives of every teacher, staff member, parent, and student were drastically altered.

New leadership team at Lake Tahoe Unified School District – South Tahoe Now - There will be three new principals at Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) this fall as well as leaders in four newly created positions at the district office and the digital learning academy. Those new positions are Director of Elementary Education, Director of Secondary Education, Associate Superintendent/Chief Business and Operations Officer, Associate Superintendent/Chief Education Officer & Program Director, Principal of Elevated Digital Learning Academy.

Teacher Appreciation Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - As we approach the one-year marker of the pandemic, a local non-profit wanted to honor teachers and staff in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District! Teachers and staff have taken on new technology, distance learning, student mental health issues, and so much more! Lift Literature is a new non-profit in South Lake Tahoe whose mission is to ignite the love of reading in every child.

BOMUSD aiming to end bullying – Georgetown Gazette - Dear Black Oak Mine families, The Black Oak Mine Unified School District is committed to excellence in education, including the social and emotional well-being of our students. Recently, we have experienced several instances of students using racial epithets and the bullying of minority students. We need your help.

Meet the BOMUSD Board of Trustees – Georgetown Gazette - California TK-12 schools are public institutions that belong to the communities they serve. Responsibility for their fiscal health, effectiveness and accountability for student achievement is granted to locally elected boards. Members of the Georgetown Divide communities elect five representatives for four-year terms to the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Golden Sierra Achieves Prestigious Certification – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Students and staff received news this week that their Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program was certified by the national AVID center. This award is a critical step in sustaining a program designed to improve student engagement and success in school.

Educators to be vaccinated by end of month – Mountain Democrat - Commitment and partnership are making it possible for all educators to receive a vaccination by the end of March. Several mass clinics have been offered to expand vaccination efforts across El Dorado County. This is made possible through partnerships between El Dorado County Public Health, the county’s Emergency Operations Center, the El Dorado County Office of Education, Safeway and Walgreens pharmacies and more.

Oak Ridge student impresses local, state Poetry Out Loud judges – Mountain Democrat - Despite the pandemic, poetry is alive and well in county high schools. El Dorado County’s county-wide Poetry Out Loud Final Competition held earlier this year with Oak Ridge High School student Emily Lieber taking first place. Charter University Prep student Katherine Mansfield earned second place and ORHS student Caleb Stocking came in third.

Oak Ridge club ‘FLYing’ in the face of adversity – Mountain Democrat - Of the many youth clubs and after-school programs that shut down in the face of COVID-19, one program that continued and even thrived  — Financial Literacy For You, a nonprofit Oak Ridge High School program that teaches youth the importance of and the know-how to make sound financial decisions.

Hands4Hope retreats educate young leaders – Mountain Democrat - The Hands4Hope Education Program staff, with the help of the Hands4Hope Youth Board Executive Committee, designed and facilitated two virtual retreats for more than 60 middle and high school youth leaders.

EDUHSD enhances mental health services – Mountain Democrat - Care Solace, an organization determined to calm the chaos of mental healthcare coordination, has been selected by the El Dorado Union High School District  to support behavioral and mental healthcare referrals for its approximate 7,200 students, families and staff members.

EDCOE Spotlight on Charter SELPA Specialist Sean Andrew – Placerville Newswire - Sean T Andrew, M.Ed., is a Regional Program Specialist working with the EDCOE Charter SELPA. He provides support to over 20 charter schools in the greater Los Angeles area. Sean has over eighteen years’ experience working in the field of Special Education.

Staff, students navigate together – Village Life - The town of Latrobe founded in 1864 and named after civil engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe II once thrived thanks to the Sacramento and Placerville Railroad. And while the days of train-driven commerce and trade are long gone, the community still thrives thanks in part to the small but mighty Latrobe School District.

Ponderosa FFA returns to competition – Village Life - Ponderosa’s Future Farmers of America chapter has been in a competition lull since last summer; but thanks to technology and tenacity several of its members recently brought students back … and the long road was worth it as several members are moving on to the next level.

Tahoe Soroptimists to host 32nd annual Elegant Evening – Tahoe Tribune - The Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra is hosting its 32nd annual Elegant Evening fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 23.

Cell tower proposed at ORHS denied recommendation – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - After a protracted discussion at last week’s El Dorado County Planning Commission, Verizon Wireless’ request for a conditional use permit for an Oak Ridge High School cell tower installation was unanimously denied.

Greenstone Road Closure – EDC Press Release - The El Dorado County Department of Transportation has scheduled a hazardous tree removal on Greenstone Road. Greenstone Road will be closed on Wednesday, April ih 2021 starting at 8:00 am and will reopen the same day at 5:00 pm.

Relief available for renters, landlords – Mountain Democrat - Californians who have experienced financial hardship because of the pandemic and who are most at-risk of eviction can now apply to the state’s COVID-19 rent relief program to help pay past-due rent.

State Board of Education Approves Historic Ethnic Studies Guidance for High Schools – CDE Press Release - The California State Board of Education today approved guidance to assist local high schools in developing ethnic studies courses, classes that researchers say can improve graduation and college-going rates among all students—and especially teens of color. The vote makes California the first state in the nation to offer a statewide ethnic studies model for educators.

Governor Newsom and State Superintendent Thurmond Announce Deployment of up to 3 Million Free Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Tests to Help High-Needs Schools Safely Reopen Classrooms – CDE Press Release - Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced a partnership between the California COVID-19 Testing Task Force and the California Department of Education (CDE) to deploy up to 3 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests at no cost to support the safe return to in-person learning for staff and students in some of California’s most disadvantaged school districts.

State Board of Education Approves Additional Testing Flexibility for Schools This Spring – CDE Press Release - The State Board of Education today voted to give California school districts the opportunity to use either state tests or other standards-aligned assessments to gauge student learning this spring.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces $240,000 in Grants to Address Inequities that Deepened During Pandemic – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that the California Department of Education (CDE) has selected 12 recipients of mini grants, totaling more than $240,000, that will fund local efforts across the state to address equity and opportunity gaps through supporting educator and student needs in distance learning, in-person instruction, and hybrid models.

Teachers reflect on a year of Covid: students struggling, others thriving – EdSource - Students and families aren’t the only ones whose lives have been upended by the pandemic. Teachers, too, have had to adjust to an entirely new education landscape — one marked by uncertainty, frustration and seemingly endless hours on Zoom.

Schools chief uses influence to shape policy during pandemic, but lacks power to make big decisions – EdSource - Tony Thurmond, California’s state superintendent of public instruction, didn’t expect the school closures across the state last year to last more than a few weeks. County school superintendents that he spoke with about the pandemic response weren’t too concerned either. It would be an extended spring break, Thurmond thought.

'No one is sure what to expect': Schools, colleges add more counseling services to address student mental health – EdSource - As students begin returning to the classroom as the pandemic eases, schools are bracing for an onslaught of serious mental health conditions that, for some students, may take years to overcome.

Distance learning changed California education. What’s here to stay? – EdSource - As schools across California welcome back more students on campus, some distance learning practices look likely to survive the pandemic.

What California teachers want policymakers to know – EdSource - California teachers have witnessed the massive disruption and responded to the changes of Covid-19. Now, on the first anniversary of school closures, they have a year’s worth of observations and insights to share with lawmakers and education leaders, who have been setting policies with a limited knowledge of what’s been happening in schools and classrooms.

California schools to get $15.3 billion in federal aid under American Rescue Plan – EdSource - The nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan that President Joe Biden signed Thursday will send $15.3 billion in assistance to California’s K-12 schools. It will be by far the biggest of three relief acts that Congress passed in less than a year to combat the pandemic and the recession.

What the federal stimulus bill means to California's child care sector – EdSource - President Joe Biden’s child care relief bill, part of the sweeping $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that the president signed into law Thursday, may not end the growing child care crisis, but it will throw a much-needed lifeline to a field on the brink of collapse, early childhood advocates say.

Eating disorders among teens surging during the pandemic – EdSource - Since the pandemic began, isolation, anxiety and hours upon hours of screen time have led to a surge in eating disorders among adolescents — at the same time that health education has been cut back in classrooms.

Several El Dorado schools to return to in-person learning this month – KCRA 3 - Thousands of students are expected to return to campus for full in-person learning in El Dorado County this week… "All you're seeing in El Dorado County is a culmination of multiple strategies ensuring our students and educators will be safe," County Superintendent of Schools Ed Manansala said. "By the end of March, we anticipate all educators who want to be vaccinated will be vaccinated."

Hundreds of Rescue Union educators receive COVID-19 vaccine– Fox 40 - More than 700 people were vaccinated in El Dorado Hills on Saturday. About half the people vaccinated were educators who said they were eager to get back into the classroom.

These two El Dorado County school districts are returning to a full schedule this month – Sacramento Bee - Two El Dorado County school districts will be returning to a full, in-person schedule just days after the county entered the red tier of the state’s COVID-19 risk assessment system.

El Dorado County Students: Resilient, Brilliant, and Hopeful - Serrano Magazine (attached) – By Dr. Ed Manansala - The new year brings with it the hope for a bright future. This season has been uniquely difficult for all of us, and I am constantly encouraged by everything that has been achieved in the midst of this crisis.

Students to return to South Tahoe High School and Mt. Tallac High on March 8 – South Tahoe Now - It has been almost one year since schools were closed in South Lake Tahoe due to the pandemic. While younger students have been able to start attending in-person school on a hybrid schedule, South Tahoe High School (STHS) and Mt. Tallac High School students have not been able to, that is, until now.

Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe honors local teens – South Tahoe Now - Eleven exceptional students from South Tahoe and George Whittell high schools were recently honored by Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe with the club's Young Women of Distinction Award.

EDCOE Transportation Receives a Lot of Love during February - Windfall Magazine (attached) - At the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE), the Transportation team is being honored for safely and compassionately driving students with disabilities to school locations throughout the county. They drive vans and Type A busses to and from 19 different campuses with unrelenting focus on student safety and big hearts.

Teachers line up for vaccine – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Teachers took priority Saturday at the El Dorado Hills Fire Department’s latest COVID-19 vaccination clinic, during which paramedics inoculated 440 local educators and 265 senior citizens with the Moderna vaccine.

EDCOE hiring Help Desk Technician III – Placerville Newswire - Education: High school diploma or equivalent. Education at a level to demonstrate the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities ...

BOMUSD aims to stay at 5 days, in-person – Georgetown Gazette - The California Department of Public Health published new guidance for schools Jan. 14. Nearly all the “new” guidance represents the practices and protocols the Black Oak Mine Unified School District has had in place since the start of in-person instruction. There is, however, one significant exception.

Ponderosa FFA returns to competition – Village Life - Ponderosa’s Future Farmers of America chapter has been in a competition lull since last summer; but thanks to technology and tenacity several of its members recently brought students back … and the long road was worth it as several members are moving on to the next level.

FFA members collect warm clothes for the needy – Village Life - The FFA motto — Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve — has been a little tougher to accomplish with COVID-19 hampering in-person activities. In most years Sacramento section chapters like those at Ponderosa and Union Mine high schools would have put in countless hours at community service events from the Apple Hill Smorgi to the Hands4Hope Fall Festival in El Dorado Hills.

25th annual CASA Kids Box Lunch fundraiser – South Tahoe Now - The 25th annual CASA Kids Box Lunch fundraiser is back after last year's cancellation. This time-honored tradition returns with expanded choices and three drive-through locations in El Dorado County. Meals will be picked up at these locations on April 15, including one in South Lake Tahoe.

Assistance League Sierra Foothills offers scholarships – Village Life - Assistance League Sierra Foothills is a local, all-volunteer nonprofit with the goal of transforming lives and strengthening the El Dorado County community through its many philanthropic programs.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to Legislative Deal on School Reopening – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to a legislative deal announced by Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers that is designed to help more schools open classrooms for in-person learning:

California teacher shortages could make reopening schools for in-person instruction difficult – EdSource - he ongoing teacher shortage, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, means more under-prepared teachers will be in California classrooms when school campuses fully reopen, according to a study released today by the Learning Policy Institute.

California Legislature approves plan to encourage schools to reopen for in-person instruction – EdSource - Tackling one of the most contentious issues during the year-long Covid-19 pandemic, California legislators approved a plan Thursday to encourage school districts to bring back more students for in-person instruction.

Quick Guide: California’s plan for getting more kids back to school – EdSource - On Dec. 30, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $2 billion “Safe Schools for All” plan to encourage more schools to reopen for in-person instruction beginning on February 15.  Shortly thereafter, he called for an additional $4.6 billion in his January budget to address the impact of the pandemic on schools.

Nurse shortage could make reopening school campuses more difficult – EdSource - School nurses could play a key role in helping school campuses reopen and keeping students and staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, but many California schools don’t have one. In districts that have nurses, most divide their time between multiple schools.

Should kindergarten be mandatory in California? – EdSource - Long before the first day of school in first grade, some children may be far behind their peers. That was true even before the pandemic, but a heightened awareness of learning loss has added a sense of urgency to the matter of how to close achievement gaps in the early grades.

California parents continue to disagree on return to school as Covid-19 cases decline – EdSource - As more California school districts reopen campuses, many are finding themselves in the middle of a contentious debate among parents over safety and other priorities.

Newsom, lawmakers set April 1 deadline to reopen schools for K-2 students – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature have struck a deal to accelerate the reopening of school campuses by moving up the deadline to send the youngest students back to class in March.

Miguel Cardona sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Education – EdSource - Signifying a major shift in federal education priorities, Miguel Cardona, a relative unknown on the national education landscape, was sworn in on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of Education by Vice President Kamala Harris.

LTUSD working on outdoor sports plan for South Tahoe High – South Tahoe Now - Last week, the State of California came out with new directives in regards to outdoor high-contact sports for students, and since that time local health and school officials have been working on the plan for next steps… "We are reviewing all aspects of the expectations for our participation," said Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) Superintendent Dr. Todd Cutler. "We are working with our high school athletic department to make sure we are able to meet all expectations and what are other possible limitations with the hope to be able to fully participate."

Oak Ridge wins academic decathlon title at virtual awards – Mountain Democrat/VillageLife - For the fifth year in a row Oak Ridge High School decathletes took home the first-place El Dorado County Academic Decathlon title with Ponderosa High School coming in second. With a 30-plus-year history of academic competition in El Dorado County students, coaches and El Dorado County Office of Education staff did not let the adversity of 2020 stand in the way of participating in the 2021 competition.

Air Force JROTC program takes off at Union Mine – Mountain Democrat - Union Mine High School and the El Dorado Union High School District leaders tried for years to bring an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program to the county. The dream has turned into a reality and a chance for high school students to learn from Maj. George Adams, who spent more than 20 years in the Air Force and recorded several hundred hours of combat flying, including in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

EDCOE transportation receives a lot of love during February – Mountain Democrat - At the El Dorado County Office of Education, the transportation team is honored for safely and compassionately driving students with disabilities to school locations throughout the county. Team members drive vans and Type A buses to and from 19 different campuses with unrelenting focus on student safety and big hearts. During the month of February the team celebrates the Love the Bus/Van Driver program and received well-deserved recognition for its hard work.

State Superintendent Thurmond Announces New Grading Guidance for Student Progress in Distance Learning – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today the release of guidelines that address grading student progress and the ongoing issue of equity in distance and hybrid learning environments. Resources that support local control are included in the new guidance, allowing schools to make the best decisions for their respective student populations.

California teachers move to the front of the vaccine line in most counties – EdSource - Thousands of California teachers from urban and suburban school districts who had been waiting for Covid-19 vaccinations finally began receiving their first doses last week, with those numbers expected to climb as the state takes additional steps to prioritize teachers.

California accountability data masks English learner progress, report says – EdSource - California school data doesn’t paint a full picture of English learners. It’s more like a sketch. That’s according to a new report by Californians Together, a nonprofit organization that researches and advocates for students who speak a language other than English at home.

Veteran teachers surveyed worry about Covid’s long-term harm on California students – EdSource - In the first comprehensive survey of California teachers’ experiences during distance learning, a majority confirm the biggest worries of many policymakers and education leaders: They say they believe their students risk long-term academic and mental health damage from the Covid pandemic.

Schools must give standardized tests this spring, Biden administration says – EdSource - States must resume their annual standardized tests this spring, the Biden administration confirmed on Monday. While the tests will be required, the U.S. Department of Education is allowing for new flexible options such as shortening tests, extending the testing window and remote administration.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to U.S. Department of Education Guidance on Standardized Testing – CDE press release - State Superintendent Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on administering statewide standardized tests this year: “Standardized tests are imperfect measures at best and often provide snapshots of student performance that are far too narrow to help educators in any given year, let alone during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic…”

In his own words: Dr. Fauci on the complexities of school reopening and vaccinations – EdSource - On Sunday Feb. 21 Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press. The following is a transcript of his remarks. Fauci was equivocal on whether it is safe for adults to be in school without being vaccinated, underscoring the complexities of reopening schools during this pandemic.

A Destination for Education, by Dr. Ed Manansala – El Dorado County Relocation & Business Guide (attached) - In El Dorado County, our vision is to create the conditions for every student to succeed in college, a career, and in their community. School districts and the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) maximize resources with a strong commitment to recruiting innovative educators, building better schools, and developing stronger partnerships with government, private industry, community-based organizations, non-profits, and small businesses. 

School reopenings more common in rural areas and in private schools, state data shows – CalMatters - New state mapping data details California’s school-reopening divide, in which hundreds of school districts — mostly smaller and rural or inland — are offering in-person instruction to elementary students while many of the state’s largest, urban districts remain indefinitely in remote learning… “If you put the protocols in place, it runs smooth,” Placerville superintendent Eric Bonniksen said. “All of our students are wearing masks. All of our teachers are wearing masks, we are doing social distancing. Overall, it runs smooth like a regular school day.”

Cheer on South Tahoe High Volleyball via cardboard cutouts in the stands – South Tahoe Now - While spectators at high school sporting events are not allowed at this time due to health and safety guidelines, South Tahoe High Volleyball fans can still support the team. The team is holding a "Fans in the Stands" fundraiser where purchased full color cardboard cutout fans will replace the in-person fans during the home volleyball matches.

CARES funds bring cleaner air to Divide schools – Georgetown Gazette - As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding provided to El Dorado County and distributed to local school districts, Black Oak Mine Unified School District was able to enhance safety measures in classrooms and workspaces through the purchase and installation of plasma screen filtering ionization units in all 155 HVAC units in the district.

CARES Act funding helps local schools operate in-person – Mountain Democrat - Through a strong partnership between the El Dorado County Chief Administrative Office, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, El Dorado County Office of Education and 15 school districts, $5 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding helped school sites and county-wide educational programs provide in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A big brother’s call helps save young life – Mountain Democrat - When Placerville mom Diana Conboy heard her 8-year-old son Tino scream on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 16, she immediately knew something was gravely wrong. Tino, a second-grader at Sutter’s Mill School, had been playing in the family’s living room and was enjoying the start of his weekend when he began to wonder where his 18-month old sister Cami was.

Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra holding Meat Raffle – South Tahoe Now - While we are all hunkered down and cooking from home more, here is your chance to serve up a real gourmet meal with meat from Overland Meat and Seafood while helping the community.

Tahoe Women's Community Fund $100,000 grant cycle opens for South Shore nonprofits – South Tahoe Now - Nonprofits in the South Lake Tahoe area are invited to apply for $100,000 in Focus and Impact grants from the Tahoe Women's Community Fund (TWCF). The 2021 grant application process is now open and will close at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 11.

Teachers reflect on a year of learning under Covid: A survey of California teachers by the Inverness Institute – EdSource - Information about teaching in California during the Covid-19 pandemic has largely consisted of anecdotes, individual teachers’ perspectives and blogs, plus limited standardized test results.

Teachers speak out on students’ academic learning – EdSource - At the end of January 2021, we surveyed our California Teacher Consultant Response Network members to ask them about their experiences as they adapt to serve their students during the pandemic.

Teachers speak out on students’ social and emotional wellbeing – EdSource - At the end of January 2021, we surveyed our California Teacher Consultant Response Network members to ask them about their experiences as they adapt to serve their students during the pandemic.

California legislators issue their conditions for reopening schools — without governor’s backing – EdSource - I n a sign that they remain at odds with Gov. Gavin Newsom, legislative leaders on Thursday released legislation laying out their version of what districts must do to reopen schools. What’s missing, however, is the governor’s support after weeks of negotiations.

How will expanded transitional kindergarten roll out? – EdSource - Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget calls for a $500 million investment, a down payment toward the ultimate goal of offering transitional kindergarten to all 4-year-olds in the state.

Gov. Newsom's proposed cost of living increases could stave off cuts for some school districts – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed cost-of-living adjustment for school districts — part of his $89.2 billion 2021-2022 education budget pending before the Legislature — could turn the tide for some cash-strapped districts that were bracing for budget cuts.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource

Special education teachers grapple with risks of in-person classes: ‘An impossible choice’ – EdSource - As pressure mounts for California schools to reopen for in-person instruction, special education teachers who have already been meeting with students in person describe the experience as a mix of fear, anxiety and occasional joy, with conditions changing at a moment’s notice.

White students in California more likely to be getting in-person instruction than Black, Latino and Asian students – EdSource - As Covid-19 cases drop in California, Black, Latino and Asian students are less likely to be back on campus compared to their white peers, according to an EdSource analysis.

California teacher credentialing requirements continue to be eased during pandemic – EdSource - The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing extended a waiver Thursday that will allow those in teacher preparation programs to begin teaching while they finish required exams, coursework and practice hours.

In his own words: ‘Educators in front of students should be vaccinated,’ says CTA president E. Toby Boyd – EdSource – Interview: Gov. Newsom has made explicit his policy on vaccinations and said that it’s not necessary to vaccinate all teachers before reopening schools for at least elementary schools? What’s your position on vaccines?

California schools struggle to test English learners’ progress during pandemic – EdSource - Students across California who speak another language at home are starting to take tests this month to see how well they are learning English. For many students it will be the first time they’ve been tested in two years.

Gov. Newsom calls for closing big ‘loophole’ in school funding for high-needs students – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed his solution to a long-running, contentious dispute over the Local Control Funding Formula, the equity-based formula for distributing the bulk of money that school districts get from the state.

Federal guidelines for school reopening are less rigorous than state’s on several key measures – EdSource - T he California Department of Public Health on Monday released a comparison of its guidelines for school reopenings with those issued Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It shows that on several significant criteria, California is more cautious in allowing students back in the classroom during the Covid pandemic.

LTUSD receives $330,000 to replace diesel bus with electric bus – South Tahoe Now/Tahoe Tribune - The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) was recently awarded $330,000 from the California Energy Commission to replace one of its aging diesel school buses with an electric bus. The new bus arrived in December and has been transporting students daily since then. The Commission's School Bus Replacement Program offers funds to replace old diesel school buses in disadvantaged and low-income communities throughout California.

LTUSD pushes start of cohort K-8 to Thursday – South Tahoe Now/Tahoe Tribune - Originally planned for Monday, the move to Phase 2 hybrid structure of learning at Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) for grades TK through 8 will start Thursday, February 4. Monday and Tuesday will be synchronous virtual learning days which allows for teachers to prepare for not only the next storm this week, but also a return to hybrid instruction for Cohort B. Cohort A will start Monday, February 8.

South Tahoe teacher brings space to classroom – Tahoe Tribune - One South Lake Tahoe teacher is trying to bring space closer to home for her students and thanks to several grants, she may succeed. Lynn Norling has been teaching math and science for 19 years, the last three of which have been at South Tahoe Middle School. She’s been working diligently to bring the Mission to Moon program to STMS for her eighth grade science students.

Register for kindergarten – Georgetown Gazette - The annual registration process for Black Oak Mine Unified School District kindergarten and transitional kindergarten begins Feb. 1. Register online at bomusd.org or find the link on any school website. Online registration is preferred, however, paper registration packets will be available in the school office for those who are not able to fill out an online registration.

Schools issued new guidance – Georgetown Gazette - The following is a message to the Black Oak Mine Unified School District families from Superintendent Jeremy Meyers: Dear BOMUSD parents, The California Department of Public Health has issued new guidance for schools. This new guidance has the potential to affect current operations. To be certain, the Black Oak Mine Unified School District is in the process of understanding the new guidance and measuring the practical implications.

CARES Act Helps Fund In-Person Learning – Placerville News Wire - Through a strong partnership between the El Dorado County Chief Administrative Office, El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) and 15 school districts, $5 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding helped school sites and county-wide educational programs provide in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jayce Kaldunski Named Placerville Kiwanis Student Service Leader of the Month – Windfall Magazine (attached)/Mountain Democrat/Placerville News Wire - The Kiwanis Club of Placerville recently presented Jayce Kaldunski with the Student Service Leader of the Month award for January because of his tireless efforts as President of the El Dorado High School (EDHS) Key Club.

Academic Decathlon supporters, participants outwit COVID-19 – Mountain Democrat - …Although the events take place in the beginning of every year, preparation begins as early as August, recruiting team members and starting the semester long training... El Dorado County Office of Education Communications Director Dina Gentry, APR, MBA, has been running the local heat since 2016 and said it has been quite an adventure.

Student of the Year: Matteo Mullard – Village Life - The Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills and Lakeview Elementary School officials celebrated Matteo Mullard as the school’s Student of the Year during last week’s Rotary Zoom meeting. Principal Kathy Miracle commended the fifth-grader for his tremendous growth and determination to overcome any obstacles.

2021 Endow El Dorado Grant Cycle Deadline March 1 – Placerville News Wire - The El Dorado Community Foundation Announces 2021 Endow El Dorado Grant Cycle Opens on February 1st. The El Dorado Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2021 Endow El Dorado Grant Cycle will open on February 1, 2021.

California education news updates – EdSource

Dispute widens between Gov. Newsom, school employee unions over reopening campuses – EdSource - Already-big differences on when to reopen schools became starker Wednesday when Gov. Gavin Newsom reiterated that campuses can open safely before vaccinating all teachers, while five unions representing California school employees set a new set of conditions that could make reopening less likely before the end of the school year.

California schools consider extending next school year while mental health remains a concern – EdSource - As Covid-19 infection rates continue to delay the reopening of many schools across California, some education leaders have floated the idea of extending the school year to address learning loss among students at risk of falling behind. At the same time, concerns about mental health suggest longer may not necessarily be better.

How the Biden administration will impact California’s child care crisis – EdSource - n response to the escalating child care crisis, one of many pressing social issues exacerbated by the pandemic, the new Biden administration has pledged to offer relief to child care providers struggling to stay open, as well as to help parents struggling to pay for child care.

Credential testing required for California teachers would be reduced under new proposal – EdSource - California teacher candidates may be able to use coursework they have taken to satisfy their degree requirements to prove they are ready to teach, instead of taking some state tests currently required to obtain a teaching credential, according to a proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

Safe or unsafe to reopen schools now? Contrasting views from a superintendent and a physician - EdSource Podcast - Fresno Supt. Bob Nelson explains urban districts' opposition to Gov. Newsom's reopening plan while Dr. Jeanne Noble of UCSF says it's safe to return to schools by Feb. 1

Inconsistent vaccine supply, lack of state coordination complicate vaccinating school staff – EdSource - El Dorado, a county east of Sacramento, with a total population of 193,000 people and 3,500 school employees, is further ahead than many in the state. School staff in the county began receiving their first doses of the vaccine last week. While it will likely take until mid-February to vaccinate all school employees who want it, county Superintendent of Schools Ed Manansala is optimistic. “The sense of hope and promise in El Dorado County, it shifted this week,” he said. “When you start seeing people having access to vaccinations within our sector — the education sector — this is good news.”

To achieve excellence, reassurance and hope, rest on communication and empathy – Studor Education - In this ever-changing climate, continuous improvement is more vital than ever, and it’s something today’s guest, Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools at El Dorado COE, and the President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association are deeply committed to. Listen as Janet and Ed discuss how to engage people in continuous improvement, 5 bold steps for implementation, and why it makes a difference in critical times.

GTUSD Board Appoints Keri Phillips as New Superintendent/Principal – Placerville News Wire - The Gold Trail Union School District (GTUSD) is pleased to announce that Keri Phillips has been appointed the District Superintendent and Sutter’s Mill School Principal, effective January 25, 2021. Keri’s personal and professional background validate the decision of the Board. Keri was raised in a family that values education, as both of her parents were teachers. Following in their footsteps, she began her career in education, teaching for almost a decade, before transitioning into administrative roles. She served as Assistant Principal at Folsom High School for three years, and as Principal at Sutter Middle School in Folsom for 15 years.

Care Solace selected by EDUHSD for Mental Healthcare Services – Placerville News Wire - El Dorado, CA - Care Solace, an organization determined to calm the chaos of mental healthcare coordination, has been selected by the El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) to support behavioral and mental healthcare referrals for its approximate 7,200 students, families and staff members. Care Solace equips school districts with a web-based tool that makes it easier for students, families and staff to connect with mental healthcare resources and providers in their communities.

Youth athletes, parents tell Legislature ‘Let Them Play’ – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - High school athletes across the state gathered to appeal to the California Legislature to reassess guidelines for high school sports in more than 130 rallies Friday afternoon, with El Dorado Hills Town Center being the epicenter for one event. “Our goal is to stand together and show the state that we want youth to start immediately in a safe manner,” said Oak Ridge High School parent Kristen Roeder. “Thirty states played their basketball seasons and 35 states played their football season. The science shows that sports can be played without spreading COVID.”

Teens in need can rely on MJ’s Project – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - Growing anything by more than 700% in two years is a milestone dream for most businesses or nonprofits. MJ’s Project made that goal a reality. MJ’s Project began when its founder, MJ, a student at Ponderosa High School, needed feminine products but couldn’t take enough from her school to last. She had none at home and her family didn’t have much money to buy more.

Gurrola honored for excellence in education – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – At the Jan. 14 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees, El Dorado County sheriff’s deputy and School Resource Officer Andrew Gurrola was honored with an Excellence in Education Award for his outstanding service to the students, families and staff at Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School.

Teen drivers can ‘Start Smart’ – Mountain Democrat - The Placerville office of the California Highway Patrol urges local teens to sign up for its upcoming Start Smart class.

No bad reactions to Moderna vaccine in El Dorado County – Tahoe Tribune - State Department of Public Health officials have asked providers to halt administering doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after reports that some people suffered allergic reactions. Monday El Dorado County officials said so far no residents have reported abnormal side effects.

Nonprofits invited to apply for 2021 Endow El Dorado grants – South Tahoe Now - The El Dorado Community Foundation is pleased to announce the 2021 Endow El Dorado Grant Cycle will open on February 1, 2021. Endow El Dorado is open to all nonprofits serving the residents and communities of El Dorado County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors getting virtual applause – Mountain Democrat - Two Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra volunteer mentors will receive the title of Bigs of the Year in a virtual event, 6-7 p.m. on National Mentor Day, Jan. 29.

How California schools can help undocumented middle and high schoolers receive legal aid – EdSource - Hazel Piñon, an immigrant who moved to the Bay Area from the Philippines as a child, was 20 when she found out she may have qualified for a visa as a teenager that would have given her a path to permanent U.S. residency. By the time she found out, it was too late to apply.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California. See below for the latest developments compiled by EdSource staff.

More school organizations urge revising Gov. Newsom’s reopening plan – EdSource - Five statewide organizations representing school districts and county offices of education that had refrained from commenting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to entice school districts to begin reopening are urging major revisions they say would make the plan feasible.

California education news updates – EdSource

How one California preschool program is helping youngest learners with math – EdSource - Teaching math remotely to kids who might literally throw a tantrum onscreen would be laughable in a typical year. But California preschool providers are attempting the seemingly impossible.

What's Ahead in U.S. Education Webinar – Corwin - Please join us for a discussion on the future of U.S. Education under the Biden administration. Peter DeWitt, author, blogger, and host of the EdWeek Show “A Seat at the Table,” will facilitate the discussion with international and U.S. policy experts, Drs. Michael Fullan (OISE, U of Toronto), Andrew Hargreaves (Boston College), Pedro Noguera (USC), and Patricia Gandara (UCLA).

Immigration reform proposed by Biden could alleviate anxiety, fear for thousands of California children – EdSource – A path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants announced Wednesday by President Joe Biden could benefit hundreds of thousands of California children, alleviating anxiety and fear they, their parents or other family members could be deported.

In inaugural address, Biden says it is possible to teach children ‘in safe schools’ – EdSource - While President Joseph Biden spent most of his inaugural address pleading for unity, he also touched on an issue of deep importance to many American families: getting children back to school during the pandemic.

San Diego superintendent will bring years of teaching to deputy education secretary post – EdSource - On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to select a teacher to be his secretary of education. Just before Christmas, in a surprise choice, he named Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to the post. Cardona has been a teacher — albeit for only about five years before becoming a principal and district administrator.

To achieve excellence, reassurance and hope, rest on communication and empathy. – Studer Education Podcast - In this ever-changing climate, continuous improvement is more vital than ever, and it’s something today’s guest, Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools at El Dorado COE, and the President of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association are deeply committed to. Listen as Janet and Ed discuss how to engage people in continuous improvement, 5 bold steps for implementation, and why it makes a difference in critical times.

California schools struggle to pay for ventilation upgrades, key to safely reopen campuses – EdSource - Upgrading ventilation systems is a key way schools can reduce the spread of the coronavirus when campuses reopen, but some districts in California are finding the cost of those upgrades to be insurmountable… “Conditions matter,” Superintendent Marcy Guthrie said. “For family morale, for staff morale, for student safety. Schools are people-driven. People need to feel safe, respected, comfortable. We’re talking minimal stuff — heating and cooling.”

Stories from the Pandemic – UC Davis - The effects of the COVID-19 outbreak have spread across the world, impacting all areas of life. Here, alumni from multiple fields share their experiences… Schools not only educate, they help children grow socially and emotionally, and support the local economy by caring for children while parents are at work, said Ed Manansala, Ed.D. ’11, El Dorado County superintendent of schools.

South Lake Tahoe teachers and staff start to receive vaccines – South Tahoe Now - A major step in preparing to open schools back up to in-person classes, teachers and staff from Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) are receiving the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The news of the available vaccines came earlier than the District expected. They hope to have all staff members receive the first vaccine within the next two weeks, and the second required injection within the next six weeks.

Kiwanis of Tahoe Sierra helping children in South Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - The Kiwanis Club of Tahoe Sierra has been busy this winter with helping the children of South Lake Tahoe. Club members started the season by providing snow pants and boots to children in the Tahoe Head Start program, knowing that every child deserves the opportunity to keep warm as they play in the snow. The club would like to thank Cheryl the K-Mart store manager for her support of the project.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District seeks developer fee increase – South Tahoe Now - Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) is seeking an increase of developer fees that go to the district from $2.24 per square foot to $3.20 per square foot. They plan to use the increase in revenue to support its program to reconstruct existing facilities, funds that are needed due to rising costs in South Lake Tahoe.

When Will BOMUSD Educators Receive the COVID Vaccine? – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – Superintendent Jeremy Meyers had the opportunity to hear Dr. Nancy Williams, El Dorado County Public Health director, at a recent meeting of the El Dorado County school superintendents. Vaccines were obviously a topic of conversation. County superintendents are pushing to make educators a priority in receiving vaccination.

Golden Sierra Wellness Center serving community – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – through a partnership with other high schools in El Dorado County and Sierra Child and Family Services, Golden Sierra Junior Senior High School now has a Wellness Center on campus in Garden Valley. The purpose of the Wellness Center is to assist students and families with navigation to community resources, to offer a safe space on campus and to improve the overall health and well-being of students.

Women’s Fund scholarship applications available now – Mountain Democrat - Applications are now available for Women’s Fund El Dorado’s Wickline Scholarship. The Wickline Scholarship Fund was established to assist women older than 25 in overcoming personal difficulties by pursuing post-secondary education. Since 2012, WFED has awarded $39,000 Wickline Scholarship dollars, making a difference in the lives of 27 women.

Hands4Hope boutique helps families stock up – Village Life - COVID-19 did not stop Hands4Hope – Youth Making A Difference from hosting its annual Warm and Fuzzy Drive and Winter Boutique this season. It definitely provided challenges, but despite these, more than 5,800 warm clothing items were collected, 169 no-sew blankets were made and 703 individuals in need were served.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Experts Discuss Approaches to Understanding and Countering Islamophobia – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today joined leaders from the Islamic Networks Group (ING) in a virtual classroom session on understanding and countering Islamophobia.

Newsom opens one-stop Covid information ‘hub’ on reopening schools – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday the creation of one online spot where school districts can find technical information and resources, and parents can find answers and lodge concerns on reopening schools during the pandemic. It includes a website that will launch later this month that will list Covid outbreaks by school and district and permit parents to file complaints online and through a hotline telephone if their schools are not following safety protocols.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

California school officials push for standardized testing waiver amid Covid-19 spike – EdSource - As Covid-19 cases continue to soar in California, a majority of the State Board of Education is now in favor of pursuing a waiver from the federal government that would remove the obligation to carry out standardized testing for the second year in a row.

In the right direction? Perspectives on Gov. Newsom’s education budget – EdSource - EdSource asked leaders representing all segments of California’s education system to comment on Gov. Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal. This year, we’ve presented their responses in reverse alphabetical order, which seemed apt for these topsy-turvy times.

California education news updates – EdSource

California’s ’cradle-to-career’ data system in line to receive $15 million for next phase – EdSource - Ending speculation as to how much California will invest in building an ambitious “cradle-to-career” data system, Gov. Gavin Newson is proposing to spend $15 million for the next phase of creating a data system that will shed light on effective strategies contributing to student success and to provide useful tools to students trying to plan their education careers.

Some California teachers and staff to receive Covid-19 vaccines beginning this week – EdSource - Teachers and school employees in Mariposa County are expected to be among the first of California’s 1.4 million teachers and other school staff to be vaccinated for Covid-19 when they roll up their sleeves for the shot on Monday.

California governor takes steps toward expanding transitional kindergarten – EdSource - Gov. Gavin Newsom is making strides toward realizing his vision of preschool for all the state’s 4-year-olds in the proposed budget he released Friday for the coming fiscal year.

Officials talk COVID-19 at virtual town hall – Georgetown Gazette - Following the greatest increase in COVID-19 cases reported in El Dorado County since the onset of the pandemic in March, officials held a virtual town hall Nov. 19 to discuss impacts of the virus on the community… Next to speak was El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, who talked about COVID-19 and its impact on county schools.

Excellence in Education Award – John Ledo – Georgetown Gazette (attached) – John Ledo, Lead Maintenance II, was awarded and Excellence in Education Award at the November 12, 2020 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees. Supervisor Mark Koontz honored Ledo for the “Stand Out” performance and ingenuity in developing a plexiglass fabrication workshop for made-to-order shields as part of the PPE needed to reopen district schools.

Swine barn brings convenience to Union Mine students – Mountain Democrat - Swine raised by Union Mine High School Agriculture and Future Farmers of America students have new digs to call home. After two years of fundraising, the school recently built a new swine barn that can house about 20 hogs — a much needed addition for students who don’t have access to land where their project animals can live a healthy life.

ORHS students back in class – VillageLife - After seeing a COVID-19- spike amongst staff and students, Oak Ridge High School officials canceled in-person classes last week. “The move to distance learning was a precautionary move to prevent a large increase in quarantined students who would then miss the last two weeks of school,” explained Principal Aaron Palm in a letter to parents. “Over the course of this week we continued to (have) positive student cases of COVID-19 reported to us. These cases would have resulted in hundreds of students having been quarantined at no fault of their own.”

#CASTEAM20 Keynote Speakers and Early Registration Prizes Announced! – CDE press release - Give yourself the gifts of community, inspiration, and revitalization by joining us at this year’s California STEAM Symposium on December 11–13, 2020! As we wind down 2020, we look forward to collaborating with educators from around the world at the California STEAM Symposium to prepare for a wonderful launch into 2021 and we are excited to announce our keynote speakers who will rejuvenate, energize, and motivate you!

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces Additional Educator Trainings and Grants to Address Equity and Learning Gaps – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Tuesday that the California Department of Education (CDE) is launching additional virtual educator trainings and mini-grants designed to accelerate ongoing efforts to address equity gaps, strengthen distance learning, and support students’ social emotional wellness during the pandemic.

California education news updates – EdSource - A survey by the Public Policy Institute of California has revealed considerable pessimism toward the future and immediate economic distress particularly among lower-income Californians interviewed in the grip of the pandemic.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Another step toward universal preschool in California? – EdSource - Long a goal of early childhood advocates, universal preschool came a step closer to becoming reality this week.

California Assembly leaders press for all districts to resume in-school teaching in the spring – EdSource - Looking beyond the state-ordered Covid lockdown that has shut down all but essential services in all but a handful of counties in California, three Democratic Assembly leaders proposed legislation Monday that would require public school students to physically return to school in stages by early spring, after public health officials lift closure orders.

New Master Plan for Early Learning and Care points way to California for all – EdSource - As public servants and mothers whose life work is dedicated to maximizing the potential in all children from birth through young adulthood, we stand together as partners in an effort to transform how we provide every infant, toddler and preschooler a successful start that carries them through school and life.

A Destination for Education by Dr. Ed Manansala, El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools – EDH CSD Recreation Guide (page 27) - In El Dorado County, our vision is to create the conditions for every student to succeed in college, a career, and in their community. School districts and the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) maximize resources with a strong commitment to recruiting innovative educators, building better schools, and developing stronger partnerships with government, private industry, community-based organizations, non-profits, and small businesses.

Transition on BOMUSD Board of Trustees – Georgetown Gazette - At the Nov. 12 meeting of the Black Oak Mine Unified School District Board of Trustees outgoing trustee Joe Scroggins was honored for his 10 years of boardsmanship. Superintendent Jeremy Meyers thanked Scroggins for his dedicated service to families and students in Area 2, which includes Cool, Pilot Hill and Greenwood. He recognized the tough decisions that have challenged Board members, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oak Ridge returns to distance learning – Mountain Democrat - Oak Ridge High School has moved back to full distance learning this week after 10 positive COVID-19 cases were reported there Monday morning… “We fear that the number of students testing positive will increase and trigger hundreds of more students being required to quarantine following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” Carruth said. “If this were to take place, in-person final exams may not be possible.”

Community Hub 2 feeds families – Mountain Democrat - Community Hub 2 hosted a food and diaper distribution event last month at the Cameron Park Library that benefitted approximately 200 families in need. This effort was made possible by the Hub 2 team, Placer Food Bank, Feed El Dorado and volunteers from El Dorado County Office of Education, Placerville Kiwanis and the community.

Officials talk COVID-19 at virtual town hall – Mountain Democrat - Following the greatest increase in COVID-19 cases reported in El Dorado County since the onset of the pandemic in March, officials held a virtual town hall last week to discuss impacts of the virus on the community… Next to speak was El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ed Manansala, who talked about COVID-19 and its impact on county schools. He noted almost all the schools are operating using an in-person/hybrid model although distance learning is still an option.

Lake Tahoe, Sierra and El Dorado County roadwork November 30 - December 5 – South Tahoe Now - The following is a list of the long term and short term projects the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has scheduled for the week around Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra and El Dorado County.

Road closure near Camino for next several months – South Tahoe Now - Many from the South Lake Tahoe venture to the Camino area to visit apple and tree farms, but an upcoming road closure may affect normal routes. A section of westbound Carson Road will be closed for several months due to bridge work as part of the U.S. Highway 50 Camino Safety Project.

How to know when that smoke you see is from prescribed burns around Lake Tahoe – South Tahoe Now - South Tahoe Now, the US Forest Service and the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team communicate to the public whenever there is a prescribed burn operation planned for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

New education center coming to Wakamatsu Farm – Mountain Democrat - American River Conservancy will break ground on a new education center at Wakamatsu Farm during Open Farm Day at noon Saturday, Nov. 21.

CSU extends application deadlines, citing student coronavirus hardships – LA Times - More than a million students who apply to the 23-campus California State University system annually will now have 11 extra days to submit their applications after the deadline was extended to Dec. 15 to ease the burden on those facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chancellor’s office said Tuesday.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement Applauding Release of Master Plan for Early Learning and Care – CDE press release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s release of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care: California for All Kids, a roadmap for building a more equitable, comprehensive early learning and care system in California.

Inside California’s new master plan to reshape early education and child care – EdSource - California’s long-awaited roadmap to reshape early childhood care and education in the state took a critical first step on Tuesday with the release of a first-ever 10-year master plan, but some advocates say more specifics are needed to ensure progress.

California education news updates – EdSource

Pandemic’s spread in California casts dark cloud over return to school in January — or beyond – EdSource - The surge in Covid-19 cases in California is coming at exactly the wrong time for school districts contemplating reopening schools for in-person instruction.

Early data on learning loss show big drop in math, but not reading skills – EdSource – A national testing organization that predicted school closures last spring would leave students far behind where they should be academically as they entered schools this fall released data Tuesday showing the reality, while worrisome, was less dire.

Education and the coronavirus crisis: What’s the latest? – EdSource - EdSource is tracking the impact of the coronavirus on all aspects of education in California.

Less siloed, more inclusive: Changes to special education teacher preparation expected to have big impact on schools – EdSource - As the pandemic has drawn more attention to the needs of students in special education, the state is moving forward with changes to teacher preparation programs intended to improve learning conditions for California’s nearly 800,000 students with special needs.

School districts try out different strategies to boost immunization rates for non-Covid diseases – EdSource - Even as public health officials face the challenge of how to vaccinate all or most people to protect them from the Covid-19 virus, school administrators are having to come up with innovative ways to ensure that students get immunized against more familiar diseases like measles and whooping cough.

Distance learning stokes fears of excessive screen time – EdSource - Christine Whalen has a spirited 5-year-old who started kindergarten in the fall. It’s not going well. Ella gets so bored on Zoom that she quickly squirms, wiggles and tries to flee.

El Dorado County schedules COVID-19 Town Hall meeting with health and education panel – South Tahoe Now - El Dorado County is hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting with a panel of experts from the health and education fields to explain the current COVID-19 situation on November 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Those on the panel: Ed Manansala - County Superintendent, El Dorado County Office of Education…

Change in store for Lake Tahoe Unified School District Trustees – South Tahoe Now -  The Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) Board of Trustees will have a change December 15 with a changing of the guard on the Area 4 seat. Trustee Troy Matthews decided to not run for reelection so he could spend more time with his family which includes a new baby girl.

Kudos: Goal Club and Lady Vikings thank community – South Tahoe Now - The South Tahoe High Goal Club and Lady Vikings would like to extend their appreciation to Grand Central Pizza & Pasta for hosting their recent "Pizza With A Purpose" fundraiser. They would also like to thank the amazing South Shore community for supporting them at the event on November 4.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District moves back to all distance learning – South Tahoe Now - Due to the continued dramatic rise of COVID-19 cases in the community, Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) has moved all schools and programs to distance learning starting Thursday, November 19.

Schools consider full days for second term – Georgetown Gazette - Dear Black Oak Mine families, We are nearing completion of the fifth week of our transition to face-to-face instruction, five days a week. The transition has gone about as well as we could have possibly hoped. At the outset, I want to say a huge thank you to our students, families, staff and community for your help and support. We simply could not have done this without your support.

Newsom’s COVID ’emergency brake’ to move many EDC businesses to outdoor-only operations – Mountain Democrat - El Dorado County will be moved to the most restrictive purple tier this week…“El Dorado County schools are following comprehensive plans for providing in-person instruction that are in alignment with state and local health guidance,” said Superintendent Dr. Ed Manansala. “Due to their thoughtful implementation, partnerships with students and their families, and the dedicated efforts of our educators, El Dorado County schools have demonstrated that they are among the safest places for students to be at this time.”

Toys for Tots gift registry creates ease in donating toys for South Lake Tahoe youth – South Tahoe Now - Walmart is hosting a COVID-free virtual shopping event for Toys for Tots of South Lake Tahoe until November 30. From the ease of a phone or computer, select any of the items listed on the registry, add to your "cart" and the toys will come directly to South Lake Tahoe.

Toys for Tots on the Divide collecting – Georgetown Gazette - As part of the 2020 campaign Toys for Tots collection boxes have been distributed on the Divide for collection of new and unwrapped toys.

Fifth-graders can visit forests free now too – Mountain Democrat - The U.S. Forest Service has expanded its Every Kid Outdoors program to offer fourth- and fifth-grade students and family members fee-free access to more than 2,000 sites on national forests and grasslands for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Academic support scholarships offered for children of essential workers – Mountain Democrat - To help ensure all families have access to quality academic support throughout the ups and downs of this school year, El Dorado Community Foundation has partnered with Wayfinder Expedition Learning to provide scholarships for middle and high school students of essential workers for partial and full-day in-person instruction.

Schools eye return to full-time – Mountain Democrat/Village Life - The El Dorado Union High School District announced Thursday it is moving forward with bringing students back to school full-time and is considering four days of in-person instruction to begin Jan. 11. The decision came at Tuesday’s EDUHSD Board of Trustees meeting.

Charlie Downs joins El Dorado County Board of Education – Mountain Democrat - On Nov. 10 Charlie Downs was officially appointed to the El Dorado County Board of Education by the county Board of Supervisors after being interviewed and selected by Board of Education trustees… “I am honored and excited to be joining the El Dorado Board of Education,” Downs expressed.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Educators Discuss Approaches to Teaching Native American Studies During First Event in Education to End Hate Virtual Classroom Series – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today hosted the first event in a series of ongoing virtual classroom and professional development sessions as part of the Education to End Hate initiative, a multifaceted effort to use the power of public education to drive change and confront racism and bigotry.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Scholars Present Latest Recommendations to Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum – CDE Press Release - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was joined Wednesday by l