Category Archives: Conditions of Children

Conditions of Children

Getting the lead out: Free lead testing for schools

15 Aug
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California schools are encouraged to take advantage of a free program to test water taps for toxic metals. Triggered by increased public awareness of lead contamination in schools,  the California Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Education launched the free testing program for schools in January 2017. Lead contamination has been linked to neurological disorders and impaired cognitive ability. The free testing is available until Nov. 1, 2019. A new San Francisco Chronicle investigation found that “two-thirds of the...

ESSA approved ending months of negotiations with SBE

18 Jul
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The State Board of Education unanimously approved final changes to Every Student Succeeds Act plan at its mid-July meeting. On July 12, the U.S. Department of Education approved California’s plan ending a monthslong process of negotiations with the U.S. DOE. The State Board developed the plan over a two-year period with input from thousands of stakeholders. ESSA, the federal accountability system for schools, brings with it roughly $2.4 billion in funding for low-performing TK-12 schools as well as funds for after-school programs,...

A focus on inclusion and advocacy during LGBT Pride month

20 Jun
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On Monday, June 11, 2018, Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared the month of June as LGBT Pride Month in California, a month already recognized across the country as a time to honor the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Set in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots, considered a “tipping point” for the LGBT rights movement, “Pride” is a time to reflect on LGBT history and look towards the future. While celebrating the gains in social and legal acceptance...

Supporting students with disabilities during Autism Awareness Month

4 Apr
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students with pencils
April is National Autism Awareness Month in the United States. The month is designated to not only help people understand the disorder, but also to encourage diagnosis and emphasize the importance of early detection. According to the California Autism Society, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is classified as a “pervasive developmental disorder,” meaning that the symptoms often affect every aspect of a child’s development: emotional, social, educational and physical. The prevalence of ASD is now one in every 68 children in...

Students demonstrate across California for stricter gun laws

28 Mar
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March for Our Lives 2018
More than a million people worldwide demonstrated on behalf of gun control policies on March 24, in one of the biggest youth protests in the United States since the Vietnam War. The national and global demonstrations — countered by pro-gun rallies in several cities — were spearheaded by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where 17 students and staff were slain in a shooting in February. In California, students statewide joined the “March for Our Lives” protests...

State auditor stresses importance of school safety plans

21 Feb
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school safety
On Nov. 14, 2017, a school secretary heard gunshots from her office and quickly ordered a school lockdown. School staff at Rancho Tehama Elementary School collected students from the playground, barricaded the school and sheltered in place as a gunman rammed through the front gates of the school. He exited his pickup truck armed with a semi-automatic rifle and, finding himself locked out of the school, fired instead at the walls and windows before he reportedly became frustrated and left....

Sudden cardiac arrest training and awareness now required for schools and coaches

31 Jan
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Helmet
A new California law requires all K-12 schools in the state to educate coaches, parents/guardians and student athletes about sudden cardiac arrest. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating — typically due to arrhythmia. It is also a leading cause of death for student athletes and often fatal if not treated within minutes. With this risk in mind, Assembly Bill 1639 (Maienschein, R-San Diego) requires coaches of athletic activities to complete the sudden cardiac arrest prevention training course and...

Celebrating Filipino-Americans in California

30 Oct
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Filipino student
As Filipino-American History Month draws to a close, state schools and educators are encouraged to raise awareness of Filipino-American history. Filipinos are the largest Asian-American group in California and the second largest in the United States. About 1.3 percent or roughly 18,500 students in California’s public schools speak Tagalog —  a principal language of the Philippines. The state is also home to the only public school named for a Filipino-American in the U.S., Union City’s Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School. Meanwhile...

New dyslexia guidelines available online

25 Oct
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dyslexia - student reading
The California Department of Education recently released the new “California Dyslexia Guidelines” online to help educators and parents recognize the signs of dyslexia and ensure that dyslexic students receive an equitable education. The new guidelines are a result of Assembly Bill 1369, a law which took effect Jan. 1, 2016. The bill required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop program guidelines for dyslexia that would be accessible to regular education teachers, special education teachers and parents by the...

California underperforms in protecting student athletes, report finds

21 Aug
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Helmet
Although California fields the second largest number of high school athletes nationally at just under one million students, the state has placed next to last in rankings for public high school athletic safety, according to a recent report. The report from the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute looked at the health and safety policies relating to the leading causes of death for student athletes, including sudden cardiac arrest, traumatic head injuries and exertional heat stroke. The study reported 735...