Education

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TO START VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON SATURDAY

Photo:  The Sharp vaccination super station at Grossmont Center in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

February 25, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials announced Wednesday that vaccinations of teachers and other essential workers will begin Saturday because most seniors have received a dose and appointments are opening up.


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GROSSMONT, CUYAMACA COLLEGES HAIL WINNING EMPLOYEES

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

February 22, 2021 (El Cajon) - Four employees at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges have been awarded top honors for their commitment to the East County campuses.


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DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS REBUFF GOV. NEWSOM ON PLAN FOR EARLY CALIFORNIA SCHOOL REOPENING

By Ricardo Cano, CalMatters

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.

Photo:  Gavin Newsom briefs the press in late December on his plan for reopening schools. Image from livestream

February 21, 2021 (Sacramento) - Disagreements between California’s Democratic-controlled Legislature and its Democratic governor over a plan to reopen schools came to a head this week as lawmakers introduced a bill they say would safely bring students back to campus this spring.


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GOVERNOR CALLS FOR 10% OF VACCINES TO BE EARMARKED FOR TEACHERS TO OPEN SCHOOLS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom watches as a teacher is vaccinated in Oakland. Courtesy of the Governor’s office

February 20, 2021 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that California health officials plan to set aside 10% of new first doses of COVID-19 vaccine for teachers starting March 1 to help schools reopen.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY 2-3 WEEKS AWAY FROM VACCINATING TEACHERS, OTHER ESSENTIAL WORKERS

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Supervisor Nathan Fletcher briefs the media on the coronavirus pandemic. Image from live stream

February 11, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego County health officials said Thursday that vaccinations of teachers, law enforcement and other essential workers will likely begin within two to three weeks.


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COUNTY REPORTS FIRST DEATH OF A CHILD FROM COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

February 9, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego County health officials last week reported the death of a 10-year-old child from COVID-19, the first minor to succumb to the virus locally. 


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LMSV LAUNCHES SCHOOL BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, SEEKS MEMBERS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

 

February 3, 2021 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District is establishing a Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, as required by state law. The application form is available here and must be submitted by Feb. 19.


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EAST COUNTY SCHOOL COUNSELORS HONORED FOR THEIR WORK

Source: San Diego County Office of Education

Photo:  Bonnie Hayman receiving her winner's check

February 2, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- During National School Counseling Week, the San Diego County Office of Education will celebrate three counselors who were recently surprised at their school sites for being chosen as the San Diego County Counselor of the Year for their grade levels. Two of the three winners work at East County schools.

The School Counselors of the Year are: 

 

  • Ann Pierce (below right), of Campo Elementary in Mountain Empire Unified School District, won the elementary award. 
  • Bonnie Hayman, of La Mesa Arts Academy in La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, won the middle school award.  
  • Cherryl Baker, of Mission Hills High School in San Marcos Unified School District, won the high school award.  


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KIDS STUDYING ONLINE? BEWARE OF TRAFFICKERS, DA WARNS

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – District Attorney Summer Stephan warns that students spending more time online due to distance learning and COVID-19 are a captive audience for would-be human traffickers making contact on social media.  So it’s important to educate children to prevent them from falling victim to predators. 

These red flags are common with some adolescents that should be taken seriously:


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MARKETLINK: AFTER 17 YEARS, GROSSMONT UNION SPOKESPERSON CATHERINE MARTIN IS OHIO-BOUND

By Rick Griffin,Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

January 12, 2021 (El Cajon) - In her 17 years as spokesperson for the 12-school, 20,000-student Grossmont Union High School District the eighth largest high school district in California, Catherine Martin experienced her share of crisis communication situations.


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WEEKLY FREE MEAL PICKUPS FOR ALL CHILDREN AGES 2-18

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Starting January 11, The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will have curbside meal pickups on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17 of its school campuses. (See list below).  The packs are available to all children ages 2-18, whether or not they are students in the district.

For more information, call (619) 668-5764 or visit www.LMSVSchools.org.  Below are the schools offering curbside meal pickups each Monday, excluding holidays:


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REPURPOSING YOUR LIFE AFTER UNEMPLOYMENT WITH TRUCK DRIVING TRAINING

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

(Photos courtesy of Advanced Training Systems) 

Dec. 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) Women faced with sudden job loss from the pandemic may consider going to truck driving school to repurpose their life and source of income.

ECM interviewed CEO John Kearney of Advanced Training Systems via email for his insights and tips on pursing a career in truck driving.

ECM: What are the costs and/or scholarships for the training?

Kearney: Costs vary depending on school, public or private.  Costs are the same for men and women. Women should contact the Women in Trucking Association to learn what the possibilities are and how women in trucking is really a growing field.  Some high schools have a driver training program, and the cost is very low because students take the driver training program as part of their regular school program.  Many trucking schools that have training programs will train the student without cost unless they quit soon after the training.  Costs for many of the programs can run from $4,000 to just under $7,000.  I suggest that individuals interested in driving contact local schools, trucking companies and the workforce agencies in their area to determine the local possibilities.  Workforce will often help with the cost of the training.  


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BRAD MONROE PRESIDENT, ELENA ADAMS VP, OF GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COLLEGE DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD 2021

East County News Service
 
December 17, 2020 (El Cajon) – Brad Monroe has been unanimously selected by his fellow board members as president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board for 2021.
 
Monroe, who founded Cuyamaca College’s highly regarded Ornamental Horticulture program and retired in 2012 as its chair after 32 years, was elected to the board in 2018. Board members also voted to have Elena Adams as vice president, and Debbie Justeson as clerk of the board.
 
Also at the virtually held Dec. 15 meeting, oaths of office were taken by newly elected trustee Julie Schorr and trustee Adams, re-elected to a second term in November.
 
Dates were also set for the 2021 board meetings which will be held electronically during the current COVID-related public health emergency.  When public health conditions permit, meetings will resume in-person and alternate between Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. The Governing Board regular meetings will be held at 4:15 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month on January-August 2021, and on the second Tuesday of the month from September-December.
 

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CA EDUCATION ADVOCATES PRESS FOR BIG CHANGES UNDER BIDEN ADMINISTRATION

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

December 11, 2020 (Sacramento) --  With the prospect of a new Biden administration on the horizon, California groups that advocate for education reform are hoping for big changes in 2021.

Ed Honowitz is a former Pasadena school-board member who now runs the California Labor Management Initiative for the nonprofit Californians Dedicated to Education. Honowitz thinks the first priority should be aid to the states, which have lost billions during the pandemic.


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LOCAL NONPROFIT AND SMALL BUSINESS EXPERTS UNITE TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY COVID-19

Source: RISE San Diego

COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact small businesses and nonprofits 

RISE San Diego to host interactive workshops providing support resources

Local business experts to discuss better business practices and tools 

December 10, 2020 (San Diego Webinar) -- Small businesses and nonprofits have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the rise in cases and updated state restrictions, businesses in San Diego need increased support.  

During the month of December, RISE San Diego will host several virtual workshops as part of the organization’s Nonprofits and Small Business Trainings series. The workshops will offer free training for staff, board members, and volunteers from local nonprofits and small businesses who are interested in building their organizational capacity and ways to ensure sustainability. By offering training workshops, RISE San Diego will support those affected, with creative resources and expanded networks.


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WARNER SPRINGS SCHOOL BOARD RACE ENDS IN TIE, CAPPING OFF A WILD WEEK

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via CC by NC-ND:  a coin toss or other game of chance will determine the outcome in this race
 
Update December 16, 2020:  Gene Doxey won the coin toss -- and the seat on the Warner Sprngs Unified School District board.
 
December 9, 2020 (Warner Springs) – It’s been a wild week in Warner Springs.  First, an earthquake centered near the tiny mountain town jolted residents awake on Sunday morning. Then high winds prompted SDG&E to shut off power in the area for multiple days, forcing closure of schools in the Warner Springs Unified School District.
 
Now, an election for one of three seats on the school board has ended in a draw. Gene Doxey and Terry Cox each got 352 votes, tying for third place. There’s an important lesson to be learned for parents and students:  every vote counts!

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COUNTY LIBRARIES MOVE TO DOOR-SIDE SERVICE

By Gig Conaughton, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo: Alpine Branch Library, courtesy Jonathan Goetz

December 9, 2020 (San Diego County) - With the state’s new COVID-19 Stay Home order in effect, the County of San Diego’s 33 libraries have moved to door-side service to help county residents practice social distancing and still enjoy all the library books, digital magazines, music, movies and other fare they love.

People can still check out all library materials and safely pick them up right at their library’s door. No appointments are necessary.


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GROSSMONT HEALTHCARE DISTRICT ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $210,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THOSE WORKING IN OR ENTERING THE HEALTHCARE FIELD

Source: Grossmont Healthcare District
 
Photo: The district’s pledge to award these scholarships assists students and professionals in their educational and professional focus on hands-on healthcare field studies.
 
December 9, 2020 (La Mesa) – The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) recently announced new scholarship opportunities worth more than $210,000 for local students and professionals working in or entering the healthcare field.
 
Each year, a portion of the overall agency grants and sponsorships budget has been allocated for scholarship programs offered to local students living, working, or attending school within GHD boundaries.
 
The programs are designed to meet the demand to maintain a robust and diverse local healthcare workforce, particularly in professions where shortages have been projected in the coming decade even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application deadline for all programs is February 12, 2021.

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BOOKS BY LOCAL CHILD AUTHOR BENEFIT COVID-19 FUND

East County News Service

December 8, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego native Arden Pala, who was recently awarded “Best Child Actor” by the Los Angeles Film Awards, writes about celebrating cultures and similarities in his new book series benefiting San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund.  


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THE SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $3 MILLION IN SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

East County News Service

December 2, 2020 (San Diego) - The San Diego Foundation today announced that hundreds of scholarship awards are available for San Diego students pursuing higher education during the 2021-2022 school year.


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COVID-19 VIRUS FOUND IN WASTEWATER AT UCSD: THOSE WHO USED RESTROOMS IN 5 AREAS SHOULD GET TESTED AND WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS

East County News Service

 

November 29, 2020 (San Diego) – A campus notice advises that the COVID-19 virus (also known as SARS CoV-2) has been detected in the wastewater in five campus areas at the University of California, San Diego. 


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MARSHA GABLE APPOINTED INTERIM GROSSMONT COLLEGE PRESIDENT

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 20, 2020 (El Cajon) -Marsha Gable, Grossmont College’s vice president of Student Services, has been selected to serve as the college’s interim president beginning Jan. 1 following the retirement of Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh.


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SAN DIEGO COUNTY TEACHERS OF THE YEAR TO BE HONORED DURING 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'COX PRESENTS: A SALUTE TO TEACHERS'

Pre-recorded television special celebrating local educators and their accomplishments amid COVID-19 pandemic will air on Saturday, Nov. 21

Source:  Cox Communications

Photos:  Christine Hill, Ramona High School and Jay Tweet, El Capitan High School

November 12, 2020 (San Diego) - Five teachers from across the region have been named a San Diego County Teacher of the Year and will be honored during the 30th Anniversary of “Cox Presents: A Salute To Teachers,” brought to you by San Diego County Credit Union. Produced by Cox Communications, in partnership with the San Diego County Office of Education, this year’s show will be a pre-recorded television special airing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 on Cox’s YurView Network (Cox Channel 4 and 1004 and Spectrum Channel 4). The five honorees representing schools from Del Mar, Lakeside, Ramona, central San Diego and Valley Center, were chosen from a pool of 40 nominees countywide who are their respective school district’s teacher of the year


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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELEASES NEW ATTENDANCE DATA TO HELP SCHOOL DISTRICTS ADDRESS CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM

East County News Service

Photo: Children at school © Daniel Hurst Photography. Creative Commons - ShareAlike 2.0

November 10, 2020 (Sacramento) — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) has released, for the first time, statewide absenteeism data that provides information about the types of reasons students are absent. The “absenteeism by reason” (AR) reports available on the CDE Dataquest website offer an extensive statewide view of absenteeism numbers that can assist local educational agencies (LEAs) in their efforts to develop targeted attendance intervention strategies and support.


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GROSSMONT COLLEGE NAMED CHAMPION OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

The award recognizes the college’s commitment to awarding Associate Degrees for Transfer to the CSU

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

November 10, 2020 (El Cajon) -  For the third year in a row, Grossmont College is being recognized as a Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity for its work to significantly increase the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, an associate degree that guarantees transfer to a California State University institution.


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MOUNTAIN SCHOOLS CANCEL CLASSES, SHIFT ONLINE DUE TO FREEZING WEATHER, SNOW FORECAST, AND COVID

Districts vary in COVID response: Cajon Valley keeps schools open despite 52 cases since August

East County News Service

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Four East County school districts in mountain areas have announced temporary halts to in-person learning due to winter weather and in one rural district, COVID-19. Yet other districts continue in-person instruction despite numerous cases amid the pandemic.


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EARLY BELL RINGS IN EAST COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES

By Robin N. Kendall

Photo via Bing

November 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) — It has been a topsy turvy year for everyone, especially for the area’s school children. Voters weighed enthusiasm, experience and ethics as they chose the next crew of school board trustees, who ultimately will help steer schools out of the rough seas of this quarantine.

On election night, as of early returns at 10:30 p.m., here are our observations.


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ETHICS QUESTIONS RAISED—AGAIN--OVER CAJON VALLEY TRUSTEE JIM MILLER IN REELECTION CAMPAIGN

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 2, 2020 (El Cajon) – Stacie Hoover, a candidate running for Cajon Valley Union School District board against trustee Jim Miller, says she is considering legal action against Miller for posts on Defend East County and other sites that she contends are false, defamatory, and racially insensitive.

The Defend East County (DEC) website was shut down by Facebook this week after months of complaints that include racist, violent and defamatory content, though Facebook has not stated exactly why it deleted the site. Miller, a member of the group, posted, “I appreciate your support as my opponent is a BLM backer who was recruited to run against me by the far left.”

Elsewhere, Miller for Cajon Valley School Board posted, “My opponent and her ANTIFA backers continue to tear down my signs and we continue to replace them up to the end.”

ECM asked Hoover, a retired paralegal raising a grandson in the district, about Miller's posts. She replied,“Nobody recruited me. If he has a problem with me supporting black lives, I feel sorry for him and those families in this district and the world.  I don’t have any ties to Antifa. I do not support violence or intimidation from anyone, including him. Now I know how Jill Barto feels.”

Audio: 


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VOGEL CHALLENGES HEIMERDINGER FOR MOUNTAIN EMPIRE SCHOOL TRUSTEE

 

By Robin N. Kendall

October 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County residents in Area 6 of Mountain Empire Unified School District will either reelect  incumbent school board president Tina Heimerdinger, or choose challenger Story R. Vogel, a retired historian who also coaches a the Mountain Empire High School football team.

According to the district website at https://www.meusd.org, Mountain Empire serves families living in Pine Valley, Campo, Descanso, Boulevard, Portero, Lake Morena and Jacumba. Chris Anderson, the incumbent in Area 7 (Campo), is running for reelection unopposed.

Story Vogel responded to East County Magazine (ECM) questions and submitted his biography and ballot statement. Incumbent Tina Heimerdinger was also invited to participate via several emails, but did not respond.

Heimerdinger, who is president of the board, has served on it for more than a decade including the turbulent tenure of Superintendent Steve Van Zant, who pled guilty to felony conflict of interest and was ordered to repay the district $50,000. Van Zant set up charter schools in other districts overseen by Mountain Empire from which his consulting company profited, as ECM reported, also raising questions over lack of oversight by the board on Heimerdinger’s watch.

Here are Vogel's responses:


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THE PARTY’S OVER: COUNTY SHUTS DOWN PLANNED EVENTS AT SDSU FRATS AND SORORITIES

By Miriam Raftery
 
October 30, 2020 (San Diego) – The County Health Department has sent cease and desist orders to multiple fraternity and sorority houses at San Diego State University, along with two other addresses, prior to Halloween weekend. The letters, signed by Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten, states that the venues “intend to hold large gatherings on October 30, 2020–November 1, 2020” in violation of the county’s public health order and state guidelines.
 
Failure to comply will result in “criminal misdemeanor citations with a $1,000 fine for each violation,” the letters state.  County rules prohibit private gatherings of more than three households due to COVID-19.
 
The threat of criminal penalties and fines comes after SDSU reported more than 1,300 COVID cases since August, a surge that threatens to push San Diego County, currently in the state's red tier, into the most restrictive purple tier that would force many businesses to shut down indoor activities.
 
 

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