Education

CAJON VALLEY UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT’S BUMPY ROAD TO A POST COVID-19 SCHOOL YEAR

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 24, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District Board of Trustees has approved a plan to re-open its 27 schools this fall, after going to state-mandated distance learning program in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The final plan approved by the board on June 11, however, looks different from what had been envisioned by the district’s Superintendent, Dr. David Miyashiro. The original plan would have had students continue to use internet teleconferencing exclusively, as they have been since mid-March.

However, after documents from a private meeting involving some 40 district employees at the Marriott Coronado Resort and Spa on June 6 and 7 were leaked to parents and to East County Magazine, Miyashiro’s vision began to unravel. Some 100 parents throughout the district quickly organized and descended on school district headquarters on June 9 for what was supposed to be a one hour board workshop to approve the measure.


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CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES WIN SUIT ON BEHALF OF UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

By Mikhail Zinshteyn, CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland in 2018. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

June 18, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - A federal judge sided with California’s community colleges today in ruling that the Trump administration illegally restricted recent federal stimulus funds to as many as 800,000 students, including undocumented students.


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STATE AND COUNTY APPROVE SCHOOLS REOPENING: EDUCATORS GRAPPLE WITH NEW LEARNING REALITIES

By Miriam Raftery

 

June 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After the state of California released a 62-page “Stronger Together” guideline for schools to reopen, the County Office of Education released its own extensive COVID-19 recovery and reopening plan for the nearly 800 public and 230 private schools in our region.


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GROSSMONT COLLEGE HIRES MARSHALL T. FULBRIGHT III AS VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

June 16, 2020 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College announced today that it will hire Marshall T. Fulbright III, Ed.D., as its new vice president of academic affairs. Fulbright will join the college on July 1.


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT STUMBLES IN PR SNAFUS OVER RACIAL SLUR, SECRET MEETING AT CLOSED HOTEL, AND PLANS TO KEEP SCHOOLS CLOSED THIS FALL DESPITE MANY OBJECTIONS

Board to decide future use of distance learning technology at 1 p.m. today; Superintendent apologizes over staff comments

Story and photos by Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 11, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District’s carefully controlled public relations mote has been seriously breached over the past week with embarrassing social media comments, news of secret district meetings, and documents accidentally shared by a district employee, as reported by San Diego television and newspaper media outlets.  

One report was about a CVUSD school district employee and the revelation of a document of a secret meeting held over the weekend involving Dr. David Miyashiro and four district Trustees (except not Jill Barto) at the shuttered Marriott Coronado Resort and Spa.

The district also had two protests by parents yesterday outside district headquarters, one over racism concerns raised by staff comments, the other objecting to a district plan to continue distance learning instead of in-person classes this fall -- a vote delayed until an emergency session convening this afternoon after parents raised vigorous objections.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF 2020!

By Miriam Raftery

June 11, 2020 (Santee) – Rebecca Jefferis Williamson snapped these photos of the marquee at the Santee Drive-In Theater this week, where some local schools  held drive-up graduation ceremonies to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19.

Our hats are off to the class of 2020 for earning your diplomas despite the global pandemic, an economic depression, and civil unrest that has rocked our region and nation. We wish you a better and brighter future—and hope many of you will work for change to make our world a better, safer and more peaceful place for us all.


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SONY GLOBAL RELIEF FUND FOR COVID-19 TO GIVE $100 MILLION IN AID TO MEDICAL, EDUCATION AND CREATIVE COMMUNITY

Source: Sony

May 24, 2020 (San Diego) --- Sony Corporation, based in Rancho Bernardo, has established the "Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19," a 100 million US dollar fund to support those around the world affected by the COVID-19 virus. According to the company’s press release, Sony will provide support in mainly three areas "Medical" "Education" and the "Creative Community."


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CALIFORNIA TEACHERS FACE LAYOFFS AS PANDEMIC FORCES BIG STATE BUDGET CUTS

By Ricardo Cano | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Gov. Gavin Newsom visits a second-grade class at Paradise Ridge Elementary School in 2019. Photo by Ricardo Cano for CalMatters

May 17, 2020 (San Diego) - California’s public schools, physically closed since mid-March and strapped for cash, are coming out of a frying pan and into a financial fire.


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HOW CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATIONS ARE TRYING TO HELP STUDENTS

By Mikhail Zinshteyn, CalMatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  A student walks back to her car after picking up eggs, milk, produce and dried goods from the weekly drive-thru food pantry at Santa Monica College. Photo by Mikhail Zinshteyn for CalMatters

May 8, 2020 (San Diego) - In the third week of April, Shannon Hill approved the donation of some $35,000 in emergency aid to 40 students at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.


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STATE SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES NEW BENEFIT PROGRAM TO HELP STUDENTS WITH FOOD INSECURITY DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Source:  State Superintendent’s office
 
May 2, 2020 (Sacramento) -- California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a new food assistance program for children throughout the state who are living in households struggling with food insecurity. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program provides electronic food benefits to families equal to the value of meals children eligible for free or reduced-priced meals would have received at school.

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SCHOOL YEAR COULD BEGIN IN JULY OR AUGUST, SAYS GOV. NEWSOM

By Miriam Raftery

April 29, 2020 (Sacramento) – In a briefing yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom suggested California schools could reopen in July or August, provided keys steps are met. 

“We recognize there’s been a learning loss because of this disruption,” Newsom said of school closures since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those closures have impacted 6.1 million students statewide.  “We’re concerned about the learning loss even into the summer,” the Governor added.

Newsom outlined four phases to reopen the state, which is currently in phase one. Phase two would allow some low-risk businesses to reopen, ease restrictions on some public spaces, and potentially include plans to reopen some K-12 schools for either summer school programs or an earlier start to the 2020-2021 school year.


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LOCAL EAST COUNTY SCHOOLS BEGIN DISTANCE LEARNING AFTER MONTH-LONG SHUT DOWN

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Local East County primary and secondary school began sailing in unchartered waters earlier this week when school districts began offering distance learning for their students because of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

East County Magazine reached out to primary and high school districts across our inland region to learn what steps they are taking to educate students remotely.


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT FILES RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST BOARD TRUSTEE JILL BARTO

 

CVUSD contends Barto interfering at school meal handouts; claim disputed by CVUSD Personnel Commission member

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

April 16, 2020 (El Cajon) The ongoing legal clashes between embattled longtime Cajon Valley Union School District Board member Jill Barto continued last week when the district lobbed another salvo at her by filing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against her.

The injunction enjoins Barto from being present at the district's student food distribution efforts at its schools. Like other districts around the state, Cajon Valley continues to provide meal services to its 17,000 students, although it has shut down regularly scheduled instruction at its schools until further notice. According to a video release produced by the district, it produces 4,000 lunches a day at its child nutrition center.


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REP. SUSAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES $137 MILLION IN EMERGENCY COVID-19 FUNDING AWARDED TO LOCAL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

At least $71 million will be distributed to displaced students   

Source: Congresswoman Susan Davis

April 14, 2020 (San Diego) -- Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA-53), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development, announced that colleges and universities in San Diego County will receive more than $137 million in emergency funding as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed on March 27. At least $71 million of the funding each institution receives will be distributed to students in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to help pay for housing, food, and other basic essentials.


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FEDERAL COURT DENIES CAJON VALLEY REQUEST TO DISMISS BARTO LAWSUIT

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor 

April 10, 2020 (El Cajon) -- The Cajon Valley Union School District was handed a major defeat on Monday when the United States Southern California District Court refused to dismiss a federal civil rights lawsuit against the district.


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COLLEGE DISTRICT HELPS COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

Source:  Re:  Fresh

April 9, 2020 (El Cajon) - Loaning ventilators, aiding stranded cruise ship passengers, and stitching home-made face masks are ways that Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District employees are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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EL CAJON PARKS AND RECREATION GOES VIRTUAL

East County News Service

April 2, 2020 (El Cajon) — El Cajon’s Parks and Recreation site has set up a Virtual Recreation and Resource Center filled with fun, education and resources through these wild and turbulent times.


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SCHOOL CLOSINGS DUE TO COVID-19 PRESENT POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED RISK OF CHILD EXPLOITATION

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

April 2, 2020 (Washington D.C.) -- Due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk. Due to this newly developing environment, the FBI is seeking to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.


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GOVERNOR AND STATE SUPERINTENDENT CALL FOR SCHOOLS TO STAY CLOSED THROUGH END OF SCHOOL YEAR

East County News Service

April 1, 2020 (Sacramento) – Governor Gavin Newsom today said he expects that “schools will not reopen” this school year due to the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom also announced a partnership with Google to provide over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots statewide to improve internet connectivity and help students with online learning.


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UC EASES ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS IN RESPONSE TO EDUCATION DISRUPTIONS; SUSPENDS LETTER GRADE AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS

By Nicole Freeling, UC Newsroom  

April 1, 2020 (San Diego) -- Across California and the nation, students have been forced to adapt as measures to combat COVID-19 have closed schools, cancelled standardized tests and upended every aspect of their education. And many have faced a nagging concern: how will this affect my college prospects?


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TEACHERS PROTEST PAY RAISE FOR CVUSD SUPERINTENDENT; MIYASHIRO GETS SALARY FAR HIGHER THAN STATE AND NATIONAL AVERAGES FOR SIMILAR-SIZED DISTRICTS

 

By Paul Kruze

March 31, 2020 (El Cajon)-- Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD and Board of Trustees have walked into a new controversy after reports by NBC San Diego and the San Diego Union-Tribune on pay raises authorized the district board.

Following a call to action by the Cajon Valley Employees Association (CVEA), some 100 CVUSD teachers wearing red t-shirt and coats gathered in the CVUSD boardroom on March 10, the last board meeting before the district shut down due to COVID-19. In no uncertain terms, employees let the Board of Trustees and district cabinet know of their unhappiness with recent pay raises given to Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdM and others.

Audio: 


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COX TAKES STEPS TO EXPAND INTERNET ACCESS TO HELP THOSE WORKING OR SCHOOLING KIDS AT HOME, ALSO AIDS CUSTOMERS WITH FINANCIAL STRESS DUE TO COVID-19

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2020 (San Diego) – Cox Communications recently announced steps to keep people and communities connected  during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many are working at home, educating children at home, or facing financial stress.  Those steps include increasing customer bandwidth free, suspending data usage overage fees, not cutting off phone or internet services for people who can’t pay bills due to the pandemic, and waiving late fees. Cox is also offering low-cost fees for new customers including families with children, opening outdoor WiFi hotspots, and more.

Cox assures that its network has capacity to handle a surge in usage trends from business to residential areas, allow quick emergency repairs, and protect employees and customers through social distance.

Below is Cox’s statement on keeping communities connected and helping those who most need connectivity:


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GARNISHMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR STUDENT LOANS IN DEFAULT SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY, AMAC SAYS IT WILL FIGHT TO MAKE IT PERMANENT

Source:   Association of Mature American Citizens 

Image by 3D Animation Production Company on Pixabay

March 25, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) - The Trump Administration has put a timely halt on the ability of the government to garnish Social Security benefits to pay for defaulted student loans for an indefinite period during the COVID crisis, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. 


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FREE AP TESTS AND PREP CLASSES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OFFERED BY AP COLLEGE BOARD DUE TO COVID-19: CLASSES ONLINE START MARCH 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2020 (San Diego) – Students who want to take the Advanced Placement (AP) exams and be prepared, despite school closures, can now take free AP review classes online.  The AP College Board is giving students free live and on-demand.  They are also developing a new at-home testing option.

AP  tests are college-level exams on specific subjects and are normally administered in May upon completion of an AP course at a student's high school. At many colleges and universities, a high enough score will earn the student college credit. In some instances, earning college credit can mean an overall lower college tuition bill.

You can learn more or sign up at https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates.

A message on the AP College Board website states, “We surveyed 18,000 AP students to see if they still wanted the opportunity to test this year. Their answer: a resounding yes.”


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GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES CLOSE DOWN, EXCEPT FOR STUDENTS IN FINAL WEEK OF CLASSES

East County News Service

 

MARCH 19, 2020 UPDATE: 

Remote classes and student support at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will continue to be held until the end of the spring semester on June 1. The Grossmont and Cuyamaca college campuses are also closed to all students and the public until June 1. 

All instructional activities and office hours, including any lab courses, and support services will be held in some form of remote delivery. Faculty will be communicating directly with their students regarding next steps.Student information about withdrawals and late drops is available. 

Gov. Newsom has ordered that all Califrornians stay at home effective midnight March 19. To comply with that order,  all District employees are to work from home beginning Friday, March 20. Essential personnel who are necessary to secure district facilities and maintain core operations will be contacted by district leadership. 

All student events through June 1 are cancelled, and intercollegiate athletics games are cancelled indefinitely. 



 

 

March 16, 2020 (El Cajon) --As the coronavirus situation remains in a state of flux, effective today, Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges are now closed to students and the public until further notice. All instructional activities, office hours and labs will take place online or through another remote delivery to the fullest extent possible. Students are advised to follow directives provided by their instructors and to regularly check the college website and emails to keep apprised by the latest developments.


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EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ANNOUNCE FOOD SERVICES DISTRIBUTION FOR STUDENTS DURING SHUTDOWN

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: creative commons-sa-nc

East County school districts will be providing food services for its students during the mandated school closures over the Coronavirus pandemic.

Below is the distribution schedule for several local districts.

If you know of others, please post the information or links in the comments section below, or email editor@eastcountymagazine.org.


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CAJON VALLEY AND OTHER EAST COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ANNOUNCE COVID-19 POLICIES AND CLOSURES

CVUSD provides multi-lingual updates

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD, screenshot off video

 

March 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- In line with worldwide concern over the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Cajon Valley Union School District Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD outlined a policy Tuesday night on plans to cope with the growing health crisis.


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CORONAVIRUS CASES IN SPRING VALLEY AND AT SDSU

By Miriam Raftery

March 14, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – An employee at the Covenant Living retirement and continuing care community in Spring Valley has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, Fox 5 reports. So has a student at San Diego State University, according to Patch.com


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LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSING DOWN DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: cc via Bing

March 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Over half the school districts in San Diego have announced plans to shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak until sometime in April.

East County districts that are shutting down include Alpine Union, Grossmont-Union High School District, Cajon Valley, Dehesa, Jamul-Dulzura, La Mesa-Spring Valley, Lakeside Union, Mountain Empire, and Vallecitos. 

County Health and Human Services asks parents, We recognize the difficulty that these school closures present for working families. It is important to remember that closing schools is an effort to maintain at least six feet of distance between people and to reduce the number of individuals gathered into a given space to prevent the spread of the virus. While there are still public spaces open and available, including malls, parks, movie theaters, etc., we would ask parents to strongly consider keeping their children home or limited to small groups at this time.”

Nationwide, school closures due to COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, are impacting over 8 million K-12 students, according to EdSource, or nearly a quarter of the 50 million K-12 students in the U.S.

Here are schools locally announcing closures so far:


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CALIF. DEPT. OF EDUCATION RECEIVES SPECIAL FEDERAL APPROVAL: ENABLES SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FEED STUDENTS DURING CORONAVIRUS-RELATED CLOSURE

East County News Service

March 10, 2020 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Education (CDE) has received a special waiver called CA COVID19 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will enable a school district that had previously been approved to operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals to students during a coronavirus-related closure. 


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