School district – Astoria Schools http://astoriaschools.org/ Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:36:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://astoriaschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-31T000949.167.png School district – Astoria Schools http://astoriaschools.org/ 32 32 Two from Edmonds School District named semifinalists in 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program https://astoriaschools.org/two-from-edmonds-school-district-named-semifinalists-in-2022-national-merit-scholarship-program/ https://astoriaschools.org/two-from-edmonds-school-district-named-semifinalists-in-2022-national-merit-scholarship-program/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 20:36:20 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/two-from-edmonds-school-district-named-semifinalists-in-2022-national-merit-scholarship-program/ Two students from the Edmonds School District have been named semi-finalists in the 67th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Lillian Geil of Edmonds-Woodway High School and Brooke Rinehimer of Mountlake Terrace High School are among some 16,000 people on the nationwide list. These academically talented high school students have the opportunity to continue in the […]]]>

Two students from the Edmonds School District have been named semi-finalists in the 67th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Lillian Geil of Edmonds-Woodway High School and Brooke Rinehimer of Mountlake Terrace High School are among some 16,000 people on the nationwide list.

These academically talented high school students have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 national scholarships worth nearly $ 30 million to be offered next spring. To be considered for an excellence scholarship price, semi-finalists must meet several conditions to reach the level of finalist of the competition. About 95% of the semi-finalists are expected to achieve finalist status, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the title of Merit Scholar.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a non-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

The scholarships are subscribed by the NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the NMSC’s goals of honoring the country’s academic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

High school juniors entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by passing the 2020 SAT / National Merit Preliminary Scholarship Qualification Test (PSAT / NMSQT), which served as the initial selection of participants. in the program. The national group of semi-finalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school students, includes the highest-scoring participants in each state. The number of semi-finalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of senior graduates.

To become a finalist, the semi-finalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semi-finalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, his employment and the distinctions and awards received. A semi-finalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be approved and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and achieve SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s prior performance on the qualifying test.

Of the approximately 16,000 semi-finalists, approximately 15,000 are expected to move up to finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. Merit Fellows are selected on the basis of their skills, achievement, and potential for success in a rigorous college education, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or religious preference.

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Chester County School Districts Receive $ 99,000 Funding for LifeSkills Training Program – Daily Local https://astoriaschools.org/chester-county-school-districts-receive-99000-funding-for-lifeskills-training-program-daily-local/ https://astoriaschools.org/chester-county-school-districts-receive-99000-funding-for-lifeskills-training-program-daily-local/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2021 15:11:58 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/chester-county-school-districts-receive-99000-funding-for-lifeskills-training-program-daily-local/ DOWNINGTOWN – State Representative Dan Williams, D-Chester, announced that the Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency Commission has approved Chester County Intermediate Unit 24’s request for $ 99,705 in federal funds SOR to implement the LifeSkills training program in middle and high schools in 12 schools. districts. LST is a classroom-based tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse prevention […]]]>

DOWNINGTOWN – State Representative Dan Williams, D-Chester, announced that the Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency Commission has approved Chester County Intermediate Unit 24’s request for $ 99,705 in federal funds SOR to implement the LifeSkills training program in middle and high schools in 12 schools. districts.

LST is a classroom-based tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse prevention program for upper elementary and lower secondary students. LST targets students who have not yet started using substances or who are early-stage users with the goal of preventing or ending tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug abuse by educating students. students to the negative consequences of substance use, by encouraging resistance from social influences to drink, smoke, use illicit drugs or engage in aggressive or violent behavior and more.

“This federal grant will help educate our children about the dangers to body and mind of smoking cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs,” Williams said. “I hope this program teaches our children that their lives are just too precious to be risked by engaging in such dangerous behavior.”

Through this initiative, Chester County Intermediate Unit No.24 will coordinate the implementation of the LST in each school district. The funds will be used for the following: the LifeSkills training program, materials, training, staff time spent implementing the program and indirect costs.

In addition, over $ 22.3 million has been awarded to several organizations across the state dedicated to breaking cycles of violence and substance abuse in their communities.

In addition to grants for local programs, the PCCD has awarded $ 100,000 to Penn State University to improve its state-wide, or COUNTRY, Pennsylvania Youth Survey, which surveys sixth-graders, Grades 8, 10 and 12 to learn more about their behaviors, attitudes and knowledge about alcohol. , tobacco, other drugs and violence; $ 900,000 to the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance for its statewide efforts to provide drug and alcohol professionals with free opioid addiction materials to distribute in their communities; $ 640,000 to the Council of State Governments Justice Center for its intensified technical assistance center in Pennsylvania, as part of a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in prisons; and $ 632,135 to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape for its sexual assault services program.

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Lee School District defends emergency mask mandate | News, Sports, Jobs https://astoriaschools.org/lee-school-district-defends-emergency-mask-mandate-news-sports-jobs/ https://astoriaschools.org/lee-school-district-defends-emergency-mask-mandate-news-sports-jobs/#respond Wed, 08 Sep 2021 17:43:10 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/lee-school-district-defends-emergency-mask-mandate-news-sports-jobs/ The Lee County School District provided a response to the Florida Department of Education, which gave the district until 10 a.m. today to explain its “inconsistency” with a state rule concerning the mandates of masks. Although an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis calls for parental opt-out provisions for any local mask mandate imposed […]]]>

The Lee County School District provided a response to the Florida Department of Education, which gave the district until 10 a.m. today to explain its “inconsistency” with a state rule concerning the mandates of masks.

Although an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis calls for parental opt-out provisions for any local mask mandate imposed by school districts, the district has imposed a 30-day emergency warrant based on the number of cases of COVID in Lee County.

The district responded to the DOE by letter, saying the district was in compliance with the emergency rule issued by FLDOH as well as the Parents Bill of Rights adopted in the recent legislative session. He also says that the district is constitutionally “Able to act to protect its students and staff” in the face of the growing number of COVID cases and hospitalizations.

“Last week, the SDLC received 2,866 reports of school exposures and reported positives,” the neighborhood responded. “Due to the above mentioned COVID-19 mainly delta variant cases, the SDLC has had to close ninety-two (92) classrooms since the start of the 2021-22 school year (4 weeks). In comparison, seventy-six (76) classrooms were closed due to COVID-19 within the SDLC during the entire 2020-21 school year. This translates into a 1089% increase in weekly classroom closures and an increase in COVID-19 positive cases and exposures never before experienced in the SDLC before this time. “

The district also posted an abbreviated explanation to parents on the district’s website.

“The Lee County School District has the constitutional duty, statutory authority and primary responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for all students and employees,” the message to parents posted today reads.

“Since the start of this year, students and staff have been hospitalized and employees have died from this deadly virus. We had to close 92 classrooms compared to 76 during the entire 2020-21 school year. This gives more than 1089% increase in weekly classroom closures during a COVID-19 outbreak like we have never experienced before.

“We see 30 days of temporary masking, in conditions much worse than at any time during this pandemic, as imperative to contain the spread of a highly contagious virus, and to protect and potentially save lives.

“It is the position of this district that our temporary masking requirement, along with all of our other mitigation efforts, is necessary, reasonable, narrowly tailored and least restrictive to address the health crisis in our community.”

The local mask mandate came into effect on September 1.

The DOE letter from Commissioner Richard Corcoran was dated September 3 and sent to Superintendent Dr. Ken Savage and School Board President Debbie Jordan. It involved complying with an emergency rule from the Florida Department of Health and also a decision by Leon County Judge John C. Cooper, who found Governor Ron DeSantis to have exceeded his authority when he issued a decree prohibiting such warrants.

“Recent media reports indicate that the Lee County School Board has taken action inconsistent with the emergency rule by limiting or conditioning parents’ ability to opt out of a face covering or mask warrant . Your rationale may be based on Justice Cooper’s recent order; Nevertheless; at this point, an automatic stay is in effect. This means the Department of Education can resume enforcement of the emergency rule from the Florida Department of Health. In the event that the suspension is lifted, the coercive action will be automatically paid ”, Corcoran wrote in the letter.

The State Board of Education oversees the performance of district school boards in enforcing all laws and rules, and the Commissioner of Education may “Investigate allegations of non-compliance with the law or state council rule and determine probable cause.” Because of this law, the commissioner, at the start of the investigation, demanded that the Lee County School District provide a timely written response to document how they are complying with the Department of the Department’s emergency rule. Florida health.

Letter to Education Commissioner regarding face coverings

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Ventura’s Boys & Girls Club closes after dispute with school district https://astoriaschools.org/venturas-boys-girls-club-closes-after-dispute-with-school-district/ https://astoriaschools.org/venturas-boys-girls-club-closes-after-dispute-with-school-district/#respond Sat, 04 Sep 2021 15:00:25 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/venturas-boys-girls-club-closes-after-dispute-with-school-district/ The Robert Addison Boys & Girls Club, a staple of the Westside of Ventura since 1968, closed after a dispute with the Ventura Unified School District over state grant requirements. The club has been located on the site of 1440 N. Olive St. for over 50 years. He started renting the property from the school […]]]>

The Robert Addison Boys & Girls Club, a staple of the Westside of Ventura since 1968, closed after a dispute with the Ventura Unified School District over state grant requirements.

The club has been located on the site of 1440 N. Olive St. for over 50 years. He started renting the property from the school district in 1999.

Following:

The club’s activities and offerings were found not to meet the California Department of Education’s after-school program grant requirements, said Marieanne Quiroz, a spokesperson for the district.

Patti Birmingham, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura, disagreed, saying the club’s programs were state-compliant.

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Another school district goes virtual due to COVID-19 cases – FOX13 News Memphis https://astoriaschools.org/another-school-district-goes-virtual-due-to-covid-19-cases-fox13-news-memphis/ https://astoriaschools.org/another-school-district-goes-virtual-due-to-covid-19-cases-fox13-news-memphis/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 20:26:06 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/another-school-district-goes-virtual-due-to-covid-19-cases-fox13-news-memphis/ MISSISSIPPI – Another Mid-South school district is going virtual due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. The Quitman County School District in Mississippi will be virtual for a 14-day period from Thursday through September 16. A letter to parents said: Dear parents and guardians, Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and close contact, […]]]>

MISSISSIPPI – Another Mid-South school district is going virtual due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Quitman County School District in Mississippi will be virtual for a 14-day period from Thursday through September 16.

A letter to parents said:

Dear parents and guardians,

Due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and close contact, the Quitman County School District will switch to virtual learning for a period of 14 calendar days starting Thursday, September 2, 2021. QCSD is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and employees. Students will return to school on Thursday September 16, 2021.

Students should be prepared to log into Google Classroom or Zoom for live lessons, activities, and homework throughout the day. Teachers and staff will continue to come to school and teach from their classrooms. All students should be signed in to their Google Classroom or Zoom and be ready to participate at 8 a.m. each day, and teachers will have live instruction schedules posted to their Google Classrooms by tomorrow morning (September 2). . The schedules will be posted on the district website.

The Mississippi Department of Education requires that students receive 330 minutes of instruction each day. Students must be logged in to each class the entire time to be marked as present.

Meals will be delivered each morning to the bus stop where your child takes the bus.

Parents of students who do not have Internet access should contact their child’s school.

We strongly encourage all students / staff eligible for the vaccine to be vaccinated. Please let the school know if your child has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone with COVID outside of school.

Truly,

Fredrick Robinson, Ed.D.

Superintendent


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Lone Black Board Member in Valley School District Resigns; alleges ill-treatment https://astoriaschools.org/lone-black-board-member-in-valley-school-district-resigns-alleges-ill-treatment/ https://astoriaschools.org/lone-black-board-member-in-valley-school-district-resigns-alleges-ill-treatment/#respond Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:10:00 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/lone-black-board-member-in-valley-school-district-resigns-alleges-ill-treatment/ Dr Tara Armstead says she was repeatedly fired while working for Litchfield Elementary School district because she was an educated black woman.

LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona – The only black member of a school board in the Valley resigns.

It comes after the Litchfield Primary School District faced a backlash from the community earlier this year after the district passed a fairness statement intended to address the racial differences of students.

Dr Tara Armstead was the only board member when she stepped down on Tuesday evening stating in part: ‘I will not say thank you for the time I have spent here nor express any gratitude or appreciation. because during the 5 months that I am here I have been treated as if I am not an expert in the field and have no idea what I am talking about.

Armstead says part of his salary was due to his race.

“I also believe that I’m a black woman on the board, that I am the black woman who speaks the truth about what is happening to us blacks, Hispanics in these environments and that makes people uncomfortable. . And that unease pushes me back instead of pushing people forward, ”Armstead said.

For context, the Arizona Department of Education reported last year that the Litchfield Elementary School District is going through a demographic shift. White students are the minority in the school district, making up about 40% of the population compared to 60% of students of color.

Dr Armstead was the only member of the colored board until his resignation.

His resignation comes as the school district becomes a majority for the first time.

After the district released a fairness statement this year, it rubbed some parents the wrong way because they accused the district of pushing critical race theory. Critical Race Theory is an academic movement of academics and civil rights activists that examines American history through the lens of race and racism.

In response to Dr Armstead’s resignation, District Superintendent Jodi Gunning said, “We are grateful to the members of our Board of Trustees who devote their time and energy to supporting the nearly 11,000 students and nearly 1,400 employees. We thank Dr Armstead for his services and wish him all the best.

We have reached out to all of the other board members for their comments on the allegations and Armstead’s resignation. Neither of them made any comments other than two wishing him the best.

Arizona school year

With COVID-19 rising again in Arizona, uncertainty hangs over schools as they begin the 2021-22 school year. Check out the latest news on Arizona students, teachers, and districts on our YouTube 12 News playlist here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

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Greencastle-Antrim School District to Review COVID-19 Mask Policy https://astoriaschools.org/greencastle-antrim-school-district-to-review-covid-19-mask-policy/ https://astoriaschools.org/greencastle-antrim-school-district-to-review-covid-19-mask-policy/#respond Mon, 23 Aug 2021 13:07:25 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/greencastle-antrim-school-district-to-review-covid-19-mask-policy/ The goal of the Greencastle-Antrim School District is to “maintain in-person learning … by keeping our buildings open and students in attendance safe”. Superintendent Dr. Lura Hanks will recommend a revised health and safety plan with a clearer masking policy based on local COVID-19 numbers at the September 2 school board meeting – unless changes […]]]>
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Harrisburg local organization helps school district kids get ready for school https://astoriaschools.org/harrisburg-local-organization-helps-school-district-kids-get-ready-for-school/ https://astoriaschools.org/harrisburg-local-organization-helps-school-district-kids-get-ready-for-school/#respond Sun, 22 Aug 2021 21:31:05 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/harrisburg-local-organization-helps-school-district-kids-get-ready-for-school/ HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Students in the Harrisburg School District prepare to return to school. And the local organization Loop B&G organized its annual donation of free school supplies. Loop B&G has partnered with the Henry Howard Day Tennant Association to help parents purchase school supplies and backpacks. Families in Dauphin County Prepare for Back […]]]>

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Students in the Harrisburg School District prepare to return to school. And the local organization Loop B&G organized its annual donation of free school supplies.

Loop B&G has partnered with the Henry Howard Day Tennant Association to help parents purchase school supplies and backpacks.

Students in the Harrisburg School District prepare for classroom learning after participating in virtual instruction throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Organizers say they hope Sunday’s campaign will help provide children with the tools they need to be successful in the coming school year.

“Certainly during this time, especially during COVID, there is a bit of financial strain, especially in this community,” said Loop B&G President Melisa Burnett. “We don’t always have the resources, so they’re always grateful to have this annual back-to-school event.

Loop B&G says its community partners, including Faulkner Subaru and volunteers, contribute to the success of their annual school supply distribution.

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How three school districts are defying state restrictions on mask mandates https://astoriaschools.org/how-three-school-districts-are-defying-state-restrictions-on-mask-mandates/ https://astoriaschools.org/how-three-school-districts-are-defying-state-restrictions-on-mask-mandates/#respond Sun, 22 Aug 2021 12:48:00 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/how-three-school-districts-are-defying-state-restrictions-on-mask-mandates/ But some school districts have taken more methodical approaches, carefully bypassing state restrictions on mask requirements through cautious legal maneuvering or apparent loopholes. Here’s how three school districts are defying state restrictions on mask mandates. Texas school district changed dress code The Paris Independent School District School Board in Paris, Texas made headlines this week […]]]>

But some school districts have taken more methodical approaches, carefully bypassing state restrictions on mask requirements through cautious legal maneuvering or apparent loopholes.

Here’s how three school districts are defying state restrictions on mask mandates.

Texas school district changed dress code

The Paris Independent School District School Board in Paris, Texas made headlines this week when it voted to include masks in its dress code, bypassing a governor’s order that said no government entity , including school districts, could not require masks.

In a statement, the board of directors of ISD in Paris said it made the decision because it was “concerned about the health and safety of its students and employees.”

“The council believes the dress code can be used to alleviate communicable health concerns, and has therefore changed the PISD dress code to protect our students and employees,” the statement said. “The governor of Texas does not have the power to usurp the exclusive power and duty of the board of trustees to govern and oversee the management of public schools in the district.”

In the end, the Paris ISD strategy could prove to be unnecessary, as the state’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Abbott’s efforts to end mask warrants issued in local jurisdictions, allowing such warrants for the moment. The governor’s order has been challenged by many jurisdictions, and schools in Dallas, Houston, Austin El Paso and Richardson have outright defied the order and demanded masks.

Additionally, after Thursday’s ruling, the Texas Education Agency released guidelines saying it will not enforce restrictions on mask warrants while the executive order litigation is ongoing.

Dennis Eichelbaum, general counsel of Paris ISD, has been advising school boards for more than a year to add masks to their dress code, he told CNN. So when Paris ISD asked him if they could impose masks, he told them they had “one hundred percent authority over their dress code.”

“That’s where it actually belongs,” he said. “The obligation to wear masks is really no different from the obligation to wear shoes or other protective equipment that we need.”

The measure is not a “loophole,” Eichelbaum said, because the executive order did not suspend the Texas Education Code, which gives the school board the power to govern schools in the district.

“It just falls under that,” Eichelbaum said, “and because the governor never suspended this, we are allowed to do anything within these parameters, which are quite broad.”

The Paris ISD has yet to see any challenge to its dress code, Eichelbaum says, but the district is included in a list of government entities “illegally imposing mask warrants” on the Texas attorney general’s website.

Eichelbaum wouldn’t be surprised if a challenge arose in the future, depending on how the other cases go, he says. For now, if Texas school districts want to implement mask mandates, he thinks the best choice is to include masks in their dress codes.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Bypass School Board

Earlier this year, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law SB 658, which largely prevented school boards from requiring masks or vaccinations except in specific circumstances.

But that hasn’t stopped several districts from demanding masks, including Oklahoma City public schools.

Superintendent Sean McDaniel announced a mask requirement this month in a letter to families. He says that the law supposed to prohibit such a mandate only prevented a school board from making this decision. But “the law does not prohibit the superintendent and the district administration from requiring the wearing of masks by our students, staff and visitors,” he said.

Parents are allowed to request a waiver for medical, religious or personal reasons, the letter said. But according to OKCPS, Wednesday, only 94 students out of about 30,000 – less than 1% – had withdrawn. Families have until September 10 to apply for the exemption.

Oklahoma City Public School Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel punches students as they arrive at Rockwood Elementary School for Oklahoma City Public Schools on Monday, August 9, 2021, in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma.

Crystal Raymond, spokesperson for the district, told CNN that the district announced the mask requirement after the number of reported cases in the district among students and staff rose from three digits over the course of of the first three days of school.

“This told us that the mitigation strategies in place weren’t enough,” Raymond said in an email.

The response from parents and staff “has been overwhelmingly positive and the majority of our students and staff have complied,” she said.

OKCPS isn’t alone: ​​Santa Fe South Schools, a public charter school district in the area, said earlier this month that they would require masks, but also included a opt-out provision.

The governor’s office said it had no issues with the OKCPS and Santa Fe South requirements as they provide the option to opt out. Spokeswoman Carly Atchison told CNN in a statement, “As long as the kids have the opportunity to spend five days a week in person and as long as the parents have a choice, the governor has no problem.”

“School districts can use magic words as much as they want,” Atchison added, “but as soon as they take choices away from parents, that’s when they break the law.”

Teachers in states banning mask warrants speak out.  Here's what they want you to know
A third district in Oklahoma, the Hulbert Public Schools, announced Thursday in a letter that it would institute a mask warrant, citing cases of escalation in schools and the wider community. Since school started on August 12, seven people have tested positive, forcing more than 154 people to be quarantined, the letter said. As a result, all middle and high school students had to switch to distance education.

But the district’s letter to families says those who wished to opt out could switch to the district’s virtual learning option, angering the state’s governor and attorney general.

Governor Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor on Thursday criticized Hulbert Public Schools in a joint statement, saying they had “chosen to openly violate a state law.”

In his statement to CNN, Atchison noted that SB 658 “was passed with the support of 80% of the legislature and the governor will enforce the law in the state of Oklahoma.”

Neither Santa Fe South Public Schools nor Hulbert responded to CNN’s requests for comment.

Court rules Arizona district can impose masks – for now

The Phoenix Union High School District in Arizona has at least purchased its mask requirement for some time.

The public high school district will be able to enforce its mask mandate – announced July 30 despite state law – until at least September 29, according to a decision by a Maricopa County judge this week as part of ” a lawsuit brought against the district by a teacher.
The lawsuit argues that the district cannot implement a mask warrant under HB 2898, which was enacted in late June and included language prohibiting local courts from imposing mask requirements.

But a Maricopa County judge ruled this week that the law has yet to come into force, despite a retroactivity clause saying the law will come into effect on June 30. the session ends on September 29.

Students wait for the Valley Metro bus to pick them up after their first day at Central High School in Phoenix on August 2, 2021.

What happens after that date is an open question, District Attorney Mary O’Grady told CNN, noting that there was a separate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

The judge also did not dismiss the lawsuit against Phoenix Union High School, giving the complainant an opportunity to modify the complaint.

CNN affiliate KVOA reported that the Tucson Unified School District also announced a mask warrant after the Phoenix District and several other school districts followed suit after the court ruling this week.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Union High School District has “received overwhelming support from our students and families,” district spokesperson Richard Franco told CNN.

Teacher sues Arizona school district for implementing mask warrant despite governor's ban

“Parents and students have told us that they understand why we are demanding masks, and they are very grateful,” he said. “No one likes to wear a mask, but our community postal codes remain among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and our community understands that we must do all we can to mitigate the spread of the virus.”

When asked if the district would continue to enforce the mandate after September 29, Franco acknowledged that a lot “can and will change by the end of September with the virus, the guidelines and even potentially the law.”

“We don’t know what the future holds,” he said, “but we will remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our staff, students, families and the community within the meaning large”.

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As some challenge state order, local school districts urge masking | Local News https://astoriaschools.org/as-some-challenge-state-order-local-school-districts-urge-masking-local-news/ https://astoriaschools.org/as-some-challenge-state-order-local-school-districts-urge-masking-local-news/#respond Thu, 12 Aug 2021 07:44:01 +0000 https://astoriaschools.org/as-some-challenge-state-order-local-school-districts-urge-masking-local-news/ GALVESTON Galveston County public school districts are not opposing a state order banning the requirement for masks, as some are in Texas, but officials are urging students, faculty and staff to voluntarily follow such practices when classes resume on campus this month. In May, Governor Greg Abbott deprived local governments, including school districts, of the […]]]>

GALVESTON

Galveston County public school districts are not opposing a state order banning the requirement for masks, as some are in Texas, but officials are urging students, faculty and staff to voluntarily follow such practices when classes resume on campus this month.

In May, Governor Greg Abbott deprived local governments, including school districts, of the ability to require masks, a tool some education administrators say has been effective in controlling COVID-19 during the last school year.

As the new school year approaches, resistance to Abbott’s decree has emerged in some of the state’s largest cities.

Houston Independent School District officials said last week they were considering a campus mask mandate, which will be determined at a board meeting this week.

Both the Dallas and Austin ISDs announced masking requirements this week.

In San Antonio, a Bexar County district judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order against Abbott, allowing local districts to issue mask warrants.

EXPRESSION OF CONFORMITY

In virtual announcements, live videos, and material handed out to parents over the past two weeks, local school district officials have stressed they can’t create a mask warrant for students this fall, but have when even encouraged masking.

When students return to the Santa Fe campuses on Thursday, masks will be optional, spokeswoman Patti Hanssard said.

“Our board of directors determined last spring that the masks would no longer be needed,” Hanssard said. “We are still communicating this message. “

However, the Santa Fe ISD encourages masks, Hanssard said.

The Galveston Public School District is also encouraging masks, spokesman Billy Rudolph said.

“Our goal is to create the safest environment possible,” said Rudolph. “If wearing masks helps lessen the transmission of the virus, then we hope people will choose this safety precaution. “

Texas City ISD spokeswoman Melissa Tortorici said the masks are helping reduce the spread of COVID in classrooms.

“We as a district say we prefer you to wear a mask because last year when we had sick children, even though we were sending children home to quarantine, less than 1% of the children that we sent home the quarantine tested positive, ”Tortorici said.

This meant the masks kept students from getting sick after being exposed to someone who tested positive, she said.

“The state tied our hands,” Tortorici said.

PARENTS ‘CONCERN

Texas City resident Tara Webb has taken her children out of the school district for fear of sending them back in person.

Her eighth-grade daughter and sixth-grade son started an online public school program last year and intended to return in person this fall, Webb said.

“We chose not to do brick and mortar because people weren’t getting vaccinated,” Webb said. “They don’t make you wear masks. I can not do that.

Webb has said she is a big supporter of Abbott, but her husband is immunocompromised and she doesn’t want to risk him getting sick, she said.

Galveston special education teacher Crystal Rodriguez is both excited and nervous for the school year, she said.

“The kids are getting a little bit of normalcy,” Rodriguez said. “I am nervous about the way this virus mutates and spreads. “

Rodriguez also has children in the district, all of whom are vaccinated except the youngest, who is 11 and not yet old enough, she said.

Rodriguez doesn’t worry about herself but worries about the children, who are largely unvaccinated.

Contagious

Scientists were still debating the transmissibility of the virus in children last year, but the delta variant has changed many assumptions, said Dr Philip Keizer, local health authority for the Galveston County Health District.

“We have seen hospitalizations in children, which we have never seen before,” Keizer said.

Keizer expects COVID outbreaks in schools this year, he said.

“Last year the kids were 100% masked,” Keizer said. “There was social distancing. Class sizes were smaller. This is all about to change.

Children are also more likely than before to transmit the disease, he said.

“Delta is a great game changer,” Keizer said. “The delta is much more transmissible.”

QUARANTINE

In practice, the distancing is unlikely to change much from spring, as most school districts had the majority of students returning to class by the end of the school year.

But the way districts handle quarantines will be a little different from last year.

Dickinson ISD, like other districts, will send students home for at least 10 days if they test positive for COVID, spokeswoman Tammy Dowdy said.

“Employees and students should self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before arriving at a district facility,” said Dowdy. “Any employee or student who feels ill or has a fever of 100 degrees or higher should stay home. “

The Texas Education Agency told local administrators this week that they should advise parents of students who are in close contact with people with COVID-positive and that those parents may choose to keep their students at home for a period of quarantine, during which they would learn online.

In a message to parents this week, Hitchcock’s ISD Superintendent Travis Edwards urged people to mask themselves and get vaccinated.

“I just want to cheer you on, please, please, please take care of yourself,” Edwards said. “If your student has symptoms, keep him at home. “

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