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Ascension Schools Hire 6 New District and School Leaders | Ascension

Ascension Parish public schools announced the appointment of six new district and school leaders last week.

Robyn Simmons is the new Child Protection and Attendance Supervisor; Brent Ramagost is the new Information Systems and Technology Supervisor; Nicole Elmore Joseph is the new director of Early College Option; Daniel “Keragan” McCready is the new Deputy Director of Dutchtown High; Kim Uzee is the new associate principal of East Ascension High School; and Mary Reenie Laginess is the new vice-principal of East Ascension High School.

“It is always an honor to recognize new leaders within this district – a district that always excels in its employees,” said Assistant Superintendent of Ascension Public Schools, A. Denise Graves. “Rising means reaching the top, and that is what we continue to do under the leadership of these exceptional new directors.”

CHILD WELL-BEING AND ASSISTANCE SUPERVISOR

Born in New Orleans, Simmons began her career in Ascension Public Schools in 2010 as an English teacher at Donaldsonville High School. At DHS, she was a career teacher, teacher mentor and master teacher before moving to Dutchtown High in 2013. She began teaching English at Dutchtown High and also served as a teacher mentor for the pedagogical leadership team, then Assistant Director. In 2019, Simmons became the Director of Early College Option. She remained in this position before being appointed Child Protection and Attendance Supervisor.

“I am so excited for this next chapter,” Simmons said. “This is an opportunity to ensure that we continue to uplift and succeed Ascension students.”

Simmons received a BA in Mass Communication and an MA in English from Jackson State University. She also earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southeast Louisiana.

INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY SUPERVISOR

A graduate of Donaldsonville High School, Ramagost is a long-time member of Ascension Public Schools. In 2002, he started his 19-year professional career with the district as a computer technician. Most recently, he served as District Network Administrator, a position he has held since 2018.

“I am grateful to continue in this leadership role,” said Ramagost. “The IT department has always been such an honor to work with, and I’m thrilled to be leading this team. “

Ramagost graduated from Nicholls State University with a BS in Computer Information Systems in 2001. He lives in Gonzales with his wife Jessica and their daughter Cadence.

MAIN OF THE START OF COLLEGE OPTION

A native of Brusly, Joseph began his teaching career 19 years ago at Sherwood Middle School in Baton Rouge. She was an administrative intern in East Baton Rouge Parish, then Deputy Warden at Capitol Middle, Deputy Warden at Capitol Elementary and Principal at Melrose Elementary before moving to Ascension Parish. She started at Donaldsonville High School as a teacher mentor in 2013.

After a year, she became Deputy Director of DHS, a position she held for two years before becoming Associate Director in 2016.

“I couldn’t be here without the support of the Ascension Parish School Board,” said Joseph. “I couldn’t have excelled like I did without knowing that they would support me 100%.”

Joseph received a BA in Secondary Education and Social Sciences from Grambling State University and an MA in Educational Leadership from Southern University. She currently resides in Addis, with her husband, Christopher, and their three children Avery, Johnovan and Elle, as well as three bonus children: Christopher, Christiauna and Keshawn.

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ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF DUTCHTOWN SECONDARY SCHOOL

A native of West Monroe, McCready began his Ascension career in 2011 as a social studies teacher and physical education coach at East Ascension High School. He was also the school’s deputy sports director, strength trainer for all sports and offensive football coordinator.

McCready transferred to Dutchtown High in 2017 to fill four positions for the school: physical education teacher, assistant athletic director, strength trainer and offensive coordinator. While serving at DTHS, he became department head and leader of the professional learning community.

McCready is active in the neighborhood outside of his roles. He is a member of the educational management team and an observer teacher. He is also working with administration to implement the Griffin Guardian mentoring program on the Dutchtown High campus. McCready also received the Strength of America award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association during his time in the district.

“I am honored and extremely touched by this opportunity to continue to serve our students, parents and stakeholders in this new leadership role,” said McCready.

McCready received a Bachelor of Education degree from Henderson State University with High Honors and a Master of Science degree from LSU. His wife, April, also works for the district as a teacher at Spanish Lake Elementary School. The couple have two daughters: Payton, a seventh grade student at Dutchtown Middle, and Audrey, a third grade student at Spanish Lake.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ASCENSION EST SECONDARY SCHOOL

Uzee began her career in Ascension Public Schools as an English teacher for East Ascension High in 1999. In 2005, she became one of the district’s top four high school teacher coaches. After two years in this role, Uzee returned to teaching at East Ascension until she took on the role of deputy principal of the school in 2014.

“My whole career has been spent at East Ascension; this is my home, ”said Uzee. “It is my commitment to you that I will do everything in my power to make sure every student succeeds. “

Uzee obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and an alternative certification from LSU. She also earned a master’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.

She is married to Travis Uzee and has a son, Connor Cook, and two stepdaughters, Caroline and Marguerite Uzee.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF LYCÉE ASCENSION EST

Originally from Niceville, Florida, Laginess began her work at Ascension Public Schools in 2013. She has been a special education teacher in Resource and LEAP Connect environments, as well as tennis coach and assistant swimming coach at St. Lover High.

In 2018, she moved to Lowery Middle School to take on the position of Senior Special Education Teacher. A year later, she moved to fill the same position at East Ascension High School. Most recently, she served the district as the Special Education Coordinator at the LeBlanc Special Service Center, where she continued her work with East Ascension High, as well as assisted Central Middle and Gonzales Middle Schools.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve East Ascension High School and their community in this new role of Deputy Principal,” said Laginess. “East Ascension High School is a school like no other; rich in tradition, culture and pride.

Laginess obtained both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Auburn University and an Education Specialist’s degree from LSU. She is preparing her doctorate at Southeastern Louisiana University.


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Coronavirus UK news – Orange list quarantine will be FOCUSed for anyone vaccinated in the US or the EU as the Covid pandemic rages on

SCHOOL CLOSURES “MAY BE BEHIND FALL IN COVID-19 CASES ACROSS THE UK”

Closing schools for the summer holidays is probably one of the reasons coronavirus cases are declining across the UK, a leading expert has said.

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Pandemic Influenza Modeling Scientific Group (Spi-M), advising ministers, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about dropping cases, but only time will tell if the third wave of Covid “turns around”.

The infectious disease expert, from the University of Warwick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that “any situation where cases are clearly declining is good news”.

But he added: “I think what we have to think about, however, is that there has been a change recently and I think the most important thing is that in many parts of the country schools are now closed for the summer.

“Now, of course, because of that, that means … high school students have been doing lateral flow tests twice a week for quite a long time and we know that right now the cases are slightly higher among young people ( and) because schools are now closed, it may be that part of the reason the cases have decreased somewhat is that we are not detecting as many cases among young people now.

“The other thing we need to look at before we really know if we’re seeing it all turn around is what happens with hospital admissions and, of course, what happens with deaths.”


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Latest coronavirus: Moderna jab is safe to use for adolescents, says European Medicines Agency

The governor of Alabama, the least vaccinated state in the United States, has blamed “unvaccinated people” for a recent increase in Covid-19 cases.

Kay Ivey said “people are supposed to have common sense” when a reporter asked her what it would take for more people in the state to get vaccinated.

“It’s time to start blaming unvaccinated people, not ordinary people. It’s the unvaccinated people who let us down, ”she told a press conference on Friday.

When asked if she considered it her responsibility, as governor, to try to help bring the situation under control, Ivey said, “I’ve done everything I can do.”

“I can encourage you to do something, but I cannot force you to take care of yourself,” continued the Republican governor.

The comments may represent some of Ivey’s harshest words about the late vaccine rollout in his state, but also highlight the swirling debate in the United States between encouragement and mandates on issues such as wearing masks and vaccinations.

Several states have taken steps to ban so-called vaccine passports or prohibit workplaces from requiring employees to be vaccinated. Alabama is one of them.

Ivey signed a bill in May to ban public institutions and private companies from requiring vaccine passports. But Fort Rucker, a state military base, this month ordered troops to prove they had been vaccinated so they can be exempted from wearing face masks in the field.

Alabama has fully immunized 33.9% of its population, the lowest level of coverage in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, one of the state’s star college football teams has successfully vaccinated nearly 90 percent of its players, according to its coach.

Public health officials have warned for weeks that communities with low vaccination rates are most vulnerable to Covid-19, and in particular to the more transmissible Delta variant. Several states with low immunization coverage, such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi, have some of the highest per capita rates of new coronavirus cases in the United States.

Alabama has averaged about 19.5 new cases per 100,000 over the past week, according to the CDC. This is the ninth highest per capita rate among U.S. states and its highest level of daily infections since mid-February.


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On the water: Hot summer fishing | News, Sports, Jobs

The snapper fishing was good. Herb Webb and his family brought home their limit of tasty mangrove snapper by fishing near Captiva Island with Captain Bill Russell. PHOTO PROVIDED

The weather was good on the water last week. Of course, it’s summer so it was hot as expected and afternoon thunderstorms were frequent. The mornings were relatively cool with a light breeze before giving way to the heat around noon. The fishing was good at times, at times slow and unpredictable from day to day, but that’s normal for the heat of summer.

Red groupers with a few 30-inch pushes have been caught on hard bottoms at depths of 80 to 110 feet. A mix of snapper, porgy, and growls also came from the same bottom. Reports of red snapper came from depths starting at one hundred and forty feet and deeper. Seems like the deeper the water, the bigger the snapper. The red snapper season is windy as the season ends on July 29.

Wrecks and public or man-made reefs in depths of 50 to 100 feet have produced tough fighting fish, including amberjack, goliath grouper, bonito, king mackerel, barracuda, and some large sharks. Fishing coastal artificial reefs at depths of 25 to 50 feet, anglers report a variety of snooks, snapper, Spanish mackerel, barracuda, sharks, undersized red grouper and gag, tripletail, and permit grouper.

The Spanish mackerel bite was intermittent around the Gulf passes and the Gulf side of the Sanibel Causeway. Small silver spoons with quick recovery were the best method while drifting, and live pilchards, herring or live freeline shrimp worked well. Ladybugs were often numerous to take over if the mackerel bite was extinguished. Spanish mackerel have been caught in large numbers chasing bait schools in Charlotte Harbor, near Bokeelia, off the east coast of Useppa Island and along the bars inside the Redfish Passes and Captiva.

With snook in their summer spawning pattern, the best action came from areas near and around the Gulf Passes. Fish measuring up to thirty-eight inches have been caught and released from the docks around Punta Rassa, the Sanibel Fishing Pier and north of the Boca Grande Pass, including beaches, passes and the structure between them. of them. The best baits included pinfish, pigfish, or live grunts, and pilchards, sardines, or herring. Schools of 20-27 inch male snooks have been seen caught along the waves of Sanibel, Captiva Islands and Cayo Costa Islands. Small jigs and white flies, along with live shrimp, pilchards and small pinfish were the best bait.

The coastal mangrove snapper bite has remained constant week after week. Some days are better than others, but with a little time and effort most anglers come back with a limit. Fish up to 15 inches have been boxed in and around gulf passes and nearby mangrove shores and docks. Inshore anglers caught snapper from Blind Pass, Sanibel and Bokeelia fishing piers, and the Matlacha Draw Bridge. Baits of choice include live and dead shrimp, dead or live sardines, and frozen sardines. There are a lot of catfish around, sometimes it is difficult to get the bait in front of the cats to hook a snapper. Sometimes when this happens, it’s better to move on and fish somewhere else.

The spotted sea trout were widespread in the grassy plains four to eight feet deep north of Matlacha Pass, off the east and west walls of Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Strait west of Bokeelia to the south. from Cabbage Key and between Rocky Channel and Hemp Key. Channel edge targeting or drifting worked for trout up to 21 inches. Most of the trout are undersized, but many anglers have caught a limit. Mackerel, bluefish, ladybugs, trevally, and small sharks were also caught.

Make sure and stay up to date with fishing regulations by visiting www.myfwc.com. Also download the Fish Rules app on your phone. It has regulations in place with pictures to help identify fish.

Summer gives us the potential for nasty thunderstorms to appear daily and develop quite quickly. Watch the clouds develop and have a plan. If lightning begins to explode, go to a sheltered or protected location. Shooting against a mangrove island or shore is much safer than staying over open water. Also keep your boat as low-key as possible. Take fishing rods or graphite lightning sticks out of the rod holders and down. While rain is just an inconvenience, lightning is deadly, please take it seriously.

If you have a fishing report or for charter information, contact Gulf Coast Guide Service at 239-410-8576 (call or text); on the web at www.fishpineisland.com; or by email at [email protected]

Have a good week and good fishing.

As a lifelong resident of Matlacha and Pine Island, Captain Bill Russell has spent his life fishing and learning the waters around Pine Island and Southwest Florida, and as a professional fishing guide at over the past 23 years.


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Summer school programs get a boost after a year of pandemic losses | New

Educators are already aware of the ‘summer slippage’, the slowdown in learning between school years, but this year summer programs will play a bigger role in helping many people catch up with academic and social backwardness afterwards. a completely distant school year for many San Mateo. county students.

On average, students were likely to lose five to nine months of learning by the end of the 2020-21 school year, a McKinsey & Company study of this last winter found.

Parents are worried about these losses. Almost three-quarters (73%) of parents of young children said they were concerned about their child’s ability to socialize with other children, and 74% fear their child’s education and development might suffer in the middle pandemic, according to a February poll of 600 parents of children aged 0 to 5 in California by the Education Trust-West.

In an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic on student learning, Governor Gavin Newson awarded grants to districts to strengthen their summer programs. School districts and county organizations are running additional programs this summer to meet those needs.

San Mateo County Libraries JPA Board Approved $ 892,000 in additional funds to support student programs this summer.

The Library Explorers program has approximately 325 children enrolled in June and July, Monday through Wednesday. It is designed to develop literacy, math and socio-emotional skills for the 2021-22 school year. The program is adapted to the age group – students are divided into groups of kindergarten, first and second grade, and third and fifth grade.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have exacerbated and deepened inequalities in youth learning outcomes and socio-emotional development already present in our communities, disproportionately affecting youth of color,” according to a press release from the county library.

Students in Grades 1 through 5 participate in the Families CREATE program, which includes both self-paced and guided interactive virtual experiences complemented by English / Spanish kits with activities throughout the summer. Some 1,500 free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) kits are distributed to all county libraries.

This summer, the library system is also partnering with local parks and recreation departments to provide free books, library cards and hands-on learning materials to youth enrolled in their programs. Additional financial support will be provided to subsidize the admission of young people in need to increase enrollment and access to quality experiences.

Carine Risley, deputy director of county library services, said the Explorers program should make a difference for students who need extra support. Some students are no longer used to being around adults other than their own parents, she said.

The Menlo Park City School District has expanded its summer school offering this year, offering a one-month project-based learning program, as well as a program for students who need more support. school. The state gave the district $ 2.4 million for such programming.

The district offers day and day formulas. In the past, all three elementary schools fed a single summer school, but each site is hosting their own program this year to meet demand.

The state grant “will allow us to provide a more robust summer program that will help solve any unfinished fifteen-month distance and hybrid learning”, the neighborhood website States.

About 160 students have enrolled in Hillview Middle School’s summer school program this year, said Jacky Schlegel, a sixth-grade humanities teacher at Hillview and director of the summer school. Traditionally, the summer school has been offered to students in need of an academic boost, but this year the district has opened it up to the whole community. Projects include DIY knotting and insect repellant, as they answer the question “How do I survive in the wild?” Said Schlegel.

“Many families recognized that what was lost was socialization and the ability to be with their friends every day,” she said shortly before the program started. “We won’t have stable cohorts; the kids will be able to see each other (during breaks).… You can’t just ignore the social aspect that has been lost as well.”

Marla Bischoff said her daughter, a growing seventh grader, chose to attend Hillview’s Virtual Only Academy this school year and did not return to campus with other students who attended. some in-person classes.

“As the year wore on, it was clear that she was really missing the face-to-face contact with classmates and teachers,” Bischoff said in an email. “She is excited to return to in-person learning, and this summer program allows her to make the transition to school and start building new relationships between peers and teachers. The teachers have put together a model of project-based learning to strengthen standards, ensuring students are ready for next year. “

Larra Olson, a third-grade teacher at Encinal School, is the principal of Oak Knoll School’s summer school. She said 115 students registered for the summer school in Encinal.

“(The parents) were very grateful to have the opportunity to have the option,” she said. “Some families have chosen the Virtual Academy all year round and this will be their first in-person experiences in over a year.”

Olson said it was difficult to find teachers as some are exhausted from teaching during the pandemic. Seven teachers, mostly substitute teachers, are teaching at Oak Knoll this summer.

Laurel School’s lower campus hosts the district’s Kick Off to Kindergarten program to help 55 incoming kindergarten students who did not attend kindergarten or are learning English, according to Stacei Santana, principal of the school. summer of Laurel Elementary School.

The Las Lomitas School District, home to Las Lomitas Primary School in Atherton and La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park, is offering expanded summer programs this year, according to Shannon Potts, deputy superintendent of the program and the instruction for the district. About 8.7% (96) of Kindergarten to Grade 7 students enrolled in summer school in 2019, while 9.7% (101) of students enrolled in summer school. summer in person and online in 2020. This year 10.2% (93) of K-7 students registered for summer school.

It offers a new week-long Kickstart program for new Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 4 students. Some 211 students had enrolled in the program – about 65% of students in those classes – as of June 23.

“We decided to add it because we didn’t have the option for incoming fourth graders to see the La Entrada campus this year,” Potts explained in an email. “Ditto for the incoming kindergarten (garden) at Las Lomitas. The 2020-21 kindergarten (garden) students entering first grade had a shorter day than usual and did not really come out of the kindergarten yard. (garden), so we figured they would benefit from a glimpse of the school. “

The Portola Valley School District, which was open on a hybrid basis for much of the past school year, has decided not to expand its summer school programs this year as many families have chosen to take advantage the ability to travel instead, said Superintendent Roberta Zarea. in an email.

“We had a lot of conversations in our (management) board meetings on the same topic as it seemed to be the case at the start of the 2020-21 school year (October / December),” she said. . “In fact, our board even approved an expansion of our regular summer program to address parent learning concerns. Interestingly, in the end, many parents whose students were invited to participate in the summer program chose to take a break and go on vacation instead this summer. “


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Oswego County Legislature approved funding despite lengthy discussions – Oswego County today

The Oswego County Legislature met at 2 p.m. on Thursday and passed all resolutions presented.

OSWEGO – In a recorded vote, the Oswego County Legislature voted to accept funds from Health Research, Inc. for the reopening of schools at the July 15 meeting.

The resolution, HE-2, was introduced by lawmaker James Karasek and met with some opposition in the room. The Oswego Health Department will receive $ 4,040,498 in grants to “provide resources to local school districts to implement school screening tests with guidance from the CDC,” according to the resolution. The opposition was led by Nathan Emmons of District 15 who was weary of the data that could be collected by Health Research Inc.

“The Health Research Corporation should report directly to the Secretary of Youth and Services in our federal government. [such as] all activities related to this funding, including all data collected through this funding. To me, this is an indirect flow of data collection that bypasses our own New York State legislature and goes directly to our federal government to continue to monitor the COVID-19 response, now at the district level. school by school district, ”said Emmons. “I am very uncomfortable with this funding, I think this funding should be rejected by this legislature. Our schools got funding from the US bailout and they need these types of funds to continue testing, they have those funds. “

Despite Emmons’ discussion, the vote was passed with 14 votes in favor, nine against and two absent, as lawmaker Patrick Twiss and lawmaker Robert Wilmot were not present at the meeting. The nine lawmakers who opposed were David Holst, John Martino, Bradley Trudel, Mary Ellen Chesbro, Stephen Walpole, Tim Stahl, Laurie Mangano-Cornelius, Ralph Stacy Jr and Emmons. After the meeting, Minority Leader Marie Schadt expressed her displeasure with the nine lawmakers who opposed the funding, saying she “can’t believe they said that”.

“It is shameful to refuse public funding to protect our children. One hundred million people died from the Spanish flu to achieve collective immunity, ”Schadt said. “We are in an unprecedented moment… If it had not been for the SARS epidemic ten years ago, none of these vaccines they are using could have pulled the trigger.”

Schadt added additional information about the grant, saying it will be used to provide testing and prevention for COVID-19.

Beyond this resolution, 29 others were voted on and adopted. These include:

  • HS-6 will award the professional services contract RFP 21-CD-004 Family First Prevention Services to three separate organizations that will complete the contract together
  • HS-7 Authorizes Budget Changes to Office of Aging to Accept Fast-Track Funding for Improving Seniors’ Health and Nutrition Education
  • IT-8 to establish Capital Project # 0421, County Road 1A improvements and authorizing related budget amendment

Another resolution passed was PS-1 to establish Capital Project No. T0121 E911. This provides the police with a necessary telephone system upgrade that will cost $ 500,000. PS-1 was approved unanimously.

The FP-3 was also unanimously approved and is a resolution urging New York State to provide medical aid from previous years to Oswego County. The resolution, proposed by Martino, was called “very important” by Martino who said the state owed Oswego County $ 4.2 million. According to Martino, other counties in the state have also approved similar resolutions.

The meeting agenda can be viewed here, as can other meeting agendas and minutes, including meeting minutes when available.

All county legislative meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be on August 12 at 2 p.m.


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RCMA helps migrant farm workers and their families succeed isabel garcia

Since 1965, the goal of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) has been to serve migrant farm workers and their families. We have continuously contacted these families to register and keep their children in school. As your recent article “We Had to Work Twice As Hard”: How the Pandemic Amplified Inequalities for Florida Migrant Students “pointed out, the pandemic has disrupted the learning of migrant students far more than that of their counterparts.

Our main priority has always been to prepare these students for kindergarten and beyond. As demand for our innovative programs increased, the RCMA School Board chose to expand our charter schools statewide. Students experience a rich, bicultural and bilingual program up to grade 8. RCMA’s programs in early childhood centers and charter schools are reliable, research-based, and culturally appropriate to meet the needs of our children. When they leave our programs, not only are they fully prepared for high school, but they are also fluent in English and Spanish both orally and in writing.

Equally important, we work with parents as partners to provide resources to further enhance the strengths and values ​​these students already possess, such as integrity, commitment and family unity. Our scholarship students have courage which, in my opinion, prepares students for success later in life. And most RCMA students go on to become the first college graduates of the migrant families we serve. This is the real difference in what we do as RCMA for migrant farm worker families.

So, when Immokalee became a COVID-19 hotspot, RCMA, government officials and community partners mobilized to support farm workers statewide. We worked together to make sure everyone had what they needed to be safe. But, as your article detailed, the children of Florida farm workers needed even more support to succeed in the school year and avoid the regression that would inevitably occur if students lost daily access to teachers and their teachers. peers.

Grade 5 teacher Uyslamis Echeverria-Ramos helps a student at RCMA Immokalee Community School in Immokalee during an exam in November.  Almost all of the students have returned to in-person learning for the school year, which principal Zulaika Quintero says helps the school keep tabs on students' academic progress and emotional states.

RCMA teachers and administration have approached this crisis with ingenuity and determination. As the pandemic was in its infancy, before even knowing that closures would take place, our charter school teams met to discuss what to do next. We have purchased enough Zoom accounts to allow each class in our two charter schools to continue and the teachers have modified the lesson plans to optimize them for the Zoom platform.

Once lockdowns became inevitable, students retained daily access to their classes, teachers and friends. Classes like mindfulness and yoga, which are regularly offered at RCMA charter schools, became even more important as students adjusted to Zoom classes. Because farm workers were seen as “essential employees,” many of our students took on the role of caregiver for their younger siblings. In order to ensure that these students could continue their lessons, the teachers changed their schedules, sometimes giving lessons twice a day. All lessons were recorded, so if there was no way for a student to attend a lesson live, they could at least watch it when their parents came home and looked after the younger children.

Despite the efforts listed above, it still wasn’t enough. Lack of internet access is a significant problem among families served by RCMA. Many families do not even have a computer at home. To meet this challenge, the RCMA turned to its supporters. Businesses, foundations and individuals in the 21 counties where RCMA’s day care centers and charter schools are located have contributed nearly $ 750,000. Most of the donations were used to cover basic survival needs such as food, sanitation supplies, rent and utilities. We then combined the remaining amount with money from the RCMA General Operating Fund to purchase tablets for each student (which they will take with them when they leave our programs) and Internet hotspots (including service) for every family in need.

Yoly Lopez, a farmer from Florida, wears a bandana provided by the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.  The group recently distributed masks and bandanas to farm workers to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.  Photo courtesy of Yoly Lopez.

Because of our trusted position within the farm worker community, government officials and community leaders have turned to RCMA to lead outreach efforts to ensure parents know how to ensure safety and health. of their family. To cope with the dramatic increase in demand for food and cleaning supplies, our centers and schools have organized distributions of food and supplies at least once a week. We have also provided assistance with rent and utilities, mobilized to find places for homeless people to quarantine, and provided assistance to those in need of remote medical and mental care. In addition, RCMA staff helped families register for unemployment programs and provided information on other organizations that offered help. Our teams visited farmers safely in their communities to make sure we reached those who needed it most.

Despite the myriad of challenges migrant students faced during COVID-19, almost all of the RCMA students continued to make academic progress and at the very least, they did not lose the progress they had made. during the first part of the school year. It is truly a testament to the resilience of our students as well as the commitment of our teachers. We are especially grateful for the encouragement and support our students have received from donors, volunteers, media, businesses, government and community leaders, who have shown these students that through education they too can succeed. .

Isabel Garcia is an accomplished early childhood educator and leader in the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association. She has been the Executive Director of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association since 2018.


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Wilmington Resident Accepts New Assistant Principal At Amesbury Middle School | New

WILMINGTON – Jessica Stryhalaleck, resident of Wilmington, recently accepted the position of Deputy Principal of Amesbury Middle School. She was kind enough to talk to the Town Crier about her hiring process, her transition to the job, and her goals in her new role.

Stryhalaleck talks about his past experiences in education.

“I worked as a Spanish teacher at Lynnfield Middle School for over 17 years. After graduating from college, I spent a few years in the business world before realizing that a career in education interested me much more. I left the business world and accepted my teaching position at Lynnfield in 2004.

“At that time, I was covering maternity leave for a Spanish teacher. This Spanish teacher chose to stay at home with her child, and I never left that job.

“I graduated from Salem State University in 2009 with an MA in Teaching (Spanish), and most recently I graduated from SSU last May, this time with a CAGS (Certificate of ‘advanced studies) in educational leadership. “

Her inspiration for the position of Deputy Director is as follows:

“I’ve been interested in transitioning to an educational leadership path for many years now – for some time I’ve been drawn to the idea of ​​making a difference in our schools at the building level. I believe that now more than ever, as schools emerge from the pandemic, our students and staff need strong and dedicated administrators to provide leadership into the coming school year and beyond.

“As a mother of three, I waited until my own children were a little older to pursue a path to school. I decided in 2019 that it was time to start an ACES program in Educational Leadership and applied for Assistant Principal positions immediately after I graduated this spring.

Its application process consisted of interviews and an application submission, as Stryhalaleck explained.

“Most teaching positions are advertised on a website called SchoolSpring.com. I applied for the position at Amesbury through the SchoolSpring website. I had two interviews before I was offered the job.

For the first interview, I met in person with a panel representing the Amesbury Middle School community. The panel included administrators, teachers, parents and a student. After my first interview, I was invited to come back for a second interview. My second interview was conducted virtually with myself, the director of AMS (Jarred Haas) and the other deputy director of AMS (Adam Denio).

Stryhalaleck described the feelings she felt when she was hired into the Amesbury community.

“I was delighted to receive this news. I felt an instant connection during the interview process and knew I would enthusiastically take the job if offered to me. It was also great in the perspective of having achieved a long term goal. “

As she describes, moving to work has been a dream come true.

“The transition to Amesbury has been fantastic. My former colleagues at Lynnfield were extremely supportive of my transition from classroom teaching to an educational leadership position. My colleagues in Amesbury welcomed me so warmly to their community; I already feel very comfortable here.

The newest member of the Amesbury Middle School community also spoke about what she sees as the most difficult and rewarding aspects of being a Deputy Principal.

“Right now, I am working hard with my fellow administrators and AMS staff to prepare for the next school year. One challenge was, after working in a school district for 17 years, to learn the culture of a different district. I enjoyed this challenge and feel that I am learning a lot about the schools and the community of Amesbury in a short time.

“What I find gratifying so far is the feeling that with my colleagues, we are working together to improve an already fantastic school. I think my work can really make a difference in the lives of our students, staff and the community – and it’s an amazing feeling!

Stryhalaleck told the town crier about his goals for his tenure:

“As Deputy Principal, I would love to contribute to the success of the Amesbury Middle School community in any way I can. I hope to continue to learn and grow and always feel that my work is making a difference. I feel that I bring a lot of positive, optimistic and open-minded energy to a school environment, and I hope my students and colleagues will benefit from it.

Stryhalaleck also expressed his absolute joy at being able to work at Amesbury.

“I am more than grateful for the opportunity presented to me and look forward to making a positive impact on the community around me. I look forward to meeting my colleagues and students in the coming weeks and working together to ensure that all members of our community feel they have a sense of belonging and the tools they need to be successful. after day.

To those looking to pursue a career in education and educational leadership, Stryhalaleck offers this advice:

“I would say if that’s what you got in your heart, just follow your gut and go for it!” If you do what you love, you may even forget that you are getting paid to do it.

The Town Crier congratulates Jessica Stryhalaleck on her hire and wishes her the best of luck on her adventure in Amesbury.


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APS students get e-learning option

DOWNTOWN AKRON – Deputy Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Akron Public Schools (APS) Ellen McWilliams-Woods announced at the July 12 Education Council meeting that the district will allow students to continue distance learning this fall through APS Online.
The virtual program, which was in place before the start of the pandemic, has expanded over the past two school years and APS is looking to “take this program to the next level,” according to McWilliams-Woods. The district will continue to work with e-learning provider Edmentum for the program.
In addition to offering both self-directed online courses and virtual education for middle and high school students, APS Online will offer live online education to elementary school students in English, reading, math, science and social studies.
Officials said the initial versions of APS Online were only self-directed, with students working at their own pace and in their spare time. Struggling students were able to meet with an APS staff member for additional support. McWilliams-Woods said only seven to ten elementary students signed up for the original version of the program online.
“What we learned, with our thousands of students who were online [during the past two school years] is that elementary school students can do very well in this remote environment with live synchronous teaching, ”she said.
She added that the district will offer this option to families starting the week of July 19.
Also during the meeting, new Superintendent Christine Fowler-Mack said district leaders will review recently released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 prevention in schools. With an expected return to in-person learning this fall, Fowler-Mack said his team will study the district’s current sanitation practices and social distancing efforts, as well as the use of masks indoors and in the buses.
“The team and I will take this advice to a more detailed level, evaluate our schools and practices, and decide if there are any other recommendations that we want to send through the council to our community as a whole.” , Fowler said. Mack said.
Also during the meeting, the board approved the following:
• employment of Dyan Floyd as director at King Community Learning Center (CLC), Renee Kochis as director of Mason CLC, Justin Plas as academy coach at Innes CLC and Darlene Shuler as Akron Middle School college and career partner liaison;
• the retirements of Nancy Kastor and Madonna Lackney;
• the adoption of new teaching materials in Chinese, French and Spanish for the next school year;
• accept 11 grants valued at $ 98,553 from the GAR Foundation’s Educator Initiative grant for programs in nine schools for the upcoming school year;
• accept three Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Grants-to-Educators grants, including $ 3,000 for the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) STEM High School robotics program, $ 2,999 for learning support materials per project at NIHF STEM High School and $ 1,207 for mobile vertical whiteboards for learning spaces at Firestone CLC;
• $ 5,000 acceptance from the Ohio School Wellness Initiative with the University of Miami to NIHF STEM High School; and
• accept donations, including $ 7,018 from the First Congregational Church in Akron to Mason CLC to purchase Viewboard technology for classrooms; $ 1,500 from an anonymous donor to Project Rise to support its work to help homeless students stay in school and on track; and 150 McDonald’s meal vouchers and 60 drink vouchers, valued at $ 1,320, from TomTreyCo Inc., the owner of the Vernon Odom Boulevard business franchise, to Buchtel CLC to use as incentive prizes for students and the staff.
The next APS Board meeting is scheduled for July 26 at 5:30 pm at the Sylvester Small Administration Building, 10 N. Main St. It will also be available online at bit.ly/2V8oNVk.

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How County Derry weathered the Spanish flu pandemic

As 1918 drew to a close, the world was changing. The signing of the armistice in November had just ended the hostilities of the First World War.

The thumbs of the newspaper columns were devoted to tales of returning soldiers and eventually gave way to tales of the jubilant celebrations sparked by the end of the war.

The mass movement of people, however, is believed to accelerate the spread of the so-called Spanish Flu, an influenza epidemic that has killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Records show 20,057 people have died from the virus in Ireland, with historians speculating the total may have been even higher.

As in 2020, there is reason to assume that the strain of influenza that caused the pandemic may have been present before it reached epidemic levels.

Victory parades organized in the aftermath of World War I helped spread the flu.

On July 13, 1918, the Coleraine Chronicle published an obituary of Mr. Jack Lynd, who was then on vacation in Sheffield, England.

“Many of Coleraine’s friends have learned with feelings of painful surprise and sadness that Mr. John Craig Lynd has passed away in Sheffield after only two days of illness,” it read.

“He had spent a week’s vacation in Sheffield; and last Friday I suddenly had the flu.

It was not until the fall, and after the end of World War I, that reports of the flu began to appear more regularly in local newspapers.

Demand for hand sanitizer and face covering skyrocketed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and in 1918, it didn’t take advertisers long to take advantage of a similar outcry.

An advertisement for “Condy’s Remedial Fluid” first ran in the Mid Ulster Mail on November 16, 1918, proclaiming its aid in “the prevention and treatment of influenza”.

Crowds in front of Buckingham Palace celebrating the end of the war.

The following week, on November 23, the newspaper reported epidemics in Maghera, Magherafelt and Upperlands.

Schools in Maghera and Magherafelt closed for a fortnight, while a report to the Magherafelt Rural Council called the outbreak “serious”.

“Dr McIvor told Magherafelt Rural Council on Thursday that the flu epidemic there was very serious,” read the Mid Ulster Mail.

“A committee has been appointed to meet with all the doctors at the dispensary next Thursday and consult on the best way to fight the epidemic.”

That same week, the Mail reported six deaths in the Upperlands alone.

“The flu epidemic has reached alarming proportions, and right now entire districts are completely bowed down with it,” he said.

A lengthy report from the Mid Ulster Mail on the same date gave details of the outbreak in Cookstown, County Tyrone, where the disease’s effect on rural areas has been made clear.

“The needs of some of the country cases were so urgent that she [district nurse] was sent to rescue, ”he said.

“One family was reported to be ill, and when they arrived they found the mother dead and four small children (one a few months old) the sole occupants of the house, with the father at work in Glasgow.”

Face coverings were a feature of both pandemics.

Reports continued on November 30, with the Mid Ulster Mail broadcasting news of nine funerals in Maghera as the outbreak “shows no signs of slowing down”.

On the same date, the Coleraine Chronicle detailed the effects of the virus in the seaside town of Portstewart.

“The flu epidemic is so widespread in the district that national schools have been closed for another fortnight; while performances at the Picture House have been temporarily suspended, ”he said.

At a school attendance committee meeting the following week, a decision was made to close all schools in Portstewart until the New Year.

Meanwhile, on December 7, the Mid Ulster Mail reported that the Maghera embroidery factory had reopened, but the outbreak was continuing in the city.

“In the outskirts, the epidemic is even worse and many deaths have occurred. It is reported that one day last week no less than seven funerals were held in a cemetery in the district, ”he said.

Garvagh War Memorial, for which funds were raised during the time of the flu pandemic.

Flu deaths in Dungiven and Limavady were reported in the Chronicle on December 14, while two weeks later, on December 28, some sort of lockdown was announced in Moneymore.

“Due to the flu epidemic and the consequent recommendation of doctors to discourage gathering of large numbers for a period of time, the various entertainments that the local Labor Guild had planned should take place shortly before Christmas in profit of patriotic objects, has been postponed to the beginning of next year ”, we can read.

Then, with the turn of the year, reports suddenly became more sparse. The Coleraine Chronicle edition of January 4, 1919 even reports improvements in the Upperlands.

“It is gratifying to learn that the flu epidemic has almost disappeared in the district,” he said.

“The schools have reopened; and other deaths from the disease have not been recorded in the past fifteen weeks. “

However, as in 2021, relapses and local outbreaks of the virus appeared as a reminder that it had not yet completely disappeared.

The Chronicle published a report on the resurgence of the disease in Coleraine on January 18, with the story of a mother and daughter buried in the town.

“There has been an alarming recurrence of the flu epidemic in Coleraine over the past fifteen weeks,” he said.

“Numerous cases have been reported, and on Wednesday afternoon the pathetic spectacle of a mother and daughter buried at the same time was seen in Killowen Parish Cemetery.

“The epidemic is worse in Killowen than in any other part of the city. In previous periods when the disease was very prevalent elsewhere, Coleraine had relatively light visits.

“The vast majority of cases, although requiring special attention, were what could be described as ‘mild’.

“This latest visit would be in a much more virulent form,” he added, ancestor of the new strains of Covid-19 which are currently causing outbreaks of cases locally.

Soldiers wait for a train in Omagh, County Tyrone.

The Mid Ulster Mail on March 1 reported a new flu outbreak in the Upperlands, but detailed a worrying difference.

“Unlike the epidemic last November, most of those affected are little ones,” he said.

“A serious aspect of the epidemic is that there are very many cases where lung problems have been contracted.

“Only one death has occurred – an 11-year-old girl, whose death came with surprising suddenness after about a day of illness.”

On the same date, the Mail published official notices on the recurrence of the disease; advice that will be very familiar to anyone living in 2020-21.

“Avoid all crowded gatherings. Ensure good ventilation and cleanliness in the houses, not to mention the sleeping apartments, ”he said.

“All parts used as workshops, factories, etc. should be sprayed morning and afternoon with a dilution of Jeyes’ Fluid or other disinfectant.

“When a person is totally ill, they should be isolated immediately. When you cough or sneeze, your mouth and nose should be covered with a tissue.

By the spring of 1919, reports of outbreaks gradually began to fade, with only a few lines in the Mid Ulster Mail on April 5 mentioning the flu “still lingering” in the Upperlands and Moneymore.

As under current circumstances, normalcy bubbled beneath the surface throughout the 1918-19 pandemic. The dances marking the end of the war, the local political institutions, the courts.

2020-21 seems to have echoed this progressive residence of fear and worry. The relative normality of the recent celebrations of the 12th century and of the holiday season is a good illustration of this.

People are heading to the beaches more and more frequently in recent months.

People are on vacation, walking, and going about their lives much as they always have. As in the spring of 1919, there are local epidemics, but there is a major difference. 2021 has a vaccine.

Its continued deployment will surely see the return to normalcy accelerate, and as life progresses, references to the 1918-19 pandemic will gradually become less frequent.

Future historians will no doubt examine the archives of the past 18 months for lessons learned in the years to come.


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