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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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New York school staff have ‘no confidence’ in principal after race

A Washington Heights high school faculty rebels against their principal, accusing in a vote of no confidence that they “blatantly but unsuccessfully divide our school by race.”

Paula Lev, principal of the High School for Law and Public Service, is currently under investigation by the city’s Department of Education for allegedly telling a faculty member she “was going to get rid of of all these white teachers who do nothing for the children of our community, ”indicates a complaint.

Lev, a Dominican, also asked the faculty member to “conspire with her” to try to oust a white colleague, according to the complaint filed last week with the DOE’s equal opportunities office.

“She definitely has something against white people,” says the complaint, obtained by The Post.

“She definitely has something against the Whites.”

– Complaint against the principal of the New York school

On the last day of school, Lev informed the faculty member that he was “over-placed” – meaning he was no longer needed at school – and that he should seek employment elsewhere. in the DOE.

“He denounced it and a week later he was overwhelmed,” said a colleague. It is not known if Lev was aware of the complaint.

Latent disorders

The complaint came amid latent unrest at the school, which staff members blamed on what they said was Lev distorting current concepts of fairness and anti-racism, which the DOE promotes and which teachers overwhelmingly support.

Dissatisfaction with Lev, 39, erupted in February, when teacher Nick Bacon, the union section chief, filed a routine grievance over a scheduling issue that could have affected most. teachers, staff members said.

In front of half a dozen other staff, Lev questioned Bacon’s motives.

“I wasn’t sure what your problem was with me, maybe it’s because I’m a woman of color and you’re a white man?” Lev asked Bacon, according to a March 2 letter to District 6 superintendent Manny Ramirez signed by most of the school’s full members.

“I wasn’t sure what your problem was with me, maybe it’s because I’m a woman of color and you’re a white man?”

– Suspected comment from the principal to the teacher

Staff were outraged that Lev apparently accused Bacon, who raised their work concerns, of being racist. The school has a diverse staff – about half-white, some Jews and Greeks. A mixture of black, Hispanics and Asians make up the rest.

The grievance raised by Bacon was resolved in favor of the union. In an effort to allay the fury over Lev’s remark, Ramirez agreed in a meeting that what she said was “inappropriate,” but added that the comment expressed Lev’s feelings and urged Bacon to work with her, staff said.

In a subsequent meeting with Bacon, Lev apologized for making the remark openly at a staff conference – but not for the substance of his comment, saying it reflected his true feelings and should have been expressed. alone, people briefed on the discussion said.

Staff were outraged when a principal allegedly accused a teacher of being a racist.

At the same time, they said, Lev suggested Bacon read Robin DiAngelo’s 2018 book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” which argues that whites are on the defensive. when asked about racial inequality.

She said Bacon could join her and other staff in studying the book and having “courageous conversations,” using a term coined by a consultant hired by the DOE to give workshops on implicit bias. to employees.

Four months after the conflict involving Bacon, another faculty member filed a discrimination complaint, alleging that Lev pressured him to help organize the ouster of a colleague, an unidentified white woman.

“Asked me to conspire with her”

Lev wanted the faculty member to obtain a public education certification, the complaint says, so that he does not have the same title as the targeted colleague, thus paving the way for Lev to “overtake” the most senior member. former staff.

“Ms. Lev has repeatedly asked me to conspire with her to get rid of my colleague,” says the faculty member in the OEO file.

“She also told me in Spanish that she was going to ‘get rid of all those white teachers who do nothing for the children in our community,'” the complaint reads.

“She… told me… that she was’ going to get rid of all these white teachers.”

– Complaint against the director of NYC

He concludes: “I think Ms. Lev is not suitable for the post of director because of the comments she made to me about white people and the malicious ways she thinks and talks about. She is not fit to run a school.

“As school staff, we have lost confidence, credibility, trust and, most importantly, we have lost hope in Ms. Lev as principal of the High School for Law & Public Service.”

Frustrated staff members said Bacon contacted Chancellor Meisha Porter in early July, begging her to intervene after Ramirez failed to resolve the conflict.

‘Divided … by race’

On June 24, most of the school’s 50 faculty members gathered to examine four possible reasons for voting defiance of Lev, including that she had 1) “blatantly but unsuccessfully attempted to divide our community school by race ”and 2)“ disrespect, slander and / or arbitrarily attack respected educators, to the detriment of our entire school community. ”

The ballot also gave as reasons that Lev “constantly violated our contract” and did not cooperate with the staff on important school decisions.

“With nearly all of the 40+ voting members, including tenured and non-tenured teachers, paraprofessionals and related service professionals, 83.3% voted that they no longer trusted our principal to lead our school, “an email told staff members.

No-confidence votes against DOE principals are unusual. Forest Hills HS faculty in Queens voted against trusting then-principal Ben Sherman in 2019 after complaints, among other things, that he was allowing student-smoked marijuana to spread. The DOE ultimately removed Sherman from the school, but gave him a bureaucratic position at the same salary.

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Lev was appointed acting director of Law and Public Service, one of five schools on the George Washington Education Campus, in February 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 shutdown. She received the job late last year after replacing beloved founding director Nicholas Politis, who retired.

Previously, she worked for three years as an Education Specialist for the DOE Specialized Data System. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director of Special Education for three years and a Special Education teacher for three years.

Lev, whose salary was $ 165,542 last year, is married to another DOE director, Benjamin Lev.

She did not resend any messages. DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer declined to comment on the faculty’s vote of no confidence. “The superintendent and executive superintendent are working closely with the principal, students and the community to address concerns,” he said.


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Libraries change with SISD realignment

For many, the gift of reading and literacy can open doors to distant lands and other worlds. With books, readers of all ages can learn about a myriad of topics and open up to new ideas and perspectives.

Over the next few weeks, Sherman Independent School District officials will ensure students across the district have access to quality materials as they stock libraries on campuses in transition to new uses under the plan. transition in the district.

Through this plan, the district will invest approximately $ 350,000 in equipping the libraries at Sherman Middle School, Sherman High School and Perrin Daycare Center with materials that will expand the horizons of generations of children. students.

“We try to instill in them the love of reading and literacy and it is much easier when you have access to good quality books and you are committed,” said Mignon Plyler, director of the innovation and technology teaching of the SISD.

The transition plan was made necessary by the opening of the new Sherman High School in January. With the transition to the new campus, the district is able to transform the old high school building into a new role as the district’s second middle school. This will allow the district to move away from a four-tier school structure and convert Dillingham Middle School to a traditional elementary campus.

Meanwhile, the Perrin Learning Center will become the district’s second early childhood center and accommodate young learners. The transition will also see Jefferson Elementary cease to be used as an elementary campus and instead be used as an alternative district school.

Plyler said there are many factors that go into the District’s choices for books in its libraries, ranging from the quality of the content and the age appropriateness to the material of the books themselves. Since books will be handled by many young readers, it is important that their bindings are durable and can withstand wear and tear.

“All of our librarians are very well read, so we are looking at reviews from various places. We are looking at the author’s credibility,” Plyler said, adding that recommendations from students and parents are also taken into account.

These documents are also increasingly available in alternative formats. Plyler said e-books and audiobooks are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to physical media.

The change in campus will mean a significant change for library collections in many affected schools and has required updating of many campus libraries. Over the next few months, the district will add more than 12,000 new pieces valued at over $ 204,000 to the new collection at Sherman Middle School.

“For Sherman Middle School, this is a big book purchase,” Plyler said. “We’ve done a lot of homework to make sure we’re picking things our audience will want to read and the students to check out.”

The majority of the collection from the old high school went with it to the new campus, necessitating the need for a complete new collection for the college. The high school itself will receive approximately $ 62,000 in new books to help fill the shelves of its expanded library.

As Sherman Middle School will start from scratch with a new collection, the library will have the help of someone with extensive experience with the age group, Plyler said.

“The beauty of this is that our librarian, who has spent many years building a quality collection at Piner (college), is moving to the new Sherman Middle School,” she said. “She has that knowledge, so she’s very up to date with what college kids want to read.”

The District will not be purchasing a new collection for Dillingham Elementary when it assumes its new role. Instead, the collection will be augmented with the help of books from Jefferson Elementary, which is moving away from its role as an elementary campus. This will include the school’s Spanish language collection.

“We are realigning our campuses and changing our grade levels, so I am responsible for making sure our libraries are up to standard and have what they need,” Plyler said.


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New Online Tools Can Help Parents Prepare for the Upcoming School Year | New

Now that the economy and government are fully open, many parents in Fontana are wondering what to expect next year.

This year is very different from last year, as all schools in California are expected to resume full face-to-face instruction in the 2021-202 school year. Locally, the first day of the 2021-22 school year in the Fontana Unified School District is scheduled for August 6.

To help parents prepare for the 2021-22 school year, California launched the Safe Schools Parent Page. It provides information on the health boards that schools use in their safety plans to protect students and staff and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools. Parents can find out about reopening schools and COVID-19 vaccination on their parent’s page and schedule vaccination reservations for their children. This site is also available in Spanish.

“This year has been a really tough year for everyone, especially parents and their children,” said Dr. Naomi Barduck, professor of pediatrics and health policy at the University of California at San Francisco, who leads the Safe Schools for All team in California. Declared. “Parents need to provide accurate information about science-based safety measures to start a safe school. “

Parents can find snapshots of school reopens and information about school districts across California on the interactive Safe School Reopening Map on the website. This map also shows school district funding, provides data on school outbreaks, and for many schools, provides direct links to schools’ COVID-19 safety plans.

“Getting the kids back to campus will help them heal in so many ways,” said Dr Bardock. “With the right safety measures and vaccination, we can provide our students with all the benefits of being in school and continue to protect their families from COVID-19. Our young people are academically It is time to go back to school completely for social and emotional benefits. “

“The vaccine also gives students over 12 the chance to enjoy things they love, like school theaters, clubs and social events. The COVID-19 vaccine is for everyone, regardless of insurance or immigrant status. It will be provided free of charge to Dr Bardach.

The Safe Schools for All team provides expertise to help schools develop and follow COVID-19 safety plans. All schools must post an approved COVID-19 safety plan on the school’s website before reopening the campus. These plans outline how schools can keep people from getting infected with COVID-19 at school, making it a safe place for families to learn and grow.

Parents can request confirmation of the school’s COVID-19 safety plan. These plans can include several security procedures, such as:

• Masking requirements

• Improved ventilation

• Hand washing

• Home order

• COVID-19 test

For more information on COVID-19 and Safe Schools, please visit: schools.covid19.ca.gov/pages/parent-page ..

New Online Tools Can Help Parents Prepare for the Upcoming School Year | News Source Link New Online Tools Can Help Parents Prepare for the Upcoming School Year | New


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‘Shame’: EU asks Hungary to drop anti-LGBT law

BRUSSELS, July 7 (Reuters) – The European Union executive and most lawmakers on Wednesday called on Hungary to repeal new discriminatory laws prohibiting schools from using material deemed to promote the homosexuality or face the full force of European law.

EU leaders blasted Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban for the legislation in a tense closed-door discussion last month, with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte telling Budapest to respect the EU’s values ​​of tolerance or to leave the block.

“Homosexuality is assimilated to pornography. This legislation uses the protection of children as an excuse to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, ”European Commission President von der Leyen told the European Parliament.

“It’s a shame.”

The Commission can open new legal proceedings against Hungary in the European Court of Justice or use a new mechanism designed to protect the rule of law in the bloc of 27 countries by freezing funding to countries that fail to meet democratic standards.

Orban, who faces national elections next year, said the law aims to protect children and does not discriminate against sexual minorities.

The case is the latest outbreak between Orban and the EU, which has opened a special investigation against the Hungarian government for undermining democracy.

Orban’s nationalist ally, Warsaw, however, opposes the imposition of the maximum penalty of suspending the Budapest vote in the bloc.

Protesters attend a protest against a law banning LGBTQ content in schools and the media at the Presidential Palace in Budapest, Hungary, June 16, 2021. REUTERS / Bernadett Szabo / File Photo

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Despite criticism from the EU, political opposition, rights groups and international watchdogs, Orban has mostly refused to change course, gradually tightening restrictions on the media, migrants, NGOs and others. to academics.

But the latest measures against the LGBT community have sparked anger in the EU, where Budapest’s plan to spend additional billions on the bloc aimed at economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is now awaiting Commission approval. .

Most EU lawmakers have demanded immediate sanctions against Hungary and said the Brussels-based executive should not release stimulus funds if they were to contribute to Budapest’s anti-LGBT agenda or before it did. provides strong anti-fraud protections.

Discrimination against LGBTI + people is illegal in the EU, said Iraxte Garcia Perez, Spain’s EU lawmaker and leader of the socialist faction in the bloc’s chamber.

“This is why the new law in Hungary must be repealed. An offensive and shameful law that goes against human rights.”

Lawmakers have also spoken out against the so-called “LGBT-free zones” that some local authorities have created in Poland, which is also facing an EU court case over this.

On the other end of the spectrum is Spain, whose government last month approved a bill allowing anyone over the age of 14 to legally change their sex without a medical diagnosis or hormone treatment, the first major country of the EU to do so.

French President Emmanuel Macron described the split in values ​​between the liberal countries of the West and the East, ex-communists such as Hungary, Poland and Slovenia, as a “cultural battle” undermining the unity of the EU.

Reporting by Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Toby Chopra and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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