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Education

Natomas Unified, Several Other Districts Return To Classroom Full-Time On Monday

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Many students across the greater Sacramento region are returning to the classroom full-time on Monday.

As part of the agreement, all Natomas Unified elementary schools will end 15 minutes earlier and one recess will be 10 minutes longer to allow more safe and fun play.

Families can choose between in-person instruction and distance learning.

As of Monday morning, Natomas Unified says about half of its students are opting to return to the classroom.

Turlock, Lodi and Dry Creek will also have students on campus five days a week starting Monday. Washington Unified in West Sacramento is also starting in-person classes four days a week.

Continue Reading on CBS 13

Local Libraries Open For Limited Service

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Most Stanislaus County Libraries opened for browsing and checkout of materials on Monday, March 22. Capacities will be limited, in keeping with the State of California’s current guidance for opening. Masks and social distancing will be required. In order to maintain capacity limits, libraries are not equipped for group or extended visits at this time.

“We are so happy to welcome the public back into our buildings,” said Sarah Dentan, county library director. “And we are looking forward to expanding in person offerings as we are able.”

Library branches in Riverbank, Oakdale, Ceres, Denair, Empire, Hughson, Keyes, Newman, Patterson and Waterford will be open Monday through Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Saturday and Sunday.

“We’re very excited to see our customers inside the library,” stated Riverbank Branch Supervisor Vicky Holt, echoing the sentiments of library staffers around the region. “They are now able to come in and browse the collection. They can still use the public computers for one hour a day. We do have a limited capacity and masks are required. I think what we missed most was being able to interact with customers face to face.”

Continue Reading on Oak Leader

Stanislaus State Launches Innovative Near-Peer Coaching Initiative to Boost Student Success

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TURLOCK, Calif. -- California State University-Stanislaus (Stanislaus State), a Hispanic-serving institution that serves more than 8,600 students in California's Central Valley, today announced a major new initiative designed to improve student retention, particularly among low-income and first-generation students at its Stockton campus. Through a partnership with College Possible, a national nonprofit that connects high school and college students with near-peer success coaches, Stanislaus State will provide coaching and mentoring programs for more than 400 students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

The partnership with College Possible builds on the nonprofit's 20-year history of training AmeriCorps service members as college access and success mentors to help low-income high school juniors and seniors enroll in -- and complete -- college. Dubbed Catalyze, College Possible intends to scale similar, near-peer coaching programs across a growing number of institutions nationwide. Recent results show that 92 percent of first time college students were retained from fall 2018 to spring 2019.

"We are proud to integrate new and innovative approaches to better support our students, which is why Catalyze is such a fitting new model for the unique needs of Stanislaus State students," said Kim Greer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Stanislaus. "By tapping into the talents and experiences of recent college graduates and the near-peer coaching model, our partnership will enable us to close gaps in resource equity, help first-generation and low-income students navigate the first year of college, and prepare more students for a successful experience in pursuit of a degree."

Continue Reading on PR Newswire

Staffing woes set 3 Turlock schools back to distance learning

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TURLOCK, Calif. — Students at three Turlock schools will temporarily be heading back to distance learning.

The Turlock Unified School District said Julien, Cunningham, and Crowell elementary schools will be returning to distance learning through Dec. 18. 

Officials said the decision was due to staffing and not a "trigger" in line with California Department of Public Health guidance. Those "triggers" include having classes with multiple confirmed coronavirus cases or 5% of all students/staff having confirmed cases.

The school district got a waiver to resume in-person classes on Oct. 19. 

Officials said they'll continue monitoring the situation at their schools.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Library offers reading recommendations, story time kits

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Stanislaus County Library staff have always offered reading recommendations and help finding materials of interest for customers, but COVID-19 has created a need to find creative new ways to highlight library materials.

Customers can now request personalized reading recommendations by completing a form on the library website. After answering a few questions about preferences, interests, and books and authors they’ve enjoyed, the form is sent to librarians for suggestions. Each request is forwarded to librarians with expertise in the areas requested by the customer.

“In recent months, fewer customers are asking for recommendations, but we still want to make people aware of the great collection the library offers,” said Reference Librarian Vicki Salinas, who created the Reading Recommendations Form. “Because people are unable to browse right now, this is also a way to highlight new materials.”

Continue Reading on West Side Connect

Natomas Unified School District sets re-opening plan

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Natomas Unified School District is paving the way to re-opening in-person school instruction, its board of trustees announced Thursday.

The district plans to use a phased approach to returning to the classroom with students possibly resuming on-campus learning as soon as Nov. 16, the district said.

Six benchmarks would need to be met before students could come back to school.

"To be clear, this would NOT be a full re-opening, but a transitional re-opening that would have significantly less students in classes and on campus each day," NUSD Superintendent Chris Evans said in a press release.

Continue Reading on ABC 10

Stanislaus State announces names of students on Spring Dean’s List

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California State University, Stanislaus has announced the names of more than 3,000 students who were bestowed with a spot on the Spring 2020 Dean’s List.

California State University, Stanislaus serves a diverse student body of more than 10,000 at two locations in the Valley - a beautiful 228-acre campus in Turlock and the Stockton Campus, located in the city’s historic Magnolia District. Widely recognized for its dedicated faculty and high-quality academic programs, the University offers 43 majors, 41 minors and more than 100 areas of concentration, along with 16 master’s degree programs, seven credential programs and a doctorate in educational leadership.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

TUSD clarifies community questions on school reopening

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After the first draft of Turlock Unified School District’s reopening plan was presented to the Board of Trustees last week, a virtual community forum held Monday night saw administrators answer a variety of questions from those both for and against returning to in-person instruction. 

TUSD students have been participating in distance learning since March, when school campuses throughout the state were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list since June 16, school districts, private schools and charter schools within Stanislaus County were able to begin applying for waivers to reopen elementary campuses after Sept. 1, when the county’s 14-day case rate dropped below 200 per every 100,000 residents.

Superintendent Dana Salles Trevethan stated during Monday’s forum that while the TUSD waiver application and reopening plan is not yet finalized, should the local infection rate continue to drop and stakeholder input is gathered in a timely enough manner, a waiver could be submitted soon after the final reopening plan is presented to the Board on Oct. 6. From there, students could return — at the earliest — by Oct. 26, depending on Board action.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

TUSD drafts reopening plan

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As one private school in town reopened its campus to elementary students this week, Turlock Unified School District formally presented a draft of its plan to do the same to the Board of Trustees.

Sacred Heart School saw students in kindergarten through sixth grade return on Monday, following state approval of the private catholic campus’ reopening plan earlier this month. Children had previously been participating in distance learning, which has been the case since March when campuses were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list since June 16, school districts, private schools and charter schools within Stanislaus County were able to begin applying for waivers to reopen elementary campuses after Sept. 1, when the county’s 14-day case rate dropped below 200 per every 100,000 residents.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

More private schools in Stanislaus County welcome children back to in-person learning

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Several private schools in Stanislaus County, including Modesto Christian, Big Valley Christian and Sacred Heart in Turlock, resumed in-person instruction Monday for transitional-kindergarten through sixth-grade students. A few others brought students back last week, immediately after having their reopening plans approved by the state.

“It is a blessing to have our students back on campus. They are the reason we’re here,” Modesto Christian K-8 Principal Victoria Ollson said in an email.

Unhealthy air quality has thrown a wrench into some reopening plans. For example, Modesto Christian’s blueprint includes prioritizing outdoor activities, restricting singing to outdoor chapel only, and keeping classroom doors open as much as possible.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

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