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Stanislaus schools update COVID quarantine policies. What will change?

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Stanislaus County schools are changing quarantine policies for students exposed to COVID-19 as cases increase sharply throughout the community.

Among the updates, schools may notify entire classrooms of an exposure to COVID-19 rather than only identifying students within six feet of the person who tested positive. Students who are exposed may in some cases stay in school and participate in extracurricular activities if they don't develop symptoms.

Ceres Unified School District began implementing the policies Friday, spokeswoman Beth Parker Jimenez said by email. Turlock Unified School District and Modesto City Schools plan to enact the changes Tuesday, following the Martin Luther King Day holiday Monday.

The districts are following guidance released by the California Department of Public Health. Isolation periods for when a person tests positive for COVID-19 were updated previously to be as short as five days with a negative test and no symptoms.

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TUSD sees spike in COVID cases and exposure

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Turlock Unified School District is managing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and individuals deemed close-contact. The last update revealed that nearly 1,500 students and staff are in some sort of COVID protocol.

According to the District's COVID-19 data dashboard, TUSD reported 1,491 students and staff either contracted the virus or was deemed close to someone who tested positive. Close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes, cumulative, starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Elementary schools have the most people in protocol with 71 positive tests including 49 students and 22 staff members. An additional 500 are considered close contact. High schools weren’t far behind with 53 positive tests from 43 students and 10 staff members. They had 494 individuals deemed close contact. In total there were 153 positive tests reported from Jan. 3-7 with 1,338 being deemed close contact.

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Students forced to leave Turlock schools meeting because adults won’t wear masks

in News/People/School

Students were forced to leave a meeting of the Turlock school trustees because some adults present — including a trustee — would not wear a mask.

On video from Tuesday’s meeting of Turlock Unified School District trustees, Board President Lori Carlson announces that because students are participating, the gathering is considered a school setting and all people in the room must wear a face mask. About 15 seconds passes, and adults remain unmasked; Carlson then tells the student representatives on the board that they must leave.

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TUSD welcomes alumni to help further equity initiatives

in Education/School

In an effort to make sure that all students have equal access to resources and educational support, the Turlock Unified School District has hired a new equity coordinator.

The TUSD Board of Trustees approved Angélica Cárdenas Ayala for the position of Coordinator of Equity Initiatives, effective Wednesday.

Ayala’s background includes an MA in Education, Counseling and a BA in Politics and Spanish. She recently held the position of Lead Counselor at ACE Charter High School in San Jose and previously worked for Aspire Public Schools in her work to guide students to pursue higher education.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Turlock High takes over downtown to celebrate homecoming

in Events/School

The only undefeated football team in Turlock High history was in attendance as the Bulldogs celebrated their 2021 homecoming parade. The 1970-1971 team excited the crowd as floats took over a shut down Main Street Friday afternoon.

“I want to thank everyone for coming and supporting our team on this festive day. Hopefully the team has their head game, and they can out victorious. Victory’s a sweet a thing,” said former Turlock High football player David Yonan. 

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Voice of the students on TUSD Board

in Education/School

Turlock students have a couple of their own advocating for them and voicing their concerns on issues big and small when it comes to the Turlock Unified School Board of Trustees. Bella Kern and Kate Ogden are the student representatives on the TUSD Board and participate in the board’s bimonthly meetings.

The two high school representatives felt that their involvement in an array of activities gave them the experience they needed to make a difference on the Board.

“I really like Turlock High and I’m really involved, I feel like I do a lot. So, I feel like I can represent what’s going on, maybe not the best, but in a respectable way,” said Ogden.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Social Media trend leads to damaged, stolen school property

in News/People/School

Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) warned students about a new TikTok trend that they say results in damaged and stolen school property.

As a response of this trend, TUSD is increasing surveillance of their campuses and is currently reviewing camera footage.

According to a phone call sent out to parents, a “Devious Licks” challenge on the social media platform TikTok encourages students to steal or destroy school property and then post a picture or video of the item as a trophy.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Masks on faces, a lot on minds as students return to Modesto-area schools amid COVID surge

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Thousands of Modesto-area students return to school buildings this week — some for the first time in a year and a half.

Schools are offering full in-person learning amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, including an increase in cases among young children because of the delta variant.

Nearly all students at drop-off Monday morning wore masks outside, even though they’re required only inside K-12 school buildings. Students and parents said they were excited about the prospect of a better education than children experienced during distance learning last year, but still worried about safety, academic setbacks and back-to-school nerves exacerbated by months of learning in isolation.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus State programs ranked as best bachelor’s degrees

in School

Stanislaus State is no stranger to accolades, and this week three of the university’s undergraduate majors were named among the best in the nation.

The national recognition comes as part of the online platform’s Top 25 Best Bachelor’s Degrees list released this month, which names Stan State’s sociology, social science and anthropology programs as part of the top degrees in the nation when it comes to their respective fields. 

Stan State’s sociology program ranked No. 12 on’s list of top 25 sociology programs in the country, while social science earned a No. 20 ranking compared to other similar programs and anthropology was ranked No. 23.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal


in Animals/School

Turlock Christian preschoolers and high school students came together for a fun-filled event on Thursday as members of the Eagles’ Future Farmers of America chapter brought their animals over for a petting zoo. 

Between the two TC preschool campuses, over 150 students were able to touch and learn about chickens, rabbits, goats and even a dairy calf. The petting zoo was just one of many ways the TC FFA chapter has stayed busy this past school year, in addition to their annual banquet, fundraisers and even a dress up week for National FFA Week earlier this year.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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