The Anaheim Elementary School District on Monday officially kicked off an initiative to offer free COVID-19 testing to all of its 2,500 employees.
Through a partnership with the OC Health Care Agency, AESD staff members can visit Key Elementary School at 2000 W. Ball Road in Anaheim from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays for testing in the parking lot. The program is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
“The health of our staff members is our number one priority,” Superintendent Christopher Downing said. “This move will offer our employees more access to free testing. It will make it easier for them to make appointments and to avoid potentially long lines. It is our duty to provide such care to our staff members, and we hope that they will take advantage of this service should the need arise.”
The school district has also been providing free COVID-19 testing to all Anaheim families in collaboration with the the HCA and community partner Latino Health Access.
More information on the Anaheim Elementary School District’s COVID-19 testing sites, dates and times can be found on the district’s website.
And here are some of the other stories we’ve been tracking this week:
- Laura Gómez, a third-grade teacher at Martin Elementary in Santa Ana who was recently named one of five California Teachers of the Year, can add a new accolade to her resume: She’s been selected as one of the most influential figures of 2020 by the Orange County Register, which published a profile this week.
- After losing their home to the devastating Bond Fire, the longtime caretaker of Inside the Outdoors’ Rancho Soñado site and her family were recipients of a surprise act of kindness on Friday, Dec. 11.
- Orange County’s graduation rates continue to trend in the right direction. Of the students who started high school four years ago, more than 9 out of 10 graduated with their peers in 2020, according to figures released by the California Department of Education.
- Los Alamitos High School shifted back to distance learning this week, with Los Alamitos Unified School District Superintendent Andrew Pulver citing “a substantial increase” in quarantines resulting from close contact with positive cases. The district’s elementary and middle schools will continue with their hybrid schedules, and Los Al High plans to resume on-site instruction on Jan. 14.
- “Our hospitals are now bombarded,” says Orange County’s top health official, who delivered an emotional appeal this week urging the public to wear masks and avoid gathering with people outside their households.
- New guidance from the California Department of Public Health classifies youth and adult sports by their level of contact — low, moderate or high — and their transmission risk. Permission to hold competitions and practices will depend on where a county falls on the state’s four-tiered monitoring system, and it would come until at least Jan. 25.
- Santa Ana Unified officials are teaming up with the city and the non-profit Latino Health Access on a public awareness campaign to curb the spread of COVID-19. The #ProtectSantaAna campaign — or #ProtegeSantaAna in Spanish — promotes face coverings, hand-washing and physical distancing.
- An Orange County network is dedicated to bringing community members, health care professionals and other leaders together to collaborate across sectors to prevent and respond to adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.
- OCDE is partnering with Arts Orange County to host Poetry Out Loud, a contest for high schoolers that promotes the study and recitation of timeless poetry.
- Parenting OC is accepting nominations for its School Heroes of Orange County program, which will honor some of the county’s exemplary local teachers and school employees.
- The Huntington Beach Union High School District has informed teachers who are working remotely that they’ll need to use personal leave time if they are unable to return to their classrooms after the winter break.
- Col. Denise Trelfa delivered her final graduation address to the cadets of Sunburst Youth Academy, an immersive military-style high school for at-risk youth operated by the California National Guard in partnership with OCDE.
- As advocates push to reopen campuses in Los Angeles County, some teachers associations in Orange County were seeking a return to distance learning, highlighting the intense divide over how to handle schools as COVID-19 rates surge.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to prioritize a comprehensive “cradle to career” data system intended to better align educational efforts with the state’s workforce needs. But, as EdSource reports, it could come with a hefty price tag.
- The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers are urging lawmakers to avoid rushing to reopen K-12 schools, challenging a Democratic bill introduced last week, Politico reports.
The weekly roundup plans to take a two-week break for winter recess, but we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.