school

2 biggest California districts say school will start online

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, the two largest in California with a combined K-12 student population of about 720,000, announced Monday they won’t bring students back to classrooms next month because of rising coronavirus hospitalizations and infection rates.

School leaders said there is too much uncertainty surrounding the safety of students and staff to try to return pupils to classrooms right away so they will continue the distance learning that was employed for the final months of the spring semester.

“There’s a public health imperative to keep schools from becoming a petri dish,” said Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District — the second-largest public school district in the country. “The health and safety of all in the school community is not something we can compromise.”

In a letter to parents, Cindy Marten, superintendent of the San Diego Unified School

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The newest MacBook Pro just got a $200 price drop, right in time for back to school

Apple's latest MacBook Pro just got a steep price cut.
Apple’s latest MacBook Pro just got a steep price cut.

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While students across the nation prepare for virtual learning this year via online classes, and many adults continue to work remotely from home, owning a high-speed laptop has never been more essential. Apple, of course, is one of the most dependable brands if you’re looking to invest in a fancy new computer. Its newest MacBook Pro has a stunning display and an array of useful features, but with such renowned quality comes a high price tag. Luckily, you can score an amazing deal on the latest model on Amazon right now.

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For a limited time, the 16-inch MacBook Pro in Space Grey,

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Harvard’s international students are begging the school to let them come to campus in the fall, citing fears of being stuck in unstable home environments if they’re forced to leave the US

One student is circulating a "Hear Us Harvard" petition asking the university to better support international students.
One student is circulating a “Hear Us Harvard” petition asking the university to better support international students.

Charles Krupa/AP

  • Last week, ICE released guidance stating that international students would not be allowed back into the US in the fall unless they were taking in-person classes at their university.

  • This poses a problem for Harvard’s international students, as the school recently said classes in the fall would be entirely remote.

  • Students told Business Insider that these regulations pose serious problems for them, including the difficulty of keeping up with online courses while in a different time zone and with poor internet connection.

  • Some also face unsafe or unaccommodating home situations, making it even harder for them to find a proper place to keep up with their studies.

  • Rachael Dane, a spokesperson for Harvard, told Business Insider that “the overwhelming reason to deliver all instruction remotely is Harvard’s commitment to protecting the

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Online school? In-person? How parents are making their own fall 2020 decisions as COVID-19 squabbles continue

As officials play political football with K-12 school re-openings, parents such as Johanne Davis are formulating their own game plans for the fall.

“To exercise an abundance of caution, I’d like to keep my kids home with me where they’ll study online,” says Davis, a mother of three from Indian Land, South Carolina, one of countless states where COVID-19 cases have spiked in recent weeks.

“Health is the issue, not just for my children, but also school workers,” says Davis. “Teachers shouldn’t have to be frontline soldiers in this pandemic.”

Families across the nation are busy making their own calculations about whether to send children back to school. While Davis seems resolved, many parents are still mulling.

Johanne Davis, left, in a photo with her three children. Davis and her husband say they're both fortunate enough to work from home and can manage the children if they have to spend a lot of next year studying remotely. But she acknowledges that hers is a privileged position not afforded to lower-income parents grappling with child care in order to go off to work.
Johanne Davis, left, in a photo with her three children. Davis and her husband say they’re both fortunate enough to work from home and can manage the children if they have to spend
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When will school open? Here’s a state-by-state list

When will schools open back up? How will schools open back up? Is there going to be school this year?

These are the questions on every parent’s mind these days. TODAY Parents has collected the latest information from every state and the largest school districts in every state. While some schools are planning to start the new school year with in-person instruction, many others are offering online options or a hybrid model. Please note: We’ll keep updating this story, but the situation is changing rapidly, so please check with your local school district for the latest.

Need help deciding what to do about school this year? See our story with expert advice on how to make the decision.

In the meantime, here’s what we know about schools re-opening this year:

Alabama

On June 26, State Superintendent Eric Mackey announced that all Alabama public schools should reopen on time. However, districts

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School District Opts To Reopen Schools, Make Face Masks Mandatory

TAMPA, FL — The Hillsborough County superintendent of schools has announced that students and staff returning to public schools on Aug. 10 will be required to wear face masks.

After meeting with health officials, business leaders, teachers and school administrators, Superintendent Addison Davis said he believes masks are the best option at this time for keeping students and staff safe from the spread of the coronavirus on campus.

The district will provide three reusable face coverings for each student on the first day of school and three reusable face coverings for each staff member during back-to-school pre-planning.

“The CDC has identified face masks as one of the most effective tools in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Davis said. “I believe face coverings is the best option we have for providing additional protection for everyone on our campuses.”

He said the county has already acquired 760,000 masks through purchases and donations.

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ICE Threatens to Deport Foreign Students if They’re Attending School via Zoom

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Like other schools, colleges and universities are in the midst of finalizing their plans for how to educate students while protecting them from the novel coronavirus. Will they remain online only, invite all students back to campus, or provide a hybrid of the two approaches so that fewer students will crowd together in buildings? U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) just complicated matters for the many schools with foreign students enrolled.

Back when all campuses shut down in the spring, ICE temporarily suspended a rule for type F-1 (academic coursework) and M-1 (vocational coursework) nonimmigrant student visas that had previously limited the number of online classes students could take. On Monday, instead of simply extending that suspension, the agency announced that in order to stay in the U.S., students can take some but not all their courses online. If their school goes online-only,

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Whatever back to school looks like, it has to serve the kids without internet and tech

I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our biggest stories of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.

This week, I got a survey from my son’s school. It asked, on a scale of “unsure” to “very comfortable,” how comfortable are you with your student attending in-person classes this fall?

This was in the same week we learned the U.S. could be headed toward 100,000 coronavirus cases a day, hospitalizations are rising in 12 states, hot spot Arizona delayed the start of its school year and the American Academy of Pediatrics urged schools to hold in-person classes because of the negative social, emotional and academic impact on kids.

I didn’t see an option for “of course I want kids back in school but don’t want students or teachers to get sick or spread the

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How to make your home into a workable school

My friend Heather has four kids under the age of 9 – all suddenly stuck at home in the San Francisco Bay Area under some of the strictest shelter-in-place orders in the country. Life right now she says, is “challenging,” to say the least, but heading into week two of homeschooling, the Carlson family is making major headway. 

The oldest, 9-year-old Finn, has claimed the dog bed as his new homework haven to keep up with all of his third-grade schoolwork, while 4-year-old Orion is using the bathtub as a makeshift classroom for pre-K phonics.

“It’s insane,” Heather Carlson, the Alameda, California-based supermom told me, “but it’s working.” 

Finn Carlson, age 9, doing his schoolwork from his new homework haven at home in Alameda, California.
Finn Carlson, age 9, doing his schoolwork from his new homework haven at home in Alameda, California.

Carlson’s four children are among the nearly 55 million students nationwide now expected to continue their education at home while schools are closed – some

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Parents and kids hate online classes. Going back to school likely will include more of it.

In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal.

While his wife holed up in the bedroom to work each day, Seaman, a media and marketing professional, worked from the family room where he could supervise his children’s virtual learning. A similar scene played out in millions of American homes after schools shuttered and moved classes online to contain the coronavirus.

Now that the year’s over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn’t work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication.

“The older kids were saying, ‘This is hell,'” Seaman said. “My kids feel isolated, and they can’t keep up, and they’re struggling with it.”

But like it or not, remote instruction and virtual learning are likely to continue

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