Just before 5:30 tonight OCFA firefighting crews in Santa Ana extinguished a fence fire before it could catch a detached classroom at a school on fire.
Why do you suppose a fence would catch fire?
As part of an effort to maintain a safe learning and working environment for everyone, SAUSD will begin to roll out testing on a weekly basis in September.
August 27, 2021 – The Santa Ana Unified School District will provide free weekly COVID-19 testing for all students and staff at every school site and district offices as part of an effort to maintain a safe learning and working environment for everyone.
Testing will be conducted directly at each site to minimize any disruption during the instruction day and regular work schedules. Testing will be offered through three age-appropriate options: nasal swab, oral swab, or saliva kit. This weekly testing will be required for all students attending in-person instruction and staff working at any district site. The District plans to launch the testing process in early September, with a start date to be determined.
“Weekly testing of all of our students and staff, in addition to mask wearing and the other ongoing health and safety protocols, will allow our schools to remain among the safest places for children in the community,” said SAUSD Superintendent of Schools Jerry Almendarez.
All testing services will be provided at no cost to the District by trained professionals from Diagnostic Laboratory Science (DLS), an industry leader in COVID-19 testing, with clients that include Angels Baseball, Knott’s Berry Farm, the City of Anaheim, and Honda Center.
Parents and guardians will have to provide consent in order for their children to participate in testing. Parents and guardians can also offer weekly COVID-19 negative test results from their child’s health care provider as an alternative to weekly testing at their school.
Testing will be rolled out in weekly phases starting in September. In week one, the District plans to launch testing for all staff at District offices. Week two will include students and staff at the high school level. Week three will include intermediate students and staff. Week four will include elementary school students and staff. After week four, all students and staff would be tested weekly.
Dedicated testing teams at schools and office sites will conduct testing Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, targeting different groups of students and staff each day. The District will create a confidential online portal for all testing results and notifications. Parents, students and staff will have ongoing access in several languages to physicians and other health care providers to help answer questions regarding their results.#
Santa Ana, California – Best Best & Krieger LLP donated 565 backpacks filled with school supplies to every student at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Santa Ana on the first day of school, August 16.
This is the 12th year that BB&K has participated in Operation Backpack. Through donations from the firm’s attorneys, staff and vendors, the firm has helped more than 6,500 California families by giving away the backpacks and supplies.
Many of the students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. come from low income families, and the school is a Title One school. The school enrolls students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
“We at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary are so proud to partner with BB&K on this generous backpack project. With all the negative economic impact that our families have had to struggle with this last year, it was so nice to know that the purchasing of school materials and backpacks would not be a concern thanks to their kind donation,” said Principal Adolfo Herrera. “At King, we are committed to preparing students to be scholars and successful, responsible global citizens who will contribute to their communities and thrive. The backpacks and supplies will ensure that every student starts the school year off on a path to those goals. We are thankful to BB&K and all the donors for the gifts, and for demonstrating to our students what community is about.”
“The firm is truly honored to be a part of this wonderful Operation Backpack event,” said BB&K Partner Sonia Carvalho, who serves as city attorney to Santa Ana. “It feels so good to support the future leaders of our community by helping to ensure they have the basic materials needed to succeed each school day. We firmly believe that a good education is the key to success and we can alleviate distractions and worry by making this donation.”
BB&K would like to thank Staples, Inc. for assisting with bulk supplies and Boyer Moving & Storage Owner Kevin Boyer, based in San Diego, for donating a truck and crew to transport backpacks to the school. In addition, BB&K thanks the administration and staff at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and the Santa Ana Unified School District for their enthusiasm and partnership.
Best Best & Krieger LLP is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With more than 200 attorneys, the law firm has 10 offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.bbklaw.com or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter or @bestbestkrieger on LinkedIn.
The Santa Ana School Police posted on their Instagram account that during an ongoing investigation, a gun was recovered at one of our high schools. The on-campus SRO worked closely with a local agency to confiscate the weapon.
The gun was recovered with no incident and no disruption to students’ learning.
SAUSD School Board Member Valerie Amezcua responded to the incident on her Facebook page:
Can you imagine getting the phone call that there was a shooting at your child’s school or hearing about it on social media????
I appreciate the quick and professional response from the SAUSD School Police Officers and the OCPD .
This is just another example why I will not support defunding police. I want all students and staff to be safe at school and in the community.
Thank you Sànta Ana Unified School Police Officers.
The SAUSD will begin the fall semester Aug. 16, 2021 in-person across all schools.
Online options will also be available for families who have that preference. Hybrid learning however will not be made available.
Click here to access the Academic Calendar.
The SAUSD Superintendent will be hosting a town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 1, to provide the latest information on the return to in-person instruction this August, and the return of in-person instruction for our summer
programs that start June 8. The meeting will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. To participate via
zoom, login on June 1 at https://sausd.zoom.us/j/3896102266.
The Santa Ana Unified School District is partnering with Angel Stadium to host all graduations for the Class of 2021 at the stadium around the second week in June.
This is part of the ongoing effort to make this experience the most memorable and inclusive for the students and families.
More information on exact dates and times for each ceremony will be provided soon.
Update from the SAUSD Facebook Page: SAUSD Class of 2021, you’ll be sitting right behind home plate in June for your graduation ceremonies. The stage will be on top of second base. Each graduate will also be shown on the big screens in the outfield when you walk up on stage.
The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) will launch comprehensive, in-person Summer Programs starting June 8 that will offer options for visual and performing arts, career technical education, English language learner support, credit recovery, academic intervention, and other opportunities.
The summer programming will mark the return of students to in-person learning at SAUSD campuses. The District also continues to plan for the return of students to classrooms when the 2021-22 school year begins in August.
As part of the Summer Programs, the District will provide options for students to attend in-person, through distance learning, and through hybrid models. The District expects to serve up to 25,000 students, more than half of the total SAUSD enrollment, this Summer across all programs.
Summer School activities and offerings include:
• TK-12 Summer Enrichment: Provides students with opportunities to participate in the arts, STEAM, and other high-interest content areas that simultaneously target literacy and critical thinking skills
• TK-8 Summer Intervention: Provides targeted academic support to students with a specific focus on English Learners, foster youth, and students of low socioeconomic status, focusing on building foundational literacy and numeracy skills for students who have been specifically identified as needing additional support
• Career Technical Education (CTE): Courses offered in CTE in fields including medicine, esports, graphic arts, building trades, automotive, solar science, drone operations, and law
• High School Summer School: Provides students access to summer credit recovery, and prepares incoming 9th-graders for the high school transition
• Intermediate Bridge: A three to five day experience to support students in their transition from elementary to intermediate school
• Summer Language Academy: Offers students with limited English comprehension with language support
• Extended School Year (ESY): Offers special education and related services to eligible students with disabilities beyond the regular school year in accordance to his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP)
The District plans to build capacity through the Summer Programs among students, staff, and parents/guardians as it prepares for in-person learning across all schools in the Fall semester. The goal is to offer a variety of opportunities to meet the different needs of all students.
The SAUSD Tweeted today that they are planning to return to in-person instruction across all campuses this summer and fall semesters.
The only details available so far are that the classes are planned for June and August.
In person opportunities this spring will include:
Learning Labs provide a safe and supervised environment for students to connect and engage virtually with their classroom teachers.
The City of Santa Ana Tweeted today that Mayor Vince Sarmiento and the City Council grieves deeply for the tragic loss of 9-year-old Hoover Elementary School student Matthew Farias, who was killed with three others in the recent mass shooting in Orange.
The Santa Ana City Council will adjourn their next meeting, on Tuesday, April 6, in memory of Matthew.
Matthew was a third-grade student at Hoover Elementary in Santa Ana, which is slated to become a charter high school next year. Matthew wanted to help people, enjoy nature and be happy.
Matthew’s father, Rafael, told ABC News that Matthew, his only child, had aspirations of being an astronaut or a police officer. He also said that Matthew had a big heart and was very affectionate. Matthew loved soccer, riding his bike and games of tag, his favorite. He loved his dog, Ruby, a boxer. And he loved playing video games on his Xbox.
The last thing Rafael Farias remembers hearing from his son, Matthew, were the words the little boy told him every day: “I love you, Daddy,” according to the O.C. Register.
Matthew would typically finish his schoolwork around 1:30 p.m. and his mother would then take him to daycare. But on some days, when his mom, Blanca Ismeralda Tamayo, figured she would not be finished in time to fetch their son before his daycare closed at 6 p.m., she would take him with her to the office, Farias told the Register. He thinks that’s why Matthew was at the site of the shooting.
Farias said he tried to work jobs with flexible hours so he and Matthew could spend more time together. Farias was building an accessory dwelling unit in his backyard, a financial legacy intended for Matthew.
The SAUSD, in our estimate, should consider renaming Hoover after Matthew, in his memory, or at least erect a memorial there to honor him.
Another local school district, Tustin Unified, has announced they are opening up again while the SAUSD remains shuttered. This matters to the many Santa Ana families who have transferred their kids to Tustin schools.
Here is the official announcement from Tustin Unified:
Great news! As COVID-19 cases continue to decrease and vaccines become more widely available, the Tustin Unified School District is pleased to announce all students will return to full-time, in-person instruction at all elementary, middle and high schools for the 2021-22 school year. The first day of school is Thursday, August 12.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued updated guidance on physical distancing in schools. The language is similar to the new CDC guidance, which advises a minimum of three feet between students instead of six feet. This change in social distancing guidelines from six feet to three will accommodate more students on campus and increase valuable in-person instructional time.
In the 2021-22 school year, Tustin Unified will return to a traditional schedule of five days per week. In April, families will have the opportunity to learn more about the District’s award-winning Tustin Connect K-12 School that offers an independent study program. Families who wish to keep their students home during the 2021-22 school year will have an opportunity to transfer to Tustin Connect. Please look for this message in the coming weeks.
Due to these recent developments, TUSD is also working on a process to expand in-person classes for the remainder of this school year for those students who have already opted for in-person instruction. Details are being worked out and will be shared as soon as they are available.
Tustin Unified continues to make every effort to maintain a safe and healthy environment for students and staff, while adhering to all health and safety guidelines established by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). The District’s health and safety measures include face coverings, daily temperature checks, physical distancing, use of outdoor and flexible learning spaces, enhanced ventilation systems, stand-alone air purification systems for each classroom, office spaces and common areas, handwashing/hand sanitizing stations, and increased disinfecting practices and protocols.
The District greatly appreciates your continued cooperation throughout the school year and will continue to work closely with CDPH and OCHCA to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.
Please continue to visit the TUSD website at www.tustin.k12.ca.us for additional information and resources, including the TUSD COVID-19 Dashboard.
Keep strong and stay healthy.
Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D.
Los estudiantes regresarán al Aprendizaje en Persona de Tiempo Completo para 2021-22;
El Distrito también ofrecerá el Programa de Estudio Independiente – Tustin Connect
Queridas familias del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tustin:
¡Buenas noticias! A medida que los casos de COVID-19 continúan disminuyendo y las vacunas tienen mayor disponibilidad, el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tustin se complace en anunciar que todos los estudiantes regresarán a una educación en persona de tiempo completo en todas las escuelas primarias, secundarias y preparatorias para el año 2021-22. El primer día de clases es el jueves 12 de agosto.
La Secretaría de Salud Pública de California (CDPH, por sus siglas en inglés) ha publicado una guía actualizada sobre el distanciamiento físico en las escuelas. El lenguaje es similar a la nueva guía de CDC, que aconseja un mínimo de tres pies entre los estudiantes en lugar de seis. Este cambio en las directrices de distanciamiento social de seis pies a tres aceptará más estudiantes en el campus y aumentará el valioso tiempo de educación en persona.
En el año escolar 2021-22, el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tustin volverá a un horario tradicional de cinco días a la semana. En abril, las familias tendrán la oportunidad de aprender más sobre la galardonada escuela Tustin Connect K-12 del distrito que ofrece un programa de estudio independiente. Las familias que deseen mantener a sus estudiantes en casa durante el año escolar 2021-22, tendrán la oportunidad de transferirse a Tustin Connect. Busque este mensaje en las próximas semanas.
Debido a estos desarrollos recientes, el TUSD también está trabajando en un proceso para expandir las clases en persona durante el resto de este año escolar para aquellos estudiantes que ya han optado por la educación en persona. Los detalles se están elaborando y se compartirán tan pronto como estén disponibles.
El Distrito Escolar de Tustin continúa haciendo todo lo posible para mantener un entorno seguro y saludable para los estudiantes y el personal, mientras se adhiere a todas las directrices de salud y seguridad establecidas por la Secretaría de Salud Pública de California y la Agencia de Atención Médica del Condado de Orange (OCHCA, por sus siglas en inglés). Las medidas de salud y seguridad del Distrito incluyen cubrebocas, controles diarios de temperatura, distanciamiento físico, uso de espacios de aprendizaje flexibles y al aire libre, sistemas de ventilación mejorados, sistemas de purificación de aire independiente para cada salón de clases, espacios de oficina y áreas comunes, estaciones para lavarse/desinfectar las manos y aumento de las prácticas y protocolos de desinfección.
El Distrito aprecia ampliamente su cooperación continua durante todo el año escolar y continuará trabajando en estrecha colaboración con CDPH y OCHCA para monitorear la situación y proporcionar actualizaciones según sea necesario.
Continúe visitando el sitio web del TUSD en www.tustin.k12.ca.us para obtener más información y recursos adicionales, incluido el Panel de Control COVID-19 del TUSD.
Manténgase fuerte y saludable.
Gregory A. Franklin, Ed.D.
A year after committing to provide free, nutritious meals to local children in the face of the pandemic, SAUSD has served more than 5 million free meals as a help to families and the community.
A year after committing to provide free, nutritious meals to local children in the face of the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) has reached the significant milestone of serving more than 5 million free meals to children as a help to both SAUSD families and the community.
Early on in the pandemic, the SAUSD Board of Education prioritized the need to continue providing all children with free, nutritious meals even as school campuses were being temporarily closed to help curb the spread of the virus. As a result, free meal distribution has continued to be a priority for the District during the last year.
“When campuses shut down last March, we didn’t know for how long. Yet our Board of Education made clear: SAUSD was committed to providing the nutrition our students and community children need, and in many cases rely upon,” said Josh Goddard, Director of Nutrition Services for SAUSD. “One year later the District has served more than 5 million meals to the children of Santa Ana. The District’s meal services efforts have been a constant resource for families during a period of economic uncertainty, personal loss, and risk to their physical and mental wellbeing.”
In May 2020, the District distributed its 1 millionth free meal and marked the occasion with an intimate celebration highlighting the contributions of District staff that worked the front lines to provide these vital resources to families.
Later that month, SAUSD continued its pledge to provide free food to the community by launching a summer meal program that ran through July 2020.
In Fall 2020 as the pandemic wore on, the District heeded feedback from the community and expanded its meal distribution schedule to include six different time slots to better accommodate working families’ schedules.
Earlier this month, seeing the continued need in the community, SAUSD also began serving weekend meals to all children. Children are now served a breakfast, lunch, snack, and a “super snack” for both Saturday and Sunday in addition to Friday’s meals during Friday distribution times.
Throughout the pandemic, SAUSD employees have continued to serve up free, healthy meals to all children ages 1-18 in a grab-and-go style that protects the health and safety of all involved.
“Though we wish to never again experience such a devastating crisis, we hope the community feels some comfort knowing they can always count on SAUSD,” said Goddard.
The SAUSD has reversed last week’s announcement regarding spectators at youth sporting events. The SAUSD announced on Thursday that they will now allow limited spectators at these events.
Athletes will now be allowed two spectators for each game. No other community members will be admitted.
When the SAUSD previously announced that no spectators would be allowed at youth sporting events they were widely lambasted by many in the community as the area private schools, such as Mater Dei, were allowing limited spectators.
Beginning on Friday, march 5, the SAUSD will be expanding their distribution of free meals to local children to include extra breakfasts, lunches, snacks and “a super snack,” which covers dinners, for Saturday and Sunday.
The SAUSD has already been distributing free meals at their schools from Monday through Friday. All local children are eligible for these free meals, regardless of whether or not they attend a district school.
While some school districts in Orange County only provide free or discounted meals to some students, the SAUSD provides these meals to all students.
The SAUSD is currently serving 7,000 to 8,000 children with 28,000 to 32,000 free meals a day.
The meals are available at 56 SAUSD campuses and can be picked up packaged cold or frozen. The Friday packages will now include weekend meals, as of March 5.
The SAUSD is also busing the meals to about 200 children at an apartment complex on Lyon Street that is not serviced by a nearby school.
Today’s SAUSD meals include items such as pork or chicken tamales, burritos, pizza and fruit cups.
For more information, click here. The meals are usually offered at local schools between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Santa Ana Unified School District has approved a plan to allow student athletes to return to conditioning programs and even to compete in sports allowed by the most current guidelines from CIF and health care experts.
The SAUSD community remains in the Purple “Widespread” Tier. Under CIF and California Department of Public Health (CDPH), athletes in districts in this tier can participate in outdoor, socially-distant conditioning, practice, and skill building within designated small pods. The District plans to resume this month these activities at high schools following all safety protocols. Individual schools will determine when to safely resume these activities, and will provide more information to student athletes.
Additionally, CIF and CDPH currently allow for competition in cross country under the Purple Tier. Our plan includes reviewing the option to allow competition in cross country at our schools that have the sport. CIF and CDPH allow competition in sports including baseball and softball for districts that are in less restrictive Red “Substantial” Tier. If SAUSD falls to this tier, the District plans to consider competition in these sports.
The decision to allow sports programs to be first to resume in-person extracurricular activities was made in consultation with our principals and other key management teams, including those from our performing arts programs. The next phase is to prepare for the return of performing arts programs including marching band, JROTC, and similar activities.
Apparently the SAUSD is planning on converting the failed Hoover Elementary School into a charter high school that will accommodate at least 300 students. Hoover is located smack in the middle of the Park Santiago Neighborhood and as you might imagine the neighbors are in an uproar over the conversion plans.
Hoover is currently ranked 3680th of 5,789 California Elementary Schools. Click here to see Hoover’s sad scores. According to state test scores, 32% of students are proficient in math and 36% in reading. SchoolDigger ranks the SAUSD 1241st of 1525 California school districts. No bueno!
Teachers who live in the area have reported that the charter school is called Circulos and it is a school funded in party by a grant from Steve Jobs’ wife. Currently Circulos is operating at the Advanced Learning Academy (ALA)(3rd-8th Grade) at 1325 E. 4th St., in Santa Ana.
ALA is known for lower class sizes and a much more intense investment in the school due to extra funding the district receives for it from charter state funding.
ALA offers elective pathways, including VAPA- Speech and Debate, Project Lead the Way- Robotics, Makerspace, App Creator, Femineers, and academic electives- such as AVID and Leadership. They also have intramural sports in grades 6-8, which means they compete against the other SAUSD intermediate schools in girls and boys Basketball, Volleyball and Soccer.
Circulos is part of the XQ Institute, which is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life.
The Park Santiago Neighborhood is the same neighborhood that went bananas when a developer tried to convert an office building on the outskirts of the neighborhood, on the .busy commercial Main St. corridor, into luxury apartments. That project was scuttled when current Mayor Vince Sarmiento flip flopped and turned against it back when he was just a City Council member.
The neighborhood is concerned about the traffic that might ensue with high school students driving in and out of the neighborhood but the SAUSD is insisting that the students will park at a remote parking lot and be brought to the school in 15 seat vans.
Enrollment in the SAUSD has been declining for years. Many students have fled the sinking SAUSD public schools to transfer to other school districts or to attend private or charter schools. The SAUSD has taken note of this and now they are opening their own charter schools – but will these perform any better than the rest of the SAUSD’s schools?
The SAUSD public schools are still closed now due to the pandemic but every morning I see kids in my neighborhood getting into their parents’ cars as they are driven to private schools and charter schools that have found a way to thrive even during the pandemic.
SAUSD students have essentially lost an entire year of schooling. Hoover was already a train wreck. Perhaps the SAUSD realized they were better off cutting their losses and closing down Hoover?
It will be difficult to stop the Hoover conversion. The SAUSD School Board is overwhelmingly liberal and won’t care what the neighbors in Park Santiago think. The Santa Ana City Council is also now very liberal and young and the Park Santiago Neighborhood is represented by Jessie Lopez, a progressive who most likely will not try to stop the conversion either.
Given that the new charter school appears to be a move in the right direction for the SAUSD it makes it even more unlikely that the Park Santiago NIMBYs will have any say as to the future of the Hoover Elementary School site.
The Park Santiago Neighborhood shut down a quality luxury apartment development last year but this time they are likely going to have to suck it up and accept the Hoover charter high school conversion. The Neighborhood has lost its political leverage in Santa Ana.