California Supreme Court denies O.C. Board of Education petition to reopen school campuses

The Orange County Board of Education’s bid to force California to re-open school campuses for in-person learning ended Wednesday when the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Board of Education President Ken Williams expressed disappointment with the ruling.

“I am sorry that the state Supreme Court did not view that Governor Newsom has abused his emergency powers that are given to governors under a real healthcare crisis. Our families and children are suffering from not going to school.”

Last month, the board, along with a few parents and several private schools across California, took the unusual step of filing legal actions directly with the state Supreme Court.

Two lawsuits claimed that actions by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health to curb the spread of coronavirus were unconstitutional and violated the right to equal access to education. Newsom’s order effectively closed most school campuses to

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At least 3 dozen states have reported coronavirus cases on college campuses

Classes have not even started at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, but there are growing concerns over the students’ disregard of coronavirus safety protocols. Over the weekend, campus police busted a large party at an off-campus apartment rented by Holy Cross students, eliciting growing concerns that such gatherings could turn into coronavirus super-spreader events.

a close up of a sign: Signs at University of Colorado Boulder provide incoming freshman moving into campus with physical distancing guidelines due to the Coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 18, 2020 in Boulder, Colo.

© Mark Makela/Getty Images
Signs at University of Colorado Boulder provide incoming freshman moving into campus with physical distancing guidelines due to the Coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 18, 2020 in Boulder, Colo.

“Not only did the number of people in attendance exceed the state limit on the number of people at a gathering, but attendees were not wearing masks or adhering to physical distancing guidelines,” said college administrators in a letter to the community, calling the behavior “highly irresponsible.”

According to the school, the party has led to a potential cluster of

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‘I can’t teach when I’m dead.’ Professors fear COVID-19 as college campuses open

Students' return for fall semester was staggered over 10 days at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, to enforce social distancing during as they settled in. <span class="copyright">(Gerry Broome / Associated Press)</span>
Students’ return for fall semester was staggered over 10 days at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, to enforce social distancing during as they settled in. (Gerry Broome / Associated Press)

When masked students walk back into his Northern Arizona University lab room at the end of the month, Tad Theimer will face them from behind a Plexiglas face shield while holding an infrared thermometer to their foreheads. As they examine bat skulls under microscopes, the biology professor will open windows and doors, hoping to drive out exhaled aerosols that could spread coronavirus.

But as one of hundreds of professors who will be back on campus along with 20,000 students in one of the states hit worst by the pandemic, Theimer is also torn on whether to enter his classroom at all.

“I want to teach and it’s best done in person,” said Theimer, 62, who has been a professor

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Reopening plans at UC Berkeley, other campuses fall apart amid coronavirus surge

A group of students walk through the Sather Gate at UC Berkeley. <span class="copyright">(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)</span>
A group of students walk through the Sather Gate at UC Berkeley. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Hopes that college life might begin a slow return to normal this fall were deflated Tuesday, when two University of California campuses announced they would begin the semester with fully remote instruction amid a pandemic surge.

UC Berkeley and UC Merced had hoped to open Aug. 26 with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes. But they reversed those plans as COVID-19 infections began their record-shattering increases throughout California, with cases now topping more than 400,000 and deaths, 7,800. In Los Angeles County, half of new COVID-19 cases were among those ages 18 to 40.

The UC reversals follow other decisions to do likewise by several California campuses, including USC, Pomona College and Occidental College. Nationally, the proportion of colleges and universities planning for in-person classes has declined from about two-thirds in

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Opening Campuses Is Risky. The Alternative Is Worse.

(Bloomberg Opinion) — Soaring coronavirus infections have provoked a lot of second thoughts among U.S. colleges and universities that were hoping to resume at least some in-person instruction in the fall. That’s understandable, but troubling.

It’s crucial to engage students in meaningful collaborative experiences that are difficult to achieve on Zoom. The damage to young people and institutions of higher learning will be deep and lasting unless administrators develop creative ways—in concert with both students and faculty—to revive key aspects of campus life.

There’s no doubt that even partial reopenings will entail risks for colleges, though different ones from those facing K-12 schools. For one thing, over one-third of tenure-track faculty are 55 or older, significantly more than the general working population—putting college professors at greater risk of contracting life-threatening forms of Covid-19. Then too, while online education is far from ideal even for college students, young adults are better

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The university workers tasked with getting Maryland’s campuses ready to reopen fear for students’ return in the fall

Five days a week, Relford Matthews reports to dormitories at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to paint, fill holes in the walls and install Plexiglass dividers meant to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Lots of the time, Matthews works by himself. So, for the moment, the 64-year-old maintenance worker feels safe at his job.

But he knows a storm is coming. The students.

UMES, like numerous other Maryland colleges and universities, is hoping to welcome students back to campus this fall — even on a limited basis — after an abrupt end to the spring semester as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But the frontline workers toiling to make it happen, housekeepers and maintenance workers among them, say they harbor fears for the fall. Fears that students won’t follow protocol in the dorms, and walk about mask-less. Fears that the workers would be the ones most likely to

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California Governor Gavin Newsom Orders Majority Of State’s Schools To Close Campuses, Move To Virtual Instruction Only; Los Angeles County Will Follow Newsom’s Lead

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At his Friday news conference, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list to shut down school campuses this fall, at least to begin the school year. The 32 counties on the list — which include Los Angeles and most of Southern California — must switch to virtual instruction only. The state’s two largest districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, had already announced plans to begin the new academic year with online-only courses.

The mandate applies to private as well as public schools, according to Newsom.

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In order to physically reopen schools, counties will have to meet the state’s attestation requirements. Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego and Riverside counties are on the watch list.

Shortly after Newsom’s accouncement, the L.A. County Department of Public Health announced it would follow the governor’s order,


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Coronavirus Outbreaks Linked to Fraternity Houses are a Warning for College Campuses

Recent coronavirus outbreaks have been linked to fraternities at universities in Washington, California and Mississippi, and experts say it’s an example of what’s to come as many colleges reopen for in-person classes beginning in August.

At least 136 fraternity house residents and nine other students at the University of Washington in Seattle had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10 in what officials called a “Greek Row outbreak.” It “provides lessons for students as they consider their return to campus this fall,” said Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, chair of the university’s Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases.

Officials at the University of California, Berkeley, said Wednesday that a “concerning” spike of 47 new COVID-19 cases among students was linked to the school’s fraternities and sororities. The university is currently planning to open for limited in-person learning, bringing up to 6,500 students back to on-campus housing in August. But this outbreak could

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School Reopening Wars Loom, As Feds, Unions, Admins Appear Far Apart On Return To Campuses

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With about a month to go until the start of the new school year, the battle lines are being drawn over whether US students will return to campuses or continue online schooling.

The stakes being anted include federal and state funding, health and safety issues, and union rules and compliance. None of the potential winners in this war are clear to parents, many of them facing child care and transportation issues dependent on knowing what will happen.

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Meanwhile, new cases of coronavirus continue to rise. CNN reported Sunday that three Arizona teachers who shared a classroom were infected with coronavirus despite following strict safety protocols, and one has died.

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Fox News Sunday that she intends to have students back in classrooms this fall.

“Parents are expecting that this fall their kids are going

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How University of California campuses are opening this fall

University of California campuses will offer mostly online instruction this fall, but each school has the power to set its own rules and at least two of them are already revising early plans to account for new coronavirus outbreaks.

Some schools plan to offer 30% of instruction in person, while others intend to limit on-site coursework to laboratory and studio classes. Some are prioritizing incoming freshmen for campus housing while others plan to reserve rooms for students with special circumstances, including financial need.

As the pandemic’s trajectory continues to change, university administrators warn campuses may revert to reduced operations even after the fall semester begins.

At least two schools — UC Berkeley and UC Merced — are already reevaluating their plans in light of recent COVID-19 developments. At Cal, that’s because frat parties triggered an outbreak that more than doubled the total number of infections tied to Berkeley’s campus, officials

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