An online newsletter produced by EdSource
with support from The California Endowment 


March 10, 2015,
 Issue 29

Student Health
Nearly three months after an unknown person infected with measles visited two Disney theme parks in Anaheim in mid-December, the number of confirmed cases of measles continues to edge up and has reached 132 in California, according to a March 6 California Department of Public Health update.

All but 3 of the 132 cases have been linked or are presumed to be linked to the Disney exposure. Eighty-one of the cases involve persons who had either visited Disney parks in December, were family members of Disney visitors or had been in emergency rooms or other community settings with infected persons. The remaining 48 cases are presumed to be linked to the Disney outbreak based on the genetic strain of the infection and exposure patterns, the Department of Public Health said.

Among measles-infected individuals whose vaccination documentation is known to the California Department of Public Health, 55 were unvaccinated and 18 had one or more doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine.

Orange County reported the highest number of cases -- 35 -- followed by Los Angeles County with 27 cases.

Of the 132 infected, 43 percent are between the ages of newborn to 19.

The outbreak has been the impetus for the introduction of two new bills in the Legislature. Senate Bill 792, authored by state Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, would prohibit day care centers or family home day care operations from employing anyone who has not been vaccinated against influenza, pertussis and measles.

Senate Bill 277, authored by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would end the exemption that allows parents to refuse to have their child vaccinated based on their "personal beliefs."
Using a four-month-old oversight system, state regulators have turned down thousands of prescription requests for powerful medications to be given to foster youth, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Faced with a shortage of school nurses, teachers and staff are being asked to provide emergency medications to California students -- and some don't want the responsibility, the Cabinet Report reported.

High school health classes would include sexual assault prevention and affirmative consent, or "yes means yes," under Senate Bill 695, introduced by State Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.

Special Education
A statewide task force unveiled a 222-page plan to dramatically improve education for students with disabilities, described as the crucial next step in education reform in California.

With schools in the state in the throes of adjusting to three new education reforms - the switch to local school district control over spending, the introduction of Common Core State Standards, and the roll-out of new student assessments - the Statewide Task Force on Special Education is calling for a greater integration of much of special education into the education system, including teacher training, early interventions, the use of evidence-based practices and data tracking.

The leading online charter school network in California has a troubling record of poor academic outcomes and a questionable financial relationship with its for-profit parent company, according to a report from a watchdog organization. Special education services, in particular, were allegedly inadequate or never provided, according to a report on California Virtual Academies, the largest provider of online public K-12 education in the state.

Read more at EdSource Today.
Taking aim at the effect of hunger on students' ability to learn, two California legislators announced a bill that would require more schools to provide breakfast after the start of school.

The proposed legislation would revamp the way many schools operate the federal School Breakfast Program, widely regarded as an underutilized source of nutrition for hungry students. Districts are also aware that under-enrollment in the school breakfast program has left millions of dollars on the table in federal meal reimbursements for low-income students.

Read more at EdSource Today.

School Climate and Discipline
One in three California middle school and high school students reported having been harassed or bullied at least once in the previous year, according to new data from a statewide student survey.

Thirty-four percent of students in grades 7, 9 and 11 said they had been bullied one or more times, according to the 2011-13 California Healthy Kids Survey, which is administered by the California Department of Education.

Read more at EdSource Today.
Two security guards at Fremont High School in Oakland have been suspended after video footage surfaced showing them reportedly beating a student, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Kern High School District has asked a Kern County Superior Court judge to dismiss a civil suit alleging a pattern of targeting Latino and African American students for discipline, the Bakersfield Californian reported.

The West Contra Costa Unified School District is looking into the alleged beating of an elementary student by another student and how to help the attacked student feel safe, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Upcoming Webinar

Long-acting, reversible contraception
School-based health center doctors, nurse practitioners and other health care clinicians can hear from Seattle school-based health clinicians about the challenges of providing long-acting, reversible contraception. The webinar is hosted by the School-Based Health Alliance, a national organization that advocates for school-based health care.
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