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


. 18, 2016
Issue 46
Some Sacramento County schools may exempt students in special ed from vaccination law
Without guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education on how to apply the new vaccination law to special education students, districts continue to decide on their own how to interpret it -- and do so differently. Here's an example: According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, three Sacramento County districts - San Juan Unified, Twin Rivers Unified and Natomas Unified have decided to allow unvaccinated special education students to attend all classes. In contrast, Sacramento City Unified says it will allow unvaccinated students to receive some special education services, such as speech therapy, on campus but will provide the bulk of the instruction to those students away from general classrooms. Read more.
Awareness of measles outbreak increased parents' support for vaccination requirements, study finds
Parents who were highly aware of the 2014-15 measles outbreak at Disneyland in Orange County were more supportive of vaccine mandates, according to a study by Michael Cacciatore of the University of Georgia and coauthors published in the journal Health Affairs. In a related article in the same issue, "A Tale Of Two States: Mississippi, West Virginia And Exemptions To Compulsory School Vaccination Laws" examines the experiences of Mississippi and West Virginia in the 30 years in which they were only two states that did not offer exemptions from vaccinations for reasons other than medical ones. The article concludes, "The experiences of these two states suggest that contrary to conventional wisdom, it may be politically tenable to limit exemptions to only medical reasons without damaging either the stature of public health or the immunization system."
One way to improve kindergarten attendance: Take the school bus
Hop on the bus, Gus.

Students who ride the school bus in the critical first year of formal education - kindergarten - are absent less often and have lower odds of being chronically absent, according to a new study.

California will begin its first statewide collection of data on students who are chronically absent, according to the California Dept. of Education. Chronic absenteeism in the early grades has been linked to difficulty in 3rd grade reading proficiency and an increased risk of dropping out of high school.

Student Behavior and Well-Being
Study: ADHD may persist longer in students who are highly criticized by their parents
Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sometimes find that their symptoms decrease as they become adolescents, while others find that their symptoms -- including losing focus and reacting impulsively -- remain unchanged. Now researchers at UCLA and other institutions have found that students whose parents "regularly expressed high levels of criticism over time" were less likely to experience a decline in symptoms. The study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association. Read more.
Study: Building support from bystanders helps students who have been bullied
Increasing the empathy of bystanders through role-playing exercises and computer simulations that encourage students to practice how they would act when confronted with a bullying situation has been found to benefit the mental health of 6th graders who have experienced the most bullying, a large study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found.

"Our findings are the first to show that the most tormented children - those facing bullying several times a week - can be helped by teaching bystanders to be more supportive," said Jaana Juvonen, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at UCLA.

Federal health officials study Palo Alto school suicides
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in Santa Clara County to look at suicide prevention efforts aimed at high school students in Palo Alto. The investigators also will examine the role of the media in publicizing teen deaths by suicide. Read more.
High-Needs Students
New assistance for school liaisons for students who are homeless
The National Center for Homeless Education announced a new web page for school staff looking to meet the educational needs of students who qualify for services under the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, also known as the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. The "Local Liaison Corner" includes a telephone helpline number, recorded webinars and issue briefs on topics that include information for new liaisons and "Early Care and Education for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness."

Three Webinars -- all on Feb. 25: E-Cigarettes, 'Early Warning' Attendance Systems and School Segregation

"Smoke Screens: The Truth About Vaping & Electronic Cigarettes"

Presented by the California Alliance for School-Based Health, with tobacco researcher Phillip Gardiner

Thursday, Feb. 25, 3 to 4 p.m. PT

Register here.
"Intro to the Early Warning System for Students at Risk of Dropping Out"

Presented by Regional Education Laboratories, with Jenny Scala of the American Institutes for Research

Thursday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT

Register here.

"School Segregation in the Western States: Historical + Contemporary Patterns"

Presented by Region IX Equity Assistance Center at WestEd with Jeanne M. Powers of Arizona State

Thursday, Feb. 25, 1 to 2 p.m. PT

Register here.
Early registration is open for "Advocating for Equity in Education & Health Care," a conference hosted by the California School-Based Health Alliance on Friday, May 6 in Sacramento. The discount rate ends Monday, Feb. 29.

Workshops topics include: "Creating Trauma Informed Schools & Classrooms, "Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health: A District's Model for Prevention & Intervention" and "Engaging Black Youth in Radical Healing: Social-Emotional Interventions at School-Based Health Centers."
  • "Advocating for Equity in Education & Health Care"
  • Pre-conference is Thursday, May 5; Main conference is Friday, May 6
  • Register here. 
Tweet of the Week

Student Health
Will this cat video persuade teenagers not to smoke?
Making its television debut at the Grammy Awards this week was a cat video from, a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness of tobacco company marketing practices. Pets are twice as likely to get cancer if their owners smoke, the video states. "And without cats, there would be no cat videos. Can you imagine?" The video is the latest in a campaign to encourage youth to stop smoking or, better yet, not to start.

A Tale Of Two States: Mississippi, West Virginia, And Exemptions To Compulsory School Vaccination Laws

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