‘If our kids can’t be in school, the risk for abuse and neglect just skyrockets’; Vanessa Behan helping kids cope with impacts of COVID | News

SPOKANE, Wash. – We are entering week three of virtual learning for many local students, including those within Spokane Public Schools. Kids all over the community have been out of the classroom since March. Staff at Vanessa Behan fear because of that, countless cases of abuse or neglect are going unreported.

“Right now, stress is mounting and there comes a tipping point,” said Executive Director Amy Knapton Vega. “Usually, children are who is most at risk. If our kids can’t be in school, the risk for abuse and neglect just skyrockets.”

When the pandemic hit back in March, volunteers and staff at Vanessa Behan immediately worked to change the way they do business. They started caring for children up to the age of 12 and prepared to help them distance learning.

“I know it’s very stressful for parents right now,” Vega said.

Reports state CPS reports are down by roughly

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Milton School District looks to continue $2.5 million referendum | Government

Milton School District voters may have a feeling of déjà vu with the November operational referendum.

That’s because it’s the same amount ($2.5 million per year) and same time frame (five years) as the prior operational referendum that expires June 2021.

The 2020 operational referendum states it is “for non-recurring purposes consisting of ongoing educational programming, staffing and maintenance expenses.”

“It isn’t additional revenue compared to what we have in place right now because it is replacing an operating referendum that would expire before this one would kick in,” said Superintendent Rich Dahman.

The $2.5 million operational referendum approved by Milton School District voters (52.4%) in 2016 ends with the end of the 2020-21 school year.

“We felt that the five-year timeframe allows us some stability and the ability to make some plans moving forward without tying the taxpayers into something that is permanent,” Dahman said.

The school board and

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Rural School Districts To Spend Some Coronavirus Relief Aid On Telemental Health Services

The Florida Department of Education (DOE) is distributing $2 million in CARES Act funding to increase K-12 students’ access to virtual counseling and online psychiatry.

DEO Chancellor Eric Hall says leaders want to make sure there’s no gap in mental health services with more students enrolled in distance learning during the pandemic.

“It helps to give them access to that same level of support and engagement with these professionals using these online platforms, so that there’s no breakdown in service.”

Hall says the department chose counties where 25% or more of the population lacks access to high-speed internet. He says school districts receiving the grants also have a need for more school-based mental health providers.

“We’re helping connect them to the professionals and the interventions that they need regardless of whether they’re in a brick-and-mortar setting or whether they’re choosing to learn in a distance learning model.”

Florida lawmakers allocated

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Solon Springs School Board extends mask mandate

The move came after more than an hour of discussion about mask use at school, and a day before the district announced that an individual had been excluded from school after testing positive for COVID-19.

“This positive (case) does affect the school,” wrote Superintendent Frank Helquist in a Sept. 25 letter to parents.

Children and staff who interacted closely with the individual will be contacted by the Douglas County Health Department or the school, he said, and close contacts will be excluded from school for 14 days from their last exposure to the person.

Since school resumed this fall, Solon Springs students have been mandated to keep masks on unless they are outside and at least an “eagle’s wings” distance apart. Some parents expressed concerns at the school board meeting that masks were distracting their children, causing headaches, sore ears and anxiety. Board members said that use of masks while

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Cuts To Albany School Teacher And Staff Positions Effective Monday

More than 200 Albany City School District staffers have lost their jobs due to anticipated school aid reductions.

With a 20 percent reduction in state aid for this school year looming, staffers let go Friday included 51 teachers.

Albany City Schools Superintendent Kaweeda Adams says the district has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For a district like ours, a 20 percent reduction in foundation aid would be about $16.5 million dollars. And so if that reduction is applied to all state aid, meaning, foundation aid, categorical building, transportation, etc. that also includes our community schools money, it appears that it would be about $23.2 million in our 2021 budget.”

Albany School Board President Anne Savage says Friday was many staffers’ last day.

“All of our staff is excellent and they are much, much needed by our students. Those folks were employed because they are needed. And starting today,

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Spartanburg Development Update: Montgomery Building shops, restaurants

Genna Contino
| Herald-Journal

Driving past the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind you might have seen some construction — but what’s going on behind the gate?

Right now there’s just demolition of old buildings underway. The school is getting rid of outdated and unused buildings on its campus that are “no longer conducive to a healthy, learning environment,” the school’s public relations director Katie Rice said in an email to the Herald-Journal and GoUpstate.

But the demolition is making space for something new. A new classroom and dormitory space are in the school’s future, Rice said, as part of a master plan created by McMillan Pazdan Smith.

Donnie Love with McMillan Pazdan Smith is heading the project but said there’s no clear timeline for the construction of the new classroom and dormitory, pointing out how the school has to go through the state legislature to get

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Facing grim budget forecasts, school districts seek help from New Mexico legislators |

G. Andrés Romero heard and understood the concerns expressed by public school district superintendents from across the state because he saw the problem, too.

There was a common theme to the superintendents’ worries, regardless of the size of their districts, voiced during a Legislative Education Study Committee session Wednesday morning. They expressed serious reservations about what their budgets will look like for the 2021-22 school year based on funding formulas legislators have in place, and they need their help to fix the problem.

Superintendents from school districts in Logan, Tularosa, Des Moines, Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho presented data that showed significant declines in student enrollment for the 2020-21 school year, driven by the coronavirus pandemic. That could lead to decidedly smaller budgets for next year because they are based on current enrollment figures.

Romero, a Democratic state representative from Albuquerque who also chairs the House’s Education Committee, said

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Learning Hubs Serve As A Temporary Solution, Though Funding Will Dry Up By The End Of The Year

There’s new demand for daytime childcare for Allegheny County families, as most school districts are teaching students remotely either full- or part-time.

To temporarily fill that gap, the county’s Department of Human Services, the United Way and the early childhood advocacy group Trying Together partnered to distribute CARES Act funding to 60 providers. Those providers now open their doors during the day as a space where students can learn online in smaller groups of students than would be in school buildings. According to the county health department, there have been no cases or outbreaks linked to the hubs.

At the Millvalle Boys and Girls Club, for example, students are dropped off in the mornings with their laptops, headphones and masks. They have their temperature taken and then spend the day rotating between virtual classes, hands-on activities, lunch and game time. In many ways it’s similar to what you’d see in

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New report estimates school closures’ long-term impact on the U.S. economy at more than $14 trillion

The data shows the number of countries with school closures because of the pandemic between February and the end of June. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)

This year’s school closures won’t just result in the loss of students’ academic skills; it could negatively impact the economy for the rest of the 21st century, new research predicts.

In the U.S., for example, the closures could ultimately amount to a loss of almost $14.2 trillion over the next 80 years, according to the study, released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international group with 37 member countries that promotes economic growth policies. Another three months of learning losses could stretch that figure to almost $28 trillion.

The authors suggest, however, that schools could recoup some of those losses by “individualizing the instruction,” in which students work at their own speed to master academic goals.

“Unless schools get

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Guest commentary: Schools need funding boost more than ever | Opinion

Most years, the first day of school arrives with anticipation and possibility as students, parents, teachers, and administrators look forward to the hope and promise of a new year.

This year is different. The return to school has engendered uncertainty and even frustration. Each school district is struggling to balance safety and educational quality in a COVID-19 world, and to do so in a way that is best for their own communities.

There are no easy answers. Remote learning may be more successful in protecting the public health, but let’s face it, for the overwhelming number of students, a virtual education is no substitute for traditional, face-to-face learning. It also puts a greater strain on parents juggling jobs while serving as “teacher’s aides” for their children.

But reopening too widely and too soon can put students, teachers, and school workers at risk.

School leaders face this balancing act under public

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