Author: Mary Ann Dewan (Mary Ann Dewan)

Dewan: Our youth need climate resilient schools

The recent winter rain offers potential drought relief, but the severity of the storms had detrimental impacts throughout the state, including power outages that disrupted learning. Locally, several schools experienced closures due to storm related power outages. Schools have faced several years of ongoing disruption to learning from the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, poor air quality,...

Dewan: Public school accountability system restarts

The COVID-19 pandemic affected education services and student learning worldwide. It also interrupted the statewide data collection, assessment and accountability systems for our public schools. Last week, the California Department of Education released the 2022 California School Dashboard. The dashboard is one part of California’s comprehensive accountability system for schools. The dashboard reflects data from the...

Dewan: More arts funding coming to California public schools

Only about one in five California public schools have a full-time arts or music program, and these programs are typically the first to be reduced from school budgets during economic downturns. Prop. 28, the Arts and Music in Schools Funding Guarantee and Accountability Act, is poised to change that. Beginning next year, the state will be...

Dewan: How schools are preparing for the big one

According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), there is a 70% chance that one or more quakes of a magnitude 6.7 or larger will occur before the year 2030. In the San Francisco Bay Area region, a 6.7 or larger quake could originate from the Hayward fault, the Peninsula segment of the San Andreas fault,...

Dewan: Schools respond to increasing fentanyl overdose deaths

Last May, I wrote about the need to raise awareness and prevent fentanyl related deaths, especially among our youth. At that time, the first ever National Fentanyl Awareness Day was launched. An important goal of that campaign was to ensure communities knew about fentanyl and the dangers of illegally made counterfeit pills and other drugs...

Dewan: California launches the CalKIDS higher education savings program

The typical college costs including tuition, fees, room and board, transportation and supplies have increased over time. A recent report found the average cost of an undergraduate degree increased 169% between 1980 and 2020. Securing the necessary resources to pay for college and career training programs for children is a barrier for many families. It is...

Dewan: Considering a teaching career?

National news stories continue to raise awareness about teacher shortages. According to a 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute, “The teacher shortage is real, large and growing” not only in California, but at the national level. A study, published in 2016 by the Learning  Policy Institute, predicted that “by 2020, an estimated 300,000 new teachers will...

Dewan: Transitional kindergarten is expanding 

California has made a critical step forward in the expansion of early education. Transitional kindergarten (TK) has been available for children with fall birthdays since 2011. California is now expanding access to TK so that all California children can benefit. With the 2022-23 school year ahead, all children who turn five between Sept. 2 and...

Dewan: Raising fentanyl awareness can save lives

In an effort to raise awareness and prevent fentanyl deaths, on May 10 communities across the country came together for National Fentanyl Awareness Day. Last year, overall drug overdose deaths among all ages increased to more than 100,000. An important goal of the campaign is to ensure communities know about fentanyl and the dangers of illegally made counterfeit...

Dewan: School COVID-19 vaccine mandate timeline delayed

With the current school year nearly over, many parents and community members have been asking about the status of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate announced last year for school children. The state of California had previously announced plans to require the COVID-19 vaccine for children to attend school sometime after the FDA fully approves the vaccine....

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