Author: Mary Ann Dewan (Mary Ann Dewan)

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....

Dewan: Santa Clara County schools confront climate change

Growing evidence points to the need for an urgent response as the changing climate is having an observable impact on communities, students, educators and schools. Providing access to safe, healthy, sustainable and resilient learning environments is a focus of policy makers and school leaders. In 2020, the United States experienced a record-breaking 22 natural disasters...

Dewan: Santa Clara County schools face impacts of declining enrollment 

Schools across Santa Clara County have seen a consistent decline in student enrollment over the past seven years. There were 21,323 fewer K-12 students enrolled last school year than in the 2015-16 school year. The California Department of Finance (DOF) is projecting the trend of declining enrollments will continue well into the next decade statewide....

Dewan: Parents urged to COVID-19 test children weekly amid omicron surge

Health and education experts maintain that the risks from the COVID-19 infection are outweighed by the known and well documented social and mental health harms of remote learning, even during the current omicron surge. California’s determination to use every available tool to keep schools safe during this pandemic is allowing us to keep classrooms open...

Dewan: The growing youth mental health crisis

Schools across the country are bracing for the fourth wave of COVID-19 fueled by the omicron variant, while maintaining a commitment to keep school campuses open with in-person learning. Disruptions to student attendance and in-person learning have been increasing in recent years. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic was and continues to be a major reason for...

Dewan: The importance of childhood COVID-19 vaccinations

With the 2021-2022 school year well underway, it is wonderful to see students across Santa Clara County learning in-person on school campuses. Providing a safe school environment for all students and employees continues to be a top priority. The COVID-19 vaccination is one of the most effective strategies to reduce the spread of the virus...

Dewan: Are universal school meals coming to California schools?

One in every 6 children face hunger in the U.S, according to Feeding America.org. Far too many children and youth experience food insecurity in Santa Clara County. Hunger negatively impacts the physical, behavioral and academic development of children. All children deserve access to healthy food every day and offering students meals at no cost to...

Dewan: Why we need wellness centers for schools

The last 18 plus months have been challenging for students, families and all school personnel due to pandemic-related circumstances. There was a crisis of youth mental health looming and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people having thoughts of suicide and experiencing depression has...

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