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CDPH offers guidelines for youth and recreational adult sports practices to begin

On Thursday, March 4, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released an update to its outdoor and indoor youth and recreational adult sports guidance which specifies the conditions under which youth and adult recreational sports may resume practice with contact and competition under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The guidance has been updated to authorize any youth or adult recreational sports team, including indoor sports, to begin practice with contact and competition at any time if they adhere to the specific requirements applicable to college sports under the COVID-19 Industry Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education.

“Our top priority is supporting youth sports to safely return to play, guided by science,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH director and State Public Health officer. “Our previous guidance accomplished this by allowing competition in sports with lower risk of transmission to begin sooner if conducted outdoors, which is lower risk than indoors.”

Thursday’s update specifies that teams can return to competition earlier than otherwise authorized under the previous guidance, which was issued on February 19, but only if they adhere to the stricter requirements in place for college teams. The previous guidance, which incorporated mitigation steps that can reasonably be implemented by youth and amateur teams that do not have the same resources available to them as professional and college teams, has no additional substantive changes.

As the updated guidance reflects, college teams are subject to rigorous testing requirements around each competition for contact sports, teams in all sports must have contact tracing protocols in place and coordinate with local health authorities, and all teams must develop site-specific plans for each facility the team uses, among other requirements not applicable to youth and recreational teams.

This update resolves uncertainty created by a court order issued in a lawsuit recently filed in San Diego, which created significant confusion for youth and their families and led to rushed returns to competition that put young people’s health at risk. This update also helps to ensure no one is unnecessarily distracted from the important work of supporting youth sports to safely return to play.

This update does not generally authorize indoor youth sports to resume. Rather, teams can return to competition only if they implement and adhere to the rigorous requirements in place for college teams.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 3 9 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD aiming for March 17 reopening of secondary schools

As Orange County approaches the less restrictive COVID-19 red tier, Laguna Beach Unified School District officials are preparing for a projected March 17 reopening of secondary schools for in-person instruction. Superintendent Jason Viloria said in an email last Wednesday (March 3) that he is working with state and county public health agencies on getting firm details regarding the potential to maintain the LBUSD timeline.

In a letter to the LBUSD community shared last Thursday (March 4) on the district’s website, Viloria provided an update regarding the projected timeline to reopen secondary in-person hybrid instruction.

“My team and I have been fiercely advocating for clear answers from state and local health officials…on our plans for reopening secondary schools,” Viloria wrote. “We share student, parent, and staff frustrations around the seemingly endless set-backs from our shared goal of getting all students who wish to return to in-person instruction back on school campuses as soon as possible and in a safe manner.”

California Department of Public Health assess indicators weekly on Mondays and release updated tier assignments on Tuesdays.

Last Tuesday (March 2), Orange County officials reported: Adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 at 7.6; test positivity rate of 3.9%; and health equity quartile positivity rate of 5%.

Although the daily case rate indicator remains in the most restrictive purple tier, there is an accelerated path to lowering the county risk level status that LBUSD officials project will keep them on track for a March 17 secondary reopening. If both positivity and health equity percentages (currently in the orange tier) stay two tiers below the current assignment (or improve) for two consecutive weeks, LBUSD officials believe the state will officially designate the county in the red tier.

“The likelihood is high that Orange County will meet the red-tier criterion for case rate (on) Tuesday (March 9), because the rate is based on a seven-day lag, seven-day average and our case rates have been well below that threshold throughout the past week,” Viloria wrote. “Assuming the COVID-19 metrics maintain or continue to improve, we anticipate that Orange County will officially be designated into Tier 2/Red on Tuesday, March 16.”

If that projection is correct, both Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School could reopen to in-person hybrid instruction on March 17.

CDPH previously required schools wait five days once a county entered the red tier before reopening, but that requirement is no longer in effect and schools are permitted to reopen the day after entering the red tier.

The District also has a playbook on the website with detailed information about reopening schools including student schedules, guidelines, and procedures

In the letter, Viloria thanked the community members for their patience and support during this transition.

“Our message today is one of hope and optimism,” he wrote. “We are excited to see their students in person again.”


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 3 8 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


Little League baseball returns to Riddle Field this spring with opening night on Friday, March 19

Little League baseball is returning to the oldest Little League field west of the Mississippi River: Riddle Field, Laguna Beach, on Friday, March 19.

For the 70th time since 1952, LB’s Little League will open its spring season by featuring the traditional matchup of the Intermediate Division rivals of Rotary and VFW (sponsored by Laguna Beach’s chapters of the Rotary Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, respectively). 

“LBLL’s Board of Directors has been tirelessly working to bring Little League Baseball games back since our spring season was canceled on March 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ed Paz, president of LBLL said. 

“We know that activities like Little League are a critical component to the positive physical and mental well-being of the children of our community, and we feel confident that we can lead the way in returning to ‘semi-normal’ routines while implementing protocols that keep our league members and our city safe.”

Little League Stride and Cureton

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Submitted photo

Commander Garrick Stride and Rotary’s Cameron Cureton pose (with Rotary and VFW in the background) after LBLL’s ceremonial Opening Night First Pitch on Feb 28, 2020

LBLL did return briefly for a “practice only” period last spring and also a fall “practice only” season. The fall practices were very successful, with about 70 percent of player registrations compared to the 2019 season, and hearty player development.

These interrupted seasons have taken a toll on LBLL’s financial situation. The League has missed out on traditional fundraisers in 2020 like the annual pancake breakfast, Angel’s Day ticket sales, and snack bar sales (which are expected to impact revenues in 2021). 

Also, to honor registration fees for the shortened spring season for the upper divisions and missed season for the younger divisions (Tee Ball, Rookie, and Single A), the Board decided to make the 2020 Fall Season free, the 2021 Spring Season free for 2020 registered lower division players whose season was canceled, and an extremely low $100 fee for the rest of Spring 2021 registrations. These lost revenues, along with projected missing sponsorship losses, have required LBLL to tap into reserve funds and operate on a shoestring budget for 2021.

“I believe the most important thing here is to get the kids back onto the field, no matter the financial cost to the League,” Paz said.

Little League Presley

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Submitted photo

Presley Jones, perennial All-Star athlete representing VFW before the cancellation of the 2020 season

Registration information can be found at www.beachbaseball.com. Registration for upper divisions (AA, AAA, and Intermediate) will be open on the website until Friday, March 5 (waitlist only for the Juniors Division). For the lower divisions, registration will not close, but teams will be formed by mid-March. 

Skills check for players who would like to be considered for the upper division drafts will be held on Saturday, March 6 (walk-up registrations will be accepted). Upper division teams will be drafted the week of March 8. 

Opening night, featuring the traditional matchup between the Intermediate division rivals of Rotary vs. VFW, is scheduled for Friday, March 19. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 protocols, Opening Night will be less of the ceremonial affair that occurs most years, as spectators will be restricted to immediate family members of players.

If you would like to donate to LBLL to help offset the financial impacts of the past year’s lost revenue, please send a check to LBLL, PO Box 509, Laguna Beach, CA 92652. LBLL would be happy to send you a letter accounting for your charitable donation.


Benjamin Keller selected as Rotary Student of the Month for February

Rotarians understand the importance of our community’s youth. Guided by this understanding the membership established a student recognition program – 

one that recognizes achievement, leadership, and helps to support high school students in their transition to higher education. Every month the Rotary Club selects a student of the month (SOM). All SOMs receive a $500 scholarship. 

For February, the Rotary Club has selected Benjamin Keller as SOM.

The Science Department nominated Benjamin, and Jennifer Merritt is the teacher representative who spoke on his behalf.

Benjamin has been very active in both student and extracurricular activities during his senior year. “I am interested in Engineering or Physics. I have self-taught skills in computer programming and am experienced in working with a student team to create and program products. I’m curious about new technology and how things work and excited to find a school environment with like-minded peers who want to create and build things,” he says.

As a result, Benjamin was invited to work on a student team to create and program learning tools for an open-source simulation of chemistry to help students learn fundamental concepts. 

“We used the language c# and the program Unity3D to make these simulations,” says Benjamin. “For example, this year, students will use the virtual lab we built for distance learning.”

Benjamin Keller closeup

Submitted photo

Benjamin Keller, Rotary Club Student of the Month for February

Benjamin has been the recipient of the following awards: Eagle Scout Award; Superintendent’s Honor Roll for 11th Grade, 10th Grade, and 9th Grade; the Breaker Award, 11th Grade - AP Physics, 10th Grade - Chemistry, and 9th Grade - Biology.

His service activities while in high school include Boy Scouts and an Eagle Scout project. He also participated in Marching Band/Wind Ensemble and Project Galileo (invitational engineering group/club at LBHS).

His home and church activities include: Church Youth Committee & Family History Consultant (2019-2020) in which he represented youth from his congregation.

“I participated in committee discussions on challenges that youth face today and how to help them,” Benjamin explains. “We also planned and carried out events for the youth to help them learn and grow. The Family History Consultant is a group of young men and women from various age groups who have been trained to help people record and find ancestors and add them to their family tree on websites like Family Search and Ancestry. 

Church activities include a Mission trip to Mexico (Summer 2019). He also visited an orphanage, and built homes with Corazon.org, a cultural exchange, and participated in the Christmas Chalk Walk (2015-2019), as well as volunteering at an annual community-based art, music, and cultural event. 

After graduating from high school, Benjamin plans to obtain an engineering-related Master’s degree and participate in a two-year volunteer mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the future, Benjamin says, “I’m planning on pursuing a degree in engineering or a similar field. I would like to be developing some sort of innovative, bleeding edge technology whether it be renewable energy, virtual reality technology, battery technology, or something else that I haven’t discovered. Hopefully, I will be able to work collaboratively with a group of like-minded people creating, building, and problem solving. 

“Thank you so much! I really appreciate this opportunity. I have been so lucky to attend Laguna Beach High School with wonderful teachers who have supported me all throughout my high school career.”

Congratulations, Benjamin!


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 3 4 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD aiming for March 17 reopening of secondary schools

As Orange County approaches the less restrictive COVID-19 red tier, Laguna Beach Unified School District officials are preparing for a projected March 17 reopening of secondary schools for in-person instruction. Superintendent Jason Viloria said in an email on Wednesday (March 3) that he is working with state and county public health agencies on getting firm details regarding the potential to maintain the LBUSD timeline.

In a letter to the LBUSD community shared Thursday (March 4) on the district’s website, Viloria provided an update regarding the projected timeline to reopen secondary in-person hybrid instruction.

“My team and I have been fiercely advocating for clear answers from state and local health officials…on our plans for reopening secondary schools,” Viloria wrote. “We share student, parent, and staff frustrations around the seemingly endless set-backs from our shared goal of getting all students who wish to return to in-person instruction back on school campuses as soon as possible and in a safe manner.”

California Department of Public Health assess indicators weekly on Mondays and release updated tier assignments on Tuesdays.

On Tuesday (March 2), Orange County officials reported: Adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 at 7.6; test positivity rate of 3.9%; and health equity quartile positivity rate of 5%.

Although the daily case rate indicator remains in the most restrictive purple tier, there is an accelerated path to lowering the county risk level status that LBUSD officials project will keep them on track for a March 17 secondary reopening. If both positivity and health equity percentages (currently in the orange tier) stay two tiers below the current assignment (or improve) for two consecutive weeks, LBUSD officials believe the state will officially designate the county in the red tier.

“The likelihood is high that Orange County will meet the red-tier criterion for case rate next Tuesday, because the rate is based on a seven-day lag, seven-day average and our case rates have been well below that threshold throughout the past week,” Viloria wrote. “Assuming the COVID-19 metrics maintain or continue to improve, we anticipate that Orange County will officially be designated into Tier 2/Red on Tuesday, March 16.”

If that projection is correct, both Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School could reopen to in-person hybrid instruction on March 17.

CDPH previously required schools wait five days once a county entered the red tier before reopening, but that requirement is no longer in effect and schools are permitted to reopen the day after entering the red tier.

The District also has a playbook on the website with detailed information about reopening schools including student schedules, guidelines, and procedures

In the letter, Viloria thanked the community members for their patience and support during this transition.

“Our message today is one of hope and optimism,” he wrote. “We are excited to see their students in person again.”


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 3 3 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 3 2 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 

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