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Timely Topics FAQs

This frequently asked questions (FAQs) website is intended to address current topics of interest for our community to reference. Topics and resources will be updated as topics arise.

Added: September 13, 2022

We recognize the need for comfortable learning environments for all students and staff.  Currently, four HBCSD schools have air conditioning in all classrooms: Hawes, Moffett, Seacliff, and Sowers.  The remaining five schools have some air conditioned spaces, such as training rooms, cafeterias, libraries, relocatable classrooms, and certain classroom wings.      

The District began studying the cost for adding HVAC systems in September of 2018 at the remaining schools as the result of some particularly warm days at the beginning of the school year. Since that time the District’s Measure Q bond manager, Studio W Architects, presented the findings of the study for possible improvement to those schools that were absent HVAC, including Eader, Peterson, Smith, and the older portion of Dwyer.  The cost at the time of the study ranged from $4 to $5 million. 

The State does not provide ongoing funding for facilities or specifically for air conditioning. Therefore, school districts rely on local bonds or general fund revenues to cover all facilities upgrades or repairs. The remaining Measure Q funds, net sale proceeds from the Gisler sale, and approximately $4 million of state matching funds have been committed to the Sowers reconstruction.  The Sowers project is currently in the bid process, and the District anticipates receiving the final cost in October. At that time, the District can reassess the list of priorities and leverage any remaining funds for HVAC. 

The District is eligible for matching funds of approximately $7 million on the unfunded list of projects pending state bond authority.  Contingent upon state funding, these funds must be utilized on school facility improvements and a portion could be earmarked for air conditioning projects.  There is no state bond measure on the ballot for November 2022 that would allow the state to fund the outstanding list of projects, but one could appear on the ballot for a future election.

In the meantime, the District is implementing a plan to provide portable air conditioning units to classrooms across the District that do not yet have central A/C.  The District is testing two types of portable units.  Once the test units are installed, staff will monitor the classroom temperatures in relation to the outdoor temperatures to evaluate the effectiveness of the portable A/C units to determine which of the two options is the best solution for full implementation.

In addition, at Eader specifically, windows have been measured for the installation of reflective tint and window stops lowered to allow classrooms to receive more ventilation.

Added: September 13, 2022

Even in our beach community of Huntington Beach, there are a few school days out of the year we experience high temperatures.  During these times, the District implements certain procedures to ensure the safety of students and staff and minimize discomfort both inside and outside of classrooms. Depending on the levels of temperature and humidity, all or some of the following procedures will be used.

Limiting, Minimizing, Postponing or Canceling Physical Activity

Physical activity during class, recess or physical education may be limited or minimized and replaced with less-physical or quiet activities. Extra-curricular activities (such as athletic practices/contests) may be postponed or canceled.

Modifying Instructional Programs, Subjects, and Activities

Teachers and/or school sites may rearrange subject matter, instructional programs, or activities to the most optimal time of the day.

Alternative Locations for Instruction

Schools may utilize cooler areas on campus that are available for instruction. At times, schools may plan large group activities, combine classrooms, and/or relocate to cooling centers on the campus. Physical education classes may use indoor locations (if available) or shaded areas out of direct sunlight. 

Keeping Cool and Hydrated

Teachers and schools will encourage and remind students to stay hydrated by taking extra water breaks and encouraging students to bring water bottles to campus. Bottle-filling stations and water fountains have been cleaned and serviced over the summer, and we will ensure bottled water is also available at each site for students who need it. Students should wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing (within the school’s dress code).

Keep Classrooms Cool

Staff will be encouraged to turn off unnecessary lights or appliances that generate heat. In rooms without air conditioning, staff will open windows early in the morning and turn on fans to cool the room prior to arrival. If possible, windows and doors will be opened to create cross ventilation.

Added: October 27, 2021

The District has not adopted this concept as part of its curriculum, nor are there plans to do so.  Critical race theory is a concept typically taught in law schools and higher education and is not included in the District’s adopted curriculum used to teach the California State Standards.  

Critical Race Theory FAQ

The HBCSD Board’s policy states that district instructional materials, as a whole, present a broad spectrum of knowledge and viewpoints, reflect society's diversity, and enhance the use of multiple teaching strategies and technologies.  Our current instructional materials are consistent with this policy and state law and do not include any reference to critical race theory which is sometimes conflated with culturally responsive instruction, which promotes a sense of inclusion and respect to ensure all students are able to learn at high levels.

Curriculum adoptions require significant time and study and involve teachers and other subject area experts before being presented for public display and input from parents and the community.  While we do not anticipate adopting any updated curricula for the next several years, any changes will be highly publicized and require Board approval prior to implementation.

Added: October 27, 2021

In October 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 101, which requires completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for all public high schools, starting with the class of 2030.

Since HBCSD is a Kindergarten through 8th grade District, this legislation does not apply to our curriculum and will have no impact on our instructional program.

The state’s ethnic studies curriculum is intended to provide guidance to school districts and county offices of education that choose to offer ethnic studies courses. As such, it’s not mandatory, and it does not require that specific concepts like critical race theory be taught or included.

To learn more, please visit the Orange County Department of Education Frequently Asked Questions about ethnic studies.

Added: April 21, 2022

The District will be required to enforce the future vaccine requirement.  These requirements carry the force of the law.  It is a misdemeanor to refuse or willfully neglect to obey the CDPH guidance or public health orders.  There is also increased civil liability, and potential for personal liability, for the Board members or District if the District refuses or willfully refuses to enforce these mandates.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a statement announcing that the proposed vaccine mandate will not be in effect for the 2022-23 school year. As a result, there will not be a state COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students for the entirety of the 2022-23 school year.   
 
In a related development, Senator Richard Pan on April 14 withdrew a proposed bill (SB 871) that would have required all California students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting in 2023. The legislation would have also eliminated personal exemptions.

Despite SB 871 being withdrawn, the student vaccine mandate announced by the CDPH in October 2021 is still scheduled to go into effect via a two-phase approach (grades 7-12 in the first phase and grades K-6 in the second phase) and will become effective once the COVID-19 vaccine has been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the two grade spans.  With SB 871 no longer moving forward, parents will be able to opt their children out of the vaccine requirement for personal belief and medical exemptions if the requirement proceeds through the CDPH regulatory process in the future. 

The vaccine verification or weekly testing requirement for employees and volunteers continues through at least June 30, 2022.  We expect further information from CDPH regarding the requirement for the 2022-2023 school year in the near future.

All of our current HBCSD COVID-19 precautions and processes remain in place. We continue to offer free student COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits throughout the District. Please contact your school for more information. As always we will keep you updated as we learn more. 


Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) list of local locations for COVID-19 vaccinations

OCDE Newsroom COVID-19 Updates

Added: October 27, 2021

The city of Huntington Beach manages all city traffic-related concerns and employs the crossing guards that assist our schools. HBCSD continues to work in partnership with the city to voice concerns regarding crosswalks and traffic safety in regards to the areas surrounding our schools where the city has jurisdiction.  

District staff have monitored various pickup and drop-off activities and are working to evaluate potential options to improve traffic control measures and flow on our school sites, where the District has jurisdiction to make changes.

Resources

The Orange County Department of Education has also developed a new website to unpack complex education issues. It’s called The 101, and it can be accessed at 101.ocde.us.