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Carlington Franklin,12, (right) takes a picture of her brother, Madison High School graduate Terrick Franklin-Hayes, 17, (middle) with their mom Theresa Franklin (left) after the graduation ceremony at Petco Park. Pool photo by Eduardo Contreras, The San Diego Union-Tribune

The 2020-21 school year was hard for everyone.

Some school districts, including San Diego Unified and Sweetwater Union, relaxed their graduation standards to help students who may have struggled with coursework online to graduate, reports VOSD’s Will Huntsberry.

Several years ago, San Diego Unified raised its graduation requirements higher than the state standards. It lowered its minimum GPA requirement during the pandemic to meet the state minimum standards.

Experts told Huntsberry that it was wise to give students grace in light of the tough pandemic year.

Other districts, like Poway Unified and Grossmont Union, did not change their graduation standards, but a Grossmont spokeswoman told Huntsberry that the district increased the level of support it provided to students through tutoring, Saturday school and winter learning sessions instead.

But one expert told Huntsberry that it will be important to continue keeping an eye on the class of 2021. Already we’re seeing that fewer of those students are enrolling in community colleges, for example. 

YMCA Names New Chief Executive

The YMCA of San Diego announced it has hired a new CEO. The board of directors chose Todd Tibbits, who has until now run the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. We recently wrote about some of the challenges the Y faced in San Diego. It provoked a letter from Chair Kathy Scott, who agreed the organization was preparing for “fundamental changes” but argued it had weathered the COVID-19 crisis well. Part of the change would come in the form of a new CEO. Scott said in a prepared announcement that they believed Tibbits would drive growth. 

“Our search team was also moved by Todd’s sincere commitment to advancing the Y’s mission to serve all San Diegans equally through enhanced health equity services, anti-racist initiatives and diverse hiring practices. Moreover, his deep experience and knowledge of the YMCA mission and operations will allow him to hit the ground running in August,” Scott said.

Other nonprofit news: The Balboa Park Conservancy and Friends of Balboa Park announced their planned merger is complete. They’re calling it: Balboa Park Conservancy and Friends. “Using combined resources and expertise, the new entity is better positioned to partner with the city and support the diverse needs of Balboa Park,” read the emailed newsletter announcement. 

Chaos Reigns in San Dieguito

School boards have been tumultuous political arenas over the last year, as debates over how and when to reopen schools during the pandemic shook districts across the county. 

But rarely have things gotten as tense as at the San Dieguito Union High School District, where there’s been a forced special election, a recall attempt and accusations of stalking, racism and criminal wrongdoing.

During that time, three board members were elected without the support of the union that represents the district’s teachers, and the superintendent and one board trustee have resigned.

In the latest issue of the North County Report, Kayla Jimenez outlines the still-unfolding tumult, and sat down with Duncan Brown, the president of the district’s teachers union, to discuss what’s going on at the normally quiet district.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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