Pictured: Summer Camp registration is open for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Conejo Valley.

by Kimberly Rivers


COVID-19 Update

As of Tuesday, June 9, Ventura County Public Health reported a spike with 40 new coronavirus cases in one day. 39 people with COVID-19 are in the hospital, with 12 in the intensive care unit. 1,045 people have “recovered” from the virus and 301 are currently in “active quarantine” at home. 33,292 people have been tested for the active virus in the county. That number does not include people getting the antibody tests through private test providers. 

Protocols released for schools and childcare  

Last week the California Department of Public Health released guidelines for schools and childcare providers related to protecting children during the ongoing pandemic. 

First, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Department of General Services will help public, private and childcare facilities obtain PPE supplies and equipment, including hand sanitizer, no-touch thermometers, face shields for every teacher and childcare provider, cloth face coverings for staff and students, and N95 masks for in-school health professionals in the event that they treat symptomatic students. Other guidelines will be created for each school site and the state encourages clear communication with and feedback from students, families and local public health authorities. 

Conejo Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp

Safety protocols will be in place for a traditional summer camp for children kindergarten through eighth grade through the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Conejo Valley. Activities will include science, arts, crafts, games and sports at five camp locations. Session one is July 15-July 10, Session two July 13-Aug. 7 and Session 3 starts August 10-14. Signs ups and details online: www.bgcconejo.org/programs/summer-camps/

Ventura Botanical Gardens reopened

The Ventura Botanical Gardens has announced it’s reopening on June 6, following a temporary closure related to both the pandemic and new construction. 

Visitors will find a new entranceway designed by Noah Greer and Martha Picciotti along with some new COVID-19 protocols based on guidelines from National Public Gardens, including non-contact social distancing in the Merewether Welcome Centers. Entry will be limited to 50 visitors at any one time. 

The upper garden area north of Summit Drive, accessible by Summit Drive, Brakey Road or Ferro Drive, is always free and open to the public when Grant Park is open. 

Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fridays are free. Under 18 are free everyday. Admission for EBT cardholders is free every day. Admission is $7. Online payment method at www.vbgpay.com or at the door. Leashed dogs are welcome on Fridays and Wednesdays. Admission is free for everyone on Sunday, June 21, in honor of International Climate Change Day. 

The Ventura Botanical Gardens are located at 567 S. Poli St., Ventura. www.venturabotanicalgardens.com

Condor High School offers independent study options

Condor High School Options Academy, part of Oxnard Union School District, is accepting students from inside and outside the school district who are seeking flexible options for achieving their high school diplomas. The program allows students to enroll in college class, work part-time, pursue individual goals or focus on finishing courses. Courses are offered at eight locations. Those interested should contact their school counselor and complete an SST form. Students located outside the district can call 805-385-5885. www.condorhigh.us

CLU adopts compassionate AP credit policy

Due to hardships some students may have experienced related to the coronavirus pandemic, California Lutheran University has adopted a policy of giving all students who took Advanced Placement classes and were registered to take exams in Spring 2020 the maximum credit possible, a score of five, discounting actual scores or whether the test was completed. 

These tests are given online and many students reported problems with submitting the tests. Various technical issues plagued the College Board’s testing programs and those in AP classes are likely to have had reduced levels of instruction due to teachers quickly moving to distance learning. Health concerns, loss of jobs and other unforeseen stressors are likely to have impacted many families, potentially impacting students performing to the best of their abilities on the tests. 

Support for military families with special needs

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides tools for military families with special needs to access services and support when they are preparing for a move or deployment, experiencing changes in education or medical needs or contending with other changes. The program is accessible through an existing Military One account. To access the program online visit efmpandme.militaryonesource.mil or call 800-342-9647. 

Sportfishing reopening 

Channel Islands Harbor has announced the reopening of sportfishing after receiving authorization from Dr. Robert Leven, the Ventura County Public Health Officer. Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said measures taken by the sportfishing businesses will be consistent with guidelines developed and recommended by the Sportfishing Association of California to ensure the safety of customers and employees. Safety guidelines include social distancing, reducing capacity on ships, wearing face masks and cleaning protocols.