Education Roundup: Stomach Virus Plagues San Francisco High School

St. Ignatius College Preparatory is closing until Monday to sanitize the school and restore students' health.

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Welcome to the High School Notes weekly roundup of education news. Every Friday, you'll find out what's making headlines around the Web.

Student health

About 325 high school students and 30 teachers are suffering from a stomach virus at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco this week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. School officials are investigating how students were exposed to the bug, which has been causing severe nausea and vomiting. The school has closed its doors until Monday.

Bombing plot

A 16-year-old student was charged with a felony Tuesday after authorities discovered he was plotting to detonate a bomb in his Utah high school. The minor and another student, age 18, were arrested last week when a classmate tipped off the police with suspicious text messages he received from them. Upon investigation, police found detailed plans of the potential bombing, including blueprints of the school and security systems.

Digital textbooks

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Wednesday that the Obama administration is pushing for all U.S. schools to transition to digital textbooks by 2017. The administration hopes that the money spent annually in the United States on traditional textbooks—an amount that the Associated Press reports at roughly $8 billion dollars—can instead go toward digital learning. The call for switching to digital textbooks comes about two weeks after Apple unveiled the iBooks 2 app for the iPad.

Tim Tebow Bill

Home-schooled students in Virginia moved another step toward playing on public high school athletic teams Wednesday. The state "Tim Tebow Bill," named after the NFL quarterback who played high school sports as a home-schooled student, permits other home-schooled students to do the same. The bill received the majority of votes in the Virginia House Education Committee and next moves to the full House of Delegates.

National celebrations

This week kicked off several nationally recognized celebrations, including Black History Month. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has designated this year's Black History Month theme as "Black Women in American Culture and History." Educators can find resources for teaching black history through CNN.

President Barack Obama also designated February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in a presidential proclamation Tuesday. "The consequences of dating violence—spanning impaired development to physical harm—pose a threat to the health and well-being of teens across our Nation, and it is essential we come together to break the cycle of violence that burdens too many of our sons and daughters," Obama said.

The first day of the month also marked the first annual Digital Learning Day, when educators, parents, and students shared innovative teaching ideas. As part of the celebration, organized by the Alliance for Excellent Education, FCC Chairman Genachowski and Education Secretary Duncan joined a live, online National Town Hall meeting that focused on using technology to enhance teaching performance.

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