From Sonoma County to Simi Valley, fires forced hundreds of thousands of Californians out of their homes in October. In this week’s podcast, reporter Sydney Johnson shares what she found at evacuation centers in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, where she spoke with college students worried about how they will make up lost time.

Also, with a big decline in out-of-school suspensions for disruptive behavior, some districts are looking at ways to transform how they handle in-school suspensions. We speak with veteran educator Ramiro Rubalcaba, assistant superintendent of Victor Valley Union High School District, on how teachers and principals can avert suspensions, and also with Hemet Unified administrator Tracy Piper on the district’s alternative suspensions, a 3-day curriculum of learning and counseling.

Plus, we hear a short but powerful anecdote from a school library teacher in Oakland on how children can learn from one another’s diverse experiences.

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