In the news: Canyon High wins OC decathlon, judge orders state to disclose student records and more

Each Friday, we post a roundup of local education headlines. Here are the big stories from this week:

  • Canyon High School in the Orange Unified School District has earned top honors in this year’s Orange County Academic Decathlon – but they’re not the only local school that will advance to California Academic Decathlon.
  • The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is considering a new permit system that would effectively extend the amount of time substitute teachers can fill in for regular teachers out on medical leave.
  • A state mediator has been appointed to help settle a negotiations impasse between the Fullerton Joint Union High School District and the association that represents that district’s teachers.
  • A Dana Hills High student whose photo was omitted from the yearbook on the grounds that the keffiyeh worn on his head could be perceived as offensive is challenging that decision.

In the news: New diploma options for OC students, perfect AP Spanish scores and more

Another week is in the books, and we’ve got a recap of some of the education news you might have missed.

  • The Super Quiz Relay marked the final event of this year’s Orange County Academic Decathlon, and the Orange County Register had it covered with a story and photos.
  • NewspaperOCDE’s new College and Career Preparatory Academy is designed to fill gaps in services available to young men and women who have aged out of the school system but still need to complete graduation requirements.
  • About 35 fifth- and sixth-grade students from Newport Coast Elementary School are taking coding classes offered by a local nonprofit.
  • The famous Harlem Globetrotters trotted through Orange County this week to spread a message of anti-bullying at several schools, including Richmond Elementary in Fullerton, Star View Elementary in Midway City, St. Joachim Catholic School in Costa Mesa and St. Anne School of Santa Ana.
  • A Fullerton School District board member who would have been up for re-election in November will have to wait two years to run again as a result of Fullerton’s transition from an at-large election system to geographical trustee areas.

That’s all for now.

Students at Anaheim’s Loara High School bank on unique job training opportunity (video)


Here’s a story that’s earning interest.

Union Bank has opened an actual working branch on the campus of Loara High School in Anaheim. By all accounts, this represents a highly unique partnership that’s dispensing both lessons on financial literacy as well as bankable job training for Loara students.

We could probably deposit a few more bank puns into this post, but we think you should just check out the video, courtesy of our top-notch Media Services team.


Is there something cool happening at your school that you’d like to see featured on the OCDE Newsroom? Drop us an email at communications@ocde.us.

In the news: Career pathway programs on the rise, a bankable opportunity in Anaheim and more

It’s that time again. Here’s a week’s worth of local education stories you might have missed.

  • California’s teacher shortage is likely to worsen, according to a new report that calls for “purposeful steps” to reverse the trend.
  • In the NewsThe integration of hands-on career technical training with standards-based academics is becoming increasingly prevalent in California’s high schools thanks to a sizable investment by the state in programs like Orange County’s own OC Pathways.
  • The Orange Unified School District has conducted a feasibility study to determine whether a bond measure to replace aging facilities can win voter approval.

In the news: Project Zero Waste honored, kindergarten vaccination rates rise and more

We’ve made it to another Friday, and that means it’s time for our weekly recap of recent education stories.

In the news: A state spending proposal, a makeup assignment in La Habra, court news and more

You want headlines? We’ve got headlines. Here’s the latest roundup of what’s happening in the world of education:

  • Anthony Rendon, the next speaker of the California Assembly, wants to use his position to focus on early childhood education.

Here’s a look at California’s new education laws for 2016

capitol.jpegA new year is upon us, and that means a raft of new state laws has gone into effect. Here at the OCDE Newsroom, we’ve been specifically tracking a handful of educational bills expected to have an impact on Orange County students and schools. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s changed as we enter 2016.

Vaccinations

Over the summer, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277, which states that parents of students who attend public or private schools can no longer refuse to vaccinate their children based on a personal belief exemption. Though the law technically took effect Jan. 1, the 2015-16 year isn’t affected, so the real impact will be seen in the fall.

High School Exit Exam

Another new law officially suspends the California High School Exit Exam and calls for school districts to grant diplomas to students who didn’t pass the test but met all other graduation requirements, dating all the way back to the 2003-04 school year. Eligible students are advised to contact the school districts, county offices or charter schools where they completed grade 12.

Cheerleading

Good news for cheerleading enthusiasts. Assembly Bill 949, signed by the governor in October, reclassified cheerleading as a competitive CIF sport, starting in 2017-18. In the meantime, CIF officials are tasked with creating new rules, guidelines and safety protocols.

Health education

Assembly Bill 329 makes comprehensive sexual health education mandatory in middle or high school unless parents specifically opt out. It also updates the curriculum to include HIV and AIDS prevention information.

A separate law, Senate Bill 695, makes it a graduation requirement for students to complete a course in health education that includes instruction in sexual harassment and violence.

State education officials say 97 percent participated in new web-based assessments

California students posted a 97 percent participation rate on this year’s statewide English and math assessments, education officials announced Tuesday.

And the numbers were just as strong locally.

More than 250,000 Orange County students took the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, exams last spring, participating at a rate of 96.9 percent in English and 97.6 percent in math.

students in computer labThese rates are significant for a few reasons. For starters, almost all of the tests in California were taken on computers, meaning they were reliant on state and local efforts to upgrade schools’ Internet capabilities. These were also the first exams to reflect the state’s more rigorous standards in English and math.

“These numbers tell an important story,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Tuesday. “They reflect strong support for our new standards among parents, teachers, students, and business and community leaders. The standards are a critical part of our plan to improve education in California because they emphasize skills that prepare students for 21st-century careers and college, such as critical thinking and problem solving.”

As we reported in September, Orange County students outshined their state and regional counterparts on the new assessments, with 53 percent meeting or exceeding the English language arts standard and 45 percent meeting or exceeding the standards in mathematics. When you combine the number of students who met or nearly met the standards, Orange County posted rates of 76 percent in English and 72 percent in math.

In California, 44 percent of students met or exceeded the English standard and 34 percent met or exceeded the standards in math.

In the news: Culinary arts in Irvine, new immunization rules, a Tustin school to close and more

It’s Friday, Dec. 18, and we’ve got another batch of spoiler-free education stories you might have missed. Here goes:

  • The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is among those reminding parents of new immunization requirements that take effect on Jan. 1. Specifically, Senate Bill 277 says parents of students who attend public or private schools can no longer refuse to vaccinate their children based on personal belief exemptions.
  • A student from Irvine’s University High School has earned the unique honor of having a photograph she took displayed in Vice President Joe Biden’s home.
  • Estancia High School, also in Costa Mesa, held its annual Fire Day, offering sophomore students the unique opportunity to experience the demands and challenges of a firefighter’s job.

OC schools not affected by LAUSD’s decision to shut down campuses following threat

As you may have heard, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that all of its schools would be closed Tuesday, Dec. 15 due to a threat of violence sent electronically to district officials.  

290x210-2The decision to cancel classes in Los Angeles was taken “in an abundance of caution” based on a specific threat reported within that district. The Orange County Department of Education has not been notified of any similar reports involving Orange County schools.

OCDE will, however, continue to work closely with law enforcement officials and maintain ongoing communications. Above all, the safety of students and staff remains our highest priority.

You can read the latest LAUSD coverage from the Los Angeles Times here.

And to learn how to help children deal with traumatic events, check out this Newsroom post from last month.