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.

OCDE in 30 Seconds: A brief look at the ‘Move More Eat Healthy’ program


Once again, we’re challenging staff members to explain Orange County Department of Education programs or services in under half a minute.

For our latest installment of “OCDE in 30 Seconds,” we caught up with Program Coordinator Chris Corliss to talk about the “Move More Eat Healthy” initiative. Take a look.

If you want to learn more about the program, check out this story from the OCDE Newsroom or visit this webpage.


Is there an OCDE program or service you’d like to see explained in 30 seconds? Send us a request at communications@ocde.us.

What is MTSS? Here’s your four-minute primer (video)


As we’ve mentioned here before, education offers more than its share of buzzwords, acronyms and jargon, but some are definitely worth getting to know a little better.

MTSS is one.

The initials stand for Multi-Tiered System of Supports, and it’s essentially a comprehensive framework that a number of schools are using to address each student’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs.

Because MTSS is becoming so prevalent on campuses across Orange County, we enlisted our Media Services team and experts from OCDE to produce the brief explainer video above.

Take a look!

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.

OCDE teams with community partners to open a new Fit Kid Center in Santa Ana

This week, Lydia Romero-Cruz Elementary School in Santa Ana became the latest Orange County campus to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its brand new Fit Kid Center.

FitKidAs we’ve previously reported here, Fit Kid Centers transform empty classrooms into engaging health and fitness rooms that can be used similar to computer labs. Each offers 30 minutes of fun, DVD-based exercise sessions, rotating small groups of students through a half-dozen self-directed stations that hone motor skills and promote overall fitness.

The center at Romero-Cruz was made possible by OCDE’s Move More Eat Healthy At School initiative with funding from the multi-agency Orange County Partnership to Improve Community Health, which in turn secured a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Santa Ana Unified Superintendent Rick Miller took part in the opening ceremony, which also featured Principal Erica Graves and dozens of students. You can check out some of the action in the video below, courtesy of the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Media Production team.

OCDE has now helped install approximately 20 Fit Kid Centers throughout the county and distributed more than 1,500 classroom Fit Kits, which can be used by elementary school teachers to facilitate quality P.E. lessons with little to no prep time.

OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program leads clean-up event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

IMG_1634While many commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with parades and ceremonies, students from OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program annually celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by hosting their own MLK Day of Service event.

IMG_1674They did so again on Saturday, Jan. 16, with more than 100 local volunteers donating 300 service hours to collect 2,000 pounds of trash from the Upper Newport Bay estuary. The latest MLK Day of Service was organized by Inside the Outdoors – led by Development Manager Dawn Curtis – in partnership with the City of Newport Beach and OC Parks.

Volunteers included Orange County students across all grade levels, as well as Inside the Outdoors Foundation board members, community members and representatives from companies such as INK Agency, State Farm, Wells Fargo and US Bank. All were needed for a clean-up that yielded plenty of discarded food wrappers, cigarette butts and even an old, busted guitar.

“Each year, Inside the Outdoors hosts an MLK Day of Service at one of our field trip sites in local parks,” says Lori Kiesser, development director for Inside the Outdoors. “After teaching students and community members about the importance of Orange County’s natural areas, the days of service represent the opportunity for all of us to honor Dr. King by applying what we have learned to real life experiences.”

Check out the Inside the Outdoors website for more info.