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Orange County teens to stage ‘Reality Party’ to spotlight the dangers of underage drinking

Local prevention organizations are joining forces to raise awareness about the dangers of underage drinking by staging a “Reality Party for Parents” in Lake Forest this Saturday. Teen actors from the Santiago de Compostela Church Youth Ministry’s Friday Night Live chapter plan to portray typical party scenes exposing the perils of underage alcohol consumption, as well as the culture of binge-drinking. Participants will also voice concerns about adults who host drinking parties for minors. [...]
An image of Westminster High School's Academic Decathlon team

Westminster High leads a pack of five OC schools headed to the California Academic Decathlon

Marking a first in the 47-year history of the Orange County Academic Decathlon, five O.C. schools have been selected to advance to next month’s state decathlon in Sacramento. Cheers rang out in a packed Orange Coast College auditorium on Feb. 17 night as perennial powerhouse Westminster High was named the overall team winner with 50,981.8 points. Along with a special plaque, individual medals and local bragging rights, the school will receive a $4,000 travel stipend from the Orange County Academic Decathlon Association, which joined OCDE in announcing this year’s winners. [...]
An image of students at the Orange County Academic Decathlon

Academic Decathlon is all about teamwork, building 21st-century skills — and having fun

They enter the gym dressed in matching outfits, some carrying pom-poms, others with painted faces. They look nervous and excited. Students spend months preparing for this day. In fact, the average Orange County Academic Decathlon participant reports spending about 20 to 25 hours a week practicing. Staged over two weekends in January and February, this year's Decathlon drew 41 high schools and more than 500 students who competed as individuals and teams for top honors -- and a chance to represent the OC at the state-level contest. […]
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Human Trafficking Summit at OCDE draws nearly 200 educators and school-based professionals

OCDE, in partnership with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force and Vanguard University, hosted a Human Trafficking Summit for nearly 200 educators and school-based professionals on Jan. 29 at the department’s headquarters in Costa Mesa. The summit’s objective was to teach those working at the frontlines of education about human trafficking, how to identify it and how to report suspicious activities. Experts say that could be the difference in saving a life. [...]
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OC Career Pathways Partnership will prepare students for the 21st-century workforce

We already know that Orange County is a diverse and dynamic region with the human and economic potential to lead the nation in college and career readiness and success. Well, a sizable grant from the California Career Pathways Trust is poised to advance that vision. Last year, the California Department of Education awarded the Orange County Career Pathways Partnership a $15 million grant to create a countywide infrastructure to expand career pathways for students from kindergarten through college. Led by the Orange County Department of Education and Saddleback College, OCCPP represents the largest regional consortium in the state. […]