OCDE joins Orange County Business Council to launch 10 Education Essentials for local families

From tracking students’ grades to helping them apply for colleges, understanding the education system can be a key ingredient for parents in the recipe for their child’s academic and vocational success.

10 Education Essentials workbook logo (Courtesy of Orange County Business Council)

In order to provide additional support and insight to families, including those who don’t speak English as their primary language, the Orange County Business Council has teamed up with the Orange County Department of Education and other community partners to launch the 10 Education Essentials course.

The resource is an updated version of the 10 Educational Commandments for Parents originally created by the Leading Educational Attainment Initiative. The newest edition contains hour-long modules designed to answer parents’ commonly-asked questions about the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for their children’s education. Families can interact with the free workbook by joining an online course or receive a printed version at in-person sessions offered through their school district.

Each section features data gathered by community education partners including OCDE’s Educational Services division teams. Parents and guardians can learn to prepare their children for college and career through modules focused on required classes and college entry requirements, assembled by OCDE’s Curriculum, Instruction and Academic Enrichment Unit.

The workbook also includes a section with input from the department’s STEM team and the Career Education and Postsecondary Advancement Unit that emphasizes the importance of STEM curriculum and informs families about the 21st-century skills students can gain through career pathways opportunities.

For families who are not sure where to begin, they can start the online course with a five-minute self-assessment to figure out which module will best meet their specific needs.

The Leading Educational Attainment Initiative has partnered with 17 school districts throughout the county to host on-campus classes where families receive guidance in a variety of topics such as education levels, honors and Advanced Placement classes, and the grading system.

This program was established in 2004 to provide Orange County English-language learner families with the resources necessary to help their children succeed in school. The initiative aims to empower parents to keep track of their academic growth by breaking down barriers they face in the education system.

“Families of students who are English Learners are highly proactive and motivated to support their children’s educational success, despite usually being unfamiliar with the California school system. However, they face a variety of unique challenges in accessing information and resources,” said Stephan Lambert, coordinator of prevention education in OCDE’s Student Achievement and Wellness Unit.

“This course empowers them with the tools to monitor their children’s progress, advocate for their needs and facilitate meaningful discussions with their families as they walk along with their children on their educational journey.”

Approximately 21 percent of all students enrolled in Orange County school districts are classified as English learners, according to the Education Data Partnership. The 10 Education Essentials is currently available in English and Spanish, with a Vietnamese translation in progress. The Leading Education Attainment Initiative partners also plan to publish an Arabic translation of the workbook, expected in the fall.

Multi-language families looking to learn more about this course can reach out to their child’s school campus liaison for more information. Schools or nonprofit partners interested in getting involved with the program can visit ocbc.org/ocbc-initiatives/lea.

OCDE’s Educational Services division provides professional learning, technical assistance, tools and resources to 29 independent school districts in Orange County and leads implementation of the California Multi-Tiered System of Support, which focuses on the academic, behavioral and social success of all learners.