It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year like no other. And now, looking back, we can see that the lessons we’ve learned — about health, resilience and flexibility — are lessons that will stick with us for years to come.
Despite the unique challenges that came from an abrupt shutdown of school campuses and a switch to distance learning, our educators, students and community have had many things to celebrate.
So like in years’ past, it’s time to look back on the most notable OCDE Newsroom posts for 2020. These posts highlight the grace, compassion, encouragement, strength and grit of our Orange County community.
Here are the top 10 stories from 2020, selected by our Newsroom staff and in no particular order.
Governor’s new mandate means OC schools start 2020-21 with distance learning
Orange County schools, along with campuses in 32 other counties on California’s COVID-19 watch list, started the 2020-21 school year with distance learning rather than in-person instruction or hybrid models. Speaking during a highly anticipated afternoon briefing, Newsom issued sweeping new directives for public and private schools, spanning distance learning, face coverings and more.
‘Orange County Together’ guide provides recommendations for safely reopening local schools
VIDEO: Surprise! Six exemplary educators learn they’re OC’s Teachers of the Year
This year’s Orange County Teacher of the Year announcements looked a bit different. Conspicuously missing was the big yellow bus, which has traditionally carried the county superintendent, camera crews, reporters, sponsors and OCDE representatives from school to school to share the good news. Instead, six exemplary educators found out they’ve been named the 2021 Orange County Teachers of the Year the same way many of us are now virtually connecting — through video conferencing sessions.
After making a Minecraft version of their school, Trabuco Hills High students are throwing a virtual prom
Meet Orange County’s Classified School Employees of the Year for 2020
OCDE announced Orange County’s top classified school employees for 2020. Six county finalists were selected from a pool of 64 district-level winners based on their work performance, leadership, commitment and involvement with their schools and communities.The Classified School Employees of the Year program was established in 2008 by the California Department of Education to spotlight the contributions of classified workers, whose ranks include instructional assistants, custodians, office clerks, technicians, bus drivers and other non-certificated staff members.
OCDE and City of Westminster host virtual groundbreaking of park honoring historic Mendez v. Westminster case
OC students embrace an untraditional start to the 2020-21 school year
Going back to school may look a little untraditional this year, but that has not stopped Orange County students, staff, teachers and families from making the best of these still uncertain times. Although most of Orange County’s nearly 500,000 students did not return to their physical campuses for the start of the 2020-21 school year, families and district staff took to social media like never before to chronicle what the first days of distance learning looked like in their homes and on their campuses.
5 things to know about the state budget and K-12 funding
Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature passed the 2020 Budget Act – a $202.1 billion spending plan to promote economic recovery while closing a $54.3 billion budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a list of five important things to know about the 2020-21 budget and what is being done to help mitigate the impacts of the state’s revenue decline on funding for K-12 schools.
Google doodle honors OC civil rights icon who helped end school segregation