With multiple ceremonies, graduates sitting six feet apart and other safety measures in place, the first of many 2021 commencement events began this week.
Anaheim Union High and Tustin Unified school districts were among the first districts in Orange County to host in-person graduation ceremonies and senior events celebrating the end to a year the class of 2021 will not soon forget.
Commencement ceremonies in both districts had limited seating to allow for social distancing, but nonetheless featured many cheering families and smiling grads. And since tickets were limited this year, the ceremonies were also livestreamed.
One highlight of graduation season in the Tustin Unified School District is the awarding of a car to one of the seniors. This year, given the pandemic, the annual Drive for Perfect Attendance program was re-imagined as Drive for Engagement, according to the Orange County Register.
The winner, Giovanni Andablo from Tustin High, was chosen in a drawing at a recent school board meeting. The Register reports that Andablo is a Tustin Unified ‘lifer,’ having attended elementary, middle and high school in the district.
And here are some of the news stories we’ve been tracking this week:
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond this week paid a visit to Eisenhower Elementary School, the first campus in the Garden Grove Unified School District to transition 100 percent of its student body back into classrooms five days a week.
- In related news, the state department of education announced the selection of the 2021 California Classified School Employees of the Year, including three winners from Orange County.
- A new documentary created by the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association spotlights the high school’s 90-year history in the community.
- Trying to squeeze in as many end-of-the-year activities as possible, many districts in Orange and Los Angeles counties are hosting “prom-ish” events while remaining safe and following local health guidelines.
- A trio of students from University High School in the Irvine Unified School District recently took third place in IVC Idea Pitch Competition organized by Irvine Valley College’s entrepreneurship program.
- And, two middle school teams from Orange County were awarded silver medals in their respective grade levels at the 2021 United States Academic Pentathlon.
- As the end of the school year draws near, OCDE Newsroom staff recently provided a brief look at summer accelerated learning programs being offered by school districts across Orange County.
- With a return to full in-person instruction on the horizon, schools across California are opening vaccination clinics to students and the broader community, with hopes of boosting vaccine rates among families hardest hit by the pandemic.
- Over 1,200 pieces of artwork created by local students are currently on display, both virtually and in person, as part of the 2021 OCArts4All Art Showcase.
- And finally, the University of California Irvine will begin offering a Spanish Bilingual Authorization Program this summer to help meet the state’s increasing need for K-12 bilingual teachers.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.