Weekly roundup: Anaheim high schoolers take part in day of service, COVID news, and more

Inspired by the life and service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds of students from the Anaheim Union High School District spent Monday’s national holiday bettering their campuses and communities.

Title for "In the news"

As the Orange County Register reported, Kennedy High seniors and freshmen made a giant get-well poster for La Palma Intercommunity Hospital visitors, while their counterparts from Anaheim High School painted kindness rocks to leave throughout their neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, Oxford Academy students participated in campus beautification projects, made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a homeless group, and held an e-waste collection drive.

The Register posted a photo roundup of AUHSD’s day of service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

And here are some of the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • Capistrano Unified, Orange County’s largest district, reported extreme substitute shortages as it sought greater flexibility in hiring substitute teachers through Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent executive order.
  • To help school districts weather staffing shortages, about 100 managers from OCDE’s Educational Services division are being deployed to local campuses this month and filling a variety of roles.  
  • OCDE took delivery of more than 1.7 million N95 masks from the California Department of Public Health. The masks, which offer a greater level of protection against COVID-19, were being made available to school districts and charter schools for students and staff. A smaller shipment of child-size masks is expected as soon as this weekend.
  • The president of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified school board abruptly ended a meeting early for the second time in two weeks after trying to convince audience members to wear face masks in accordance with state health orders.
  • A growing number of California families chose to home-school their children during the pandemic, and many are sticking with it. The reasons for doing so are complex and span the socioeconomic and political spectrums, the Los Angeles Times reports.
  • Local school board meetings, once low-profile and nonpartisan, have become virtual battle zones with heated political rhetoric in the COVID-19 era, the Orange County Register reports.
  • Each year, students at Laguna Beach High School get a chance to better understand the college experience by hearing directly from recent graduates who have since moved on to higher education. The latest College Unplugged event took place on Jan. 5.
  • LAist reports that a new bill proposed in the California Senate would allow minors ages 12 to 17 to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other diseases without permission from their parents.
  • The Laguna Beach Unified school board said it will continue to meet in person amid the omicron surge while maintaining the option to pivot to virtual sessions if necessary.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.