Weekly roundup: Bullying prevention strategies in Capo, best practices for language acquisition, and more

October was National Bullying Prevention Month, and Capistrano Unified marked the occasion with a slate of activities aimed at creating more inclusive school environments.

This week, the district’s CUSD Insider shared a few of the strategies and initiatives that campuses are embracing to thwart bullying and promote kindness.

Stomp Out Bullying sign
(Photo courtesy of the Capistrano Unified School District)

At Tijeras Creek Elementary in Rancho Santa Margarita, Girl Scout Troop 3672 has created a Buddy Bench so all kids have somewhere to go for company and camaraderie during recess and lunch.

Meanwhile, the Watch DOGS program — the acronym stands for Dads of Great Students — asks fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other father-figures to volunteer at least one day a year at their child or relative’s school.

“It’s not just an element of security – it’s also a great way of having an extra pair of eyes on campus who encourage students to interact and have fun,” one local dad said.

Other schools like Hidden Hills Elementary in Laguna Niguel and Las Flores Elementary in Rancho Santa Margarita organized classroom and recess activities. CUSD campuses also sent a message of support for those who’ve experienced bullying by encouraging everyone to wear orange for Unity Day on Oct. 24.

The district says its efforts to prevent bullying will extend throughout the year, and you can read more on the CUSD Insider website.

Here are some other stories you might have missed from the week ending Nov. 1:

  • Voters in the Rancho Santiago Community College District, which includes Santa Ana and Santiago Canyon community colleges, will be asked to approve a $496 million bond measure to renovate aging facilities and build modern learning spaces for students. The March 3 ballot measure will require 55 percent approval to pass.
  • A dispute between Orange County’s elected superintendent and three members of the Orange County Board of Education has left OCDE without an approved budget, nearly four months after the July 1 deadline. The California Department of Education could step in to settle the matter.
  • The OCDE Newsroom shared a sampling of good deeds submitted in October through OCDE’s One Billion Acts of Kindness campaign. The initiative was launched in 2016 to tally up kindness as part of a larger effort to promote civility, character and positive school climates.
  • The state-mandated accountability plans that school districts use to outline their priorities and spending plans are expected to get shorter, clearer and easier to read by 2020-21. Lawmakers requested the change after hearing complaints that current Local Control and Accountability Plans, or LCAPs, were not exactly user friendly.
  • And finally, during an assembly last week, about 50 students, parents and faculty members from St. Mary’s School donated locks of hair to help children who are experiencing hair loss as a result of cancer treatments.

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