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.
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:
- More than 100 teachers, coaches, consultants and administrators gathered this week to share their best practices for language acquisition and multi-literacy as part of the OCDE Project GLAD® NTC Annual Summit 2019.
- 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 Huntington Beach Union High School District issued a joint statement with Santa Ana Unified over the weekend to address a pair of racially offensive signs spotted at a high school football game.
- 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.
- The California Teachers Association has lowered the membership count listed on its website by about 15,000. Officials say that’s largely due to a “disaffiliation” with the California Faculty Association, which represents CSU staff.
- In an interview with EdSource, Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver lauded efforts to promote social-emotional learning in schools, calling it “the most opportune time I’ve seen for us as educators to make significant improvements in the quality of life for children.”
- The OCDE Newsroom reshared a set of guidelines developed by the state to help school districts impacted by wildfires decide when to limit outdoor activities — or even cancel classes — because of poor air quality.
- The Tustin Public Schools Foundation will hold its 29th annual Dino Dash this weekend, featuring 2K, 5K and 10K runs, along with a half-marathon. Last year’s Dino Dash raised more than $200,000 for Tustin Unified students.
- Some California schools allow suspended students to remain on campus instead of staying home, but experts caution that these interventions must be done right to be successful.
- 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 Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.