Weekly roundup: California School Dashboard, School Bus Roadeo, Culverdale’s innovation lab and more

The California School Dashboard made its formal debut this week, giving parents and educators a more comprehensive look at how their schools and districts are performing.

Example that shows the color-coded pie pieces in the new California School Dashboard

Technically, the dashboard is still being field-tested by the state Department of Education, which says full implementation is set for the fall. But we can already tell you that the interface and graphics are more engaging than previous accountability tools. In fact, we’d say it’s the best use of pie icons since Trivial Pursuit.

If you haven’t yet checked out the dashboard, you can give it a test-drive here. And if you want some additional background, the OCDE Newsroom posted this quick user’s guide.

In other education news:

  • A junior from Beckman High School in the Tustin Unified School District was honored for developing a smartphone app that could help emergency responders locate disaster victims with drones. Again, we’ve got a video.
  • During an assembly at Heritage Elementary School, Tustin Unified School District staff surprised a pair of educators with Teacher of the Year honors — including a digital media arts teacher who thought he was just there to film the announcement.
  • Culverdale Elementary School in the Irvine Unified School District has converted a classroom into its new Innovation Lab, stocked with robotics, a 3-D printer and movable furniture to create flexible learning spaces. The lab was made possible by a $211,850 grant from the Irvine Public Schools Foundation.
  • Students from Back Bay High School, an alternative campus in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, shared their post-graduation plans with a panel of community members.
  • That’s all for now. Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day.