Weekly roundup: Fullerton School District class builds tiny home for unhoused peers, Westminster student heads to Scripps National Spelling Bee, and more

  • The Fullerton School District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Nicolas Junior High School to unveil the first 192-square-foot structure in its tiny home project on Tuesday, May 21.
  • Under the guidance of woodshop teacher Mucio Vidales, a class of 22 eighth-grade students designed and constructed a sustainable and energy-efficient house.
  • The structure was built on the campus of Nicolas Junior High School and will be transported to Orangethorpe Elementary School.
  • The 192-square-foot fully furnished house, unveiled on May 21, includes a kitchen, bedroom and living space.
  • The structure was built on the campus of Nicolas Junior High School and will be transported to Orangethorpe Elementary School.

Eighth-grade students from Nicolas Junior High School in the Fullerton School District are one step closer to changing the lives of a local student and their family with a tiny house they designed and constructed.

The 192-square-foot fully furnished house, unveiled on May 21, includes a kitchen, bedroom and living space. The district is working to identify a student and their family who are receiving assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to live in the tiny house.

“We have over 190 families who are experiencing homelessness in our district,” Jeremy Davis, the Fullerton School District’s assistant superintendent of innovation and instructional support, told Fox 11 Los Angeles. “We have a group that is going to help case manage the family for us. We’re hoping about every six months we could move a different family in, give them the space to save up money for more permanent housing for themselves, and then move another family in about every six months.” 

The district’s tiny home project included 22 students from Nicolas, along with peers from the associated student body chapter, who are compiling footage and interviews to document the building process. Additionally, students from Parks Junior High School presented the project before the City Council.

“It feels thrilling to see something I’ve done be so important,” Edwin Ramirez, a student speaking with KCAL News, said. 

The district plans to continue the project by initiating another build during the upcoming school year.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

Board Room at OCDE
  • The Orange County Department of Education spotlighted nine distinguished staff members during Classified School Employee Week, which is a time to celebrate the vital contributions of, well, classified school employees.
  • Six school-based Peer Assistance Leadership programs and two advisors received surprise visits from representatives of the Orange County Department of Education in May for promoting school environments that are caring, safe and supportive for all. 
  • At its annual Chapter Recognition Ceremony at Solis Park School in Irvine, the Orange County Friday Night Live Partnership celebrated three schools and one advisor, commending their exceptional contributions to youth development and substance abuse prevention initiatives.
Katelyn Nguyen Orange County Spelling Bee champion
(Courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee)
  • Katelyn Nguyen, a student from the Westminster School District, is gearing up for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is scheduled to begin May 26. Nearly 250 spellers from across the country and the world will be competing in Washington, D.C.
  • Students in an after-school program at Sunkist Elementary School painted a mural with the message “If you can dream it, you can do it” as part of the Anaheim Elementary School District’s initiative to liven up campuses and leave positive messages for students.
  • Two teachers from Ladera Palma Elementary in the La Habra City School District were named recipients of grants from the Kemper Foundation’s Read Conmigo initiative, bolstering bilingual education with classroom resources, professional development, supplies and activities to enrich student learning and reinforce cultural values.
  • Campus librarians at Mariners Elementary in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District launched an event called Comicon to provide a platform for students to showcase their artwork and feel seen, fostering a sense of community and creativity.
  • Several California school districts and charter schools have been fined for violating state guidelines on average class size and staffing ratios in transitional kindergarten, which is expanding to include all 4-year-old students by 2025.
  • The state’s largest teachers union announced a public campaign on Friday to block part of Gov. Newsom’s budget plan, arguing it would harm school funding despite his claim that it would protect schools from $8.8 billion in immediate cuts.

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.