With National Physical Fitness and Sports Month coming to a close, more than 800 Garden Grove Unified students with special needs celebrated by competing in relays, volleyball matches, softball tosses and more at the district’s 52nd Special Games on May 19.
The annual Olympic-style event was organized by the district’s department of adapted physical education and aims to celebrate the abilities of all students. About 550 student leaders from the district’s eight high school campuses welcomed each competitor to the stadium at Bolsa Grande High School with cheers of encouragement and high-fives.
The games kicked off with a torch relay, a high school mascot race and a performance of the national anthem sung by Franson Langinbelik, an Adult Transition Program student at Jordan Secondary Learning Center. Student volunteers assisted with sporting events including soccer kicks, football throws and basketball games as well as face painting.
“Special Games reflects our district’s commitment to support the academic and personal skills of all students and allows us to come together to celebrate the abilities of our special needs students,” Board of Education President Walter Muneton said in a statement.
Here are the other stories we have been following this week:
- In honor of Classified School Employee Week, the OCDE Newsroom celebrated and introduced the nine classified employees of the year who were selected from local districts for their dedication to students and their communities. Additionally, Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares joined in commending all classified school employees for working tirelessly to ensure schools run smoothly and students feel supported.
- Local middle school teams won a total of 29 medals — including second place overall — at the 2023 National Academic Pentathlon, which was themed “The American Revolution and the New Nation.”
- Dr. Julienne Lee will join the Buena Park School District as its next superintendent, pending final Board of Education approval on June 12.
- A short film produced by three high schoolers from the Irvine Unified School District placed first in the statewide Directing Change Program and Film Contest for its depiction of the role of friendship in a teen’s mental health journey. This project was among more than 20 films from Orange County students that received state or regional honors.
- The Orange County Department of Education recently hosted local educators to share best practices for improving language acquisition and literacy skills at the Project GLAD® Spring Institute.
- Valencia High School student Amanda Liu and Assistant Principal William Truong were chosen for the 2023 Bezos Scholars Program, which invites scholars to attend leadership trainings while offering students support as they launch their community-focused projects.
- This week, San Clemente High School students released a group of young white sea bass into the ocean after spending months raising the fish as part of a classroom marine conservation project created by the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute.
- Approximately 1,200 students from across the county visited Huntington State Beach on Tuesday to help clean up the shore and learn about coastal conservation at the annual Kids Ocean Day.
- United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a public warning on Tuesday about the risks that social media can pose to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.
- Governor Newsom’s proposed California budget will now allocate $93.8 billion to K-12 education in the wake of decreased revenue projections.
- Sophia Rabin, a Corona del Mar high schooler, musician and songwriter, was recently named a U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts along with about 20 students from across the country.
- A junior from Corona del Mar High School recently raised $2,650 for Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where he received a life-saving bone marrow transplant almost 17 years ago.
- Beginning this fall, Dana Hills High School students will get to exchange letters via pen and paper or electronically with students in Sorrento, Italy through the Sister Cities International pen pal program.
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 and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.