Weekly roundup: Girls flag football season kicks off in OC, OCDE outdoor science program nears 50 years, and more

Marina High School's girls flag football team plays a scrimmage against Orange Lutheran High School on August 9. (Orange County Register)
Marina High School’s girls flag football team plays a scrimmage against Orange Lutheran High School on Aug. 9. (Orange County Register)

Girls flag football games will commence this Friday at high schools throughout Orange County as part of the sport’s first official season in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section.

The Orange County Register reported 114 OC campuses have signed on to form their own girls flag football teams this school year since its designation as a CIF-sanctioned sport in February. Interest in the sport is expanding with athletes from other sports eager to join the new teams.

Marina High School’s standout softball pitcher Mia Valbuena was quick to trade in her glove for football cleats once the sport was announced, according to the Register.

“Most of the girls wanted to join the team because their friends are on it,” Valbuena told the Register. “It was ‘If you’re going to do it, then I will do it, too.'”

Of any new sport introduced in recent years, the CIF-SS Flag Football Sports Advisory Committee found that girls flag football has the highest number of participating teams.

“When it was confirmed that it was going to happen, then I went ahead and volunteered to do it,” said Michael Schneider, Marina High flag football coach. “There’s a lot of excitement around the school about it.”

While there won’t be playoffs for the sport this year, the CIF-SS expects to hold them in 2024 as the number of teams is predicted to grow. The flag football season — which coincides with boys football — will continue through the end of October.

Here are the other stories we’re following this week:

  • With nearly half a century of providing environmental education opportunities to students, the Inside the Outdoors team at OCDE recently reflected on reaching its 49th year of service and plans for expanding access to nature for young learners.
Oxford Preparatory Academy students' plant trees on service day
  • To support educators interested in developing student voice and agency, OCDE is hosting its two-day Civic Learning Institute in September to collaborate with teachers and administrators from local public, charter and private schools. 
  • In honor of the back-to-school season in Orange County and beyond, the OCDE Newsroom has compiled a roundup of social media posts from local school districts and charter schools as they celebrated students’ first day back on campus.
  • As classes begin at multiple Orange County schools this week, Palisades Elementary School in Dana Point prepared for the first day back with its annual welcome back barbecue to connect with families while sharing the staff’s goals for their students.
A Clinton Elementary School student is cheered on by teachers and staff as they arrive on campus. (Courtesy of Garden Grove Unified)
  • On August 13, the Junior Art Exhibit at the annual Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach honored local student artists, awarding first place to Fountain Valley High School senior Madeline Prado for her watercolor portrait titled “Disposition.”

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.