Weekly roundup: Graduations return in pre-pandemic fashion, funding granted for career pathways, and more

OUSD high school graduation
Orange High School students at their graduation ceremony in Orange on June 8, 2022. (Paul Rodriguez / Orange County Register Contributing Photographer)

After making pandemic-safe adjustments to graduation ceremonies last June, graduation season has returned to normal with fully in-person high school graduation festivities — cap tosses and cheerful embraces included.

As the Orange County Register reported, more than half of the county’s high schools have celebrated their seniors earning diplomas over the past two weeks. Thousands of graduates from the Anaheim, Brea Olinda, Capistrano, Fullerton Joint, Garden Grove, Irvine, Saddleback Valley, Santa Ana and Tustin school districts have walked the ceremonial stage this year to the sound of their families’ and friends’ applause.

Earlier this week, students from the Laguna Beach, Newport-Mesa and Orange unified school districts also attended their commencement ceremonies. Coming up, the Huntington Beach Union High School District and the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District will get the chance to celebrate their high school graduates.

Here are some of the other stories we have been following this week:

  • The OC Pathways program, “Getting to and Through College Career,” was awarded an $18.1 million grant to support their work-based learning programs for students to strengthen their career opportunities.
  • Incumbents have taken the lead in the election races for the Orange County Superintendent of Schools and the Orange County Board of Education, with still more ballots to be counted.
  • California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that a statewide initiative that would require allocating 1 percent of state and local public school funding to arts and music education has qualified to appear on the November election ballot.
Rhea Sreedhar Broadcom MASTERS
Student Rhea Sreedhar is heading to Broadcom MASTERS, a national STEM competition. (Broadcom Foundation)
  • On the state level, legislators have joined with civil rights leaders to increase dual language education by calling for a $5 million investment in training K-12 teachers for Asian language accreditation.
  • After completing a rigorous training process with up-to-date automation and data analytics technologies, six students from Buena Park High School became the first cohort in California to receive the Smart Automation Certification Alliance advanced technology certificates.
  • Lastly, on July 1, a new California law will go into effect extending start times to no earlier than 8:30 a.m. for public high school students and no earlier than 8 a.m. for middle school students in an effort to prevent sleep deprivation.

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