Weekly roundup: Health education framework approved, lawmakers pitch school start-time bill, and more

The California Board of Education approved a new optional framework for health education this week, offering guidance to help K-12 teachers deliver lessons tied to the state’s health content standards.

As EdSource reported, frameworks are in place for a number of subjects, including English, math, science and history. They are not curriculums and are considered voluntary resources for schools and districts.

Title for "In the news"The Health Education Curriculum Framework for California Public Schools represents the first major update on the subject since 1994 and includes recommendations for physical, mental, emotional and social health, along with sex education guidance in alignment with the 2016 California Healthy Youth Act.

The document was adopted Wednesday after state board members heard from nearly 200 public speakers, many of whom opposed the sex ed component. EdSource said the final version of the framework did not include as resources some of the recommended books that generated the most opposition.

“Life has become exponentially more complex in the last few decades,” board President Linda Darling-Hammond said in a statement. “The Health Curriculum Framework—developed by educators for educators — gives district administrators and educators the guidance and resources they need to develop curriculum and instruction that can help students adopt healthy behaviors that support their physical and mental well-being and navigate through the sometimes complicated situations that will come their way. Equally important, the framework can help make classrooms safer learning environments free from bullying and harassment.”

And here are some other stories we’ve been tracking this week:

  • Saying later start times would improve students’ academic performance and mental health, some California lawmakers are once again proposing a bill that would prevent K-12 schools from ringing the first bell earlier than 8:30 a.m.
  • A student from Woodbridge High School in Irvine helped organize a seven-week program to introduce middle and high school girls to computer science subjects, including block coding, robotics, app development and web design.
  • Officials with Samueli Academy, a public charter high school authorized by OCDE, held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on three new buildings that will substantially expand the school’s footprint along North Fairview Street — and its capacity to serve disadvantaged students throughout Orange County.
  • Eight OC campuses have placed in the top 100 statewide on U.S. News & World Report’s latest “Best High Schools” ranking. Oxford Academy in the Anaheim Union High School District was tops locally, ranking as the second best high school in California.
  • The Anaheim Union High School District has started a $48 million renovation of Dale Junior High School that will bring to the campus science and technology labs, a new library, a band building, a gymnasium, drought-friendly landscaping and security fencing.
  • The Orange County Register reports that the Santa Ana Unified School District has sent invoices totaling $40 million to five charter schools, saying an audit found underpayment for special education services.
  • Federal data indicates the student-to-counselor ratio has dropped to its lowest rate in 30 years. Today’s national average is about one counselor for every 455 students, but the American School Counselor Association believes counselors should serve about half as many students.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates or following us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.