The Orange County Register has announced the top student artists recognized through its Orange County High School Artist of the Year program, which, like most of us, hit a few hurdles in recent months.
This year’s winners, by category, are:
- Dance: Lilah Dee Horton, Orange County School of the Arts
- Film/animation: Zayd Ezzeldine, Irvine High School
- Instrumental music: Albert Gang, Sage Hill School
- Vocal music: Sean Oliu, Servite High School
- Theater: Christina Tinde Jesenski, Orange County School of the Arts
- Computer assisted visual arts: Renee Tran, University High School
- Handcrafted visual arts: Ray Mar Negrete, Aliso Niguel High School
As you can see, the Register has profiled all seven of the top honorees. But it’s worth noting that the 2020 edition almost didn’t happen. Even before the pandemic forced the cancellation of in-person interviews and performances, the program was nearly derailed by a shortage of funding in the fall.
The newspaper says Chapman University stepped in and agreed to be a partner moving forward, and Laguna College of Art and Design has expanded its support with awards and scholarships for contest winners.
And here are some other stories we’ve been tracking this week:
- California’s new spending plan generally preserves K-12 funding in the 2020-21 school year while seeking more accountability for distance learning, the Register reports. (The OCDE Newsroom will have more on the budget next week.)
- The Los Angeles Times also notes that California has re-established set minimums for instructional minutes and will require teachers to take online attendance and document distance learning.
- An Irvine middle schooler has won third place in the 2020 National History Day competition, which live-streamed this year’s awards ceremony from Washington, D.C.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered 19 counties to suspend indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, movie theaters and other businesses for at least three weeks. Our running digest of COVID-19 news also has information on the extended deadline for families to apply for food and grocery benefits.
- Though some parents aren’t fans of remote instruction or virtual learning, both are likely to continue for millions of children this fall as districts grapple with how to promote physical distancing, USA Today reports.
- A survey of smaller California school districts suggests some don’t have enough devices or internet coverage in their communities to offer distance learning to all students, EdSource reports.
- The 2020 census count is underway, and the Orange County Department of Education has curated a batch of resources to help teachers and community leaders spread the word.
- Survey results show a fifth of Los Angeles Unified School District parents say they’re not ready to return their kids to in-person instruction, and more than a third of the district’s employees are against returning as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a statement in favor of resuming in-person instruction to prevent learning further loss and social isolation. The group also has guidance on physical distancing, cleaning, hand-washing and using outdoor spaces.
- It’s still unclear what campuses in California will look like in the fall. But some schools in China, Belgium, the Netherlands, and some remote parts of the United States may offer a glimpse of our future, EdSource reports.
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.