We’re technically starting this week’s roundup with a story from last week, but it’s one we’d be remiss in not sharing.
As the Orange County Register reported, a University High School sophomore served by OCDE’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program recently landed a plum role in a local production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Joe Saraceni, 15, communicates primarily through American Sign Language. So his character, Tobias “Toby” Ragg, naturally did the same in performances of the Stephen Sondheim musical. Adding a creative twist to “Sweeney,” the directors used a separate actor as a vocal shadow to speak and sing next to Joe.
Dina Del Rey, board president for Broadway On Tour, told the newspaper that the theater company had been exploring ways to make its productions more inclusive. Joe won them over because “he was a great Toby,” she said.
A fan of musicals from an early age, Joe said he learned about the auditions through instagram.
“When I hear about a musical I want to audition for, I watch it, and if I really like it I just go for it,” he said.
And here are some other education news stories we’ve assembled:
- OCDE will host a virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday with state Superintendent Tony Thurmond, who will discuss efforts to close the achievement gap in California. Local educators are invited to attend the interactive session.
- At a special meeting last week, the Cypress School District Board of Trustees approved the purchase of a commercial office building to replace the district’s aging administrative headquarters.
- A two-day workshop at OCDE in October will empower local teachers with personal finance concepts that can be shared in their classrooms.
- The OCDE Newsroom has created a printable, one-page guide outlining California’s health education content standards with a grade-by-grade breakdown of when specific subjects are covered.
- Newer vaping devices are being integrated into cell phone cases, backpacks and even hooded sweatshirts, making that much more difficult for parents and teachers to monitor usage of a product that is surging in popularity, especially among school-aged kids.
- Numerous California universities, including Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach, are participating in the American Physical Society’s Physics Teacher Education program, which seeks to increase the supply of high school physics teachers.
- Despite efforts, teen suicide continues to skyrocket across the nation, and suicide rates are even higher in our county, writes Orange County Register columnist David Whiting, who reached out to those who are battling the epidemic on the frontlines.
- After receiving a letter from the San Diego branch of the NAACP, a local high school is investigating claims that racial slurs and taunts were made during a varsity football game.
- State schools chief Tony Thurmond has announced a plan to revise California’s proposed ethnic studies curriculum, which was subject to widespread criticism when it was first introduced.
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 or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.