Weekly roundup: Reducing stress among students, OCDE legal eagle earns honor, and more

Newport-Mesa Unified School District is considering adopting a new philosophy for its schools that gives students regular breaks from homework, caps on long athletic practice sessions, no summer and vacation assignments and other practices aimed at reducing stress at school.

Education News title cardThe Daily Pilot chronicled the proposal this week after district officials heard a presentation from a Stanford-based nonprofit that works to help schools and families create a more balanced life for students.

“We’re fighting against a culture of go, go, go where schools are busier than we ever have been before,” Margaret Dunlap, school program director for Challenge Success, said during a special school board meeting, according to the Pilot.

Newport-Mesa partnered with Challenge Success after the suicide of a Corona del Mar High School student in January. The partnership also is in line with the district’s recent move to ramp up security measures.

The organization says it has worked with more than 150 schools nationwide on strategies for curriculum, homework and school schedules, the Pilot reported.

Here are some other education news stories from throughout the region for the week ending May 18.

  • OCDE’s longtime legal chief Ron Wenkart was surprised this week with a top honor from the Orange County School Boards Association. Wenkart will retire from the department this summer after more than 35 years of service. He was recognized with OCSBA’s Maureen DiMarco Award.
  • Seventy middle school students from the Fullerton School District took the AP Computer Science Exam last year. Fullerton School District is the first in Orange County, and one of the first in the nation, to administer AP exams to middle school students.
  • It doesn’t get the attention that lessons and test scores do, but classroom management — the art and craft of keeping a room full of 35 teenagers engaged and under control — is among the most challenging aspects of a teacher’s job. And it’s something for which new teachers are often the least prepared.

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.