The 50,000-student Santa Ana Unified School District and six other large districts in California recently announced they’re committing to a common standard for resuming in-person instruction.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is also part of the pact, along with the Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego districts.
Representing more than one million students combined, they’re calling for the state’s public schools to embrace a shared path to reopening safely, and they say they’re seeking commitments from Governor Newsom, the state Legislature, and local county and city governments.
And here are some of the other recent stories we’ve been following:
- Phillip Burns, a sous chef from the Anaheim Union High School District, has earned the state’s top honor for classified school workers. He was announced Friday as one of six 2020 California Classified Employees of the Year.
- Thousands of mask-wearing middle and high school students returned to campuses in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District on Monday, following eight months of online instruction.
- With higher COVID-19 rates than the rest of the county, Santa Ana Unified hasn’t been able to reopen any of its campuses for in-person instruction. But the district continues to adapt, and officials say they’re working to offer students more support for distance learning as they eye reopening timelines.
- OCDE is teaming up with Cox Communications, Cox Business and the Orange County Business Council to rally businesses and the public to take part in a two-week computer drive that will put refurbished devices in the hands of local students who need them.
- Starting next week, students at Orange High School will have access to a brand new STEM complex featuring high-tech science labs and classrooms. The facility is part of the initial phase of the $288 million Measure S renovation program.
- OCDE’s stockpile of supplies for families experiencing homelessness is running on empty, with the pandemic driving up the local demand for clothes, shoes, diapers, hygiene products, laundry detergent, school supplies and other necessities.
- Marching band state championships may have been canceled this years, but high school musicians from Orange County say they’re eager to get their bands back together again.
- The California State Board of Education last week voted unanimously to adopt a shortened version of the Smarter Balanced standardized tests in English language arts and mathematics.
- Nurturing student resilience was the focus of a virtual conference attended by more than 700 Orange County school counselors and educational leaders this week.
- Data science, computer science and statistics courses are now on an expanded list of high school math classes that will meet the University of California’s admission requirements.
- A survey of Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District parents, students and employees will serve as a guide for moving forward under the leadership of incoming Superintendent Jim Elsasser.
- The New York Times reports that President-elect Joe Biden has outlined an education agenda that is vastly different from his predecessor’s, starting with a more cautious approach to school reopenings.
- Ending speculation, State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond says she’s not interested in becoming Biden’s U.S. Education Secretary. She instead expressed her commitment to California and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
- A lawsuit filed earlier this month in Orange County Superior Court alleges that the principal and former athletic director of a local high school failed to act on complaints of sexual abuse of female water polo players by Coach Bahram Hojreh, who was arrested in 2018.
- And finally, OCDE produced this virtual tribute to the 2021 Orange County Teachers of the Year, including the six county finalists.
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.