Weekly roundup: Santa Ana Unified forms new academy, air quality testing in Huntington Beach, and more

The Santa Ana Unified School District announced this week that it has combined the Romero Cruz Elementary and Spurgeon Intermediate school communities into a single academy intended to expand educational opportunities for students.

School campus renderingRomero-Cruz Academy will serve kids from pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade with state-of-the-art classrooms, a schoolwide AVID program, full athletics, a STEM Lab, a robotics arena, a comprehensive counseling department, and a visual and performing arts focus, according to this news release on the district’s website.

The campus will feature a redesigned kindergarten area, and the award-winning speech and debate program from the middle school will grow to serve fourth- and fifth-graders.

A brand new preschool, focusing on the arts and language, will also open on the grounds in December 2019. Dual language instruction will be offered in Spanish from preschool through the third grade.

Romero-Cruz Academy is located at 2701 W. 5th St. in Santa Ana. Instruction starts Aug. 12.

And here are some more education stories from the week ending July 19:

  • In response to community concerns, officials tasked with cleaning up a former waste disposal site in Huntington Beach said they will expand air-quality monitoring to two nearby campuses, a community park and two residential streets. Meanwhile, the Huntington Beach Union High School District has hired an environmental consulting agency to perform additional pollution testing at Edison High.
  • More than 500 educators, school workers and law enforcement representatives gathered at a hotel in Orange County this week for the 10th annual Safe Schools Conference. The three-day event was presented by former California Secretary of Education Dave Long through his firm, Dave Long & Associates, in collaboration with OCDE and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
  • A report from the Public Policy Institute of California says students throughout the state are making significant progress on English assessments, but growth has come at a much slower pace in math. The problem is even more acute in districts with higher concentrations of economically disadvantaged students.
  • A Magnolia High storage building that contained athletic equipment was destroyed by a fire this week, but fortunately the rest of the campus wasn’t impacted. School officials say they’re working to replace items that were lost.
  • A task force organized by Newport-Mesa Unified has presented a set of recommendations for promoting greater cultural understanding and acceptance following a well-publicized incident at an off-campus party. The recommendations include educational programs and parent resources.
  • While bullying rates at U.S. schools have remained steady, online bullying is up among middle and high schoolers, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • And finally, the OCDE Newsroom’s latest student profile shares the story of Marisol, who, after growing up surrounded by crime and drugs, recently graduated from the Sunburst Youth Academy. Sunburst is a military-style school that’s operated by the California National Guard in partnership with OCDE.

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.