Weekly roundup: Community bids farewell to FUHS gym, local schools start to reopen, and more

A group of Fullerton Union High School alumni recently paid one last physically-distanced visit to their old gymnasium before it’s razed in October.

Closed for safety reasons in 2019, the 93-year-old gym has seen better days. And, as the Orange County Register reported, that’s exactly what former students were fondly remembering, as they shared stories of pep rallies, old friends, school dances and basketball games.

News blocksFor John Quijano, a member of the class of 1972, one game in particular stood out.

“We were down by two points with a second to go and they in-bounded the ball (to a teammate),” he recounted to the Register. “He hit a half-court shot to put the game into overtime. The crowd went crazy. People were jumping up and down. That was my biggest memory … watching my ‘brother’ hit that half-court shot.”

(For what it’s worth, high schools added the three-point shot in the late ’80s.)

Fullerton Union High opened in 1893, making it one of the oldest schools in the U.S. But a new gym is already under construction on the campus’ east side thanks to a $175 million facilities bond measure approved by local voters in 2014.

And here are some of the other stories we’re tracking this week:

  • Mark your calendars: OCDE and the City of Westminster will host a virtual groundbreaking of a new park and monument to honor the legacy of the historic Mendez v. Westminster case, which famously led to the desegregation of California’s public schools. The online event will debut at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13 here on the OCDE Newsroom.
  • Students across Orange County headed back to their campuses for the first time since the pandemic forced school closures in March. The OCDE Newsroom compiled a sampler of social media posts from some of the districts that reopened.
  • At Capistrano Unified’s Arroyo Vista Elementary School, children were following health and safety guidelines and donning masks on their first day back. Students did the same at Saddleback Valley Unified’s Linda Vista Elementary School, which kept its campus open the prior weekend so families could see how it was set up.
  • Santa Ana Unified released a tentative schedule for in-person learning, with small groups of students in special programs possibly coming back in October. Preschool, TK and kindergarten would start hybrid instruction on Nov. 2, and grades one through three would follow on Nov. 16. Grades four and five would start on Nov. 30, and the upper grades would return in January.
  • The overwhelming majority of Southern California households with children have broadband internet access, with a fraction saying their connectivity was paid for by their district, according to new survey data. But many local families remain under-connected, making it challenging to have multiple Zoom users at once.
  • The Legislative Analyst’s Office says California’s Proposition 15 could raise between $6.5 billion and $11.5 billion annually by assessing commercial properties every three years. EdSource offers a breakdown of what that could mean for school districts based on calculations from School Services of California, Inc.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.