Weekly roundup: Students and Marines team up for a clean-up, Irvine is the most desired UC campus, and more

Selecting a date with numeric significance, more than two dozen Irvine middle schoolers teamed up with local Marines this week to clean up trash along the San Diego Creek near a senior center.

A news graphicAll Irvine schools were closed on Monday, Feb. 11 for staff development, but kids from the city’s Youth Action Team put the extended weekend to good use. They descended a muddy slope to pick up plastic bottles, wet pieces of cardboard and even a wayward shopping cart, according to the Orange County Register’s coverage.

“I think this was a good day to do it because we just had rain,” said Venado Middle School student Lilly Huffmire, 13.

The five Marines who joined the effort were from 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines — also known as the 2/11, which is why Feb. 11 was chosen. The Register says the city adopted the Camp Pendleton-based battalion in 2007 and formed a volunteer committee that organizes holiday events, sends care packages and offers support to service members and their families.

And here are some other education news stories we’ve been tracking:

  • Speaking of UCI, the university plans to develop a new writing research and development center to improve the writing skills of middle and high school students. Made possible through a federal grant, the Writing Research to Improve Teaching and Evaluation Center for Secondary Students — or WRITE Center — is billed as the first of its kind in the country.
  • Months after vandals smashed a teacher’s massive Star Wars Lego display at Concordia Elementary in San Clemente, kindness has helped rebuild most of the fleet, restoring the Death Star, Star Destroyer, X-wing fighter, Sandcrawler, Snowspeeder, Y-Wing and every last TIE Fighter. The Register says the teacher has received an outpouring of support from parents, Goodwill of Orange County and fellow Lego masters.
  • The Orange County Board of Education postponed votes on two charter schools that were appealing denials in their home districts. The move gives both schools more time to negotiate memorandums of understanding to address issues identified by OCDE staff.
  • After more than 20 years, all students in the Anaheim Elementary School District are going to be on the same calendar, as the board approved moving three campuses to the same single-track schedule as the district’s other 20 sites.

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