Year in review: Solar eclipse offers STEM lesson, music video inspires bravery, and more

As 2017 winds down, we’re taking a look back at some of our biggest news stories in this past year. It was a year filled with honors and accolades for teachers, students and schools. It also saw the introduction of a new state accountability system for campuses. And educators even got a chance to look up towards the sky first the first time in a generation to show students one of the coolest astronomical lessons.

Here are some of our most popular stories on for 2017.

  • 29 Orange County schools awarded Gold Ribbons: Twenty-nine Orange County middle and high schools were named in April as 2017 California Gold Ribbon Schools, the state’s top honor for individual campuses.The state Department of Education created the award to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment, accountability and continuous improvement systems. The award rotates each year between elementary and secondary schools.
  • Superintendent Al Mijares passes a Golden Apple award to Jim Blackie of Ensign Intermediate SchoolCounty superintendent, OCDE staff name 2018 Orange County Teachers of the Year: A big yellow school bus filled with camera crews, reporters, Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares, sponsors and others has hit the road in May, on its way to a half dozen schools to name the 2018 Orange County Teachers of the Year. All six Orange County Teachers of the Year were presented with a prize package that includes a number of goodies from local sponsors.
  • DACA and California’s education system: Some answers to common questions: In September, President Donald Trump announced plans to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and gave Congress the option to create a legislative replacement within six months “should it choose to do so.” We created a Q&A to help the public better understand the program.
  • Animation of an avatar holding up a tablet displaying the California School DashboardVIDEO: Some tips to help parents navigate the California School Dashboard: Local schools and districts found out earlier this month how well they performed in the state’s newest school accountability system, the California School Dashboard. Our media team produced a video to help parents better understand how the online tool will offer parents, educators and the community a more comprehensive look at how our K-12 schools and districts are educating and supporting students.