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Thursday, October 12, 2017


Edison High educator among California Teachers of the Year
Gregory Gardiner, who teaches Advanced Placement and Special Abilities Cluster environmental science, and biology to ninth through 12th-grade students at Edison High School in the Huntington Beach Union School District in Orange County was named by the state Department of Education Wednesday among five California Teachers of the Year. A science teacher for 18 years, Gardiner teaches AP classes and started an environmental science program at Edison for students with moderate to severe disabilities. He was earlier named one of Orange County’s teachers of the year in May.

La Habra City School District wants to reorganize campuses to create schools with special focuses
School leaders are putting the finishing touches on a plan to update school boundaries and reconfigure La Habra City School District campuses to create magnet and specialized schools. District officials for much of the year have been working on a plan to “re-configure, re-design and re-vitalize” La Habra’s elementary and middle school campuses, and hope to have the final details before the school board by early November. “Each school will have a specialty, will have a focus,” Superintendent Joanne Culverhouse said of the mission. “That is something we could not do in our current configuration.”


High construction bids delay new Estancia High School aquatic center
Construction of a new aquatic center for Estancia High School in Costa Mesa has been delayed because bids came in significantly higher than the project’s original $7-million budget. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District board decided Tuesday to disregard four bids ranging from about $7.5 million to $7.7 million. The board’s decision sends the project back to district administrators for reconsideration and potential changes.


SD Unified takes first steps to later start times
Trustees in the San Diego Unified School District are open to the idea of starting middle and high school an hour later, but want to bring the issue to the schools. The board on Tuesday unanimously supported Trustee John Lee Evans’ motion to provide each school cluster — a high school and the schools that feed into it — with information to help decide whether to move back the start of the school day.


Special education in "deep trouble" and still needs reform, says California ed board president
Special education in California is in “deep trouble,” exacerbated by outmoded concepts and an extreme shortage of fully-prepared teachers, according to Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education. Kirst said that the state’s special education system – which serves students with physical, cognitive and learning disabilities – is based on an antiquated model and that it needs “another look.”

Cal State receives federal grant to prepare more Latinos to become teachers
Numerous studies show black and Latino students do better in school when their teachers look like them, but across the country and in California, most teachers are white. A new $8.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the California State University will fund efforts to prepare more Latinos to become teachers.


Native American studies and English learner bills signed
Under a pair of bills signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, the California Department of Education is required to develop a model curriculum in Native American studies, while school administration will be required to inform parents of English learners of their child’s language development progress.


New dyslexia guidelines offer more direction for educators
Experts estimate that 70-80 percent of people who struggle to read suffer from dyslexia. They also estimate that anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of students are dyslexic, making it the most common of the language based learning disabilities. That means that in Orange County alone, as many as 100,000 public school students could be struggling with dyslexia. To help schools better support and identify students with dyslexia, the state Department of Education recently released California Dyslexia Guidelines, a 132-page document meant to help educators know what exactly dyslexia is and what interventions have worked best.

OC teacher wins top state honor
The state Department of Education on Wednesday named Gregory Gardner, a science teacher from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, as one of five 2018 California Teachers of the Year. Gardiner has taught science for the past 18 years, ranging from Advanced Placement courses to classes geared for students with mild to moderate disabilities. He is a founding member of the Academy of Sustainability and Engineering, a group of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, or STEAM-rooted courses that focus on project-based curriculum and emphasize critical thinking.

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