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Thursday, February 15, 2018


Orange Unified School District students’ drug awareness videos win awards
Orange Elks Lodge 1475 announced that a video by Cerro Villa Middle School’s Ryann White, “Erase Your Mistakes,” was selected as the Best Middle School Drug Awareness Video for 2017-18 at both the lodge and district level. The video will continue to state competition. At the high school level, “Love Letter” by Abigail Dooley of Canyon High School was named Best High School Drug Awareness Video in the lodge and district competition. It will continue on to state competition.


Former Angels pitcher Jim Abbott encourages students in Sage Hill prosthetics group to 'keep opening doors for others'
Jim Abbott, who overcame being born without a right hand to pitch 10 seasons in Major League Baseball, visited Sage Hill School in Newport Coast on Wednesday to share with students how he learned to make the most of his opportunities. Abbott, who played for the Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers between 1989 and 1999, was one of three speakers with upper limb deficiencies who told how they conquered hurdles with and without the use of prosthetics.

What would Google do? Newport teacher revamps classroom seating with couches, bean bags, blankets and buoys
Anderson Elementary School teacher Alexandria Gladstone-Lamas wants her classroom to be more like a Google office. Gone are traditional desks and chairs — they were moved to a separate room at the Newport Beach school. In their place are IKEA furniture such as high and low tables. Two couches are placed on opposite ends of the room. Bean bags, rocking chairs, squishy yacht buoys and padded blankets are scattered on the carpet near the front.

Newport-Mesa school district takes steps to improve program for preventing youth suicide
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is taking steps to improve its program intended to educate staff members and students on ways to prevent youth suicide. A midyear assessment report presented to the school board Tuesday by Phil D'Agostino, district director of student and community services, and Angela Castellanos, district coordinator of mental health and outreach, followed the suicide of a Corona del Mar High School student in January.


LAUSD approves expensive health benefits contract but vows to be tougher in negotiations going forward
Despite parents’ pleas to deal now with a coming deficit that could require huge cuts, a narrow majority of LA Unified’s school board on Tuesday approved a new contract that commits the district to paying for its employees’ generous health benefits at current levels for the next three years. The eight labor unions covered by the contract — representing 60,000 employees — must also approve the deal. United Teachers Los Angeles held their vote last week, but no results will be announced until all unions have voted.


With support instead of punishment, a California school district works to improve special education
More than 150 districts — nearly 18 percent of all districts in California — are slated to get help from county offices of education to improve special education students’ performance on state accountability metrics such as standardized tests and graduation rates.

Gates Foundation moves to implement new strategy to support 'networks for school improvement'
Following a speech last October in which Bill Gates announced a major shift in the education priorities and strategy of his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is moving to implement its plan to invest the biggest share of its education philanthropy dollars in education networks that come up with their own “locally driven solutions” to improve student achievement. To that end it has issued detailed Requests for Proposals for what it calls “networks for school improvement” due on Feb. 21.


OCDE honors nine school counselors for contributions to student success
Nine local school counselors have been honored through a new awards program established by the Orange County Department of Education in partnership with the College Board and OC Pathways. OCDE’s Counselor Recognition Program was launched this year to highlight the county’s top counselors and their contributions to student success. This year’s winners were announced Feb. 5 during National School Counseling Week and introduced at Wednesday’s Orange County Board of Education meeting.

These 2018 Winter Olympians are products of Orange County schools
When you’re watching the 2018 Winter Olympics over the next couple of weeks, you might see four athletes that once attended, or currently attend, one of our local schools. This year’s Olympians include the latest national snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, who won a gold medal Monday in the half-pipe event.

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