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Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Niguel Hills Middle School music teacher’s dedication spurs fundraiser to ‘keep the music playing’
The music program at Niguel Hills Middle School is more than just an elective to its students, it’s become a composition of teamwork and dedication to the art of musical performance. Orchestra teacher Yeon Choi dedicates great quantities of her free time and resources to raise funds for her nearly 250 students in the music program at the middle school in Laguna Niguel. Her goal right now is to get music coaches to dedicate time for students to better learn particular instruments.

Villa Park students host inaugural Serve-A-Thon
Inspired by Martin Luther King’s commitment to service, students at Villa Park High School decided to honor his legacy by creating the VPHS Serve-A-Thon. On Jan. 15, King’s birthday and a school and national holiday, dozens of VPHS Spartans from Link Crew, National Honor Society, Operation Package Club, plus the Cerro Villa Middle School WEB class gave up their day off to go out into the community to serve others.


New weekly class teaches Adams Elementary students the basics of coding
Adams Elementary School in Costa Mesa is offering its first official computer coding lessons for fourth- through sixth-graders every Friday for the rest of the school year. An instructor from CodeCampus, a company that offers coding classes throughout Orange County, uses the free online program Scratch to teach lessons based on a Common Core State Standards curriculum.


And now, online teacher training for active shooters in schools, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security
With active shooting situations in schools no longer uncommon, the Department of Homeland Security is now offering online training for teachers and first-responders to prepare for such a disaster — right on their computers.


Contrary to critics, parents tell pollster they find California’s school dashboard useful
Nearly 4 in 10 parents say they’re familiar with or know a lot about the California School Dashboard, which grades schools and school districts using multicolored metrics, and those who have visited the website generally like what they’ve seen and found it useful. That’s an unexpected finding of a poll released Friday of 2,500 registered voters in California, including 595 parents, and runs counter to sharp criticisms of the website by civil rights and student advocacy groups.


School safety plans due by the end of the month
Local educational agencies face a deadline less than one month away to update their school safety plans, which includes a requirement of parental involvement. While student safety has always been a priority among district managers, the focus on improving school climate has never been stronger. Both the state’s new Local Control Accountability Plans and the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, mandate school climate for accountability purposes.


At schools near freeways, air filters help students breathe
Boyle Heights has some of the highest levels of black carbon, or diesel pollution, near schools in greater Los Angeles, according to recent measurements by Google and Aclima. Which is why Salesian’s principal Alex Chacón is glad that the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted Friday to continue funding an air filter in his school that removes 90 percent of vehicle pollution.


Irvine and Tustin students showcase their ‘Astounding Inventions’ at Irvine Valley College
Will “Staircase Friendly Rolling Backpacks” be the next big thing? What about the “Go Go Scooter,” the “Temperature Regulating Blanket” or the “Pony Tail Helper”? Tackling everything from casual annoyances to challenges facing the aerospace and medical industries, hundreds of young inventors from Irvine and Tustin schools were given an opportunity on a recent Saturday to pitch their innovative creations at Irvine Valley College’s 31st annual Astounding Inventions competition.

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