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Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Park and trail honoring Mendez case gets additional state funding
It took years of collaboration from a diverse cast of role players to push through the landmark school desegregation case of Mendez v. Westminster. And the same could be said for the creation of a park and trail that will honor the historic case. Concrete hardscaping and fresh signage now frame the emerging Mendez Tribute Monument Park at the intersection of Westminster Boulevard and Olive Street, and on Tuesday many of its key backers gathered there to celebrate another development — a check for $1.5 million in state funding, delivered by California State Senator Tom Umberg.

Red Ribbon Week: OCDE offers activity ideas, trainings and other resources
OCDE has developed an online toolkit to help schools host activities tied to Red Ribbon Week, which officially starts this weekend and continues through Oct. 31. Established in 1988, Red Ribbon Week is the largest program of its kind in the nation, encouraging students to pursue healthy, drug-free lives. A new theme is unveiled every year, prompting schools to organize youth forums, health lessons, Spirit Day events, role-playing skits, art projects and other activities.

OCDE bullying prevention program promotes inclusivity and the power of ‘One’
More than 1 out of every 5 students will be bullied this year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. And while experts have reported that bullying decreased when schools were closed due to the pandemic, many say the return to school will almost certainly change that trend. With October recognized nationally as National Bullying Prevention Month, we reached out to OCDE’s Bullying Prevention team, who has been working to spread messages of unity, kindness and inclusion as students adapt to in-person instruction and new social situations on campuses throughout Orange County.


OC’s Second Largest School District Moves to Reshape Voter Representation
Orange County’s second-largest school system that’s had one elected leader at the helm for more than two decades now wants to see if new trustees can better reflect its 24-square mile community of bilingual students and working families. Currently, Santa Ana Unified School District officials are gathering public input on slicing the district’s population into different wards, each of which could elect their own representative on the district’s Board of Trustees as opposed to voting them into power at large.


California could lose millions in federal money meant for K-12 schools, state audit finds
Congress gave California schools billions of dollars to help get through the COVID-19 pandemic and add resources for kids.


Bay Area school districts hit hard by teacher, substitute shortages
Public schools throughout the Bay Area and the state are grappling with a spike in teacher absences and vacancies as schools have reopened, coupled with a shortage of substitutes, leading them to offer incentives.


Bilingual independent study: How one California district is making it work
To enroll in bilingual education in most school districts in California, you have to attend class in person. It’s too difficult to find enough bilingual teachers and too hard to teach a new language online, most districts say. But one district, Montebello Unified, near Los Angeles, is taking on those challenges and offering bilingual classes to independent study students.


California schools are running out of money
California school districts have two choices: Bite the bullet and make budget cuts now, or delay them and face even more painful decisions. That was the ultimatum Michael Fine, CEO of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, a school finance agency, delivered to district leaders last week.

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