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Monday, May 3, 2021


OCDE program empowers students to raise mental health awareness, reduce stigmas
In partnership with local schools and districts, OCDE’s education and health experts have been in overdrive to address the complex mental health needs of students, including those who have endured Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. But one program is taking the unique approach of empowering student leaders to serve as school-based champions of mental health. The OCDE-led Student Advocates for Mental Health initiative trains young people to raise mental health awareness and to reduce stigmas through peer-influencer campaigns, workshops, activities and an annual video contest. So far, 34 schools are participating in 18 districts across the county, including 21 high schools.

Virtual forum on May 12 to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
A diverse panel of Asian American voices will share their experiences and perspectives on issues including representation, education and recent anti-Asian incidents across the country during an upcoming online symposium hosted by Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares. The event, coinciding with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and reflecting the theme “Know My Name, Face and Story,” will take place from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and others who educate and support students are encouraged to attend.


Winners announced for Orange County Artist of the Year 2021
This year, for the first time, artists endured an entire year of pandemic restrictions affecting and impinging on their work. Despite it all, a field of 616 juniors and seniors from 72 Orange County schools and organizations were nominated for the eighth year of the Register’s Artist of the Year accolades. Artists found ways to create, sometimes distanced, sometimes masked, often in digital spaces. Many used the time to turn inward and discover newer and deeper levels within themselves.


Costa Mesa, Marina cheerleading teams win national titles
The Mustangs and Vikings each captured crowns at the virtual Universal Cheerleaders Assn. High School Nationals.


LAUSD teachers oppose adding 10 days to school year, union says
A proposal by Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner to extend the 2021-22 school year by 10 days to address learning losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be unpopular with teachers.


San Diego school districts still face deficits despite flood of COVID cash
San Diego County’s school districts received huge infusions of federal cash this year to cope with COVID and did not lose any state funding — yet many still are facing long-term budget deficits, and some still have to make budget cuts.

High school yearbook staffs look back on the year that wasn’t
For six of the 12 years that Carmel Valley teenager Amanda Zhang has been in school, her favorite extracurricular activity has been working on the yearbook staffs at her middle and high schools. So when Zhang knew she’d be yearbook editor-in-chief for her senior year at Canyon Crest Academy, she was so excited she started planning out the book’s theme and design a year in advance. Then came the pandemic.

San Diego County reimagines youth detention with new, school-like campus
The new Youth Transition Campus aims at rehabilitation, restorative justice, for detained youth. The facility will no longer use the term juvenile detention facility. At a glance, San Diego County's new $130 million Youth Transition Campus looks like a school campus, with clusters of one-story buildings, angled roofs and an open layout waiting for grass and trees.


Inland schools support students after pandemic year of emotional, mental trauma
“Each kid is different, but they’ve all been exposed to trauma, no matter how good a parent or family is,” said Loretta Whitson, executive director of the Ontario-based California Association of School Counselors. Few districts have the number of counselors experts recommend and teachers, who haven’t seen their students face-to-face in a year, and may have never met them before the pandemic, have no baseline to know what “normal” was like for their students. “We’re not going to see the real impact on mental health on students until some time out,” Whitson said. “There’s likely to be a honeymoon phase” once students return.


In face of anxieties, West Contra Costa Unified commits to full in-person instruction in fall
After some parents expressed doubts that the district would in fact reopen fully this fall, the West Contra Costa Unified board voted to commit to “100%” in-person instruction this fall. The district’s school board debated for hours on Wednesday night about an “action statement” to students, parents and faculty that it eventually adopted to reassure them of the commitment, even though district officials have said for months that they are planning on a full in-person return in the fall.


Granada Hills Charter High wins its 8th US Academic Decathlon championship
The topic of this year's competition was The Cold War. Students competed in seven subject areas including science, literature, art, music, social science, economics and mathematics.


LA Teens Can Leave Parents At Home For Vaccine — If They Bring A Consent Form
Everyone 16 and older is eligible for the free COVID-19 vaccine — and it’s now easier for older teenagers to get the shot. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 can bring a consent form signed by a parent or guardian and get the COVID-19 vaccine at L.A. County run sites. Previously, the adult had to come in person. L.A. County health officials say it’s still better if a parent or guardian can accompany teens, but the consent form allows flexibility for working parents.

Few LAUSD High Schoolers Are Returning To Campus — But Those Who Are Need A Place To Learn
Hayley Pimentel has struggled to keep up with the workload during distance learning. There’s no teacher at home to keep her on-task. Attending Zoom classes from the same bedroom as her sister is hard. Even her phone is a constant distraction. As of Friday, all L.A. Unified School District students have had the chance to attend in-person classes for the first time in more than a year. But Pimentel is one of the few middle- and high school students to actually return to campuses.


New poll shows nearly half of American parents rethinking value of four-year college; want additional alternatives for children
Many parents are rethinking the value of a traditional four year college education, opting instead for hands-on experiences for their children such as vocational education programs, joining the military or starting their own business, a new poll has found. Even without obstacles such as finances, nearly half of parents want alternatives to four-year college for their children, according to the survey which is part of a national report, Family Voices: Building Pathways From Learning to Meaningful Work from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Gallup.

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