Coronavirus: Reopening of Orange County schools now delayed to Sept. 22, at the earliest

Orange County’s schools may be able to open in-person on Sept. 22 – not Sept. 8 – the Orange County Health Care Agency announced late Monday night via Twitter.

Under a new four-color, tiered monitoring system, Orange County is in the most restrictive of the tiers, but it’s on track to bump up to the next tier on Sept. 8.

The county would then remain for 14 days in that tier, county health officials confirmed with the the California Department of Public Health, according to the late-night Tweet.

That means that the earliest schools could welcome students to campuses is on Sept. 22.

When Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new color-coded tier system on Friday, there was initially much confusion among Orange County educators as to what it meant for school reopenings. Then, the county’s health officer, Clayton Chau, tweeted that the switch to a new monitoring system did not reset the 14-day countdown and schools could still open as soon as Sept. 8, if lower case trends continue.

I confirmed with the State that has not changed for OC except for the update in the new blueprint usually occurs on Monday and the State posts on Tuesday, so the school reopening would be Tuesday, September 8, right after Labor Day weekend.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) August 28, 2020

On Saturday, county health officials cast doubt on that opening date. In a Tweet, officials said they requested clarification from schools on the 14-day wait cycle. “State indicated we would get credit for those days. More to come.”

Update re: Gov.’s new system. We’ve requested additional clarification from State re: schools as there are several counties, including #OC, who are in limbo as we were part way thru prior 14 day cycle to re-open. State indicated we would get credit for those days. More to come.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) August 29, 2020

The answer apparently came late Monday night.  The earliest Orange County schools can open to in-person learning will be Sept. 22.

County Health Officer received confirmation from @CAPublicHealth that #OC is on track to enter into Red Tier on Sept. 8. Providing we meet Red Tier metrics at that time, there will be a 14-day wait for all K-12 schools to be eligible for reopening, which could happen on Sept. 22.

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) September 1, 2020

Al Mijares, county superintendent of schools, said in a statement Monday night: “I know how frustrating it is to be in this position, given the complex planning it takes to restart our campuses.”

“Dr. Chau has advocated strongly on our behalf, but the state was firm in its response.”

To learn more about the new color-coded monitoring system: Orange County lands in most restrictive tier of new coronavirus tracking system 

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These O.C. parents have a message for Gov. Newsom, teachers’ unions: ‘Open up the schools.’

A pro-charter school group brought some 75 parents, teachers and a couple of Orange County Board of Education members together Tuesday evening to rally for the reopening of schools that were closed because of coronavirus concerns.

Parents, they said, should be making the choice of whether their children learn on campus or online.

“Open up the schools,” the crowd briefly chanted.

  • Jeff Barke, right, leads a rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally calling for the reopening of schools was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cecilia Iglesias, left, and Orange County Board of Education member Mari Barke, right, join others outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office during a ‘reopen the schools’ rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Policy Center’s Parent Union, a pro-charter school group. Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and school board member, works for the center and organized the meeting with Barke’s help. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Rhonda Furin, center, joins others during a reopen the schools rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by a group called “Parent Union.” It’s a pro-charter school group under the libertarian California Policy Center. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A man holds up a sign during a ‘reopen the schools’ rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by a“Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • About 75 protesters gathered outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office for a ‘reopen the schools’ rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Cecilia Iglesias protests outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office during a reopen the schools rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and former School Board member, organized the rally as the head of the “Parent Union,” a pro-charter school group under the libertarian California Policy Center. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeff Barke, a physician who advocates for the reopening of schools without social distancing or face masks, leads a ‘reopen the schools’ rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Police Center’s Parent Union group, a pro-charter group that said parents should have the choice of whether their children can return to campus for in-person learning or continue with online education. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Protestors gather outside the Santa Ana Educators Association for a reopen the schools rally in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeff Barke, right, leads a rally outside the Santa Ana Educators Association office in Santa Ana on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The rally calling for the reopening of schools was organized by the California Policy Center’s “Parent Union.” (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Flanked by American flags and punctuated with religious references and prayer, the rally was organized by the Orange County-based California Policy Center’s “Parent Union,” which pointedly chose to host its event in front of the offices of the Santa Ana teachers’ union.

“That’s why we’re here,” said Jeff Barke, an Orange County physician who regularly advocates for reopening schools without face masks or social distancing but mentioned neither safety precaution during the rally. Instead, he and others focused attention on teacher unions, which have advocated for resuming school online for now.

“We’re here to let them know we’re sick and tired of the schools being closed. It’s not based on science. It’s not based on statistics. It’s not based on facts. It’s based on union power. “

Barbara Pearson, president of the Santa Ana teachers’ union – the Santa Ana Educators’ Association – called the protest “another desperate grab for attention in their struggle to stay relevant.

“It has nothing to do with the reopening of schools or the students of Santa Ana.  Governor Newsom made the decision to close schools, not the unions.  Our priority is the safety of staff and students,” Pearson wrote in an e-mail Tuesday night.

On July 17, Newsom ordered that all public and private schools in counties seeing a spike in coronavirus cases could not reopen for in-person learning in the new academic year. That affected all of Orange County’s schools, except for those elementary schools that are applying for a waiver. (State officials unveiled the waiver application process Monday night; it’s likely to impact mostly private and parochial schools.)

During the rally Tuesday, a few teachers spoke about the detrimental effects of online learning on all students, but especially those who need special services. Students have regressed academically since schools shut down mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, they noted. And many who are in vulnerable situations, some speakers said, have been made even more vulnerable, exposing them to abuse and even suicide, because they don’t have their safe haven – school – to turn to.

Mari Barke, an elected member of the Orange County Board of Education and Jeff Barke’s wife, told the crowd, to “keep fighting” to reopen schools.

“Parents are in the best position to make decisions for their children,” Mari Barke said.

Last week, her board voted to file a lawsuit against Newsom to force a reopening of schools. Fellow Trustee Ken Williams also addressed the crowd, invoking God and talking about “the fight for the children.”

The rally was organized by Cecilia Iglesias, a former Santa Ana councilwoman and former School Board member who works for the California Policy Center, a libertarian think tank that focuses on issues like pension reform and charter schools. The Center runs four chapters of the Parent Union in Southern California. Iglesias said she hopes to hold similar rallies in other counties.

“Our call is a call to action, to let parents choose,” Iglesias said prior to the rally. “We’re suggesting: open up the schools, following safety guidelines, and give parents the choice.”

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Coronavirus curtails police and fire explorer programs in Southern California

Israel Anaya-Morales felt fortunate to keep his job at In-N-Out in Signal Hill. But, like most Californians, his life changed drastically following the emergence of coronavirus this spring.

The Cal State Fullerton student’s routine shifted from shuttling between work, classes and volunteer opportunities to finding himself restless at home in between shifts and digital lectures amidst the global crisis.

The 20-year-old lieutenant in the Long Beach Police Department’s Explorer Post is one of hundreds of volunteers statewide, both young and old, who were participating in a variety of police and fire department programs that have been suspended or moved to online formats because of the pandemic.

Changes in these outreach efforts illustrate how dramatically COVID-19 has altered the way people live in California. Many explorers like Anaya-Morales said it has been difficult to adapt to a new normal that includes distance education and a prohibition on public gatherings. But they are trained to persevere.


Pins signifying the awards and recognitions earned by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy over the years hang inside a display case in the program’s headquarters at the Sheriff’s Training and Regional Services (STARS) Center in Whittier on Thursday, March 5. The program had to shift to a remote learning format the spring of 2020 in light of a global pandemic of COVID-19. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

Pushed to endure physically and mentally

Anaya-Morales has had a lot of time to reminisce lately. He remembers losing count of the push-ups he had done by the time the first dropouts had begun to withdraw from the 2014 Orange County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy. He was 15 years old then, and didn’t blame those other kids for opting out of the near-constant scrutiny from screaming drill sergeants and rigorous physical training. The trainees were all volunteers, after all, and free to leave at will.

For him and many of his fellow explorers, the stressors that led some to quit were an essential part of a training exercise that became a right of passage.


Participants in the Orange County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy on Friday, Feb. 14, perform push-ups together at Irvine Regional Park. (Photo courtesy of Officer Staci Dietz, Anaheim Police Department)

“The way I see it, if I can’t endure a friendly person, somebody who I know won’t actually hurt me, yelling at me, telling me to do 15 push ups and then 30 burpees and then run all the way to the gate, which could be 300 meters away, and back in 30 seconds,” Anaya-Morales said. “If I can’t handle that, then how am I going to be able to handle people of the public yelling obscenities at me, wishing horrible things upon me or coworkers?”

The well-meaning antagonism from instructors became a motivating force for Anaya-Morales during the academy. He’s not sure how he would have passed the initiation process without that “simulated stress” and the camaraderie that grew between the explorer trainees who worked their way through it, shoulder to shoulder with him.

But those who had hoped to join police and fire department explorer posts during the summer of 2020 likely won’t get the same treatment he received, as a result of mandatory stay-at-home orders implemented statewide by  Gov. Gavin Newson on March 19.  Many trainees will have to skip the academy altogether this year.

“The Department has suspended all volunteer programs, including the Explorer program,” wrote Juan Silva, a spokesman for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, in an e-mail. “We want the public to adhere with public health recommendations and the Governor’s order. We don’t want to expose any program participants to the virus.”

Exploring a career in public safety

Exploring is a vocational mentoring program that began as an offshoot of the Boy Scouts of America. It places young people  between ages 14 and 21 into volunteer positions at local posts across the country.

Those offer hands-on experience in one of 12 career fields. Youths involved with posts at fire departments and law enforcement agencies take part in training academies and competitions that test explorers’ minds, bodies and determination.

Explorer posts have been a powerful recruitment tool for police and fire departments, and most advisors involved with them are optimistic the program will survive. They also acknowledge that the health and safety of the young people they mentor has to take priority over their development as potential emergency-responders.

In search of connection

All in-person meetings for the California Highway Patrol’s 66 explorer posts have been suspended, and a two-day competition that would have begun on April 24 was cancelled, CHP Capt. Steve West said. It’s unclear if an academy scheduled for July through August in Sacramento will proceed.

Some of the agency’s 506 explorers, based out of posts throughout the state, have sent each other workout instructions and turned to the internet to find other ways of staying in touch. But West acknowledges that web-based interactions can’t deliver the same experience as face-to-face gatherings.

“There is a lack of that connection,” West said. “But we are adaptive, I think, just like every part of society in the United States. We are resilient people and we are finding ways to make due with what we have until we get through this. And we will get through it.”

  • The handkerchiefs protecting the noses and mouths of Long Beach Police Department Explorers Abigail Duarte (L), 17, and Ashly Bello (R), 15, slip for just a moment as the two friends giggle and catch up with each other. The volunteers helped break down trailers on Tuesday, April 14, which went unused, but were supposed to have been available to first responders possibly exposed to COVID-19. This volunteering opportunity was the first time they had seen each other since a statewide stay-at-home directive was issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • (From left to right) Mathew Sutfin, 17, Mark Working, 18, and Israel Anaya-Morales, 20, slip on gloves Tuesday, April 14, before gathering supplies from trailers that were supposed to house first responders who may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. They volunteer for the Long Beach Police Department Explorer Post, a vocational training program that has mostly been suspended in light of a COVID-19 pandemic. This task was deemed safe because they would mostly be outdoors and worked in small groups. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

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  • (From left to right) Long Beach Police Department Explorers Mark Working, 18, Israel Anaya-Morales, 20, Mathew Sutfin, 17, and Aylin Alfaro, 18, gather supplies on Tuesday, April 14, from a makeshift quarantine center that had gone unused. Regular meetings and most activities for the program they volunteer for have been suspended in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, this task was deemed safe because they mostly worked outdoors. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Ashly Bello (L), 15, helps Abigail Duarte (R), 17, gather supplies on Tuesday, April 14, from unused quarantine trailers in Long Beach for later use. They volunteer for the Long Beach Police Department Explorer Post, a vocational training program that has mostly been placed on hiatus since the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S. in the spring. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Aylin Alfaro (R), 18, tosses a roll of toilet paper to fellow Long Beach Police Department Explorer Abigail Duarte (L), 17, The two volunteered to help collect unused supplies on Tuesday, April 14, from trailers that would have been intended for first responders suspected of exposure to the novel coronavirus. This was the first time the two friends had seen each other since California Gov. Gavin Newsom implemented a statewide stay-at-home directive on March 19. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Long Beach Police Department Explorers Mathew Sutfin (L), 17, and Abigail Duarte (R), 17, pack up unused supplies for later use at a lot in Long Beach on Tuesday, April 14. The volunteers were asked to help break down trailers that were supposed to have been used by workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic who may have needed to isolate themselves in the event of exposure to the virus. However, the makeshift quarantine center went unused. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Pins signifying the awards and recognitions earned by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy over the years hang inside a display case in the program’s headquarters at the Sheriff’s Training and Regional Services (STARS) Center in Whittier on Thursday, March 5. The program had to shift to a remote learning format the spring of 2020 in light of a global pandemic of COVID-19. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Ramirez inside the office for the agency’s Explorer Academy at the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services Center in Whittier on Thursday, March 5. He is one of two drill sergeants leading the Explorer Academy, which has had to shift to a remote learning format in light of a global pandemic of COVID-19. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy cadet Rhonda is a “model example” of how participants in the rigorous 16-week program need to be dressed while training is in session, Drill Sgt. Mike Ramirez said. She resides at the program’s office on the campus of the Sheriff’s Training Academey and Regional Services Center campus. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy recruit attends an online lecture from LASD Sgt. Mike Ramirez. The program switched to a distance learning format after a pandemic of COVID-19 led to a prohibition of all public gatherings in California. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department).

  • (From left to right) Anaheim Police Officer Staci Dietz, Explorer Nadia Chavelas, Explorer Captain Adrian Alfaro, his mother, Linda Varela, and Officer LadyCarla Cashell pose for a photo while wearing face masks at the Anaheim Police Department on Wednesday, April 8. (Photo courtesy of the Anaheim Police Department).

  • Participants in the Orange County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy on Feb. 14 perform push-ups together at Irvine Regional Park. (Photo courtesy of Officer Staci Dietz, Anaheim Police Department)

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All volunteer programs for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments were similarly placed on hiatus, according to representatives from both agencies. Officials are still receiving and reviewing applications from youths interested in joining one of the Fire Department’s 11 explorer posts, but all in-person activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, County Fire Department Capt. Jay Hausman said.

That includes this year’s California Fire Explorers Association Academy, which was supposed to have taken place in San Bernardino March 22-March 28. The annual event welcomes explorers from throughout the state and parts of Nevada. Roughly 175 teens and young adults would have bunked in the San Gorgonio High School gymnasium and taken part in mock rescues and exercises featuring live fire.

However, an entire year’s worth of preparation for the event had to be cast aside in the interest of preventing a potential outbreak of COVID-19, Hausman said.

“If one of them would have contracted it prior to getting here it could have spread like wildfire through the explorer ranks,” he said. “So, I think it was the right decision to make by the state association as well as the San Bernardino County Fire Department. But I’m sure a lot of explorers were looking forward to it.”

A loss of motivation

Lockdown has been a drag, said Adrian Alfaro, 19. He used to get together with friends for pickup soccer and basketball games five times a week. That was before stay-at-home orders went into effect in Anaheim. Since then, he has tried to keep himself in shape by jumping rope and jogging alone, but his workouts just haven’t been the same.

As captain of the Anaheim Police Department’s Explorer post, Alfaro also took passion in preparing new recruits for the academy. It was his job to push and motivate trainees through a strict exercise regimen each Sunday in preparation for the initiation process. He has felt somewhat lost recently, now that those pre-academy sessions have been cancelled.

“I haven’t been talking to other explorers about what they’ve been doing or how they’re doing because, to be honest with you, I don’t know if this academy in August is going to happen because of this virus,” Alfaro said.

That event has indeed been cancelled, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carrie Braun. The status of explorer gatherings scheduled through the remainder of 2020 is unclear.

The regular Tuesday meetings of the Anaheim post have also been temporarily suspended, said the program’s adviser, Anaheim Police Officer Staci Dietz. However, she’s developing an online curriculum so that her volunteers can continue to learn, refine their existing skills and, most importantly, stay in touch with one another.


(From left to right) Anaheim Police Officer Staci Dietz, Explorer Nadia Chavelas, Explorer Captain Adrian Alfaro, his mother, Linda Varela, and Officer LadyCarla Cashell pose for a photo while wearing face masks at the Anaheim Police Department on Wednesday, April 8. (Photo courtesy of the Anaheim Police Department).

Persevering in the digital age

At least 160 potential volunteers were three sessions into the 16-week Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy, which began on Saturday, Feb. 1, before all public gatherings in California were prohibited for the foreseeable future, Lt. Rob Medrano said. Instead of dismissing the work those young people had already committed, he and his drill sergeants took inspiration from California’s school system and shifted their program to a distance-learning format.

“For some of these kids, they are at that age where this would have been, if it had not been for us adjusting, their last academy or chance to get into the program before they age out,” said Mike Ramirez, one of the LASD sergeants overseeing the online program.


A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy recruit attends an online lecture from LASD Sgt. Mike Ramirez. The program switched to a distance learning format after a pandemic of COVID-19 led to a prohibition of all public gatherings in California. (Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department).

This year’s recruits virtually attend live meetings via Facebook held Saturdays at 8 a.m., which run a total of about two hours. Instructors cover all of the lecture topics included in the academy’s regular curriculum, and cadets are able to send questions in real time to a second drill sergeant or staff member moderating each session. Recordings of lectures are available for only a brief window of time after meetings in an effort to promote accountability.

“It went really well,” explorer cadet Justine Plowman, 18, said shortly after attending an online session on Saturday, March 7. “We had a guest speaker come in and he talked to us about, like, safe teenage driving, and just to be more careful on the road.”

In between lectures, she and the other cadets are assigned two essays each week, just like they would have been during a regular academy. But instead of sweating side by side through physical training together, this year’s trainees must submit a log with a checklist of exercises they must perform on their own. They don’t have to wear their uniforms, which means nobody is getting chewed out for dress code errors that might have been caught by discerning instructors.

“You do lose some impact when you’re not here physically,” Medrano said. “That’s just the way it is when you don’t have that physical interaction. That goes with school kids too. My kids are learning online right now, and you lose that sense of intimacy.”

A chance to finally get out of the house

As part of the city’s Incident Management Team, Long Beach Police Detective Sondra Ledesma’s schedule grew tighter and tighter as agencies scrambled to respond to the emergence of COVID-19. So, she was thankful she was able to call upon six young volunteers from her department’s explorer post on Tuesday, April 14, to help her gather toilet paper, soap, dishes, blankets and other supplies that had been distributed to an unused quarantine center, and pack it all up for later use.

On rare occasions, a few members of the post have been permitted to work on tasks related to COVID-19 suppression efforts in settings deemed safe and consistent with social distancing measures. Although the volunteers’ safety remains the top priority of the LBPD’s Explorer Post, the coronavirus pandemic has allowed some of them to get a behind-the-scenes look at how emergency service agencies operate during a crisis, the program’s advisor, Karen Owens, said.

“Plus, I really miss having them around,” Ledesma said through a disposable mask. “It’s been tough not being able to see their faces.”

The bottom half of the volunteers’ expressions were obscured by bandannas as they got to work at about 10 a.m., in small groups at an open lot next to a grassy park. They laughed and told jokes while tossing kitchenware or toiletries to each other and taping up boxes, suggesting smiles beneath the cloth covering their mouths and noses.

“It’s a chance to finally get out of the house!” Abigail Duarte, 15, said while helping her friend and fellow volunteer, Ashly Bello, 17, fold a bed sheet. “And I haven’t seen her in a month!” she added.

Ledesma said she plans to invite her explorers to a beach party whenever they are all eventually allowed to meet up again.

Elsewhere in Southern California, all members of the Los Angeles Police Department who had been coordinating community outreach efforts for the agency have been reassigned to street patrols or other tasks related to the mitigation of the pandemic, Sgt. Keith Mott of the Department’s Community Outreach and Development Division said.

That includes, for example, Officer Brittney Gutierrez, who had overseen the Volunteer Community Patrol (VCP) program at the LAPD’s Topanga Division.

VCP participants are mostly local residents who give their time to drive through their neighborhoods while looking out for suspicious activity, potholes, or anything that ought to be reported to authorities, Gutierrez said. The program’s membership had swelled in recent months, and each of the Topanga Division’s volunteers approached their tasks with enthusiasm.

However, many of them are over the age of 60,  which places them at particular risk of serious illness if they wind up infected with the novel coronavirus.

“We miss our volunteers immensely. It’s been a tough time for us all,” Gutierrez wrote in an email. “Before the epidemic, our volunteer patrol was doing amazing. We had VCP vehicles out almost daily. Since this epidemic, our program has been put on hold for now but we are looking forward to the day all of our volunteers come back and things go back to ‘normal.’”


Long Beach Police Department Explorers Mathew Sutfin (L), 17, and Abigail Duarte (R), 17, pack up unused supplies for later use at a lot in Long Beach on Tuesday, April 14. The volunteers were asked to help break down trailers that were supposed to have been used by workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic who may have needed to isolate themselves in the event of exposure to the virus. However, the makeshift quarantine center went unused. (Eric Licas, Orange County Register/SCNG).

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Housing costs, migration expected to crimp Southern California’s economy

Southern California’s economy remains strong, but it’s expected to lag slightly behind the state through 2021, according to a new report.

As with other regions, housing affordability and a net migration inland pose challenges to growth and the efficient movement of people and goods, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. forecast said.

On the plus side, per capita income growth is expected to continue to outpace the nation and state, buoyed by strong employment in the construction, logistics, professional services and healthcare industries.

Shannon Sedgwick, director of the LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics, which prepared the report, said the region has definite challenges.

“We have housing issues and a declining population,” she said. “With a decreased labor pool productivity remains low and that makes future economic growth difficult to achieve.”

Regional investment

Long-term regional investments in transportation — most notably the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion — will help boost growth in the area, the report said. The $10 billion capital improvement program, which runs from 2018 through 2028, includes track additions, station improvements and better signals and grade crossings to improve safety where trains cross surface streets.

It’s projected to generate 1.3 million jobs and provide a $684 billion boost to Southern California’s economy.

The forecast expects the regional economy to expand by 1.8% this year and next year, well below the more robust growth the region saw in 2018 (3.1%), 2017 (3%) and 2015 (4.6%).

The biggest job gains

Southern California is expected to add 129,800 jobs this year and 128,300 in 2021. This year’s biggest employment gain of 52,500 jobs will come in education and health services, the report said, with other sizable increases in leisure and hospitality (20,600), professional and business services (18,900) trade, transportation and utilities (13,200) and construction, natural resources and mining (12,100).

Sedgewick noted that, while the region’s overall economy is still relatively good, many Southland residents are not earning a living wage.

“Twenty-five percent of households with children in L.A. County are receiving some form of public assistance,” she said.

Home values are out of reach for many and will continue to climb, largely as a result of the region’s limited inventory. Southern California’s median home price — the point at which half the homes cost more and half cost less — is expected to reach $593,111 this year, up from $589,249 in 2019, and it will rise to $606,649 next year, the report said.

The forecast also breaks out highlights for each county:

Los Angeles County

  • Economic expansion: 1.8% this year and 1.6% in 2021
  • Employment growth: 48,400 this year and 42,200 in 2021
  • Unemployment rate: 4.3% this year and 4.1% in 2021
  • Median home price: $658,339 this year and $674,463 in 2021

Orange County

  • Economic expansion: 1.7% this year and 2% in 2021
  • Employment growth: 16,200 this year and 19,600 in 2021
  • Unemployment rate: 2.7% this year and 2.6% in 2021
  • Median home price: $745,385 this year and $764,271 in 2021

San Bernardino County

  • Economic expansion: 2% this year and 1.8% in 2021
  • Employment growth: 15,000 this year and 15,200 in 2021
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9% this year and 3.8% in 2021
  • Median home price: $380,640 this year and $394,179 in 2021

Riverside County

  • Economic expansion: 2.3% this year and 2% in 2021
  • Employment growth: 13,600 this year and 12,100 in 2021
  • Unemployment rate: 4.3% this year and 4.2% in 2021
  • Median home price: $390,548 this year and $403,761 in 2021

The report defines Southern California as a 10-county region that includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Imperial, Kern and San Luis Obispo counties.

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Line coach on San Juan Hills High School football team suspected of soliciting students for child pornography

Investigators believe an offensive line coach for a San Juan Capistrano high school football team propositioned multiple students to participate in child pornography, and sought the public’s help in identifying additional possible victims after he was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 30.

Cole Austin Cazel, 22, of San Juan Capistrano, was arrested at about 12:30 p.m. on suspicion of contacting minors for the purpose of soliciting child pornography, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials said in a news release. He was held at the Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Cazel had worked as an offensive line coach for the San Juan Hills High School football team and had regular contact with minors the past four years, the OCSD said.


Deputies arrested Cole Austin Cazel, 22, of San Juan Capistrano, Wednesday, Oct. 30, on suspicion of soliciting minors to take part in child pornography. He had worked as an offensive line coach for San Juan Hills High School, and has had regular contact with students for the past four years. (Photo courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Deputies launched an investigation after receiving an anonymous tip suggesting he had victimized multiple students.

Authorities believe there may be other victims who have not yet been identified. Deputies asked anyone with information regarding their investigation to call 714-647-7419.

Anonymous tips can also be left with OC Crime Stoppers by dialing 855-847-6227 or visiting occrimestoppers.org.

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Here’s how Southern California colleges fared in the 2020 U.S. News rankings

No matter what you’re looking for in a college education, Southern California likely has a good school to suit your needs.

That’s one of the big takeaways from the 2020 U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings, released Monday, Sept. 9.

There were few surprises in the top overall rankings, with Caltech placing highest in the region as the No. 12 best national university.

UCLA and USC weren’t too far behind, at No. 20 and No. 22, respectively.

Orange County was also represented on the list, with UC Irvine placing at No. 36. When narrowed down to just the top public schools, UCI won the No. 9 spot.

Southern California fared even better in the liberal arts category, in which Pomona College ranked fifth and Claremont McKenna College placed seventh.

Despite its high standing, a representative for Pomona College said that shouldn’t be the only factor prospective students consider when choosing a college or university.

“Our focus is on providing a top-notch education that equips students to confront problems from fresh angles and come up with real solutions,” spokesman Mark Kendall said. “There are many viewpoints on the issue of rankings, but bottom line, they should never be treated as an answer, only as one resource among many as students begin their college search.”

U.S. News used factors like graduation rates, class size, expert opinion, faculty resources and the share of first-year students who were in the top 10% of their high school class to determine the rankings.

“We’ve found the best institutions to be ones committed to academically and financially supporting their students through graduation,” Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, said in a statement. “They draw in high-quality professors and set students up for postgraduate success.”

But U.S. News didn’t stop at quantifying overall quality.

The organization compiled more than a dozen separate lists that rank schools on specific metrics, like value, innovation and ethnic diversity.

Across many of the lists, Caltech stood out. The university ranked No. 3 on the list of schools that offer undergraduates the opportunity to pursue their own creative research projects. It also tied for ninth place on a list of schools with the most economic diversity among students, ranked 10th for lowest debt load upon graduation and placed 11th for overall best value.

In a new list that debuted this year, which measures social mobility by assessing outcomes for students who received Pell grants, Southern California schools dominated the highest rankings.

UC Riverside topped the list, with UCI coming in third and the University of La Verne tying for fourth.

The leader of the winning school on that metric said, for his part, that it’s about time college rankings start taking student outcomes into account.

“UC Riverside is not a newcomer to the social mobility movement,” Chancellor Kim Wilcox said in a statement. “It’s been part of our ethos for a generation and we are heartened that rankings publications are starting to catch up – but they are not there yet.”

The Southland also shined bright on the list of best regional universities in the west.

California Lutheran University placed ninth on that list, followed by Cal Poly Pomona at No. 14, Cal State Fullerton at No. 17 and Cal State Long Beach at No. 20.

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Canyon High School graduation 2018

  • Grant Han celebrates during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Grant Han celebrates during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Jaden Auger poses for photos with her sister Mackenzie after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Jaden Auger poses for photos with her sister Mackenzie after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Graduates wait to enter Fred Kelly Stadium for the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates wait to enter Fred Kelly Stadium for the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Diplomas wait to be handed out during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Diplomas wait to be handed out during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hala Abusham celebrates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Hala Abusham celebrates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Families cheer for their students during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Families cheer for their students during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • ASB President Kyle Bui addresses the Class of 2018 during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    ASB President Kyle Bui addresses the Class of 2018 during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • John Bader, center, waits with fellow graduates as they file into Fred Kelly Stadium for the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    John Bader, center, waits with fellow graduates as they file into Fred Kelly Stadium for the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Daniel Krahl gets his tassel out of his mouth as he waits for his diploma during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Daniel Krahl gets his tassel out of his mouth as he waits for his diploma during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Britney Kerr, center, beams as she walks with her classmates during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Britney Kerr, center, beams as she walks with her classmates during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Lauren Ledesma has her cap adorned with flowers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Lauren Ledesma has her cap adorned with flowers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Ryan Belda poses with his family after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Ryan Belda poses with his family after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates sing the National Anthem with the rest of the choir during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates sing the National Anthem with the rest of the choir during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A UCI-bound graduate listens to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A UCI-bound graduate listens to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Joshua Tarango poses with photos of himself  after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Joshua Tarango poses with photos of himself after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates listen to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates listen to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates listen to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates listen to speakers during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Cade Campbell poses for a photo with his grandparents Mark and Marlene after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Cade Campbell poses for a photo with his grandparents Mark and Marlene after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A contraband beach ball is tossed around during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A contraband beach ball is tossed around during the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Late arrival Amanda Coelho fills out her name card before the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Late arrival Amanda Coelho fills out her name card before the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Villa Park senior Erin McCurry hugs Canyon graduate Christian Downey after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Villa Park senior Erin McCurry hugs Canyon graduate Christian Downey after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Samantha English, center left, holds her cap as she leaves the field with her fellow graduates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Samantha English, center left, holds her cap as she leaves the field with her fellow graduates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Families search for their graduates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Families search for their graduates after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates Daniel Torero, Kyle Bui and Zach Shorts, from left, pose for photos after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates Daniel Torero, Kyle Bui and Zach Shorts, from left, pose for photos after the Canyon High School graduation ceremonies at Fred Kelly Stadium in Orange on Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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The Class of 2018 at Orange’s Canyon High School held commencement on June 14 at Fred Kelly Stadium.

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Tesoro High School Graduation

Tesoro High School held the commencement ceremony for its Class of 2018 on June 7 at LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College.

  • Eve DeVault dances back to her seat after receiving her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Eve DeVault dances back to her seat after receiving her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rachel Fulford, right, jubilates as she shows fellow graduate, Sabrina Murphy, her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Rachel Fulford, right, jubilates as she shows fellow graduate, Sabrina Murphy, her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Caroline Fish waves to her family in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Caroline Fish waves to her family in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Family and friends of new graduates celebrate when the name of the student is announced during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Family and friends of new graduates celebrate when the name of the student is announced during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tesoro seniors walk down the steps to the field at the start of the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Tesoro seniors walk down the steps to the field at the start of the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hailey Havourd, center, joins her classmates in the National Anthem during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Hailey Havourd, center, joins her classmates in the National Anthem during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate celebrates during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A new graduate celebrates during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • New graduate Nina Nicole Johansson, right, hugs teacher Ms. Roberts after receiving her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    New graduate Nina Nicole Johansson, right, hugs teacher Ms. Roberts after receiving her diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates, from left, Holly Ann Hatchel, Chelsea McCormick and Christa Koontz wave to family and friends in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates, from left, Holly Ann Hatchel, Chelsea McCormick and Christa Koontz wave to family and friends in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tesoro graduates take take their seats during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Tesoro graduates take take their seats during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Christina Kuntz reacts as she sees fellow graduates pass by during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Christina Kuntz reacts as she sees fellow graduates pass by during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tesoro seniors, from left, Jessica Huth, Chelsea Viera, Sara La Rue cheer as their classmates names are called during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Tesoro seniors, from left, Jessica Huth, Chelsea Viera, Sara La Rue cheer as their classmates names are called during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Hannah Williams, left, and Emily Christopoulos embrace during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Hannah Williams, left, and Emily Christopoulos embrace during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Danielle Powers, front, leads the Tesoro High School Madrigals in a rendition of “In My Life” during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Danielle Powers, front, leads the Tesoro High School Madrigals in a rendition of “In My Life” during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A new graduate, right, is embraced by a faculty member during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A new graduate, right, is embraced by a faculty member during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Alissa Heinsius, left, and Kennedy Brown celebrate after receiving their diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Alissa Heinsius, left, and Kennedy Brown celebrate after receiving their diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Amy Noval, right, as she shows her fellow graduate her empty diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Amy Noval, right, as she shows her fellow graduate her empty diploma during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jeremy Hassel holds up is diploma to his family in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Jeremy Hassel holds up is diploma to his family in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Julia Pacific reacts when she sees friends in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Julia Pacific reacts when she sees friends in the stands during the Tesoro High School graduation ceremony in LeBard Stadium at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Fullerton Union High School Graduation 2018

Fullerton Union High held the commencement ceremony for its Class of 2018 on May 30 at the district stadium.

  • Enrique Gonzalez celebrates as the Class of 2018 is announced during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Enrique Gonzalez celebrates as the Class of 2018 is announced during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tyler Mollenkramer celebrates after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Tyler Mollenkramer celebrates after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Graduates wait for the start of graduation ceremonies for Fullerton Union High School at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates wait for the start of graduation ceremonies for Fullerton Union High School at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Carolina Casillas helps Parker Browne with his cap before the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Carolina Casillas helps Parker Browne with his cap before the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduate shows off her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A graduate shows off her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Confetti falls as graduates pose for photos with friends after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Confetti falls as graduates pose for photos with friends after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates head into Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates head into Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Families and graduates mill about the courtyard as they snap photos and receive gifts after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Families and graduates mill about the courtyard as they snap photos and receive gifts after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Noah Martinez shows off his cap to family in the stands as graduates enter Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Noah Martinez shows off his cap to family in the stands as graduates enter Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kaliya Ross celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Kaliya Ross celebrates after receiving her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Marlon Haines, left, celebrates with classmates, including  Priscilla Ortiz, center left, as the Class of 2018 leaves Fullerton District Stadium after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Marlon Haines, left, celebrates with classmates, including Priscilla Ortiz, center left, as the Class of 2018 leaves Fullerton District Stadium after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates snap photos with family members after the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates snap photos with family members after the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Members of of the JROTC Color Guard salute graduates as they leave the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Members of of the JROTC Color Guard salute graduates as they leave the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gradutate Ricardo Navarro gives teacher Aaron Vandenburgh a hug as the Class of 2018 leaves Fullerton District Stadium after graduation ceremonies for Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Gradutate Ricardo Navarro gives teacher Aaron Vandenburgh a hug as the Class of 2018 leaves Fullerton District Stadium after graduation ceremonies for Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduate Richard Medina tries to find his family after commencement ceremonies at Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduate Richard Medina tries to find his family after commencement ceremonies at Fullerton Union High School in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Photos are taken after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Photos are taken after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Surrounded by friends and family, graduates enter Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Surrounded by friends and family, graduates enter Fullerton District Stadium for the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Matthew Gonzalez celebrates after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Matthew Gonzalez celebrates after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates walk into the setting sun during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates walk into the setting sun during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Two graduates share a moment during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Two graduates share a moment during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Principal Laura Rubio speaks during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Principal Laura Rubio speaks during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Co-valedictorian Cinthia Gonzalez Reyes addresses her classmates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Co-valedictorian Cinthia Gonzalez Reyes addresses her classmates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • ASB President and co-salutatorian Emily Ong gets emotional as she addresses her classmates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    ASB President and co-salutatorian Emily Ong gets emotional as she addresses her classmates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Friends share a laugh as they pose for photos after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Friends share a laugh as they pose for photos after the Fullerton Union High School graduation in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Director Scott Hedgecock leads the Fullerton Union High School Combined Choirs, with gowned seniors in front, during their commencement ceremonies at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Director Scott Hedgecock leads the Fullerton Union High School Combined Choirs, with gowned seniors in front, during their commencement ceremonies at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A graduate proudly shows off her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A graduate proudly shows off her diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Gil James dances his way down the aisle after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Gil James dances his way down the aisle after receiving his diploma during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Two friends hug after receiving their diplomas during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Two friends hug after receiving their diplomas during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates celebrate after they are announced during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates celebrate after they are announced during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Ty Robinson wears a J.R.R. Tolkien quote on his cap during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Ty Robinson wears a J.R.R. Tolkien quote on his cap during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A quote-filled graduation cap adorns the head of a student during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A quote-filled graduation cap adorns the head of a student during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Toy Story-themed caps are worn during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Toy Story-themed caps are worn during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A Star Wars-themed graduation cap is seen during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A Star Wars-themed graduation cap is seen during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates wear decorated caps during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates wear decorated caps during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Graduates wear decorated caps during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Graduates wear decorated caps during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Navy-bound Alex Boull’t listens to speakers during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Navy-bound Alex Boull’t listens to speakers during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Decorated caps dot the heads of graduates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Decorated caps dot the heads of graduates during the Fullerton Union High School graduation at Fullerton District Stadium in Fullerton on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Increased police presence set for Thursday at Orange County School of the Arts after bomb threat

SANTA ANA — Authorities say a bomb threat emailed to some students at the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana was not credible — but nevertheless police plan a large presence there Thursday.

About 20 students received through social media an anonymous threat that there would be a bomb on campus Thursday, according to school officials.

The students were alerted to the threat via a social media platform called Sarahah, school officials said in a letter Wednesday to parents, faculty and staff.

“Law enforcement takes every threat as credible until determined otherwise based on available intelligence, information and a corresponding investigation,” the letter says “Our (law enforcement) partners have performed that investigation and have determined there is no credible threat to our institution at this time. We want to assure you that student safety is one of the highest priorities we have.”

Out of an abundance of caution, Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Santa Ana officers will be present at the school Thursday, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said Wednesday night.

 

 

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