Patrice Apodaca

Patrice Apodaca
Newport-Mesa public school parent and former L.A. Times staff writer

Apodaca: Free-range parenting style is another simplistic fad

When I was a kid I had very little in the way of organized, adult-supervised activities outside of school, and my parents certainly did...

Apodaca: Pressure means that teaching to the test won't last

In a recent column, I observed that the Corona del Mar High School cheating scandal highlighted the over-reliance on outside tutors.

Apodaca: Split has church looking for new members

How does a new church leader fill the pews again after a contentious legal dispute resulted in the departure of nearly the entire...

Parents who rush to hire tutors may be part of the problem

The Daily Pilot's recent report ("Effort to...

Patrice Apodaca: Backlash arises over 'flipped' classrooms

There's a lot of flak about flipped classrooms lately.

Apodaca: Educated parents should know better and vaccinate

Will those parents who continue to withhold vaccinations for their children now please, please, please wake up?

Apodaca: Study reveals how poverty steals from learning time

Few among us would dispute the notion that students from disadvantaged backgrounds face a steeper climb when it comes to a quality...

Apodaca: Key issues to look for in education

When it comes to education, a new year doesn't necessarily mean much. School calendars straddle two years, and it's unlikely that the midway...

Apodaca: It's hard to deny: Sports rule

"Why did you raise me to like sports?"

Apodaca: Sister's health would be best present

There's a story I heard countless times when I was growing up about a girl with two younger brothers who prayed for a baby sister.

Apodaca: While technology advances, don't leave civility behind

The Supreme Court last week heard arguments in a case loaded with potential consequences for the regulation of free speech on electronic...

Apodaca: Big Santa is watching you

When the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" was written in 1932, little did Depression-era Americans understand the prescience of the...

Apodaca: School district official addresses absenteeism

Calls to more aggressively address what some call a "truancy crisis" in California schools have not been lost on Phil D'Agostino, Newport-...

Apodaca: Balance of creativity, test scores needed

In 1958, psychologist E. Paul Torrance developed a novel idea for a test, which he and his fellow researchers administered to about 400...

Apodaca: Technology in the classroom is inevitable, but let's proceed cautiously

For many years now we've heard predictions that technology would transform education. But that expected transformation has evolved in fits...

Apodaca: Sufficient sleep is essential for healthy minds and bodies

When my younger son was a junior in high school, his packed schedule left appallingly insufficient time for a basic human need: sleep.

Apodaca: Teachers walk a blurry line in sharing opinions

A former Newport Harbor High School English teacher has reportedly sued the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, alleging that...

Apodaca: Educators mining Minecraft for learning

What if there was a way for students studying history to build a replica of Ancient Rome? Or for kids learning about California missions...

Apodaca: A forgettable night on ship provides lasting memories

When I read about the Pilgrim of Newport's recent visit to Newport Harbor, it brought me back to a memorable night spent aboard the 118-foot...

Apodaca: Kids can break the code to success

Both Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high schools now offer Advanced Placement classes in computer science. That's an encouraging sign,...

Apodaca: Running the gauntlet that is the start of school

It's back-to-school season, an annual event greeted by students with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and dread. Parents too, but in...

Apodaca: District working with teachers to make Common Core work

Whether you're inclined to love it or hate it, or are reserving judgment, Common Core is here.

Apodaca: Common Core facing stronger pushback

This is a dangerous time for Common Core.

Apodaca: Let authenticity guide your college essay

I couldn't help feeling amused, and just a little vindicated, by a recent magazine article by an acclaimed journalist. The subject matter...

Apodaca: Danger of anti-immunization movement is real

It's always dismaying when seemingly rational, intelligent people make incomprehensible decisions.

Apodaca: A sorry state for apologies

Elton John lamented in song that "sorry seems to be the hardest word."

Apodaca: Ending tenure isn't the only answer in education reform

In the past month we've seen some potentially huge changes for public schools in California.

Apodaca: Topic of sexual assaults on campus finally receiving proper attention

A friend once told me about a horrendous experience she had as a teenager. She had liked a young man, a popular athlete, but when they...

Apodaca: Best approach to teen drinking is murky

Several years ago while on a Baltic cruise, my family and I enjoyed a two-day stop in beautiful St. Petersburg. Since it was Russia, I...

Apodaca: Time for commencement speeches to graduate?

Is it a sign of the times that commencement speeches have become controversial?

Apodaca: The gift mom really wants is time

Mother's Day is 100 years old Sunday. Anna Jarvis, the woman credited for its establishment, would be horrified.

Apodaca: Discipline is tough to get right

If there's one conclusion that's easy to reach in the wake of recent school scandals it's that discipline is the most difficult,...

Apodaca: Young moviemakers showcased at Newport festival

Every year around this time the Newport Beach Film Festival brings together open-minded audiences eager for interesting new material with...

Apodaca: Initiative aims to reinvent community colleges

I've written frequently about the shift toward matching education with job-market demand, a trend that continues to gain momentum.

Apodaca: Woman keeps fighting spirit in face of tragedy

Apodaca: Woman keeps fighting spirit in face of tragedy

Frances SaldaƱa is a petite woman with a soft smile and big, kind eyes. But behind her gentle demeanor lies a will of iron that has...

Apodaca: Focusing on the real world

It's no secret that significant changes are underway in education. But an easier-to-miss development is that these various paths to change,...

Apodaca: Let's pause and recall the influence of Jerry Norman

With the NCAA tournament underway, it's worth remembering that March Madness hasn't always been around to turn us into a nation of...

Apodaca: Clearing the air about electronic cigarettes

An alarming trend is rapidly emerging, fed by a smoke screen of misinformation, clever marketing ploys and widespread ignorance.

Apodaca: Selfie death knell sounds at Oscars

When Ellen DeGeneres staged a group selfie with Hollywood stars at the Academy Awards last week, it was widely heralded as a watershed...

Apodaca: Lessons learned from an ailing family pet

Apodaca: Lessons learned from an ailing family pet

Since my dog lost his vision, I've listened to experts and consulted websites for advice about coping with a sightless pet. But aside from...

Apodaca: Trying to fix the glaring inequality in education

In a single week last October, 11 colleges sent representatives to Newport Harbor High School, providing a diverse geographic and academic...

Apodaca: Cheating story is not going away

The Corona del Mar High School cheating scandal is becoming one of those stories that just won't die, which is great for those of us in...

Apodaca: Your kids can figure things out on their own

When my younger son returned to college after his winter break, he ran smack into a Midwestern snowstorm. His connecting flight in Chicago...

Apodaca: CdM cheaters must face, accept consequences

Everyone is talking about the Corona del Mar High School cheating scandal.

Apodaca: Let's understand why boys will be boys

I grew up with two older brothers and a very old-school father, and I'm the mother of two young men, so I'm quite aware that males and...

Apodaca: Finding time to realize why we're so busy

I'm not big on new year's resolutions but one thing I'm pretty much always resolving to do is manage my time better.