Patrice Apodaca

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

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.

Apodaca: Big changes are ahead in 2014

2014 promises to be an eventful year in education.

Apodaca: The needy need a real gift – education

Every Christmas I take time to remember my parents. They came from vastly different backgrounds: Dad had a hardscrabble upbringing in the...

Apodaca: Parents should give their kids a break for the holidays

As winter break approaches, giving students a needed rest after a pressure-filled fall, I'll bet that a lot of kids are hoping Santa...

Apodaca: Worth the time and effort to keep anti-bullying programs alive

I've written a few columns about bullying, and the topic never fails to elicit an impassioned response.

Apodaca: On the side of the floppers

Thanksgiving is increasingly becoming a holiday divided into two camps: shoppers vs. floppers.

Apodaca: Staging a comeback

Apodaca: Staging a comeback

There's a scene in the musical "Ivy + Bean," a South Coast Repertory production based on the well-loved children's books, in which the...

Apodaca: Don't forget bullying for the nuances

Issues surrounding bullying have taken a front seat in public discourse during the past few years, and the growing awareness has generally...

Apodaca: Moms are the best 'men' for the job

My son needed toadstools. In 20 minutes.

Apodaca: Is cursive cursed to end?

An unlikely controversy has erupted in education regarding, of all things, cursive writing.

Apodaca: Love will help us care for the aging generation

The term "sandwich generation" has been around for a few decades, but the issue of caring for geriatric parents is gaining urgency as our...

Apodaca: Trying to get some dress sense

Every year about this time, when the school session is still young, administrators, parents and students reengage in the age-old battle over...

Apodaca: L.A. schools' iPad fiasco should serve as lesson

As our local schools continue to experiment with ways to utilize technology, they are receiving a big lesson in how not to do it from our...

Apodaca: Tennis is my ticket to sanity

Fall means football for most folks. But for me and many of my friends, autumn also marks the annual kickoff of another one of my favorite...

Apodaca: Alzheimer's research: a race against time

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, including 75,000 in Orange County. By mid-century, those numbers could nearly...

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