The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) is a public education organization offering support services to 27 school districts and more than 600 schools and 20,000 educators serving over 500,000 students in Orange County.

OCDE’s personnel offer support, professional development, and student programs through its divisions and departments: Administrative Services, Alternative Education, Business Services, Career and Technical Education, Information Technology, Instructional Services, Legal Services, Community and Student Support Services, and Special Education.

Our vision is that "Orange County students will lead the nation in college and career readiness and success."​ We play a supportive role in the fulfillment of this vision in collaboration with educators at all levels of student development, ​from early childhood through higher education, and in partnership with families, businesses, and community organizations.

We believe that to lead the nation in college and career readiness and success is a high ambition, but within the reach of Orange County students.

Adolescents and Mental Health

By Johanna Parra, MA, PPS. Orange County Dept. of Education jparra@ocde.ud

Statistics on Mental Illness; Children and Teens

  • Behavior/Conduct Disorder (10%)
  • Substance Use Disorder (10%)
  • Anxiety Disorder (8%)
  • Learning Disorder (5%)
  • ADHD (5%)
  • Depression (5%)
  •  1 in 5 children experience a mental health condition during childhood
  • 50% of all adults with a lifetime mental illness report having symptoms by age 14.
  • Only 1/3 receive any kind of treatment
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in ages 10-34
  • 90% of those who died by suicide had an underlying mental illness.

Source:  Mental Health First Aid USA;    National Alliance on Mental Illness

​The 3 G's (Guide, Guard, Govern) Presentation

Mealtime Conversations

Research has discovered that one of the most effective strategies parents, grandparents, and other primary care givers have for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids is to frequently eat meals together as a family.


This positive, strength-based approach to parenting focuses on what's right with kids (and parents), and the small, everyday steps you can take to help kids be successful in the future.   Topics include:

  • Discipline & Values
  • Time Together
  • Technology & Media
  • High Risk Behaviors
  • Other Hot Topic

Write a Contract With Your Kids

Because teenagers are more likely to follow guidelines they help create, get together to design rules and consequences that work for you both.  Then consider putting the details in writing to make sure you're on the same page (now and in the future). Use the sample contract as a guide to establish rules about drugs and alcohol.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention

​​​​​​​​​​​​Teen Students

Stephan Lambert​
Prevention Coordinator​
​​Ana Torres​
Administrative Assistant III

​The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)

program provides opportunities for schools,​ communities, and families to work together to develop a​nd implement comprehensive ​programs​ to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, violence or disruptive behavior among youth. OCDE offers technical assistance, training, and support to school districts in the preparation and implementation of their prevention and intervention programs.  Staff development opportunities include program planning, intervention, school policy, curriculum, community involvement, positive alternatives, parent involvement, youth development and evaluation.​
Stephan Lambert, the Orange County Department of Education's Prevention Coordinator, has an extensive background working in prevention and positive youth development programs. He currently serves Orange County school districts with prevention support related to tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and bullying among youth. Stephan is a board member of Orange County Substance Abuse Prevention Network (OCSAPN)​.​
  • This California Department of Education website provides information for families, schools, and districts.
  • Fourth District PTA is an organization of twenty councils which represent all of Orange County PTA members as well as members in a small portion of Los Angeles County.

Kids & The Law

  • This website from The State Bar of California contains English and Spanish versions of "Kids & the Law: an A-Z Guide for Parents."

  • Orange County Department of Education's web resource provides information about the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act and the Homeless Outreach Promoting Educational Success (HOPES) Collaborative.

  • This page of the US Department of Education's website provides information for parents on topics like "Helping Your Child", "Federal Student Aid", "Parents Guide to School Success", and much more.

  • This page entitled "Parent Involvement" is meant for a broad audience to address specific provisions under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It can be used by families, schools, and districts.

Last Reviewed: September 2017

Prevention Resources - For Staff

​As teachers and staff at schools there are a number of demands as well as information that is always constantly changing and evolving. To support you as staff in Orange County, OCDE has collected a number of resources that provide information, activities and programs that can be utilized at schools and in classrooms.​

Staff Support This link provides a couple resources on a variety of topics that staff deals with, involving students in their classrooms.  Positive mental health of your students leads to better learning and better grades, learn ways you can promote better health and encourage your students towards positive lifestyles.

Developmental Assets Workshops Research consistently shows that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive.  This workshop will introduce the 40 Developmental Assets and explore ways they can be incorporated into programs for youth.  Learn ways that you can immediately start building more assets in young people!  Contact Stacy Deeble-Reynolds​ to schedule a training for your school site.

Drugs and Alcohol Resources Drugs and alcohol negatively affect students learning in the classroom. Students often spend more time at school and with their teachers than they do at home and with their parents. Learn symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse in youth and help prevent it early, before it leads to a full blown addiction and kids suffer in their education or drop out. Also as teachers you have the ability to talk with your student's parents and discuss things they can do at home and with their teens to reduce substance abuse.

Tobacco Resources Many tobacco uses started before the age of 18, learn about new products that tobacco companies are using to get youth addicted and how to incorporate tobacco information into lesson plans. Adults serve as role models for youth.  If students have parents that smoke, or teachers that smoke, help provide them with smoking cessation services and products by calling 1-866-NEW-LUNG.

Violence and Bullying Prevention This page helps to provide resources about violence and bullying to teachers, again students spend most of their time at school and with teachers, so it is important to know the signs of a student who is being bullied. Use these resources to find information on bullying, how to spot the symptoms of a student who is being bullied and programs that can be implemented in your school

Prevention Resources - For Students

Below are links that offer various resources for students to help them deal with problems that they may be facing at school, problems with their friends or problems at home. These links provide them with the tools they need to understand the dangers and negative aspects of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence. These links help them to not be influenced by negative peer pressure but to live life the way that they choose.
Student Support This page offers a list of resources which provides information, tips, tools and programs that they can be a part of to deal with the general effects of peer pressure. The website Above the Influence has great videos, facts and downloads. There are also a number of programs in Orange County that students can be a part of to help influence attitudes and behaviors in their communities and schools.
Drugs and Alcohol Resources A majority of students don't want to do drugs, they know it's dangerous and can get them into serious trouble. However every student gets offered drugs or alcohol at some point in Jr. High and High School & if they don't have a plan of how they are going to refuse they might get sucked into trying it. This link offers a list of resources where you and your friends can make a plan of how you are going to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
Tobacco Resources Most Students start using tobacco before the age of 18 and usually get addicted for the rest of their life, sticking them with an expensive addiction and other health problems. Other tobacco products like snuff or electronic cigarettes are methods used by the tobacco company to get you addicted. Learn the truth about tobacco and find out about programs that can help your family and friends to quit smoking.
Violence and Bullying Prevention This link offers resources to help students who might be dealing with violence or bullying and are tired of it happening at their school.  Use these links to find out information about bullying, how to say something when you see it happening and programs you can be a part of.

​​​​​​​​​Globe with graduation cap

RN, MPH, County Nurse​
Administrative Assistant
Healthy Students Learn Better and are more successful in school! The goal of the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) is for all students to succeed. The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) recognizes the importance of health and its relationship to learning; the goal is that our students experience wellness and achieve their greatest potential.
Coordinated school health programs, which include nursing and health services, promote health and wellness. The Orange County Department of Education mission is to serve students, schools, parents, and the community to promote optimal health for our schools and community. The Orange County Department of Education provides the support our schools need to maintain a healthy environment that fosters learning.
The Orange County Department of Education provides countywide leadership in School Health and School Nursing services as well as consultation and direction for the implementation and development of coordinated school health programs.​
​​​​​​​​​Student Group
Associate Superintendent​
Sr. Executive Assistant

The Community and Student Support Services Division

provides programs and services to students, families, educators, and community members that focus on student engagement, academic achievement, youth development, leadership innovation, external funding and partnerships, and environmental field study.
Our programs prepare students for college and careers by developing 21st century competencies. We provide direct services to over 187,000 students through Inside the Outdoors Environmental Education Programs, and student programs such as Friday Night Live (FNL), Academic Decathlon, Peer Assistance Leadership (PAL) and more.
Our multi-faceted approach improves the quality of education and support services that connects community, students, and school districts as we promote the health, safety, and academic enrichment of children throughout the county.  In addition, our Charter Schools Unit supports charter schools authorized by the Orange County Board of Education and we provide administrative support for the Orange County School Boards Association (OCSBA) and Williams Settlement Legislation.