The Orange County High School of the Arts is hosting a Summer Enrichment Program. Some classes have already started. If you would like to register for a course that is no longer available online, please call 714.560.0900, ext. 3259 or 5630.
Click here for an update on this story, from the L.A. Times.
Advisory: Orange County High School of the Arts on “Lock Out” for police activity in the area. Students and staff safe.
The Santa Ana Unified School District’s police department notified the community, via email that Tte “Lock Out” at Orange County High School of the Artswas lifted at 4:12 pm today. They also reported that the area is secure.
The School Police reported earlier today, at 3:46 pm, that: Continue reading
Unbelievable. Another Santa Ana public school teacher has been arrested for making sexually suggestive comments to students, the day after a wrestling coach and biology teacher, Joseph Manuel Orduna, was arrested at Godinez High School. This time the SAPD arrested John Juul Nielson, of Cerritos, a dance instructor at a Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) charter public school, the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA).
There is no mention of this new arrest yet on the SAUSD’s website. Nor is there any mention of this on the OCHSA website, or on their Facebook page. I don’t think the OCHSA’s Board was ready for this. You can email the OCHSA board here.
Here is the SAPD’s press release: Continue reading
OCHSA Students Lend a Hand in Writing
Students from Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in Santa Ana recently began a ten week long “Creative Minds Writing Workshop” at the Santa Ana Public Library. In classes designed to teach 3rd to 6th grade children valuable writing skills, elementary students will learn about different aspects of writing, such as character development, devices for setting and plot , and how to write essays, stories, and poems. The workshop also covers the basics of different literary genres such as horror, fantasy, mystery, and comedy. Continue reading
OCHSA Signs Agreement with SAUSD for School Policing and Safety Services
Orange County High School of the Arts Signs Agreement with SAUSD for School Policing and Safety Services
Dedicated School Resource Officer Assigned Beginning July 1
SANTA ANA, CA – June 30, 2011 – Beginning July 1, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Police Department and Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA), a renowned public charter school located in the school district, will enter an agreement in which SAUSD will begin providing school policing and safety services for the campus, students and staff. The four-year contract is a first for OCHSA since moving to Santa Ana more than 10 years ago, and comes with a dedicated sworn police officer to serve as a School Resource Officer. The officer will patrol the campus, to protect the school’s property, resources and maintain safety and security of students and staff. The officer will also monitor pedestrian and vehicular traffic for enhanced travel safety to and from school on a daily basis.
Under the contract, OCHSA will fund the salary of a full-time police officer, a patrol vehicle, uniforms and other equipment. There is no capital outlay for the school district.
“The District wins and OCHSA wins,” said Santa Ana School Police Chief David Valentin. “Our force will benefit from adding an extra sworn officer, and OCHSA will be assured a quicker response to any safety services required. This additional staff member will also serve as a supplement to our police force in the event of any significant incident or emergencies in the greater Santa Ana community impacting OCHSA. I am confident all OCHSA stakeholders will be served well by this newly created position which will also serve as a community education resource to leverage public safety,” continued Chief Valentin.
“As we continue to expand the physical footprint of our campus and the school’s enrollment grows to 1,750 bright and talented students next year, the welfare of our students and staff remains of primary importance,” said Sue Vaughn, Principal for Orange County High School of the Arts. “This new partnership with SAUSD will provide dedicated access to safety services during the school year. The move was a natural progression given our existing positive working relationship.”
SAUSD educates approximately 58,000 students at 61 school sites throughout Santa Ana, five of which are charter schools. The K-12 school district is the largest in Orange County and the second largest employer in Santa Ana, with approximately 4,500 educators and staff members. Its school police force consists of 74 members, 24 of whom are sworn officers. To learn more about SAUSD, log on to www.sausd.us or call 714-558-5555.
Top photo: OCHSA Principal Sue Vaughn shakes hands with School Police Chief David Valentin. With them is Assistant Principal Michael Ciecek and School Resource Officer assigned to OCHSA Steve Sogsti.
Bottom photo: School Resource Officer Steve Sogsti begins OCHSA assignment on July 1, 2011.
I met with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido yesterday morning, and he was kind enough to share with me, again, his itinerary. Remember as you read this that Pulido is a part-time Mayor – but he clearly spends a lot of time doing the job he was elected to do:
- 8:30 a.m. Pedro Magallon, Santa Ana Winds Soccer
- 8:45 a.m. Jose Harris, JNH Motivational, Meet and Greet. New business at Martinez Bookstore
- 9:00 a.m. Art Pedroza and Matt Southgate, AVASA, Future of Artist Village and possible Mardi Gras type festival
- 9:15 a.m. Nati Alvarado, Project Backpack 2011
- 9:30 a.m. Lara Beers, Recycle Bank Program
- 9:50 a.m. Dave Elliott, Building a working relationship between SA & Chamber of Commerce, City focus for 2011, Chamber’s role with City to strengthen SA
- 10:10 a.m. Ernie Vasquez and Melanie Rios Glaser, Wooden Floor Executive & Artistic Director, Potential expansion opportunities for the Wooden Floor
- 10:30 a.m. Jay Trevino, Planning issues
- 10:50 a.m. Louie Lujan, Gov. Affairs Director, Fighting the blight, crime, and safety issues caused byvacant properties
- 11:10 a.m. Lara Montagne, The Grain Project
- 11:30 a.m. Call with Big Ten City Mayors, State Budget
- 12:00 p.m. Ernesto Medrano, Eric Henry and possibly Patrick Kelly, Teamsters
- 12:30 p.m. Ralph Opacic, Steve Wagner and Sue Baung, Tennis Program at OCHSA
- 1:00 p.m. Peter Wittingham and Tim Conlon,Cabco Yellow Inc., AQMD funding for natural gas vehicles
What a day! And Pulido still has an afternoon full of additional appointments to work through.
We are fortunate to have a Mayor who can spend so much time on city business. Mayor Pulido made it clear that he is available to talk to anyone who wants to meet with him with regard to city business. If you want to meet with him contact Becky Magallon, at City Hall, at BMagallon@santa-ana.org. She is an Executive Assistant to City Manager Dave Ream.
Click here to read our previous installment, A Day in the Life of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.
Advocates for free speech notched another victory this week when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will give students at charter schools the same free speech protection that their counterparts in regular public schools enjoy.
What happened, in a nutshell, is that a State Assemblyman, Leland Yee, had to step in with new legislation when a local charter school, the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA), here in the Santa Ana Unified School District, stopped a press run of their student newspaper, in an obvious attempt to abridge the free speech rights of a student reporter. The same school later fired their journalism advisor because she stood up for that student’s rights.
Yee was so mad after that happened that he asked the SAUSD to cancel OCHSA’s charter, but the SAUSD School Board ignored his request. That was no surprise given that SAUSD School Board President Audrey Yamagata-Noji is no defender of the First Amendment herself. She recently suspended a college student at Mt. San Antonio College, where she is the Vice President of Student Services, for daring to Tweet about a teacher – without even mentioning said teacher’s name!
Here are all the details, courtesy of the California Chronicle:
Click here to read the rest of this post.
“Orange County public schools will receive $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds, via the Enhancing Education Through Technology grant, this month to improve technology in the classroom, the latest round of grant money to flow to local schools under President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package,” according to the O.C. Register.
Here is a rundown of the local schools benefiting from these contributions:
- Nova Academy Early College High $1,129
- Orange County High School of the Arts $845
- Orange County Educational Arts Academy $2,829
- El Sol Santa Ana Science and Arts Academy $3,192
- Santa Ana Unified $388,583
- Garden Grove Unified $276,563
- Orange Unified $86,120
- Tustin Unified $34,130
- Irvine Unified $29,231
What a nice way to end the week!
Godinez High has quickly become one of Santa Ana’s best schools
Ouch. The O.C. Register slammed the Santa Ana Unified School District in this year’s “Orange County’s Best Public Schools: High Schools” report,” which was published on Sunday.
In the report, Santa Ana Unified has the bottom four ranked schools, Century High, Valley High, Santa Ana High, and Saddleback High.
But the article didn’t tell the whole story. For one thing, the SAUSD’s newest high school, Godinez Fundamental, is quickly turning into a real gem, on a par with Segerstrom High, which received a Bronze Award in the Register’s 2010 report. But Godinez isn’t ranked in the report, probably because they are too new.
Two other SAUSD schools also received awards. The Orange County High School for the Arts was one of five gold medal winners. OCSHA is a charter school. Few Santa Ana kids get into the school, but those that do generally excel.
And SAUSD’s Middle College High not only won a silver award, but earlier this month, twenty-seven Middle College High School (MCHS) seniors from the Class of 2010 graduated with both a high school diploma from Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) and an associate of arts degree from Santa Ana College (SAC). The graduates receiveed their AA degree from Santa Ana College during a June 3 commencement ceremony at Santa Ana Stadium, followed by their high school diploma in a ceremony on June 17.
Middle College High School (MCHS) is a Santa Ana Unified School District school, located at Santa Ana College. A collaborative venture between the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) and Santa Ana College(SAC), opened its doors in 1997 with approximately 80 sophomores and a staff consisting of four teachers, a high school counselor, a principal and two classified employees. In 2000 Middle College High School graduated its first class with its valedictorian holding the distinguished rank of valedictorian of the high school and the college.
The bad news? Only 80 students will be accepted into the 9th grade next year. Slim pickings, but cream of the crop.
We also have another great charter school, the Nova Academy Early College High School, which recently won the PIMCO 2010 Excellence Award. They weren’t in the Register’s report either. I suspect their campus is also too knew to track yet.
Yes, there are a lot of kids struggling in SAUSD schools, but there are also a lot of kids doing very well. My three boys all go to SAUSD schools.
My son Joey just finished his junior year at Godinez, where he is the number two ranked student on campus. He is taking AP level courses. Joey has played on his high school baseball team for three years. He was the closer on his team this year. In that time he also taught himself how to play the guitar and drums. He is pretty good! He can play AC/DC and Led Zep songs, which is good enough for me.
My other boys are younger, but Jimmy did finish intermediate school this year and he is going to be attending Godinez also in the fall. He too received scholastic awards at the end of the year. It was telling that SAUSD Trustee Audrey Noji addressed Jimmy and his peers, at their graduation this month, in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Santa Ana is changing and there are a lot of Vietnamese students now amongst their Latino peers.
My son Jacob, who is a first grader at John Muir Fundamental Elementary School, also received a slew of awards at the end of the year.
All of my boys received awards in English/Reading. Jimmy and I both read the same science fiction novels – and he has become a voracious reader.
My daughter graduated from Santa Ana High School, where she also excelled at water polo. She just finished a two year fashion degree at FIDM, which is a world-renowned art school in Los Angeles. She finished with a GPA higher than 3.0. She is now looking for an internship in her industry.
The difference for my kids? A house full of computers and parents dedicated to reading and to helping them with their studies. We have always been here for them.
Not all Santa Ana kids are as lucky. I for one won’t criticize their families. They are poor and struggling to survive. We live in a city with only one main library and one small external branch. The libraries are closed on Sunday. Many kids in town don’t have access to the Internet. Many live in cramped surroundings with no desk to do their homework on. And many live in single parent homes.
SAUSD has laid off teachers for several years now. That has really hurt younger teachers. That is a damn shame as they would have brought new energy to our schools. We have a lot of great veteran teachers but also a few that, quite frankly, could care less.
I still am not sold on the SAUSD administrators. Nor do I have much faith in our School Board. If we are to turn things around it will be up to us.
We need more partnerships with local industry leaders. We need better administrators with more experience in turning around troubled school districts. We need more public libraries. I wrote a position paper when I ran for the Santa Ana City Council, proposing micro libraries that would make use of our empty retail stores, providing computers with Internet access, and space to do homework. Plus the idea would have included a mobile service that would have delivered books, upon request, from the main library to the micro libraries.
But both the City of Santa Ana and the SAUSD are broke. So what to do?
I know what I won’t do. I won’t pull my kids out of SAUSD schools and put them in private schools, like most of our local politicians have done over the years. One of our Trustees, Audrey Noji, sent her son to high school in Irvine. And a candidate for our school board that has run twice, and lost, named Cecilia Aguinaga, took her kids out of public schools and put them in private schools.
We need school board members who will have faith in our schools and in our teachers, and who will be creative and inspired. We certainly don’t have that sort of vision on our School Board now.
But know this – despite all the problems we do have a lot of great kids who are doing well. We just need to work harder to help the rest of them too.
The Orange County High School of the Arts presents a Ballet Folklorico Conservatory Concert, called Recuerdos de Mexico, on May 1, at 7:30 p.m., at Segerstrom High School, located at 2301 W. MacArthur Boulevard, in Santa Ana.
Remember the mini-scandal that surfaced when Sue Vaughn, the Principal at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA), interfered with the publishing of the school paper because she didn’t like something that a student reporter wrote about a school vendor? That happened in September of last year. You can read all about it by clicking here.
Vaughn picked on the wrong student. The reporter’s mom turned out to be a media bigwig. Now it appears that her mom had major political pull too.
On Tuesday, State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) introduced “SB 438 in response to Orange County High School of the Arts’ insistence that administrators broke no laws when they halted printing of the student newspaper in September over objections to its content, according to an Orange County Register report, because the laws apply to public schools, not charter schools,” according to the OC Weekly. Continue reading
The Orange County High School for the Arts (OCHSA), which is located in Santa Ana, is conducing a Preview Day this Saturday, Jan. 9, from 1 p.m. to 4 pm.
Here is additional information about the OCHSA Preview Day, from their website:
Students of all ages who are passionate about the arts and looking for opportunities to discover and develop their talents are invited to join the Orange County High School of the Arts. Whether you want pre-professional arts training and an award-winning academic program as a full-time student (7th-12th grade), or would like to enroll in part-time summer, weekend or evening community arts classes, the Orange County High School of the Arts is the place for you.
Join us for the 2010-2011 school year—paint, dance, write, film, sing, design, act, play an instrument—get inspired today! Continue reading