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
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!
Konnie Krislock, who has been teaching journalism and yearbook at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana for the past four years, was dismissed in June via a curt letter from the school that read, in part, “Your services are no longer needed,” according to the O.C. Register.
We covered the scandal that led up to this firing in our sister blog, the Orange Juice, back in September of last year. Click here to read that post. A student reporter at OCSHA wrote an article about a food vendor, Allegre, questioning why they got the cafeteria contract when they are known for pushing their religious views on their customers. Krislock stood up for that student.
The student’s article posed a good question given that OCHSA is a charter school that is publicly funded and runs under the auspices of the Santa Ana Unified School District.
We also looked into Allegre’s safety record and found numerous citations by the Orange County Health Department.
Now a State Senator is looking into Krislock’s firing. “The firing has landed on the radar of the state Senate, with Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, calling on regulators to check up on the high school because of the firing,” according to the Voice of OC blog.
“State law explicitly protects student publications from prior restraint and from retaliation by administrators. In 2008, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) authored a law that extended the protection to school employees, including journalism advisors,” according to the California Chronicle.
After the original censorship incident at OCHSA, Yee immediately introduced legislation to clarify that charter schools must also adhere to the law. The bill (SB 438) received unanimous support by the Senate and in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, said that the apparent retaliatory firing of an adviser demonstrates the need of California’s student free expression law.
“Schools should be on notice that they can’t use advisers as a pawn to punish students for what they publish,” he said. “These students were doing solid, topical journalism that obviously hit a little too close to home for the administration. They owe the public a full explanation if they claim this wasn’t a retaliatory decision.”
It is a sad day when a public school for the arts practices censorship, fires good teachers and hires questionable vendors.
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.
Poster Winner: Monique Nguyen, 12th grade, Los Amigos High School, Garden Grove USD.
Orange County Imagination Celebration
OC Public Libraries joins in April 17 – May 23, 2010 for the 25th Anniversary of Imagination Celebration. Experience the power and colorful creativity of theatre, dance, music, film, literary and visual arts brought to you by an exciting collaboration of professional arts organizations, cities, schools, libraries, universities and community venues.
All branch libraries will display art by local children, and some branches will have art materials available so you can create art during your library visit. Be sure to stop by your favorite library during the festival, and check out the many other wonderful events all over Orange County. Find out more about Imagination Celebration here.
Building a Creative Community In Orange County – The Imagination Celebration has played a major role to spark imagination and creativity in an entire generation of Orange County children. Thanks to Arts OC and the Orange County Department of Education for sponsoring Imagination Celebration.
Here are the Featured Events: Continue reading