Sun. Jul 21st, 2024
Brazilian educator Paolo Freire

New Public High School Coming to Downtown Santa Ana


A new alternative high school is slated to open near downtown Santa Ana this August, and now is the time to reserve a spot for incoming ninth graders. La Escuela Freire Academy for Culture, Leadership, and Civic Engagement is accepting sign-ups from interested parents and students for the 2013-2014 school year.

La Escuela Freire is a free, public, nonprofit charter high school conceived by a team of passionate educators who live in or near Santa Ana. The curriculum will cover culture, language, math, science, and other subjects via immersion, inquiry, and community involvement. Students will practice and enhance what they learn in their morning classrooms as they serve afternoon internships at local nonprofits and small businesses tied to the curriculum. Students learning about plant biology and nutrition, for example, might work at a local community garden, then plan and cook a nutritious meal with their harvest; and students learning about a particular historic topic may help design a related exhibit at a local museum.

La Escuela Freire academy was named after Brazilian educator Paolo Freire and will embrace his learning philosophy. Learning activities will be hands-on and project based. Students will learn democratic and social-fairness principles through their practice. Students, parents, and staff will collaborate on school policies and endeavors. Students will learn culture and language via immersion and peer-to-peer tutoring. (Students will have the option of taking some courses taught in Spanish.) All this will be accomplished within the context of state and national high-school standards, preparing students not just for college but for adult lives with meaning and purpose.

To achieve the goal of community-based education, La Escuela Freire Academy for Culture, Leadership, and Civic Engagement is developing community partnerships with several local nonprofits and small businesses that will enhance students’ education. Partners will include the City of Santa Ana’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency; Green Being Project/Santa Ana People’s Garden; Concern America; The Wooden Floor; Back to Natives;and others.

Among the school’s founding board members are MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Reubén Martinez, founder of Libreria Martinez; Thomas Wilson, professor at Chapman University College of Educational Studies; Pilar O’Cadiz, Project Scientist at the School of Education, UC Irvine; and representatives from other universities. Backing them up is a team of community activists from Los Amigos, Padres Unidos, and other respected organizations dedicated to improving local education.

Board members plan to open the school next fall with perhaps 200 ninth-grade students. They have been meeting with Santa Ana Unified School District officials and hope to gain board approval for the school soon. Meanwhile, interested families can reserve a spot for their child by sending an email to

More information about the school can be found on its website:

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The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

14 thoughts on “New charter public High School coming to Downtown Santa Ana”
  1. That sounds fantastic. I like it when Pulido squeezes out little acts of Progressiveness. Maybe his Broadcom donors are not that bad after all, did’nt they, don’t they have something to do with this? Where is this school going to be located?

  2. Fans of Santa Ana are about to embark on a mission to create the most progressive all inclusive and educational Farmers Market in the county. We are going to have educational booths included to pick up where the political system fails. Hopefully we will be able to share films such as this to the public. Trailer about Monsanto Corp.

  3. I’m glad we’re getting some positive feedback! I’m the secretary of La Escuela Freire board, and let me assure you we did not supply that photo to Art Pedroza for this website! I didn’t even know Dr. Freire smoked till I saw this stock photo! At any rate, we are not affiliated with Pulido, Broadcom, or any big-name donors; but if you know of someone with deep pockets who wants to contribute, please let us know. 🙂 We have not yet submitted our charter petition to SAUSD (we will in the coming days) and we are not affiliated with the other new charter high school (for foster youth) that also opens this fall—and is supported by big-name donors. And sorry to disappoint, Mateo, but—although I’m a big proponent of organic gardening—we don’t intend to to teach students to grow what that they smoke. 🙂

    1. Great work! BTW I found that picture online using Google Images. I like to include pictures in my posts and your school website offered no graphics that I could make use of.

  4. Regardless, thanks for promoting us, Art, and I’ve learned my lesson about not providing an image!

  5. Critical thinking,
    pot smoking,
    and political deconstruction.
    I love it.
    I can’t wait to march with these kids to the city hall chambers so that we can conduct the counter revolution against the Faux Santa Ana Spring.

  6. This is great! I hope my son can learn about market based economies by interning at the local Target or Walmart!

  7. I agree with Matt: F$ck Walmart.

    But, I have a more important question for Admin, one perhaps better suite for a private email, but since we are all family……….

    Where is the HUMILITY, where is there any GRACE?

    Clearly, David Benavide’s attempt for mayor was a failure, an EPIC one considering his supporters claims.

    But His Mayoral website says NOTHING. His MAYORAL FB PAGE NOTHING.

    Di he really think that a slick Facebook account and a few dozen followers wer going to lead him to victory…


    And the man does not even have the class to say thank you supporters, “Thanks to those who supported me and understood my vison…..”

    It makes it all seem fake, like a ploy from the police unions to put a puppet in place, in fact, read the Reuters:

    Now it makes more sense. Get a ill prepared easily influenced (enter the HOOKER/MISTRESS)self absorbed fool like Benavides, who is willing to ridicule and sell out his schoolteacher wife. And dump a couple hundred grand on his canidacy………

    Unfortunately, his supportewrs on FB were mostly Felons, Children and people who couldn’t vote.

    But that never stopped people from pretending that he was “the real deal”…….yeah right.

    Now he he is begging forgiveness to his wife kids and council members……like the follower he is.

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