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TWO EARLY/MIDDLE COLLEGES OPEN IN CALIFORNIA

Dr. Erin Craig, founding principal of NOVA-Academy in Santa Ana, California has announced the approval of a charter for Unity Middle College High School. After a long struggle to raise the necessary supports and resources we are happy to celebrate her victory; which is, in fact a victory for the community at large.

The school, located in Orange County and partnered with Santiago Canyon College, is focused on preparing at-risk students for college. Unity Middle College High School aims to open by summer 2016 and will follow the Middle College National Consortium model, which partners with local colleges to provide courses to high school students.In addition to providing high school-level and community college courses, Unity will allow each student to choose a career pathway, such as business, arts or science, technology, engineering and math.

“It’s optimal for Middle College high schools to have a strong relationship with college partners,” Craig said. “Unity Middle College High School is thrilled with the willingness from Santiago Canyon College to work with us and support our students because our students are their students as well.”

Though the Middle College model has a proven success record obstacles surfaced in the approval process. Orange board members who supported the school said the Middle College model is effective, while those who opposed said they worried about issues in the charter such as budget and governance. The county approval also came with conditions that changes be made to the charter, including the description of the educational program, school governance and budget. After the changes are made, there will need to be a memorandum of understanding, but the county board will not need to take a second vote.

As a charter school, Unity will receive public funding. The school has budgeted for $1 million in revenue for its first year, Craig said, with that increasing to $3 million by the third year. Unity plans to fundraise for its start-up costs, estimated to be at least $320,000.

Enrollment will start with 100 ninth-grade students, with a grade being added each year for a total of 400 students. The school, which has not bought a property yet, plans to open its doors in June for a summer transitional program for its incoming students. To find out more about Unity and it’s progress go to their website: http://www.unitymchs.org/

Dr. Mattie Adams Robertson has moved on from a celebrated career as founding principal of Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy at LA Harbor Community College to open a new Early College in Compton. Compton Early College HS opened it’s doors this September and this tireless educational leader is already accumulating accolades. Superintendent Micah Ali, stated in a recent article about the turnaround in the Compton school system,“We started an Early College program that allows student starting in the 9th grade this fall to earn community college credit. Imagine being able to graduate from high school and have a two year college degree as well. That’s now possible right here in Compton. “

In celebration of its recent opening, Compton Early College High School welcomed the community inside its classrooms on Saturday, October 24, to learn first-hand how its students are being prepared for success in college. Parents met with instructors and experienced the academic rigor their children are exposed to as they work their way towards AA degrees and college credits before graduating high school. One parent, visiting his son’s analytic writing class, remarked,

“We moved out here in the summer and we looked for schools in the area and heard about the early college. My son had excelled in his academics in Orange County but Compton Early College maximizes his potential,” he said. “My son just received his report card. He’s still excelling but it has been challenging for him. I really appreciate this program.”

 

We know this is just the beginning of a model program that this energetic, committed principal will initiate and innovate as she continues to be a leader in the Middle College National Consortium, the California Consortium of Early Colleges and Compton Unified School District: Making history every day.

MATTIE ADAMS A Principal Who Lives by the Motto, “Through faith, all things are possible.”

Mattie Adams, Principal Harbor Teachers Preparation Academy

Mattie Adams, Principal Harbor Teachers Preparation Academy

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced their eighth Principal of the Day to be Mattie Adams-Robertson, the extraordinary leader of Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (HTPA) on the campus of Los Angeles Harbor College.
Dr. Mattie Adams-Robertson opened Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy in 2002. She had served the Los Angeles Unified School District as a successful mathematics teacher, counselor and assistant principal at Banning and Narbonne High Schools. In taking the job as principal of an Early College High School in the genesis of the era of dual enrollment high schools for under served populations, she marked herself as a pioneer, champion for all students, and early proponent of a movement that has spread throughout California and the country.
Now, HTPA, in it’s 12th year has a national reputation for graduating 55% of their students with a dual high school diploma and Associate Arts degree and 95% of it’s graduating seniors completing at least one year of college when they leave high school. During her tenure, Principal Adams says she’s consistently set high expectations for all students and staff, who continue their strides toward academic success. HTPA’s 2011 Statewide Rank and Similar School Rank is a “10/10” and the HTPA Academic Performing Index score is 931.

Visitors to the campus, located in portable trailers on college grounds, are greeted regularly by the charming Principal, who cares for their every need and comfort, while managing the many tasks required by the district, college administration and most especially the 437 students and families she serves. She counts among the many who have come to see high school students blending with and often outshining their college counterparts Melinda Gates and delegations from as far away as Washington, D.C.; Singapore; and South Africa.

In her role as a principal who cares for staff as much as students, she has provided ongoing support and guidance to make the faculty exemplars of innovation and professional growth. An earlier embracer of the MCNC Peer Review process: CLASS, has fostered a supervisory model that is designed to provide peer support through reflection and evaluation. HTPA was the first school on the West Coast to implement this model with great success. Her staff has shared their protocols and experiences at national conferences, demonstrating how leadership can be a shared experience.

Ms. Adams has been a star on the MCNC stage for many years. She has mentored new schools, like the highly successful Academy of Health Sciences in Prince George County, MD and served on the Executive Board of the Consortium and is a founding member and leader of the California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges. She lives by the principle that through faith, all things are possible, and her achievements attest to that belief.

Student Leadership through Student Action

Written by: Terry Born, MCNC Coach

MCNC embarks on its twentieth year of promoting student leadership through student action! This year’s conference is being hosted by a Southern California triumvirate: Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, Mattie Adams, Principal, Los Angeles SW Early College, Wanda Moats, Principal and Nova Academy, founded by Natalie Battersbee.

The theme, selected by students from the three hosting institutions is Reach Out: Exploring and Experiencing the Diversity of our World. Students who participate in the  April 18-22, 2012 event, will spend a day on Catalina Island, visit The Museum of Tolerance, Museum of Latin American Art, African American Museum, and Griffith Observatory and spend a day at the beach in Orange County. Besides sharing videos about projects targeting diversity issues in their local communities, students will engage in art happenings and group discussions on how to promote tolerance and improve understanding among communities with different beliefs, heritage, and lifestyles.

Last year five schools (LaGuardia MC, International HS, R.F. Wagner Jr., Greenville Tech, and Brashier) joined to form the first Student Leadership Initiative Innovation Lab network. These schools found ways to up the ante on student engagement, award high school and community service credit to participants, and even, in one case, to offer six college credits. This year everyone has returned and 5 new schools (El Centro, CEC Denver, Brooklyn College Academy, Harbor Teacher Prep Academy and LA Southwest) have joined the group, expanding the opportunities to link leadership training, social media, and academic advancement. With this added capacity and the experience of the pilot schools, new features have been developed to provide support and increase communication. MCNC has hired a Youth Liaison, Megan Lee, a former Wagner student who participated in two conferences, to create and facilitate a Youth Voices Facebook Group, and create a series of events that will propel the students to greater collaboration. There has also been a website created for Advisors from the MCNC Student Leadership Initiative Innovation Lab: (https://sites.google.com/a/mcnc.us/sli) where educational leadership is honed by social media. This provides weekly updates, shared templates, unit plans, resources, and student work. It’s a place for advisors to share great materials and great ideas. No one needs to reinvent the wheel and 10 schools are breaking ground each day, using the tools and technology in the classroom and in our digital universe to connect, collaborate, and create a wider and more wonderful world for our youth. Advisors use this site to explore what’s being done, what’s possible and to share creative solutions with colleagues in order to turn Education to Innovation.