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Leading Philanthropists Launch excellent Schools OC to Support a New Generation of Educational Innovators in Orange County

Orange County) – In November 2014, Innovators OC (IOC) announced the creation of Charters OC, a unique partnership with the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) to increase the development of additional high-performing and high-quality charter schools in Orange County. As a result, a number of exceptional educational options for some of Orange County’s most needy children will open in the fall of 2016, including USC College Prep in Santa Ana and Unity Middle College High School in Orange.

Today, that partnership takes another step forward with the formation of a new entity, excellent Schools OC (eSOC). The eSOC business plan outlines a concerted strategy to finance the growth and development of these and other newly approved independent charter schools in Orange County, led by a new generation of devoted and passionate educational innovators. All will serve low-income learners.

“While charter schools are public schools, they often do not enjoy many of the advantages of traditional public schools in the start-up phase, including access to prime facilities. Once they are established and reach full capacity, charters are largely self-sufficient; a little philanthropic help up front for one school can produce decades of educational excellence in some of our most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods,” said eSOC managing partner and founding IOC member Andrew Horowitz.

Oliver Sicat, CEO of Ednovate (the Charter Management Organization behind USC College Prep) and one of the top educational social entrepreneurs in the U.S., added, “It is a lifelong dream to see that more high quality school options are provided for underserved kids in neighborhoods like the one in Santa Ana where my family decided to start living out our American Dream. In today’s economy a quality education is essential for success, and that benefit should not depend solely on a family’s zip code.”

“Orange County’s experience with educating underserved kids has differed from Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Bay Area. It has not experienced the same academic progress for students who need additional educational options to succeed when compared to these other areas with thriving charter ecosystems,” said Jed Wallace, CCSA, president and CEO. “Fortunately, that is changing rapidly and we are excited to see support from visionary philanthropists emerge in OC.”

“Over the last two years, almost $1.25 million has been raised from a strong core of dedicated local philanthropists,” noted founding IOC member and eSOC managing partner Mark Percy. “eSOC will continue to seek additional strategic partners to provide financial resources and expertise for this noteworthy effort.”

A copy of the eSOC business plan is available from IOC upon request.

About Innovators OC
Innovators OC invests in individuals and organizations in Orange County who are working in innovative ways to create self-sustaining enterprises that address social problems by becoming effective agents of positive community and economic impact. We achieve this goal by providing access to expertise, mentorship, and strategic partnerships.

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association’s vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at


Date: May 18, 2016

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Students are dismissed March 16 - April 12

As things continue to evolve and change at the state and local level, we can now confirm that Unity will remain closed through Spring Break, through April 12, 2020. Based on the governor’s press conference earlier this week, we are preparing for a longer closure and will keep families updated as this unfolds.

● Ms. Nieblas and Ms. Limon are reaching out to each Unity family by phone TODAY to verify they are receiving our messages, their child has access to internet, learning, and food as well as to help families troubleshoot any areas needed.

Today through April 3, 2020 - School Closed
● Through April 3rd, Unity students have the opportunity to revise, improve, and resubmit any past assignments they did not receive full credit on. This will ensure students can build on their previous knowledge rather than try to learn new content on their own.
● Teachers have already reached out to your student through Google Classroom.
● Family teachers will also communicate and check in on your students each week.
● On Friday April 3, 2020 families will receive the School wide Unity Distance Education Plan for instruction and special education service implementation for the coming weeks.
● If you have questions as it relates to your child accessing learning please reach out directly to Ms. Seth by email at or by telephone at 313-509-8689

April 4, 2020 - April 12, 2020 - Spring Break
● Our school and office are closed and teachers/staff will be on break.
● If you need urgent assistance during this time please email Dr. Craig AND Ms. Seth

April 13, 2020 - Online Distance Education and Special Education Services Begin
● The Schoolwide Distance Education Plan including special education services provided will be emailed to our Unity families and students before Spring Break and begin on Monday April 13, 2020.
● This plan will include details about how students will learn, communicate with their teachers, submit assignments, and most importantly get the help they need.

Students with Disabilities
● Our goal is to continue to provide each student with equity and access through innovation for their education and services during this time.
● Between now and April 3rd, Mr. Casperson and Mr. Trulin will continue to reach out to our students with disabilities to provide them with service and support on their past assignments and any past work.
● Unity is currently working with their special education service providers to develop a plan for “remote services”. This plan will be communicated to families on or before April 3, 2020 and will begin on April 13, 2020.
● If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to Mr. Casperson and Ms. Seth.

School Events Including Spring Picnic
● All school events until the end of April have been canceled (to be rescheduled).
● As things continue to change, we will keep you updated on events in May and June.
● Students, please practice social distancing even though hanging out with your friends is more fun.
● We do not have answers about Graduation 2020 and activities yet, so please be patient with us. As soon as we receive more information from the state and county, we will share that information with you. We can’t wait to celebrate your success!
● Our goal is to celebrate the graduating class of 2020, we ultimately want to make sure everyone is safe.

Students Taking College at SCC
● Students should now be working online for their SCC classes and should check their emails and Canvas for further information from SCC and individual professors.
● Students who need support with wifi should contact Ms. Seth.
● Ms. Seth will still be doing college grade checks every other week with students via email. Student Meals Each School Day
● Throughout the closure on school days each week, Unity students can go to the Orange United
Schools listed below for:
○ Grab-N-Go Breakfast from 8 am to 10 am &
○ Grab-N-Go Lunch 10 am to noon
● Locations serving food are:
○ Handy, California, Esplanade, Taft, Yorba, & Lampson Elementary Schools
○ Portola Middle School
○ Orange HS, El Modena HS, & Canyon HS. (served out of snack bars, not in the cafeteria or multipurpose rooms, to prevent students gathering)

● Students are not allowed to stay on campus or congregate to consume meals and must be present to pick up food. We are in this together as a Unity family, and we will get through this. Thank you for your responsiveness, support, and ongoing communication. As always, please reach out to us and let us know what you and your family need. Stay safe and take care of your loved ones.