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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.

Source: http://mcnc.us/2015/11/two-earlymiddle-colleges-open-in-california/

Date: November 23, 2015

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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.

Today
● 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 rseth@unitymchs.org 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 ecraig@unitymchs.org AND Ms. Seth rseth@unitymchs.org.

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.