With a focus on foster youth and low-income families, Samueli Academy began life in portable classroom buildings after being granted a charter by the Orange County Department of Education.
Four years later, the school has a state-of-the-art campus — and it’s now hosted its first-ever commencement ceremony, honoring nearly 120 graduating seniors Monday at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa.
And there’s more to celebrate. As the Orange County Register reported, the public charter school boasts a 98 percent graduation rate, and 97 percent of students in the Class of 2017 are headed to college.
“Before coming to Samueli, I didn’t think I would go to college,” one graduate told the Register.
Without further pomp and circumstance, here are some other education news stories from the week:
- Governor Jerry Brown unveiled plans to release $1 billion in one-time funding for schools in 2017-18 after previously proposing that the state delay distribution of these dollars.
- For nearly 300 Los Amigos High School students, attending this year’s prom meant riding the Metrolink rails to Union Station in Los Angeles.
- OCDE and the Los Angeles County Office of Education are joining forces to host a year-long civics institute aimed at equipping K-12 teachers with strategies to build civic knowledge and awareness.
- As promised, Newport-Mesa Unified officials buried a time capsule stocked with items symbolic of the district’s first 40 years.
- A team of young chefs from La Habra High School took first place at the Cooking up Change national competition, which was established to promote tasty and nutritious school meal options.
- A foreign exchange student from Vietnam beat the odds, successfully adapted to a new culture and graduated from Fountain Valley High School with a 4.22 grade-point average, earning admissions to UC San Diego to study economics and pre-law.
- In his latest column, Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares writes about a new partnership with Khan Academy that will give students access to personalized learning resources and proven college preparation tools.
- Orange Unified announced plans to build a state-of-the-art science center at Villa Park High School using funds from Measure S, which was backed by voters in November.
- Speaking of Orange, five Orange High seniors have earned Simon STEM scholarships that will cover their tuition and housing at Chapman University while they pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and math.
- Local parents and business owners gathered Thursday evening at Laguna Hills High School, where they were treated to free food samples during a fundraiser that doubled as a preview of the campus’ upcoming grad night.