By Britney Barnes
8:56 PM PST, November 9, 2012
The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is exploring the idea of creating two flagship programs where students can focus on a specific interest, such as art or technology, in each high school zone, starting with Estancia.
The district is asking for the community's opinions on creating signature academic and arts programs at each of the eight schools in the Estancia zone. The district will also hold bilingual community input meetings in the Costa Mesa, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar zones.
"Everybody's invited to attend any of the schools, or all [of them]," said Jane Garland, district director of community services and support.
A flagship program would be a specialty program, like computer arts or theater, offered throughout a zone from elementary up to high school, she said. Potentially, children would start getting involved in elementary school and by middle and high schools, electives would offered, she said.
The district, though, isn't committed to that specific model and wants to know what the community is interested in, Garland said, adding magnet and fundamental schools, as well as the International Baccalaureate program have come up.
The Mesa zone already has a math, science and technology magnet school, Davis. Since Davis' creation three years ago, which brought in kids from around the district, its Academic Performance Index scores shot up more than 200 points.
No child at the school would be required to get involved, but it would give students the option to go to another school, in a different zone, if they want to pursue a specific program, Garland said.
"We'd like to see the zones have a focus so [the students] know why they want to go to a different [school]," she said.
Community input meetings were already held at California and Wilson elementary schools Nov. 2 and Friday, respectively.
All the information from the meetings and all future meetings will be posted on http://www.nmusd.us.
An online survey is expected to be available on the site next week for those who can't attend a meeting.
The meetings' results are expected to be presented to the school board of Education in the spring, Garland said.
If You Go
• 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Adams Elementary School, 2850 Club House Road, Costa Mesa
8:45 a.m. Wednesday at Rea Elementary School, 661 Hamilton St., Costa Mesa
7 p.m. Wednesday at Estancia High School, 2323 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa
8:30 a.m. Nov. 29 at Victoria Elementary School, 1025 Victoria St., Costa Mesa
7 p.m. Nov. 29 at TeWinkle Middle School, 3224 California Ave., Costa Mesa
9 a.m. Nov. 30 at Pomona Elementary School, 2051 Pomona Ave., Costa Mesa