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Daily Pilot

Parents ponder flagship programs

High school zone would offer immersion learning in academic and arts subjects.

By Britney Barnes

9:11 PM PST, November 15, 2012

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Out of dozens of ideas, community members expressed the most interest Wednesday night in creating a two-way language immersion program and a focus on theater and costume design in the Estancia High School zone.

The school district hosted a community-input meeting at Estancia High School to gauge parent's interests in creating two flagship programs — one academic, one arts — where students can focus on a specific interest from K-12 in each high school zone. Residents also expressed a high interest in mathematics and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM.

"We want to build the school that the community really wants and values," said Principal Kirk Bauermeister.

More than 30 residents, Supt. Frederick Navarro and school board President Dave Brooks gathered in the choir room to discuss the possibilities. Bauermeister said he talked to students earlier in the day at a principal's forum.

The flagship program would be based on student interest and would be offered throughout a zone from elementary up to high school. Potentially, children would get involved in a program in elementary school and by middle and high schools, electives or pathways would be offered.

The programs would allow children to start the discipline early and transfer between zones based on their interests. The programs also would help the district go after grants, said Jane Garland, district director of community services and support.

Estancia already offers students medical, digital media arts and construction technology pathways, said Assistant Principal Mike Sciacca.

Community-input meetings have already been held at California, Wilson, Adams and Rea elementary schools. Residents at those meetings expressed high interest in STEM, International Baccalaureate, math, dual language and reading as academics programs.

For arts programs, computer arts, instrumental band, dance, music and personal finance received the most interest. To see all the information from the meetings, or to check out future meetings, visit http://www.nmusd.us.

An online survey is available for those who can't attend a meeting.

The community-input meetings are expected to extend to the Costa Mesa zone in December, Newport Harbor zone in January and Corona del Mar zone in February. The results are expected to be presented to the school board in March.

britney.barnes@latimes.com

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

If You Go

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