Last week the Inner Circle was invited to Santiago High School for a fantastic announcement and school tour. Corona-Norco Unified School District is one of only four urban school districts nationally to be in the running for The 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education and $550,000 in scholarships!
Walking through Santiago was pretty amazing and it was easy to see why CNUSD is in the running. The first class we visited was Best Buddies—a learning group for special needs students. Everyone was very friendly and seemed really happy to be at school. The math class was perhaps less excited to be studying, however their teacher was a lot of fun—he sang a hilarious song about algebra.
Next we visited the fashion arts class. This was a real favorite of everyone, but especially of the Inner Circle. We sat down with two girls who were busy tie-dying and they told us all about their fashion show, designer showcase, and what their plans were after graduation; for college and majors. The girls were amazingly upbeat and really thrilled to talk to us about all their plans, which was a lot of fun.
The last class we visited was Biology where they were, ironically, dissecting sharks. For anyone unfamiliar, the shark is Santiago High School’s mascot. This made for a humorous science class.
We didn’t visit, but also noticed an outdoor English class—which was lovely to see on such a sunny day.
CNUSD was chosen as a finalist for the first time in April, and definitely deserves it for what looks like a lot of enthusiastic, hard work from their faculty. They’ve bested most other large urban districts nationwide in making student gains, and are the only school district in the western United States to be nominated. In the nation’s 100 largest school districts, CNUSD finds itself above 71 in ranking; with advanced placement data scoring better than similarly populated districts. Other finalist districts this year are: the Houston Independent School District, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County, Fla. For details: visit BroadPrize.org.
CNUSD will find out the winner on October 23rd, 2012 at approximately 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 8:30 a.m. Pacific in a live webcast (with details to be forthcoming on their website). The award letter will be read at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—in an award ceremony we were told will be in similar format to the Oscars. Visit them for more information.