Orange County Board of Education Approves Two New Charter High School Options for Parents

August 25, 2015

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Dannie Tillman, CCSA
(213) 924-2439

Susan Mas, ChartersOC
(714) 470-2845

(Orange County)-The Orange County Board of Education (OCBOE) unanimously approved Unity Middle College High School and Ednovate's Santa Ana high school last week bringing new charter public school options for students in Orange and Santa Ana for the 2016-17 school year.

Both charters were approved by the OCBOE on appeal after being denied by their local school districts. Unity Middle College High School petition was denied by the Orange Unified School District and Ednovate's charter high school by the Santa Ana Unified School District.

"The approval of two new high quality charter schools in Orange County, is a victory for students and parents who have been asking for different options to succeed in high school and beyond," said California Charter Schools Association's (CCSA) Southern California Managing Regional Director Miles Durfee. "We believe that the Orange County Board of Education decision to overturn unjustified denials in Orange Unified and Santa Ana Unified will enable students to attend schools of their choice and will help them to achieve successful careers."

CCSA supported both Unity and Ednovate throughout the petition process, including reviewing their petitions to ensure they met legal requirements and demonstrated a high likelihood of success.

Susan Mas, from ChartersOC, also supported the schools petitions throughout the process and at the OCBOE meeting. ChartersOC was created in partnership with CCSA and InnovatorsOC by a group of Orange County community leaders and philanthropists who support growing the number of high quality educational choices. ChartersOC is working with numerous charter school organizations and developers to connect them within the Orange County community so that more high performing educational options are available throughout the county, but especially for the 254,000 students (more than 50% of total OC student population), who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program in Orange County schools.

"ChartersOC is pleased to see two of the schools that we have worked to introduce to Orange County gain approval to open in Fall 2016," said Mas.

Unity Middle College High School is expected to provide 400 students with an individualized learning plan to reach high school educational requirements while also gaining significant transferable college credits prior to high school graduation. The school will start with 9th grade and 100 students in Fall 2016 in the Orange Unified school district's boundaries. For more information visit:

Ednovate's Santa Ana high school is one of three high schools that was established in partnership with the USC Rossier School of Education. It is designed as a college prep high school that personalizes learning with state of the art technology. The school's goal is for every student to gain acceptance to a 4-year college or university. The current Ednovate High School in downtown Los Angeles, has 460 students enrolled and a waiting list of 325 ninth grade students. For more information visit:

About ChartersOC
Innovators OC invests in individuals and organizations in Orange County who are working in innovative ways to create self-sustaining enterprises that address social problems by becoming effective agents of positive community and economic impact. We achieve this goal by providing access to expertise, mentorship, and strategic partnerships.

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at