Assistant U.S. Secretary Visits ACE and AIMS Academies.

LBUSD Newsletter November 2, 2012

Jordan High Schoolʼs AIMS and ACE career academies have captured the attention of national officials, including Assistant U.S. Secretary for Education Brenda Dann-Messier, seen here visiting with Jordan students. Dann-Messier, nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009, leads the Education Department’s career and technical education efforts. She oversees 11 grant programs totaling over $1 billion annually and is seeking legislative approval for an additional $1 billion in funding for high school career academies like AIMS and ACE. The academies are being used as the model for a new national project.


Marisol Lopez and Alejandra Marroquin, 11th graders from the ACE Academy, have just received Boeing Internships! They are among 10 students chosen from the District to work directly with engineers at the Boeing plant on Cherry. Each student receives 10 units of high school credit and has to be at the work site at 2:30pm, 4 days a week for the whole year, with a choice of continuing in their senior year and even through college as interns.  The National Workforce Readiness Credential they received this summer through the Workforce Development Program was necessary to begin the internship.

Sky Kasper, another ACE student, has also received a similar internship for working with engineers and other professionals at the Port of Long Beach.   Congratulations to all!

New Hope for Jordan (excerpts)

CSULB Journalism Senior Seminar, Thursday, March 8, 2012

During the Connected Corridor project, Jordan High School, whose senior graduation rate was 66.6%, received funding to start a service learning program involving Jordan seniors and a local senior center. When the program got cut by the school district a year later however, the service learning continued, and two programs at the school have continued to build connections between students and their community.

The Architecture construction and Engineering (ACE) Academy was one of the groups at Jordan to receive a piece of the Connected Corridor funding. The academy used the money for a project where students cast benches from concrete and decorated them, before installing them at local parks where they could be used by the whole community. Mr. Mike Zeke, a construction teacher and member of ACE academy faculty, believes that those types of connections between academics and tangible community improvement are the cornerstone of service learning at Jordan. “We need to add that emotional connection and relevancy,” Zeke said in reference to the various construction projects he's helped his students with in the wake of the senior center assistance program. “We built some wheelchair ramps after that program ended,” he said, “and the kids really connected well with veterans and the elderly.” Zeke went on to describe school as a kind of “vaccuum” for kids who can't seem to connect the theory of text-book education to the application of real life skills.

Jordan High's graduation rate at the end of last academic year had grown to over 76%, a 10% increase since the Connected Corridor project began.

It can't be said for sure that the state funded project instigated the change at Jordan, but it definitely didn't hurt, and people like Zeke and Meehan continue to foster the real connections between the students and their community that build lasting change.  Zeke said, “As soon as the kids realize they're building something that is going to last and be meaningful to the community, they get really excited.”


ACE Volunteers Work With the Mayor and Dr. Camerino

Our Mayor, ACE students, faculty and Habitat for Humanity voluteers worked side by side  with the Lopez family on July 20th to construct a wonderful home. Students put up dry wall and have been volunteering their time on all aspects of contruction since the foundation has been poured.  Congratulations on finishing another stage of a classic craftmans' style building that will provide a new home for the Lopezes and their 3 children.

ACE Wins First Place in Design/Home Build 2011!!

In a race against the clock and experienced competitors, the ACE Crew competing in the 22nd Annual Design/Build Competition on April 9th and 10th, 2011, completely built a home structure in less than 20 hours.

ACE competed against 15 other High School and College Crews to come in FIRST place in the Building competion. The students are given a set of plans and a bundle of materials required to complete a 6' X 8' Barn.  Hammers pound from 8am-6pm on Sat and 7am-1pm on Sun, with inspectors approving work throughout the entire process.  Students must submit all changes to City Hall (on-site) and observe all safety regulations.  The students are awarded points in the following areas: utilization of manpower, safety, workmanship, ability to work with the building inspectors and judges, completed structure: stability, functional, appearance, and clean-up for a total of 100 pts.  ACE won 1st place with a total score of 127 points - additional points were received for achievement above and beyond!

The ACE Build team was led by job foremen Jose Barajas (11th) and Jesus Castro (12th) - A job well done gentlemen!  ACE also won the Architectural Design competition with the masterful plans of Andy Tenas (11th) - go Andy!  A special thanks to Mr. Zeke and Mr. Kelsey who guided the ACE Crew to reaching their goal.

Home Builders Council of BIA/SC
Design Build Competition Pictures

A.I.A. Design Charette – 2009-2010

Excitement filled the air as ACE students worked side-by-side with more than 10 AIA professional architectural firms to design a perfect garden for Mark Twain Elementary . Each team brainstormed ideas and created a sketch of their vision, then the students presented their ideas to the Principal and parents of the school who later chose two winning teams.

Bob Murrin from AC Martin and Andy Hernandez from Caldwell Architects led the two winning teams with a frog-shaped pond, theatrical seating, and an attractive arched entrance with a floral trellis archway .

The participating students worked with Matt Simon, Max Pena, Tom Kelsey, and Mike Zeke to create a final sketch, then created REVIT plans, and construction began in early July.  On Feb 19th, the Press Telegram and photographer Tracy Roman were there for the dedication ceremony and the photos below.

The design, hard work, and dedication the volunteers did to make this garden happen at Mark Twain Elementary school will benefit the students as a hands on learning process where the kids can grow and harvest their own vegetables.

The Garden Team was recognized at the dedication ceremony! Congrats to Jose Barajas, Elizabeth Flores, Jocelyn Guzman, Erika Meza, Edward Rios, Mariana Perez, Eric Silva, Ivan Moreno, Josue Rivera, and Tupesina Tautolo.

ACE  Declared a State Model for Linked Learning!


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Roman Stearns, director of leadership development for ConnectEd, visits with students at the ACE Academy of Long Beach, located at Jordan High School.  ACE students earn college credit while in high school, and they gain real-world work experience in architecture, construction and engineering.  ACE is among the first programs of its kind.

State and local officials gathered at Jordan High School in Long Beach recently to honor the school’s Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Academy for being among the first in California to achieve Linked Learning Certification.  The certification effort, headed by educational nonprofit ConnectEd, assures that the high school is combining rigorous academics with real world experiences that prepare students not only for college, but also for high-paying, high-demand jobs.

Linked Learning pathways combine challenging academics, demanding technical courses, and work-based learning focused around an industry theme such as arts and media, engineering or biomedicine.  These pathways connect learning with students’ interests and career aspirations, leading to higher graduation rates, increased college enrollments, higher earning potential, and greater civic engagement.

“Today marks a major milestone for what has truly been a community effort in North Long Beach,” Christopher J. Steinhauser, superintendent of schools for the Long Beach Unified School District, said at the event.  “The ACE Academy shows what we can accomplish when we all work together for our youngsters.  We celebrate this moment with Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who was instrumental in launching the academy.  We also share the credit with our partners in industry and the trades, our private funders such as the Irvine Foundation, our hardworking staff and students, and our elected Board of Education, which has made programs like the ACE Academy a top priority as part of our districtwide Academic and Career Success Initiative.”

The ACE Academy opened with 50 students in fall 2007 and now serves 270 students.

“I’m delighted that the ACE Academy is among the first in the state to receive this recognition,” Mayor Foster said.  “Only a few months ago, we celebrated the first graduating ACE Academy class.  And now the Linked Learning Certification shows that the academy’s hands-on learning has tremendous worth in our schools and in today’s working world.”

Joining Foster at the certification ceremony were Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-Los Angeles), LBUSD Board of Education member Mary Stanton, ConnectEd officials, and Jordan High School students and staff.  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell congratulated the school via video.

“Congratulations to the ACE Academy for being recognized here today for the Linked Learning Certification, and to the entire district for their embrace of this very important concept,” O’Connell said.  “It truly is transformational, and you’re looking at the schools of the future, today.”

The ACE Academy, modeled after a successful program at Kearny High School in San Diego, features internships and apprenticeships with employers while students concurrently enroll in Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach classes.  Jordan High has shown significant gains under the program, including a 13-point gain this year on the state’s Academic Performance Index.

To become a Linked Learning certified pathway, the school had to meet the vast majority of the certification criteria or indicators that the school has created the optimal environment for improving student achievement and engagement.  ConnectEd, a statewide hub for the Linked Learning field, and its partners — the National Academy Foundation, the National Career Academy Coalition, and the Career Academy Support Network at the University of California, Berkeley — established and managed the certification process for Linked Learning pathways.  In considering Jordan’s ACE Academy for certification, reviewers observed:

• ACE Academy provides students with curriculum that uses real work-based concepts to make learning relevant.

• ACE Academy has a strong academic  core (a-g college entrance coursework) that is clearly integrated with Career and Technical Education (CTE) coursework.

• The multi-disciplinary integration was evident throughout classroom observations and validated during student interviews.

• The program of study includes clear evidence of interdisciplinary problem and project-based curriculum.

• ACE students are scheduled as a cohort to promote multi-disciplinary projects.

Reviewers found that the ACE Academy is strongly supported by district and site administration, and by a dedicated onsite academy coordinator.  The academy also boasts a strong industry advisory committee and post-secondary connections that have the potential to provide all academy students with a clear map leading to career success, reviewers reported.

The Academy includes “a strong program design; an enthusiastic, collaborative academic and CTE staff; a personalized learning environment; engaged students; and innovative leverage of funds to ensure sound program implementation,” reviewers stated.

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