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Dawn Urbank, San Clemente

Your high schoolers need you to take a stand to ensure they reach their full academic potential.

You may think you have control over your child’s educational journey. Think again.

Only 54.1 percent of Capistrano Unified School District high school graduates complete their A-G requirements.

That means 45.9 percent have no option after graduating except to go to community college, apply out of state, or get a job.

Irvine is at 66.8 percent and Laguna Beach at 67.2 percent.

A-G requirements are critical if your child seeks to attend a four-year state college in California.

CUSD requires College & Career Planning (CCP) to graduate so that students would be trained in basic computer skills and have access to an academic counselor without needing a live counselor.

The downside: the CCP and health class requirements make it difficult for students to complete their A-G requirements without attending two years of summer school.

The California Department of Education (DOE) does not require students to take CCP to graduate; this is unique to CUSD.

The DOE does not require health as a stand-alone class to graduate. These units can be embedded into physical education or social studies.

CUSD is not preparing students for higher education in California. This is why only 8 percent of last year’s graduating class is currently attending a UC school.

The only solution is to eliminate CCP as a graduation requirement and incorporate health into physical education or social studies. This would improve the number of students who would qualify to apply to a four-year California college/university.

CUSD responded to my citizens’ request and will include this matter on its June 7 school board meeting agenda.

I encourage parents to attend. Any parents who would like to have their comments incorporated into the board meeting agenda as part of the permanent record should e-mail them to me at no later than May 20. The comments may also be submitted directly to the district, and you should email all of the Board of Trustees as soon as possible so that we can end CCP this year.

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comments (1)

  • Dear Dawn,

    I have have 4 boys. All of them are going or have gone to CUSD high schools. Not all of their peer hhave chosen to fulfill the A-G requirements.

    Many students are choosing to go to community college because it is so much more affordable, provides a great education and provides a stepping stone to the UC campus of their choice, college of their choice or career of their choice.

    Many students cannot afford a UC so they choose a community college to minimize college debt. They go to CC for two years then transfer to a UC or other college and graduate from college with much lower college loans. Students and parents make this choice.

    Students are not failures because they choose SAddleback Valley Community College, IVC, OCC, etc. I personally know students who started at Saddleback and are now at UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, Etc.

    They are doing well and saved 10’s of thousands of dollars by starting at a community college.

    The community college choice does not mean academic failure and is a wise choice for many students.

    CCP and Health do not prevent students from achieving A-G or force kids to go to summer school. Students go to summer school often because they choose to do two classes that are electives and possibly a sport as a freshman and CCP and health do not fit in their schedule.

    I know this because my children actually attended or are currently attending a CUSD high school.

    CUSD, Laguna and Irvine do not have the same economic demographics. Do you have the percentages from SVUSD?


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