Happy New Year! Many of us believe this will be the greatest year ever in our storied, 120-year history. Why? Because more of our students are thriving, finding their purpose, and making education work for them, rather than the other way around. Together, with our higher education, business, and non-profit partners, we are creating and implementing a new type of educational experience, one where education becomes relevant, meaningful, and moves beyond standardized tests to ensuring students have skills and emotional well being to handle and navigate an increasingly uncertain and unstable world.
We are creating an educational experience that nurtures and unleashes the unlimited potential of our students.
When I grew up in nearby Garden Grove in the 1970s, like many of you, I did not have to worry about getting a good paying job, even with a high school diploma. Back then, however, if you got a college degree in any subject, you were virtually guaranteed a high paying job with benefits and a thing called a pension. Moreover, because the state of California once invested heavily in education, college was affordable, and most people graduated with little or no debt.
For today’s students, that is no longer the case—and they know it. Couple that with one of the state’s worst affordability indexes and we have a real problem in Orange County. That is why many of our families are leaving Orange County and moving to more affordable areas like the Inland Empire. The Orange County Business Council has been warning us for some years that this crisis was coming. Orange County is experiencing a massive “brain drain” and has done little about it—until now.
In fact, AUHSD is the first district in Southern California to develop a cohesive educational system moving on multiple fronts—with parent engagement; with instruction focusing on the 5Cs (collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking, and compassion/kindness); with corporate internships and mentoring through Anaheim’s Innovative Mentoring Experience (AIME); with dual credit through Fullerton and Cypress community colleges; and with career and academic pathways articulated through North Orange County Community College District, CSUF, and UCI.
The Anaheim Union Educational Pledge creates a framework that integrates all components into a cohesive experience for our students. Through AIME, our corporate partners are seeing how resilient, resourceful, and grateful our students are, and now many are willing to invest in them through college and beyond into the workforce. One corporate CEO told me that, “No other district is focused on the 5Cs, which is really about developing emotional and relational intelligence—vital skills needed for success.”
In a world where 65% of the jobs today’s students will hold during their lifetimes have not yet been invented, AUHSD is way ahead of the curve. We are preparing our students, who will be future stakeholders, voters and taxpayers, to have the skills to create these jobs and to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
And, to ensure our message matches our actions, we are unveiling a new tagline, “UNLIMITED YOU.” AUHSD is where UNLIMITED YOU happens, whether you are a student, parent, or staff member.
Please watch the short, two-and-a half minute video showcasing our UNLIMITED YOU. #auhsdunlimitedyou
This article was released by AUHSD Superintendent Mike Matsuda.