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Back-to-school energy is building for students in Escondido. Wherever they open a new notebook means embarking on a solid foundation of personal and academic growth.
From award-winning charter schools to STEM-focused academies, traditional public schools and specialized private schools, students can access an enriching educational landscape to meet their diverse academic needs and various resources that set them up for success.
“Each year holds great promise and potential,” said Cameron Curry, chief executive officer of The Classical Academies, a tuition-free charter school serving 5,500 students in North County, including three campuses in Escondido.
The Classical Academies organization differs from the traditional school district because it offers flexible programs including hybrid, virtual and independent study. This flexibility encourages students to explore their interests, personalize learning and reach their maximum potential.
“We have an obligation to be our best and do our best for those we are honored to serve,” Curry said.
This profound commitment to students and their families is one of the many reasons The Classical Academies is consistently ranked highest in the city by “Great Schools.”
Escondido Union School District is also gaining recognition in unprecedented ways. Last year, It caught the eye of billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott who gifted $16 million to the district. A representative for the philanthropist said she was impressed with the district’s work and wanted it to “keep moving forward.” District officials said changes are expected to be visible this 2023-24 school year and will likely include an emphasis on real-world skills such as financial literacy and cooking.
On a related note, an award-winning future planning program is rebranding and expanding to Escondido this fall. Soon-to-be called Project Next, formerly San Marcos Promise named 2023 Community-based Organization of the Year by the San Diego County Office of Education, helps high school students prepare for their future — whether that’s college, military, trade schools or the workforce. The nonprofit empowers students to “own their next.”
“There is no one-size-fits-all path to success,” said Lisa Stout, Project Next’s executive director. “If no two students are the same, why does society encourage them to follow a single formula? Our kids deserve to know their many options — and pursue what works for them.”
Most Project Next programming occurs in future centers at participating high schools, think co-working space meets Starbucks, where students have immediate access to post-graduation preparation and planning with career coaches. Students also connect with local businesses, learn practical life skills, financial planning and more.
Students nearing graduation are also encouraged to apply for the Legends Scholarship Program, awarded to eight seniors attending Escondido high schools. Honorariums, linked to a legend in Escondido’s history, go toward academic and higher education expenses such as college application fees, tuition, and books.
“There are excellent K-12 educational opportunities for families in the City of Escondido that will prepare students for their next educational choice after high school graduation whether it’s a four year university, community college or trade school,” said Jennifer Schoeneck, Deputy Director of Economic Development of the City of Escondido.
For more about The Classical Academies, go to www.classicalacademy.com.
For more about Project Next, go to www.thesanmarcospromise.org.