If there were ever a way to put kids from Wilson Elementary School out of their element, taking them to Sage Hill School, a private high school in Newport Beach, was it.
It started with the chartered buses that took them there, students said. The buses had big windows, TVs and even bathrooms on board. Off the 73 Freeway and into the rolling green hills up Newport Coast Drive toward the school, 9-year-old Luis Barrera said he was afraid the bus was going to tip over on the turns.
“They were bouncing off the walls; they were so excited,” said Allison Valla, a substitute teacher at Wilson.
When the kids arrived at Sage Hill, that excitement only grew. Hundreds of children from Wilson and Killybrooke Elementary School in Costa Mesa and schools in Santa Ana restlessly screamed, jumped, ran and chattered their way down the school steps and into the grassy courtyard, framed by the campus’ immaculate buildings.