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Apodaca: Middle schools continue to evolve

February 04, 2011|By Patrice Apodaca

Which brings us back to the changes about to take place on the CdM and Costa Mesa campuses. While they represent a step forward, the success of the middle-school enclaves will rest on the one factor by which education lives or dies: the quality of teaching.

When I asked CdM Middle School Principal Guy Olguin about this issue, he assured me that his teachers receive extensive training and development "to stay cutting edge."

What's more, he said, the enclave will include modern tools, such as interactive whiteboards "to infuse technology into teaching." A more defined middle-school area will also allow for a sharper focus on projects and activities designed for this age group, he said. Meanwhile, middle-school students will still have access to certain high-school classes when appropriate.


Jim LaMond, the district's director of facilities development, planning and design, has shepherded the enclave project over the past several years.

Now that the projects are close to becoming a reality, he said, "It's kind of an exciting time."

There will be a degree of upheaval on both campuses as the construction continues over the next couple of years.

But, LaMond said, once the enclaves are completed, "I think educational things will evolve out of that."

Let's make sure he's right.

PATRICE APODACA is a Newport-Mesa public school parent and former Los Angeles Times staff writer. She is also a regular contributor to Orange Coast magazine. She lives in Newport Beach.

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