Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy, (M.E.C.A.) is a charter school designed to address the critical need for innovative educational alternatives for students in the Long Beach and Paramount communities. This school has been designed to provide a quality educational program targeting educationally disadvantaged students in middle school programs whose Academic Performance Index (API) scores indicate under performance. It is the goal of M.E.C.A. to provide students with a rigorous standards-based college preparatory program while preparing them to successfully learn, excel in school and prepare for life educationally, technologically, economically, and socially. In an effort to effectively serve their targeted population, M.E.C.A. has chosen a strategic location: 5951 Downey Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90805 near the premises of a subsidized housing complex - Northpointe Apartment Homes. The idea to open a school near Northpointe was developed in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as part of HUD's "Neighborhood Networks Initiative." Neighborhood Networks is one of the first federally focused initiatives to promote self-sufficiency, and address the "digital divide" and community building in underserved housing communities. Neighborhood Networks provide a host of services, with state-of-the-art technology as a key strategy to move residents towards self sufficiency. M.E.C.A. will help make Northpointe "service-enriched" housing by providing an essential community resource - a high performing public secondary school - right where the students live. In this innovative context, the school will be a catalyst for community development. Students will lead the strengthening and revitalization of their own community by building social and economic capital through on-going entrepreneurial and community service projects. They will also be expected to integrate technological solutions, creative problem-solving, and scientific and mathematical reasoning, towards developing their communities and their own assets. As effective community leaders, they will communicate capably across race, gender, sexual orientation and class lines, and exhibit developmentally appropriate levels of self-worth and compassion for others.
The innovative educational plan of M.E.C.A. synthesizes four distinct program goals, which, taken together will prepare students for life technologically, economically, educationally and socially (see "Means to Achieve the Mission and Vision" below for details on how M.E.C.A. will reach its program goals):
1) Rigorous Academic Preparation and College Readiness - all students will participate in college preparation course work that explicitly teaches academic, social, and financial strategies for obtaining a college education. The focus on standards-based instruction within those courses will ensure that all students are engaged in a rigorous curriculum that will make them competitive in any post-secondary setting.
2) 21st Century Technological Literacy - all students will be able to apply technological solutions (e.g. multi-media presentations, spreadsheet applications, web-design, project management tools, etc.) to academic and real-world situations. Among other applications, they will use technology to complete course work, design and manage entrepreneurial projects, apply for college, and research community projects and career aspirations.
3) Entrepreneurship and Economic Literacy - all students will develop economic literacy and marketable workplace skills. Through on-going entrepreneurship projects, students will design and implement micro-enterprises (i.e. small, community-based, student-run businesses) whose proceeds and products will benefit the community. Furthermore, students will engage in economic literacy course-work that will enhance their ability to manage their own finances independently, and secure their financial futures.
4) Self-Determination and Community Leadership - all students will develop the ability to successfully lead themselves and their communities. Students will practice self determination by making effective decisions in their own lives. Furthermore, they will be prepared to demonstrate how math, science, writing, technology, and other tools can be applied in the real world to solve problems and lead their communities. This outcome will be accomplished through explicit instruction on community leadership, and through concrete opportunities (community service and entrepreneurial projects) to practice community change-making. As described in the section titled, "How Learning Best Occurs," all four of these outcomes are supported by current brain-based research. Furthermore, they are relevant to M.E.C.A'.s target population in that many of the students come from documented under-performing schools and live in communities where there are few assets and low levels of high school graduation and college matriculation among adults.
Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy, (M.E.C.A.) 10 Point Principle Pledge
M.E.C.A. STUDENT IDENTITY CODE:
A Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy student is an individual of character, honor, and respect, and will not accept anything less, so "raise the bar."
10 POINT PRINCIPLE PLEDGE
1. I will be all that I have been created to be.
2. I am a leader, not a follower.
3. I am creative, dynamic and innovative.
4. I will always have a good attitude.
5. I have a made up mind to be the best that I can be.
6. I respect myself and I will always respect others.
7. I am responsible for my actions and behavior.
8. I refuse to be beneath my circumstances, but above it all.
9. I am a team player and will work with others, there is no I in team.
10. I help myself that I may help others to succeed.
STOP... PAUSE... READ... THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Choice is something we have when there are options... And when there are NO OPTIONS there are NO CHOICES. Until recent there were no choices in public education. However, due to failing schools and new legislation, you now have a choice in your child's education outside of an expensive private school... Which is called Charter Schools, and they are FREE.
One of the biggest problems we have in education today is preparing our kids for the 21st Century to compete in a global market. There is a growing group of professionals embarking on a collaborative journey into the future of education, educational technologies and new curriculums in order to prepare students to function in a competititve and rapidly changing global world.
Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy, (M.E.C.A.), is part of that movement. There are over 1000 public charter schools in California, yet, twelve are directly State authorized. M.E.C.A. is one of the twelve State authorized public charter schools in California. M.E.C.A. is a charter school designed to address the critical need for innovative 21st Century education for students in the Long Beach and surrounding communities.
M.E.C.A. has been designed to provide a high quality educational program targeting educationally disadvantaged students. It is the goal of M.E.C.A. to provide students with a rigorous standards-based college preparatory program while preparing them to successfully learn, excel in school and prepare for life educationally, technologically, economically, and socially. M.E.C.A. is the Gold Standard of Innovative Public Schools... M.E.C.A. provides a safe, clean and fun learning environment and has a quality staff with small class sizes. Students have core classes along with brain-based researched and project based learning in creative learning environments that facilitate the learning style of each student.
M.E.C.A. is still accepting enrollment for 6th and 7th grade students. Enrollment packets are available at the school office Monday through Friday or online.
Each year M.E.C.A. will add a new 6th grade class and matriculate thorugh to the 12th grade. This means that M.E.C.A.'s 2008 7th grade class will be its first 12th grade graduates. All students are guaranteed a college scholarship if they maintain a B average or better.
YOU NOW HAVE A CHOICE... I encourage you to make a good choice and visit M.E.C.A. to see Innovative Education at its BEST!
Marvin L. Smith, M.A., Founder, Executive Director