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ST Math Changes Lives at Title I Schools in Santa Ana, California

MIND awarded as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.

By Lisa Solomon, Principal, Madison Elementary School

Lisa Solomon has used MIND Research Institute’s ST Math program for the past 8 years as a principal in Santa Ana, Calif., in Title I schools with high percentages of English Language Learners. Recently, the White House Initiative on Excellence in Education for Hispanics named MIND Research Institute a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education . Here is an excerpt from Lisa’s nomination of MIND for that award:

I have seen ST Math change lives first hand. It is a program that has truly had a positive impact on both students and staff.

When I first discovered ST Math, I had just been named principal at Martin Elementary, and the school had been identified as one of the 10 lowest performing schools in Santa Ana. Our school population was over 98% Hispanic, over 97% free- and reduced-lunch and over 89% English language learners. We had heard about the positive impact the ST Math program had on nearby Madison Elementary School, a school very similar in population (and where I am principal today). We came together as a staff to identify best practices at other schools. The very first best practice that the staff identified was ST Math, a computer-based program.

ST Math’s impact can be seen both schoolwide and in individual students. Some students who had difficulty in reading, and really in all subject areas, began using ST Math and quickly moved through the program. We were able to identify students’ incredible mathematical ability that we did not see with the use of traditional instructional methods like textbooks.

I always remember the student with autism who in a single year moved through two grade levels on ST Math. This opened our eyes to his true mathematical ability, and we began mainstreaming him into regular education classes with support.

Getting Students Excited About Math

Overall, ST Math has helped us to motivate students and build their self-confidence. Students are excited about learning new math concepts, and often we see students make connections in the classroom to the interactive games played in ST Math.

For example, our third graders often have difficulty learning place value. As a school, we decided to have students play one of the ST Math games prior to learning the concept. Then when teachers introduced the concept, a student would shout out, “That is just like the JiJi game!” (JiJi is the penguin character in all of the ST Math games.) Students could visualize concepts by making connections between the games and the lessons in class. After that, our teachers starting using ST Math to help introduce other topics and bring the math concepts to life.

Transforming Mathematics Instruction and Technology

Using ST Math also changed our school culture about technology. When I arrived at Martin Elementary, teachers were so wary of implementing technology that they were actually rolling computers on carts out of their classrooms.

After implementing ST Math, teachers were asking for those computers back, and requesting more computers be purchased so they could integrate the program into their classroom math instruction. ST Math has also helped students access and become proficient with technology. I have seen ST Math transform mathematics instruction and technology use in all of the schools I have worked at.

While ST Math software games use interactive, graphically-rich animations that visually represent mathematical concepts to improve conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills and incorporates the latest research in learning and the brain and promotes mastery-based learning and mathematical understanding, it is so much more. It makes learning fun and helps us to identify students’ strengths and build their confidence. ST Math enables teachers to reach all students at their level, helps students to access technology, and provides students with opportunities to be successful learners. It has helped us foster a love of mathematics and a love of learning in our students.

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Learn more about the ST Math instructional games and how schools are using ST Math:


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SAUSD Board Meeting August 23, 2017

Board Meeting August 23, 2017

SAUSD First Day of School 2017-18

SAUSD First Day of School 2017-18

SAUSD Speech and Debate Summer Enrichment Camp 2017

SAUSD Speech and Debate Summer Enrichment Camp 2017 Video

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SAUSD Summer Enrichment Video Disney The Little Mermaid Part 1 2017

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Teach of Year Video

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SAUSD Board Meeting August 23, 2017

SAUSD First Day of School 2017-18

SAUSD Speech and Debate Summer Enrichment Camp 2017

SAUSD IPledge 2017

SAUSD Welcome Back to School Bash 2017 & 2018

SAUSD Summer Enrichment Disney The Little Mermaid Part 1 2017

Classified Employees of the Year

Teacher of Year 2017 Gannon Burks

Santa Ana H.S. Hosts Band From Mexico-HD.mp4

SAUSD Board Meeting August 23, 2017

SAUSD First Day of School 2017-18

SAUSD Speech and Debate Summer Enrichment Camp 2017

SAUSD IPledge 2017

SAUSD Welcome Back to School Bash 2017 & 2018

SAUSD Summer Enrichment Disney The Little Mermaid Part 1 2017


Universities and Colleges in Santa Ana

The City of Santa Ana proudly claims its position as the seat of Orange County, the ninth-largest county in California. Its city motto -- "Education First" - is backed up by a public school system, several Santa Ana colleges, and easy access to a county-wide pool of more than 30 post-secondary institutions. Some of the major employers in this city of more than 320,000 include Aluminum Precision Products, Diversified Maintenance Services, Inc., and First American Title Company, according to the city website. These businesses and others could provide job opportunities for recent graduates from one of the colleges in Santa Ana, be that a vocational school, community college or otherwise.

Studying at Santa Ana Colleges and Universities

The Art Institute of California-Orange County specializes in curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in a field such as culinary management, digital media and communications design, and fashion design and marketing. Additionally, Kensington College is known for the training it provides through it's bachelor's degree in business administration. Nearby Santa Ana College, part of the public Rancho Santiago Community College District, offers two-year degree programs and transfer programs in arts and media, business and accounting, engineering and computer science, health care, industrial technology, fashion design, and more.

Vocational and Trade Schools in Santa Ana

Many multi-campus trade schools have campuses in Santa Ana and offer certificate and associate-degree programs. Newbridge College, for example, specializes in the healthcare administration and assisting fields, while Everest College offers two-year degree programs in criminal justice, massage therapy, vocational nursing and paralegal studies. ATI College Santa Ana focuses on medical technology and billing programs as well as vocational English programs to prepare students for language competency. The Career College of California provides Santa Ana students with the opportunity to pursue a vocational education in fields such as business-office administration, medical assisting, medical front office work, and legal administration.

Colleges and Schools in the Santa Ana Area

Within a 20-minute drive of downtown Santa Ana, students can find more than 20 trade schools, colleges and universities. The University of California, Irvine, offers 84 bachelor's degrees at its nearby campus while the California State University at Fullerton offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees. Orange Coast College, a public two-year school, is located in nearby Costa Mesa and enrolls more than 25,000 students every semester. Almost half of its students participate in career or technical programs. Additionally, the American Career College campus, located in Anaheim, offers programs in medical technology and billing, pharmacy technology and dental assisting. Other schools in the Santa Ana area include Argosy and Chapman. Be sure to carefully look at our list of Santa Ana colleges and universities to help you discover the school that is right for you.


Santa Ana Unified School District, California

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The Santa Ana Unified School District is located in Orange County in southern California. The county seat is Santa Ana. Orange County was home to 3,169,776 residents in 2015, according to the United States Census Bureau. [4]

Orange County outperformed California as a whole in terms of higher education achievement from 2010 to 2014. The United States Census Bureau found that 37.3 percent of county residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree, compared to 31 percent of state residents. The median household income for Orange County was $75,998, compared to $61,489 for the entire state. The percentage of people in poverty in the county was 12.9 percent, while it was 16.4 percent statewide. [4]

Note: Percentages for race and ethnicity may add up to more than 100 percent because respondents may report more than one race and the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity may be selected in conjunction with any race. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.

The superintendent of Santa Ana Unified School District is Rick Miller. He was first appointed to the office in 2013. Miller previously served as the superintendent of Riverside Unified School District from 2008 to 2013. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry, master's degree in educational administration and Ph.D. in education. [6]

The Santa Ana Unified Board of Education consists of five members elected to four-year terms.

Members of the Santa Ana Unified Board of Education are elected at large All registered voters can vote for seats on the ballot in an at-large election. This is the alternative to a "by district" election, in which only the registered voters of a particular geographic area may vote for a particular seat up for election. to four-year terms on a staggered basis every even-numbered year. Two seats were up for election on November 4, 2014, and three seats were up for election on November 8, 2016.

Public participation in board meetings

The Santa Ana Unified Board of Education maintains the following policy on public participation during board meetings:

Members of the public are encouraged to attend Board meetings and to address the Board concerning any item on the agenda or within the Board’s jurisdiction. So as not to inhibit public participation, persons attending Board meetings shall not be requested to sign in, complete a questionnaire, or otherwise provide their name or other information as a condition of attending the meeting.

To conduct district business in an orderly and efficient manner, the Board requires that public presentations to the Board comply with the following procedures:

1. The Board shall give members of the public an opportunity to address the Board either before or during the Board’s consideration of each item of business to be discussed at regular or special meetings. (Education Code 35145.5, Government Code 54954.3)

2. Persons wishing to address the Board on an item on the agenda or an item of business in the Board’s jurisdiction are requested to complete a card provided for that purpose. This card is to be submitted to the Secretary of the Board.

3. At this time so designated on the agenda, members of the public may bring before the Board, at a regular meeting, matters that are not listed on the agenda. The Board may refer such a matter to the Superintendent or designee or take it under advisement, but shall not take action at that time except as allowed by law. The matter may be placed on the agenda of a subsequent meeting for action or discussion by the Board. (Education Code 35145.5, Government Code 54954.2)

4. Without taken action, Board members or district staff members may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by the public about items not appearing on the agenda. Additionally, on their own initiative or in response to questions posed by the public, a Board or staff member may ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement, or make a brief report on his/her own activities. (Government Code 54954.2)

Furthermore, the Board or a Board member may provide a reference to staff or other resources for factual information, ask staff to report back to the Board at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter, or take action directing staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda. (Government Code 54954.2)

5. The Board need not allow the public to speak on any item that has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of Board members at a public meeting where the public had the opportunity to address the committee on that item. However, if the Board determines that the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard it, the Board shall provide an opportunity for the public to speak. (Government Code 54954.3) (cf. 9130 – Board Committees)

6. A person wishing to be heard by the Board shall first be recognized by the president and shall then proceed to comment as briefly as the subject permits.

Individual speakers shall be allowed three minutes to address the Board on each agenda or nonagenda item. The Board shall limit the total time for public input on each item to 20 minutes. With Board consent, the president may increase or decrease the time allowed for public presentation, depending on the topic and the number of persons wishing to be heard. The president may take a poll of speakers for or against a particular issue and may ask that additional persons speak only if they have something new to add.

7. The Board president may rule on the appropriateness of a topic. If the topic would be more suitable addressed at a later time, the president may indicate the time and place when it should be presented.

The Board shall not prohibit public criticism of its policies, procedures, programs, services, acts or omissions. (Government Code 54954.3) In addition, the Board may not prohibit public criticism of district employees.

Whenever a member of the public initiates specific complaints or charges against an employee, the Board president shall inform the complainant that to protect the employee’s right to adequate notice before a hearing of such complaints and charges, and also to preserve the ability of the Board to legally consider the complaints or charges in any subsequent evaluation of the employee, it is the policy of the Board to hear such complaints or charges in closed session unless otherwise requested by the employee pursuant to Government Code 54957. (cf. 1312.1 – Complaints Concerning District Employees) (cf. 9321 – Closed Session Purposes and Agendas)

8. The Board president shall not permit any disturbance or willful interruption of Board meetings. Persistent disruption by an individual or group shall be grounds for the chair to terminate the privilege of addressing the Board. The Board may remove disruptive individuals and order the room cleared if necessary; in this case, members of the media not participating in the disturbance shall be allowed to remain, and individual(s) not participating in such disturbances may be allowed to remain at the discretion of the Board. When the room is ordered cleared due to a disturbance, further Board proceedings shall concern only matters appearing on the agenda. (Government Code 54957.9) (cf. 9324 – Minutes and Recordings) [7]

From 1993 to 2013, the Santa Ana Unified School District had an average of $457,111,190 in revenue and $461,504,238 in expenditures, according to the United States Census Bureau's survey of school system finances. The district had a yearly average of $149,118,000 in outstanding debt. The district retired $4,524,524 of its debt and issued $17,990,667 in new debt each year on average. [9]

The table below separates the district's revenue into the three sources identified by the agency: local, state, and federal.



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