At its July 18 meeting, the school board for the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) decided on the names of three new educational sites.
The middle school currently under construction at 20th Street and Cherry Avenue in Signal Hill will be named Jessie Elwin Nelson Middle School. Nelson was the first mayor of Signal Hill, as well as the first female mayor in California.
Signal Hill Mayor Larry Forester and that city’s council had suggested that the school be named after her. “We wanted something that meant something to us,” Forester said in a phone interview last March. “We felt it would be apropos to be the first woman mayor in Southern California and to have it named after her.”
Expected to open in fall 2012, the newly named middle school is being built to help address the challenge of overcrowded classrooms and to serve the outlying area of Poly High School enrollment by serving 800 students in the Signal Hill community, according to Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) board member Jon Meyer.
The small high school that is being built on the former DeMille Middle School site in east Long Beach, near the Los Coyotes Diagonal and Studebaker Road, will be named Ernest S. McBride, Sr. High School. McBride was a civil-rights pioneer and co-founder of the Long Beach branch of the NAACP. The high school is scheduled for a fall 2013 opening.
Additionally, a new “credit recovery” high school, designed for students who need to catch up on credits, will be called Beach High School–Intensive Learning Program. It will be located at the current Long Beach School for Adults site at 3701 E. Willow St. “The program will help us to save some kids who might otherwise drop out,” said Chris Eftychiou, public information director for LBUSD. “It’ll offer more flexible hours for students who are holding down jobs, along with independent study and more individualized attention. In the process, we’ll receive much needed average daily attendance (ADA) funding that we otherwise would miss out on.”
Eftychiou said that Beach High School will open this fall.