In anticipation of its opening in September, Ernest S. McBride High School in Long Beach was previewed by the community in an open house Tuesday, July 9.
McBride, named after the late Long Beach civil-rights activist, is the first of many smaller high schools expected to be built as a result of Measure K, a bond measure passed in 2008 that allots $1.2 billion from property-tax revenue to the construction and renovation of schools in the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), according to the district.
In keeping with the Linked Learning initiative in the LBUSD and its emphasis on traditional classes in conjunction with career training, McBride will offer three “pathways”: health/medical, public services/forensics, and engineering, according to LBUSD superintendent Christopher Steinhauser.
“Our school is helping students not only understand and study…what we call the core curriculum– English, math, history, and science– but helping them make that connection to the world of work and being able to do a hands-on application of what they’re doing in the classroom,” McBride Principal Steven Rockenbach said when addressing community members during the open house.
The school’s first class of 210 freshmen was admitted to the school on the basis of their interest in one of the pathways as expressed in their application essays, according to the LBUSD. Eventually, the school will have around 1,080 students, Steinhauser said.
At McBride, like other high schools in the LBUSD, the core curriculum will mesh with the students’ particular pathways, Steinhauser said.
“They’ll be learning at the same time, when they’re studying English and science and math, how to apply these content areas in those pathways, and so they’ll have classes on how to– in the health/medical pathway, for example– take blood pressures and do capillarization on mannequins and all that kind of stuff,” Steinhauser said. “They’ll have opportunities for apprenticeships and internships.”
Students will “have access to state-of-the-art equipment,” Rockenbach said. Public-services students will have a CSI lab, medical students will have two rooms that resemble hospital wings, and engineering students will be using CAD (computer-aided design) software and computerized numerical-control (CNC) machines, Rockenbach added.
The school is also eco-friendly, as it has solar panels on most of the buildings, numerous windows, and greenery, Rockenbach said, adding that the public will be able to use the green space when McBride’s out of session.
During the open house, members of the public, including parents and new McBride students, were able to tour the campus and listen to staff members in different areas of the school discuss those particular areas. One incoming student, Jimmy Aguilar, was impressed by McBride and glad that every student, since all will be freshman, is going to be a “newbie.”
“I’m amazed with how everything looks and the academics– the three groups,” said Aguilar, whose pathway will be engineering. “They’re focusing on things that people are going to use.”