High schools in the Long Beach Unified School District continue to reach new heights with existing pathway programs and innovative curriculum.

And the success of those programs was evident by the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Students from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) broke a record for the district. This fall, three students are heading to Olin College of Engineering and seven students will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

Those students admitted to MIT are Kevin Ho, Diana Garibay, Mario Leva, Ikenna Maduno, Kaleb Blake, Vinh Le and Shavonna Jackson. Students attending Olin are Odalys Benitez, Wesley Soo-Hoo and Jerry Goss. 

CAMS is a mathematics and science magnet school in the LBUSD. It is in Carson, on the California State University, Dominguez Hills, campus.

Chris Eftychiou, director of public information for the Long Beach Unified School District, told The Grunion that LBUSD has not seen that many students within the same school year admitted to MIT or Olin  let alone from the same school.

But now there's a push for academics beyond STEAM learning.

Academics focused on trades instead of technology was the theme for the Browning High School concept.

Browning opened its doors for its first year of freshman students in time for the 2017-2018 school year. The high school's first graduating class will walk across a stage in 2021.

The school is open thanks to $55 million from Measure K, the bond measure passed in 2008 to improve school buildings in the Long Beach Unified School District.

Like other linked learning pathways  engineering, health sciences and digital art, to name a few  the school's entire curriculum was structured around lesson plans with an emphasis on hospitality and restaurant industry elements.

"Long Beach is becoming more of a tourism city," Dr. Felicia Anderson, Browning High School principal, said last year before the start of the school year. "Hotels, dining  we need to have folks in those industries to help them grow."

It will be a few more years before data is available regarding the success for graduates of these unique pathway programs, as well as graduation rates and more. Until then, the school's second freshman class will walk through the high school hallways this week.

Browning High School is located at 2180 Obispo Ave., bordering Signal Hill.

To add to the district's list of accomplishments for this school year, Poly High School’s Pacific Rim Business Academy was named a Distinguished Academy by the California Department of Education.

That means that the program was recognized for its college prep courses and career-centered programs offered to students, earning the 2018 California Partnership Academies Distinguished Academy award.

Poly's business-centered programming prepares students for careers beyond high school and college. Students in the program also had an opportunity earlier this year to pitch marketing ideas to the board at Long Beach Transit, offering insight into how to best expand public transportation to more Long Beach students.

For more updates about LBUSD, and all of the awards and accomplishments recognized in the 2018-219 school year, keep reading at TheGrunion.com.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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