FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – Orange Center is the kind of school you don’t see much anymore. It’s a district made up of one K-8 elementary school.
“I feel Orange Center is a place to learn and be part of a small community that cares about you so it’s a caring community, caring school district,” explained Terry Hirschfield, prinicpal and superintendent of Orange Center.
Located southwest of downtown Fresno, the elementary school serves about 300 students.
Hirshfield took over leadership of the district six years ago and wants people to know all the school has to offer.
“Our mission here is to provide the same type of activities and classes that a big school would offer so that our students have that same exposure,” said Hirschfield.
Students have been back on campus since November for in-person learning but because of the pandemic, the district is also offering a robust summer program.
A combination of academics and fun enrichment activities
“They are so excited they are loving it,” said teacher Patricia Cortes.
Cortes teaches the school’s prize Dual immersion Program, which is also being offered this summer.
“It’s open to all students, not just Hispanic students, and I think parents are realizing it’s an opportunity for them to start learning a language at a young age,” explained Cortes.
Orange Center’s highly rated mariachi program is also going through the summer.
It’s for students grades 6th through 8th.
The band performs out in the community and is a source of pride.
Hirschfield says showcasing the school great programs will get kids excited about returning this fall.
“I want them to see that we are back. We are open and that we are here for them to be able to explore and to learn,” said Hirschfield.