The new MOU was finalized by SAC and MCHS


Cesar Flores

Because of the new MOU SAC gave us full use of the B-building, but has decided to paint over the picture of the wizard.

Earlier this year Middle College renewed their Memorandum of Understanding or MOU with SAC. Some of you might be asking what even is a MOU, and to put it in simplest terms, an MOU is like a contract that lets us have our campus on the same campus as SAC. The MOU has to be renewed every three to five years, and the last one expired right before the pandemic. The MOU was discussed and agreed upon by Mr. Voight and representatives from SAC to decide what new features would be added and needs to be changed.

Why we need an MOU

As mentioned before, an MOU is an agreement between Santa Ana Unified School District and Rancho Santiago Community College District for SAUSD to have a middle college high school on Santa Ana College campus which is part of RSCCD. The whole reason for this agreement is to sort out the legal liabilities of having a high school campus on another entityś campus that is not owned or controlled by SAUSD. We are considered guests of SAC, which is owned by RSCCD. 

History of the MOU

The idea of having an MOU came from Dr. Sara Lundquist, the former vice president of SAC student services in 1997 when the Middle College High School program just started. The original agreement was to put four to five classrooms of freshmen and sophomores, then grow from there. In the first year of Middle College, they took in 60 students and then started to take in 60 every year. A little bit after, there was an agreement to have a whole building created for us which was the two-story B building which came in 2001. That made it so 12th graders would be able to continue taking college classes, which was considered rare back then for high schoolers.

What is special about this MOU

The MOU is reviewed and renewed every three to five years to see what things need to be added and taken off. The last MOU expired right before the pandemic and the new agreement was just made earlier this semester. This MOU is different from all the previous MOUs since all those were specifically made to allow high schoolers to be dual enrolled in high school and college classes. That included high schools from all across the district, not just ours and we were just squeezed in there. This new MOU was specifically made for our school and did not serve some other purposes, showing that SAC is starting to recognize our school more. 

Moving out of the village 

This MOU made it clear what areas were ours to use and what areas were SAC’s. Just to be clear, we are to act like we are guests on their campus and not to disrupt the college students. The new MOU has given us the whole two-story B building, which never has happened before because we were not considered big enough as a school to need all the classrooms. We have been given 14 of the classrooms in the past and SAC uses the other rooms for whatever they needed it for. Even though we were given full use of the two-story building, that does not mean we could do whatever we want with it since the ownership still belongs to SAC, meaning if we want to make any major modifications to it, we need to have SAC’s permission. This even includes painting it, an example being that SAC has decided to paint over the picture of the wizard that is on the building. Since the MOU lets us use the whole two-story building, we will be moving through the winter break and will be taking classes in the two-story building starting second semester and will no longer be using the village buildings as classrooms. The main office will also be moving to room B-33. The building still needs to go through modifications before we can in; they will paint it, fix up the roof, and upgrade the air conditioner. The room the main office will be in will also need to go through modifications before it can be used and will now also include a small space for storage. 

Some other changes the New MOU has brought

The new MOU made it so we could get custodial support from our school districts, and that is why we got our new custodian and  security guard. The MOU also specifies new rules for discipline, meaning if students break a rule of Santa Ana College, Mr. Voight has to immediately notify them. Mr. Voight is also in charge of discipline on site, so if a student breaks their rules, SAC can request for the student to not be on their campus, in which the student would have to leave. Not to mention, the teachers will no longer have staff parking since they are not considered staff of SAC and will now have student parking. 

How is the MOU decided 

The MOU is agreed and confirmed by our district officials and the cabinet members at SAC, but the actual MOU is drafted between Mr. Voight and SAC’s vice president of student services. Here Mr. Voight tries his best to see what he can add to better improve the school’s learning environment and for the students’ safety. In fact, Mr. Voight still has more ideas. He wants to add an area for the students to have lunch and a kitchen for them to make hot meals for the students. Mr.Voight will continue to try his best to get more things, but that will also depend on how the students behave and if they convince the college that they should have more accommodations.

That was the new MOU and what major changes came with it, and what new restrictions were included. In the future they might decide to change some aspects of it by adding or getting rid of things, but these are all the major changes that have happened.