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NMUSD's Signature Academies


Signature Academies offer students a global competitiveness to better prepare them for college and career success. Students enrolled in Signature Academies receive unique curriculum options and supplemental activities that complement the core academic programs at NMUSD high schools.


Signature academies include specialty programs centered on key, industry leading careers and areas of study such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Arts and Math (STEAM). Each of the four NMUSD High Schools offer unique programs, which are open to all ninth grade students within the NMUSD, regardless of their zone of residence.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted February 15 through April of each year.

Parents will be notified in May if their student was selected into a Signature Academy. Late applications will be placed on the wait list on a first-come, first-served basis. As space becomes available, applications will be reviewed and the applicant will be notified of acceptance by email or phone.

Corona Del Mar High School 9th Grade Signature Academies

Costa Mesa High School 9th Grade Signature Academies

Estancia High School 9th Grade Signature Academy 

Newport Harbor High School 9th Grade Signature Academy


Please contact the High School to find out how to apply for the Signature Academies.

High School Brochures

Corona Del Mar Zone

Costa Mesa Zone

Estancia Zone

Newport Harbor Zone

Elementary Programs

In addition to Signature Academies, NMUSD also offers three specialty elementary school programs – a Modern Scholars program at Adams Elementary, a bi-literacy program in Mandarin at College Park Elementary, and a Spanish bi-literacy program at Whittier Elementary.   These programs are available for kindergarten students and first grade and second grade students. The biliteracy programs are available to all NMUSD students, regardless of their zone of residence.


Adams Elementary Modern Scholars

Modern Scholars Brochure in English
Modern Scholars Brochure in Spanish

Modern Scholars Application in English
Modern Scholars Application in Spanish


College Park Elementary Mandarin Bi-Literacy Program
Mandarin Bi-Literacy Brochure in English
Mandarin Bi-Literacy Brochure in Spanish

Mandarin Bi-Literacy Application in English
Mandarin Bi-Literacy Application in Spanish


Whittier Elementary Spanish Bi-Literacy Program
Spanish Bi-Literacy Brochure in English
Spanish Bi-Literacy Brochure in Spanish

Spanish Bi-Literacy Application in English
Spanish Bi-Literacy Application in Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to reside within Newport-Mesa attendance area to apply?

Yes. Enrollment is limited to students within the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s
attendance boundaries.  


May we apply to more than one school?

Yes.  You must submit a separate online
application for each academy.  


Is there a benefit to submitting my child’s application on the first day?                            

No. All applications submitted within the
enrollment period will have an equal opportunity. 


Can parents obtain tentative approval if they have to pay private school tuition prior to the notification date?

No. Tentative approvals are not given.