OPUS119 represents the marriage of the 21st Century innovation, proven and engaging methods of instruction, and a recognition of students as humans in search of a relevant and engaging learning experience. We help students develop the skills needed for their individual futures and not our collective past.
Students come to understand that learning is not limited to school contexts and textbooks. Opportunities for observing, questioning, synthesizing, and creating meaning are ever-present in students’ lives. Learning to recognize these moments is crucial. Students will develop the desire to pursue these moments and the skills to explore and evaluate them.
OPUS119 learners become excited about learning and engaged in their education and intellectual development. Learning is relevant, project/problem-based, playful, and appropriately challenging. It consists of exploring foundational solids (language arts, math, science, history, the arts) with an integrated perspective, while being introduced to new ideas, concepts, and ways of looking at the world.
Each student develops tools to allow him/her to tackle a complicated and ever-changing world. Instead of memorizing content, students focus on autonomous problem-solving and creating meaning from the world around them. These goals intentionally encompass 21st Century skills, such as creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurialism. STEAM competencies are nurtured as an outgrowth of a future-focused approach.
The OPUS119 School
OPUS119 Middle & High stands upon solid foundations. The school is built on proven experience, the latest in education science, and a history of passion around thinking and learning.
Ethan Yi Dong, founder of the OPUS119 School of Music and College Conservatory of Music, came to America to study at Crossroads School. A superb pianist, he thrived alongside Mary Ann Cummins and eventually learned about the power of progressive education from her husband, Paul Cummins, lead founder of Crossroads. Ethan’s time at Paul’s school had a lasting effect. Over the years, he came to realize that his experience of learning was atypical in the U.S. The seed was planted and, after attending Yale University, Ethan returned to California to open his music school in Irvine.
After many years of running a successful music program, Ethan reached out to his dear friend, Paul, with a few ideas. He recognized that truly innovative education had not yet arrived in Orange County. It was time to change that. In September 2018, OPUS119 will expand to a full-day middle and high school, serving grades 6-9 in its first year, and then adding grades 10-12 in successive years. This new progressive approach is modeled after very successful schools co-created by Paul Cummins, Crossroads, New Roads, and TREE Academy.
Mary Ann Cummins - Founder of the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute at Crossroads School
Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen - Co-Founders of 5 Gyres Institute
Amy Pascal - Chairperson of the Motion Pictures Group of Sony's Columbia Pictures
Bing Yeh - Luka International Arts & Cultural Foundation