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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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New CUSD School in Rancho Mission Viejo Has a Name, But Don’t Ask Us How to Spell It

The Capistrano Dispatch is reporting that Capistrano Unified School District has selected a name for the K-8 school being built in Rancho Mission Viejo’s Planning Area 2:

Capistrano Unified school board selects name for its next K-8 campus in Rancho Mission Viejo: Escencia School.

We’re still confused by the proper spelling of Esencia/Escencia.  We’ve usually seen the new Planning Area 2 village spelled “Esencia” (without the first ‘c’ – see this Register article, for example) and that is the proper spelling of the Spanish word, but on the other hand, CUSD and some others have been consistent in spelling it “Escencia.”  The only mention of either Esencia or Escencia on the Rancho Mission Viejo website is this blog article on the new Fire Station where Tony Moiso is quoted as saying “It’s great to know that this new station will provide not only fire protection, but also paramedics for Sendero, Esencia and portions of Ladera Ranch and San Juan Capistrano.”  Even the Rancho Mission Viejo trademark filing is confusing:

The actual mark is spelled “Escencia” but the text of the mark is spelled “Esencia.”  In any event, let’s hope the name of the school matches the name of the village, whatever it may be.

More importantly, what do you think of the name?  It wasn’t our first or second choice, but it works.

In this article, we offered our opinion on the name “Esencia/Escencia”:

Some of the finalists are a bit generic, but that seems to be the school naming practice lately.  If you look at the names of nearby schools that have been recently built, you sense a pattern: Oso Grande (“big bear”), Chaparral (flora and fauna), Ladera (place name/”hillside”), Tesoro (“treasure”), San Juan Hills (place name).  There seems to be a preference at CUSD for generic school names that might have a loose connection to the location.  That trend lends support for either Esencia (or Escencia, if that’s how they are spelling it) or Ortega Oaks.  Of those two choices, we like Ortega Oaks.  After all, Esencia is a marketing term that was created a few months ago by a real estate developer.  There is nothing intrinsically local about Esencia, other than Rancho Mission Viejo was able to trademark it.  Both Ortega and the oak trees have been around a lot longer than that.  So if that’s the route CUSD wants to go, we suggest Ortega Oaks School.

In the end, though, we cast our vote for the hard to pronounce but historically compelling Acjachema, which ironically is also hard to spell but for different reasons.

Esencia/Escencia School is expected to open its doors sometime around 2017.  Hopefully we’ll have the correct spelling nailed down by then.

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