December 19, 2014

Spotlight on Ninth Street Elementary

Playground, Ninth Street School

Playground, Ninth Street School

Last week I attended a “Meet the Principal” event at Ninth Street Elementary, the zoned school for most of downtown LA. The school is reopening on Tuesday after being closed for a three-year, $54 million renovation of the campus. The school, located on 9th Street and Towne Avenue in the Fashion District, was in deep trouble before the closure. In 2010, LA Weekly wrote a devastating profile of the school, describing it as among the worst in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). At the time of its closure, the school’s API score (a measure of academic performance of California schools) was 670, far below the state target of 800, and it ranked 1 out of 10 on LAUSD’s “similar schools” ranking, making it one of the worst among its peers. It was Ninth Street’s terrible performance that led in part to a group of downtown parents forming Metro Charter elementary school (coincidentally also opening this fall). [Read more...]

Parent’s POV: Dorris Place Elementary

DorrisToday’s post was written by guest author Camille Irons Coakley, a downtown Los Angeles parent. Read on for her perspective on moving from Beverly Hills to DTLA and discovering a great LAUSD school for her kid.

For years we managed to dodge the whole public school nightmare by nesting in Beverly Hills, where really wealthy people pay high taxes so that families like mine can take advantage of the great public school system. But because it was time for us to downsize and to be closer to work, we made the move to downtown Los Angeles.
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Spotlight on Schools: Dorris Place

Spotlight on Schools is an ongoing series featuring high-performing public elementary schools within a 15 minute drive of Downtown Los Angeles. Thanks to the magic of LAUSD open enrollment, you can apply to have your child attend any of the schools featured in this series.

Located in Elysian Valley about a 15 minute drive from downtown Los Angeles, Dorris Place Elementary is a school on a mission: to be ranked with Ivanhoe, Eagle Rock Elementary, and other top performing schools in the LAUSD. Recently, the school has come a long way towards achieving that goal. The school’s API rank has climbed from below 800 to 852 in 2011, giving it a Great Schools rating of 8 out of 10. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Dorris Place draws from a socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhood, giving it an API Similar Schools ranking of 9 out of 10.
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Spotlight on Schools: Clifford Street Elementary

Spotlight on Schools is an ongoing series featuring high-performing public elementary schools within a 15 minute drive of Downtown Los Angeles. Thanks to the magic of LAUSD open enrollment, you can apply to have your child attend any of the schools featured in this series.

Tucked into the boundary between Echo Park and Silverlake, Clifford Street Elementary tends to be overlooked when parents discuss school options in the area. Even my son’s preschool teacher had never heard of it. Yet this is the little school that could, with strong test scores and a dedicated, experienced teaching staff that does a great job year in and year out. I’m so impressed with Clifford that it’s where I’ve chosen to send my son when he starts kindergarten in September.
[Read more...]