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Founded in 2003, the Los Angeles Small Schools Center (LASSC) provides leadership in Los Angeles for small public schools that advance equitable student success. Through advocacy, education, and support, LASSC develops and sustains personalized, high performing, learner-centered schools. LASSC is particularly concerned with the City's lowest performing schools that serve predominately Latino and African American students from the poorest neighborhoods. Our philosophy is based on the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a leading national school reform organization and LASSC is a CES Center.
Successful small schools must be places where personalization, equity, and high expectations pervade the school's design, curriculum and pedagogy, decision-making, and systems. LASSC's vision is for every school in Los Angeles to be a sustainable small learning community where students are known well and their families are engaged participants. We believe that meaningful reform occurs when those closest to the work of schools have professional autonomy and the necessary supports to engage students in rigorous and relevant learning that is authentic, connected to their interests and provides multiple pathways to college and career.
LASSC brings together a diverse network of educators, school, union and district leaders, community partners, university researchers, families, and students whose work together is guided by three principles:
1. Powerful Teaching, Learning & Assessment: Accomplished practice and powerful learning connected to families and rooted in communities requires conditions for responsive interrelationships and the personalized intellectual work that small schools can generate.
2. Small Democratic School Policy Development: Systemic change demands advocating for and documenting the conditions needed for successful small democratic school development.
3. Youth Development: Creating a peer culture of high achievement requires developing young leaders who actively work across sites and in their community to learn and share their own intellectual work.
- Nancy Rodriguez
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