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City Charter Schools are truly providing an exceptional education to a diverse student body. Through individual attention in a supportive and dynamic environment, students become creative and critical thinkers who ask questions, debate and express ideas fearlessly and respectfully. With a focus on civic responsibility, public speaking, and the written word, our students are prepared for a lifetime of meaningful work and ongoing service to causes greater than themselves.
City Charter Schools (City) is unlike other charter management organization: City provides an educational experience on par with the best schools in the country while emphasizing a mixed-socioeconomic, mixed-ethnicity student body that is truly reflective of Los Angeles. Our goal is to be 50% low-income, and 50% non-white, and our commitment is to ensure the success of all students, regardless of their background.
We currently have two schools, an elementary and a middle school, with plans for expansion to meet the needs of our students from grades K through 12. In 2012-13, our middle school achieved an API of 849 in its first year of operation (LAUSD API Average is 745) with a founding 6th and 7th grade classes in that was over 65% non-white and 35% low-income. Our dual-language immersion (Spanish/English) Elementary school opened in 2013 with 54% of founding students eligible for free and reduced lunch. Our students have come together from all different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds for the common goal of a better education. We believe that all children benefit from diversity - global citizens of the 21 st century have to be able to live and work across lines of difference (Nieto and Bode, 2011). Furthermore, economically diverse schools have been shown to increase student achievement for low-income students by 30-40 percentage points (David Rusk).
Our curriculum at both schools is constructivist, using problem-based learning and project-based learning, with an emphasis on developing critical thinking skills, problem-solving, debate and writing mastery. At the middle school, English and History are taught seminar-style in small classes (14 and 25 students respectively). This is in comparison to other LAUSD schools where the norm is forty-five kids per class. Foreign Language is taught in a blended-learning (online) setting, allowing for a huge range of offerings: Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Hebrew, French and Latin, among others. The students participate in an electives and majors program that they are able to design themselves. Students at our elementary school are developing fluency and literacy in two languages, while learning about world cultures in a safe, student-centered, diverse environment. At both schools, we create a supportive environment where students can express concerns and ask for help, develop character and lead. We believe if students feel comfortable and safe, they will take greater academic risks and learn more.
- Valerie Braimah
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