Be Allowed to Attend Canyon Charter School
In a June 4 email from LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin’s office to Reza Akef, it was announced: “Incoming kindergarteners of families living in Area 8 will be allowed to attend Canyon Elementary School. The District will undertake a demographic study to determine a long-term solution for the following school year.”
Akef, who represents Area 8 on the Pacific Palisades Community Council, was told, “We greatly appreciate your support for our local public schools. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.”
Trouble started when the parents of 12 rising kindergarten students who live in the neighborhood (between Revere and the Riviera) learned late in the school year that Brentwood Science Magnet would be their kindergarten school this fall.
Parents and Akef brought the problem to the Pacific Palisades Community Council on May 23.
“We moved to this area with the understanding that our kids would go to Canyon,” one parent told the Council.
Principal Nicole Sheard explained to Circling the News that she would like to have those students at Canyon but had to follow the boundaries set by the LAUSD Demographics Department.
Canyon Charter School is ranked a 10, out of 10, by state standards and Brentwood Science Magnet, which is under-enrolled, is ranked a 6. Under the current boundaries, kindergarten student would be required to go to Brentwood for a year, and then they could enter Canyon for first through fifth grade.
In the past, only one or two kindergarten students came from that neighborhood off Allenford and were absorbed through the lottery system. “This year there are 12 students,” Sheard told CTN before the LAUSD changed course, “so there’s no way they will all get in as I don’t have that many spaces.”
And now they will attend Canyon, thanks to Akef’s intervention on behalf of the parents and subsequent efforts by Melvoin and his staff.
Seems resident parents in the canyon (hence the school’s name) think kindergarten is a right for their kids. Rite would be more accurate. No requirement that kids go to kindergarten. I went to Canyon many decades ago, and don’t recall a KG there at all. Many parents in those days didn’t even consider sending their kids to one. Why? Because “school” does not begin until FIRST GRADE. Kindergarten is another name for pre-school. I hope those involved remember that KG is a gift from a financially stressed public school system which is under no obligation to provide it.
Kindergarten may have been preschool years ago, but has not been for decades. Now, most kids are reading or close to it, when they move to first grade. LAUSD has even adopted transitional kindergarten (TK) classrooms – which is basically for kids who may be immature or just miss the cutoffs for kindergarten.
Additionally there is a huge difference between a charter school and a regular LAUSD school. Thank goodness for those Palisadians who had insight in 1994 and who pushed for the local schools to become charter. More local control has allowed teachers, parents and administrators more educational freedom to implement best practices. (Hence the difference between Canyon and Brentwood Magnet Elementary schools).
The financially-stressed public school system has enormous pension and insurance liabilities, which have nothing to do with educating kids.The increasing cost for Special Education is also something that public schools were not responsible for when you and I were growing up.