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May 18: Special Message 

From New LA Executive Director Dr. Brooke Rios:

Over the past few months, you have received email updates on our partnership with The City Schools. And, as a parent, I understand how easy it can be to miss something from your child’s school. I have a lot to share today, and so I have chosen to communicate with you through video messaging. This video is the first of several for the next few weeks. Moving forward, you can expect regular, Friday updates from me until your new principal is in place. These updates may include video or email messages.

 

One of the cornerstones of our success at New LA has been relationships. We understand that partnering with parents is a non-negotiable when it comes to providing children with a high quality education. We are very eager to get to know you, and for you to get to know us, so I hope you are able to join one of our upcoming coffee events. You can find the complete schedule here. Please note that we translate everything at New LA, and these events will include a hispano hablante portion of the meeting. 

 

I do understand how hard change is, and New LA has been through quite a few ourselves in the past decade. And while I am confident that good things will come of our partnership, I know that your community is experiencing loss, grief,and uncertainty right now. It is my understanding that this started during the pandemic, and is culminating in all that has happened this school year. 

 

As an educator who believes that social emotional well-being comes first, I was glad to hear about some recent facilitated community circles at CLIC. I received a list of questions and feedback that arose during the circles and would like to take the opportunity to answer some of those now. 

Questions:

“I would like more transparency around teacher retention.”

As we shared on Parent Square earlier this week, all credentialed and qualified CLIC employees who have expressed their desire to stay received employment contracts for the 2023-2024 school year on Monday, May 15. As a charter management organization, New LA has an excellent track record of teacher and administrator retention in both our elementary and middle school. In addition to placement on the New LA salary table, returning faculty and staff will receive a generous retention bonus. 

 

It’s inappropriate to share confidential HR information about CLIC employees, but I can share publicly available information. We have posted positions for a principal, assistant principal and dual language teachers. Like all schools experience every year, we anticipate a small number of teacher openings for next school year. 

How are we bringing in new staff, and how can parents help?

New LA Charter Schools uses an effective and inclusive hiring process. Our goal during the hiring process is to identify high quality candidates who are a fit for the school’s mission and vision. As stated earlier, New LA has an excellent track record of teacher and administrator retention in both our elementary and middle school. We will apply the same rigor to both keeping the teachers who plan on returning, and hiring new CLIC staff.

 

For CLIC, we are looking for candidates who have expertise in progressive, constructivist, dual language instruction and who will carry forth CLIC’s mission of community, service, and learning.

 

This process is led by Kate O’Brien, New LA’s Head of Schools, and involves multiple steps. Kate is bilingual and began her career as a bilingual educator before moving into administrative roles, including as an elementary school principal. 

 

Teachers and staff play a substantial role in providing feedback that will inform hiring decisions for future colleagues. The parent hiring committee will participate in the interview process for the principal, but are not for staff, teacher, or other school administrator interviews. 

What supports are being offered to the teachers?

New LA has attended several faculty meetings since January to connect with faculty  and staff and share pertinent information and updates. All faculty and staff met one-on-one with Dr. Xochilt Lira, New LA’s Chief Operating Officer, to discuss compensation and benefits. A team of 8 faculty and staff members have been working closely with Kate O’Brien on the teacher hiring committee. And, Kate, Xochitl, and I are on campus weekly for office hours, where teachers and staff can pop in with their questions, discuss curriculum, or just to say hello and grab an after school treat.

When New LA says, “CLIC will stay CLIC” what does that mean?

The vision for this partnership has always been that the program at CLIC will remain CLIC, while benefiting from the support of a high functioning, fiscally responsible charter management organization that has demonstrated long-term sustainability. This means  that New LA will provide additional support behind the scenes as the parent charter group, and students from CLIC will have the opportunity to attend New LA Charter School (Middle School) after 5th grade. This gives CLIC families a clear K-8th pathway and the opportunity to attend an excellent middle school with a similar mission and values as CLIC, that is located in the same neighborhood. It would be disingenuous to promise that nothing will change, but I can assure that you that we are committed to working together to carry forth the mission of a high quality, progressive, dual language immersion school. We will support the next principal in implementing the charter petition alongside faculty and staff, a majority of whom are staying.

When New LA says, “CLIC will stay CLIC” what does that mean?

One of the reasons that the City Board chose New LA is because we have similar values. Both organizations value community, passion for learning, respect, relationships, and progressive education. Aside from our mission alignment, New LA will inherit the CLIC charter petition, and will be responsible for supporting a new school leader with implementation. The charter petition will serve as a map for the next principal, who will be tasked with collaborating with faculty and staff to ensure a positive school culture. This individual will also be expected to work closely with parents to bring back the sense of community that folks are craving post pandemic.  

Can we have an update on the plan and timeline for hiring a new principal?

The process of reviewing candidate resumes is underway and we have formed family and staff hiring committees. Seven family representatives will be joining the committee, and are meeting this week to discuss the next steps. We have some good resumes in the queue, and more information will be forthcoming.

Can we get a clearer explanation of the transition to New LA Charter?

A charter management organization is the home office for a group of charter schools. A home office may provide additional support and resources to schools in a network in the areas of compliance, operations, academics, governance, fiscal management, human resources, culture, and enrollment. Currently, CLIC belongs to The City Schools charter management organization, which is dissolving. New LA will support CLIC through the structure I just explained, but New LA  will not run the day-to-day operations of the school. This will be the responsibility of the administration, faculty and staff. CLIC students will have matriculation rights to New LA’s middle school. One current City School board member has met with the nominations committee of the New LA Board and join next year. Another Board member is interested and in process.

Again, thank you for your questions and for watching this video. If additional questions come up, please do not hesitate to reach out. We hope to meet you in person soon!

The City School

Why is The City School closing? 

The last few years have been overwhelmingly challenging for The City School. Our middle school program has faced increasing fiscal, academic, enrollment and operational challenges. After a diligent review of solutions to these problems, the Board and leadership have come to the conclusion that The City School is not sustainable beyond the 22-23 school year. This is not a consideration that we have taken lightly and we are devastated to share this news with you.

 

Who made this decision? 

The City Charter Schools Board of Directors voted unanimously on the school closure during the December 6 public board meeting.

 

Why weren’t families and staff engaged in the conversation before making a decision?

Based on the financials, leadership and staffing challenges, and despite our best efforts, the evidence has been obvious for quite some time. The Board has spent the last two years in public meetings discussing finances, enrollment and staffing issues at The City Schools. These subjects were also discussed in detail in the finance committee meetings. We did not share details about the closure sooner because many aspects of the future of the school have changed multiple times in the last few months, and we were making thoughtful decisions at each turn. Transparent communications and responsible decision making have been guiding our process. First and foremost, children are involved and we did not want to come to you without some viable solutions to help figure out the future for these students. With the utmost respect for this community, we came to you as soon as we possibly could. 

 

When it closes, what will happen to the current 6th and 7th grade City School students next school year? 

As a charter friend and an organization that cares deeply about the wellbeing of all students in the community, New LA will submit a formal request to LAUSD Charter Schools Division asking for a one-time admissions preference for students at The City School, pending LAUSD Board vote. 

 

As part of this arrangement, middle school students from City would be offered preferential admissions to New LA Charter School (Middle School) for the 2023-2024 school year. This admissions preference will be based on the availability of open seats at New LA Charter School (Middle School), and will not guarantee a space; however, New LA is committed to doing its best to offer spaces to as many students from The City School as possible. 

 

New LA and The City School advises families who are currently enrolled in 6th and 7th grades at The City School to research and consider any and all options for schools for the 2023-2024 school year. Both organizations are committed to assisting with research, applications and placement for students. We highly encourage all families to explore options at eChoices, which opened a second admission window on December 1, as well as at our local neighborhood school and charter schools. Please refer to "middle school options" in the question below for more information.

What is an admissions preference?

An admissions preference gives a student from a specified community an admissions advantage over general applicants. An admissions preference does not guarantee placement at the school. However, if seats are open, a student with an admissions preference would be offered a seat over those who do not qualify for the preference. Students with admissions preferences are at the top of a waitlist. 

If there is not enough room for City School students to attend New LA Charter School (Middle School) for the 23-24 school year, what will happen to them?

New LA will do its best to accommodate students if spaces open up in 7th and 8th grade, but cannot guarantee any spaces at this time. The City School families are encouraged to explore all available options.


What middle school options can families from The City School explore?


CHARTER SCHOOLS

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Middle School

11330 Graham Place

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Apply Now

 

Citizens of the World Silver Lake Middle School

152 Vermont Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90004

Apply Now

 

Crown Preparatory Academy 

2055 W 24th St.

Los Angeles, CA 90018

Apply Now

 

Larchmont Charter School

6611 Selma Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90028

Apply Now

 

New LA Charter School

1919 S. Burnside Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Apply Now

 

Stella Middle Charter Academy

4301 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008

Apply Now

 

Wish Middle School

7400 W Manchester Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Apply Now

LAUSD SCHOOLS

 

LAUSD School Finder

 

LAUSD eChoices

Applications for the 2023-2024 School Year Re-Opened on December 1, 2022

Late Applications for the 2023-2024 School Year Open on February 1, 2023

Apply Here 

 

Audubon Middle School

4120 11th Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90008

 

Emerson Middle School 

1650 Selby Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90024

https://emersonms-lausd-ca.schoolloop.com/

Apply Through eChoices! 

 

John Burrows Middle School

600 S Mc Cadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Johnnie L. Cochran Middle School

4066 Johnnie Cochran Vista

Los Angeles, California 90019

Webster Middle School

11330 Graham Place
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Will any of TCS teachers be teaching next year at New LA Charter School (Middle School)?

New LA has committed to interviewing and giving preference in hiring to all interested employees of The City Schools. New LA holds strong in the commitment to consider all City School employees for open positions at New LA Charter School (Middle School).

CLIC

How will CLIC be impacted by all of this?

CLIC will remain CLIC, but will benefit from the support of a high functioning, fiscally responsible charter management organization that has demonstrated long-term sustainability, including increased human resources and excellent back office support. The only changes would be that New LA will provide additional support as the parent charter group, and students from CLIC will have the opportunity to attend New LA Charter School (Middle School) after 5th grade. This would give CLIC families a clear K-8th pathway and the opportunity to attend an excellent middle school with a similar mission and values as CLIC, that is located in the same neighborhood. Again, CLIC will remain the same school it has always been in terms of quality of education and instruction; faculty and staff; school culture, and close-knit community. Please see highlights from the recent Town Hall.

 

Is there enough space in New LA Charter School (Middle School) for all 5th graders from both New LA Elementary and CLIC to attend?

Yes. 

 

Will New LA Charter School (Middle School) have a Spanish language track for CLIC students to continue their immersion education?

Not at this time. But it’s a curriculum option that New LA would like to explore in the future. 

 

Will CLIC students have the same teachers and principal?

The Board does not plan on making any major staffing changes.

 
What happens if LAUSD does not approve CLIC joining the NLA Charter Schools organization?

If the LAUSD School Board does not approve our request for CLIC to join the New LA Charter School group, CLIC plans to continue operating as a single site charter K-5th grade school.

New LA Elementary

What are the chances that New LA Elementary will move into the Baha’i Center?

New LA has engaged the Baha'i Center and remains very hopeful about the possibility of moving New LA Elementary School to this site for the 23-24 school year. 

 

Is there room for all New LA students and all CLIC students to attend New LA Charter School (Middle School)?

Yes.

 

Will New LA Elementary increase class sizes?

No. New LA Elementary and CLIC will remain as individual schools with the same curriculums and class sizes they have now.

New Los Angeles Charter School (Middle School)

How will all of this affect students and families of New LA Charter School (Middle School)?

There will be no changes to the student and family experience at New LA Charter School (Middle School) as a result of this partnership. New LA Charter School (Middle School) will simply become a middle school with two feeder elementary schools. 

 

Will New LA Middle School grow too big?

No, we have plenty of room to accept students from both elementary schools.

 

Will New LA Charter School (Middle School) be moving?

No, New LA Charter School (Middle School) will remain on its current campus at 1919 S. Burnside Ave. We hope that if we are able to move the elementary school off of Baldwin Hills Elementary and into the Baha’i Center, then 5th grade would be housed there.

All schools

Will all families from all schools be able to continue in their chosen school?

Yes. With the exception of current City School 6th and 7th graders, all students at CLIC, New LA Elementary and New LA Charter School (Middle School) will be able to continue at their chosen schools. If and how many City School students can be accommodated at New LA Charter School (Middle School) for the 23-24 school year remains to be seen, and we will not know that until Spring 2023.

 

What if a family doesn’t want to continue under the new schools’ structure?

Families are free to explore other options for their students’ education.

 

How will you integrate the new families into the new schools? How will you integrate the two school cultures?

Part of the reason why these organizations have been exploring a potential partnership is because there is common ground between the two. Both program models focus on community, relevant academics, respect, relationships, and social emotional learning. While there are no plans to make changes to the CLIC program, we look forward to embracing the common philosophies at all three schools and sharing best practices across the network. 

 

In the meantime, New LA is eager to start building relationships with families from City Charter Schools and will be hosting several events this winter for families, including open houses and coffee events with school leadership at New LA. New LA is looking forward to making connections and sharing more about their programs with the City community. 

 

When will we have more information about what’s happening?

As soon as we have news about any of the proposed changes, we will share them with you via email. We will also keep this website updated with current information. You may send questions to Dr. Brooke Rios, Executive Director, New Los Angeles Charter Schools at brios@newlosangeles.org or Robert Vidaña, Executive Director, City Charter Schools at rvidana@citycharterschools.org at any time.

 

Will the LAUSD school board approve this? What happens if LAUSD does not approve New LA becoming CLIC’s parent charter school organization? What will happen to each school if this partnership is not approved?

If the LAUSD School Board does not approve our proposed changes, each school will continue to operate as it has been. New LA Elementary and New LA Charter School (Middle School) will remain under the New LA Charter Schools network, and CLIC will operate as a single site charter school.

 

So many charter schools have failed in the last 10 years. Does this mean the schools are failing?

There are many successful, high functioning charter schools in the Los Angeles area. Combining individual schools into a larger network has helped other smaller charter school organizations thrive. That is our goal with these proposed changes.

What is a charter management organization (CMO) or network?

A charter management organization is the home office for a group of charter schools. A home office may provide additional support and resources to schools in a network in the areas of compliance, operations, academics, governance, fiscal management, human resources, culture, and enrollment. 

 

Who will lead the new organization?

If the partnership goes through, the current executive director of New LA Charter Schools, Dr. Brooke Rios, will continue to lead the new network of schools.

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