Concerned Parents of Echo Park

  • by: Echo Park Mom's for Education
  • recipient: Communicate to Mr. Cortines, Mr. Deasy, Ms. Garcia, Ms Flores Aguilar and All LAUSD that Echo Park needs an inclusive school.
We are concerned parents, taxpayers, residents, employees, and neighbors in Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown, Los Feliz, Silverlake, and the other communities which comprise the attendance boundary of Central Region Elementary School 14. We value the contribution a school facility can make to the community it serves, and the importance of designing it to be an integral part of this community. The school site is situated in Echo Park, one the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles. We want our community voices heard collectively through this petition because we want this school to be governed by the community. Of the two plans proffered for CRES 14, only the LD4 & Echo Park Community Plan allows for a degree of direct governance of the school by the community. We believe that having decision making power for both parents and community members is essential in both terms of self determination and direct participation. In addition, this is the only proposal that recognizes and is designed for our multi-cultural population. Therefore, we the undersigned want the LAUSD Board to award CRES 14 to the LD4 & Echo Park Community partnership.
Dear LAUSD, We are concerned parents who live close to new elementary and Middle school now called Cres #14. WE have followed the development of the school and the choice of what kind of School will inhabit the building come this August. After attending many community meetings and reading the two proposals we have to commit our full support to the Echo Park Community Partners Design Team. it is AN AMAZING school for OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY.

The Echo park Community Design Team have created a proposal , taking into consideration the richness of the arts and history in our community. It includes arts, science, dual language and a place for ALL THE CHILDREN who exist in our diverse Echo Park/Silverlake community. They are partnered with LAPHIL, CAL-ARTS, MOCA and the TREE PEOPLE to offer unique opportunities to the students. They plan not only a progressive learning school but a progressive campus servicing pre-K-8th grade, and geared toward being a feeder to the Central High #9 fine arts school. Their proposal includes: Project based learning, Arts education, Dual-language, Environmental Science, Technology,  and Inclusive Curriculum reflecting our communities diversity. The school will have grades PreK-8, Multi-age classrooms, team teaching, Handicapped accessible, athletics fields, shaded lunch areas and a parent center.  
WOW right? The problem is Camino Nuevo has a lot more support ( they currently have 5 Existing Campuses near us why do they need a 4th?)  and even though I think it's a good school for new immigrants it is not a true reflection of what we need in our changing community now and in our future. When asked about non-Spanish speakers learning at Camino Nuevo, Ana F. Ponce, the Director and CEO responded, "You have a choice not to attend Camino Nuevo if you don't speak Spanish". How is that legal to have a publicly funded school and administration that doesn't serve the entire community? It is fine to have a charter that teaches whatever it wants in whatever way it professes, but this school Cress #14 will NOT BE A CHARTER, it will NOT BE A LOTTERY. It will be a neighborhood school entirely funded by the LAUSD via taxpayers and a Union LAUSD SCHOOL.
Our neighboring  schools are poor performing schools. Is it only Ivanhoe, Wonderland or Beverly Hills children that deserve a progressive and successful school? The Echo Park Community partners proposal will be a dual language program. 
Currently, every parent WE know who lives around here sends their children to private school or drives a distance to magnets and charters outside our area. There is NOTHING in our area for  a GREAT education.  This school could be the answer. The campus is there, the proposal there, the funding is there but we have to support it and vote for it or Camino Nuevo will get that amazing new state-of-the-art campus and in essence run a specialized charter program for only some of the community but completely funded by all our community.
This new school at CRES #14 is literally built on the backs and homes of our community we have right to have a school that considers all of it's taxpaying citizen, not only the English Learners.The OTHER important point I need to make to you is the attendance area:
 The school is at the junction of Sunset and Alvarado which has long been a topic of discussion as it a major intersection for commuters and is the on again off again boundary that is Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods.  WE URGE YOU TO please give us a reasonable boundary line drawn in a radius of the school so children can walk to school pre-k-8th grade and not BUS two and a half miles to King Middle school.  Please include the other low performing area schools on the attendance area that are within walking distance. INCLUDING Mayberry, Logan and Michaeltorena . I promise you parents from Clifford, Elysian heights and Angelino Heights are also in need of a GOOD SCHOOL OPTION in our area. 
Thank You for you time.  
Sincerely yours. Windy O'Malley and Micki Curtis, Concerned mothers and co-founds of The Echo Park Mom's for Education
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