Two South LA Schools Surpass API Goals Using Community Schools Strategy


Helen Kantor
Los Angeles Education Partnership
(213) 622-5237 x 274


LOS ANGELES (September 8, 2011) –  Two Los Angeles schools, John C. Fremont High School and  Edison Middle School, exceeded their Academic Performance Index targets for 2010-2011.

Edison Middle School gained 56 points, more than five times its point growth target. Edison is also one of three middle schools on the LAUSD honor roll of consistently improving schools. Fremont High School gained 20 points, substantially exceeding its 12 point growth target.

Only 60% of LAUSD schools and 54% of schools statewide met their growth targets. Partners, including Los Angeles Education Partnership, have provided community school and professional development support to both schools.

Using a Community Schools Strategy
Both schools, serving families from the high poverty Florence Firestone and surrounding areas of Los Angeles, have implemented a community school strategy. A community school is a partnership that coordinates academic, health and social services to raise student achievement, engage parents and involve communities in their schools.

This September, Bethune Middle School, which feeds into Fremont High School, began creating a community school under the guidance of LAEP. Bethune Middle School gained 47 points, more than five times its 9 point growth target. Also in September, the new South Region High School #2 opened to alleviate crowding at Fremont, and is implementing the LAEP community school strategy across a feeder pattern that includes Edison Middle and Miramonte Elementary Schools.

Through the community school collaboratives, LAEP facilitates the efforts of dedicated students, parents, teachers, administrators and community partners to combat barriers to student success. The collaboratives in the Fremont feeder pattern receive major funding from the Stuart and W.M. Keck Foundations and others.

“LAEP’s community schools approach never loses sight of the important connection between school instruction and leadership, and the supports needed by students and their families,” said Rhonnel Sotelo, Vice President for Program & Operations at the Stuart Foundation. “The early results at Fremont and Edison are promising, and a testament to the commitment of the district, LAEP, and other partners to transform this community’s educational experience.”

These community schools, as well as four others in the northeast San Fernando Valley for which LAEP serves as lead agency, are demonstrating that the committed efforts of educators, parents, students and nonprofit community organizations can substantially contribute to improving the academic and social environments at high-need schools.

About the Academic Performance Index
The Academic Performance Index reflects the results of statewide testing in multiple subject areas. API scores range from 200 to 1000, and the state’s goal is that every school have an API score of 800. The API growth target for a school is calculated as 5% of the difference between the school’s API score and 800.

Partners in South LA Community Schools
Beyond the Bell, Cadre, Community Coalition, GRYD LA Mayor’s Office, Councilmember Jan Perry, j.k. livin’ foundation, LA County Probation Dept., LAUSD, LAUSD School Mental Health, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Shields for Families, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, UMMA, Unusual Suspects Theatre Company.

About Los Angeles Education Partnership
Los Angeles Education Partnership’s mission is to help students in high-need schools improve their academic achievement by partnering with educators, parents and the community.  Founded in 1984, LAEP became the first educational-transformation organization in Los Angeles and among those at the forefront of the movement nationwide.  LAEP focuses efforts on creating more effective teaching and learning environments in small schools, connecting parents and communities to schools to overcome learning barriers, and disseminating best practices and what they have learned from their work.  Each year, LAEP serves more than 1,600 educators and 80,000 students from prekindergarten through high school in high-poverty, multicultural communities across Los Angeles County. For more information about LAEP, please visit

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