New Magnet Elementary Promises More Quality Instruction in Mid-City

By Erik Derr, Mid-City Press Contributing Writer



MID-CITY—As a community activist and mother in Los Angeles’s Mid-City, pills Chris Carlson has long understood the local cost of a good education.

“For many families who want something better for their children, treat it’s meant traveling outside of the neighborhood to find good-quality schools, buy ” she said.

That’s why Carlson, education chair for the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC), believes the newly-announced Mid-City Center for Enriched Sciences—which will replace the current kindergarten through 8th grade Mid-City Magnet at the corner of West Adams Boulevard and Arlington Avenue—will be a boon to the community.

It’s a new program that “represents real opportunity,” she said.

Scheduled to open next fall, the school is one of four “Global Awareness Magnets” established by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and funded through a $3.6 million federal grant, according to Estelle Luckett, director of the district’s student integration services.

The Mid-City program will cater to approximately 300 1st through 5th grade children and, with an emphasis on scientific achievement, provide an opportunity for students “to develop and demonstrate global competency and acquire the knowledge needed to interact productively and respectfully with people from diverse areas,” Luckett said in a prepared release. “Students will learn to be critical thinkers” able to consider “real life issues.”

Carlson says the new school was specifically designed to provide a greater range of cultural and instructional options for youth in Mid-City, who run a high risk of being culturally and racially “isolated.”

Students must apply for enrollment into the new magnet and are randomly selected for enrollment based on a series of curriculum and demographic-based criteria unique to Mid-City service areas. Once they’re accepted into the magnet, however, students will be given a pathway into the nationally-recognized Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) 6th through 12th grade program, Carlson said.

Carlson said the Mid-City magnet will prove key in promoting a healthy overall community.

“If you have a quality school and it’s not a bad commute, then you can build a school community that reflects the neighborhood community,” and promotes a stronger spirit of shared responsibility, she said.

The three other new magnets include: Tom Bradley Academy for Global Awareness, for students grades 1 through 5 with a focus on politics; Westside Global Awareness Magnet, offering an environment-based curriculum to grades kindergarten through 8th; and Collins Center for Enriched Sciences, which, like Mid-City, also instructs grades 1st through 5th with an emphasis on science.

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