Tag Archive for: CRES14

Super activist and local resident extraordinaire Windy O’Malley sent us an update today on the new school, CRES #14, being built in Echo Park near the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Alvarado. Monday evening, the Echo Park Moms for Education group held a pizza party at Pizza Buona to help educate the community about the school, as well as the efforts by group to have a say in the school’s future. Here’s what she has to say:

Micki Curtis and Gabriella Waterman deliver petition to Nancy Gonzalaz, assistant to Yoli Flores. Photo by Windy O'Malley

Hello, I am happy to report that the Pizza Party for the community was a great success bringing together the very people that CRES #,4’s construction has effected and the the children that will attend the school. As parents, we are working tirelessly to reach out to our neighbors and friends in hope that together the LAUSD school board will finally listen to us.

We are happy to say more that 50 community members and children attended the event.

Also yesterday [Tuesday, March 1], the Echo Park Moms for Education attempted to hand deliver the 655 signatures we have gathered online and on the streets of our community in support of the Community Partners plan. We were unable to meet with any LAUSD Board Member, but handed the petitions to their assistants, who repeated expressed that the board members would meet with “no one regarding the plans as they didn’t have time to meet with everyone, and did not want to be bias regarding the decision.” We, The Echo Park Moms for Education, are not a part of either proposal, we only are concerned citizens who see that one proposal would be the best school for our community. We are disturbed that there is not a place for the Board Members to speak to the actual people and community this school is affecting.

We only want to be heard and consulted. This will be our school and we deserve a voice.

The school board is expected to make a decision on who will run the new school (Camino Nuevo Charter School or the Echo Park Community Partners Plan Design Team) on March 15.

You can read my latest article about CRES #14 here. The Eastsider LA has also been following the matter very closely, click here for today’s article.

On January 27, community members, teachers and parents came out to vote on the future of CRES #14, and the votes have been tallied. The League of Women Voters reports the majority of voters chose the Echo Park Community Design Team Partners over Camino Nuevo (see graph above). This information comes ahead of the school board’s decision regarding CRES14 on Monday, March 15, 2011 (note: the date was previously pushed back from February to after the March 8 elections).

Also, according to an email from local resident Windy O’Malley via the Echo Park Improvement Association, a representative from the LAUSD told them in a meeting a couple of weeks ago that 232 middle school seats would be set aside for the “zone of choice (including all of the Greater Echo Park Area). Any school that inhabits the site will have to comply,” she writes. That’s good news for those community members fighting for a place for Echo Park students in the future school, considering it was built in Echo Park where our neighbor’s homes once existed.

The Echo Park Community Partners Plan design team and The Echo Park Parents for Community and Education are hosting a free “pizza party” today at Pizza Buona in Echo Park. Everyone is invited to attend, have some pizza, and learn more! Click here for the organization’s website and on how to get involved.

Learn more at today’s meeting, Monday, February 28, from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm at Pizza Buona, located at 2100 W. Sunset Blvd.

A group of parents, community members, and teachers are throwing an “information party” so people can learn more about the plans for CRES#14, the new school being built on Alvarado and Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. Members of the design team, teachers and community members will talk about the Echo Park Community Partners Design Team plan.

The Echo Park Moms for Education group is circulating a petition in support of the Echo Park Community Partners Design Team proposal, as opposed to adopting plans from the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

Here’s an excerpt from the petition:

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.

If you’re interested in discussing this issue with fellow Echo Park community members, regardless of which proposal you are in support of, check it out:

Saturday, February 19 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

The Episcopal Cathedral Congregation – St. Paul
840 Echo Park Ave., in the meeting room

Coffee and treats will be served.

Related articles:

  • “CRES #14, a New School in LAUSD & An Interview With Windy O’Malley of Echo Park Moms For Education.” K-12 News Network, February 16, 2011.
  • “Lobbying Around Leadership at Echo Park’s New School Heats Up.” Echo Park Patch, February 15, 2011.
  • “Get involved: Almost time to vote on new Echo Park school.” Echo Park Now, January 25, 2011.

Construction is wrapping up at CRES#14 - the site previously occupied by 50 homes

We received a submission from Echo Park resident, business owner, and Echo Park Mom’s Group for Education member Micki Curtis. Very concerned about the upcoming vote on Central Region Elementary School (CRES) #14, Micki is calling for the community to get involved immediately so that the community gets what it deserves with this school. Here’s what she has to say:

Dear Fellow Parents and Community Members, I am writing to you as a concerned parent and community member. A couple of years ago, the LAUSD won the battle to destroy over 50 homes and close an access street [Marathon] to build a new school facility currently called CRES #14. Click here to read some of the back story on Curbed LA.

Now that the building is almost completed, the LAUSD is using the CHOICES process to decide who will inhabit this publicly funded project. I have been attending meetings and following the decision process as to which type of school (there are two different proposals) will inhabit the new elementary and middle school facility at Sunset and Alvarado. The two proposals are: a mostly Spanish-language school called Camino Nuevo (not language emergence, but bilingual), and the second school, yet to be named but with a working title of “Echo Park Community Partners Design Team.” The second proposal has continually grasped my deep interest – it is an amazing school for the entire community.

Read more

If you’re curious about what’s going on in Echo Park and the greater area, there’s a GEPENC meeting tonight at 6:30 pm at the Rosemont Avenue Elementary School Auditorium, located at 421 N. Rosemont Avenue.

Why go? Besides being involved in your community, there are some items posted in the agenda that have been of particular interested to the Echo Park community:

  • May be voting on supporting the new Sunset Beer Company’s application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUB) and a Mitigated Negative Declaration (ZA 2010-2048 CUB/ENV-2010-2049 MND). Those permits will allow for on-site sales of wine and beer for their 14-seat tasting room, as well as the sale of beer and wine for off-site consumption.
  • 64-unit complex on Sunset Blvd. and Elsinore: Will review without committee recommendation. If you want to know if there are any updates to this project, this will be the time as the developer has been working with the Neighborhood Council on design plans.
  • Discussion/possible allocation of $2,500.00 dollars to the Echo Park Historical Society for the repair and maintenance of the Jensen’s Recreation Center sign. This is great as the sign has been left unlit for quite a few years now, and the money is coming in from GEPENC as a matching grant.
  • May vote on authorizing a letter to the bidders of CRES #14 (EPN wrote about this issue recently) emphasizing the support of parental and community involvement in the process, and GEPENC’s role in outreach to the community.

You can review the full agenda here.

Last night’s Echo Park Improvement Association Neighborhood Issues Committee meeting brought out well over 30 people to Williams Hall at Barlow Hospital to discuss community concerns about CRES#14, an LAUSD school being built near the busy intersection of Alvarado and Sunset Blvd.

Chieko Rupp, now retired from the LAUSD, spoke at the meeting as the “point person” of the design team that is writing the proposal for CRES#14. Although not an official rep from the LAUSD, she and the team will be submitting the final project proposal to the LAUSD for review.

Here’s a run-down of what is being discussed for the future of CRES#14:

  • It will be Pre-kindergarten through eighth grade
  • Because the school was initially built to alleviate over-crowded elementary schools (and continued to be the focus even after elementary schools became under-enrolled), the school will include elementary age students. One of the reasons include construction – some classrooms were built specifically for smaller children.
  • It will be a “span” school
  • Initial plans are that it will pull predominantly from areas to the south and west of the school, areas that do not include Echo Park. This, however, is not set in stone, but it’s the “boundary office” that determines which areas the school will pull from. Schools include Virgil and King, which are heavily overcrowded
  • Curriculum focus will be music, arts, language and technology
  • Capacity of the school is approximately 800, but they expect around 500 with about 35 classrooms (three may be used for a senior citizen’s organization)
  • Will be a single zone of choice, meaning kids won’t be forced to go in there but will instead have the opportunity to apply

It is difficult to completely understand some of the complicated terminology revolving “choice” schools, “span” schools, etc., but what we do understand are the concerns of the community when it comes to the LAUSD opening up a Pre-K through 8 school (and run by a charter school) in Echo Park. Many of the residents at the meeting focused on getting the point across that:

  • Echo Park should benefit from the school: 50 homes were destroyed, hundreds of people were displaced. This community needs a middle school, why not use the new school to provide this much-needed service? Why destroy a part of our community only to keep us from primarily benefiting?
  • We don’t need another elementary school: Existing elementary schools are losing teachers, and enrollment is going down. Opening up another elementary school could negatively impact our beloved elementary schools which, if they were to close, would severely impact the community.
  • Make CRES#14 a middle school, or at least make it the primary focus: Assuming we can’t do anything about there being elementary-age classes offered, if  the focus remain on middle school students it might help alleviate community concerns about our schools. However, there’s no guarantee that this will actually be followed through by the LAUSD and the chosen charter school until the decisions are made.

The question is: Will the LAUSD actually listen to the concerns of the community, and cooperate?

The good news? We were promised that nothing, absolutely nothing was set in stone and that we are still in proposal phase. There will be additional meetings prior to the proposal submital for community members to provide input. Deadline for the proposal is December 1, 2010, and the Board is schedule to make the final decision on February 22, 2011. Keep your eye out for these meetings here on Echo Park Now, and follow the EPIA website for announcements regarding those meetings.

Also make sure to follow The Eastsider LA for more detailed analysis of CRES#14 and the issues surrounding it.