Local District-South Provides More Pathways to Colleges and Careers

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 23, 2017) – In response to local community needs, the Los Angeles Unified School District said two new theme-based high schools will be opened in the fall of 2018 in South Los Angeles.

The new medical magnet (located on the campus of Samuel Gompers Middle School) and public service school (located on the campus of Charles R. Drew Middle School) will bring a rigorous set of high school courses required for entering the University of California and California State University, while also providing students with pathways to college and career success.

The new schools, inspired by models with similar demographics, supported by a grant from Great Public Schools Now and allied with the Los Angeles Community College District, will provide young people with an array of academic choices.

Once again, Local District South is leading the way in creating pathways and valued partnerships that will bring tremendous learning opportunities for the children of South Los Angeles,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic, whose district includes the schools. “The partnerships created by Local District-South should serve as a model for the rest of the district on how to give our students the abilities to make their own future." 


Integral to the new high schools’ success is an expanded agreement announced last Friday with the Los Angeles Community College District to provide students with college courses while in high school. Medical magnet students may select pathways such as health and related sciences, while pursuing an associate’s degree. Public services students may choose classes in the business and public services pathway that include: anthropology, music, history, foreign language, political science and English—each building toward an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts.

Regarding the partnership’s potential, Laurence B. Frank, president, Los Angeles Trade Technical College said: “Concurrent enrollment serves as an opportunity for high school students to see themselves in a college environment, to challenge themselves with curriculum not always found in high schools, and to move closer to their goals for higher learning. Trade Tech’s partnership with L.A. Unified supports student success, and is a true gateway to higher education for so many communities.”

The themed programs trace the academic blueprints outlined by their respective model schools, King/Drew Medical Magnet and Diego Rivera, Public Service Community School. Beyond recreating the academic environment that typifies them, the new schools seek to duplicate social and emotional support systems, too. Partnerships with colleges and the workplace, coalitions of parents and community members, and alliances with foundations and district entities will characterize both schools.

“We are honored and pleased to make strides toward opening ‘replication’ schools as part of our grants from Great Public Schools Now and to simultaneously extend our work with Trade Tech,” said Local District South Superintendent Christopher Downing.

He added, “Our mission is to guarantee all students greater opportunity, more options, and additional pathways to college and career success. This will continue our efforts to bring about a renaissance for our South Los Angeles schools.” 

The new high schools will begin enrolling students in January 2018. 


Pictured: Friday’s ceremony announcing nine more high schools in Local District-South will join Mervyn M. Dymally High School in partnering with Los Angeles Trade Technical College to offer college courses to District students. (Left to Right): Christopher Downing, superintendent, Local District-South; Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, chancellor, Los Angeles Community College District; Laurence B. Frank, Los Angeles Trade Technical College; Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III, Los Angeles Board of Education, District 1; Nancy Ceballos, deputy chief of staff, District 7; Vivian Ekchian, acting superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District. (Photo by Mayra Arriaga)

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