In Partnership with 74

By missing deadline, CWC charter sent looking for new home

Vanessa Romo | May 27, 2014

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Horace Mann Middle School LAUSD

Horace Mann Middle School

While officials of Citizens of the World Mar Vista said last week they were blindsided to learn they would not be returning to their shared campus at Stoner Avenue Elementary, LA Unified said today CWC was notified nearly a month earlier that it could remain at the site if the school wanted to stay.

It was CWC’s failure to reply by a May 1 deadline, seeking clarification of the school’s intent, that lead to its removal from the campus in the neighborhood of Del Rey.

“The district, per the regulatory deadline, provided them an offer letter to stay at Stoner in April, and CWC had until May 1 to respond,” Jose Cole-Gutierrez, director of the charter schools division told LA School Report.

The option to remain at Stoner would have allowed the K-2 school to expand into another grade level as it moved into its second year, boosting enrollment by 75 students.

“However, the district  did not receive a response until May 9 — after the deadline,” said Cole-Gutierrez.

He would not confirm, however, whether CWC had accepted the district’s invitation to stay on the Westside. Nor would he confirm whether CWC has accepted an offer to relocate in Horace Mann Middle School, near Inglewood.

The question of why CWC failed to meet a deadline that its officials were aware of suggests that they were not entirely genuine in asserting last week that they were “taken by surprise” by a district letter to Stoner parents, informing them that no charter would be co-located at their campus in the 2014-2015 school year.

Their inaction also suggests that they may not have wanted to remain at Stoner, where parents of both schools have been engaged in a digital, and sometimes physical, conflict over the integration of the two schools.

Amy Held, Executive Director of CWC Los Angeles, told LA School Report, that as of today, the charter school has not been offered an alternative site.

But Cole-Gutierrez provided LA School Report a letter from LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy addressed to Held, dated May 14, “aimed to finding a workable solution to its facilities needs.” In it, the district offered CWC a new home  at Mann.

It remains unclear whether CWC will accept.

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