CWC charter finds yet another new home, at least for a year
Vanessa Romo | July 23, 2014
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Citizens of the World Mar Vista has a new new home.
The charter school, which was forced to move from its co-location site at Stoner Elementary School after a tumultuous year, has turned down LA Unified’s most recent offer for classroom space and is moving onto a Catholic school campus.
CWC finalized a one-year deal with St. Joan of Arc in West Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Archdiocese last week — it will remain an LA Unified charter school.
“We are thrilled that we found a place where we can accommodate all of our students in one location,” Jana Reed, Chief of Schools for CWC Charter Schools, told LA School Report.
In June, CWC officials agreed to split the K – 3 school between two district campuses in Westchester — Loyola Village and Kenwood Elementary — a situation Reed described as “far from ideal.” So CWC’s “very active parents” continued the search for an alternative school site.
It was one of them who found the church property, formerly a private school that has gone largely unused for several years.
“Our parents are really committed so they just kept looking,” Reed said. “We really didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”
CWC’s 220 students will have the new campus all to themselves. Reed says it will be much more expensive to operate the school at a non-LAUSD site.
“Our rent with the district would have been about $105,000. Now we’re going to be paying twice that” for the year, she said. But despite the cost increase, Reed insists the school’s budget remains intact.
The co-location with Stoner last year was marked by arguments and acrimony, with disputes over traffic and parking as a proxy for a larger fight over co-location rights and the state law that gave rise to them a decade ago. But it was a missed paperwork deadline that eventually lead to CWC’s removal from Stoner.
Weeks of negotiations ensued and an offer to move to Horace Mann Middle School was rejected before CWC agreed to take over five classrooms at Loyola Village and two classrooms at Kentwood, plus room for an administrative offer at each site.
But it all appears moot, now that CWC has found a new home — at least for a year — although Reed says she’s learned an important lesson through the search experience: “Start much sooner.”
“We are already working with our facilities committee to look at options for next year,” she said.
* Clarifies who is speaking for CWC Charter Schools.