In Partnership with 74

CWC charter tells LAUSD it wants to stay at Stoner Elementary

Vanessa Romo | May 29, 2014

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CWC Mar Vista Charter School LAUSD

CWC Mar Vista Charter School

Citizens of the World Mar Vista (CWC) wants to remain a citizen at Stoner Avenue Elementary School in Del Rey next year despite months of bitter fighting between parents of students at the two schools.

In a letter sent to LA Unified officials today, CWC denies it missed the district’s deadline to respond to the offer to stay and expand as a co-located school on the Del Rey campus, as district officials reported earlier this week.

CWC officials also rejected the district’s proposition to relocate its co-location to Horace Mann Middle School, 15 miles away.

Sarah Kollman, a lawyer who drafted the letter addressed to district General Counsel David Holmquist said, “In addition to making a timely verbal acceptance in early February, in both the middle and at the end of March and multiple times prior to May 1, 2014, CWC MV also accepted the allocation of space at Stoner in writing via email, and verbally.”

CWC is demanding the district officials recognize its May 9 response accepting the invitation to continue to grow at Stoner.

By removing CWC from its current location, Kollman asserts, the district is rewarding “mean-spirited, potentially defamatory, and criminal efforts of a few non-representative individuals who live near the Stoner campus” who seek to “intimidate CWC MV parents, bully the school, and drive district policy through the court of public opinion.”

Last week the district informed Stoner parents that they would not have to share the campus with CWC next year.

“First and foremost we have every right to stay here,” Amy Held, Executive Director of CWC and parent of a kindergarten student at the school, told LA School Report.

“We’ve invested a lot frankly,” she said. “A lot of energy and time into being good neighbors and being good partners. We have worked incredibly hard with the Del Rey neighborhood council and with folks at Stoner to really make some inroads and get over the hump of lots of the tumult there.”

Held concedes the scuffles between parents, ostensibly over parking and traffic congestion, have been challenging but says relations between the schools’ staffs are positive.

“Our principals work really effectively together and have a strong working relationship and partnership,” she said. “They have formed a liaison group with parents and teachers from both schools “to open up the lines of communication between all of our stakeholders.”

“I don’t think that exists at any other co-located school in the district,” Held added.

In case that the district is not swayed by CWC’s letter, Held says her school would be “very flexible” about considering other options so long as they are in close proximity to the current location. The letter offers to consider any other school that would be accessible to CWC students by foot or bicycle.

“This is the community we serve and this school is for our community,  so it would need to be somewhere in the general vicinity,” she said.

But whatever the location, she says, with only a few weeks of school remaining before the end of the year, “we are anxious, obviously, to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Our parents want to know: where are their kids going to school next year?”

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