Voters weigh in on fate of new South L.A. high school

By Riley McDonald Vaca

L.A. Unified teacher Juan Puentes presents a plan for one of the small schools at the new high school complex on Central and Gage Ave.

Parents, students, teachers, school staff, and community members crowded into the auditorium at Edison Middle School Tuesday night to review plans for the newly constructed high school on Central and Gage Ave.

The school is set to open this fall with about 1,600 students who formerly attended long-overcrowded Fremont High School.

The plan is for four small, independent schools on the site, joined together by a common vision of meaningful community involvement. Students will be able to choose between the four themed small schools: public service, communications and technology, green design, and performing arts.

The site will share resources such as athletic teams and a community/welcome center.

Like every new school in L.A. Unified, the new high school is going through the Public School Choice process.

A teacher group, the union, and the district teamed up with community members to develop the plan presented on Tuesday. The site is the only new school in this year’s Public School Choice process to have only one bidder. However, there is still a community advisory vote prior to the School Board’s decision, and presenters asked the people in the audience to take the vote seriously.

“We need the community to send a message to the district that we need these schools,” said Erica Hamilton, a teacher who worked to create the plan.

Voting for the plan opened after the presentation, and continues this Saturday.