Observing classroom activities on opening day of the new high school on the CSUN campus are, from left, standing, LAUSD Local District 1 Superintendent Bob Collins, CSUN President Jolene Koester, and LAUSD board members Julie Korenstein and Jon Lauritzen. .
The first new Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high school in more than 30 years has opened its doors on the Cal State Northridge campus, launching an educational partnership that aims to improve the education of high school students.
At a September 9 news conference with LAUSD Superintendent of Schools Roy Romer, President Jolene Koester welcomed the students and staff of Valley New High School No. 1--the facility's temporary name--to the Northridge campus.
"This high school will be a true model educational partnership," said Koester. "What better location than Cal State Northridge, where the university has a nationally renowned teacher preparation program that also is one of the largest such programs in California?"
Among those joining Koester and Romer at the news conference--marking the first of eight district-wide openings of new LAUSD schools that day--were Philip Rusche, dean of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education at Northridge; Valley New High School No. 1 principal Connie Semf; LAUSD Board President Josˇ Huizar; LAUSD board members Julie Korenstein and Jon Lauritzen, both CSUN alumni; LAUSD Local District 1 Superintendent Bob Collins, and United Teachers of Los Angeles President John Perez, also a CSUN alumnus.
"The transformation of the L.A. school district is well underway," said Romer of the high school opening, the first in the district since the 1971 opening of John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, another Valley location.
With the opening at CSUN, officials also began a long-planned, innovative district/university partnership on curriculum, professional development and other educational ventures.
Cal State Northridge will work with the new high school to enhance the achievement of students and create an outstanding model for university/high school collaboration, said Bonnie Ericson, Northridge secondary education chair and campus liaison to the new school. "The high school students will be better prepared for college, and our own students will be better prepared to become teachers."
CSUN teacher credential students will do their student teaching at the high school, and high school students will share supervised access to various university facilities and resources.
A 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 27, will mark the official opening of the new $36 million high school, located on a 5.1-acre parcel at Zelzah Avenue and Halsted Street, on CSUN's eastern border. The school's gymnasium, cafeteria and fourth floor are undergoing final completion work in the meantime.
The facility also has 38 classrooms, a library, an auditorium and physical education areas.
Built to reduce overcrowding in the attendance areas of Monroe, Granada Hills Charter and Cleveland High Schools, the 115,000 square foot high school has an enrollment of about 600 ninth and tenth grade students.
Ultimately, it will grow to 1,000 students from grades 9Š12. All students are from nearby neighborhoods; no LAUSD busing program will serve the new school.
After exposure to all three of the school's "academies"--Careers in Education; Health and Human Development; Arts, Media and Communication--each student will select one for future coursework emphasis.
For school information, call (818) 700-2222.
@csun | September 20, 2004 issue
Public Relations | University Advancement
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