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Charter School Invites Students to a Whole-Person Educational Experience

Students in a classroom watch as another student explores a virtual world with VR goggles
(Jonathan Friolo
California Creative Learning Academy)
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“The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity,” said American astronaut, engineer and physician Mae Jemison.

It's a powerful affirmation from one of today’s greatest minds. That’s why a comprehensive arts education is at the core of CalCreative charter school’s mission and method. CalCreative, established in 2006 and formerly known as Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, serves students from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade at two campuses in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. There’s no tuition, and the diverse student body comes from throughout the city.

Young students tend to an urban garden planter
(Jonathan Friolo
California Creative Learning Academy)

CalCreative’s vision is to transform the world through inquiry, innovation, and interconnectedness. By following a curriculum that incorporates holistic learning, authentic experiences, and the agency to effect social change, students learn to understand themselves and their ability to advocate as responsible citizens who contribute positively to their communities.

“I have been a teacher at this amazing school for many years,” says Evelyn Serrano, director of Arts Integration. “I continue to be inspired by its mission of providing inspiring, arts-integrated, and project-based learning education to our students. I am inspired by my remarkable colleagues, who are lifelong learners and thoroughly committed to making our school a place for rigorous, standard-based learning for all our kiddos. I am inspired by my students! I have the privilege of witnessing and supporting their development into courageous, kind, collaborative and creative scholars.”

Is CalCreative Right for Your Student?

Whether students are diving deeply into math and science or working on language and writing skills, experiences such as dance, music, drama and visual arts help inform the learning process. This integration is an effective way to focus on the child’s educational needs and skills in a decidedly holistic way, incorporating “left-brain/right-brain” functionality — yet the rigorous academics ensure your child will be ready for whatever higher learning comes next. CalCreative adheres to the California Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, National Core Art Standards, and the California Content Standards in History/Social Science. In addition, it integrates Social Justice Standards from Learning for Justice as well as Social Emotional Learning practices to help students develop in communication, empathy, and problem solving.

Students work on projects in a state-of-the-art school lab
(Jonathan Friolo
California Creative Learning Academy)

The school’s methodology includes Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop, which shifts reading and writing choices from teachers to students and allows students to reach their own levels of competence through small group instruction, independent work, and customized lessons. And Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), researched for more than 20 years, teaches math by leveraging the child’s natural problem-solving abilities.

The school can also help as a resource for those learners who need mental health support, as well as students who require an individualized education plan, commonly known as an IEP.

“Both of my boys have been here since kindergarten and love coming to school,” says CalCreative parent Shannon Noel. “From the social-emotional learning to the arts integration to the absolutely amazing and dedicated teachers, admin and staff, we feel so fortunate to have happened upon this terrific free, public school in the middle of our city.”

There are still admission spots available for the 2021-22 school year. Apply or learn more at www.calcreative.org.