Local Youth Enjoy a Rare ‘Snow Day’ in Los Angeles

December 6, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

(Photo courtesy of the Office of Councilmember Ed Reyes)

More than 400 children from 43 schools in the First District celebrated with Councilmember Ed Reyes the 12th Annual Holiday Event at Grace Simons Lodge in Elysian Park.  The event marked the last such event for the Councilmember who will be termed out in June of 2013.

“This event has been, and will always be one of the most memorable of my career here. It has been wonderful providing this celebration for twelve consecutive seasons,” Reyes said.

Vernon City Council Recognizes Employees

December 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Vernon Mayor William J. Davis presents firefighter Douglas Baker with a service pin at Monday’s city council meeting, acknowledging Baker’s 20 years in the department.

At the same meeting, the Vernon Firemen’s Association presented a representative from the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure-Los Angeles with a check for the funds they had raised for the charity organization.

Commerce Starts Bus Service to Shopping, Entertainment

December 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Adventuring just got a little easier in the City of Commerce, which has launched an express bus service to a number of entertainment venues, and to bring tourists and shoppers to some of Commerce’s main attractions.

Commerce’s “Citadel Outlets Express” bus line has been operating since Nov. 10, but at 9 a.m. on Dec. 11 the city will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the official launch of the free service created in partnership with the Citadel Outlets.

“We look forward to celebrating this amazing new service that will get tourists, shoppers and commuters to exciting destinations in the City of Commerce and Downtown Los Angeles,” said Commerce Mayor Lilia R. Leon in a written statement.

The Citadel Outlets Express is free and will travel to and from the Citadel Outlets, Union Station, L.A. Live, Nokia Theater, Staples Center as well as the Commerce Casino, according to a city press release.

The bus line will operate between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. to 6:47 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will also serve as a connector to Metro’s “Dodger Stadium Express.”

For more information on the Citadel Outlets Express, call the Commerce Transportation Department at (323) 887-4419, or visit the Commerce website at www.ci.commerce.ca.us

Construction Update at Garfield High School

December 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

(EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

Construction crews are about halfway done building Garfield High School’s new administration building and auditorium. The workers have been pulling double-shifts in order to complete the construction by next summer, according to Garfield Principal Jose Huerta. Students and staff are expected to occupy the new facilities at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, Huerta said. The previous administration building and auditorium were damaged in a 2007 arson fire and were demolished in 2010.

Read previous stories on Garfield’s construction at EGPnews.com

Open Enrollment School ‘Choice’ Ends Dec. 31

December 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Students at 1,000 of California’s “lowest performing” schools have until Dec. 31 to request a transfer to another school, even in another school district.

The Open Enrollment Act, authored by former State Senator Gloria Romero and which became law in 2010, requires the California Department of Education to each year release a list of the state’s lowest performing schools — designated as such according to a specific set of criteria included in the legislation — to the public. It also gives parents of students at schools on the list the right to take their child out of the school and to enroll the student in a better performing school, provided space is available.

Romero, who is now the director of Education Reform Now, recently announced the start of the  “Have Choice –Unleashing Parental Voices” campaign focused on informing parents about their rights under the Open Enrollment Act of 2010.

“We must take every step to let California parents know they have a short window to use their rights and take action,” Romero said in a news release.

According to Education Reform Now, the 2010 Act “enhances parental choice in education” by giving parents more options in their child’s education. No longer does a child have to remain at a low-performing school, nor is private school tuition the only alternative, according to backers of the campaign.

It should be noted, however, that often many of the best performing schools do not have openings available, so parents should do their research carefully when submitting applications for transfer.

The list is not a straight roster of schools that had the lowest API test scores in the state, however, and can be confusing since it contains the names of schools with APIs higher than many poorer performing schools not on the list.

The Act requires that no local educational agency (LEA) – such as a school district — “shall have more than ten percent of its schools on the list,” and the list must contain a mix of 687 elementary schools, 165 middle schools and 148 high schools. For that reason, there are a number of schools with APIs over 800 on the list, even though generally schools considered to be failing or poor performing have APIs between 500 and 799.

The deadline for parents to submit paperwork to request a transfer to another school is Dec. 31. For more information go to: www.1000schools.org or call (323) 379-3450, or visit the California Department of Education’s website at http://www.cde.ca.gov and click on the “Specialized Programs” link, then on “Open Enrollment.” The state’s website includes a more comprehensive explanation of the Act, and the application and selection process.

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