Mount Washington Teenagers Get New High School

Pat Griffith

As we have all watched the beautiful new high school on San Fernando Road be built, we are now very excited to learn that the catchment area for this school includes children who live within the catchment area of Mount Washington Elementary School.

The new high school - which we have called Taylor Yard High School but will have a new name selected shortly - will open in September 2011 with about 1500 9th – 11th graders. The school is built to house five Small Learning Communities, each of which will have about 500 students by the following year, when the 11th graders become 12th graders. There are still 6 applicants in competition to run one of the five Small Learning Communities:  four ‘Pilot’ schools, formed by teachers, and two charter schools. Each of them has presented an exciting and thoughtful proposal demonstrating their educational goals. Their Executive Summaries can be found at: /files/ExecSumCRHS13_Eng.pdf

They cover a large number of topics, ranging from how they will serve the needs of all students, their instructional strategies, their Image by Chris Grantcore learning capacities, and their staffing models. All six ensure that they will provide classes that will meet the requirements of the UC system, but each offers a different set of electives and educational philosophies. While the final five will be selected this month, community members participated in the review and voted our recommendations last month.  Those community/parent recommendations can be viewed at: default/files/ExecSumCRHS13_Eng.pdf

The high school will open as a single high school with a unified sports program and possibly other joint programs, but parents and students will get the chance to choose which of the five programs most suits them.  Families living within the Mount Washington Elementary School boundary are in the ‘Optional Attendance Area’, which means that their 9th – 11th graders can choose to stay at their current high school, or enter this new school. But our families finally have a school closer to our homes, and now a school opening with great facilities and enormous energy on the part of the teaching staff.



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