Gabriella Charter School, a local, public K-8 school, received the Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year last week at the 19th Annual Charter Schools Conference in Sacramento, selected out of 982 charter schools statewide.
Gabriella is co-located at Logan Street Elementary and unfortunately, the school has received significant negative press about the challenges of two schools sharing a campus. The real story here, however, and the one which should be heard and celebrated, is the hope, life, and opportunity the school has created for its student body and the hundreds of other students that have benefited from the school’s dance program.
Gabriella Charter School, which opened in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in 2005, runs a K-8 program which couples rigorous academics with daily dance instruction. The school was opened in the memory of, and named after, the founder's daughter, Gabriella Axelrad, who died at the age of 13 in a tragic accident. Gabriella was a dancer, and her mother founded the school as an opportunity to give other kids what her daughter had.
Gabriella Charter uses dance to create a culture of high expectations and discipline that also translates into academic success. They currently hold an Academic Performance Index (API) score of 875, and serve a diverse population of students, with 91% qualifying for Free and Reduced Priced Lunch, and more than 50% English Language Learners. To put it simply, their academic performance by any standard is exemplary.
Gabriella is the perfect exemplar of what is plausible in public education when an innovative vision and a culture of high expectations are put into action. For me, as a parent and advocate for great public school options for all students, it is a school I hope the whole community will celebrate. Check out this video to learn more!