Larchmont Charter grew out of a dream. In February 2004, a group of parents convened in their neighbor Lindsay Sturman’s back yard to discuss creating an alternative neighborhood school within the Los Angeles Unified School District. At the time, their existing local elementary school in the Hollywood area lacked diversity, was overcrowded, and was under-performing.
The group wanted much more for their children and the community. They wanted the school to reflect the racial and socio-economic diversity of their neighborhood and Los Angeles at large. They wanted a more progressive, constructivist curriculum and academic rigor. And they wanted to harness the energy of families, educators, and the surrounding community by making volunteerism a pillar of the school.
Partnering with fellow Harvard alumna Dvora Inwood, an experienced educator who recently had received a Masters in Education from Stanford, Lindsay and fellow co-founders Heather Boylston and Rebecca Hutchinson united a team that would make Larchmont Charter a reality. Along with a group of passionate and dedicated Founding Parents, the team lived and breathed Larchmont Charter from that first planning day in February 2004. They worked with LAUSD, wrote the charter petition, found a school site and refurbished it, raised funds and were awarded grants, reached out to the community to recruit a diverse student body, hired teachers and a principal, and developed a Board of Directors with a wide range of expertise. In all, dozens of families donated more than 30,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $1 million, and received unanimous approval of their charter petition from LAUSD’s Board of Education.
Larchmont Charter opened in September 2005 as a K-2nd grade elementary school with 120 students. The school remains steadfast in its commitment to the Founding Parents’ original dream and the co-founders have a rotating seat on the Board to ensure the mission they set forth is fulfilled. Now, hundreds of families share in that vision and work just as passionately to bring it to fruition every day.
Larchmont Charter is a shining star of the charter movement and one of the most diverse high-performing schools in Los Angeles. Once a stand-alone elementary, the school has expanded its charter to serve grades K-12 and grown into an umbrella organization, Larchmont Schools, which includes a sister K-8 school, Larchmont Charter West Hollywood. Larchmont Charter has also been the inspiration for numerous charter schools across Southern California.
As Larchmont Charter continues to grow by one grade level each year, our whole community looks forward to the Fall 2015 when we will be a fully enrolled K-12.
Viva Larchmont Charter!