About Larchmont Charter School
The mission of Larchmont Charter School is to provide a socio-economically, culturally and racially diverse community of students with an exceptional public education. We foster creativity and academic excellence; our students learn with and from each other in an experience-centered, inquiry-based learning environment. With participation from our entire community, we strive to instill in each student a dedication to improving the world we inhabit.
We believe that every child in America should be able to attend an excellent public school that reflects the full diversity of his or her community. This, after all, was the opinion of our Supreme Court more than 50 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education. Yet, this promise is still not a reality for many students in Los Angeles. We believe Larchmont Charter School – along with our sister school Larchmont Charter West Hollywood – can help fulfill this promise for children in our communities.
To this end, we focus on achieving excellence in three interrelated strands:
Diversity – Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world. In order to best prepare our children to be participants and leaders in a 21st century community and a global economy, it is our responsibility to give children the opportunity to learn with and from a student population that mirrors our broader community. We do this by recruiting a diverse student population; teaching tolerance, positive interaction, and appreciation of various communities from an early age; and promoting the values of social justice and diversity.
- Community – We believe our schools are not isolated entities in our neighborhoods, but instead are an integral part of the broader community. As such we place a particular emphasis on family involvement in our school community and on teaching our students to take interest in and responsibility for their critical roles in the broader social fabric. By bringing the community into our schools and engaging our students in the community around them, we help our students make deep connections between themselves, their families, the city at large and communities beyond their city borders.
- Achievement – We believe all children can unlock their individual genius and achieve their full educational potential. As such, we develop a rich constructivist curriculum that seeks to connect every child’s experiences and guide them in continual growth as learners. We treasure the development of a richly woven educational tapestry infusing the basics of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies with music, art, foreign language, physical education, and performance. Our curriculum is progressive, hands-on and experience-based. Children build and deepen concepts through the use of concrete manipulatives and experiential learning, and our curricula draw on the work of John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Reggio Emilia, Jerome Bruner, and Lev Vygotsky. Students receive differentiated instruction in response to their varied interests and strengths. We believe this integration of rigorous educational expectations with a research based constructivist curriculum enables our students to meet their full potential while also mapping various routes to lifelong learning.
We fulfill our mission by:
Providing a challenging, constructivist learning environment, with the arts, sciences and physical education integrated into the standards-based curriculum, that inspires independent thinking, imagination and a passion for learning.
- Maintaining and supporting our diverse student body.
- Teaching our children that they are citizens of the world; creating policies that embrace equal opportunity and the dignity of others; and encouraging the members of our entire school community to be engaged and active in society.
- Nurturing a unique community that includes families, teachers, staff and other community members who are active participants in the education and social and emotional development of our children.
- Giving teachers time, resources, support, and autonomy to: a) continually develop their pedagogical skills in a collaborative, professional learning community; b) create, evaluate and refine curricula; and c) ensure that all students have every opportunity to achieve.
- Using opportunities in and out of the classroom for peer mentoring, multi-age instruction and socialization.
- Instilling a community-wide dedication to volunteerism and family participation so we have adequate support, resources and funds to offer a rich and varied educational program.
- Promoting active communication between the school and the students’ homes, and providing meaningful family education programs.
- Creating partnerships within the community, the charter school movement, the school district, and with other educational institutions, including helping other charter schools as they develop.
- Creating a sustainable organization that functions at a consistently high level and attracts highly qualified professionals to ensure the long-term viability of the school.
- Ensuring that our students learn to communicate effectively, seek to understand, share and care, take responsibility and persevere.