Parents & Community Partners
Joanna Casucci, Parent
“I’ve been a teacher for 18 years, and during the past few years as a parent and classroom volunteer at Baldwin, I am astounded by the caliber of the teachers and educational leaders at Baldwin. They are a Dream Team, and I’ve witnessed how their holistic, culturally responsive curriculum and commitment to teaching the whole child has benefited my child’s development.
“We have been trampled and encroached upon since the forced charter co-location began 7 years ago. It pains me to think of how many students have lost so much over these years as a result of forced co-location. The full potential of Baldwin as a pilot and community school is stunted, and as you have heard from my colleagues and friends, our school community feels cut off at the knees.”
Dr AmberMarie Irving, Parent
"As a parent who has had children that have gone to Baldwin Hills Elementary School pre- and post-charter encroachment, I must say that the difference is startling. When my now 19-year-old daughter, Ava Marie, who is currently a junior majoring in Computer Science at UC Irvine, went to Baldwin, there was no charter school on campus. There was a computer lab, a music room, an art room, on campus after school programs, and an unrivaled sense of community amongst the teachers, parents, staff, and surrounding neighbors. Both of my sons, Marvin and Malachi, have experienced BHES since the charter has encroached upon our campus. We have not only lost all of those aforementioned rooms, but the sense of separation and division that comes from having veritable strangers on campus who have no interest in the well being of your own school is upsetting, unsettling, and offensive. We must remove New LA Charter School from our campus. The well-being of our children is at stake!"
Marie Germaine -UTLA Board of Directors
"The New LA Charter co-location on our campus has marginalized our school, giving away Baldwin’s classrooms and learning spaces. We have been relegated to a secondary position in our own school and community. The process of minimizing our school and not allowing us to grow is actively marginalizing our Governance Board, parents, teachers, and ultimately our students.
For the past seven years, the district has minimized Baldwin’s students’ needs and rights while prioritizing those needs and rights of the charter. Being that our students are primarily African-American, and of lower socioeconomic status, this further creates intersecting identifications of marginalization for our scholars. As educators, we know that six out of ten Black students, and five out of ten Brown students, have experienced trauma, and for many, Baldwin is their only safe space. A safe space they are watching grow smaller every year, further adding to their trauma."
Gabriela Worrel, NIA Community Member and LAUSD Parent
"Neighbors in Action supports our neighborhood school - Baldwin Hills Elementary. This is a historic and foundational institution in this neighborhood and needs to have space returned to it in order to allow students to fulfill their potential. Co-location on the campus can be remedied immediately by District 1 Board Member George McKenna, and Local District West Superintendent Dr.. Adaina Brown."
Love Collins-Hayden, Parent
“Being a pilot and gifted high-ability magnet school with a population where more than 80% of the students are Black and Brown makes us a gem. The opportunity to expound on our academic excellence by fully implementing the community school model, outreach programs, and necessary resources would make Baldwin exceptionally rare. If Baldwin excels, so does LAUSD.”
“Integrated student support, including mental and social-emotional care is one of Baldwin’s pillars. One of the disturbing effects of the co-location is our students are required to eat lunch in silence to accommodate the charter school and a revolving schedule! It's contradictory to creating a nurturing environment that supports freedom of expression and mental and emotional wellness. Not having space for our Healthy Start program is offensive. Not having a computer lab in 2022 is unacceptable.”
Stephanie Foard, Parent
“When my husband and I were searching for a school for my daughter I needed to look no further than the ONLY school in the entirety of LAUSD that was highlighted in the UCLA study by Dr. Tyrone Howard as a “bright spot” for cultivating excellence in Black youth. My daughter is not Black, but I know that a school that is committed to serving Black youth through providing a culturally responsive education and making a commitment to teaching the WHOLE child is a school where all students will be able to find success. Centering the needs of Black youth, their families, and neighborhoods must be a priority for all of us.”
"Don’t Black children deserve a robotics program? Don’t black children deserve a science lab? Don’t Black children deserve a performing arts space? Don’t Black children deserve yoga, art, a full lunch time, access to play structures, and social-emotional learning? These were all vibrant programs and services provided before the charter co-location. And these are all the things being robbed from Black children and all the Baldwin students since the co-location.”
Kinley Lagrange, Parent
“Baldwin Hills Elementary was an easy choice when my husband and I were deciding where to send our daughter. The impeccable reputation of the teachers and the success of the pilot program with culturally responsive curriculum and restorative justice practices are progressive and benefit the majority Black Student population immensely."
“My daughter and her classmates are not provided an equitable educational experience due to the charter co-location on our campus that has monopolized our facilities pushing out the valuable enrichment opportunities they need and deserve, as well as the wrap-around services for low-income students. Our Community School plan and Pilot plan have been stunted under the current interpretation and implementation of Prop 39.”
Shavone Turner, Parent
“The most amazing thing about the school is by far the teaching community. The teachers are phenomenal. We transitioned to Baldwin Hills in November 2020 from a private school. We have been not only impressed but extremely blessed to have a teaching community that cares so much. The teachers at Baldwin Hills pour their all into the students not only educating them but getting them ready for next.”
"One of the biggest challenges is sharing the campus, having another school encroach on Baldwin Hills’ campus. Because of this, extracurricular activities after school programs and necessary classrooms have been eliminated, included but not limited to: the computer room, the art room, the music room, and spaces to implement grant-subsidize programs.”
Zanna Gilbert, Parent
“Baldwin Hills is a pure gem of a school with fiercely dedicated, passionate, and loving teachers and staff. It is a beautiful family & community.”
“Baldwin Hills Elementary should be in a position to implement its community school program to build upon the already stellar work they are doing unimpeded by a charter co-location. It is a disgrace that LAUSD has not done everything in its power to foster the powerful learning and community offered at this school, against all odds... I want to remind everyone that it is not normal to occupy a successful school with another school."
Evan George, Parent
“We love Baldwin. Like many neighborhood families, we proudly choose to attend our local school for two reasons: it’s a true community where parents and teachers play an involved role, and because of the school’s long history of providing a rich curriculum — from music to STEM to culturally responsive learning and restorative justice.”
“This is a disaster that only district officials can fix. The space and resources we need for our community school curriculum have been taken away unfairly to make room for a charter school that is not for the community. We’re going to see families leave this community school instead of join it. And the most vulnerable students will be harmed the most.”
Kara Poole, 4th Grade Gifted/High Ability Magnet Teacher at BHES
There are only three gifted/high ability magnet elementary schools in LAUSD that serve a predominantly Black student population, and I am delighted to say that Baldwin Hills is one of them. We focus on excellence and growth."
“When we applied to become a community school, together we envisioned Baldwin Hills becoming the central hub for our local community. Our children and parents are missing out on community programs and social services, that we should be able to offer as a community school but can't because of a charter infringing on our space who is not vested in this community…..a community that we so love and have been a part of for almost 80 years.”
Jacquelyn Walker, Community School Coordinator, BHES
We were recently recognized by Dr. Tyrone Howard and his team of researchers at UCLA’s Center for The Transformation of Schools as a “Bright Spot” in Cultivating Excellence in Black Youth in Los Angeles. This UCLA research provides evidence that Baldwin’s commitment to culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy, our commitment to social emotional learning, AND our commitment to fostering a community school environment is crucial to the success of Black students."
“The programs we offer our students are being hindered by the co-location at every turn. ONE EXAMPLE is our Healthy Start Navigator needing a private space to have confidential conversations with families, fresh food storage and a host of many opportunities for our students. Baldwin Hills did not have the needed space therefore our Healthy Start personnel was relocated to a school which offered the space needed. We only benefit from these services once/twice a week.”
Kerri Harper-Howie, Chair of the Baldwin Hills Governing School Council and Parent
"Our school has been, and is trying to continue to be, the embodiment of everything related to Community Schools. And, yet, our success is threatened for one reason - the co-located Charter School. "If the District cares about this program, our school and our Black and brown scholars, they cannot continue to be passive on this issue. They must act by refusing to renew New LA's charter."