This article was submitted by three parents whose children have benefited from an education at Renaissance Arts Academy, a well-known charter public school in Eagle Rock.
On Sept. 11, Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Steve Zimmer introduced a resolution to limit choices for parents by not allowing the board to hear any petitions for new charter schools. Several hundred parents attended the meeting to oppose the resolution and share with the board what charter schools have meant to their families.
The LAUSD board votes on this resolution on Oct. 9 and parents are continuing to speak out about what charter schools have meant to their families and to ask the board to vote no, including these parents from Renaissance Arts Academy:
I am a mother of daughters who have attended a charter school for a number of years. My daughters have grown tremendously from learning within a charter school system. After having transferred two of my daughters into a charter school, I noticed a change in their grades for the better. The standards of the charter school are higher than public schools they had previously attended, therefore, asking more of them. The small size of the charter school has benefited my daughters by allowing them to develop a relationship with the directors of the school. As a result, my oldest daughter graduated and was given a job that allowed her to finance her way through college. I feel secure that my other daughter has also developed traits no other school can provide for her. The charter school system has provided so much for my family.
I have had two of my children attending Renaissance Arts Academy, a charter school, from 2004 to 2008. I have also had some of my children in public schools at different times. Our family has had a much better experience with the charter schools.
Not all students do well in a traditional public school. We found that charter schools provided a better fit for our children. They tend to be smaller than traditional schools, and more specialized in the options they offer, which helps the students to be more enthusiastic about their education and studying because they are able to focus on their interests. Our daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 10 and 13 and even as fairly new English Language Learners, they got the extra help and tutoring they needed from Renarts to be successful academically and graduate with their agemates. We felt that they would have likely "fallen through the cracks" in a traditional large public school.
We also saw that the charter schools provided a better environment socially for the students. It's an environment where the teachers and students all know each other, receive personal attention from the teachers, and there was not much negative influence as there is in regular public schools. The administration was able to have much better control over discipline and the learning environment. The students were much better supervised. Their overall academic progress was very closely tracked and facilitated. We felt our daughters were very safe and well educated at RenArts.
We are grateful that this option was available to our family when needed. There will always be plenty of students who go to the traditional, large schools, but charter schools are a very important alternative for many families.
La escuela chárter Renaissance Arts Academy ha ayudado a mis hijas a crecer intelectual y artísticamente. Para mi la escuela es una buena alternativa, ya que contiene menos alumnos, mejores profesores, mejor disciplina y un programa de arte. Yo tenía temor de mandar a mis hijas a una escuela pública, ya que académicamente están muy bajas, también por todo lo que desarrollan dentro de la escuela a temprana edad. Por eso es importante tener la opción de mandar a mis hijos a una escuela chárter.
Renaissance Arts Academy motivan a los alumnos de alcanzar un intelectual mas alto en conjunto con el arte y la disciplina que está implementa. En cada clase los estudiantes aprenden a dar todo su potencial académico y artístico , no nada mas dentro de la escuela, sino que también están preparados para desempeñarlo fuera de ésta. El arte sin duda hace que los estudiantes desarrollen su intellectual académico aun más. Ellos tienen la oportunidad de aprender a tocar un instrumento, bailar, cantar, componer canciones y crear bailes. Con todo este conjunto de actividades mis hijas han descubierto sus diferentes talentos.
Es tan importante que la comunidad tenga la oportunidad a mandar a sus hijos a una escuela que pueda manejar su propio sistema de aprendizaje, ya que con esto, nuestros hijos van mejor preparados y tienen una mejor oportunidad para entrar a una buena universidad.
Translation: Renaissance Arts Academy charter school has helped my children to grow intellectually and artistically. For me, the school is a good alternative because it has fewer students, better teachers, better discipline and an arts program. I was afraid to send my daughter to public school as they are academically they are not strong and because the early years are so important for a child’s development. Therefore it was important to have the option of sending my children to a charter school.
Renaissance Arts Academy motivates students to grow intellectually, supported by the art and discipline the school has. In each class, students learn to give full academic and artistic potential, not just in school, but are also prepared to apply those skills in the rest of their life. Without a doubt, art makes students realize their academic potential even more. They have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, dance, sing, write songs and create dances. With this set of activities, my children have discovered their different talents.
It is so important that the community has the opportunity to send their children to a school that can manage its own approach to education, because with this, our children are better prepared and have a better chance to get into a good college.