Tanya Anton to Present at InnovatED LA This Sat, April 26 at New Roads School

innovatED.LAJoin an amazing group of key Ed innovators and Edupreneurs for a day of presentations, discussions, inspiration and action, as we tackle how to bring change to our middle and high schools. InnovatED.LA‘s inaugural event will be held this Saturday, April 26th, from 9:30a-3p at New Roads School, 3131 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Larry Rosenstock, CEO and founding principal of High Tech High, will highlight the event with his keynote presentation. Event organized by IncubatorSchool (LAUSD), PlayMaker School @New Roads, and New Learning Institute of the Pearson Foundation. InnovatED.LA

Among the hand-picked collection of presenters which includes public and private school teachers, school founders, and local innovators, Tanya Anton, founder of GoMamaGuide.com will lead the following workshop:

 Empowered Choices: Transforming Our Schools Together

Our world has expanded, yet our education system has, for the most part, remained flat. Many of us, no longer satisfied with the traditional model of top-down, assessment-driven, fear-based environments, are re-envisioning what school is and can be. With the multitude of options available to us now in the second largest school district in the country, each of us, whether parent or educator, has the potential to become an invaluable partner in shaping the future of “school” as we know it. In this hands-on workshop, we’ll explore our end goals including why we teach and the characteristics we hope to cultivate in students, unpack challenges both immediate and long term, learn how to maximize our communities, and share successful strategies on how to transform our schools.

It’s not too late to register for this event. Join us!
Schedule
InnovatED LA

Another Fantastic Middle School Event

NavMS

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Thanks to organizer Julie Hoang and the Friends of Playa Vista Elementary School, another fabulous gathering of parents convened last night curious to learn about their public Middle School options on the Westside.

It’s never too early to learn “the lay of the land” so time can be spent touring, gathering info, talking to parents and collecting school impressions –all which will help formulate your school plan.

Updated Flier: Westside Middle School Forum Thurs, Oct 24

Middle-School-Forum-Final

Shopping Middle Schools on the Westside? Then you’ll want to check this out.

Thurs, October 24th starting at 6p, a dozen area middle schools will be under one roof at Mark Twain Middle School presenting their pitches, power points and pamphlets. Come, listen, learn. Afterward there’ll be a chance to walk up to each school table and ask questions.

And of course, I’ll be there to help focus you on your options.

WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL FORUM!
Thurs, October 24, 2013 6-8:30p
at Mark Twain Middle School
2224 Walgrove Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
It’s FREE!

Westside Middle School Forum, Oct 24 6p

Middle-School-Forum-Final

Shopping Middle Schools on the Westside? Then you’ll want to check this out.

Thurs, October 24th starting at 6p, a dozen area middle schools will be under one roof at Mark Twain Middle School presenting their pitches, power points and pamphlets. Come, listen, learn. Afterward there’ll be a chance to walk up to each school table and ask questions.

And of course, I’ll be there to help focus you on your options.

WESTSIDE MIDDLE SCHOOL FORUM!
Thurs, October 24, 2013 6-8:30p
at Mark Twain Middle School
2224 Walgrove Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066
It’s FREE!

Thanks to organizers Julia Morgan and Sandi Wise, and the VNC Ed Committee. Thanks also to Mark Twain for hosting. No thanks to Venice HS (originally pegged to host) who had so much school pride they wouldn’t allow their space to be shared with a mix of charters, pilots, and magnets. Well, likely it was only the charters and pilot. Seriously? How HS of them!

4 New Westside Middle School Options – Who Says We Don’t Have Choice?

by Tanya Anton | GoMamaGuide.com

For years I’ve heard parents say we have no “viable choice” when it comes to middle school on this side of Los Angeles. For years one particular organization’s platform was that we only had one choice in these parts, and that it desperately needed transforming. (Or put more succinctly, our children deserve better!)

While I wouldn’t argue the second half of that sentence, the first part was incorrect. We’ve always had a few choices. In fact this Westside area (from Venice to WLA to Westchester), is known as a district “zone of choice” allowing any student to enroll into any of its ring of five area middle schools. It’s just that despite some valiant efforts, most of the schools in this zone seem to be quite lackluster. And run down. And perhaps face safety issues. And most certainly staffing issues. Not to mention a revolving door of leadership. Perhaps it is choice, but to some it’s a choice-less choice.

So much potential…but just…not…a viable choice.

The continued declining enrollment speaks for itself.

As this recent wave of hands-on parents – the ones who have worked tirelessly to revitalize their elementary schools – and their children approach the middle school years, parents are getting more savvy and invested (not to mention more active) in the types of educational experience they want for their children. Many are seeking a different model altogether and are doing whatever they can to find it, transform it, or if necessary, help create it.

In the past year alone, four new Middle Schools have opened on the Westside. Five since 2011.

Say what you will about density, and impact, but I have personally watched many fine folks toil for years (of thankless unpaid labor) to get these schools off the ground. And here they are.

In any case, when it comes to Middle School options, who says we don’t have choice!

Let’s meet them, shall we?

in alphabetical order:

Animo Westside Charter Middle School – launched in 2011, this Green Dot charter was the result of the LA Parent Union/Parent Revolution movement. With small classes and a supportive infrastructure all students are encouraged to achieve academic excellence.
greendot.org/westside

The City School – launched in 2012, this charter comes from some of the same folks who worked on the two highly successful Larchmont Charters as well as Valley Charter Schools. With a focus on civics, debate and writing, not to mention service learning and building good character, this charter has the intention to expand through grade 12 by 2017.
citycharterschool.org

The Incubator School – opening 6-7th in 2013 and growing to 12th by 2018, this cutting edge new district pilot school will focus on tech-entrepreneurship and will utilize blended learning, design-thinking, real world project-based learning, as well as partnerships with ed, tech and Silicon Beach startup companies and non-profits.
incubatorschool.org

Westchester Secondary Charter School – will open 6-9th in 2013 and grow to include 12th by 2016, offering a rigorous college-prep comprehensive education that includes the arts to athletics. WSCS looks forward to serving students in its community with the autonomy to make its own budget, curricular, staffing and governance decisions.
westchestercharter.org

WISH-Westside Innovative School House – this K-5 independent charter was approved to launch a district pilot middle school but opted instead to extend their charter to include 6th grade for 2013. Steeped in research-based best-practices, and partnered with LMU’s School of Ed, this co-constructivist inclusion school is modeled after the highly successful Chime Charter in Woodland Hills.
wishcharter.org

Stay tuned for future GoMamaGuide stories that will take a closer look at these new school options.

WSMS Map13Be sure to check out my color-coded Westside Middle School map on the school finder page. Includes a complete list of all your public magnet, charter, pilot and neighborhood middle schools in WLA, Santa Monica, Malibu and Culver City.

Upcoming Westside Middle School Tours

Hey Westside Middle School Shoppers. Here is a quick list of upcoming tours:

LACES – Thurs Nov 8, 9a
Palms – Fri Oct 26 & Mon Nov 5 8:30a
Revere – Thurs Oct 25 & Nov 15 9a, also Dec 6 and Jan 24
MarinaDelRey – Fri Oct 31, Weds Nov 7 & 14 8:30a
Twain – Thurs Oct 25 & Nov 1, also Nov 7 & Nov 15 8:30a
Webster – Thurs Nov 8 8:10a
Animo Westside – Thurs Oct 25 10a, Nov 15 10a & 5:30p
City School Charter – rsvp online: Sat Nov 3 & 17 9:30a, Thur Nov 29 7p
Incubator School – Town Hall Thurs Oct 25 6:30p
New West Charter – check back in Dec
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To navigate school websites by neighborhood, use my color-coded schoolfinder maps: http://gomamaguide.com/schoolfinder/

Middle School Mixer – Parent to Parent Oct 16th 9a

You’ve heard about our big Westside Middle School Forum on Thurs Oct 18th where 10 area middle schools will be on hand to present about their schools, answer questions and I’ll be speaking that night too, right? (details)

Well here’s another event that came across my desk, organized by parents, offering you a chance to mingle with other parents who’ve already made the transition to middle school and are there to give you the low-down, share their experiences, and answer your “what’s-it REALLY-like” questions. Check this out:

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Parent to Parent

Middle School Mixer

Tues, October 16th, 9-11a (morning event!)

Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office
7166 W. Manchester Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045  map
(not associated with the Councilman’s office)

come and get the REAL scoop!