September 16, 2009
Short Avenue Elementary school is a dream come true for a parent who moved into a neighborhood before becoming a parent and who always thought about schools - I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Well, last year we came to that very bridge and we planned to visit every magnet, charter, private, school around. Our first stop was an open house at Short Avenue Elementary, our neighborhood school, which is a Title I school, over 60% second language learners, beautifully diverse, but we worried - how challenging will it be academically? We couldn't believe what we found. The parents are so involved, with both an active PTA and a Friends of Short Avenue Booster Club, members working together to improve every facet of the students' lives. In the past few years, the parents here have beautified the campus, planted hundreds of trees and plants, gotten funding to build two playgrounds, and brought in special clubs and activities. The teachers are invested, excited, enthusiastic. I've spoken with them at length, and they all describe themselves as lucky to work at Short Avenue. Mr. Springer and Mr. Snyder, the awesome 6th grade teachers, stay after school to sponsor art and film clubs. They teach the kids about Basquiat and Charlie Chaplin. Ms. Trapnell, the best first grade teacher you could ever want for your child, spends her evenings working with parents to raise money and create a gifted and talented program. On weekends, she's there, watering trees and coordinating further beautification. And the administration supports it all. We struggle, as do all public schools, especially in this economic climate. But there is a feeling of community at Short Avenue Elementary School that has made Los Angeles feel into a small town. And did I mention? API of 859! Short Avenue Rocks!
- submitted by a