SOURCE: Birmingham Community Charter High School

Birmingham Community Charter High School

August 14, 2009 19:41 ET

Birmingham Community Charter High School Announces Grand Opening

Parents, Students, Faculty Rally Behind School Leaders for August 19th Ceremony

LAKE BALBOA, CA--(Marketwire - August 14, 2009) - LAUSD conversion-charter Birmingham Community Charter High School (BCCHS) opens its doors for the first time under local control on Wednesday, August 19, 2009. The 55-year-old Los Angeles-area campus was granted charter status in a 5-2 vote by the LAUSD School Board on July 2, 2009 after a contentious, months-long debate between stakeholders concerned over the school's future.

The five-year renewable charter grants BCCHS the autonomy to make mission-critical academic, professional and budgetary decisions at the campus level while giving parents, students, faculty and community-members an active voice in school governance. The largest campus in the school district, BCCHS will enroll nearly 2900 students, largely comprised of pupils from the Van Nuys, Sherman Oaks, Reseda and Lake Balboa communities.

Highly optimistic about the coming school year, Principal/CEO Marsha Coates cited the school's recent improvements in student achievement and graduation rates. "We are definitely excited about opening this new chapter in Birmingham's history. It's been quite a battle with deep convictions aired on all sides, but a fight well worth it considering the challenges we face educating children in today's climate."

After filing the original charter petition in December 2008, Birmingham played host to a series of meetings, protests, high-profile missteps and political wrangling, all culminating in the school's July 2nd hearing before the LAUSD School Board.

Now serving under Birmingham's board of governors, Coates concedes the real work has just begun. "We've had more than our share of attention recently, but now we've come together, harnessed our skills and energy and are ready to build a safe, positive environment for students, faculty and the community at large. Birmingham will be a place where young people, their families and friends will come to learn, communicate, grow and support our mission."

As one of LAUSD's most high-profile examples of the charter movement in action, the goal is for Birmingham to serve as both a hub of academic and social activity as well as a model for the future of California public schools.

BCCHS is located at 17000 Haynes Street in Lake Balboa, CA. Grand Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on August 19th in Birmingham Stadium. A VIP reception will be held immediately afterward at 10:00 a.m. for special guests. Guests and participants can enter the school from the Victory Boulevard gates, just west of Balboa Boulevard. Ample parking is available.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the school's web site at http://birminghamhs.org. For the VIP reception, please contact Colleen Milar at (818) 758-6546 or crm4019@lausd.net.

Birmingham Community Charter High School
17000 Haynes Street
Lake Balboa, CA 91406
Phone: (818) 758-5200
Fax: (818) 342-5877
http://birminghamhs.org

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