About Us

 

 

History of Fenton Avenue Charter School: 7tCharter in LAUSD; 30th Charter in the State

 

Fenton Avenue Charter School (“FACS”) is located in the northeast San Fernando Valley in the city of Lake View Terrace.  The school opened in 1958 as Fenton Avenue Elementary, a kindergarten through sixth grade elementary school built to accommodate 450 students.  As the surrounding neighborhood transitioned from a rural area overlooking Hansen Dam Lake, to a densely populated community with multiple families living in single dwellings, Fenton Avenue Elementary became a highly diverse, multi-track, year round school.  Similar to many urban schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, Fenton Avenue Elementary struggled with low student performance reflected by single-digit test scores, and aggravated by poor attendance, high student transiency, vandalism, overcrowding and low staff morale.  Prior to converting to a charter school, Fenton Avenue Elementary was considered one of the worst elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

 

With the passage of the Charter Schools Act, the Fenton Avenue Elementary school community recognized the opportunity that independent charter status offered, and in June 1993, Fenton Avenue Charter School became the Los Angeles Unified School District’s seventh charter school and the thirtieth charter school in the state of California.

 

Since original charter approval and conversion, Fenton Avenue Charter School has continued to educate a student population that is clearly reflective of the surrounding community and, in accordance with Education Code Section 47605(d), has given enrollment priority to students living within Fenton Avenue Elementary School's former attendance area.  As space is available, students from outside the attendance area have been enrolled, and a public random drawing is held to determine admission, if necessary. 

 

With the opening of the Fenton Primary Center (“FPC”) on the Fenton Avenue campus in 2008, Fenton Avenue Charter School was serving students from second to fifth grades until 2011.  For the 2011 charter renewal, FACS amended grade levels served to students in grades 3-5 and Fenton Primary Center now serves grades TK-2.  On September 4, 2013 Fenton Primary Center moved to its new location in Pacoima, California, and it opened its doors with a newly constructed, state-of-the-art building serving transitional kindergarten (“TK”) through 2ndgrade students. This historic event was something the Fenton community waited 20 years to accomplish: the move to a traditional, single-track calendar of 184 instructional days.  FACS and FPC recognize the importance of maintaining consistency for their shared families and matriculating 2nd grade students who choose to enroll at FACS.  The two schools see themselves as a continuum – two schools serving one community with the same families and students. This focus on the school community has created two unique environments that stay connected, communicate, and collaborate in an effort to meet the needs of their students and families.  

 

Part of FACS’s mission is to work collaboratively with students and parents to model the highest standards for academic achievement. We know, children learn best when the significant adults in their lives - parents, teachers, family, and community members - work together to encourage and support them. In an effort to gather information about parent volunteerism, home-school communications and other related topics, a survey was created digitally, made available to parents in computer labs during parent orientation and also sent via email. The survey consisted of 12 multiple-choice questions and the parents also had the opportunity to write comments on the form. The survey was available in English and Spanish to ensure that all parents could understand and respond to the questions. In all, 195 parents responded to this survey. Fenton Avenue Charter School and Fenton Primary Center sent home the same survey to their parents, as the majority of families have children attending both schools.

 

Overall, the parent surveys indicate that 99.1% of parents overall strongly agree the Charter School promotes academic success. Parents at 99.7% agree the Charter School has the proper books and material to support their child’s learning. In regards to respect, 100% of the parents surveyed feel the Charter School strongly encourages respect from children. Home-School Communication is a powerful tool for the Charter School and for the parents. Parents surveyed agree at 98% that they receive information regularly about how their child is doing in school. 86.3% stated they meet with the teacher to discuss their child’s progress and 99.9% of Fenton Avenue Charter School’s parents feel the Charter School makes them feel welcomed and heard.

 

Survey Topic

Strongly Agree/Agree

School promotes academic success

99.10%

Books and materials child uses help support his/her learning

99.70%

Encourages child and promotes Respect

100%

Homework helps develop child’s academic skills

96.9%

Receive information regularly

98.7%

Meet with teacher to discuss child’s progress

86.30%

The school makes me feel welcomed and heard.

99.9%

 

Fenton Avenue Charter School has a highly qualified staff of dedicated educators who are genuinely devoted to the profession of educating students. The Fenton Avenue Charter School staff of over 40 teachers and certificated support specialists have collaborated in creating an environment conducive to enhancing the educational development of young children on a daily basis. Teachers work as a team with an emphasis on teacher leadership, while parents continue to play an essential role as partners continuously involved in decision making, volunteering, and creating a positive relationship between school and community. All stakeholders participate in regular council meetings to review goals, data, and expectations.

 

School leadership has consistently reviewed, modified, and adopted new curriculum to improve student success. The school has also fully implemented the Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”) in language arts and mathematics, with the addition of a new math series, McGraw-Hill’s My Math, in 2015 and Benchmark Education’s Benchmark Advanceprogram, a CCSS aligned literacy program, in 2016. Students are provided a standards-based curriculum, grounded in the core academic disciplines, but also consisting of other subjects that are part of a well-rounded education. The school has fully implemented the Mutt-i-grees curriculum as part of our social and emotional learning.  Three computer labs have been added to the school, along with a Technology Integration Specialist teacher to implement technology integration for all students and prepare them to be college-and career-ready. Academic preparation is an essential part of readiness for middle school, high school, college, careers, and life in the 21st century.

 

 

Fenton Avenue Charter School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), was the recipient of the California Distinguished School Award in 1997, and named Charter School of the Year in 2013 by the California Charter Schools Association.