Campus: CSU Northridge -- October 23, 2002

LAUSD And CSUN Break Ground On New High School

Joint Project Is First New LAUSD High School Built in San Fernando Valley in 30 Years

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) today began construction of its first regular high school in the San Fernando Valley in 30 years. The new academy high school will be located on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and will partner with the university to prepare high school students for college and teaching careers.

Joining students and parents at the groundbreaking ceremonies today were U. S. Congressman Brad Sherman, LAUSD School Board President Caprice Young, School Board Member Julie Korenstein, Superintendent Roy Romer, CSUN Provost Louanne Kennedy and other officials.

Valley New High School #1, as the project is currently called, will serve about 800 ninth through twelfth graders at any one time, with a total year-round enrollment of approximately 1,130. The school will serve students who live in the area and will reduce overcrowding at Monroe, Granada Hills and Cleveland High Schools. Construction of the new high school is scheduled for completion in Summer 2004.

“The new school is an exciting opportunity,” said Young, whose district now includes CSUN. “We are now collaborators in the whole process of developing the next generation of high caliber teachers. This new school creates a great partnership between LAUSD and CSUN.”
The district developed the proposal for the new school in consultation with officials at Cal State Northridge. The project required approvals from the Board of Trustees of the California State University system, the state Legislature and LAUSD’s Board of Education.

“This is a dream come true,” said Korenstein, the school board member who represented the area. “I worked for more than eight years to make this facility come to life. It will be wonderful to have an academy to train the teachers of the future located here."

Valley New High School #1 is LAUSD’s only regular high school to be located on a university campus. Students at the small, specialized academy will have access to CSUN university facilities such as the campus library and the science and language labs. The last LAUSD high school built in the San Fernando Valley was John F. Kennedy High School in 1971.

"As California's leading public university in preparing students to earn teaching credentials, Cal State Northridge is deeply committed to helping improve the public schools and working with our K-12 partners," said CSUN President Jolene Koester. "This Academy High School, a unique partnership between LAUSD and CSUN, will provide both a great education to its own students and a great training ground for CSUN's teacher credential candidates."

Construction of the new high school is part of LAUSD’s current effort to build 80 new schools and expand 79 existing campuses to reduce overcrowding. Twenty-five projects are planned in the San Fernando Valley in the first phase of the district’s construction program.

“This is a model for educational partnerships,” said LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer. “It is a wonderful leveraging of resources that provides good opportunities for students while creating the classroom space we need.”

Valley New High School #1 is located on the east side of the CSUN campus on a 5.1-acre parcel. The school facility will include 39 classrooms, a library, auditorium, gymnasium and athletic fields.

As an academy campus, the new school will have a major, broad focus on preparing students for teaching careers. But the school will also offer academic tracks such as media and performing arts, health and human services and modern languages in coordination with CSUN. Eligible students will be permitted to take part in college level classes and advanced placement courses.

The school’s campus will be fenced to enhance security and will include on-site, underground parking to accommodate school staff and students with cars.

The project is funded by local and state voter-approved bond revenues.

Valley New High School #1 Facts:

  • Joint project of LAUSD and CSUN
  • 9-12th grades with emphasis on preparing students for college and teaching careers
  • 870 students on traditional calendar (1,130 on year-round calendar)
  • 38 classrooms on 5.1-acre campus
  • First LAUSD new high school in San Fernando Valley in 30 years
  • Reduces overcrowding at Monroe, Granada Hills and Cleveland High Schools.

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