Pali High Brings New Inclusion Programs

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

Palisades Charter High School was named among 300 schools in Los Angeles County that are closing the achievement gap for low-income African American and Latinx students, according to school Principal Dr. Pam Magee.

The news was submitted in an executive director report at the June 22 PCHS Board of Trustees meeting.

The list of schools was published in a new study by the L.A. Top Public Schools for Underserved Students, which was done by Innovate Public Schools – Los Angeles, a “nonprofit committed to helping kids and their families access quality education, and the University of Southern California.”

Additionally, PCHS announced a new LGBTQ awareness training for parents, staff and students starting in the 2019-20 school year. The school will be organizing panel presentations, assemblies and discussion groups with “trained experts and therapists from organizations” like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and the Trans Family Support Services.

The report said the school is also looking to enroll 120 students for the “Dolphin Leadership Academy” geared toward incoming ninth-graders. The academy will focus on building leadership capacity and will include mathematical exercises, makerspace projects, digital citizenship training, and completion of the PCHS summer reading requirement.

The report further mentioned that out of the 700 graduates, 132 finished with a 4.0 GPA or higher and 55% of students have moved on to a four-year college, with over 38% attending a two-year college spanning across 11 different countries.

In an effort to update its technology and increase accessibility for students, tech specialists have proposed a new technology plan.

“Right now [students] are not getting the access to the technology by the time they leave as seniors, that I feel, is up to the academic rigor that our school strives for,” said John Vieira, an educational technology coordinator, in a presentation to the board.

He proposed the “Access First 21st Learning Initiative”—a plan that aims to provide “an extensive professional development model, enhanced data systems and services, and personal mobile technology for students,” according to the program’s informational material.

“These efforts will result in personal growth and increased academic achievement for all students.”

As a discussion only item, the Board of Trustees will determine whether to implement the program at a future meeting.