Westside campuses begin the school year amid significant new investments in facilities and programs

By Nick Melvoin

LAUSD Board of Education member Nick Melvoin visits a local elementary school

Nick Melvoin represents Westside neighborhoods on the LAUSD Board of Education and previously taught English at an LAUSD middle school.

It’s hard to believe another summer break has come to a close! This week marks the beginning of my third school year since being sworn in to represent your families and school communities. Throughout my campaign and over the past two years I have heard from constituents like you that our district must put more dollars back into classrooms, expand access to early education, and improve instructional pathways so that all of our students can succeed. We have worked hard to do just that — and will continue to do this work and make progress for all of our public schools.

Since I took office in 2017 we have invested more than $63 million in projects to benefit the Venice, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey and Westchester-Playa school communities, including multiple “bond grants” from our office to fund projects based on individual school input. These grants ranged from technology upgrades that promote innovation in our schools to new security systems that keep students safe and water bottle filling stations to increase sustainability.

This year the Dual Language Academy at Venice High School opens, officially culminating a Mandarin and Spanish immersion program that spans from kindergarten through high school, so that our families have a clear instructional pathway from the time they start elementary school.

And for our youngest learners, we are expanding access to early education by reopening Kentwood Elementary School’s early education center and growing Westminster Elementary School’s ECE program to include more families.

We are also investing in the need to keep facilities up-to-date so that our students can thrive in state-of-the-art learning environments. One hundred of our city’s public schools will be more than one hundred years old in 2020, and we have funded critical facilities projects at Marina del Rey Middle School, new sports equipment at Mark Twain Middle School, an ongoing comprehensive modernization project to update Venice High’s campus, and more.

We know that school needs vary, and that you can’t solve diverse issues with one-size-fits-all solutions. Great public schools ensure that students achieve their fullest potential — not only by providing great classroom teachers and principals, but also by engaging parents, families and community partners to collectively move the school forward.

I’m looking forward to another year of spending time in schools, meeting with constituents, and making progress for all of our students attending Westside schools and throughout L.A. Unified.

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