One of Best High Schools in Los Angeles May Get Even Better

My Listing in West Hills

I have a listing in West Hills, which happens to be in a fantastic school district that includes El Camino Real High School. This high school has won five out of the last ten National Academic Decathalons, as well as many titles in various sports. I wanted to repost this article from the Daily News yesterday, which discusses the move of El Camino becoming a charter school. If you have children this is definitely a great neighborhood for them to get a great education. My listing has six bedrooms, 3 baths, and an entertainer's dream backyard with a large pool and hot tub. It is being offered at $645,000. You can see a detailed tour of this fine property here.

DAILY NEWS ON 12/14/10

EL CAMINO REAL SET TO BECOME CHARTER CAMPUS - EDUCATION: Move being made to get acclaimed Woodland Hills high school more funding, flexibiility.

El Camino Real High School - a powerhouse both academically and athletically - is poised to become the latest campus to break away from Los Angeles Unified.

With overwhelming support from its teachers and staff, the Woodland Hills campus is slated to present its charter petition today to the Board of Education, the first step to becoming an independently run, publicly funded campus. Charter proponents noted that El Camino locate in a well-to-do neighborhood in the West San Fernando Valley, fails to qualify for many of the state and federal grants awarded needier schools.

El Camino also has faced devastating budget cuts, which have threatened the school's academic and athletic programs. We just had to find another solution, said Shukla Sarkar, who has worked 25 years as a teacher and instructional coach at El Camino and sits on the school's charter committee. Sarkar said 86% of the school's staff supports the plan to convert El Camino to a charter campus. "This was a teacher-drive effort that was done with the best interest of our students in mind," she said.

School board member, Tamar Galatzan, who represents the area, said she will be disappointed to see the 41 year old school leave the district next fall. "Superintendent Ramon Cortines and I have been working with their key staff to see what we could get them." Galatzan said, but when it came down to it, this was a matter of money. "They are doing what they need to do to be able to survive and thrive as a public high school and maintain the programs they have become so recognized for."

Teams from El Camino have won the National Academic Decathalon six times - more than any other campus in the nation - its achievement displayed on banners in front of the school on Valley Circle Blvd. It also is a LAUSD'S highest performing comprehensive high school, scorirng 798 on the state's Academic Performance Index which uses student test scores to rank schools on a range of 200 to 1,000. Athletics programs have also thrived at the school which have won City section titls in softball, soccer and baseball.

El Camino is the latest school in the SFValley to convert to a charter, following on the heels of Carpenter and Colfax Elementary and Birmingham and Granada high schools.

Charter status will give El Camino a bigger chunk of state money, as well as more flexibility to spend it, since it will be free from many of the state district mandates. Some of those programs for instance require money to be spent on low-income and minority students.

Galatzan said the autonomy may encourage other suburban schools to propose charter status. "I am disappoined that because of the way education is funded in California and nationally right now, this is the only way for this school to continue educating it students," she said.

In its 90 page charter position, to be considered today by the board El Camino leaders promise to maintain many of the programs which have made the school so successful while expanding other areas, like computers and technology, in which they've previously been unable to invest. And while most charter schools do not have to hire union workers, the plan calls for educators at El Camino to continue to be represented by the United Teachers Los Angeles.

The district has 30 days to respond with comments or concerns with their plan before scheduling a final public hearing and a board vote. Cortines, the superintendent, said he'll be disappointed to see the school leave the district, but praised the campus and its leadership. "They are an excellent school with great leadership and we have an excellent relationship", Corginas said.

Connie Banos @ Daily News