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News from Alliance College-Ready Public Schools

                                                                                                        December 21, 2010

In this issue:
Events Calendar
High School 11 Ribbon Cutting
New Library
Councilman Visits Heritage
National Honor Society HS 5
Enrollment Application
Alliance Alumni News
Join Our Mailing List
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Upcoming Events & Save the Dates:

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011
10 AM - 11 AM

Heritage High School, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

heritageby Lili Barsha

March 7-10, 2011
18th Annual Calfornia Charter Schools Conference

Register here.

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Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, Education Leaders Welcome Innovative Charter School to Watts

College-Ready Academy High School #11 In the News

Los Angeles - December 16, 2010


ribbon cutting William Siart, Founder and Chairman of the Board of ExED; Dr. Michelle Tubbs, Principal; Frank Baxter, Co-Chair of Alliance Board of Directors; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Student Jamileth Arellano; Janice Hahn, Councilwoman of 15th District City of Los Angeles; Isadore Hall, Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore California State Assembly; Dudley Benoit, Senior VP JPM Chase Bank; Judy Burton, President and CEO Alliance College-Ready Public Schools; Reverend Clark, Morning Star Baptist Church and President of Watts Neighborhood Council; Parent Tamatha Clemons. Photo by Mark Savage.

A unique charter high school designed to develop 21st-century learners and leaders was formally opened on Thursday, when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other dignitaries presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony at College-Ready Academy High School #11.

CRAHS #11, one of 18 high-performing charter schools operated by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, opened this year in a new $9 million building in Watts, near the iconic Watts Towers. The school serves approximately 150 ninth-grade students, and will grow to approximately 550 students in grades 9-12 over the next three years.

Thursday's ceremony was a chance for Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, California State Assemblymember Isadore Hall III and other dignitaries, including Alliance Board Co-Chair, Frank Baxter; Dr. Michelle Tubbs, Principal & the Reverend Maudine Clark of Watts Morning Star Baptist Church and President of the Watts Neighborhood Council, to welcome the school, which uses one-to-one laptops for individual student access to an innovative hybrid learning using modern technology to help develop critical thinking and global awareness.

"Alliance College-Ready Public Schools are shining stars in the thriving and innovative constellation of Los Angeles charter schools," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "This organization plays an important role in ensuring that students from every background can look forward to a brighter future, and I am thrilled to see them serve more students with their results-driven model."

Every student at CRAHS #11 receives their own laptop computer to use in school, providing access to electronic learning materials and multimedia instruction. CRAHS #11 will  provide more individualized engagement with a promise of improved academic performance and technology that helps engage students and provides them more learning opportunities and services to support their academic growth. "Modern computer technology is a powerful educational tool that should be available to all young people, not only the most fortunate," said Judy Burton, President and CEO of Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. "This new charter high school will help us prepare more Los Angeles' students to succeed in our rapidly changing world."

ribbon cuttingSince opening its first campus in 2004, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools has grown to 18 schools serving nearly 7,000 students in traditionally underperforming and overlooked areas of Los Angeles.

Last spring, 95% of Alliance high school graduates enrolled in colleges and universities in 19 states and the District of Columbia, including Yale, Harvard, Cornell and Williams.

"With the right opportunity, every young person has the potential to excel academically," said Judy Burton, the Alliance's President and CEO. "We are very pleased that our culture of college-readiness and high expectations will help students in this deserving community fulfill their potential for many years to come."

ExED, a Los Angeles-based non-profit provider of business services to charter schools, NCB, Capital Impact; and JPMorgan Chase were instrumental in making CRAHS #11 a reality. Approximately $8 million of the $9 million cost of the three-story school was provided by ExED through the use of New Market Tax Credits, an innovative public/private funding mechanism. ExED's capital partner is JPMorgan Chase, which selected CRAHS #11 to be the first recipient of its $325 million commitment to finance high-performing charter schools throughout the country.

New Library
Merkin Middle School,
Gertz-Ressler High School

Ernst & Young Sponsor Library Building Day 


lbrary students -AQOWF
photos by Lili Barsha

On Friday, December 3, Ernst and Young donated the  complete furnishings for the library (tables, chairs, sofas). Additionally, employees from their firm were there all day working with 10 kids from RMMS and 10 kids from GRHS to paint murals in the space. They have already pledged $2,000- for purchasing library books through Barnes and Noble in Marina Del Rey (20% discount).

Both Ernst and Young and Scherzer International are contributing library books through an on-line Book Drive (through the websites for RMMS and GRHS). We have established a Pay Pal account. We expect employees at both firms to make contributions during the holiday season.

We really want to acknowledge the great work from our library committee and corporate partners; Ernst and Young, Scherzer International, and the Barnes and Noble store that have offered books at a great discount for us. We need all the support we can get! Thanks to their hard work our library looks fabulous! If you would like to make a donation, please click on the link that says ""Library Fund". Thank you for your continued support! 

Richard Merkin Middle School Website


Councilman Bernard Parks Visits Heritage High School

Alliance Board of Directors Welcomes Councilman


Alliance Board Co-Chair, Frank Baxter and Councilman Bernard Parks with Heritage Students.
Photo by Lili Barsha.

On Monday, November 29, 2010, The Honorable Councilman Bernard Parks, representing the 8th District of the City of Los Angeles, visited Heritage College- Ready Academy High School on Broadways in South Central.

The purpose of the visit was to introduce the Councilman to the newly opened school in his district and to the successful partnership between the Alliance, Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD), and JP Morgan Chase Bank. 

Parks toured the state-of-the-art high school that is part of the Alliance's new technology initiative, sponsored by Dell Computers, NCB Capital and the Honorable Frank Baxter, Alliance Board Co-Chair. Said Parks, "Charter schools must work to dispel the myth that charter students are cherry-picked - these are public schools for the community, not private schools for the few."

nhsAlliance Welcomes
National Honor Society

On Thursday, October 18th, College-Ready Academy High School #5 welcomed National Honor Society students and their parents as part of the induction ceremony. "It was a terrific event. ...students and parents were so proud. I could see how all the teachers took pride in the event as well," according to Judy Burton, Alliance President and CEO, who attended. Congratulations to all the students and faculty of CRAHS #5!
nhs students

~ Dean Marolla, Principal
College-Ready Academy High School #5
New Applications Available for 2011
application 3
application 4

Alliance Alumni Letters Home From College

October 10, 2010, Joshua Majano, graduate of CRAHS #4 / Mohan wrote from UC Berkeley:


At first, it was a bit difficult making the adjustment of being off on your own without the guidance of parents, but it was made easier knowing that others were going through the same experience. One of the toughest challenges that still needs work is time management because there is more free time available than there was in high school, where you would go for about 7-8 hours a day which differs from college where the time in class varies depending on the schedule. 


With this extra time, it was difficult for me to balance-out times dedicated to school work and times for relaxation or enjoyment, but it has been something I have had to work on in making sure I do not fall behind on my work while also finding some time for myself.


The workload seems to be greater than high school. Though, overall it has been a good learning experience in meeting new people that have different backgrounds and that in some ways, share my same qualities; as well as learning more about the type of person I am, how I work best and how my interests can be applied to a possible career.


Right now I'm taking Pre-calculus, Intro to Latin American Studies, Intro to Environmental Science, and a seminar for my scholarship. (POSSE Foundation 2010 Scholar.)


Thanks, Joshua


November 16, Joshua Hernandez, graduate of Huntington Park College-Ready Academy High School, wrote from Harv ard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts:

josh at harvard

The Good...

To be frank, college is like a breath of fresh air. The ability to choose your own schedule, and miss the occasional lecture of course, is invigorating. This term, I decided to only take humanities courses so that I could improve my ability to critically analyze text and eloquently convey my thoughts on paper.  The professors are also great resources. Everyone loves what they're doing and is more than willing to extend a helping hand. The social scene is what you make of it. Since Harvard in particular doesn't recognize single sex organizations (i.e. frats and sororities), cultural groups on campus tend to have events consistently throughout the term. Being on an urban campus also adds to your options-I always know that I can go on a 3 a.m. pizza run for a quick study break.

The Bad...
CLASSES ARE DIFFICULT! College level work is no joke. I've come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be a straight-A freshman, at least not for the first semester. Professors have high expectations and everyone around you is working at a higher caliber-because everyone wants to get the A in the class. This means that you have to push your own limits and work twice as hard. It does upset me that students of color and inner city youth are not highly represented on campus. Cultural insensitivity also seems to be an issue on some local college campuses. However, Harvard has a strong presence of cultural organizations that work towards the correction of culturally insensitive behavior.

The Ugly...
Me after a 6 hour library session...oh, and the weather.

As for studying abroad, I'll be going to Brazil in January for a cultural immersion/public service trip. Should be exciting :)

- Joshua

September 7, 2010, Ofelia Carrillo, graduate of Marc & Eva Stern Math & Science High School, wrote from Williams College in Massachusetts:


I just came back from a 3-day 30mi hiking trip. It's been AMAZING! I start my classes tomorrow and I'm nervous/excited. The people are cool and my roommate is a really amazing person. Hope this email finds you well.

Best - Ofelia


October 5, 2010, Diana Castro, graduate of Gertz-Ressler High School wrote from Yale College in New Haven, CT:


I am really enjoying college. It is a new journey and it does contain some struggles. I am in love with the environment that Yale provides. It is a community where resources are abundant, and I have learned that it is vital that we take advantage of them.

The classes are not the same as those in high school, they may be shorter, but the time and effort place into each and every one of them is much more. It has been quite difficult adjusting to sleeping only 5 hours a day (plus naps), but I am slowly adjusting. It was a great change for me going from a single building school to a university with various edifices. I have had a great experience so far. The winter may be a challenge, but it will a fun. 

I am taking Intro to German, Latin American Films, a math class and a Writing seminar on identity. I joined Ballet Folklorico and these pictures show our very first performance. I hope you like them. Gute Reise (Bon Voyage)( I am working on my German!)

Hope you are well, Diana

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