CASE STUDIES: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The Cahuenga Project
Cahuenga Elementary School is located at 220 South Hobart
Boulevard, at Second Street. The school's attendance area boundaries
are, generally, Beverly Boulevard, Catalina Street, Seventh Street
and Western Avenue. Surrounding communities include Hollywood
to the north, Westlake to the east, Koreatown to the south and
Hancock Park to the west.
The demographic makeup of the area population is reflected in
the racial/ethnic composition of the school's students, as shown
in the table below.
Racial/Ethnic Composition: Cahuenga Elementary School
||Am. Indian Alaskan
||Black Not Hispanic
As shown in the table, Cahuenga's enrollment is 1,168 students.
However, another 1,600 students live within Cahuenga's attendance
area who must be bused to other locations each day because the
school does not have space for them. The annual cost for busing
each student is approximately $1,100.
To accommodate as many students as possible in its limited facilities,
Cahuenga operates on a Concept 6 year-round calendar. This calendar
maximizes the number of students housed on a campus by decreasing
the number of instructional days in a school year and increasing
the instructional minutes each day.
The proposed program for the new elementary school to relieve
Cahuenga includes the following:
- 4 kindergarten classrooms
- 34 general classrooms (grades 1-5)
- 6 Special Education classrooms
We Know About Our Neighborhood
1) This is the most ethnically diverse and densely populated
area of Los Angeles.
2) Tension exists between the need for both affordable housing
and the need for new schools.
3) Population is increasing which translates to increased student
4) Different areas are zoned for different densities of housing.
5) Single-family housing exists in and around the existing Cahuenga
6) Multi-family housing covers the middle of the area.
7) Commercial areas exist at the periphery of the area, mostly
along the larger streets of Western, Wilshire, Beverly and Vermont.
8) There are four major metro stops at the corners of the area
at the large streets mentioned above.
9) In general, smaller buildings are in the middle of the area
and get bigger as you get to the four main streets mentioned
10) The community resources that we found are concentrated at
the periphery of the area around the main streets.
Click here to see the neighborhood
zoning configuration map.
What Kind of Schools We Want
1) We want educational excellence for our children first and
2) We want varying small school sizes of 300 -500 students.
3) We want small school sites to be dispersed throughout the
4) We want close distances from our homes to the new schools,
for safety and convenience.
5) We want the schools to become community learning centers
that are not isolated from the community.
6) We want to minimize residential displacement when we build
these new schools.
7) We want our schools to develop joint-use programs with other
8) We want the building of these new schools to become catalysts
in building up our community amenities.
9) The potential for funding from parks being proposed could
impact our community and should be explored.
10) In the best of all worlds, we want eight (8) small schools
of roughly 400 students. These would fit well into the kind
of sites that are available that are about two (2) acres in
11) The existing Cahuenga School will have about 800 students
at two small schools of 400 students each.
12) There will be room for roughly 3200 students. Six new small
schools and two small schools at the existing Cahuenga School.
13) We realize that we might not get exactly what we want. The
LAUSD has a building budget. Some sites might have to be eliminated,
once more data is gathered.
Kind of Sites We Want
The following site criteria were used in picking possible
1) EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE for our children
2) Proximity to student homes, student safety
3) Schools as community learning centers
4) Minimize residential displacement
5) Joint-use programs with community bodies
6) Build-up community amenities
7) Become catalyst for improvement