President's Message

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It's been another remarkable school year at LA's Promise neighborhood schools. When I look back on the year I am reminded of the great strides our organization has made since its incorporation in 2003.

Ten years ago LA's Promise operated as the Center for Innovative Education providing onsite academic enrichment to 60 students at Manual Arts High School. In the last five years the organization launched West Adams Prep and added Manual Arts and John Muir Middle School representing a network of public, neighborhood schools serving 6,000 students, supporting 398 teachers and staff, and reaching more than 5,000 families in South LA.

We've made significant gains each year and 2012-13 continued in that tradition. In the classroom our teachers and leaders continued to set and achieve high standards for quality instruction. This year LA's Promise is honored to have not one, but three, teachers receive LAUSD Teacher of the Year honors, all from John Muir Middle School. Their creativity and dedication serves as an inspiration to us all and we are incredibly proud to see their work recognized as exemplary in the district.

Graduation and college going continue to be an area of strength in LA's Promise partner schools. Among the Class of 2013, thirty-seven percent were accepted to a 4-year university. Graduates will be attending colleges across the nation including USC, Rutgers, St. John's University, Beloit, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount College, Howard University, nearly every California State University and 9 of the 10 prestigious University of California campuses. The overall 4-year 2011-12 graduation rate as reported by the California Department of Education was an inspiring 80% at West Adams and 69% at Manual Arts, compared to the district's 66% average.

Around campus we expanded our wraparound services for students, families and the broader community working with many partners to open the Ridley Thomas Wellness Center at Manual Arts High School. We also added parent-focused supports through collaboration with the Los Angeles Partnership for Schools, offering a Parent College program providing parents with the information they need to support their children's academic success and prepare them for college.

I am excited for the coming academic year, which will bring a renewed focus on instructional supports to expand on our academic gains along with resources for a more formal program evaluation that will validate the impact of our wraparound services.

I'd also like to thank our supporters and partners in this good work.

Congratulations to the entire LA's Promise family and the Class of 2013 for another positive year. See you back at school in August!

My best to you and yours,

Veronica Melvin
President & Chief Executive Officer