The following story appeared in the Park Labrea News and Beverly Press 70th Anniversary issue, published April 21. To view the entire issue, click here.
Rosewood Avenue Elementary Principal Linda Crowder is committed to turning the school into a top learning institution in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
When she took the position seven years ago, the school was struggling.
Enrollment was down, bungalows on the school’s periphery were empty and the campus was not secure.
“It was safety first. I was able to fence the school. I had a monitor put at the front door. I worked with the neighbors and created a safety valet on Alfred [Street, in front of the school],” Crowder said. “I was able to have the bungalows taken down, which gave us more playground space.”
Crowder said one of the first programs created under her tenure was transitional kindergarten. Rosewood Avenue Elementary was one of 26 LAUSD schools to launch a pilot program in 2010. Students younger than 5 are enrolled in the program, which prepares them for the classroom. Children preparing to enter Hancock Park Elementary School are also enrolled in Rosewood’s transitional kindergarten.
“It’s a structured program that moves at a slower pace and gives them an opportunity to develop social skills,” Crowder added. “It better prepares them for the first grade. The parents agree to a two-year program, and the kids do really well.”
Crowder said Rosewood is a school for advanced studies, providing enhanced academic instruction in English, reading and mathematics. It is also a pilot campus for the Adopt the Arts Foundation, a private non-profit supporting school arts programs co-founded by Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and community member Abby Berman. The organization funded a music teacher and a new music room. All students receive vocal training, and 3rd through 6th graders learn to play drums, guitar and keyboards.
Crowder said other partnerships have followed. The school is currently working with Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on a program in which student art will be displayed on the company’s packaging.
Rosewood Avenue Elementary School is also in the process of creating a media and technology lab – a project Crowder said is a work in progress. She hopes to raise $208,000 for new computers and other equipment, as well as teacher training and professional development. So far, she has raised approximately $20,000.
“The goal is to integrate technology in the classroom,” Crowder added. “Once we have that, we can start teaching them coding and graphic design. The goal is career and college readiness.”
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