Inspired by the growing success of arts-integrated Waldorf Education in private schools, a group of Mar Vista and Venice neighbors began organizing over a decade ago to create a public independent charter school in the Mar Vista neighborhood with an innovative arts-integrated program based upon the principles of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf Education.
In 2004 Ocean Charter School was born with a commitment to achieving academic excellence through creative learning, sparking imagination and fostering critical thinking. Ocean Charter School initially opened in a rented church space on Culver Boulevard near Beethoven Street. The school has since expanded and in 2006 transferred students in grades 4-8 into classrooms co-located in temporary buildings on the Walgrove Elementary campus, now home to 208 Ocean Charter students. The two schools have collaborated together in areas such as planting and cultivating a community garden, providing arts programming in the school auditorium, a reading buddies program across grades and a Friday morning “Reef Cafe” potluck-fundraiser.
On June 21st of this year the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board voted to approve leasing a two-acre portion of unused space on the Walgrove Elementary school campus to a charter school.
The Ocean Charter School Board has announced plans to submit a proposal for LAUSD consideration that would transfer its remaining 252 students in kindergarten through third grade to co-locate on the Walgrove Elementary campus – and replace its temporary space with construction of several new classrooms and facilities. The school has announced it is seeking community input on its proposal and expanding its community outreach effort to engage with key stakeholders.
Ocean Charter School Board President Fran Montano said, “OCS is strongly committed to developing plans that incorporate the needs and concerns of neighbors, Walgrove staff and parents and the community at large.”
Ocean Charter School has long sought to reunite the elementary and middle school onto a single campus in order to realize the school’s mission of a combined K-8 community experience. Having a single campus is expected to reduce overall traffic congestion by eliminating the need for parents to shuttle siblings between the two campuses, and it would promote more walking/biking options for neighborhood families.
Over the last several months Ocean Charter School parents, administrators, and Board have been sharing with numerous stakeholders the school’s vision to build a new “residential style” learning space that highlights the school’s arts-integrated curriculum with a sustainable, eco-friendly design and multi use grounds. The school is also exploring plans that will include a joint use community park co-located on the campus.
During the proposal process, representatives of the school are meeting with community stakeholders to gather input on the school’s proposed plans. Community members are invited to get in touch with the school at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments regarding the school’s proposal.
LAUSD has yet to issue the detailed information required to submit the proposal but is expected to do so in the coming weeks. In addition to the Ocean Charter School proposal, LAUSD is expected to consider other charter school proposals to co-locate on the campus, though the entire process of selection and construction is expected to take approximately three years.
About Ocean Charter School
Offering an innovative arts-integrated program based upon the principles of Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf Education, Ocean Charter School (www.oceancharterschool.org) is a public independent charter school within LAUSD serving K-8 students. Established in 2004, Ocean Charter School is committed to achieving academic excellence through creative learning, sparking the child’s imagination and fostering critical thinking.