How Our School was Born
Imagine an elementary school with all of the resources a teacher or parent could ever want. It’s located near world-class museums, a major university and a state-of-the-art teacher professional development center. The school features an integrated curriculum emphasizing science, mathematics and the use of technology. Its teachers are fully credentialed with a demonstrated ability to make science and math engaging and accessible to their students. And it’s not a magnet school but, rather, a neighborhood school for underserved groups of children and their parents. While such a school seems like a dream, it is a dream that has become reality in South Los Angeles, the result of more than a decade of collaborative work between the California Science Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
For the California Science Center, the building of the Science Center School represents a crucial step in its 25-year master plan. The construction site is part of the Science Center complex and includes a new building to house most of the school’s classrooms and the newly renovated Wallis Annenberg Building for Science Learning and Innovation. The Wallis Annenberg Building houses eight classrooms, administrative offices, a multi-purpose room and the school library. In addition, the Wallis Annenberg building includes over 80,000 square feet for the Science Center’s education division, the Amgen Center for Science Learning. This means that the Science Center School is directly adjacent to cutting edge facilities that will house many of the Science Center’s programs including community programs, summer science camp, camp-ins and a burgeoning teacher professional development program.
The development of the school was an inclusive process. At each key programmatic element, time was taken to assure that the project reflected the expectations of all those involved. A good example of this was the school envisioning process which was done in 2002 to put a firm vision in place for what this school was truly about. The two most significant products of this envisioning process are the vision statement and the project timeline. This timeline, which included such items as identifying and hiring a school principal, developing the school’s curriculum and supplying and equipping the school, guided the school’s developmental progress.
School opened for the first day of classes on September 9, 2004. Over 690 students attended classes during the 2005-2006 school year.
The central instructional goal is to integrate a "science center-style approach" with the formal educational methods commonly practiced in schools. Science Center-style learning, which is unique, experiential, active, participatory and uses real specimens (such as objects and artifacts) implies that the formal connections between the Science Center and school are two-way and complimentary. Students will also develop and evaluate exhibits for possible display in the School and Science Center.
Dual Language - Spanish
We are proud to offer a Dual Language Program instructional option. Students are given the option at enrollment to enter the Dual Language Spanish Program. Students receive both English and Spanish instruction using the 50-50 model. In other words, half of their instructional minutes are used learning grade level content in English and the other half of their instructional minutes are used learning grade level content in Spanish. Learn more about the program on the LAUSD Dual Language website.
Charter Petition 2019-2024
Alexander Science Center School is an affiliated charter school with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Click here to view our most recent charter petition. Our charter was renewed July 2019.