17 Sep PUC Community Charter Middle School Celebrates its 20th Birthday
Community Charter Middle School, opened in 1999, was founded by Dr. Jacqueline Elliot, four teachers, and 100 founding students and their families. This year, the school is celebrating its 20th birthday. The development and opening of the school, which was the first startup charter in the San Fernando Valley, was followed by the media. This article is an example of the extensive coverage the school received on its opening day. http://articles.latimes.com/print/1999/sep/08/local/me-7938
As the first startup charter school in the San Fernando Valley, Dr. Elliot and the founding group faced and overcame immense challenges to get the school authorized and find a facility. In fact, when it became apparent that their facility would not be ready on time for the school’s opening, Dr. Elliot convinced her alma mater, CSUN, to provide 4 classrooms for the 100 sixth grade students until their facility was ready. LAUSD board member David Tokofsky then convinced a large bus company to provide free transportation for the 100 students to CSUN and back to the NE San Fernando Valley each day.
The students ended up spending 6 weeks on the CSUN campus and the effect was so profoundly positive in inspiring the students with a goal to graduate from high school and attend college, that Dr. Elliot decided that all future incoming 6th graders would go to CSUN for one week in order to become immersed in the college vision, before beginning their middle school journey.
Community Charter Middle School became very popular very quickly which led to Dr. Elliot founding 5 more middle schools for the community. In the summer of 2018, six-hundred incoming sixth grade students from the NE San Fernando Valley PUC middle schools attended CSUN for one week and became inspired to go to college as has been the case with the preceding sixth grade students over the course of the past 20 years.