Wilbur Charter for Enriched Academics, formerly known as Wilbur Avenue Elementary School, is an affiliated charter school, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school is located in Tarzana, in the western San Fernando Valley, and opened for students in 1959.
Since Wilbur’s charter conversion to affiliated charter status, our student enrollment has grown each year with a wait list of approximately 200 students every year. The CST test was no longer administered after the first 2 years of the charter term, but our scores during those years exceeded District goals, and we met all growth targets. Student performance on the SBAC, implemented in 2013-14 as a field test, has shown growth over the last two years, 2014-15 and 2015-16, in language arts and math. We directly attribute our academic growth in Language Arts and Math to the integration of technological innovations and art across the curriculum. The governance council and the teacher-led committees play a significant part in increasing student performance. Teacher-led committees determine the needs of our students. For example, our Curriculum, Data, and Assessment committee examines and analyzes test scores to determine specific areas of need. Committee reports are given to the governance council. Our governance council then makes decisions based on the educational needs of the program. Decisions directly impact the success and academic achievements of the charter school.
Wilbur CEA fosters a community atmosphere within the Charter School and creates a welcoming environment for families of diverse backgrounds. Our English Language Learners continue to reclassify at a higher rate than that of the District. Non-English speaking new arrivals to the country join our Newcomers Club, taught during Tuesday banked time days by a certificated teacher. The club accelerates the level of English proficiency for our emerging English Language Learners. Our RSP program collaborates with the General Education classroom teachers to help each child achieve grade level success. GATE students at Wilbur participate in a supplemental program with a charter-funded certificated teacher for differentiated instruction. Some examples are designing their own inventions, creating their own games and building and programming a robot.
As we strive to provide these programs, improving the attendance of our students continues to be a priority. Through charter funding, we have hired a parent-community representative who communicates regularly with parents the importance of daily attendance. We would also like to increase the attendance of parents at our monthly governance council and charter committee meetings. In an effort to accommodate more parents’ schedules, we’ve begun to offer meetings at different times of the day. Increasing the amount of technology for students has always been a priority, and most recently the governance council approved and purchased Chromebooks for each 4th and 5th grade student to be used at school.
Our intent is to preserve our core population of neighborhood students, while opening our enrollment, as capacity permits. We will use our resources to establish ourselves as an innovative center of learning and a vital part of the Tarzana community. Our school will offer a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary curriculum designed to give students the most enriched education possible, preparing students for educational and career success for years to come.