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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
Kindergarten student Mary Saroyan, center, raises her hand in LAUSD's first English/Armenian dual-language program at Mountain View Elementary School in Tujunga.
Kindergarten student Mary Saroyan, center, raises her hand in LAUSD's first English/Armenian dual-language program at Mountain View Elementary School in Tujunga. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

At Mountain View Elementary School in Tujunga about three-fourths of the population is of Armenian heritage. Parents have been looking for years for a way to pass on the language and culture to their children. 

Some left for the neighboring Glendale Unified School District, which has had an Armenian dual-immersion program for years.

Shakeh Ayvazian, a Los Angeles Unified School District parent community facilitator, noticed that parents were making moves to leave for other districts, and worked with them to push for a similar program in L.A. Unified.

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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents

Should California start the school day later?

That question is at the center of efforts by some state lawmakers to push back start times for middle and high schools to 8:30 a.m. or later, a proposal that is controversial mainly for adults.

For students, the question of whether it would be good to wake up later is not a question at all.

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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
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  • K-12
  • LAUSD
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(Los Angeles Unified School District)

L.A. Unified's newest offering, the Boys Academic Leadership Academy, emphasizes science, technology,  engineering, arts and math, or STEAM education.

L.A. Unified opened a boys school in part to comply with its interpretation of a federal regulation after it launched the single-sex Girls Academic Leadership Academy in Mid-City last year. But it’s also the kind of unusual offering that the district hopes will help its ongoing fight to recapture enrollment — and revenue — lost to charter schools.

“The district is trying to give parents a unique opportunity they feel they can’t get through charter schools,” said Tyrone Howard, a professor and associate dean for equity and inclusion at UCLA’s education and information school. But, he said, “you can’t just say it, you have to ensure the quality of the school.”

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents
(Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

Before students arrive in their back-to-school best to start a new school year, L.A. Unified prepares for months: dusting classroom blinds on both sides, laying down six coats of wax in hallways, splashing apple cider vinegar into newly sanitized toilets.

L.A. schools are expected to open their doors spick-and-span, despite smaller crews, constricted budgets and lots of wear and tear.

Over the summer, as part of a broad push for improvement, the newly configured Board of Education focused on that expectation by passing a resolution that requires Supt. Michelle King to verify in writing “that schools and classrooms are ‘ready to learn’ for the first day of school” — a readiness that includes “deep cleaning.”

  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents
  • Charter Schools
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

More than 550,000 Los Angeles Unified students head back to school Tuesday. Here’s what’s new in the nation’s second-largest school district:

1. Boys get their own school now

L.A. Unified launched an all-girls school last year. But federal guidelines suggest that if a district has an all-girls school, it must also provide a similar offering just for boys.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • For Parents
(McKenna Thurber)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Teens in the San Fernando Valley are bringing back the region's punk scene.
  2. In time for the start of a new school year, a new book looks at the first childhood forays of children's writers and illustrators.

In California:

  1. At nearly 750 schools statewide, many kindergartners still aren't fully vaccinated.
  2. How affirmative action could roil the gubernatorial election.

Nationwide:

  1. Read the full transcript of the Associated Press' interview with Betsy DeVos, in which she said that parents should be the quality control for school choice and that she feels empowered by President Trump.
  2. Some advice from experts on how to talk about this weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Va., with young children.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A debate about affirmative action has emerged in the campaign for governor, threatening to inject a potentially volatile racial element into the 2018 contest after the issue divided California Democrats along ethnic lines three years ago.

The question of whether race should be considered in admissions to California’s colleges and universities was raised in recent weeks when the state’s Latino and black legislative caucuses sent a letter to the top six gubernatorial candidates.