Cerritos Elementary to become a computer science magnet school

Cerritos Elementary will become a computer magnet school at the beginning of next school year, making it the fourth magnet school in the Glendale Unified School District.

There was no discussion — just cheerful chuckles — before the Glendale Unified school board approved the change Tuesday after Cerritos entered into a five-year contract in July with Code to the Future, a program that provides schools with on-site coaching, lesson plans and project-based units, among other materials.

Through the partnership, Cerritos students learn fundamentals of computer coding as part of their daily curriculum.

In 2013, school officials were unsuccessful when they applied for a grant for Cerritos that would have turned it into a science, technology, engineering and mathematics campus.

Other magnet schools in the district are Edison Elementary, with its advanced technology program, Franklin Elementary, with its International Foreign Language Academy of Glendale, and Keppel Elementary, with its visual and performing arts focus.

Cerritos Elementary is made up of a majority of students who come from low-income homes, making them eligible for free and reduced-priced lunches.

About 84% of its students live in low-income households, while 54% of them are English learners.

Regarding Code to the Future, on-site coaching and the cost of using the program will decrease throughout the five-year contract.

During this school year, the cost is $100,000 for 36 days of coaching and eight days of professional development and technical assistance, according to a staff report.

By 2021-22, 12 days of on-site coaching and four days of professional development will cost $33,000.

The proposal to partner with the company was brought to the school board in June due to declining enrollment at the district’s southernmost school.

Students who live outside Cerritos’ enrollment boundaries can enter an enrollment lottery by completing an online application, which can be found at gusdmagnetandflag.com.

Online applications must be submitted by Jan. 31 to enter the lottery. Applications filed after that day will go on a waiting list.

Students who live within the Cerritos’ boundaries can continue to enroll without entering the lottery.

mark.kellam@latimes.com

Twitter: @lamarkkellam

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