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The Variations in Education

DSCN2135 Fremont | This image was taken on the backside of Fremont High School at the end of the day around the time the students had been dismissed.

View Schools near Central in a larger map
Locate the Schools | South Region High School #2 and John C. Fremont High School are located only a few blocks away from each other.

The New School | Erica Pickett talks about how she is adjusting to SRHS #2 after switching from Fremont High School.

What it is like to be a Fremont High School Student
Edgar Lopez, a junior at Fremont High School, talks about what his experience has been at the school. Lopez talks about everything including the different social groups to the extracurricular activities to how well the school helps students prepapre for their futures.
The Kids of L.A.
The piece will delve into a prominent after school program in Los Angeles called LA’s Best. The audio slideshow will be composed of several LA’s Best students and what they do while they are in the program.
Heart, Hope and Health
With the heavy Latino influence of the neighborhood, it becomes increasingly more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. From lack of gyms and fitness centers, to the lack of healthy food products offered by local grocers, to the constant need for affordable medical attention for the thousands of family that occupy this neighborhood, health is a huge concern for these Los Angelenos. This site will explore how the neighborhood, and those that live and work in it, habitually pursue ways to be healthy in their neighborhood.
An Alternative Family
Mount Carmel Park is more than just a safe haven to keep kids busy and off the streets after school, the staff and those who have grown up at the park are a family. Cesar Ramirez, the park’s director, creates an environment where his team has the freedom to do their jobs and the kids get the perfect balance of discipline and love.

By Riannon Trutanich

Drive down Central Avenue and it is hard to overlook a modern style silver building that takes up an entire street block. It could easily be mistaken for a new office building since there are no signs but actually it is South Region High School #2.

Drive a few more blocks to San Pedro Street and there is another building that is hard to miss for different reasons. It is a large brick building and upon closer inspection it is easy to find graffiti covering its’ exterior. This is John C. Fremont High School.

Both SRHS #2 and Fremont High School are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and are located only a few blocks apart although their geographic proximity is where the similarities end. The intention for the new school by the district was for it to provide another high school in the area for students.

“The purpose of the school (SRHS #2) is to alleviate the overcrowding of Fremont High School and to take one third of the Fremont sophomore and junior students,” said Erwin Bolanos, SRHS #2 Site Operations Coordinator.

The school, which opened this September, offers a progressive learning environment centered around four academies within the school that offer students specialized fields of study. Fremont High School retains a more traditional secondary education plan.

The new school was created for the purpose of decreasing the overcrowded Fremont High School. This led some parents to believe the schools would have similar education structures and equal facilities.

“When I found out about the new school I thought keeping my son at Fremont would be the better choice since he was already there but now that I have heard about the programs the new school is offering I am not sure,” said Cynthia Velasquez, a Fremont High School parent.

There is a differentiation between the schools when it comes to the quality of materials and facilities. SRHS #2 students are enjoying the benefits of a new campus as well as new books and materials. The school is also working to get the students iPads for the next school year that would store all of their textbooks. Students at Fremont have an older campus that is plagued with graffiti and are not getting as new learning materials.

Providing one school with such advanced facilities and materials during a budget crisis may appear unnecessary especially when other schools in the district are in need of materials as well. Implementing schools like SRHS #2 are part of a new educational plan for LAUSD.

“The funding for new school construction was in place long before the economic downturn. The overarching goal was to provide new, technology-based learning environments in the communities in which the students live,” said Roxann Roque, an LAUSD Community Facilitator.

LAUSD is using SRHS #2 as a way to introduce new aspects back into the school system that could potentially change more schools in the district. SRHS #2 will also be integrating a more traditional school calendar compared to the year round calendar Fremont uses.

Although the schools are very different having multiple schools in the area that are both public allow students to find a school that they are most comfortable with.

“My daughter started at the new school a few months ago and she is really happy with it. She loves art and really likes that she gets to spend a lot of time with it. If she is happy that is what is important,” said Vanessa Valdez, a SRHS #2 parent.

SRHS #2 will not have a graduating class until next year. Students who were already attending Fremont High School were given the option to transfer over to SRHS #2. Some students were automatically switched based upon where they live.

“Both of the schools have positive and negative aspects like anything else. I think it is great that there is variety in the types of schools and that students can choose what works best for them,” said Valdez.

SRHS #2 | The main entrance of South Region High School #2 on Central.
DSCN2268Fremont | The main entrance to Fremont High School on San Pedro Street.