Fenton Primary Center
History of Fenton Primary Center
Fenton Primary Center is located in the northeast San Fernando Valley, in the city of Pacoima. Fenton Primary Center was originally part of Fenton Avenue Charter School and continues to educate students from Fenton Avenue Elementary School’s former attendance area. The Fenton Primary Center charter was created to allow the Lake View Terrace community and Fenton Avenue Charter School to move from a multi-track to single-track traditional calendar and alleviate overcrowding on one campus. On November 15, 2006, the Fenton Avenue Charter School community, led by founders Angie Carter, Donald Parker and Irene Sumida, submitted a petition for a start-up charter as a means of alleviating overcrowding at Fenton Avenue Charter School and eventually removing the conversion charter school from the year round, multi-track calendar it had followed for over 20 years.
Fenton Primary Center was originally designed to accommodate one-third of the students attending Fenton Avenue Charter School - all students in kindergarten and first grade. The start-up charter was also committed to serving all students in grades K-1 living in the former Fenton Avenue Elementary School attendance area, while allowing other interested students the option of enrollment as space permitted. The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved the charter on March 13, 2007.
Fenton Primary Center spent one year coordinating the implementation of a start-up charter school, from July 2007 to June 2008; and on July 7, 2008, the Fenton Primary Center opened with 451 kindergarten and first grade students. For five years, 2008-2013, the Charter School was co-located with Fenton Avenue Charter School. The two schools remained on the same year-round multi-track calendar and on the same campus.
Fenton Primary Center continued to look for a facility while submitting a charter renewal in 2011. Through the charter renewal process, FPC added 2nd grade to the petition to make the Charter School a true primary center that would serve students kindergarten through second grade. FACS simultaneously stopped offering 2nd grade, and students had the opportunity to enroll at Fenton Primary Center. This would also help Fenton Avenue Charter School with overcrowding once Fenton Primary Center moved to a separate location. On December 6, 2011, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved the charter renewal, with the addition of 2nd grade. FPC continued its search for a facility that would accomplish the intention of the charter, which was to allow the Lake View Terrace Community and Fenton Avenue Charter School to have a single-track traditional calendar and alleviate overcrowding on one campus. In 2012, a parcel, less than one mile from Fenton Avenue Charter School in Pacoima, was located, and plans to construct a state-of-the-art facility were underway. On December 20, 2012, construction began on a 55,000 square foot school facility with 40 classrooms. The project was very well planned and coordinated and in less than 10 months, the Charter School was open.
On September 4, 2013, Fenton Primary Center, located at 11351 Dronfield Avenue, Pacoima, CA 91331, opened its doors in a state-of-the-art building ready to serve 794 students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. It was a historical event the Lake View Terrace and FCPS families had waited 20 years to accomplish.
During the 2013-2014 school year, Fenton Primary Center staff worked diligently to acclimate to a new facility. Teachers and administrators worked tirelessly on creating and revising schedules, play area configurations, and classroom furniture arrangements for optimal learning while also reviewing and implementing a new rigorous language arts curriculum, Reading Wonders, published by McGraw Hill. The teachers also created a Common Core State Standards (“CCSS”)-based report card, for parents, aligned with the new CCSS. The school year went quickly and on June 5, 2014 Fenton Primary Center had a celebration for completing the first school year. Many stakeholders and support providers attended the event including politicians, LAUSD board members and Charter Schools Division staff, and everyone who made the construction a success.
The 2014-2015 school year was the year of careful evaluation of student success. The teaching staff implemented Reading Wonders and instantly began to see success and improvement in student reading skills. Teachers were collaborating many hours to master the delivery of the common core standards. Fenton Primary Center also reviewed various CCSS aligned math curricula in 2014-2015 and chose My Math by McGraw Hill as its new adoption.
The 2015-2016 school year was a huge success for Fenton Primary Center. The Charter School successfully implemented a structured reading intervention program that included specific strategies that helped struggling readers, including English Learners, and students with special needs. FPC also implemented a stronger special education program to serve over 100 students with special needs. The program included a full-time roster of a counselor, a psychologist, four education specialists, a speech therapist, and part-time support from an occupational therapist, an adapted physical education teacher, as well as a full-time coordinator to help monitor the program.
Fenton Primary Center has successfully implemented its goals set every year. The Charter School is really showing tremendous growth in student learning. FPC is clearly on the right path in providing students with a rigorous curriculum and an amazing learning environment.
Since 2007, when the original start-up charter was written, the families of Lake View Terrace and Pacoima eagerly awaited the following three objectives to occur in their community:
Families wanted to have their children off a year round school calendar.
- Families wanted to see Fenton Charter Public School build on the quality of education that they as stakeholders helped to develop.
- Families wanted to see quality education continue for generations with a lasting impact in the community and sustained effect on learning outcomes.
- Families wanted to have their children off a year round school calendar.
In 2013, the Fenton Primary Center accomplished its primary goal of moving off the year round multi-track, 163-day calendar for the first time in over 20 years and moved into its own 55,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. The Charter School transitioned from its original location, Fenton Avenue Charter School in Lake View Terrace, to the new location in Pacoima. Fenton Primary Center initially served grades K-2. In order to better serve the community, Transitional Kindergarten was added during the 2015-16 school year. The 2015-16 student population at the Charter School includes the following number of students at each grade level: transitional kindergarten - 50; kindergarten - 238; 1st grade - 253; 2nd grade – 276.
Administrators, teachers, parents, paraprofessionals and community stakeholders worked collaboratively to raise the educational aspirations of the students and to create a culture of high expectations. Parents are involved in the decision making process and have been afforded many opportunities to share their ideas and to work side by side with teachers and other staff members. Families have played an integral role in developing the quality of education that has launched their children into the 21st Century.
Fenton Primary Center has successfully met its major goal of opening and implementing the requirements of a new facility with a priority of safety and a positive learning environment.
Families wanted to see Fenton Charter Public Schools build on the quality of education that they, as stakeholders, helped to develop
The Charter School’s teachers, administrators, and parents have consistently reviewed, modified, and adopted new curriculum to improve student success. The Charter School adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, continues to implement the Mutt-i-grees social-emotional program, provides staff with quality professional development, and provides students and staff with the latest technology. The Charter School is definitely on track to accomplish the third objective of making an impact on the community. Many families have been attending FCPS schools for at least two generations.
The Charter School continues to successfully implement new technologies in every classroom and staff was an integral part of the construction of the new facility. Teachers have access to many additional resources available online and the latest education programs. The facility is equipped with very fast wireless Internet connection, computers in every classroom (9 desktops, 1 teacher laptop, at least 1 iPad), document camera, and an interactive projector. FPC has met the goal of implementing and integrating technology.
Families wanted to see quality education continue for generations with a lasting impact in the community and sustained effect on learning outcomes
The Charter School continues to find innovative ways to improve the academic performance of all students. The Charter School has determined the three major areas of need are improving English learner outcomes, quality parent engagement, and professional development for staff to implement the programs that the FCPS organization has found to be very effective. These three goals will assure a continued focus on the quality of education for all students.