29 Aug Focus on Teamwork at LA Promise Charter High School #1
LA Promise Charter High School #1 is a TV and film-themed academy, offering dual enrollment at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.
It opened this year in South LA with a ribbon cutting attended by local city councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price. Less than a week later, the school was humming with students and teachers, gathering in the multipurpose room for a special surprise.
That morning, students had watched Remember the Titans, a movie about a coach (played by Denzel Washington) who, in Virginia in 1971, integrated a high school football team. The movie highlighted the importance of teamwork and teambuilding as a way to transcend racial divides.
For LA Promise Charter High School #1 Principal Qiana O’Leary, teamwork is the backbone of student and teacher success. Her commitment to building teamwork – evidenced by an entire week devoted to teambuilding – runs deep. And this morning, it meant that the school would get a special visit from one of the cast members of Remember the Titans, Wood Harris.
Harris stood before the school, talking about his experience in Remember the Titans, the value of teamwork, and how schools could benefit from this idea – “where you consider yourself a teammate,” and teachers become more like coaches, where “success for them is y’all’s success.”
O’Leary explains that for students who feel like they’re on the same team, they are more likely to look out for each other, to help each other, and to feel like their peer’s success or failure reflects on them, too.
The culture of the school, then only a few days old, could be felt in the camaraderie among teachers and students.
“The connection that the students have been able to form just in last couple of days is crazy,” said Tony Bowers, Math teacher.
How? “A combination of a couple of things: Ms. O’Leary having the understanding and the knowledge to want to make something great,” said Bowers. “And the teachers understanding that vision, and having the same drive. I always wanted to be a part of a great school, so when LAPF came, it just totally made sense. I’m at home. I absolutely love it.”
The school is now 2 weeks old, and the buzz and excitement endures.
LA Promise Fund’s vision is to radically improve the future of LA communities by increasing educational equity and ultimately closing the opportunity gap. At LA Promise Charter High School #1, teachers and partners are bringing opportunities, like this special visit from Wood Harris, as well as courses in film and TV taught by professors, to the school, giving students the inspiration and experience to aim higher, and go further.