Orientation Day!On the second Wednesday of September, Value Schools Orientation Team volunteers held the Second Annual Orientation Night for new staff members and faculty.

With a good meal and good cheer, Value Schools veterans spent an evening imparting our vision and mission to our newest colleagues, explaining how we teach and model the values every day.

Janelle Sagrero, alumna of Downtown Value and Central City Value, was a perfect choice to explain how the values influenced her to pursue higher education and dedicate her life to giving back. After graduating from University of California Irvine, Janelle has returned to teach Senior Seminar at University Prep Value High School!

Discussion, role play, games, and the testimonials of teachers, students and parents from each of our four schools demonstrated the power of the values to create exceptional schools and exceptional lives.

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Value Schools thanks the dedicated teachers who led the event: Vanessa Navarro and Laura Oh from University Prep Value, and Lauren Norman and Taylor Willcox from Everest Value. It was a wonderful evening!

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At the start of every school year, Value Schools holds a "Formation Day" to inspire leaders, teachers, and staff from all four campuses. This year, through the courtesy of Everest Value's neighbor, the Immanuel Presbyterian Church, we had a beautiful site for our gathering.

In his keynote address, Board Chair Grant Cambridge shared the story of his own life journey and how he sees it reflected in the lives of so many of our students. He reminded us that we are stronger together, especially when we live the values each and every day.

Mr. Cambridge introduced the whole Value Schools community to We Climb – our campaign to raise funds for an Everest Value School campus - and stressed that each campus and every teacher will have a role in making the campaign a success.

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Formation Day also celebrated Value Schools veterans who have worked together for more than ten years to inspire students and make our community stronger. Reflecting Value Schools' pride in this growing cadre of "old hands" - teachers, administrators, our CEO, and even Mr. Cambridge himself, each veteran received a Value Schools ten-year pin emblazoned with the fitting term "commitment."

Leadership Committee MembersStudents from Central City Value and University Prep Value do good works in their communities and learn essential leadership skills in the process. As members of the Los Angeles Youth Leadership Council, they do everything from cleaning up their own environment to feeding their less fortunate neighbors.

Fifty-nine students from both high schools met at Red Shield in Los Angeles' Pico-Union district, where each student committed to being responsible, attentive, dependable, and respectful.

The Leadership Council urges students to think of themselves as Ambassadors of Compassion, individuals who "want to create a better world around them and take responsibility for their own life." Working first individually and then in small groups, students shared three calls to responsible action. Leadership opportunities like this have a profound impact on our students.

After doing this for four years, working with others and standing up in front of large crowds of people feels easy. It’s taught me how to better communicate, and that means we can work together for a better world.”
-- Graciela S., senior at University Prep Value High School

“I've gotten really good at working with other people," says Graciela S., a senior from University Prep Value. "After doing this for four years, working with others and standing up in front of large crowds of people feels easy. It's taught me how to better communicate, and that means we can work together for a better world.”

Many participants report that the experience builds character and helps develop their skills in public speaking, social etiquette, and group planning and collaboration. Jair V., another University Prep Value senior, sees the impact in and out of the classroom.

“We do meaningful things in the community," Jair says, "and at the same time we are learning about life - what you can do if there's abuse at home, or how to deal with peer pressure and things like drugs.”

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This program and other leadership programs like it help kids grapple with tough issues while empowering them to be leaders in their community. Value Schools celebrates the potential of each and every student, and works to ensure our students' potential is transformed into actions - actions that change perspectives and reshape lives.

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WeClimb Logo RGB400x409Nearly every parent, student and teacher from Everest Value School came together for the Base Camp-themed back-to-school night and the announcement of We Climb.

Parents and students are excited by the launch of We Climb, Value Schools' campaign to raise $4.0 million toward the cost of a state-of-the-art campus for Everest Value School. The new campus will enjoy enough space to provide an exceptional education to twice as many children.

The provisional space Everest Value currently occupies was intended as a temporary school site. Now, Everest Value is bursting at the seams and anxious to double its enrollment to its charter capacity.

What we see here is that everyone works in unison. Teachers, parents, students, everyone. Together we’ve built a family."
-- Crisoforo Luna, parent of 3 Everest Value School students

And parents are anxious to enroll more of their children. Everest Value maintains a robust waiting list of families who recognize the strong academic program and family-centered culture the school has developed in its first years of operation.

"What we see here is that everyone works in unison," says Crisoforo Luna, the proud parent of three Everest Value school students in kindergarten, fourth and sixth grades! "Teachers, parents, students, everyone. Together we've built a family.”

parentUrban charter schools face daunting facilities challenges, and competition is fierce. Converting an industrial or commercial property into a suitable school site is a steep climb. Fortunately, our supporters have been with us at every step.

We have grown with our friends by our side, and are excited to join again with those who recognize the power and impact of a values-based education.

When the challenges are great, we climb. Climb the mountain with us. Check out WeClimbEVS.org.

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Ninety students from Downtown Value and Everest Value recently received the gift of sight. Vision To Learn, a national non-profit organization helping kids in low-income communities like ours visited our K-8 campuses.

Arriving at each school with portable eye exam equipment, a Vision To Learn optometrist identified students who needed a prescription and offered each a free pair of glasses.

"My glasses changed the way I feel," says Frank E., a 6th grade student at Downtown Value School. "I can see when my teacher asks me to read something on the board. It makes me feel more confident. And my mom even says they make me look good!"

I can see when my teacher asks me to read something on the board. It makes me feel more confident. And my mom even says they make me look good!"
-- Frank E., Downtown Value 6th Grader

About one in five young students need glasses to see the board, read a book, or participate fully in class. Unfortunately, in low-income communities, 95% of children who need glasses do not have them.

Vision To Learn's mobile clinics work to solve this problem by bringing free eye exams and glasses to school children in low-income communities. As the largest program of its kind, Vision To Learn serves children in more than 220 cities from Honolulu to Baltimore.

Value Schools is honored and thrilled to partner with Vision To Learn, and excited that so many of our students now have the vision they need to achieve success! You can learn more and help support Vision To Learn, as they bring the gift of sight to even more students at Value Schools and across the country.

roberts 32Dr. Terrence Roberts, PhD. returned to Value Schools in May to visit our 9th grade Freshman Seminar students at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Roberts was one of nine African American students to attend Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The first of any African American students to attend the racially segregated school, they faced brutal racism, bigotry, and violence, and were soon dubbed “The Little Rock Nine.” These students became a symbol of courage and justice, fighting to promote the ideals of equality of opportunity for all.

Dr. Roberts’s life is a testament not only to the courage it took to enter Little Rock Central back in 1957, but to his willingness and generosity to give back the wealth of his experience to others.

The overarching theme at each of the institutions [where I went to school] was ‘Excellence in Education...You have to become CEO of your own independent-learning enterprise."
-- Dr. Terrence Roberts

Dr. Roberts shared his experience as an African American student under violent and daily threat at Little Rock Central, as well as articulate philosophies on life, education, race, equality, opportunity, and commitment.

“The overarching theme at each of the institutions [where I went to school] was ‘Excellence in Education,’” he said. “You kids must take on an executive responsibility for learning. You have to become CEO of your own independent-learning enterprise.”

Dr. Roberts reminded us that even in the face of violence and opposition, one can still stay true to oneself while rising to meet nearly any challenge.

roberts 46"Fear does not have to interfere with what you can do, what you choose to do. You can do it anyway,” he told students. "Just put the fear in your pocket and keep going. That’s what I did at Central. I learned I could take a vow of non-violence, and I could still live.”

In addition to the larger group speech, Dr. Roberts participated in a “Town Hall” with a select group of students. There, he was even more specific on the details of his life and philosophy. When it was over, students did not want to leave. Instead, they encircled Dr. Roberts, asked more questions, took ’selfies’, and shared their own experiences of challenge and hope.

Value Schools has a long-standing curricular connection between our students and the Little Rock Nine. Because of the generosity of many on the Value Schools Boards of Directors, select Value Schools students have, over the years, been able to travel to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas, a National Historic Site, and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

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"The Little Rock Nine were students who put their lives at risk each day in order to demonstrate academic excellence,” said David Doyle, CEO of Value Schools. "They developed their potential in the face of a community who didn't want them to succeed. They kept cool and demonstrated respect when many adults and students disrespected them. In short, the Little Rock Nine demonstrated the same values in 1957 that we ask our students to live every day at Value Schools.”

Dr. Roberts and all those of the Little Rock Nine have been - and will continue to be - heroes and reminders for all of us. As Freshmen study the Little Rock Nine in Seminar, and present their motivational speeches to their peers, a poster of The Little Rock Nine stands before the podium with the word “Determination" written boldly across the top, enabling students to channel the courage and determination of the Little Rock Nine.

We thank Dr. Roberts for visiting our students, for sharing his ideas, his hopes, and his wisdom. He is an inspiration to us all!

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Downtown Value School Downtown Value School 
950 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Phone: (213) 748-8868
Fax: (213) 742-6684
Everest Value School Everest Value School
668 South Catalina St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 487-7736
Fax: (213) 487-7745
Central City Value High School Central City Value High School
221 North Westmoreland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: (213) 471-4686
Fax: (213) 385-5127
University Prep Value High School University Prep Value High School
1929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 382-1223