Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 01, 2012
ICEF Public Schools today announced that its African-American and Latino graduates from its 2012 class are now attending college at rates double that of its Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) counterparts, with its 250 graduates now attending college with nearly $850,000 in scholarship money. ICEF’s class of 2012 achieved a graduation rate of 98 percent, with over 88 percent of those graduates now attending some of the top colleges and universities in the country this fall. ICEF currently serves over 4,200 students, 81 percent of whom are African-American, 16 percent are Latino, and 82 percent are low-income, across 14 elementary, middle and high schools in South Los Angeles.
ICEF’s schools are sending more than double the rate of African-American and Latino students from South Los Angeles to college as LAUSD. According to the California Department of Education, only 62 percent of African-American and 60 percent of Latino students graduated high school. Less than 40 percent of LAUSD African-American graduates and just over 35 percent of Latino graduates continued on to college.
“At ICEF, we have extremely high expectations for our students. We are very proud that we are transforming the South Los Angeles community by not only sending our students to college, but preparing them to be successful once they are there,” said Parker Hudnut, ICEF’s CEO. “ICEF’s model of academics, arts and athletics allows students to develop their talents and abilities holistically, creating young adults prepared to succeed both in school and in life.”
ICEF’s track record of preparing students for college can be attributed to its rigorous college readiness model, which led to 100 percent of ICEF’s 2012 graduates completing the requisite California requirements to attend a four-year college or university. By comparison, only 15 percent of LAUSD students graduated from high school qualified to apply to a four-year California university, according to a memo sent to the LAUSD school board by Superintendent John Deasy. ICEF is successfully closing the achievement gap for African-American and Latino students through a model based on academic rigor, high expectations for its students, parental involvement and rich extracurricular offerings in athletics and performing/visual arts. ICEF also aims to develop its students into well-rounded members of society that are committed to reinvesting in their community to create a vibrant and broad-based middle class in South Los Angeles.
ICEF’s three high schools – Frederick Douglass Academy High, Lou Dantzler Preparatory Charter High and View Park Preparatory Accelerated High - are part of the ICEF family of fourteen K-12 public charter schools serving the community. ICEF graduates attend some of the top 100 colleges and universities in the country and credit their experience at ICEF to the knowledge and skills needed to perform at a high level.
Amir Zimmermann, a graduate of Lou Dantzler and currently a freshman majoring in ethnomusicology at UCLA, chose ICEF because of the high-quality performing arts program, but quickly discovered the priority that college held for ICEF teachers and staff. Amir became the class president during his junior year, and implements the leadership and self-starter skills he learned at ICEF now that he’s at UCLA.
One example of an ICEF student giving back to her community is LaShawnae Smith, a 2008 graduate from View Park Prep and a 2012 Political Science graduate from UCLA, currently pursuing law school. At ICEF, LaShawnae was involved in activities spanning student government, choir, track and field and national honor society. When she arrived at UCLA, the transition from the small world of ICEF to the huge environment of a university was difficult. However, ICEF gave her the tools to persevere. “Through their supportive foundation, ICEF gave me the endurance to surpass anything. Without ICEF, I wouldn’t be the same person today,” LaShawnae said. LaShawnae currently mentors middle school and high school students at ICEF.
About ICEF Public Schools
ICEF Public Schools was founded in 1994 with the goal to transform the South Los Angeles community by providing high-quality educational opportunities for its students and preparing students to attend and compete academically at the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation. ICEF has achieved great success in closing the achievement gap for African-American and Latino students through an established a K-12 model based on academic rigor, high expectations for its students, parental involvement and rich extracurricular offerings in athletics and performing/visual arts. ICEF currently serves over 4,200 students, 81 percent of whom are African-American, 16 percent are Latino, and 82 percent are low-income, across 14 elementary, middle and high schools across South Los Angeles. To learn more about ICEF Public Schools, visit http://www.icefps.org.