Larchmont Charter School was founded by parents who had a vision for a different kind of school. At the time of its founding, the neighborhood public schools were largely segregated and had a back to basics, stripped down, one-size fits all, scripted curriculum and very little parent involvement. They wanted a school that fully reflected the rich diversity of LA, a school with a more inspired approach to teaching and a school that would embrace parents as partners in strengthening the school and instilling in our kids a dedication to improving the world.
Larchmont is a constructivist school. Constructivism is a theory of learning which holds that each of us has a unique schema of the world based on our lived experience and that by interacting with our environment we make connections to what we already know and construct new meaning. It is therefore essential that we know our students well to be able to meet them where they are and grow from there. We do this through small class size, looping, longer periods of instruction, and a focus on social emotional development and community K-12.
Learning is seen as an active process. Diversity is core to our model because it is through ensuring a richly diverse environment – of both people and programming – that we create the setting for learning to occur. The diversity of our community provides students the opportunities to interact and benefit from students and staff from disparate backgrounds often resulting in a variety of perspectives leading to diversity of thought and increasing critical and creative thinking. The diversity in the program – both the interdisciplinary project based learning and the rich array of enrichment and elective offerings – music, art, movement, cooking, gardening, improvisation and more K-12 – tap into our students’ multiple intelligences and facilitate them making connections across the curriculum. This is the power of our model.