The Fenton Academies are located in Sun Valley, California, a suburb of the city of Los Angeles. The school is located on Sunland Boulevard near the busy intersection of Glenoaks Boulevard, across the street from a strip mall, and on the same side of Sunland Boulevard as a large produce market, a bank, and gas station. The area behind the school is residential with single-family dwellings, a large private school and traditional public school nearby. The schools occupy a 50,000 square foot building, fully renovated to house students in 36 classrooms. Recently, the Fenton organization secured a state bond to lease an adjacent 22,000 square foot building. Design and construction plans for the annex are in progress with the expectation to open during the 2020-2021 school year. The additional space will provide 9 classrooms, a multipurpose room, additional storage and offices, as well as elevator and stair access to a rooftop playground. The total students to be served is 1,128 (47 classrooms at 24 students per room) at full capacity. Both buildings are leased with no plans to relocate either school. As start-up charter schools, interest and choice drive the enrollment and determine the diversity of the population, which does reflect the demographics of the surrounding areas of Sun Valley, Sunland, Tujunga, Shadow Hills and the east San Fernando Valley area in general.
Fenton Charter Leadership Academy (FCLA) Background
In September 2009, Fenton Avenue Charter School was invited to participate in a three-day workshop sponsored by Yale University at which time the “Mutt-i-grees” Curriculum, an innovative approach to teaching children social-emotional skills, was to be introduced to selected schools in California. As a result of the level of commitment and interest, Fenton Avenue Charter School was named lead California school for the “Mutt-i-grees” project and also invited to join Yale University’s 20-year old project, the School of the 21st Century, also as the lead California school. The partnership that ensued between Fenton and Yale University sparked staff-wide interest in social and emotional learning (SEL) and the benefits that full implementation of the “Mutt-i-grees” program could bring to the Fenton charter schools and the surrounding community. Interest in social and emotional learning, and the benefits that an instructional program that fully embraced and integrated SEL into all aspects of the school day, led Barbara Aragón, lead Fenton teacher of the Yale-Fenton partnership, and Toni Frear, Fenton elementary school counselor and founding team member of the Yale partnership, to write a charter petition in the 2012-2013 school year. The charter petition for the Fenton Academy for Social and Emotional Learning was approved by the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in June of 2013.
Opened in August 2015, Fenton Academy for Social and Emotional Learning ("FASEL" or "Charter School") is charter number 1613 in the state of California and one of the five schools within the Fenton Charter Public Schools charter management organization. The school later amended its charter petition to change its name to Fenton Charter Leadership Academy (FCLA) to reflect the vision of instructional Leadership. FCLA’s charter was renewed for five additional years during September of 2018 and a material revision was approved during 2019 to expand to 6thgrade beginning August 2020.
The mission of Fenton Charter Leadership Academy is to nurture the development of responsible, thoughtful citizens in an increasingly interdependent global society by creating environments in which students are challenged to explore, to create, and to make decisions while actively participating in and being accountable for their learning.
All members of Fenton Charter Leadership Academy community are responsible for the school-wide vision of joining academic and social knowledge to allow for a student's deeper understanding and commitment to themselves and others:
The students of FCLA will actively seek learning opportunities by working cooperatively, thinking critically, and striving to master rigorous academic standards.
The students, parents and employees of FCLA will collaboratively establish and model the highest standards for student achievement, positive self-esteem, pro-social values, and respect for cultural diversity.
The employees of FCLA will demonstrate their belief in the value of lifelong learning and model the appropriate and desired behaviors and attitudes expected of students.
The FCLA community will work cooperatively and collaboratively to create a child-centered environment in which all partners are empowered by their own sense of ownership and responsibility to the Charter School.
The FCLA community and parents will maintain the highest level of integrity in fiscal management while seeking all available resources and using them effectively to support the instructional program.