Establishing more “career academies” on campuses so students can pursue specific interests that will lead to higher education or jobs right out of high school. But student safety is the biggest issue facing the district, school board member Jon Lauritzen said. “The most important thing is the safety of the children,” said Francisca de la Rosa, whose 13-year-old daughter attends Vista. “We deal with it constantly,” said Lauritzen, a former Canoga Park teacher and student. “Parents are just concerned with their (children’s) safety.” Gangs have changed through the years, he said. When he was a student in 1960, Canoga Park Alabama – which last week was placed on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s list of the top 10 most dangerous gangs in L.A. – was around but was more of a social club. email@example.com (818) 713-3329 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PANORAMA CITY – Expressing concern over rising gang violence, overcrowded classrooms and a lack of after-school programs, more than 300 parents, teachers and faculty members met Monday night with LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer III. The meeting at Vista Middle School was organized to introduce Brewer to San Fernando Valley parents and to share information. Brewer said it was part of his mandate to “listen, learn, assess and then act.” “I will be implementing bold changes,” Brewer told the crowd. The Valley is home to 51 of the district’s top 114 schools based on test scores, he said, but also has seen a sharp jump in gang violence over the past year, including three shootings outside or near Valley schools in the past six weeks. And with student safety in mind, he has met with officials from the Boys & Girls Club as well as the YMCA to create after-school opportunities on and off campus to get kids off the streets during late afternoon and early evening, when they are most vulnerable to gangs and other negative influences. “If we have enough space and the Boys & Girls Club were agreeable, they could put facilities on our campuses or provide transportation to their facilities … to give our kids options in safe zones,” Brewer said before the meeting. During the meeting, he also touted various programs, including: Letting students work toward associate of arts degrees and high school diplomas simultaneously. Setting up boarding schools for the 18,000 foster and 10,000 homeless kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
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