The Los Angeles River School is one of three LAUSD pilot schools and two charter schools at the Sotomayor Learning Academies that now line San Fernando Road along the border of Cypress and Glassell Park. This is the former location of the Southern Pacific freight yard known as Taylor Yard. It was purchased and re-purposed by the State to build the Rio de Los Angeles State Park, and LAUSD to build the Sotomayor Academies.
The school fittingly sits just off the Los Angeles River. Its mission and curriculum, like its name, reflect the waterway in deep and fundamental ways, from the egret on their school uniform, to their goal of graduating young adults ready to be stewards of ecologically sustainable and socially just communities. It's a unique example of an urban school closely linked to the land and the resources of its neighborhood.
This commitment to the local environment and emphasis on civic engagement presented a wonderful opportunity for Departures Youth Voices to partner with the Los Angeles River School for the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative project.