U.S. Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-29th District) visited our Assurance Van Nuys school last month. He has a long history with us, since six of our seven San Fernando Valley School sites are in his district. He had previously toured our Panorama City site, attended our San Fernando Brand grand opening and participated in a documentary about one of our students.
Staff shared how we provide support for all students with an emphasis on English language learners, SPED, student support services, counseling and social work. He is a strong advocate for school choice, knowing that one size does not fit all. He shared that all his children attended charter schools with one of them choosing an independent study model that better fit their educational needs. When he spoke with students, one of the first questions to them were why they chose our school and if they felt they were doing better.
He was interested in learning how we quickly adapted to the ever changing needs at our different school areas. The Van Nuys school has experienced an influx of Armenian new to country students, requiring different supports, as their language doesn’t use the traditional Latin-based alphabet. We shared how we hired from the community to help provide extra support for those students.
We discussed the value of our strong partnerships in meeting the needs of our students and their families. We partner with Champions in Service to provide gang prevention, intervention and case management. He is very familiar and works with them on some of his juvenile justice initiatives. We partner with Coalition for Engaged Education that provides case management and mentorship for students needing extra support. We showcased how our school counselors and social work teams work with the numerous behavioral health agencies that we have in place to provide mental health supports to students. The need for this has always been strong but even more so, post-covid.
Thanks to everyone at the school who made him feel welcome!