When students from Celerity Sirius charter school in Compton cut the ribbon at their new school, they were joined not only by school founder Vielka McFarlane, but also by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, members of the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) board, and the superintendent of Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). The opening of the school exemplifies an unprecedented collaboration between the community and local education providers.
“This is a dream come true,” said McFarlane, who referenced the movie Field of Dreams, saying they too believed that if Celerity Sirius was opened, students, families and the community would come - and come they did. The first Sirius campus on Rosecrans opened with almost double the demand than available seats.
Local educational agencies worked with Celerity to accommodate students. Identifying and securing adequate facilities is always challenging task for charter schools in California, especially new schools. CUSD had recently shuttered facilities due to financial constraints; this space was provided to Celerity. And LACOE officials worked with Celerity to amend the charter to accommodate the tremendous need.
“As a charter school, Celerity Sirius is charged to serve as a laboratory of innovation, an incubator for new ideas that foster excellence in our public schools,” said Torlakson. “So we’re expecting great things from this school.”
CUSD Board President Satra D. Zurita said at the ribbon cutting that, as a parent, she advocated for other parents to have a choice about their children’s school. Celerity Educational Group (CEG) opened its first school in 2005 and currently operates seven schools in Los Angeles.