Baldwin Hills Elementary School

Promising Models

BALDWIN HILLS, SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES

Baldwin Hills provides students with a rich culturally responsive curriculum along with highly qualified and caring school personnel. BHE’s unique ability to adapt to the needs of their students serve as a model for effectively educating and servicing nondominant student groups.

CATEGORY
K-5 elementary school

MISSION
Baldwin Hills Elementary Pilot & Gifted Magnet School, a culturally and linguistically diverse community, is to work in partnership with the children, families and community we serve in order to provide a strong academic, ethical, and culturally responsive education with measurable results.

DEMOGRAPHICS
17% Latinx
77% Black
95% FRPL Eligible*

Baldwin Hills

BHE’s student body is predominantly low-income students of color (77% Black, 17% Latinx), but despite the dismal national trends around achievement for this demographic, BHE students consistently exceed state standards in both English and Mathematics. BHE credits its stellar academic outcomes to its rigorous culturally sound curriculum and strong school culture. In addition, BHE emphasizes the importance of identity and positive affirmations for students’ success in school and beyond.

Academic Preparation & Student Achievement

BHE has had astounding academic growth over the past few years. After adopting a new curriculum in 2016 BHE has seen sizable growth in students’ Mathematics (+27%) and English (+62%) standardized test scores. During the 2019-2020 school year, nearly all of the Black students at BHE exceeded state averages in both Mathematics and English. These monumental educational gains resulted in BHE receiving the 2020 California Distinguished School Award.

Unique School Culture

One thing that separates BHE from many other schools is the school’s focus on student identity and character building. BHE takes pride in the fact that the entire school exterior décor, to curriculum, is reflective of the student body they serve. The curriculum at BHE is intended to engage students in rigorous academic content, while simultaneously developing their understanding of self and affirming the importance of students’ rich cultural backgrounds. This innovative curriculum is supported by a strong school culture that emphasizes the importance of integrity and self-determination. Each student at BHE possess their own HEARt cards with each of the school virtues (Order, Harmony, Justice, Truth, Balance, Propriety, Righteousness), and are rewarded by teachers and administrators when they model said virtues. BHE’s approach to educating and servicing their students is uniquely adapted to the needs of their students and is a driving force in their academic improvement.

BHE is being highlighted because they are an exemplar institution when it comes to servicing diverse student populations. BHE demonstrates the tremendous impact of responsive school policies and practices on historically underserved students. Several years ago, BHE reformed their school culture, curriculum, and practices in a way that was culturally responsive to their student body and it has had a considerable impact on students’ educational experiences and outcomes. BHE’s unique ability to adapt to the needs of their students serve as a model for effectively educating and servicing nondominant student groups (California School Dashboard, 2020; Baldwin Hills Elementary School, 2021).

*Free & Reduced-Price Lunch
https://www.caschooldashboard.org/ (2019)
http://www.baldwinhillselementaryschool.com/ (2020).