Case Study: Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus

18 Mar, 2016
  • Grades Served: K-8th
  • Number of Students: 492
  • % of Hispanic/Latino Students: 98%
  • % of African-American Students: 1%
  • % of Other Students: 1%
  • % of English Language Learners: 44%
  • % of Economically Disadvantaged: 97%
  • % of Special Education: 14%

Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus (formerly Harvard), is a high-performing K-8 charter school located near the MacArthur Park area in Los Angeles, California. The school is one of several Camino Nuevo Charter Academy schools. Philip Lance, who was a local pastor and community advocate, founded Camino Nuevo in 2000. The goal of the charter schools is to offer local families an opportunity for high-quality education in an area where they could easily have access to their children’s school. At the time Camino Nuevo was built, students of traditional public schools were being bussed to other neighborhoods in Los Angeles due to overcrowding, making parent accessibility challenging.

Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus recently moved into a new facility near Koreatown in Los Angeles. Prior to this, they were located on Harvard Street. Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus opened in 2010 and currently is at enrollment capacity with 492 children in grades K-8th. The school’s enrollment is 98% Hispanic/Latino, 1% African-American, and 1% Other. About 44% of the school’s students are English Language Learners, 97% Economically Disadvantaged, and 14% Special Education.

Awards and Recognition

  • Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) Award by the California Department of Education Advisory Commission on Special Education for their full inclusion model (2016)
  • Camino Nuevo earned a Bright Spot Award (2015) from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics(link) for their work with Hispanic communities
  • California Title 1 Academic Achievement Award (2010 and 2011)
  • California Distinguished Elementary School Award (2011)
  • California Association of Bilingual Education Seal of Excellence Award (2011)
  • Gold Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) Award (2011)
  • Richard Riley Award for Schools as Centers of Community by the American Architectural Foundation (2008)

1: Connecting Culture to Success 

Philip Lance formed Camino Nuevo to provide high quality educational options to the local families of Macarthur Park. Camino Nuevo’s mission is to educate students in a college preparatory program to be critical thinkers, and independent problem solvers who are agents of social justice with sensitivity toward the world around them. They also emphasize teacher development as a foundation for quality instruction. The school provides opportunities for students to engage in co-curricular experiences, including arts, computers, and physical education. 

A three-year analysis of California’s Academic Performance Index (API) growth scores shows that students with disabilities at Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus outperform their peers in Los Angeles and in the state of California. This fact is illustrated in Figure 1, where data are pulled from the three yea API growth for California, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus students to compare both the general population of California and Los Angeles to students with disabilities at Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus. If you would like more student performance data on Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus, please visit the California Department of Education (click here).

Figure 1: Three years of API growth scores in California (2011, 2012, & 2013).

2: Student Assessment - Language or Ability? 

This video explores how Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus uses intervention and student success teams to determine if a student is struggling due to language acquisition needs or a potential learning disability.

A critical component of the school’s program is access to high quality, mainstream general educational programming. Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus has created a comprehensive and targeted approach to working with struggling students. This approach applies data-driven decisions with targeted and flexible instructional interventions. Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus is sensitive to the students’ context and tries to rule out language acquisition deficits before referring a student for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education.  

3: Mainstream Model as a Conduit of Social Justice 

Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus implements an inclusive education model. Within the inclusive, or mainstream model, the school employs the use of co-teachers, paraprofessional, and instructional support staff to integrate flexible groupings in classroom instruction. Consistent with the school’s value of respect, access, and social justice, students are grouped by their instructional needs on a daily basis, regardless of their qualification for special education or English language services. For students who receive special education and related services, the school’s instructional model is reflected in their individualized education programs (IEPs). The school has students enrolled with a range of disabilities from autism, other health impaired, and learning disabilities.

This video further explores the inclusion model implemented at Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus. This model provides flexibility and fluidity to benefit all students. Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus focuses on supporting students’ academic, emotional, and social development.

Lastly, this video analyzes the background efforts needed to successfully implement an inclusive educational system. This video includes discussion on the flexibility between co-teachers, understanding the needs of students, and the planning needed to be successful in the classroom.  

4: Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus: Advice for Replication 

This video focuses on replication and advice for other charter school operators wanting to design a strong inclusion model for students with disabilities. Talent development through professional growth models and strong leadership is critical in Camino Nuevo's Kayne Siart Campus success. Camino Nuevo defines success through student outcomes and has an exceptionally high graduation (98.3%) and post-secondary enrollment rate (80.5%). Their students graduate college- and career-ready and are provided with options they would not have otherwise had. Click here for more information.