Wave Staff Report
CULVER CITY — Niche, a website that helps parents discover schools and neighborhoods that are right for them, has named Culver City Unified School District the third most diverse school district in California. The site also identified Culver City schools as the 29th best place to teach in California (among 690 districts) and ranked the District No. 37 on its 2021 list of best school districts in California.
Using a wide array of statistics, Niche’s 2021 rankings are based on analysis of demographic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and parents as well as state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.
“We are honored to be recognized for the incredible learning environment our students, teachers, staff and community have created on our campuses — and even online as we deal with distance learning,” said district Superintendent Leslie Lockhart. “We believe academics are only part of the equation and work hard every day to address all of our students’ social-emotional needs, mental health and physical health. It is nice to be recognized for our efforts, and we will continue to be focused on equity, inclusion and preparing our students for lifelong learning.”
Lockhart added that she is especially proud of the district’s diversity.
“We know, and live, the diversity of our schools and community each and every day,” she said. “This ranking affirms the value we place on our differences and the beauty of our teaching and learning experiences together.”
Culver City students are 51% male and 49% female. The district is also 37.2% Hispanic, 26.5% white, 12.9% African-American, 12.1% Asian, 10.8% multi-racial, 0.2% Pacific Islander and 0.2% Native American.
The district has always celebrated its diversity. It was the first in the nation to create a Spanish language immersion program and among the first to create a Japanese immersion program.
Culver City High School offers a variety of student clubs and organizations that celebrate diversity, including the Asian Student Union, Black Student Union, Intercultural Student Union, Latinos Unidos, Korean Culture Club, Multi-Ethnic Club, Muslim Student Association, and more.
“Though our schools are diverse, the best way to honor our diversity is to dive into the work that we as a school community must do to promote equity in all of our practices and policies,” Lockhart said. “There is much work to be done.
“We have adopted an Equity Plan, which was the collaborative effort of our various stakeholders, students, parents and staff. This plan will outline the steps that we as a district will take over the next three years which will make CCUSD an even better district for all of our students.”