Thomas Starr King Middle School will transition to an all-magnet campus focusing on cinematic arts, gifted and environmental studies programs in 2013. Over the last five years, King’s Academic Performance Index, a measure of academic performance levels (scored from 200 to 1000), has improved 41% from 628 to 805. Proponents of the change hope that King’s becoming an all-magnet school will further enhance to these scores.
King will be the first LAUSD campus to focus on all cinematic arts: cinema history, full-length features and shorts, digital graphics and imaging including animation, and documentaries. These will be part of a curriculum that also includes the required standard education subjects.
Its all-magnet status will allow students from across the district to apply for the 1,500 places. Because magnet schools are not required to accept all students who apply, there is some concern that local students might be excluded. However, King’s new principal, Mark Naulls assures that, “… every child that lives in the immediate area will have a seat honored for them,” and that the school will maintain a soft enrollment cap that will allow additional local scholars if necessary. The school offers assurance that neighborhood students will be given enrollment priority.