The Gabriella Foundation was founded in 1999 in memory of Gabriella Axelrad, a thirteen year old who loved to dance. The Foundation’s initial program, everybody dance!, began by providing free or low-cost dance classes to Los Angeles children in a low-income housing project just west of downtown. Thanks to an instructionally rigorous approach supported by an acclaimed faculty, the dance program grew rapidly and now provides over 200 weekly classes to nearly 2,000 children at six inner-city sites.
Inspired by repeated parental requests for an academic program with similar high expectations, the Foundation opened Gabriella Charter School (GCS) in 2005.
Despite the fact that 91% of the School’s K-8 students fall below federal poverty guidelines, GCS’ test scores each year have exceeded the State’s 800 API target (875 API in 2011), making GCS one of Los Angeles’ top-performing schools.
GCS has won the Siart Foundation’s Charter School Excellence Award (2007 & 2008), the Insight Innovation Award (2008), the California Department of Education Title I Academic Achievement Award (2010), the Music Center Bravo Program Award (2011) and the Hart Vision Award for Charter School of the Year (2012).
Said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the California Charter School Association, in presenting the Hart Vision Award: “Gabriella is a charter school that embodies the best of the charter school movement. They are not only innovative in their approach, but they have shown tremendous success, opening up educational opportunities to students.”
GCS has been awarded a full, six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).