Tag Archives: LILA

LILA Teams up with TreePeople for Campus Greening

The new Burbank campus of the Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) will be teaming up with Los Angeles environmental group TreePeople from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, October 26th, 2013 for a campus greening project.

TreePeople’s Pam Gibson and Dede Devlin, who is also a school parent, will lead the school community of students, teachers, and families in planting 13 shade trees and almost 300 California native plants to create a natural oasis in the quad of LILA’s newest campus. The Burbank campus, which opened to students in late August, has undergone drastic renovations that transformed it from a former General Motors training facility to a fully functioning school for 263 secondary students. Much of the outdoor portion of the original property was covered in asphalt. LILA sought a way to provide a more ideal outdoor environment for its students and TreePeople offered an optimal solution. The environmental nonprofit is working actively to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles by inspiring, engaging, and supporting people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun, and green, and to share the process as a model for the world.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with TreePeople,” said Anneli Harvey, Director of LILA’s Burbank campus. “It is going to be immensely satisfying to break up our expanse of asphalt and to plant trees so that nature can truly heal the city.” According to TreePeople, 90 percent of L.A.’s school grounds are covered by asphalt and the lack of trees is not only non-conducive to learning, it contributes to a host of environmental problems that can have profound health consequences. By greening its latest campus, LILA seeks to continue an inspiring and joyful school experience for its secondary students who are accustomed to the more environmentally friendly elementary campuses that the school operates in Los Feliz, Pasadena, Tarzana, and Orange County.

LILA Opens New Campus in Burbank

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy is joined by Councilman Robert Frutos and School Officials at Ribbon Cutting. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy is joined by Councilman Robert Frutos and School Officials at Ribbon Cutting. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Lycee International de Los Angeles (LILA) has opened a Burbank campus for middle and high school education in what was previously the General Motors training center on Riverside Drive. The ribbon cutting, officiated by Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy took place on Thursday, Oct. 10.

LILA is an international school, teaching preschool through 12th grade. There are four other LILA campuses, located in Los Feliz, Pasadena, West Valley and Orange County. The Burbank campus teaches 6th through 12th grade.

LILA promotes a multi-cultural experience through a rigorous bilingual curriculum and a creative learning environment.

Library (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Library (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

According to the school’s website, LILA is only one out of five schools in the U.S. that offers both the International and French Baccalaureate programs. Students at LILA speak a variety of languages and represent 48 different nationalities.

Burbank Campus Director Anneli Harvey said LILA’s expansion comes at a time when there is a huge interest in Los Angeles in bilingual education.

LILA hopes the small and nurturing environment will create competent individuals who will take an active part in society, and that the bilingual aspect of the curriculum will help students become “open citizens of the world,” according to Harvey. Students are also required to give back to their community by participating in community service.

In addition to LILA’s promotion of active citizen engagement, the school’s academic coursework is rigorous. High school students follow both American and French coursework until the end of the 10th grade. At that time, students choose one of two baccalaureate programs: the French Baccalaureate or the International Baccalaureate. Both programs are academically challenging and prepare students for a university education.

Students and tour guides show the art room. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Students and tour guides show the art room. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

According to the school’s website, students score highly on their examinations for the International Baccalaureate and the French Baccalaureate, earning them places at many prestigious universities in the U.S. and abroad.

LILA’s goal in expanding their campus and environment is meant to create “college ready students equipped to do a good job in the world,” according to Harvey.

The Computer Lab. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Computer Lab. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

 In addition to traditional classrooms, LILA’s new Burbank campus includes a science lab, an art room, a computer lab and a music room.

The campus is very colorful, with brightly colored walls, desks, benches and trash bins. Classrooms are also equipped with walls made out of white boards for the teachers and students to use for lessons, all of which are meant to represent and encourage a creative learning environment.

Community Meeting Held For Planned French School

Plans to turn the General Motors Training Center on Riverside Dr. into a middle and high school campus for the Lycee International de Los Angeles (LILA) received a mostly favorable response at the Development Review Community Meeting held Wednesday evening at the Buena Vista Branch Library.

The meeting was quite cordial, which was in sharp contrast to one held several months ago when a housing development  being considered for the site in the city’s Rancho area drew an overflow crowd of mostly angry residents.  City of Burbank Planning Department staff members as well as several representatives from LILA  were at the meeting The 40 or so people in attendance seemed pleased with the proposed school.  Even those who had some concerns, seemed willing to take give the project a chance.

Rendering of proposed new school for on the old GM Training site. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

LILA President and CEO John Fleck, outlined the school’s plans to create a campus using the existing building.  Except for signage and landscaping, the site will look very much like it does today.  The extensive remodeling that they are planning will take place on the interior as the building is configured into classrooms.  The school will be for students in grades 6-12.   Initially, they expect 220 students on the site, with a projected growth to 350 students.

Students from LILA’s schools in Tarzana, Pasadena, and the Los Feliz area will be shuttled into the new campus from the existing schools, which Fleck noted would reduce the number of cars coming to the site.  Some students who live near the site, or whose parents work in Burbank, might arrive by private car.  It was noted with some laughter, that two students who live on Mariposa St. around the corner from the site, would most likely walk to school.

Students enter LILA at the pre-kindergarten level at their Los Feliz location, according to Dr. Elizabeth Chaponot, Head of the School.  They are in a “total immersion” program in French through the first grade.  “Most of the day is in French, with a few hours of English language to reinforce English,” she said.

Escrow on the sale of the site to LILA is expected to close in early June.  A public hearing before the Burbank Planning Board is tentatively scheduled for August.  The earliest construction work at the site could begins is September.  The school would like to open for students in September 2013.

An Artist rendering of the proposed new front of the LILA school project. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

According to  Dr. Chaponot,  “We are looking at an extended time, a full year, to do the remodeling, as opposed to speed.”

While the interior classroom work is their first priority, a second phase of construction will involve tearing up the large paved parking lot a the rear of the site, and converting it to a grass soccer field and basketball courts.   Fleck noted that while they will have a field and courts, sports is not the school’s focus.  They are not part of the California Interscholastic Association (CIF), and don’t plan on having games on the site.

Although there were a few concerns voiced about construction noise and traffic congestion, most of those in attendance seemed please with the school’s plans.  The proposed plan has already incorporated many of the concerns of Rancho residents.    Bill Smith, who lives in the Rancho, seemed to sum up the sentiment of the residents who feel this proposed use of the site is more compatible with the equestrian neighborhood that previous development ideas.