Public boarding school plants a SEED in South LA

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The SEED School of Los Angeles County, the first public boarding school in the area, will accept applications from ninth grade students, especially those who may not have resources and access to college prep programs. Image courtesy of the Seed School of Los Angeles County.

The first day of spring is still a week away, but some students and parents in LA County are already thinking about the fall.

They’re applying for the inaugural class at the SEED School of Los Angeles County, the first public boarding school in the area. Once the school opens, its students will study and sleep there on weekdays and go home on weekends.

Beyond required classes, the school will offer college prep courses for juniors and seniors, computer science classes and engineering courses, says Jillian Juman, the founding head of school.

“We’re going to be accepting, this first year, 125 incoming ninth graders and building students every year, so we’re excited about that.”

Juman says SEED LA is prioritizing students who would like to go to boarding school but might not be able to afford it.

“We also are supporting students who are in foster care, [whose] parents who are incarcerated or have experienced homelessness. Any students who can thrive in this model, we want to make sure we’re investing in.”

SEED LA will select LA-area students from the boarding program, during which teens will be able to spend five days a week at the boarding school and return home on weekends. Photo courtesy of the Seed School of Los Angeles County.

The cost of educating students at SEED LA will be considerably higher than at a typical public school, but Juman says the extra money will be well spent.

“We have seven Student Life counselors that will be on campus for just ninth grade. We will have residential advisors on staff. We will have college counselors, a social worker, a night nurse on staff. There's a level of socioemotional care that's being built into the model that we traditionally can never offer.”

Ultimately, she says, it’s about producing graduates who will make our communities better.

“There’s a way of really growing, not just students and future leaders of this country. We're actually looking at building young adults who are caring and are curious and resilient.”

SEED Los Angeles will be located in a new campus under construction at Vermont and Manchester avenues in South LA. 

The drawing to select students for the first ninth grade class will be held March 25.




Chery Glaser