Harman Patil (Editor)

Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

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Kimberly Lesure

+1 323-549-5900

Number of students
1,654 (2014–2015)

Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Public, Magnet, College-prep

In pursuit of excellence

64 (teaching) 8 (admin & counselling)

5931 W 18th St, Los Angeles, CA 90035, USA

Los Angeles Unified School District

Hamilton High School, University High School, Palms Middle School, Los Angeles Unified S, Dorsey High School

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The Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies is a public university preparatory secondary school located on 18th Street between La Cienega Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in the Faircrest Heights district of Los Angeles, California, on the former site of Louis Pasteur Middle School.


LACES, which serves grades 6 through 12, is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The current principal of LACES is Kimberly Lesure. LACES is a magnet school (the first in LAUSD), and enrolls students from the entire district (selected by a weighted lottery process), many of them coming to school by bus. Students are encouraged to take multiple Advanced Placement Courses, and all students are required to take at least one, AP World History, in 10th grade. The school has one of the highest API index ratings in LAUSD. In 1998, Los Angeles magazine described LACES as "the patriarch of all LAUSD magnets" with "a waiting list stretching into infinity."

The school has been named as a California Distinguished School and a National Blue Ribbon School. LACES is frequently ranked among the top high schools in the nation, according to various measures. LACES has consistently ranked high in the Challenge Index rankings created by Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews. In 2003, it was ranked 11th in the nation among public schools. This ranking was devised by calculating the total number of Advanced Placement courses taken by the graduating class and dividing it by that class. In California, LACES ranked number 17. In 2014, LACES ranked first on the Challenge Index among all schools (public and private) in Los Angeles, 5th in California, and 41st nationally. Also in 2014, U.S. News & World Report noted LACES as a "Gold Medal" school, ranking first among LAUSD schools, 19th in the state, and 112th in the nation.

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LACES was founded as the "Center for Enriched Studies" (minus the "LA") in September 1977 as the first magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. It was the first school created as part of the District's voluntary integration program. The founding principal was David Peha. In the 1977-78 school year, the school was housed in rented classroom space at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. It had an enrollment of about 450 students in grades 4 through 8. However, the Temple building did not meet LAUSD earthquake safety standards, so the following year, 1978–79, the school was relocated to an unused building on the Hamilton High School campus. It also added the 9th grade.

Starting in the 1979-80 school year, the school was moved, this time to a closed Catholic school campus at Pico and Arlington in Midtown Los Angeles which the LAUSD purchased. The original classroom building at the Catholic school was demolished and classroom bungalows were installed. LACES continued to add a grade level until reaching the 12 grade in the 1981-82 school year. The first graduating class of LACES was in June, 1982.

LACES remained at the Pico and Arlington site until moving to its current site, the former Louis Pasteur Junior High School, after the school board voted in 1986 to close Pasteur. The Pico and Arlington site has now been used by Pio Pico Elementary and Middle School since 1987.

LACES was renovated between the years of 1995 - 2004 with a new gymnasium. The new gym includes an olympic size pool, full weight room, locker rooms, and an indoor gym. The school was also enhanced with a new football field, tennis courts, and other physical education facilities. These changes had been discussed and hoped for since the early 90's. Construction on an elevator for the language arts building started in the fall of 2008 and was completed in the fall of 2014.

In 2010, the NBC reality show School Pride chose LACES to be the subject of an episode. The show's producers and sponsors provided landscaping and repainting (drawing criticism from some who thought that the bright blue and yellow exterior resembled an IKEA store) as well as makeovers for music and art rooms, the auditorium, and the culinary arts kitchen.

In June 2011, students vandalized the school, putting manure in the buildings, "soaping" the ponds, and spray-painting on a gym wall. The damage was estimated at $2,000.

In 2013, LACES received a Gaston Caperton Inspiration Award from the College Board, in recognition of the school's efforts to expand low-income students' access to higher education opportunities.

Community Magnet School

Community Magnet School, an arts and humanities magnet primary school, was located, since its founding in 1977, in an area within the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies campus for a period of around 25 years. By October 2002 Community Magnet had moved to its new location in Bel-Air.


During the 2013-2014 school year, LACES Boys and Girls volleyball both won the Los Angeles City Section Division 3 championship, while Boys and Girls Basketball won the Los Angeles City Section Division 4 championship. Boys volleyball, the no. 3 seed, beat the no. 1 seed Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School 3-0. Boys Basketball, the no. 3 seed, beat Rancho Dominguez Prep, the no. 1 seed, 49-37. Both games were played at the Roybal Learning Center.

Baseball also has had a great impact on LACES, with five championships in six years. Coach Alexis Lopez took the 2013 and 2015 Varsity team to two LA City CIF Section Championships. Mathew Kanfer (now at Pepperdine) was the MVP for the 2015 team.

The boys tennis team has been strong with a 2-time state-ranked player, Zac Brodney who won the CIF all-city championship in 2015 & 2016, currently coached by Darryl Sher; Computer Science teacher at LACES Magnet.

Notable people

LACES has enrolled students such as Christopher Cabaldon, Quinn Cummings, Marques Houston, Shane West, David Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Leonardo DiCaprio, David Ayer, Portia Doubleday, and (briefly) Mila Kunis.


Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies Wikipedia

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