About Bennett-Kew Elementary School
Bennett-Kew School is a traditional elementary school located in the southeast corner of the city of Inglewood in southern California. We are in the south bay area of the county of Los Angeles and within walking distance of the Metro Green Line, the Hawthorne Airport, and Northrop Grumman Aviation. In September of 1992, Andrew Bennett School and James Kew School, which had been in two locations, came together in one location due to the construction of the Century Freeway. This was done through the “Kew Functional Replacement Project” by Cal Trans because the Kew school site was removed by the freeway project. This united our community of well-kept single-family homes nestled in a quiet residential area of urban Inglewood, enabling us to confront the challenges of our inner-city environment.
The enrollment at our school is 674 students in kindergarten through the fifth grade. Our student population is 49% African American, 50% Hispanic, and 1% “all others” including White, Asian and Tongan. There are 320 boys and 354 girls. We have 236 students who speak a second language: 230 of them are English Language Learners (ELL)—208 in grades K -3 and 28 in grades 4-5, with 73 students who have been redesignated as Fluent English Proficient (FEP).
We have 29 regular classrooms and 1 Special Day Class (SDC). We were able to successfully implement the 20 to 1 student to teacher ratio in all grade K-3 classes. Additional programs include the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE), the Resource Specialist Program (RSP), Title I reading and math labs, and English Language Development (ELD) classes. These are the major programs that supplement regular classroom instruction. Monolingual and bilingual instructional aides, under teacher direction and supervision, work in the classrooms and labs with identified students in specific content areas to meet their needs. Other programs include the Speech and Language services provided by Los Angeles County and the Adaptive Physical Education Program provided by the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) Special Education Department. Our student population is represented by families mostly from skilled and unskilled working backgrounds with 82% of our students qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program. It is important to note that our parents from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and language backgrounds are very supportive and have rallied to become “one” community.
Bennett-Kew is a special “community” that includes a challenging, nurturing environment for students, a positive partnership with parents and community, and a rewarding atmosphere for teachers and staff. The entire staff of Bennett-Kew school is dedicated to providing its students with a first class education. Many students are attending our school through intradistrict and interdistrict permits to take advantage of our educational environment. Our present staff includes sixteen teachers who have, throughout the years, enrolled their own children /grandchildren at Bennett-Kew and two teachers and four instructional aides who are alumni.
Teachers are committed to providing an instructional program that develops student competency in academic areas while building positive, self-enhancing, and responsible student behaviors. Dedicated teachers work to meet the needs of all students. High expectations and clearly defined school-wide/grade level goals and objectives support the school’s commitment to optimal educational achievement. An academic focus enables all students to be successful learners. Students see themselves as thinkers, problem solvers and decision makers. Parents participate whenever and wherever they can—from curriculum decisions and budget recommendations to painting classrooms and planting flowers. The staff works hand in hand with parents and community so that together we may raise successful students who will be able to compete with the highest achieving students in the nation. Our vision is that all students will become participating members of society; be lifelong learners who appreciate diversity; and will work to improve their communities.
Bennett-Kew School has been recognized by the State Department of Education as a “High Achieving Compensatory Education School” since 1982. National recognition was achieved in 1993 when we were featured in the Agency for Instructional Technology “Every Child Can Succeed” video and print presentations of successful schools. In 1998 we received the California Distinguished School Award in recognition of our many positive programs, instructional practices and quality team atmosphere. These distinctions indicate excellence as well as longevity and consistency in our educational program. This has been possible because of the beliefs and commitment of the school leadership, teaching/auxiliary staff, parents/community and students.
We have had many visitors, including President George W. Bush (Presidential Candidate/Texas Governor at the time of his visit), Lynne Cheney, Governor Gray Davis, Senator Diane Feinstein, Former CA Secretary of Education Gary Hart, Senator Jack O’Connell, Senator Theresa Hughes, Assemblymen Edward Vincent, Willard Murray, and Rod Pacheco, State Board of Education Members, State Legislative Analysts, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Los Angeles Schools’ Superintendent Roy Romer, Open Court Founder Blouk Carus, Open Court President Pete Syeski, educator Lee Cantor, parent attendees at the National Title 1 Parent Conference, and many teachers, principals and parents from school districts near and far. They came to observe our students learning, our teachers teaching and our parents volunteering and supporting. Our staff is committed to sharing our successful instructional programs and ideas with others.
Bennett-Kew has been in the news on CNN, KNBC, KMEX, KCAL – Channel 9 NEWS and CBS, Dan Rather’s Eye On America highlighting our successful language arts program. In the past few years Bennett-Kew and former principal Nancy Ichinaga, who retired in June 2000, have been featured in articles in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, South Bay Daily Breeze, and the L.A. Weekly for our instructional programs and academic achievements.