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Our Story

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Welcome to Cisneros

No two kids learn the same way, and every family and community deserves high quality public education. That’s why, in 1999, the leaders of the Pueblo Nuevo Education and Development Group together with residents from the MacArthur Park community created Camino Nuevo Charter Academy (CNCA), a school built on the belief that every student should have the chance to go to a great school that puts their needs first, regardless of zip code, income, or ability level.
Today, eight CNCA schools are educating 3,600 students from early childhood through high school and proving that all children can learn and achieve when held to high expectations, exposed to rigorous and relevant learning experiences, and when given targeted intervention and support in a safe and welcoming environment.
At the Sandra Cisneros Campus, we are a caring community of learners committed to teaching our K-8 students the skills and habits necessary to succeed in college, fulfill their dreams, and contribute positively to the world. We call ourselves the "Superstars," because by committing to constantly being our best selves, our students will be superstars in whatever they pursue. We are excited to offer our superstars opportunities to regularly engage in the arts (visual, dance, music), and in technology (learning about computers and how to use them), and are especially proud of our scholars in the K-5 bilingual program who have the added challenge of learning content in English and Spanish.
Our school is also unique in that we practice mindfulness in all classrooms. We address issues related to behavior and equity through a restorative justice approach and support the social-emotional well-being of our students with the support of onsite mental health specialists. We also rely on our anchor values to guide the work we do as a school community. Our anchors are Excellence, Equity, Community, Innovation and Joy.
Our teachers and staff are committed members of our professional learning community, and with the leadership team as instructional coaches, we are focused as a team on constantly improving teaching and learning school wide so that our superstars get the best education possible. We consider parents and families to be our partners, and welcome them into our school to work together with us to create a school community that students and families can be proud of.
After our eighth graders graduate, they have the opportunity to attend one of our two award-winning high schools.  At both Camino Nuevo high schools, all students graduate meeting admissions requirements for the University of California and California State University systems. In 2018, 70 percent of them achieved admission to four-year universities. While only 9 percent of low-income students nationwide earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, the rate is more than three times higher for Camino Nuevo graduates.
Our schools have won state and national awards for improving outcomes for all students. In 2015, Camino Nuevo earned the Bright Spot Award from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics for closing achievement gaps between English learners and native English speakers. In 2018, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recognized our schools with a special induction into the Charter Schools Hall of Fame. 
Educational and economic inequities persist in our communities, but our resolve to reverse these disparities and change the trajectory of students' lives is stronger than ever. Join us in helping our students achieve their college and career dreams by becoming a mentor to our students, volunteering at our schools, or making an investment in our work. If you're a parent looking for a great school, apply today. We're free, public schools open to all students.
Melissa Mendoza


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