Balloons waved and patriotic songs filled the sun-splashed courtyard Friday as students, teachers, parents and administrators marked the opening of the first Los Angeles Unified School District cluster training center in the San Fernando Valley.
The Francis Polytechnic North Hollywood Cluster is the only one of eight Valley clusters to have space for training, which enables teachers and administrators to conduct sessions without disrupting classes.
The group of gray trailers--remodeled to resemble bungalows--was donated by Universal Studios Hollywood.
The trailers were worth about $150,000, and setup costs came in at about $132,000, according to cluster administrator Richard Alonzo.
"It is a message to everyone that we are ready to develop this cluster into a community," said Alvaro Cortes, principal of Oxnard Elementary School and organizer of the effort to build the cluster center.
With planes landing at nearby Burbank Airport in the background, officials from LAUSD and Universal Studios joined district parents and students from Roscoe Elementary School for Friday's ceremony reflecting on the origins and direction of the center. A jazz quartet from North Hollywood High School played, and the Roscoe Chorus entertained the crowd.
The center sits on a corner of Roscoe Elementary's playground near the corner of Strathern Street and San Fernando Road--roughly the geographic center of the 26 schools in the cluster.