Emerson Community Charter School

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Community Charter School
Emerson Middle School.jpg
1650 Selby Avenue
Los Angeles, California
TypePublic secondary
School districtLos Angeles Unified School District
PrincipalDimone Watson[1]
Staff25.00 (FTE)[2]
Number of students613 (2017-18)[2]
Student to teacher ratio24.52[2]

Ralph Waldo Emerson Community Charter School (formerly Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School and commonly referred to as Emerson) is a charter middle school in the Los Angeles Unified School District in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, United States. It was designed by famed architect Richard Neutra and was named in honor of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American author, poet, and philosopher.

The school offers special academic programs, including the Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA), the School for Advanced Studies (SAS), and the Individualized Honors Program (IHP). Marilyn Monroe & Bonnie Raitt both attended Emerson. Michael Jackson, albeit only one semester, and La Toya Jackson, as well as the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, also studied there.

On June 10, 2014, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board granted the school Affiliate Charter status,[3][4] thus adding Emerson to Los Angeles' growing roster of charter schools.

Emerson is best known for its Performing Arts Academy which offers classes that include Musical Theater, Stage Design, Costume Design, and Dance.

Attendance area[edit]

Neighborhoods served by Emerson Middle include West Los Angeles, Beverly Glen, Beverly Hills Post Office[5] Westwood, Bel-Air, Sawtelle, Benedict Canyon, the Wilshire Corridor,[6] and Holmby Hills. Also included in its service area are canyon neighborhoods adjacent to the city of Beverly Hills; since the neighborhoods are in Los Angeles, the students are not in the Beverly Hills Unified School District boundaries.

Feeder schools[edit]

Elementary Schools that feed into Emerson include Fairburn Elementary School, Saturn Elementary School, Warner Avenue Elementary School, Westwood Charter School, Nora Sterry Elementary School, Carthay Elementary School, and Brockton Elementary School. All of these schools are public.

Students have also "permitted in" to Emerson from the following schools: Clover Elementary, Canfield Elementary School, Overland Avenue Elementary School, Richland Elementary School, Castle Heights Elementary, and others.

Students that graduate from Emerson often go to University High School, Hamilton High School, or Venice High School, as the Emerson attendance zone overlaps with the attendance zones of the three high schools


Emerson Middle School's main building was designed by architect Richard Neutra in the International Style of Architecture, and built between 1937 and 1938. It is a two-story, steel-framed structure with strong horizontals. The first-floor classrooms have large, 15-foot glass and steel sliding doors that open to extend the spaces to the outside, while the second-floor classrooms have stairs leading to rooftop terraces.[7] Due to its streamlined and clean appearance, "Emerson Middle School was considered a leading example of 1930s Modernism," along with Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater House and Walter Gropius's House.[8]


  1. ^ "Charter". Emerson Community Charter School. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Emerson Community Charter". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  3. ^ "Emerson Middle School Becomes a Charter". Westwood Charter School. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Charter". Emerson Community Charter School. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  5. ^ Spitz, H. May (2004-07-11). "Canyon homes and that famous ZIP Code". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
  6. ^ "Mini-Manhattan, just west of Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. 2004-11-14.
  7. ^ Barbara Mac Lamprecht, "Richard Neutra: Complete Works," Taschen Books, 2000. p.140.
  8. ^ Barbara Mac Lamprecht, "Richard Neutra: Complete Works," Taschen Books, 2000. p.140.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°03′14″N 118°26′10″W / 34.053954°N 118.436092°W / 34.053954; -118.436092