The Academy Story

“This feels like family.”

Joining the Academy of the Arts in 2019, while teaching at University of Southern California, and after a year of finishing an action research project, was a joyous leap for me as an educator.

The school was young, the children happy and the kind teachers in various phases of their teaching careers. I noticed the warm smiles of the Director, Alta Gordon, the gregariousness and warmth of Brittany Antolos, who managed school logistics and more- and to our collective joy- made homemade, fresh Kosher snacks daily. Parents were eager to talk, and ask myriad questions centered around their children. Parents described learning paradigms they enjoyed as children and learning paradigms they wish they had. I understood that the partnership between educators and parents as partners would be a source of great love and growth for the children and the community overall. A great deal of time was spent listening to teachers, children, parents, community members, other principals and my colleagues at University of Southern California. I decided to engage this journey with the three decades of experience I could reflect upon- and take to heart the values, goals and considerations that could help the AOTA community grow and thrive in the 21st Century.

Today, the Academy of the Arts is an intentionally collaborative, thriving, growing and engaging learning community with rigorous, student focused curriculum, exciting learning opportunities, and in continuous partnership with parents resulting in a locally supportive, outward facing community of active learners embracing Jewish values and Hebrew language learning.

The Academy of the Arts welcomes you to come visit, spend a day with us -share and take in what active learning means and looks and feels like! Children learn actively, engaging in inquiry in order to explore a topic, find connections to themselves and others and practice critical thinking skills whilst honing 21st Century skills that will enable them to lead!

The AOTA can do all this because of our INCREDIBLE TEACHERS! Our teachers are committed to each student reaching their full potential, to each family experiencing the joy of seeing this come to fruition.

Our teachers meet with me weekly in coaching, we ensure the Common Core State Standards or the CCSS are met weekly and in fact go well beyond into world competency standards.

We are committed to the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Goals which guide our lessons and Project Based Learning Thematic Units of Study over each Trimester.

Assessments across the curricula occur weekly in order to make learning more precise and tailored to student’s needs.

Teachers receive weekly Professional Development from me and from a world class Writing Fellow from USC and CSULB and act as Action Researchers while our students do the same. We have an expert in Sustainability, who focuses on growing competencies in Sustainable Development lessons weekly with teachers and students and another who brings OT to us once a week to ensure we remain responsive to learners’ needs.

Additionally, we have an incredibly creative art teacher, a thoughtful music teacher as well as robotics and more weekly.

We remain committed to continual growth, partnership with parents and our community through continuous outreach via student created projects. We are a community of inquiry, engagement, critical reflection and impact!

Our AOTA Board Members, make a lot of magic happen here, are of tremendous support and share a vision for transparency, collaboration, engagement, service and joy remaining at our center.

Dr_Bogle

Our Principal

Dr. Debra E.S. Bogle has guided children for over 25 years as a classroom teacher in elementary, middle and high school. She is a Reading Recovery Teacher, and has served as a curriculum coach, master teacher, curricula writer, English Language Learner Teacher and Director, and content coaching mentor in three countries and five states. Having earned her doctorate in Urban Education and Leadership at the University of Southern California, she currently teaches in the Masters of Teaching Program and the Reading Authorization Program at USC, where she wrote the foundational course curriculum. Dr. Bogle serves on several advisory boards and is active in P.E.O. She is committed to building access in education for all women. She is a mother of two and grandmother and resides in the South Bay. She is often in her adopted home writing children’s literature, cooking, baking, listening to music, perusing art, exploring and enjoying the countryside with her family and friends in France.

Dr. Bogle just published Building Bridges: Curricula Notes The Arts, Equity, Democracy and Inclusion Community Curriculum for Transitional Kindergarten by Archway for Simon Schuster this July.

She has three more publications coming this fall all Children’s Literature focused on Inclusion and Global Children.

Dr. Bogle helps schools around the country re-conceptualize educational systems in order to continuously create child-centered, research-based curricula that is inclusive, innovative, holistic, progressive global and democratic. She supports the importance of multiple perspectives shaping our dialogue in our communities and envisions learning as a series of joyful discoveries that encourage children to reach into their creative capacities and develop a life-long love of learning.

Dr. Bogle is an educational visionary and consultant who reaches out to communities, teachers and administrators to support all children and teachers on their educational path.

alte_gordon

Director

Alta’s roots trace back to New York, but her formative years unfolded in Toronto. Following her academic pursuits in a teaching seminary situated in Israel, Alta made her way back to the United States. Determined to harness her acquired knowledge in the realm of education Alta studied child development at UCLA.

Alta’s teaching experience spanning over a decade includes both elementary school and preschool environments.

Today, she brings her wealth of expertise to the Academy of the Arts, as the Director of Development and Judaic Studies.

Beyond her professional aspirations, Alta is a devoted wife and a loving mother to eight. Her profound belief rests in the notion that every child is a universe unto themselves, each possessing a unique set of needs and gifts.

Brittany_Antolos

School Administrator

Brittany Antolos is the School Administrator for the Academy of the Arts. Having received her Master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College in International Education with a concentration in Business Leadership and Organization, and a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA, Brittany worked for several years in the field of Learning and Organizational/Professional Development at USC, and prior to that for an events/entertainment company.

Brittany wears many hats at AOTA including keeping us all organized, ordering and maintaining our curriculum, building our Enrichments, and making sure our many events happen with joy. Brittany also teaches Kosher baking and cooking in our After School Program.

Brittany loves working with such an amazing and talented staff, and being part of an incredibly close-knit and beautiful school community where her own children learn and grow.

Brittany was born and raised in the Valley (Yes she is a Valley Girl and proud of it!) and enjoys living in the South Bay. She loves engaging with our community, laughing, dancing, listening to music and going to concerts, traveling, going to Dodger games, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

The Academy’s Future

Read about some of the success stories at The Academy of the Arts.

The new Academy of the Arts campus, scheduled for completion in 2024, is an impressive project with a 64,000-square-foot facility situated on 3.25 acres of land. This facility is poised to become a beacon of inspiration not only for the local community but also for the global stage. The Academy’s new campus is poised to make a substantial impact and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.