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Los Angeles Unified Opens First-Of-Its-Kind Social and Gender Equity Magnet

Superintendent Austin Beutner today visited the Social and Gender Equity (SAGE) Magnet, which opened this year as the nation’s first-of-its-kind magnet to incorporate gender studies and social justice themes into all of its academic courses. 

SAGE offers a unique curriculum, designed to teach middle school students strong academic and social skills and inspire them to foster positive change. In their social studies class, for instance, students study the roots of gender norms throughout history, while math and science classes learn about “hidden heroes” – the women and minorities who helped shaped their fields. SAGE also offers a three-year program in speech and debate along with opportunities for community service and activism.

During his visit, the superintendent met with sixth-graders in a humanities class as they discussed how fairy tales and childhood cartoons shape gender norms. He also visited a physical education class, where he joined students as they practiced yoga. The daily yoga class helps them build both their physical and social-emotional strength.

“We are committed to serving all students and celebrating each and every student as an individual,” Superintendent Beutner said. “In a time when Washington seems to focus on conflict and differences, we must teach our students that the best way forward is through better understanding, kindness and inclusion.”

SAGE is located on the campus of Millikan Middle School in Sherman Oaks. It opened with about 70 sixth-graders and will expand by a grade level per year for the next two years. Millikan is an affiliated charter that is also home to a Performing Arts Magnet and Cinema Arts Academy. The Academy students are filming a year-long documentary about SAGE.

“The SAGE Magnet at Millikan Middle School is a shining example of the innovative programs available in Los Angeles Unified,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, who represents the school, said. “Providing students with a safe environment to question gender norms, learn about social justice movements and inspire students to become agents of change are goals that reflect our values as a school district. Congratulations to all the families and staff who worked so hard to make SAGE a reality.”

NOTE: If you would like to arrange a visit and interviews at SAGE, which is located on the campus of Millikan Middle School in Sherman Oaks, CA, please call Barbara Jones at 213.241.6766.