The Los Angeles Unified School District will join with music producer and entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine and artist, producer and entrepreneur Andre “Dr. Dre” Young to launch a new high school in South L.A. focused on developing young leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
The school’s curriculum will build on the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy’s groundbreaking approach that combines design, business and technology with hands-on, real-world learning.
“This new partnership with Jimmy, Dr. Dre and the USC Iovine and Young Academy will help open the doors of opportunity for students, in particular Black and Latino children, from communities which have been historically underserved,” said Austin Beutner, L.A. Unified’s superintendent. “Much like the work of the academy, this effort will help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
The school, known as Regional High School No. 1 until the naming process is completed, will be co-located on the Audubon Middle School campus in the neighborhood that former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and entertainer Ray Charles once called home. It will open in fall 2022 to about 125 ninth- and 10th-graders and expand to 250 students over time.
“We are bringing a different approach,” Beutner added. “We are bringing a world-class university and two world-class entrepreneurs.”
New high school to mirror USC Iovine and Young Academy model
The new high school — about three miles west of the USC University Park Campus — will mirror the academy’s unique educational model, which is nationally recognized for its exceptional student outcomes. Its curriculum focuses on multidisciplinary, hands-on learning, with a strong emphasis on real-world projects with top companies and nonprofits.
The level of talent at the academy continues to attract attention from the most innovative companies in the world. Its graduates are on the rosters of leading companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, DreamWorks and Sony, and many have launched successful startups that already have garnered over $120 million in seed funding.
“We are partnering with a university that has already built a center to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Beutner said.
Iovine, wearing a black USC Iovine and Young Academy T-shirt at the announcement, said the school will not only prepare students for the jobs of today but also equip them to shape the jobs, technologies and creative enterprises of the future. He said they chose to partner with LAUSD rather than a charter or private school because the district could implement the best practices from the new school across the entire district — the nation’s second largest.
“We want to influence education and help people from underserved communities,” Iovine said. “We are going for what could be the most difficult path, but it could also have the most impact.”
“We’re here for the kids, strictly for the kids,” Young said.
Opening up career paths and opportunities
The high school’s students will be exposed to new career paths and opportunities as well as increased access to top college programs through a first-class college preparatory curriculum and enhanced learning programs that focus on critical thinking and analysis.
“The USC Iovine and Young Academy was founded on a mission to develop educational programs that are adaptive to the ways in which technology is influencing our culture and responsive to the individual needs and creative passions of our students,” said the academy’s dean, Erica Muhl. From grade school to college, students no longer fit into traditional disciplinary silos because of dramatic changes in how we live and work — changes those students are helping to drive.
“Today’s high school student has more ability to sway public opinion than ever before,” she said.
Audubon Principal Deanna Hardemion said the new school is sure to be popular among students.
“When it’s dubbed the coolest high school in America,” she asked, “who wouldn’t want to attend?”
USC’s Eddie North-Hager contributed to this report.