Bright Star Schools Expands to the San Fernando Valley

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September 25, 2013 Bright Star Schools, a nonprofit operator of high-performing public charter schools, announced formally on September 3 a merger with Valor Academy Charter School. The consolidation is a strategic and deliberate attempt by both organizations to grow their impact in Los Angeles and provide the high-quality oversight and operational support necessary to guarantee the sustainability and academic performance of each charter school in the combined network.

Bright Star and Valor Academy originally conceived the idea in the summer of 2011 when they gathered leaders from high-performing independent public charter school operators in Los Angeles to discuss the challenges that each operator faces and to explore the value in developing a more formal framework for collaborating.

The two organizations came to terms on a merger agreement in January 2013. Valor Academy will fall under the Bright Star governance umbrella, and Valor's current middle school, Valor Academy Charter School, will now be held and operated under the public benefit corporation entity of Bright Star Schools. The Valor Academy public benefit corporation has been dissolved, and 4 seats on the Bright Star's Board of Directors will be occupied by former members of the Valor Academy Board.

September 3rd also marked the first day of instruction at Valor Academy High School, the first initiative of the combined Bright Star - Valor entity. In the 2013-14 school year, Valor Academy High School will operate in dedicated space on the campus of LAUSD's Panorama High School and will serve 120 9th grade students.

The staff members at Bright Star and Valor are excited about the partnership and are already experiencing synergies across the organizations. "We've spent the last six months combing over every area of the academic programs and operations that will come together in this merger process, and are working to combine best-practices from both organizations," Ari Engelberg, Executive Director of Bright Star Schools, said. "Our priority is, and will remain, what is best for our students, and I am confident that the benefits from this merger will allow us to grow our impact in Los Angeles and best support the students and families that we serve."