The Birmingham Community Charter High School is a thriving, collaborative community that provides an academically challenging, personalized, and supportive environment that prepares individual students to be the best version of themselves and pursue their post high school academic and career goals.
The SAS program is an accelerated program designed for highly motivated students that provides enrichment and ongoing support. SAS offers rigorous academic coursework preparing students to submit competitive transcripts to the most prestigious universities.
Through our rich athletic tradition, student-athletes build integrity, character, a healthy lifestyle and a positive mental attitude through participation in team sports. Virtually every high school sport is offered to our students.
Grade Level Academies (GLA) have been implemented to help a large school feel smaller and provide high quality systemic support for students, parents, and staff. Each GLA has been staffed with three outstanding academic counselors, an out of the class coordinator, a mental health social worker, a positive behavior interventionist (Dean), a clerk, and a supervising administrator.
The Birmingham Community Charter High School counseling team provides a comprehensive program advocating for the academic, personal/social, and post-secondary development of every student. As a team, we strive to enhance equity and student learning through collaboration and community resources. Additionally, we help to empower students to recognize their full academic potential, reach their personal and professional goals to become productive members of society.
BCCHS Counseling Beliefs:
School Counselors make decisions with the utmost integrity to promote the maximum development of every student. We are advocates for every student.
- Every student is unique, and when given a safe, nurturing environment, will succeed to their fullest potential.
- Every student deserves access to a high quality education.
- Every student has the right to be heard and be treated with respect.
Inspire students to engage in meaningful learning in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment. We want to challenge students to be critical thinkers and productive members and leaders of the community.
BCCHS has developed cohesive, complete pathways that prepare students for post-secondary education for a job in their field of interest. We focus on high interest, high demand, high-wage fields, so that our students are not only prepared for college through our college preparatory core courses, but a career as well.
We pride ourselves in our diverse community here at Birmingham. Our students, teachers, staff, and parents make up what is the spirit of Dream it. Do it. Without the support of each other and the relationships we have fostered we know Birmingham wouldn't be the place it is today.
My name is Giancarlo Cedano. I am a Mexican-American from the San Fernando Valley who knows the value of hard work inside and outside of the classroom.
Class of 2022
My name is Emillly. Three years ago, I stepped into this high school not knowing what path I wanted to take.
12 Grade Student
I am a valley kid who went to public school and got an excellent education! I had incredible support from the staff at Birmingham, from my counselor to my coaches.
Class of 2022
I've been heavily influenced by the environment around me, so coming from a working class family helped me value my education and the encouraging/supporting teachers and friends in my life have helped me realize the possibilities I could create for myself. All I've ever known in life is work and school, so Birmingham helped me grow out of my comfort zone and learn about myself, the importance of my relationships, and how to have a great time. I continue to break expectations through my work ethic. I was valedictorian and earned a full-ride scholarship to USC… and played football at Birmingham and became a Captain, City Champion, Regional Champion, and All-City Strong Safety despite being the smallest man on the field. :)
As an educator, it's essential to provide students with the tools to set goals; implementing a plan to reach those goals is a blueprint for success. I am in my 12th year at BCCHS, the 11th year teaching seniors. I enjoy everything history-related and am a massive fan of pop culture. I create a competitive classroom environment where students work together to solve problems and develop alternative solutions to current real-world issues. Taking notes, classroom discussions, writing, debating, and playing competitive games is a typical day in my class. It is about progress, not perfection.
What I love most about being a counselor is that no two days are ever the same. I love being able to work with students and families in our community, whose experiences I can really relate to as a first-generation college graduate. Both of my parents were immigrants, so I understand how important the role of a school can be for a student and their family’s future. Working at Birmingham for me is a dream come true because I get to work in the community I grew up in and help students on their journey to be their best selves. My experience has been that Birmingham puts students first and offers so many opportunities for students to get involved and find what will help them shine their brightest. The support and opportunities our students receive are the building blocks that are key to their development to be the remarkable women and men that they will become.
I was shy and scared, but I just knew I wanted to be seen and heard. A few days in, I learned about the visual performing arts classes. I always had a soft spot for music and acting and decided to give choir and theater a shot. Three years later, I find myself being president of choir and theater, and I have no regrets. These classes didn’t just help me grow vocally, I also grew mentally and physically, and I am more confident and mature. I made many beautiful memories here, and I thank Mr. Suffolk and Mr. Weinkowski for helping me on this journey, but most of all, I thank Birmingham. I thank Birmingham for being so welcoming and helping change students' perspectives in life to be successful in doing what they love.
I started as a performer including performing in the following musical productions:
“The Music Man,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Man of La Mancha,” “The Most Happy Fella”, and
“Hairspray”. I performed in musicals while serving in Aschaffenburg, Germany, with the US
Army and performed with the Oaks Chorale. I was also proud to be the featured soloist in the Northridge Singers at CSUN and performed in every Opera Production at CSUN from 1992-1998.
I received my Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at CSUN in 1998, earned
my single subject Music Teaching Credential in 2001, and joined Birmingham in 2003 where I’ve now been the Musical Director for the past 18 years directing everything from “Grease” in 2004 to “Matilda” in 2022. I was able to expand the choir program at Birmingham, and we’ve been fortunate to win numerous Excellent/Superior awards at different Southern California Choir Festivals and Silver/Gold awards at National Choral Festivals in Anaheim, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Orlando. The Choral Groups have been invited to perform at the “Festival of Gold,” a Choir Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Birmingham Chamber Singers have performed for Stephen Sondheim's 75th Birthday Gala at the Hollywood Bowl, and they have performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Los Angeles Master Chorale High School Choir Festival for the last 17 years. I post our videos on “BCCHS Choirs” on YouTube for our family, friends, and the entire Birmingham Community to enjoy.
My students have been an ongoing inspiration to me which was fundamental in what propelled me to become a finalist for the “Teacher of the Year” award in 2015. I’m most proud of watching my students like Emilly learn and grow and become better singers and individuals.
Birmingham is very special to me because here is where my daughter came across the performing arts program, which includes choir and theater. I'm very thankful to all the teachers that my daughter has had. They are professional and have respect for students. I want to thank Mr. Suffolk and Mr. Weinkowski for helping Emilly improve her singing and acting skills and being there whenever she needed them. Birmingham is a school that every parent wishes their kids could attend.
My favorite thing about Birmingham is its lifestyle; it feels like family. Birmingham introduced me to business. Being in business classes taught me how to save and invest money. I also got to participate in track & field and football! Earning a high GPA and utilizing my athletic talent earned me a full football scholarship at the University of Florida.
That was the best of both my worlds!
We are so thankful for Birmingham because it afforded me, Don, a job as the head coach of track & field and security. Our son had a great experience during the 4 years he went here, which made him a better man going out than him coming in. Now he has a 4-year full-ride scholarship to the University of Florida. This school has an effective approach in supporting students to be successful whether it’s just help for homework or with AP courses. Projects were engaging and creative. Our favorite thing about Birmingham is the people and the culture.
I was born in Detroit, Michigan to parents who had dropped out of middle school and high school respectively. This experience taught me to push through adversity. Finally 8 years after graduating high school (with the help and encouragement of my parents, family, friends, and some high school teachers) I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Real Estate. I worked full time while going to community college then transferring to a university. I went back to school and received an MBA (Master of Business Administration) and a M.Ed. (Master of Education).
After working in commercial real estate, architecture, and commercial loan underwriting, I was approached by my former high school teacher to come back and teach architectural engineering at Reseda High School. Excited about the opportunity, I began to teach, while also continuing to run my business in underwriting commercial real estate loans. In 2007 I was recruited to Birmingham High School and started an Architecture/Engineering program, and after the downturn in the real estate market in 2008, I dedicated myself to teaching full time, believing each student could achieve their own success like I did.
Shortly thereafter, I became one of the Lead Petitioners, with a group of other teachers, that decided to help Birmingham High School separate from LAUSD and become an independent charter high school. Fundamentally, this allowed us to prioritize students over the LAUSD bureaucracy.
A few short years later, I also had the opportunity to start the Lacrosse program at BCCHS and then the Business Pathway. I believe so much in the school and the teachers that I enrolled my own son. He graduated from Birmingham and was mentored by many great teachers at the school.
Like Arlis, every student has value and adds value; every student can achieve whatever they want. Our challenge as educators is to help our students identify the value inside of themselves despite their circumstances and adversity and to follow their heart, to have grit, and allow their learning to lead them on their pathway to success.