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About Carthay

Beautiful Carthay

Beautiful Carthay

Carthay School of Environmental Studies Magnet is the only ETK-5th grade magnet elementary school in the LAUSD that combines the sciences and the humanities in an educational program centered on society and the environment. Environmental Studies is a broad, comprehensive field of study that engages students in real life explorations and gives them the skills and abilities they need to be active participants in improving quality of life for themselves and future generations.

Rooted in rigorous, project-based learning both in the arts and sciences with a commitment to policies that foster sustainable development and social equality, environmental education at Carthay will embody a learning process that increases students' knowledge and awareness about relationships between the environment and human well-being, while guiding them to become ecologically responsible citizens of the world. The Environmental Studies Magnet builds on Carthay's current Garden Science program in Carthay's celebrated Garden of Possibilities, as well as the standards-based and experiential learning curricula from California's Education and the Environment Initiative and Project Learning Tree.

Full-school Residential Magnet

Carthay is a full-school magnet, meaning every student entering the magnet program at Carthay needs to complete e-Choices application to enroll in the magnet. Once a student is enrolled in the magnet, they need not apply again in future years.

New students residing within former Carthay Elementary School attendance boundaries may continuously enroll throughout the year upon application of a Choices application and are guaranteed admission.

Students residing outside the attendance boundaries who wish to pursue an environmental studies themed course of study will have an opportunity to attend the school on the basis of the Magnet priority points and/or available space. The initial deadline is in November. Students who miss the initial deadline can apply using a Late Application to apply to the school until all slots are filled.

For more information about the magnet application process, here are some e-choices FAQs. If your question isn't answered there, here is another source.

The Garden of Possibilities

The Garden of Possibilities is an integral part of the school’s identity, and a centerpiece of the new School for Environmental Studies program. In 2009 Carthay Center contracted STAR Science to develop a pilot Garden Science curriculum that links California State Science Standards to hands-on, outdoor learning. This parent-funded program is a collaboration between Carthay Teachers, STAR Science Teachers and Master Gardeners. The garden program at Carthay continues to “grow” as its success supporting curriculum has proven to be a real asset. The garden has energized learning on campus. The students love science and have become environmental stewards, healthier eaters, and great observers of the natural world.

Get involved with Carthay Center Elementary School! Improve your gardening knowledge! Please email Teresa Dahl

Environmental Studies

Read more about Environmental Studies at Carthay at the Environmental Studies Program page.

Special Programs

Learn about Special Programs at Carthay, including Garden Science, Writers' Workshop, California Dance Institute, Physical Education, and more at the Special Programs page. 


Carthay Center Elementary School opened in 1924 to serve Carthay Center, a subdivision in mid-city Los Angeles planned by developer Harvey J. McCarthy. The school was located just opposite the famous Carthay Circle Theater, which hosted such dazzling movie premieres as "Snow White," "The Wizard of Oz," and "Gone with the Wind."  Although the theater was demolished in 1969, the beautiful school building was preserved and remains an architectural centerpiece of the neighborhood.