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Low performing Pasadena middle school transforming itself into arts magnet




Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Eliot Middle School students perform as part of a field trip to recruit students to attend their school. Eliot has been informally renamed Eliot Arts to reflect the school's new arts focus.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Music teacher Karen Klages, of Eliot Middle School in Altadena, leads her students through a performance at Cleveland Elementary School.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Diego and a classmate share crayons as they work on their art sketches at Jefferson Elementary School in Pasadena.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
Eliot Middle School dance students get ready to perform at Madison Elementary in Pasadena. The students are helping Eliot recruit more students to attend the new arts magnet.
Mary Plummer/KPCC
Eliot Middle School students perform. The students are part of the school's arts expansion - this year Eliot added theater and dance classes.
A student from Eliot Middle School, located in Altadena, plays the keyboard.
Mary Plummer/KPCC


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There are high performing public schools with waiting lists and stellar test scores, and then there are the places we don't want our kids to go. The places where success may seem impossible. 

KPCC's Mary Plummer went to a campus on that second list, a middle school in Altadena that's been struggling for years, and is now trying to re-imagine itself.