Kanye West to open school, Donda Academy, outside Los Angeles: report
West is reportedly opening a private school near Simi Valley, serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Rapper-producer Kanye West is reportedly planning to open a private school in southern California, named after his late mother.
In a new report from The Simi Valley Acorn, West is purchasing a four-acre parcel of land in an unincorporated area between Moorpark and Simi Valley in Ventura County, about 45 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Simi Valley is the infamous city where four white police officers were captured on videotape beating Black motorist Rodney King in March 1991.
The report notes that a permit for a change of occupancy on the parcel was applied for by Donda Academy, Inc.
The property features a 5,728-square-foot school with classrooms, labs, offices, a kitchen, as well as a basketball court and an open field, according to the lease listing. It was formerly Simi Valley Stoneridge Preparatory School, which closed in the early 2010s.
In a report earlier this month from MTV News, Donda Academy Education Consultant, Beulah McLoyd said the school “prepares students to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators by providing them with a world-class education.” According to her personal website, McLoyd is a Chicago native with two decades of educational experience.
A Sept. 2 tweet from the Dondasplace Twitter account noted, “DONDA ACADEMY. FINDING THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN FAITH AND THE INNOVATION OF THE FUTURE. DONDA ACADEMY IS FOCUSED ON EQUIPPING STUDENTS WITH AN EDUCATION THAT WILL LAST IN THE EVER-CHANGING WORLD.”
The school’s website, Donda.World, features the same verbiage as its mission statement.
Donda Academy will serve students from kindergarten through 12th grade and will open with 60 students to start.
Dr. Donda West was an educator who taught for 31 years, first as an assistant then as a professor. In one of her final teaching roles, before leaving the field to act as “momager” to her only child, Dr. West was the head of the English Department at Chicago State University.
Five months before her Nov. 2007 death, she wrote her first book, Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.
Dr. West died in Marina del Rey after suffering heart failure as a result of multiple postoperative factors. Her death urged the then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to pass the Donda West Act, which requires that all cosmetic surgery patients receive prior medical clearance following a physical examination.