LOS ANGELES — It was the last day of second grade for Ethan Frausto and his last day attending Selma Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood.

"I'm feeling a little bit sad and mad because I love this school," he said. "It's where I started from the beginning."

What You Need To Know

  • Selma Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood was founded in 1910

  • The school had been struggling with low enrollment for years

  • It officially closed this week due to low enrollment

  • LAUSD saw its enrollment decline by 4% — almost 22,000 kids — this school year, according to the California Department of Education

At just 8 years old, Ethan has spent half of his life at Selma.

"I made lots of friends," he said. "I played. I did my math."

Selma Avenue Elementary was founded in 1910. Celebrities like Marylin Monroe attended the school. But in the last few years, Selma had been struggling with enrollment.

In 2019, we followed around a father and school staff member, Lafayette Reed, as he went around the neighborhood to recruit students in grocery stores and homeless shelters.

But enrollment slowly kept falling, and then 2020 came along to deliver the final blow. According to the California Department of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District saw its enrollment decline by 4% — almost 22,000 kids — this school year.

"You could see it," said Kathy Frausto, Ethan's mom. "When we would pick up the kids every day after school, there weren't that many kids."

For Frausto, who also attended Selma Avenue from pre-K to fifth grade, it used to be a source of pride to have her child attend her alma mater.

"When we got there, I was like, 'Hey look, that's where I used to play.' And you know, 'This is where we used to do this, and I used to catch ladybugs over here,'" she said.

Frausto now worries how Ethan will adjust to a new school that's three times farther away.

"When he sometimes tries out a new place, he is overwhelmed, and it's too much for him," she said. "And sometimes, he just cries, and he kind of shuts down, and he doesn't want to do anything."

As they looked through old pictures, Ethan was overcome with emotion and began to cry.

"I think that's what's hard, seeing him cry, because, you know, he has to leave his school, his teachers, his friends, and it's just, I didn't want that for him," Frausto said, tearing up herself.

But Ethan keeps reminding himself of what his teacher taught him: "All beginnings have to have an ending."