Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine have teamed up with the Los Angeles Unified School District to launch an innovative new high school that will support about 124 ninth and 10th graders starting fall 2022.
Tentatively named Regional High School No. 1, the new school will offer a unique curriculum with a focus on multidisciplinary, hands-on learning and a strong emphasis on real-world projects. Its intent is to will mirror the educational model of the USC Iovine and Young Academy, which opened to college students in 2014 with a focus on design, business and technology, thanks to a $70 million donation from the pair. Regional High School No. 1 will be located on the Audubon Middle School campus in South Los Angeles.
Iovine and Dr. Dre’s financial contribution to Regional High School No. 1 was disclosed, but in January when Iovine sold his worldwide producer royalties to Hipgnosis he said he would be committing proceeds from the deal to launch this school.
Speaking to reporters about the new school at a press conference on Monday, Dr. Dre said, “I think it’s going to be something extremely different. I’m still trying to learn myself and understand the politics and the hurdles that we have to get over to help. All we’re here to do is help the kids. We’re here strictly for the kids and trying to give them a future and something promising that maybe wasn’t available before then, so that is our intent.”
Iovine also spoke at the conference and revealed, “I didn’t have great experiences at school and I don’t believe Dre did either, but it feels awesome to be here because the idea is to try.”
The veteran executive and producer added, “It’s incredible to be here and we come here with complete humility. We know how difficult this is, but we hope that we don’t get criticized for trying, because that’s the most important thing.”
Iovine went on to urge other entrepreneurs to give back, saying, “I want to encourage people like us that are fortunate and have success to come to these neighborhoods and really do something positive.”
Dr. Dre and Iovine founded the University of Southern California Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy in 2013. It welcomed its inaugural class of students and became USC’s 20th professional school the following year, in Fall 2014.
Erica Muhl, dean of the academy, said in a statement regarding Regional High School No. 1, “The USC Iovine and Young Academy was founded on a mission to develop educational programs that are adaptive to the ways in which technology is influencing our culture, and responsive to the individual needs and creative passions of our students.”
“From grade school through college, our students are not just part of the dramatic changes we’re experiencing in how we live and work, they’re driving those changes through an innate understanding that the world today, their world, no longer fits neatly into the traditional disciplinary silos we’ve built for them,” she continued.
Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement, “This new partnership with Jimmy, Dr. Dre and the USC Iovine and Young Academy will help open the doors of opportunity for students, in particular Black and Latino children, from communities which have been historically underserved. Much like the work of the academy, this effort will help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Attendance capacity at Regional High School No. 1 is slated to expand over time to accommodate 250 students.