This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Holly Avenue Elementary School2
Posted November 01, 2014
- a parent
I have kids who attended this school. Not the greatest school in the AUSD, but the district is adequate in providing a decent education. For the parent who posted on 6/29/2014 about an autistic son, question: Why is your son in SDC (Special Day Class)? If your son requires DTT and a personal aid, then your son DOESN T belong in SDC. Children requiring DTT and a personal aid are SEVERE autistic and should be in another program. SDC is for children who have VERY MILD disabilities. My guess? The parent is forcing special ed to have the son placed in SDC. He should be in a classroom for children with severe disabilities. Children with severe autism can cry and scream for 3 HOURS STRAIGHT. My speculation: The reason the child was pulled away from group class work was because he DOESN'T want to do any work and DOESN'T want to participate in group activities without having a complete meltdown, so the teacher had to separate him from his peers. The teacher has at least 8 other kids, with MINOR disabilities, to worry about. The SEVERE autistic kid should be in another class. I feel sorry for the child. Parents putting kid through stress. I don't work for AUSD but I understand special ed.
My son is autistic. Last semester he was in the 2nd grade SDC class at Holly Avenue Elementary School. We scheduled several observations of my son s class and immediately noticed that my son was seated 3 feet away from his peers. The seating arrangement seemed permanent. We asked for our son to be included with his peers. One day my wife saw our son sitting alone while the other kids sat together on the floor. He was not with his 1:1 aid; the aid was somewhere else in the classroom. My wife asked the teacher why our son was sitting alone. The teacher yelled back, Next time sign in at the office okay! The teacher later denied this. We also learned that my son had been crying every day. We learned early in the semester my son s individual DTT sessions were conducted in either the school s stock room or the vending machine room. Neither room was conducive to learning. After complaining, DTT sessions were moved to the classroom. My wife usually talks with other parents. One day the principal heard her talking about our son. The principal then told my wife that she could not speak about our son s situation, obviously trying to shut her up.
My son is just about completing his first year at Holly Ave We made the switch from private to public after learning how amazing Arcadia schools were. It is quite sad that we were disappointed. My son is an average level kid. He is not the most academically advanced nor academically delayed. It seemed as if you get the most attention only if you are extremely delayed, which I understand but there were obvious subjects in which my child needed extra help and because he wasn't delayed he had to "figure it out" on his own. Another thing, he would come home with homework that I constantly had to teach him because when i would ask him if his teacher went over it, he would say no. was he maybe not paying attention? maybe. but as a teacher, i believe it is your job to make sure students are understanding the subject and if they are not, to use a different teaching style with the kid since everyone has a different learning style. His teacher had a very laid back teaching style pass out worksheets and do them on your own while i check my email style. My child will be returning to this school in hopes that next years teacher has a different teaching style, if not, he will be pulled out ASAP.
My child currently attends the kindergarden at this school, and it has been a very difficult year for my child and for me as a parent. My child's teacher has been teaching an advance curriculum comparable to what I remember learning in 2-3 grade. The kids homeworks consists of 4 pages of either math or writing sentences every night. On top of this there are reading assignment of anywhere from 6-12 think reading books. This might be good new to those tiger moms and dads out there who want their child to participate at a higher level, but for me I just want my child to enjoy their childhood and learn what is appropriate for their grade level. The teacher expects each child to write out sentences starting from 3-4 sentences to 6-8 sentences now. The sentences need to be in detail form and they have to form out the words using phonics. My child is having difficulty catching up and has been left behind. I do not believe my child is the only one. I have to spend 2 hours every night with my child to complete the homework assignment, and it has been very exhausting for me, especially after a long days work.
It's only our second year at this school and our academic impression of kindergarten and first grade has been pretty good. However, there seem to be so many rules that are aimed at creating a cookie cutter child. Our son told us that there was a costume parade for Halloween. When I asked if his class marched in it, he told me that they are not allowed to march. They must walk in traveling position. Really, traveling position? I d never heard of traveling position. I m told it means backs straight, hands at their sides, no talking. Wow Holly Avenue! You guys really know how take the fun out of a parade! So many rules for doing everything you must use your inside voice when eating at the outside area, there is no running on the wood chips, you must use jazz hands, not clapping, at assemblies. Good heavens, some of these rules are just ridiculous. Now, I don t think I m hip, slick and cool, but Jazz hands, that s just plain goofy. When is a kid just supposed to be a kid, make some noise, blow off some steam during the day? Our kids are not academic robots; they need some time to burn off some energy and exercise creativity.
Arcadia School District is one of the best school districts in Los Angeles County including the San Gabriel Valley. Great schools with wonderful programs with the exception of Holly Ave. This school unfortunately is not serious about implementing programs that extracurricular that build student interest and esteem.These programs are vital for a child's learning experience,or at least the opportunity to participate in one.The principal likes book smart students and parents that keep their mouth shut, anything other than the later and your on her radar. There is no creative learning or the sort. No emphasis on individual learning styles, or focus on students talents and gifts-just a cookie cutter mentality. Its so much easier and less work for the principle and her staff.
Holly Avenue is a wonderful school which is led by a very dedicated principal. We moved our daughter to Holly from a private school and have been very happy with our decision. Holly has high academic standards but also makes sure to give students a well rounded academic curriculum and especially stresses good character, which shows when you see the students helping each other out at all grade levels. The proof is seeing the kids happy and smiling everyday they go to school. We love this school!
The school has a great character program led incredibly well by the principal. She has set a high standard and she and the staff spend a lot of time working with kids and parents. I love this school for my kids. Academics are stressed but kids get to grow at their own rate.