This is a 5 star school in every way. Firstly, many of the teachers have been in their jobs for decades and many are alumni of the school. They are incredibly dedicated to the school and the achievement of their students. This can be shown in the high scores that the students have achieved year after year. The principal's leadership and availability to parents is key to the success of the school as well as the intervention programs that she has put in place to help struggling students achieve. The parent involvement and dedication to the school has allowed the school to implement many programs to enhance the learning environment which is above and beyond what a public school can provide. I am incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Hawthorne School community.
Hawthorne Elementary School. As a parent of four children I can say there is no better school than Hawthorne. The teachers and administrators are all dedicated, caring and innovative. This school is a reflection of the principal, Kathy Schaeffer and the excellent teachers.
I am involved in the education of my child and in my book this is the #1 matter of concern. Recently, we moved and began at Hawthorne Elementary, Beverly Hills. I find the change drastically lowered the curve and communication in the school continues to be a cause for asking for money. I appropriate funding necessities and for that they get an A+; I have an overflow of notices for fund raisers and events outside of the classroom every day and often two or three in my email. I care about the work in class. There was a problem & I was not notified until it escalated to a serious issue. As educators and staff, there is a disconnect from caring about teaching and ensuring the fundraising shine.s Music starts later than low budget school districts close by; 6th not 4th. After 1 1/2 years of continuous play I had no offer to carry on for my child, but was ordered to hold until next year. That along with no teacher contact makes us miss the perks of the other district. The students are lovely. If the employees could be at equal level, then I would raise the score. I expected better, but they are not in conformity with our experience.
Very sad to be posting this, but I wish I was warned before I moved into this district. There is no focus on the "whole child" or community. This school's focus is the API score. My child scored in the 100th percentile on the API test, but then took the iSEE test (which is what private school kids take) and only scored in the 50th percentile. This is not an education, it's test prep for one test. The administration seems enamored with technology (likely because the new standardizing testing will be computerized), so the kids spend hours each week playing games on ipads and computers. The teachers use movies (non educational ones) as a babysitter at least weekly, and often more. The kids are not allowed to run at recess and they have no full time PE teacher. There is no care/ concern for physical health or exercise at this school. There are some wonderful teachers, but unfortunately they are the exception, not the rule. If you are considering this school, I would recommend parking on Rexford drive at 3pm on a school day to watch the staff, children, and parents at pick up. That will give you a feel for the kind of organization and community you can expect at Hawthorne.
5 stars for the administration, teachers, and staff----1 star for lack of community. Like the other post, we feel ostracized for not being the same race & religion of people who attend the school. There is NO warmth or welcoming spirit from the parents---unless you are part of their culture. They don't even smile or say hi to you! They're so snooty. It is unfortunate because we love the teachers. However, we'd like to be a part of a school culture that is nice and not so mean and entitled. Life is too short to waste time on the "entitled" and egotistical "privileged"-- and we're happy to be leaving next school year!
The school is 100 % for rich Iranian Jewish people. The kids talk Hebrew and do not play with my daughter who is Christian. She is depressed and she cannot makes friends. And the school is asking for money donations every single day, donations starting with $500. You receive phone calls everyday to participate in donations and giving away activities. At one point you feel embarassed to the teachers. If you cannot afford to give donations they isolate your child. At one point they asked me why I am bringing my child to school so early in the morning. I answered:"some people work for a living, have jobs". This is a school for people who does not need to work, or those who have baby sitters. They ask you to participate in all kind of activities, and it is not possible if you have a real job. The academic part is really good but this is not a school for white caucasians, asians, or other races. I start to believe that not being a Jewish in Beverly Hills is like a stigma. Me and my husband are making efforts to pay an expensive rent in order to give our daughter a good education. But it is not enough if you don't have the ego and the money of Iranians.
The teachers at Hawthorne are professional, caring and expect high standards from their students. The music teacher is incredible. Mrs. Brilliant, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Timmerman, Ms. LeBlanc are all at the top of their field. The after-school activities are plentiful and my children also participate in the science and math olympiads. The principal Mrs. Schaffer is very engaged and communicates very well with parents and children alike. Her follow-up is impeccable.
My son went to Hawthorne for one year of Kindergarten and it was enough to realize that it wasn't the right school for him... and us. Hawthorne might have a high API but it doesn't offer a diverse (race and religious) environment. Some teachers have very little experience in the field, parents are not involved and there isn't a sense of community. This is a school that thinks 'by the book' and doesn't encourage creative thinking.
As a Hawthorne alumna and a current parent of a 3rd grader, I am very pleased with the education and care my son has received. He thrives at this school because of the teachers and the specialists there. In particular, my child has been helped tremendously by Sherry Mobasseri, his speech-language therapist. She is amazing!! She has given my child help that he will benefit from his entire life.