When you see 12 years worth of comments here about bullying and lack of supervision on the playgrounds, you know there is a legitimate problem at this school. When we first moved into the area, we had read these reviews and we were concerned but thought "how bad could it really be?" Let me tell you I have seen it with my own eyes - punching, kicking, tackling, tripping, shoving, taunting, name-calling, on and on. I'm talking about not only the larger upper-grade playground but also the kindergarten area as well. I was recently at the kindergarten playground and saw about 100 kids and only 2 adults supervising - what is the administration thinking? It was an unsupervised madhouse out there.
We receive weekly status letters regarding what is happening at school and there is constant mention of issues involving hitting, pushing, etc and to please remind your kids to keep their hands to themselves. This has been an ongoing problem for years. The people that have written reviews here about the bullying are not lying or being dramatic. If you doubt the unsupervised chaos and bullying on the playgrounds, I would encourage any parents who are considering this school to visit several times during recess and observe the level of supervision on the playgrounds (not much) and the behavior.
We hate to pull the kids away from some good friends at the school and start over again, but we see the negative effects of this environment bleeding into the classroom and we are investigating a transfer to Mission Estancia or OPE. In an age when most schools are seriously focused on creating an anti-bullying environment, this school continues to create an unsupervised environment where bullying can thrive.
El Camino Creek has literally gone to the dogs. On any day, there are 12 dogs on campus. Most of them do not wear a “love on a leash” vests so who know if they are certified or not. Several are consistently off leash. If your child has a dog allergy or fear, they are switched with a teacher who does not have a dog. (Even though the original class could be the best fit both academically and socially.) This is very different than how children with food allergies are treated.
To be fair, there are some teachers, and especially the librarian, take the "Love on a Leash" program seriously and use it to benefit the students. But the principal does nothing to control the other staff and program abuses. Perhaps she will once a student is harmed or bitten, but by then it will be too late.
One teacher has her students to throw a ball for her dog, then leaves the kindergarten students outside unsupervised with him, while she teaches centers inside her classroom. Parents bring their dogs onto campus during drop off and pick up. Other parents who are sitting on a bench waiting, will have a teacher’s off-leash dog run up and aggressively bark at them. The night janitor brings her dog to campus and has it run off leash in the field during pick up.
What kind of therapy, or way to enrich educational goals does this provide for the students?
Then, there is the smell of the doggie bags placed haphazardly throughout the campus. With that many dogs at school, walking by different areas can have a very strong odor. And your children will eventually bring some of it home on their shoes.
If you are looking for a school in this district, go to Mission Estancia, La Costa Heights, or OPE. They provide the same services and opportunities, but are better with stronger leadership, less bullying and fewer issues.
Some teachers are better than others. But most of the ineffective ones have retired over the past few years. Certain parents work the system to get their child placed with the teachers and friends, which the principal allows.
We are seriously considering leaving this school. The principal is clearly under qualified for this position. She talks a great game but does not know what to do when it's time to deliver. Pretends she cares about the students when all she really cares about is her own personal agenda. Sadly, it is the staff and families who suffer the repercussions. There is little supervision on the play areas which have led to numerous acts of bullying....something the principal continues to overlook. The teachers so far have been great but the school is only as strong as its weakest link. Maybe once the principal moves on, ECC will be the great school it once was.
I agree about the nepotism. There are some great teachers, some are fair and then there are the others you don't want. It's pretty much like any other school in this district, except that this school seems to lack genuine integrity in the leadership. Integrity means actions follow words. I'd like to see more of that from this administration. Also, the bullying is still pretty bad on the playground. There are a lot of kids and not enough supervisors. Otherwise, test scores are consistently good. I agree with the other comments that the other schools in the district provide good alternatives to this one.
El Camino Creek has been an excellent school for our kids. Principal and parents are very involved. If I must say something that bothers me is that certain parents (those that are in the loop or former Vice Principals with kids attending the school) ALWAYS get the best teachers. This really is not fair. It is so obvious. Otherwise, very happy with the school.
Having moved here from another state with private education, we were wary about public education in california. This school is wonderful and has reached our high expectations. There is a lot of parent involvement, that keeps programs, like art, music and multiple disciplines of science. The teachers are dedicated, supportive, and caring. They challenge the students who need it, while providing extra help others. The class sizes are some of the smallest in the area. My sons are enthusiastic about learning and take pride in going to ECC.
I volunteer during lunch recess and witnessed packs of bully groups roaming the large black top areas. It's always the same children picking on others who are alone or in small groups. The bullying ranges from name calling, or exclusionary behavior to shoving and pushing. Because it's so rampant, it's becoming an acceptable form of interaction with kids who don't normally bully others. I"m not sure why this awful conduct is tolerated on the playgrounds year after year. It doesn't take much more than a simple redirection or time-out to teach the children bully behavior is wrong and won't be tolerated. It would be great if the school leadership were more interested in addressing the problem. For our family, strong academics or high test scores are good, but it's hard for them to focus on their substantive course work when they are fearful each day at school. I choose to stay on the playground to protect my children, but I shouldn't have to do that to keep them safe at school. . I am genuinely disappointed in the leadership's apathy toward the bullying problem at this school.