Our Community School is an award winning, tuition-free, public charter school serving K-8th grades where staff members, students and families collaborate in the ongoing process of education. We are an intentional small learning community of 450 students--two classes per grade level. We value manageable classroom sizes with teaching assistant support to meet the varying needs of our students and to promote close connections between and among students and staff.
Our diverse and caring community balances academics with creativity, thereby fostering independent thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders using innovative music, art, P.E., garden programs and technology.
OCS students are guided to become ethical, empowered and informed members of our community and therefore, every community.
Our school program is based on three main themes:
• Constructivism/Hands-On Learning: Students learn through connecting new ideas to prior learning. Each learning experience is an opportunity to construct new meaning through discussion, collaboration and reflection to integrate new concepts.
• Responsive Classrooms/Developmental Designs: This approach is a way of teaching that fosters safe, challenging, and joyful elementary schools. Developed by classroom teachers, this approach consists of practical strategies of bringing together social and academic learning throughout the school day.
• Integrated Common Core Curriculum: Our goal is to prepare our students for active, rewarding membership in our community and our democratic way of life. Students will learn about people and culture, will be immersed in democratic practices, will participate in conflict-resolution and whole class discussions and will have the opportunities to self-reflect.
July 07, 2015
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Great as a elementary school. Not so great as a middle school. I was a student at this school from kindergarten to 8th. It was the full experience. The elementary school portion is wonderful and helps kids strive to be themselves. However the middle school is okay... It seems that a lot of blame is placed on middle schoolers. Not only that but I wasn't really prepared. They treat us like babies in 6 & 5 grade and then suddenly the expect us to be polite adults. Some middle school teachers are not so great and the school seems to brush off a lot of concerns that come from students. Even ones involving sexism. There was an instance when a female peer of mine was catcalled. This was brought to a teacher. Instead of addressing to male student who had catcalled her, the teacher told her to put on a sweater. This was because her tank top was too revealing. This is part of the dress code. Which is a mess. It teaches boys that if you harass a girl, you most likely won't get in trouble. It teaches girls that they are to blame. Like.... Learn self control!
Thank you so much for the support and love you show to my child and all the children in the class. I always feel heard and appreciated, and very respected. I owe you so much for the amount of joy and dedication you bring to your classroom.
I am so grateful that our principal, Jude Stablier, has guided us through this far. He has made a huge impact on our school moving forward, and we are forever changed. From the standpoint of a parent... I am so thankful that he is available to the student and parents, they have a voice that is honored and respected.
My daughter just started Kindergarten this fall at OCS and my family and I feel so fortunate to have found this unique and amazing school. My daughter loves going to school everyday and we love how the "responsive classroom" has already helped to build a beautiful bond between classmates.
It is a pretty amazing process. We are thrilled with her teacher and how well our concerns have been addressed thus far. I feel like we have a very open line of communication with the teacher too!
By allowing OCS students time to process, brainstorm, problem solve, collaborate with peers while building confidence through small successes, students come to know that hard work and tenacity has a pay off. OCS teachers are adept at stepping in and out of individual and group work to guide toward solutions while not giving answers. We know and value that finding the a zone of proximal development means that answers don't come quick and being in a state of unknowing is okay.
One of the ways OCS develops compassion, caring, and empathy is through community service projects.
Every OCS classroom implements at least one year-long community service project. Students and staff engage in meaningful talk about needs on campus and in the community at large. These conversations are structured by taking a closer look at problems in the community and brainstorming solutions. This consistent valuing of giving back, service and empathy for others is embedded in this process. Students easily transfer these activities by coming to learn another's perspective into their daily lives as they develop and grow.
OCS teachers are evaluated and observed daily. Professional development is based on the specific needs of our students and school-wide academic goals. OCS works closely with many LA area colleges for support in professional development as well as a resource for top-notch student teachers/teaching assistants that often become lead teachers through a process of working through the ranks while learning OCS culture and traditions.
OCS implements a thoughtful and rigorous hiring process to find "the best of the best." teachers who are able to meet the academic, physical and social-emotional needs of our students.
Teachers and staff are committed to kids. Teachers reflect on best practices and are encouraged to take individualized professional development courses based on specific needs and/or goals.
Homework is meant to be manageable, developmentally appropriate and meaningful. We encourage daily reading and practicing of skills learned at school while avoiding assignments that are rote and excessive that do not benefit a student's academic growth or love of learning.