This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
La Ballona Elementary School4
Posted March 10, 2014
- a parent
Maestra Orosco is a fabulous Kindergarten teacher. My daughter had her for Kindergarten and was comfortably reading and singing in Spanish. The school itself felt like a larger version of my home--some things/people I liked, others I didn't like or understand, but in the end it's all family. I felt that my voice was heard and that I could effect change when I needed to. Could be more parent involvement.. but hay.. that's life.
Hello. I am writing a review because it was hard for me to find information on this school last year while I was looking. My child is in the Spanish program and I couldn't be happier. The school is amazing. In just a few short months he is already speaking. I love how non pretentious the families are and how friendly the staff is. My son is Caucasian, so he is a minority at this school. But I haven't seen any negative effects from this. He is thriving and I am thrilled. Don't overlook this school because of it's location, age, lack of information on the web. It is AMAZING.
I am a parent of a kindergartener at this school and it is an exceptional school. My son is in the Spanish dual-language program and is already speaking and reading in Spanish and English. Parent involvement is very high at this school. Just because a school is Title I, does not mean parents won't be involved, does not mean discipline problems, does mean low-quality education. Many people would rather El Marino to this school as they have been doing dual-immersion in Culver City for 30 years, but you couldn't ask for a better school, staff, teachers and parents than what we have here and, frankly, I think the high population of Latino's at this school and not wanting to be the minority is what scares many of the "locals" away. Simply put, that's really just the underpinnings of privilege rearing its ugly head, IMO. These are some of the most dedicate groups of parents I have ever seen and they want the same things that any loving parent wants for their child: stellar education, teachers, happiness and academic achievement for their children. This is true for the Title I, Latina, White, Black and Asian families alike.
My son is in the 2nd grade in the Spanish immersion program. Both his Spanish and English literacy skills are above grade level. His scores in math and science are terrific. I can't say enough good things about the teaching staff: They are incredibly attentive and experienced. They communicate and support one another. My son's teacher this year has already taken the class on a number of field trips that support in-class curricula. My son especially enjoys the math+music and jiji math programs. Parents are very involved and there are activities (e.g. family night, movie night) and fundraisers (fall festival, book fairs) throughout the year that support community building. There is a new principal this year who, so far, seems excellent. La Ballona is definitely a "great school" where kids can develop socially and academically.
We are so happy with the Dual Language program at La Ballona!! My son is in the 2nd grade which is the group of students from the first year of Dual Language learning at La Ballona. Every year we have to wait until early September to find out who they have hired to teach that year's Spanish immersion class and every year we are so deeply impressed with the wonderful teachers who have been chosen to teach our son! This year my youngest will enter kindergarten and I have no hesitation about sending him to La Ballona. I have found the teachers to be truly exceptional and dedicated, the principal to be a really great leader for the school, and the parents to be very involved both in the classroom and as fundraisers for the school. I love the international group of students and the fact that the school is heavily Latino. For our (non-native Spanish-speaking) son this means that he is truly immersed in Spanish language and Latino culture not only while he is in the classroom, but also in the lunchroom, on the playground, and during drop off and pick up as many of the adults around him converse in Spanish. I couldn't be happier with the school!
La Ballona is the hidden secret of the Culver City school district. Our teachers are amazing and involved. We have an outstanding Spanish immersion program, a strong Math+Music program, Actors' Gang program, SuccessMakers, and now a Growing Garden program. The list goes on. A lot of high parent involvement, now with a booster club that organizes events and after school activities. If you want to be part of an up and coming school, you should check out La Ballona.
La Ballona has a reputation as the redheaded stepchild of Culver City Schools because of its ELL population and socio-economically disadvantaged student population. More parent involvement is occurring, and test scores are rising. However last year 49% of students overall and 52% of free lunch population tested not proficient in language arts. It's a tough school for any student who is slightly outside the box, meaning for students who fall far behind or who excel because teachers already feel too much pressure. My child attended for many years and ultimately left because of low academic standards and because tensions between admin/teachers/staff was interfering with quality of education. The teacher quality simply depends on who you get and their relationship with admin. Unfortunately, I've seen some teachers yell at their students in class and office numerous times in a humiliating way. Two teachers were sweet and kind though.
La Ballona continues to shine with involved parents, enthusiastic students, and dedicated teachers. Our scores keep going up! Our Booster Club and PTA work hard to enrich the school's learning opportunities for students. The La Ballona Green Club encourages students to be responsible custodians of the planet. Our teachers are technology-oriented, multi-lingual, and caring. We are a diverse school! Shake hands with the world at La Ballona!
We LOVE La Ballona! The Dual Immersion program in Spanish has been a fabulous experience! The teachers are the best and our principal is extremely committed to academic achievement, and is very approachable and responsive to the parents and booster club. All in all, we could not be happier.
La Ballona has been awarded the California Distinguished School Award and boasts some of the most dedicated and professional teachers in CCUSD. The population is diverse and children go to school with students from all over the world. Staff and involved parents are very sensitive to the culturally differing needs of the stakeholders. The motived parent groups have worked hard to involve more parents in these difficult budget times and a wonderful espirt du corps has emerged because of it. La Ballona also offers non-traditional enrichment programs like an Acting Conservatory Program with The Actor's Gang (founded by Tim Robbins), 5th grade ballroom dancing and folk dancing from all around the world. There are also literacy programs and many kinds of exposure to performing arts. Families who are interested in La Ballona should speak to other families who actually attend this school.