Echo Horizon is an elementary school by design, one that nurtures the imagination and creativity of early childhood that are essential for future academic and social learning. The School provides a safe, supportive, community with strong, loving adults whom children can trust. Here, they have time to discover and explore themselves, as they chart their paths into the future. Echo Horizon is a place where great teaching and great values converge and great kids thrive. Get to know us and see our impact.
October 10, 2014
This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
My kids love Echo Horizon school. As a parent, to see my kids waking up in the morning and never complain to have to go to school is huge! I love that they have PE three times a week, that they have theater, dance, art and music! I think the bad review a parent gave is extremely a personal experienced, not share by many in the school at ALL! I am actually surprised to hear a parent being so unhappy.
My daughter loves being a student at Echo Horizon. The School is a small community of down-to-earth families who value character education and academic preparedness. We may come from different backgrounds, but we bring our children to Echo because we want to raise respectful, empathetic, and engaged life-long learners. The last review is completely at odds with what my family has experienced. I can’t help but read between the lines and hear a parent who refused to recognize that their child was unable to handle the academic and social expectations at Echo. Was the parent hoping their child would have hours of unstructured play time with no consequences for unfinished work?
In the Maker Space, kids brainstorm what they are passionate about and then take those ideas and invent something that will benefit others. They are asked to document their process; self-reflecting on successes and failures. If that’s controlled and contrived, sign my child up for more.
Piles of worksheets has not been my child’s experience. Homework doesn’t start until 2nd grade, and even then it’s 20 minutes of reading with a worksheet that reiterates lessons taught in class. There are also projects requiring work over a number of days. Work increases as the kids are prepared for middle school. It is used as a tool for the teachers to see what the kids need more help with and also to develop time management skills and instill personal accountability in the kids.
Teaching about history, art, songs, and stories from other cultures does not constitute “appropriation.” Such learning occurs in the classrooms and spans across the arts disciplines, where, yes *gasp* it may culminate in a performance.
The teachers care about emotional growth. They have done an amazing job navigating the complicated and ever-changing world of girl social drama, helping the kids understand and communicate their feelings and empathize with their classmates.
Character education is integral to the curriculum and reinforced by our HOS. Unsolicited parenting advice? Was that when our HOS wrote about the importance of kids getting a good night sleep? Or when she suggested ways to talk to our kids about national tragedies that occurred and that they may overhear things about? I’m baffled that the thoughtful insights from an experienced educator are construed as over-reaching and condescending.
Echo Horizon suffers from an identity crisis. The school touts the importance of both academic rigor and the value of play, yet accomplishes neither. Students are given very little unstructured time; even their time in the Maker Space is rigidly controlled by filling out packets and "learning to fail" in a contrived manner. Old school “chalk and talk” teaching, piles of out-of-a-workbook worksheets and too much homework are dull and time consuming. History is taught through a colonial lens, glossing over the struggles of indigenous people and shamelessly appropriating cultural traditions for performances and pageants.
Breaks are short and can be withheld if class work is not completed quickly enough. Tired carrot-and-stick reward/punishment techniques are employed (withholding recess, name on the board, tearing up homework and throwing it away because the student forgot to write their name on it…) Jumping through hoops and staying in line is valued over independent thought. Several times I’ve overheard teachers speaking harshly to children who they are correcting, or who are in conflict with each other…the approach seems to be “knock it off” rather than encouraging the kids to take the time to listen and respond to one another.
Weekly email messages from the Head of School offer unsolicited parenting advice. Sometimes the Head of School will use overheard parent/child interactions as examples of how not to parent or interact with one’s own children. This reach into students’ private family lives often takes a condescending and superior tone.
Most disturbingly, teachers will quickly recommend psychological testing for students who earn their negative attention. Although there are still a few kind and concerned teachers here, overall Echo should be your first choice only if you wish to spend a lot of money for a mediocre education punctuated by punishment and condescension.
Teaches your kids to be good people above all else while getting a great education in a small setting. Empathy and problem solving are key without the pretension of other Los Angeles private schools. The diversity of students and families makes for an enriching experience!
As a parent of a hearing impaired student and also of a typical hearing student, I feel I must respond to the one star review posted previously on 3/31/16. Both my children are treated EQUALLY which is the point of having a mainstream environment for hearing impaired students. My kids are very different yet both of their sets of teachers value them for who they are. The teachers take their time to understand each child's unique qualities and support those strengths. The school is such a wonderful mix of people. It is a community of warm families from all over Los Angeles that share values and education for their children.
Echo Horizon emphasizes the points of pride, which focus on citizenship and personal responsibility. I think nothing speaks louder than how nice the children are to each other. We've been out and about in LA and had kids come up to us to introduce themselves as schoolmates of our children. The confidence, poise, and politeness are notable.
We've had an extraordinary experience at Echo Horizon School. As we were looking at independent schools, we kept hearing that kids who go to Echo Horizon are just NICE. And it's true: the sixth graders go out of their way to say hello to our pre-kindergartner. The teachers are energetic, creative, and loving. The leadership is courageous and innovative. We love the kids and have formed great friendships with the other parents. Overall, we've found it to be an extremely warm and welcoming community, and we're honored to be a part of it.
My child went to school there for one year. IT WAS AWFUL. This is no longer a school where deaf children can me mainstreamed. It's been taken over by the trophy wives of Beverly Hills and the deaf kids are treated like charity cases (at best). The teachers have obvious favorites and everyone is just plain MEAN.
We are very pleased with Echo. Our son is starting his second year there and our daughter is starting her first.
To address the concerns raised in some previous reviews: yes, Echo had to lay off many teaching assistants last year in order to adjust to its new lower enrollment. It is hard to say why the enrollment dropped. There are many factors that might lead to dropping enrollment, some of which are beyond a school's control. What a school can control is how it chooses to react, and in my opinion the school reacted appropriately, making some tough calls in order to adjust to reality rather than ignore the situation.
On the unambiguously bright side, this year Echo has started a STEAM and "maker space" part of its curriculum.
Echo's hearing-challenged students enrich all students' experience by exposing them to a special form of diversity.