This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Benjamin Franklin Elementary School5
Posted February 26, 2014
- a parent
I have children in the second and fourth grade Spanish program. We permitted in from LAUSD and knew nothing about the district or the school before starting school, but I was inspired by the administration's commitment to dual language AND general excellence in education. My children are thriving. They are now bilingual (which they weren't when they started), scoring in the highest levels on state and GATE testing (with no tutoring outside of school) and they are happy. The teachers inspire my kids daily and the social environment is supportive and accepting. Being at a school with multiple languages and culture have helped our children to feel like citizens of the world and they have an awareness of diversity and opportunity which such an international school fosters naturally. Some of the test scores are low but this is because the kids are learning the material in another language, but by 4th grade the scores catch up. This will be reflected in the coming years once the program is established (next year will be the program's first graduating class). We feel incredibly lucky to have our children at this fantastic school.
If you don't know the school, why pose questions here, rather than just calling the school? But since your questions may concern others: 1) some 4 yr. olds with birthdays close to the cutoff can be tested for kinder readiness, if requested. We have huge waiting lists. 2) Shade trees are being added all the time and once the new building is put in next year, there will be more green spaces, less asphalt and more trees. 3) Children will be exposed to language in many formats so they get used to different accents and dialects, movies may be one of those formats. On rain days, if kids can't go out at lunch they may spend 15 min watching a G-rated movie in English. Why is that alarming? 4) All public school kids move into larger class sizes at 4th grade. It can be tough on some kids, most survive. 5) It is true that at Franklin under the 90/10 immersion model your student will get less English instruction in the beginning. However, our FLAG students outscore their monolingual peers. This is not apparent in the API because it includes non FLAG students. Young kids while playing sometimes get scratched and bumped. To say that it is intentional is narcissistic at worst, ignorant at best.
I feel so fortunate that both my children attend this school, and for so many reasons, including: engaged parents, committed teachers, wonderful enrichment classes, in-school music and dance classes, gardening lessons and much more. Plus, our children are learning to be global citizens and an increased cultural awareness. For those who say their children are behind... it could be the child not the school. My daughter is reading well beyond her grade level and consistently scores as advanced. It's a wonderful school with an equally great community of families.
I am a parent of a kindergartener and a 2nd grader. I could not be more thrilled with this school. The teachers are amazing and the administration is always willing to listen to ideas to improve the school. This is a very tight-knit school with a TON of parental involvement as mentioned in the reviews below. You know a school has "that special something" when parents are willing to drive from all over to attend. We have students from as far away as Culver City and Valencia. Franklin is really a very special and unique place and we could not be happier to be a part of it!
I have a daughter in Italian Kinder. I am beyond ecstatic with the teachers, interns, activities, and parent community. The dedication of everyone here is awe-inspiring and the results are amazing. My daughter is already speaking, reading and writing Italian (as well as English), and I can't believe how quickly she has picked up and retained vocabulary. When my mom, a native Italian, visited us over Christmas break, she was quizzing my girl all the time and never stumped her -so cool! If multilingualism and multiculturalism are important to you, this school is a godsend. It's a private school education for the cost of a public school. I can't say enough good things about Franklin! P.S. A couple of reviews below are disingenuous in expressing surprise that when they pulled their child from Franklin to go to another school, their children were behind academically. Their children were learning a new language as well as the materials expected to be covered for each grade level. The school is very upfront about the fact that the program is designed to be a six year commitment for this reason, especially as much of the language learning is happening in the first few grades.
I am so happy with this school. My daughter is in French kindergarden and we couldn't be more impressed with how much she's learned this year, not only in French but English as well. The parents are a VERY involved and tight knit community within the school. The faculty and administration are top notch and always willing to listen to and accommodate parents. Our children are learning to be diverse and global minded individuals. Looking forward to our continued success at Benjamin Franklin.
I have a son in the Kinder Italian program and feel so very lucky to be part of this school. Our incredible parent body is VERY involved - volunteering in class, at lunch, at drop off and pickup, for special activities, fundraising, performing (lots of artists) to raise money for the kids, etc. We have an intern with us the ENTIRE year from Italy, working with their teacher in class. We have music and gardening, in addition to all the academic activities. My son's teacher is wonderful - incredibly kind, helpful and patient. My son, who spoke few words of Italian before entering, is now writing sentences, on his own, in Italian. We absolutely adore the after school program options as well - broadway, chess, woodworking, weird science, violin, gardening - and on and on. You pay for those after school classes, but they are right there, available to have your child's day just slightly extended with such valuable enrichment. And yes, the campus definitely needs help! - but the plans they have drawn up and the grants they have written, if they come to fruition, would bring this campus to a level way beyond others I have seen. Native plantings, shade, and FAR less concrete!
Can't think of anything negative to say about our experience at Franklin Magnet. I have one child in 5th grade and an incoming Kindergartener. The quality and dedication of the Teachers is outstanding. The office staff is knowledgeable and extremely friendly and helpful. How many public schools can say they have a school that teachers in 5 languages, has the most diverse student body, a terrific PTA working hard to advocate for all of our children (not just at our school buy beyond) A Foundation that fundraises for music, art, after school enrichment, garden club, Teacher supplies and interns in each class from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and South America! My daughter comes home excited from her day and looking forward to school every day. I am so proud to be part of such a caring community and dedicated group of parents and staff. It gives me great joy to see my child so academically driven and excelling in 2 languages. I am hoping GUSD will continue dual immersion into middle school.
Franklin Magnet is an amazing school. My son and daughter are currently enrolled in the Spanish FLAG program, 4th grade and 2nd grade, respectively. The teachers are fantastic. The school is such a tight community throughout all the FLAG languages. We currently have Spanish, Italian, German and French. Not only is the administration wonderful but the parents always go above and beyond to ensure that all our children are getting the very best social and educational experience. I am so happy to be part of the Franklin Families.
I have some questions about this school. I am thinking of enrolling my child next year. He speaks French, Russian and English. I have heard they are enrolling 4yr olds w/ 5yr olds in the Kindergarten classes. Are there not enough age appropriate children applying to the program? 5 & 6 year olds are different and should be viewed that way. Also, will the school be putting shade in soon? I saw online that a lot of money has been raised for shade but nothing has been put in or up. One friend in the German class say that children watch programs in class. Is this correct? Will that be in the French class too? I do find that very alarming. Any answers are appreciated.