October 01, 2003
The schools in La Canada teach so children can excel on standardized tests. The school day is WAY too short! Children do not have a normal school day (8:15AM-2:50PM) until FOURTH GRADE! All those peak learning years wasted. 1st -3rd grade the class is split w/ half the students (10)-in the first hour of school alone, and the last hour 1:50-2:50PM (10 students only), administration claims that is why reading proficiency is high. In fact, the kids read often before K, read very well in first grade, well before taking standardized tests, this due to the efforts of the parents. Socioeconomic values and standard are high and the schools (quite mediocre) take credit for the effect of highly educated, many (JPL & CALTECH scientists) and high earning parents that set the standards for their children. The students are very bright, mostly learn to read, add, tell time, and use money before K, and the faculty teaches to highly motivated and in most other arenas would be considered a 'gifted' population of students. Writing is hardly taught at all and the state test scores reflect very poor proficeicency at all grade levels and the schools complete lack of attention to the importance of writing. As the test score do compare well to other California schools, administration and teachers have an elitist attitude, take expensive field trips which parents must donate for or your name will be on PTA list, and teachers often do not return and answer parents email, which they try to utilize as a primary communication tool. If you are looking in La Canada for the schools, also look at La Crescenta, Burbank, Glendale, & Montrose. I am not sure it is worth paying an average $800,000 for a home to be in the district schools, although the propaganda would indicate so.
- submitted by a parent