This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Longfellow Elementary School2
Posted August 17, 2014
- a parent
I agree with the earlier comments. I don't know what the school was like prior to 2010, but when my children (one child was there for 1st and 2nd, and the other one was in kinder). My husband and I were not impressed at all! There are some teachers who really care about the children and teaching, while others "seemed" to care less. One teacher was a total screamer and would scream on a regular basis at the children (even in front of parents). My 2nd grader's teacher (gave my daughter a negative comment on her report card). When asked why this wasn't addressed earlier (by a phone call, a note, or in the weekly progress reports...or better yet, to me personally, since I volunteered in her class on a regular basis and inquired regularly about academics and behavior). I was told, "I'm sorry, I just used to dealing with parents who aren't involved." Which was not true of our family...I spent my lunch hours and days off volunteering. The principal never seemed to be aware or equipped with the skills to address any issue. We purchased our home in this neighborhood because Longfellow had such a great reputation. We still love our neighborhood but had to part ways with the school.
Longfellow's test scores have gone down every year since they absorbed students from less well-off areas. Why? I personally believe it is because the teachers don't really teach. They don't have clear objectives that are based on standards with support from curriculum, don't model, or provide guided practice in new skills. They do their own thing, and the principal is very passive, so there is little accountability. Homework does not match what is taught in class, many teachers don't even use the appropriate curriculum materials. Students who have parents who are able to work with their children to take up the slack of poor teaching practices (or pay for tutors) do well, students who need extra help and good teaching to succeed don't fare as well. A very average educational experience as a whole. I based my review on my opinion of what I saw first-hand. I volunteer often in the school and classrooms of my child (2nd grade). One of my child's teachers was great, the other two not so much. The office staff is also invariably rude, sometimes embarrassingly so. My own child does well, but only because I ask my teacher friends for support. The volunteers are great, as is the PTA.
I have the interesting experience of having a wife that went there, three kids who went there, One in the GATE program, and now a grand child who goes there. It is significantly different from the 50's. In many ways the kindergarten is more difficult now than then and certainly harder than in the 80's. It is far easier than it was in Tennessee in the 50's though but that is California. All education is well below the national norm but if the child is in GATE it is well above the national norm so a lot can be said about individual effort. I don't know about the other grades except by the parents who mostly seem satisfied and my experience with GATE which is AWESOME.. The Uniforms are a nice touch. The parents seem involved and there is lots of support in the immediate community which is up scale from normal Long Beach. There are so many variables in a school it is difficult to evaluate one for academics, especially when the programs are district approved and have little variance. But the staff seems supportive and the kids seem disciplined so I guess those are big pluses. Anyhow, I think the school is excellent.
Longfellow is a disgrace to the teaching community. I do agree with a earlier reviewer it all depends on the teacher but since the principal has changed and the teaching and accountability has gone down. If you are new and thinking of attending Longfellow Run and Hide. Choose another school. The PTA & Foundation are a close net group that controls the principal and the union and close to retiring teachers don't care about anything but the pay check. There are teachers who would send 90% of there class to summer school if they had summer school. Oh and by the way if you need a good tutor you can hire the children of the teachers who don't want to teach. I moved from the area to South OC just to get my kids into a good school and district. There are great elementary schools in LBUSD this just isn't one. They teach to the state test that is why there scores are so high and they cater to the people who scream the loudest and who are only using the school as a babysitter.
I have 2 kids in Longfellow that came from a Montessori school. My daughter got into the GATE program in 3rd grade and has had wonderful teachers throughout. My son came into the school in 2nd grade in November when my husband lost his job and we could no longer afford the Montessori. He had a rough transition and was bored at first but managed to get through to third grade where he was clustered into the GATE class. From there he blossomed and has been fine ever since. The teachers are caring and knowledgeable, the music program is good, parent participation is high, and the PTA is great. The first principal we had was wonderful, and the second was good. Overall it's a great school.
This is the most amazing school ever! I am a teacher myself and have subbed at many schools in LBUSD as well as LAUSD. Longfellow has amazing teachers, the PTA is extrememly active and the office staff, cafeteria staff, janitorial staff lovingly care for the school and the kids. I moved to this neighborhood so my kids could attend this school and i have never had any regrets.
I am disgusted with Longfellow. My son was in Kindergarten and learned nothing. We had to hire teachers from another district to get him up to speed before entering 1st grade. The teaching staff is old and waiting to retire to collect there pensions. I was proactive and transferred both my children to a different district as the the LBUSD and staff at Longfellow were not interested in anything I had to say. I was a big supporter of the school but when they started to transfer the good teachers and leave the the teachers that don't care about anything but eating, hair brushing, blaming others and trying to get parents to hire there children to tutor. Not all things are bad there the Counselor is incredible. The other thing to remember when going there they teach to the test not overall education, so the first half of the year is all about the STAR test and how to score on it. I am so glad I am in another school all I can say is WOW what a difference in the quality of the teaching and expectations of the kids much higher. If you want to check out another district that really cares go south.
Longfellow is a great school. My daughter was relocated there last year when Burroughs Elementary shut down. In the year that she's attended Longfellow, she has absolutely excelled. It has been great. Mr. Sarabia is one of many wonderful teachers at Longfellow. The library, science lab, computer lab, etc., are all top-notch. Much of the school's strength comes from involvement from parents, through PTA and the Longfellow Legacy Foundation.
Both of my children attended this school from K-5. Ms. Jones both of the kindergarten teacher was by far the best teacher there. She gave both my kids the BEST possible chance at succeeding as they went on further in school. Parent involvement was like no other school. I can't say enough good things about the staff & their teaching ability.