The best experience a child or parent can have is to belong to a school like this. The stuff is incredible, teachers are amazing, my daughter is so happy to come everyday to school, She is learning having fun.
a fairly dysfunctional school that bored our daughter. The level of education was somewhat better than the local public schools but lacks the spark that a great school has. Wasn't very responsive to the needs of our child and suffered from being a bit formula driven.
We are in the middle of our second year in the middle school and are extremely happy. It is a K-8th grade model, which I really like because I think it is helpful to the older middle schools to be leaders for the younger kids, and the younger kids enjoy the mentoring of the older kids. As a result, we find that the kids are generally nicer to each other than we found at programs with seperate K-5 and 6-8th grade etc. It is a waldorf influenced education, with a nice music, japanese, heart, hands, mind approach is perfect for our son. With 3 children now going through schools, we have found you need to find the right fit for your child, and this is perfect for our son. The teachers and administration are responsive and sensitive. The parents are very involved. Because it is a waldorf influenced school, with limits to media, and clothing should not have logos, etc. it may not be for all families or students. One of the methods unique to this school is teachers stay with a class as the class moves up grades. The academics are stong, and the shool has great testing scores. . We are very pleased with the current administration, which is jointly run by two women.
What a beautiful and safe place that teaches the important values in life. Students are taught to learn and not to perform. The curriculum offers lots of art, theatre, gardening, Japanese and music. There is no TV in the class room and parents are asked to keep the children 'media free' on weekdays. What a difference it makes! The children are calm and focused in the class room and ready and eager to learn.
My daughter attended Ocean Charter school for 2 1/2 years. Her first year was overall a fairly successful and happy transition, which thereafter began to go downhill as my daughter become the object of bullying, which was ignored by the teacher and staff, or which my daughter was blamed for causing. Her last year, was an absolutely horrible experience for our entire famiily, most of the teachers for her 6th grade year were new to the school and inept in the Waldorf method, and incapable of controlling the students. My family and family friends had to band together to ensure my daughter spent as little time on campus as possible, without one of us there to monitor to do our best that she not come home in tears, why the reaction of the staff and teachers was "all 6th grade girls get teased." I eventually reported the bullying to L.A. Unified, which seemed to make them take the matter a bit more seriously. My daughter attended a different school for 7th and 8th grade - where she is an A & B student, gifted athlete, and surrounded by friends. Ocean Charter was the problem! Notably, the child who bullied my daughter the most, was the child of a teacher at the school. hmmmm......
Both my children attended OCS K-6th and were prepared when they both went on to private middle schools. My thinking as to why my children did so well is that I bought into the philosophy of limited media. We have carried that philosophy over to their new schools and it is working out great. The school requires that the parents participate and if you are not interested in helping the school this is not the place for you. Please take the time to see what the school is about and choose accordingly.
OCS has the potential to be a wonderful school. The teachers are (for the most part) excellent and loving, but the administration is incompetent and dishonest. OCS has lost so many excellent teachers because of the lack of support from their admin. Most of the parents are lovely, but the few bad apples make everyone's life miserable. Administration gives into their demands and teachers are unable to do their jobs effectively. It's difficult to create a nurturing environment for children when the teachers are stressed out and unhappy. If you are looking for a stable environment for your children, OCS is not the place. A change in administration is much needed and a better system for dealing with the ridiculous parents who believe their child can do no wrong. The school has wonderful curriculum and passionate teachers...it's a shame that all of that becomes lost in the hands of incapable leaders.
My son went to eighth grade at Ocean Charter. It was an awful experience for us, his teacher was incredibly inept. If there is a problem, the staff blame the student for anything that is less than satisfactory. The special ed is especially lacking.
Your child will be happy here, in a way you never thought was possible at a public school (or at least in California public schools over the past dozen years). Homework, curriculum, instructional techniques, and classrooms are all designed with the child in mind. Sometimes it can be worrying that your kids are having such a different experience than the regular public schools, both in timing of curriculum and exposure to media and computers. But don't worry -- just look at the well-adjusted 8th graders that come out of this school.
What is the last poster talking about? Homelessness is like a permanent vacation. Seriously, though, do you think the principal would tell other families, "Have a nice vacation." And, then, point to the homeless mom and say, "Oh, you poor dear. Good luck to you finding a home over the holiday." Give me a break.
I have 3 children at OCS and they love this school. Just like any place it has it's issues that are mostly addressed quickly and with passion. If you want a place that will barely watch your kids, much less educate them, put them in just any old public school. If you are looking for a place that has an extremely active, intelligent curriculum and incredible parent involvement then OCS is perfect for you. OCS has had their fair share of administrative problems in the past. There always seems to be one or two very intense and often irrational parents that have nothing better to do than complain about the little things that bug them about various administrators or teachers. The majority of the parents, though, truly admire the efforts of the school administration. I just think that an alternative school such as OCS tends to attract very passionate and opinionated parents who think the school is something that it is not. Again it's not for everybody. You know what's best for your family. We have been through quite a lot of ups and downs with this school yet we feel very fortunate to have discovered it.
I love my sons teachers, the staff and his fellow students!. My son is going into his 7th year @ this school and he has done so well. He has thrived as a student, friend and over all citizen. This school has given him so much depth, knowledge and appreciation for the arts, language and community. He has grown into a fine young man in part because of his experiences @ Ocean. In his state tests scores he has consistently done well, even in the middle school. This is a very special school, not for everyone, but my son has unequivocally thrived here, how many public schools can you say have accomplished this?
teachers were great. The school is an awsome school. Everyone was really nice. The school was very good in teaching you in math.
OCS test scores for middle school Math and English compare very favorably with other westside middle schools. Do your own comparisons. Our kids are doing great academically at OCS and we love the rich curriculum.
OCS is a lovely place and there is a really nice community here. The plants and gardens are beautiful. Parental involvement is huge for fundraising and community events. Waldorf curriculum is gentle and loving, although the Waldorf rituals can feel secretive. What really disappoints me though is the lack of academic substance in the upper grades. I was told that Waldorf starts slow in the lower grades (which I love and think is done well at OCS) then soars past conventional schools in the upper elementary school grades, but this is not happening at OCS. The administration is unresponsive and unapologetic about this. I know a number of parents who are very troubled by the slacking academics and are pulling their children out, paying for private tutors or doing semi-home schooling because they know their children are behind and are missing out. It's a great school if you want a nurturing, progressive community and a beautiful school, but if your child loves to learn and you want them to have a good, solid academic education this is not the place. Transfers out of OCS say that their children were significantly behind. I don t know how this warrants an 8 rating.
In reading the reviews from2005-2009 I really must say how great we thought the school would become but alas 50 point drop in STAR and more then half the 6th grade left rather then suffer another year of ineptitude, and more left at the spring/fall semester shift. The middle school is a sinking and stinking ship with an administration that covers their inability to lead with "concerned" nods and "smiles"and fire most of the middle school teachers year after year.
As parent-founded schools grow, I think it is common for parents to feel excluded from decision making-- it is hard to be as included as a school grows from 160 to almost 400. Employees' right to confidentiality conflicts with parents desire to know why one teacher is retained and another let go. That said, magical things happen at Ocean Charter. The environment is overwhelmingly supportive and safe. The teachers are creative. The curriculum is beautiful. The lower grades are especially strong. Some of the parents are exceedingly hard to please and are used to private school "service". This is a public school where the learning challenges are way more diverse than at an exclusive private school.
Ocean Charter School has a great community, with wonderful teachers dedicated to providing the children with a creative 'Whole Child' curriculum. Look at the children's faces showing their enthusiasm for discovery, exploration and bio-dynamic gardening. We enjoy the hands on learning approach and understand the depth of the academics interwoven into the curriculum with a strong arts foundation. What a dynamic school and faculty who has the intention of creating the opportunity for each child to gain the capacity to 'think' for themselves. Just imagine if we could all do mathematics while skipping rope and singing- what a happy way to do accounting. What a magical school grounded in the principals of creative education and a strong healthy community of families together building this dynamic Charter School. Many families have helped set up the school, dig the gardens and raise this Charter school over the past years. It has now over 370 children enrolled from K-8th Grade. The Whole Child Curriculum teaches children in a safe, protective and naturally beautiful environment using methods that fill each child with delight, wonder and enthusiasm. To facilitate this ease of learning, classroom teachers stay with the children for three-year cycles. "Ocean Charter School's Whole Child Curriculum, informed by the Waldorf educational approach and built on a foundation of creativity and self-confidence, grows with the child to balance imagination, critical thinking and academic excellence. This foundation, combined with a focus on ecological and social responsibility, nurtures a sense of delight and wonder about the world, as well as respect for nature and humanity."
Ocean Charter had great potential. When it first opened it relied heavily on parent involvement, not just for their own children's experience but for the development of the school. Teachers and parents working together to actually create a school--just what the charter movement is about. The current board chair and administrators as leaders have hidden everything with their goal of running a school with no interference from anyone. With them at the helm, parents have no voice but are only asked for money and sweat. The biggest problem is that they have no professional capacity to run a school and the result is that every year, half the teachers leave. And forget the middle school--no resources devoted to it and new teachers constantly coming in.
I would really like to hear someone speak to the fact that the parents of so many returning 6th graders have chosen to leave Ocean Charter this year.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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