Ocean Charter is a mix of LAUSD Charter and Waldorf methodology. If you care mostly about test results and having your kindergartener spell the ABC's backwards, this is not a good school for you. If you want your children to thrive in an arts/music heavy, caring and anti-commercial environment, you should look no further. This school is only in it's second year, and many programs (e.g. PE) are not fully impleted yet. Parent involvement is very important.
My son is in his second year of kindergarten at ocean charter and we are very happy with the play-based, developmental curriculum. It allows young children to be children for a little bit longer, in this hurried, goal oriented world! The classroom environment is very homey, and we have found the teachers to be dedicated & caring. The kindergartener's particpate in a variety of creative activities... Modelling bees wax, watercolor painting, drawing, finger knitting, story telling, singing, movement, free play and bread kneading/baking, that help to develop their motor skills, senses for shape & color, social and body awareness, problem solving etc... We're also excited about the language program beginning in first grade (spanish & japanese), and the instrumental program for grades 3+ that offers a choice of strings (violin & cello) or percussion. Parent volunteerism is big here, and the directors know everyone by name.
My son went to kindergarten at this school its first year. We hated it. The school is badly structured, the playground equipment was dangerous, the children were minimally supervised at recess, the bathrooms were filthy, and the school was so focused on the organic 'experiences' of the child, learning was ignored. Dissension and differences of opinions of the parents was surpressed. The school claims to follow the Waldorf 'spirit', but it is a thinly disguised Waldorf school.
This new charter school is entering its second year of operation. It is a wonderful school with an emphasis on creativity and individuality. The level of parent involvement is unparalleled and the school community is richly diverse in culture. My daughter is entering her second year of a two year kindergarten program and she cannot wait to return. The teachers and administration are always available to work with parents on any issues we may have with the school or our children. Being such a new school, there are many things to improve on but the intent is there and I'm sure with every year this school will blossom into one of the best LA has to offer.
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