I have three kids at the school and they are all thriving! The teachers and staff are all fantastic. They are committed and energetic and that is the most important relationship. I saw a previous comment below from someone complaining about administration after one month at the school. The observations in that comment are not even close to reality. If you want a well rounded child that is exposed to an amazing experience where school is a nurturing extension of family, you should go to Ocean Charter.
This review has been a long time coming. My child attended OCS from Kindergarten to 8th grade. Now that he is in high school and looking toward college, I am continually reminded how grateful I am for those foundational years at OCS. The Waldorf curriculum is an arts integrated approach, which is expressed beautifully by the students at this school. They learn though singing, drawing and movement everyday. The stories they hear, the artwork they create, it lives in them. They readily show it to you in every interaction. It's such a special gift to see your child participate in these rich experiences, to have teachers who really know them as an individual and to have your child love what they do at school everyday. But don't miss out on the real gifts in attending this school. These experiences teach your child to be a lifelong learner, to stretch themselves farther then they (or you, their parents) thought they could stretch. Having moved on to high school, I see these gifts everyday in my son. He has a strong sense of perseverance, collaboration and he really wants to understand what he's studying, not just memorize enough facts to get a good grade. (His current teachers love these traits and recognize them in many OCS alumni.) This has served him in every way possible, academically, socially, spiritually. He understands the need for balance in all areas of his life and does a better than average job of achieving it. I credit his years at OCS in large part for those skills. As you consider any school for your child, just know that there are bigger things at stake in your choice than scores on standardized tests and whether your child was the first in their class to read. If you meet my son, or any OCS student for that matter, you will not notice or care about their test scores or their early literacy skills. What you will be struck by is what a well-rounded, engaged, self-reliant individual they are. I could have written this review at any time while we were at OCS, on one of our tougher days, when it would have been hard to speak about it as the cumulative experience that is was. I'm glad I waited. I'm glad I can tell you with new perspective that I would do it again. It was one of the best things we could have done to give our son the education we think he needed and deserved.
My son s class at OCS is a lot like the one I went to as a kindergartener--emphasizing art, singing, stories, make-believe and outdoor play, letting kids be kids instead of rushing them to achieve academically. There's no homework, so we can actually have some family time after school and work. And instead of stressing technology, Ocean emphasizes an awareness of nature and the seasons. Kids aren't bombarded with characters and brands on T-shirts, lunchboxes, etc., because parents agree not to send their kids to school with them. It's true that parents sometimes have to request their names be added to group emails and school events could be better organized, but more important, the school is a great fit for my son. The school s test scores aren't as high as others , but then standardized testing is not something OCS focuses on. If you're a parent who will stress about whether your child is reading yet, Ocean Charter isn't for you, as it's not aligned with traditional approaches or assessments of learning. That said, the Waldorf philosophy does emphasize personal, social, artistic and moral development, and it's amazing to get access to that style of education at a public school.
New to LA is was very excited to be able to send my son, 5 years old, to the kinder program at Ocean. We lasted about a month before I withdrew from the school and transferred to a another school in my area. In my opinion Ocean has championed mediocrity. There is almost a profound lack of communication between parent and school admin. In the 5 weeks we attended I did not receive one email from school admin telling us any of the happenings in the school or in my son's grade and classroom. Another problem we faced was suddenly my son got very anxious about going to school everyday. He loved his previous kinder class and school until we got to Ocean. I believe the admin has figured out how to keep kids turning 7 years in their kinder program, in most any other school these kids would be going into 1st grade. So now my small son is navigating the playground with very large boys who are socially and emotionally light years away from a typical 5 year old. And on most days it is survival of the fittest in their playground. I believe the biggest problem this school has his lack of leadership. The executive director is non existent and from what I hear prefers to be called CEO.
Feel so blessed! A Waldorf inspired eduction in a public school setting- amazing! Our son is so happy- the staff is incredible, the school has a homey, natural, beautiful environment, and the children are so sweet and wholesome there. If you get in via lottery, you definitely have gotten the golden ticket!
This has been a perfect school for our child. We love the small intimate school. Currently the school has two campuses, but the board and administration is working on building a new school This school is not for everyone, and it has to be the right fit for your family and child. It is more grounded. No-technology, especially K through 6th grades. This includes limited screens, ie television, computers, cell phones, etc. Although, LAUSD choose this school as one of the test schools for the ipdad program, the school is limiting it's use in teaching programs. We love that they teach Japanese, and music, art. The students create their own text books, which by the end of the year are beautiful memory books. We love that the school grounds, planting, and outdoor activity are a big part of the program. We love the teachers, who are certified in Waldorf, project and creativity based education. We love that eye contact is part of the program. The administration are dedicated and energized to create the best school. The school has many dedicated parent volunteers. The Winter Faire and Spring Faire are amazing events.
I have 2 kids at OCS and we all love it. Despite what many people think OCS is very structured. In order to be such a free, creative place to learn it needs structure and OCS does that successfully. The teachers are wonderful. The kids are kind and calm and don't watch very much tv (if any) so there is very little "sponge bob talk" here. My kids have learned how to knit, crochet, speak Japanese and they have learned far more, academically, than they did at the LAUSD neighborhood school they attended before switching to OCS. Love this school!
Great school. Individual attention, waldorf influence teaching. This is a creative approach to education. Teachers and administration are dedicated to children education in good environment. Very please with this school.
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.