I have two children enrolled in LFCSA for a combined 6 years of attendance. We are absolutely thrilled with our experience thus far. It is true that changes in leadership have taken place, causing some bumps in the road from our perspective as parents. But they have been improvements in every way. We love the ability to change what's not working. LAUSD schools are not afforded this level of self control and flexibility. These bumps in the road have gone largely unnoticed by the children. It is also true that this school might not be the right choice for children with sensory issues. The collaborative approach, and large open spaces can present challenges to children with those sensitivities. The faculty, with few exceptions is beyond reproach. We have been floored by their abilities, dedication, focus, and attention. They are universally approachable, quick to respond, and do a wonderful job of working with the high achievers and slightly behind alike. My children are performing 2 & 4 years above their respective grade levels. Ultimately, the truest measure of the school is exhibited in the fact that my kids wake every day looking forward to going to class.
Our two sons have been at this school since the 1st grade and are currently in the 5th grade. Though this schools has and continues to see many changes, it has nonetheless been a fun and inspiring learning environment for our kids. The integration of the arts into the curriculum is a great idea and though there are still many kinks to figure out the direction is an exciting one. That said my kids have had some really great teachers(too bad they haven't been able to keep them) that have made quite a spark in dance, music and theater. The lack of consistent leadership and a bad choice of space has not really impacted my kids as much as I would have thought, and though that is food for thought before picking a new charter such as this, we have been lucky with remarkable teachers and at the end of the day that is what has counted so far.
We loved this school years ago and sadly it's gone down hill when the new principal quit after just one year. Now there's an interim principal who's left to navigate all the inherited decisions made by former principal. Next year who knows? There's been 4 over hauls in admin in 7 years. Too much admin and teacher turnover adds to already chaotic environment. Test scores worrisome. Handful of great teachers redeem but they deserve better. This school should be great, living up to potential but now it just seems like "emperors new clothes".
My have one child who attended LFCSA from K-5th (graduated last month). And another who had attended from 2nd-6th. We went through all of the various locations, incarnations and upheavals. I was one of those relentlessly scrutinizing moms who wanted the best for my child. There were ups and downs to be sure. But yesterday my kids and I were talking about school and how it can sometimes be boring and my younger one proclaimed, "I was never bored at LFCSA, not ever" and my older one chimed in, "yeah, me neither." That is huge. Both of my kids were engaged in learning and enjoyed school. My older one was more than prepared for middle school and my younger one seems ready (we'll see in the fall). Anyway, I learned a while back that there is no utopian school but LFCSA provided what mattered most, engaging academics, committed teachers, art classes (dance, music, visual arts), an inspired and beautiful environment (never realized how important that was until my older child moved on to a drab, lifeless campus). Concerns- Leadership seems to be more conventional leaning and unapproachable, drama program needs improvement and kids lack supervision on the yard. Overall an amazing school.
One of the most powerful gauges for how happy and successful my children are is how they feel about the people and the environment they are in for the great majority of their day. My children LOVE LFCSA! They are being exposed to a rich curriculum in an environment that celebrates arts integration, standards based learning, multi-modal approaches to delivering instruction and the development of consciousness and character. My children have the opportunity to be with educators who care about them and prioritize developing a relationship with them that is meaningful and lasting. As an educator myself, I marvel at the commitment of the staff, vision of the leadership, and accountability from all stakeholders given the many constraints that we are facing in education. I have children in multiple grade levels at LFCSA who are thriving and receiving an education that they would never receive in a traditional environment. I am a better parent and educator from my experience at LFCSA and I know that my children are receiving a foundation that will shape who they are for many years to come. Amazing environment and a team of educators committed to the success and well-being of each child.
I have been with the school for six years now and my family and I love it. My son has thrived here and continues to grow and learn. I love the staff.They have bent over backwards to help me and my son. He has loved each and every one of his teachers. There was some drama when the old principal left but the new principal has picked up the reins and run with it. They have a new math curriculum, they are implementing new writing and reading programs and finally my kid has homework. His test scores have jumped. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about our school.
Every time my family enters the school we feel we are part of an extremely special community. My first and second grader are happy to go to school each day, and are eager to learn. The arts integrated approach to learning at LFCSA has given both my children an appreciation for the vital role the arts play in our world. Our twice weekly field trips to Inner City Arts have been a fantastic addition to our curriculum this year. As a parent, it is fantastic to be a part of a school where you can actually bring forth ideas and have them supported and brought to fruition.
My daughter started mid-year, and the experience has been wonderful. She has really responded to the hands-on, project based learning style, and the integration of the arts into the curriculum. She is excited by what is happening in school, which is certainly a change from years passed. The most impressive thing was how welcoming and friendly the other students are. She never felt left out, and felt welcomed and respected by her peers.
Submitted a positive review last year, and doing so again, as I am disappointed by the misleading negative reviews. I find that LFCSA is far above average in many respects. Sure, it's not perfect, and there's always room for improvement; but I find that the administration and staff are always striving for those improvements. This is our 3rd year & we could not be happier. Came from Marengo Elementary in South Pasadena (look up their API scores, if you want to be impressed by numbers) - a typical "in-the-box" school, whose excellence is due in large part to the huge parent involvement, teaching to the tests, and $$$ fundraising. Far too much meaningless busywork far too early, which causes undue stress for both kids & parents. Last year LFCSA's 4th grade class prepared and acted out scenes from Shakespeare plays. Some kids memorized Hamlet's soliloquy, or the balcony scene from R&J. My then 7th grader at South Pasadena Middles School was shown Disney's Lion King as a tie-in to Hamlet. Draw your own conclusions! API scores mean NOTHING, other than making the testing companies very RICH!
It seems parents either love this school or hate it. I have to say, bringing my child here from a traditional school nearby, this is an entirely new world for us - and that's not a necessarily bad thing. This school is firmly above average, with some room for improvement. The teachers have been amazing so far, full of energy and dedication. The arts-based curriculum seems to function as it's supposed to: enriching without taking away from the core mission of teaching fundamental standards. The campus is beautiful, and the parents are a highly committed, energetic bunch. The new principal seems to be an excellent fit, carefully building a leadership team to manage the school: disciplinary policies, support services, and communication with parents have all seen marked improvements. Minority enrollment from the local community needs a boost to bring the school out of its little bubble. The principal is aware of this and seems on board with making that a priority. The lack of homework and grades makes me nervous, along with the stagnating test scores. Will this work? We'll see. My daughter's verdict is that this is a clear improvement over her old school, and so far, I agree.
We feel blessed to have our child at LFCSA. We have had nothing but positive experiences with the remarkable teachers. After several very trying years in both public and private schools, the time at LFCSA has brought back my child's love for learning. He is encouraged to be a creative and independent thinker on a daily basis. He is receiving a great deal of support, particularly this year, for challenges stemming from his ADHD. Teachers are highly skilled, great communicators, and very responsive to the needs to individual students. They care for our children and work so very hard to make every day count. My child has the remarkable opportunity to receive training in the arts, and to exercise his creativity regularly. I could not ask for a better learning experience for him.
I agree, this school is a huge and I mean huge disappointment! The parents are too cool and are not paying attention to the fact that their children are not learning. Alot of kids here have after school tutors!! I am not joking. My daughter's teacher acts like she knows it all. Many parents are very concerned with this teacher. Our kids are coming home saying "I don't like math/science anymore!" And these are kids that loved it before. It is very sad to see how one teacher can have such a bad impact on your child. Don't buy into the hype. This is a pretentious school with no real educational foundation. We wasted 3 years here, don't make the same mistake we did.
My son has been at LFCSA for 2 years. I believe we started him a bit too early and that made it difficult for him to feel secure about what he was doing. This past year he participated in after school tutoring with his teacher and with me at home. He excelled! within weeks! I expressed concern, I pushed for what he needed and he got it. I grew up in the new york school system...you rarely got what you needed unless you shouted. The school now has a full time psychologist (with intern support) to support kids with these kinds of issues. I'm not really worried about test scores, in fact I'm going to opt my kid out of those tests anyways. we all know they create more stress and don't accurately explain everyday life at any school. My son will be amazing whatever school he attends, however he's now going to have one heck of a story about his elementary years
I don't know where to begin. The test scores are absolutely horrible, 60% of our second graders were average or above average. I find this disappointing and think it's alarming that we find this acceptable . Yes the alternative to learning and the atmosphere make us believe that we are ahead of the LAUSD system. I don't understand how all the money we have raised for the school leaves us at such a disadvantage in terms of education. I think this school is failing our children and hindering them from advancing academically. Why don't our children have homework? We are setting or kids up for failure. I am beyond upset and disappointed with this school.......
We are thrilled to have our daughter at LFSCA. She is excited to go to school every morning. When she returns home she takes pride in telling us about her ongoing projects. She strives to excel in her classes and seems to rise to the challenges put before her. She really seems to enjoy the process of learning. From our perspective, the teachers and staff are excellent. There has been a change in leadership this year, which seems to be very positive. There is now a constant flow of communication from the school via emails, phone calls, etc. We appreciate this very much. The staff has also been quick to respond to all of our questions and concerns. The parents are very involved, too. Many have become familiar faces because they spend so much time pitching in at all the fun events. Honestly, we couldn't be happier. LFCSA is progressive and might not be for everyone, but it's definitely for us.
Speaking as a newer parent, I'm going to register my support for the new administration, and my delight with how my shy child is thriving here. Since the change, I've seen great leaps forward in terms of communication with parents (phone messages, frequent e-mail updates, inviting parents to Pep rallies, Yay!), whereas previously, communication from the principal was rare. This made the school seem closed to those who weren't more actively involved, as an outsider, I feel like I have much more visibility now. I can't speak to the anecdotal drama noted below, but I agree that there does seem to be a group who expects privileges as a result of their high contribution levels. I can understand that expectation, but I myself prefer the more equitable treatment we have now... And I agree that admin/staff relationships or contracts are definitely not something for which parents are entitled to the dirty details. Just my opinion, to which I'm entitled to as well...
The new administration at LFCSA is a breath of fresh air for the school. They are organized and always available to help! There is more of a sense of community amoung teachers, staff and parents. We have school clubs, a garden, a newspaper, assemblies, the kids are creating a beautiful mural with an artist from the community. The music teacher is amazing. I am so grateful for the improvements that have been and continue to be made. It's only up from here!
Our second grader is overwhelmed by the noise level and the independence this school is pushing for.This school is not designed for every child. My son needs structure. We were hopeful that after 1st grade he would catch up, instead he is falling further behind. We are disappointed in ourselves for believing in the ideology of this school. Doing our research now to find a public school where hopefully our son will thrive. We feel we have done a huge disservice to him because we felt so strongly about what LFCSA offered. Our advise to parents would be to do your research. Don't fall for the hype, we loved the idea of "no homework" this turned out to be the worst idea. We have to now hire a tutor and are hoping that our son will catch up.
I must agree with those parents who where disappointed. However, I should have done more in the realm of research.This school is not for all children.If your child has special needs such as ADD/ADHD they will be overwhelmed, overstimulated and left behind. At least this was my experience. This school it seems to me is designed for an independent learner. One who can do the work with little supervision. If you have a child like this... God bless you! My child developed such anxiety and low self esteem that we have him in therapy. I admit this is probably the worse case scenario but it happened to me and I am guilt ridden knowing I pulled him out of a perfectly high achieving LAUSD school. We are taking expert advice and pulling our son out, hoping we could catch him up without having him retained at the new school.His academics have suffered , especially his reading because of the added anxiety and this school is just not able to provide the services my child needs. The teachers were great but do the research, visit the school, listen to the noise level and decide if this is the right choice for your child.
I am soooo shocked by the bad reviews. My son is very happy here. We left a high performing school that only taught kids to take tests, be competitive and hateful with each other and we are forever grateful for having a choice like LFCSA. They put the love of learning back into my son's life (which he'd lost at his old school). The teachers DO care about the kids. The best thing about a charter school is that if you're not happy here, then you can pull your kid O-U-T!
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