This review is long overdue. My kids transferred from Renaissance Arts to ERHS at just the right time - the older one was able to join the first cohort of IB Diploma Programme students.
Do not be deterred by the large class sizes and cinder-block campus. As a neurotic with OCD, I have learned more than is healthy about pedagogy, testing, progressive education, K-12 education and higher ed in the US and across PISA test nations, etc. ERHS excels in everything that truly matters: devoted faculty and staff, a supportive, nurturing environment (no bullying that I know of), programming for every type of student, and frequent communication and transparency with parents. ERHS is a community school with loads of school spirit, rich in tradition. Generations of families have gone here.
Go see for yourself. Talk to Mrs. Keipp, a dynamo of a principal who not only teaches a class and keeps abreast of trends and technologies while managing budget and personnel issues - but parents her own kids at school (oldest daughter now at Stanford). Check out the secret garden. Go to the Jr/Sr powderpuff football game.
ERHS's track record speaks for itself. 4-yr college-bound kids don't just go on to the UCs, as great as they are. Despite being staffed by a single college counselor, ERHS regularly sends a couple of kids to Harvard and Brown and is making inroads into liberal arts colleges like Wellesley and Smith (Book Award for each) and Middlebury and Kenyon. The IB Coordinator, to whom we are indebted, goes out of his way to counsel kids for college placement, write recommendations and nominate students for scholarships such as Posse. This year alone there were 4 Posse Scholarships.
RenArts is a great program, but the administration is run like a cult of personality with no thought to succession planning or professional development (as far as I can tell). And that's fine for the favored few. But ERHS truly stands by all of its students. Unlike NoHo Highly Gifted Magnet, which can afford to cherry pick the very brightest, ERHS exemplifies diversity in every dimension. And unlike LACES, you don't need to strategize magnet points from birth to get in. At ERHS, the ideals of public education are put into practice every day. ERHS is a beacon of hope and possibility within a beleaguered LAUSD.
We hit the jackpot when we transferred to ERHS.
I have seen no evidence of bullying, which is not to say that it never happens. The administration would deal with it quickly if reported. Also, students of all stripes seem to make friends pretty easily here. It is not competitive or intense like Arcadia, for example.
Students are treated like adults with responsibilities. They have a great deal of autonomy in running student activities. Although there is no formal honor code that I know of, I have never heard of cheating or pressure to improve test scores.
What a gem of a school! Teachers and staff care and are very involved, despite the lack of funding challenges. We are so happy to have an exceptional education in a public LAUSD school. Our son is challenged and is encouraged to challenge himself in this intense IB curriculum.
im impressed with my kids learning. they easily adjust to the curriculum and environment . they easily learn English and meet new friends. I'm hopeful that they may continue to encourage and support new students especially from different country! More Power and looking forward for more years of healthy happy and trusting relationship with parents teachers and students!