My daughter is very happy and proud to be attending Emerson. Her teachers are engaged and enthusiastic, and often go above & beyond in many ways, tutoring kids at lunch or after school. I don't understand how Great Schools determines its ratings, but it is just not an accurate representation of the real experience at Emerson. There is a national award-winning Speech and Debate team which competes against schools from all over the country. They read Shakespeare. They build robots. They design costumes and produce theater. They write novels. They camp in Yosemite and Catalina. Very rigorous honors program. They have fantastic connections to UCLA for the arts and sports. Beautiful new gym and athletic field. Principal is dedicated and available and parents go out of their way to make new families feel welcome. If you are considering Emerson for your child, please come take a tour and see for yourself, don't rely on an arbitrary number on a website to make a decision about the actual experience your family is going to have every day for several years. There is a true community feeling at this school and we are SO happy we chose Emerson.
This school has a very diverse student body. Their students come from inner-city to the surrounding upper middle class neighborhood, including children of UCLA faculties. Every child is honored and treated fairly. I think this kind of environment produces less entitled more humble young people. NO one feels they are special and no one feels they are outsiders. Everyone is made to feel like his/her own person.
This is my 3rd child entering a public middle school. I must say, I have been very impressed with Emerson so far. The way my child has been treated, and the way I have been treated, made the transition into middle school very comfortable. When you step onto campus, you see the teachers, the principal, the staff, and the volunteer parents working hard to make the school better. It is an under-enrolled public school in an area where most people send their kids to private schools. It is a very diverse campus. And if you are the kind of person to be put off by that, then this is not for you. If you are someone who can focus on your child's experience and your child's education, I think you'd be very happy there. Besides, you don't want to raise your kid to be the kind of person who can't coexist with diversity.
Good teachers are extremely good. And we have been pretty lucky with getting mostly all the good teachers. I have heard some complaints about some teachers but we did not personally experience them. The weirdest thing is, this school has the most amazing PE teachers. I have a very unathletic child who looks forward to PE every day. I am so touched by that. I never imagine my child would enjoy PE in middle school.
Sometimes it feels like a lot and sometimes it's just a little bit. Luckily, my child has very good time management skills. She does her homework right away after school so I have never felt like she had too much homework. I think its the right amount for her age.
My daughter has had to work very hard to remain in the SAS honors program. When she had a difficult time during Common Core transition, her teacher encouraged to keep showing up to lunch time tutoring to get better and that is just what she did.
My child is in SAS program and in her classes students are very respectful. I have never seen or heard of students being kicked out of her class for disrespect which was quite common in my older kids' middle school.
I see students helping each other all the time. It is not uncommon for kids at this school to go out of their way to care for disabled students. This is a typical middle school and they may not always be nice to everyone but I have never ever seen anyone be mean to someone who needs help or has challenges. I have seen more acts of kindness than the typical middle school behaviors.
My older child graduated Emerson a year ago and was very well prepared for high school -- much more than her peers from other public and charter middle schools (so she says). She often tells me that when she was at Emerson she was sad to leave on Fridays and couldn't wait to go back on Monday. She frequently returned throughout 9th grade to see her favorite teachers. My second child is equally happy at Emerson. My kids thrived academically and socially, but the part that stands out the most is that that several of the teachers really know how to build character in middle schoolers, supporting them through these awkward years.
We were extremely nervous about Emerson's reputation when we sent our daughter there for 6th grade. She is about to start 8th and our youngest is about to start 6th. We are VERY happy with our daughter's experience! With the opening of their new gym and play field (LAUSD has just pumped 25M into Emerson in last 2 years), Emerson is in the midst of a neighborhood renaissance. If you are interested at all, I urge you to sign up for one of their campus tours and see for yourself.