Kids come first at ECC. Do I wish that the academics were stronger, sure but kids are learning, and they love it? Teachers, for the most part, are committed and love these children. Children are active and parents care. We left ECC happy, the Speech and Debate program and ESA are worth it. Kids learn about being people in the world.
This school could be great but is unfortunately mediocre at best. 6th grade was OK. The 7th grade teachers are mostly really terrible. The vice principal is a wonderful person, and I wish she was running the place. The principal is no good and has his own agenda. My kid is in the "SAS" program which is supposedly an honors/gifted curriculum, and he is NOT challenged enough. If you are able, look elsewhere - mainly for better teachers.
I can't say enough good things about this school. The school offers so many great opportunities for the students. My only complaint is that it's not possible for my child to take advantage of them all. Our whole family went to see the musical production even though our daughter wasn't in it. The auditorium was packed. So nice to see all the kids come out to support their friends. And it was an amazing production. So much talent. I hear the students help build the sets and make the costumes. And I saw students running the light cues and sound board. They really learn how a theater operates. Also, the robotics students went on a field trip to the UCLA engineering labs two weeks ago. And the 8th grade history teacher had her students do a moot court with a real Superior Court Judge volunteering and parent lawyers helping the students prepare their arguments. I wish I could go back to middle school.
Some teachers are better than others and my kids have clicked with some and not others. But one of the great lessons of school is learning how to succeed even when you don't like the teacher or you don't think the teacher is the best. But there are teachers that my daughter didn't like that I still thought were great teachers. This year, 8th grade, my daugher loves all her teachers. So great.
It really depends on the student and not the teacher. The accelerated math classes are tougher and will have more homework. But it comes down to how well your child was prepared for middle school. Some kids come in well-prepared. Others spend the first semester just learning how to manage their time.
My daughter has told me several stories about students reporting issues to the principal or teachers before they become an actual problem. I feel the school creates an environment where students trust teachers and administrators and feel comfortable talking to them honestly.
Like many other parents, we were impressed by the Open House presentations, given by teachers and their students from the Honors or SAS programs. However once our child arrived, he did not have any of these teachers. Instead, he had a temporary teacher who didn't even bother to present the class schedule during the Back To School Night - she left after 8 weeks. The other teacher for History/English made it a point to say he didn't respond to email, something we quickly learned when none of our requests for information or help were ever responded to. If your child is NOT in the honors, SAS or Gifted classes, do not send your child here! Our child has an IEP and left 5th grade with all 3's and 4's on his report card. He walked into Emerson with confidence in himself and a great attitude toward school and learning. He was met with indifference and ineptitude on behalf of the beleaguered teachers who have to spend the majority of their day disciplining children who, thanks to LAUSD, no longer have consequences for their behavior. Our child has been bullied since day 1, including a physical altercation in the boys locker room, and after numerous meetings with the asst. principal (the principal never bothered to get involved, as he claims he did in the Open House presentation), we've decided that for the sake of our child's education and sanity, we are pulling him out of Emerson. I wish our experience was different. We were very involved in our elementary school - served on the parents board, were room parents for years, volunteered our time and money - and were looking forward to the same at Emerson. Sadly, that was not the case. If you do decide on Emerson, make sure your child is an Honors student and is in the Sports Academy or be prepared for frustration and disappointment. I did give this school 2 stars as the P.E. teacher is amazing and encouraging and there are other invested and engaging teachers at this school. It's too bad our child didn't have the opportunity to experience their classrooms or programs.
I HAVE SEEN HOW WHEN STUDENTS GET SENT TO THE ASST. PRINCIPALS OFFICE, THEY JUST GET A SMALL TALK AND THEN THEY GET SOME CANDY AND HAVE A NICE TIME IN HER OFFICE. ALSO THE PRINCIPAL SEEMS TO THINK THAT SOME STUDENTS JUST NEED A HUG AS PART OF THEIR PUNISHMENT, WHICH I THINK IS WRONG FOR AN ADULT TO WANT TO HUG A CHILD THAT DOES NOT WANT TO BE HUGGED.