This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Emerson Community Charter School5
Posted November 01, 2014
- a parent
My daughter is in 7th grade. She had a great 6th grade and 7th grade is off to a great start. She went to her first Speech & Debate tournament last week. S&D is integrated into 7th grade English curriculum. Many of the kids were really freaked out about having to compete, but after the tournament some of those who were most afraid are now totally hooked and can't wait to compete at the December competition. My daughter is so into it that she takes Speech as her elective and goes to the after school Debate club coached by a member of UCLA's Debate team. Last year, my daughter acted in the Shakespeare play, Midsummer Night's Dream. She still rattles off soliloquies that other actors recited. The amazing thing is that she understood the story and themes of the play in ways that I only began to learn in high school and college. This year she'll be studying Twelfth Night. In the first week of school, her English teacher took students to see a production of the play in Griffith Park. 3 weeks later her history teacher took her class to the Pompeii Exhibit at the Science Center. There are so many more ways that Emerson has exceeded my expectations, but you get the picture.
My daughter is in 7th grade at Emerson Community Charter. She is thriving socially in a rare middle school environment where every child has his/her rightful place. The racial/cultural/economical diversity creates an ideal social setting where no one feels less or more entitled than others. When there are so many race/language/style/culture/interests, the "main stream" fails to form. There are no "In crowd". In fact, this is further enhanced by the recent implementation of their charter philosophy of small learning environments where students choose academies of their interest. I believe there are 4 academies; Sports Academy, Media & Art Academy, science & Math Academy, and Leadership Academy. My daughter is in Media & Arts academy and gets to be in a drama class for an hour and half every day with 45 other students from various grades who are strictly interested in drama and are in the same academy. I find that this systematic grouping by common interest really helps break down the age/gender/race barrier. Academically, she was accepted into their SAS program where she is very challenged. Many of her classmates have tutors to keep up with the instructions.
My daughter is now attending 6th grade at this school. it is our home school and we are very happy that we stayed in the area. My daughter is in the STEAM academy and really enjoys it as well as the futsal team. The school has a diverse student body which represents real life in los angeles which we love. Since we chose this school it has became a charter has a beautiful new gym under construction and has done everything they promised. One of the best things is that is not overly sized but still gives real middle school experience. they have a lot of involvement from parents and UCLA which is awesome. My daughter is currently in the UCLA after school, Spanish and guitar programs. Most of all my daughter actually likes to going to school and loves her teachers ! Can't ask for much more :)
My child transferred to Emerson and we just couldn't be happier! Emerson offers kids a choice of "academies": STEM, Art/media, Sports, and Leadership, and this system creates affinity groups around which relationships are formed with like minded kids and instructors. The academies offer a truly innovative system for both motivating kids to come to school every day and giving them what amounts to an extra elective in a subject area of their choosing. My son was so excited to tell me about all the things they were doing in his robotics class! The facilities are amazing. The new multi-million $ sports facility is being completed and will be open by fall, there's a big impressive theatre where elaborate productions are staged regularly, and the buildings themselves were designed by celebrated mid-century architect Richard Neutra, and they're surrounded by green spaces. The teachers and principal have been very responsive, caring and available (a benefit of being at a smaller school). I feel like they are invested in helping my child succeed. Lastly, my son is having a wonderful experience socially at emerson, and that's so important at this age. Just a great school experience.
I am a current parent of two seventh graders at Emerson Community Charter. My boys have had a wonderful middle school experience at Emerson. This school has so much to offer a child. There are great teachers, off-campus learning, smaller community learning "Academies", a gorgeous campus, a rich performing arts and costume design program, sports teams, Common Core learning, etc. etc. Most importantly the teachers really care about their students and really help them make a smooth transition through what is a very complicated time in a teen's life. It's so disappointing when I hear the rumors that swirl around our community about our school. I wish those people would just come visit the school and see for themselves.
The diversity of the student body is possibly my favorite thing about Emerson. Coming from an elementary school that was rather homogeneous, I was thrilled to know that my kids were meeting other kids from all cultures and walks of life. The world is obviously a highly diverse place, so being able to learn to embrace that diversity early in life is one of the most important lessons you can receive. The academic and extracurricular programs are also outstanding. My current Emerson student participates in the SAS program (as did my older son who is now a freshman at University High School). The program is very challenging and definitely keeps my son on his toes. The subject matter is tough, but the methods of teaching, including project-based learning, field trips and guest speakers, make it very interesting for the kids and helps keep them focused and engaged. The level of teaching and work required is/was great preparation for high school and beyond.
Our daughter can be very uncomfortable in new situations. Every year in elementary school it took her a few months to become comfortable volunteering in class and talk audibly. We were concerned about how she would adapt to Emerson because she knew only two other girls there, but we have been amazed at how quickly she has formed new friendships, and she started raising her hand in class - repeatedly - the first week of school. We have been so happy with Emerson's warm environment. Mr. Watson, the principal, has really fostered an environment that feels like family. We've also been pleased with the strong academic program offered. Our daughter loves the robotics program!
In 2006, we moved into the Westwood area so our younger son could attend Fairburn Elementary School. Our older son attended Fairburn but under a permit as they issued them at that time. But no more, so we had to move into the area. At that time, our older son was attending Emerson Middle School and we were thrilled. Many of his friends from Fairburn attended Emerson and then moved on to University High School. The Fairburn, Emerson, University High feeder patter of schools provided the perfect foundation and education for my older son, so much so that he graduated 4th in his graduating senior class at Uni. In fact, the top four graduating seniors at University High all came from Fairburn & Emerson. They now attend prestigious universities, such as UCLA, Yale, Cornell & Loyola Marymount University. My son attends LMU on a major academic scholarship. I credit his success to the preparation he received at Emerson, allowing him to be prepared and successful at Uni. When it came time to decide on middle schools for our younger son, we looked no further than the Emerson Middle School doors. We knew it would be a perfect match, a perfect fit, & it absolutely has been without a doubt!
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 a 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.