Fairburn is a great school. The principal can at at times be a divider rather than a uniter; however she is retiring after this year. The teachers are mostly great, however there are a few mediocre ones - we have had fantastic teachers as well highly disorganized or cold/mean in 1st grade.
However overall this is a 5 star school in terms of the small community aspect, teaching, the parent involvement, kids all know each other at all grade levels, and it truly is a neighborhood school. GATE doesn't mean much at this school, though there is a wonderful teacher, Ms. Marantz, for differentiated learning in language arts. There is a great program for 4th/5th graders where they work on a weekly webcast with news stories that is a great experience.
We have enjoyed getting to know families that all live within walking distance from the school.
Also, the after school program is amazing - Arnold and his staff are outstanding.
Fairburn is a truly a gem. The school provides the type of quality education that our children deserve. The teachers are outstanding. Ms. Marantz has always been a family favorite and Coach Sasha is nothing short of a legend on that campus.
This school is truly amazing. The education is excellent and my child is beginning to LOVE going to school! His grades have improved greatly and the language arts teacher Ms.Marantz is my child's favorite teacher. I would recommend this school to everyone.
I don't think that there is any doubt that Fairburn is a great school. That greatness continues but, I have felt a bit of a disconnect between the school and the parents over the last couple of years. Instead of working together for the betterment of all (as was done in the past), it has become a strained relationship. That being said, my children have always, and continue to enjoy their experience. They have loved their teachers and rave about Coach Sasha. The STAR after-school program is also an outstanding part of Fairburn.
Fairburn has been referred to (by the principal) as the "jewel of LAUSD." As far as public schools in LA, it's ok. It is pretty mediocre, in terms of instruction. There is a ton of "busywork homework." Teachers are less than impressive. They get a lot of help here from volunteers (checking homework, helping with reading, etc.), it's surprising that they're not doing a better job with all the support. Beware of militant-yelling style (in kinder and first grade!). Keep your eyes and ears open and speak up if you see something that concerns you. The principal will support teachers but parents have power. The principal may not respond but there is district support for serious situations. Safety on the yard at recess--kids have been bullied/hit with no supervision. Since it's public, little can be done for the kids with serious behavior issues. If parents have time, they can volunteer and have some say in what goes on and how the money is spent (though the principal has the final word--including a personal assistant that she pays for with school money fundraised by the FYA. It has a good STAR after school program, many enrichment opportunities that others don't, and parent involvement.
Probably the best LAUSD has to offer. Some exceptional teachers. Difficult principle but she produces those all important test scores better than anyone else in the district. Parents raise over $300,000 annually for discretionary spending by the principle, so some extras, but not what it could be. For the average to above average student, the education is as good as anywhere in LA. Technically offers GATE ( gifted) curriculum for every student at all times which really means nothing, but gets the kids labeled for middle school as required for the lottery process. Safe school. Involved, creative parents but their input wanted only for the raising of $$, not its creative use. Could be a great school. Unfortunate with the achievement bar set so low, having 100% of your kids clear minimal competency is important, but one would hope for maximal competency (and there is no published metric for that so why bother). The pieces are here to be exceptional, but it will take some creative leadership and a willingness to take some risks to achieve that. With reliable test scores, there is no incentive to do more. Great for the middle, but kids at the top and bottom lose.
This was my elementary school when I was a chid. I have very find memories of this school and my wonderful teachers. In particular, Mrs. Marantz, who encouraged me to follow my dreams and pursue art and music.
Very strong and active parent involvement with no lack of ideas of how to fund-raise through locales within the Westwood community. Although principal puts emphasis on testing, equal priority is on the arts (visual/dance/music) which is wonderful. Wish kindergarteners didn't have so much rote homework, would appreciate more critical engagement exercises, but overall the kids are happy and healthy.
Good school if your child can sit still, not talk, and take tests well. Beyond that, the administration and at least some of the teachers are not really interested in addressing the whole child. The after school program is fantastic, but I don't think Fairburn should get any credit for that.