I think Mrs. Pennicooke is an excellent leader. When I come on campus it feels warm and inviting. My son in in Mrs. Williamson class and she is an absolute gem! I am so happy that LAUSD has schools that are really working hard to increase student achievement.
My daughter is new to this school and is currently attending the Pre-K program. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the returning parents and am excited that my daughter is able to join a school with such a tight knit community.
We will have been there for 3 years after our daughter completes 2nd grade and her learning experience at Kentwood Elementary has been GREAT. The parent involvement at this school is extraordinary, and is the difference maker. There are monthly PTO meetings, fundraisers, and a host of other ways parents are involved. The enrollment is fairly small (about 375 children) but represents a diverse ethnic makeup. Our principal, Miss Jean Pennicooke makes an effort to go above and beyond her duties to ensure that the campus is a safe and friendly environment. The faculty is great, and the children are being educated to achieve beyond just "test scores". There are 2 great after school programs and lots of extra curricular activities for the kids to get involved in. So far, our educational experience for our daughter has been great, and we are confident it will continue. We could continue sing praises for Kentwood Elementary, but it's easier to show than to speak about. Go to: www.kentwoodes.org and check out the video on the school website (produced by parents at the school). Enjoy!!
I have been blessed to have my son at Kentwood for the past 2 years. I am very sad that this is his last year. The school has a wonderful family atmosphere. Everyone is involved; parents, teachers and community. The office staff goes above and beyond. They know all the children by name as well as most of the parents. They always greet me with a smile and are never too busy to adress my needs. The school my son attended previously the office staff acted like I was a bother and they never looked up from their desks. The parents take a real ownership in the school. I highly recommend Kentwood to anyone!
All of our three children attended this school and with each child the school got better- we were disappointed in the administration who favored one group of students over others. Unlike a parent comment below- they did teach to the high end kids -- two of my kids were gifted and the teachers challenged them with work and the after school gifted program. The biggest assets this school has is its caring and devoted teachers- that is what makes this school great, they need to get rid of the phony principal if they want to continue to attact students. This school has an API rating in the high 800's just as good if not better then El Segundo schools not sure why parents are flocking there-- when you have a school in your own backyard meeting the educational needs of the students.
This school shows what involved parents, good teachers and solid admininistration can do for students. It is a great environment for students. The overwhelming majority of teachers are fully committed to student learning. As my son gets ready to graduate or promote or whatever they call completing fifth grade, I could not think of a better place for him to have gone to school for the past six years.
Love it here! Have a kindergartener and a second grader and they are doing great at Kentwood. Great group of families and lots of teacher and staff support.
Kentwood was a disappointment. Cons: The cirriculum was uninspiring and my child was bored. No differentiated instruction for the high or the low. Lack of parent communication. Open House was held in the morning and the teacher taught like it was a typical school day. Basically, the school phoned it in. Lots of behavior issues in the classroom. The teaching staff is a hit or miss. Pros: There is a small group of dedicated parents trying to improve the school. The principal was swift to take action with any serious issues.
I have a whole new appreciation for Kentwood after leaving and attending a new charter school here in Westchester. After 2 months in a school that did absolutely nothing to educate my children we ran back to Kentwood as quick as we could. Jean Pennicooke is an outstanding principal. She goes above and beyond the call of duty and is a gift to Kentwood. The Vice Principal, Chris Ferreira, is a gem and it is a shame that we have to share her with two other schools. The teachers at Kentwood are loving and nurturing and truly care about their students. It is rare to find such an outstanding group of teachers in the midst of LAUSD's budget crisis. Kentwood is about to suffer more cuts for the 2011 school year unless the "Governor's Revenue Extension Proposal" makes it to the June ballot. I am confident that even though we may lose more funding that Kentwood will continue its high level of academics and the children will continue to thrive. My only negative comment is that there are some very gossipy, mean spirited parents at this school which make it hard for newcomers and other parents to feel comfortable and get involved. To those people I say....mind your own business and get a life!
We are lucky parents of two children who have our kids attending Kentwood ES. Our third and oldest was honored by state senator last year thanks to the hard working and dedicated Kentwood staff. Starting from the principle Ms. Pennicooke, Mrs. Romine, Mr. Liebowitz, Mrs. Kim, Mrs. Mc broom and more, are all astonishing trustworthy professionals. Both of our kids have flourished and the teachers have been great partners in acting like parents, in teaching and raising them. We have effective PTO at Kentwood and parents are involved voluntarily with no obligations. There are many extracurricular activities. This school is getting incredibly better each year for the last six years despite the school budget cuts. Scores are shooting high in this distinguished elementary school.
Pt2 The school is in a nice area, parents are nice. Some parents didn't see what was going on unless they were there. Most parents receive irritating phones calls at work for minor things that can be dealt with or avoided by staff on the yard. To go to the extreme as principal has done rudely with me and I remained calm, I just complained to Dist #3. I suggest asking around LAUSD about her for reference. You'll be surprised if you get the right people in the Dist #3 area. As stated by a staff on the yard and teacher the 1st grade class my child was in had many issues brushed off by principal for certain kids for what reason I don't know. Maybe I didn't donate $, the way I dressed or "USE TO" lived out of Dist. But, I WAS AN INVOLVED SINGLE MALE PARENT.
Kentwood is not what it used to be. I have had three children to attend this school within the last fifteen years. It appears that Kentwood is loosing its multicultural environment. Years ago there were children of different ethnicities. Now you can see the environment or the multiculture climate declinining starting with the primary grades. As the children approach fourth and fifth grades you an see that there is less minorities. What is this about? This is not the Kentwood I've known and loved actually over fifteen years.
Kentwood also had a practice of passing out "been caught being good" tickets to children that were seen "being good". They gave 10 extra tickets to children whose parents attended a PTO meeting. They also had an ice cream party planned for children whose parents signed up to be volunteers while other children were to be excluded. When I brought to the attention of the vice principal and president how it is not appropriate to use children as pawns and discriminate against children that don't have good parents or single parents that are busy, I was removed from the yahoo group. Shame on Kentwood!
I was once a full supporter of Kentwood; however; after this years experience with Kentwood it has been a HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE!! I Thank God, this is my child's last year as they have shown to be void of care and common sense when it comes to children. I would not recommend Kentwood to any new coming parents and feel sorry for those that are still impressed by Kentwood as I once was until they showed how Arrogrant and Ignorant they are when it comes to the children and their needs. After my nightmare I recommend people stay clear from KENTWOOD if you want a constructive education and healthy enviroment for your child.
I have a kinder at Kentwood this year and I have been really impressed by her experience. I was skeptical of public school at first, but her teacher won us over. She is learning alot and being exposed to computer lab, visual art, music, dance, theater, and science. I also love the enrichment options after school and the STAR program. It's a small, intimate school where you feel like your child matters.
Shared experiences have the most impact, so I will share one of the many I've had that show Kentwood's heart. Recently, as I was dropping my son off from school, he was having a little separation anxiety returning from the break. You parents out there know how gut-wrenching that can be. Principal Pennicooke must have heard his cries and within seconds, she was at his side, making him laugh, then saying to him that she needed to speak w/me. She put her arm around me, assured me that she would go back and check on him and I left feeling much better. No sooner did I walk into my front door than Principal Pennicooke called me to let me know that my son was just fine, happy again to be back with his classmates. That's the kind of principal every school should have! Ivey Steinberg
I need to set the record straight regarding the opportunities our students have for an enriched curriculum and about the support we get from our PTO. We have a full menu of classes through the district arts program. Every class participates in a rotation of visual art, drama and dance, as well as music classes throughout the year. Grades 4 and 5 also have instrumental music. This year we participated in the visiting artists program through The Music Center, and an additional grade 4 & 5 theatre program. Our PTO funds field trips, Mad Science, 5th grade science camp, a science aide, and classroom supplies. Both gifted and special education students presented multi-media projects at InfoTech. We have many after-school enrichment activities and the highest API in the neighborhood. LMU provides tutors and professional development. I certainly never heard of a petition to fire the principal who's brought us so far!
Kentwood is a great school. As with anyting in life, you get out of Kentwood what you put into it. If you are looking for a place to drop off your kids and have no interaction with teachers other than reading a report card, Kentwood isn t for you. If however you are looking for an environment that will encourage and sometime demand that you be involved in your child's education, your child can thrive here. It is a small public school that has a high level of parent and staff involvement. There is good and bad here as with any school, but the good far outweighs the bad. Kentwood is as close as a public school could be to the private school experience.
My son went to kindergarten at Kentwood and my family loved it. He now attends a local magnet school,but I have fond memories of Kentwood. If there was a petition going around to fire the principal I never saw it. I volunteered in the classroom quite often,by the way.The parents are cliquey and in no way make new parents feel welcomed,but my son was happy and that was most important.Overall,our experience at Kentwood was great and if my son had been unhappy at his new school I would have sent him back in a heartbeat. .
I am a parent of a first grader. My daughter started in Kindergarden. I love the shcool, is small and the parents participations is amazing. We have a great Principal and staff.
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