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.
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!