I've submitted previous reviews of Open in the past, under varying circumstances. Now, having been a parent here for 5 years, under two different principals and about 7 different teachers, I can say without hesitation that while no school is "perfect", Open is probably the best public elementary school in LAUSD. The teachers are committed and work hard to deliver a unique, engaging teacher-created constructivist curriculum. The parent involvement is off the charts, a key critical factor in the school's success. The population is practically a model UN, giving our kids a true integrated diverse experience. The campus is green and beautiful. Sometimes we've had teachers I didn't love at first, but they won me over with their professionalism, dedication, and creativity. We also have extras you won't often find at neighborhood schools, with fantastic specialists - all paid for from parent-raised funds. We feel very fortunate to have had this experience.
I grew up in a very academic/formal school. I loved it, and did very well. Open is the very opposite, kids don't have exams, grades, even fixed desks. The days go with students investigating and searching for information in different places. One other thing I love is the mixed race/mixed grades. My daughter can learn at her own pace, and not being bogged down but slower students. Now she is the oldest in her group, so she can experience being a leader. And how wonderful is that? Nobody is typecasting the good and bad students like when I grew up. And the best of all, you do not see not even one a student who is not motivated and do not want to go to school. Kids are all excited about school, and having fun while learning. I've never seen anything like it. It is not a school for every student, some kids do need specialized attention, and some parents like to see progression, grades, exams. But if you get picked in the lottery, boy, you really won. We moved from Venice to Westchester just so we could be closer to the school. But what really sold me was that during orientation, I felt excited about going to school, I wanted to be back in school. There are not mane places like it.
Open Charter Magnet School is amazing. Being a former student of Open School who culminated in 2012, I would know. All administrators do their job with a great attitude. Open School definitely prepares you for middle school. The classes have mixed grades adjacent to the next so that all grades mingle. Open School has a very unique way of teaching. All classes have a theme that they focus on but the teachers spend most time in math, history, English, and science. Open school has art, music, and PE. There are also opportunities for students to learn how to play instruments. In my experience at Open School I had a great time and made new friends through my six years.
The Open School encourages students to constantly assess how a lesson is helping them gain their own understanding. By questioning themselves and their strategies, students become "expert learners." This gives them ever-broadening tools to be life-long learners. Students are taught HOW TO LEARN and take ownership and pride in their own learning. I am very grateful my two children attend The Open School. Our Principal is doing an excellent job handling the situations that are dealt to her. We are a community of Respect and new students sometimes need a little more time to internalize this concept.
The new administration has changed the culture and sense of community the previous principal instilled. The school has increased in behavior problems due to lack of experience and or classroom management which have allowed bullying and isolation to be overlooked and under investigated. Poor staffing decisions within the past 2 years.
My son has been at Open Magnet Charter since Kindergarten and has thrived in the environment. Every cluster (they combine grade adjacent grade levels) has been engaging and has stimulated his love of learning. The students do not sit at desks or read text books - they work on projects, individually and in groups. Their learning is tied into an overall theme that differs by cluster and the teachers create their own curriculum. The culture emphasizes respect and for most students this is a core value. Parents are very involved and volunteer to create meaningful and memorable events. The only thing that would make this school better is smaller class sizes, but that needs to be addressed with LAUSD.
Open School has not even started, but I am already impressed. This school does an awesome job of getting the entering kinders the opportunity to come together prior to school for a play date at the park. My son is kind of shy so this was the perfect opportunity for him to become familiar and ease some anxiety. We were able to meet one of his Teachers and speak with her about some of our concerns. It was great! Open school is also hosting a back to school picnic the sat prior to kids returning to school. So far, so good and our family can't wait for the 13-14 school year to begin.
Open Charter Magnet School is not a school you want your child to attend for a solid education. His teachers weren't organized and one of them gave us the feeling that she just didn't want to be there. My child had no spelling tests for almost two years. The administration here is a revolving door. The children are good kids and the population is diverse. I have taught elementary, middle and high school, so I know what a REAL classroom needs to help young minds grow. I cannot recommend this school as a foundation for learning.
Per the Open School Directory about 30% students are from within non-busing area. Many friends live in Mar Vista, Mid-City, Village Green and Koreatown. I love the multi-age classrooms, allows kids to progress at their own rate & have a BFF who is 1-2 years younger/older. Love the library & the annual 3 week Readathon (parent-led) is amazing. Each class also has libraries specific to its themes (Ex. Red does "Start to Finish" with book series of that theme. Orange Cluster has an extensive research/inspiration library. Math teaching seems inconsistent from class to class. But, teachers very adaptive. Ex. I saw a cool tool for learning multiplication tables in another class, brought it to ours and teachers adopted it. Few tests overall. Until CST testing my child had only had a few spelling/math quizzes. Open is great for enthusiastic learners taught in variety of ways, lots of hands-on, cross-subject teaching with lessons as likely to come from Garden or Art as from the classroom. Know your child though, for while small groups, centers,volunteers and aides mean that the ratio of adults to kids is pretty good, your kid still walks into a classroom of 48 or 60 kids each day.
I was not aware that most of children that attend come from the community of westchester as stated in previous reviews, maybe someone could post that percentage to clarify?
My son just hit the lottery and will be attending Open School as a Kindergartner in Fall 2013. From what I have heard from current parents this school is amazing and offers much more than academics. I am so excited and look forward to joining the community.
I toured the Open School a week after looking at private schools and one other highly regarded Magnet school. After talking to teachers and watching the students, it didn't take long to realize that this school was every bit as good, if not better than schools I had already seen. Four years later I was not surprised to hear someone at a party call Open Magnet "the best public school in LA". I have yet to find an elementary school with teachers as impressive as the ones you'll find at Open. The kids are engaged and interested and they want to come to school. They love learning - and as a parent you will love watching them grow at this extraordinary school. The music and art programs are pretty special; but what struck me the most is the challenging and rigorous academics. While many students come from the neighboring Westchester neighborhoods; most of the students come from zip codes spanning the LA basin - making Open Charter one of the most diverse schools on the west side. If you're like me and you came to LA to live in a dynamic community filled with interesting diverse people, you and your kids will feel right at home at the Open School.
It is my child's last year at the school and we are very sad there is no Open Charter middle with the same quality of teachers, principal and staff. We have experienced OCS for 5 years and all greades have been excellent. The teachers are experienced, motivated and very creative. The classrooms are full, but children still feel individual attention. The approach used to teaching goes beyond covering the information required by LAUSD. Teachers show children how to relate the information to the world around them, how to use creativity and imagination...how to love learning.
I go to this school and love it so do my parents.The teachers are all really great.So I really recommend IT!
I am a parent of two children who attend Open Charter. Open School is an inviting environment for eager learners. Individuality is embraced and addressed in lesson plans/academic programs. The extracurricular activities are awesome and cater to a variety of interests. The level of parent involvement is incrredible. I love Open School and feel extrememly blessed that my children are involved in such an amazing program.
I'm so lucky to have my kids in this school. Both of my kids have flourished and the teachers have been great partners in teaching and raising them as well.
The principal is intuitive, creative in problem-solving and the teachers are dedicated and inspired. The office staff; top of the tops. The children learn to be thinkers and doers.
Open School is an amazing school and we are so lucky to be there. The families, teachers and the Administration are the best.
individualized instruction, mixed age clusters, diversity, socially conscious, creates learners and independent thinkers, emphsizes development of personal responsibility, creative programs and acitivites
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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