...I am a former teacher from Santa Monica Boulevard Community Charter School. I left because of the way that the school is being ran. In the last two years, over 32% of teachers and/or staff have left most of them being highly experienced teachers. There are many reasons for my departure, but here a few. The biggest problem at this school is that the teachers don't have a voice. Fenton MAKES you be part of committees where all you need to do is be present and not speak up, if you make the mistake of voicing your views and/or ideas, then you are penalized for not being, "Fentonized." There have been many changes that have occured in the last two years and in none have teacher opinions been taken into account. These changes have also not been in the best interest of our students or our community. The Fenton Schools also ...
The teachers are great so far but otherwise this school is not so good. I really have a problem with the pushing I have seen between students. They have the attitude of boys will be boys. They allow the students to push each other down on the pavement with no consequences which I don't understand. There needs to be staff watching and controlling this behavior. I also agree that the office staff is unprofessional and rude.
I am very disappointed with this charter school. First and foremost there is just too many students and not enough staff. They have the ability to limit the amount of students but still put the cap at 950 students. With the problems they have with controlling the students/violence you would think they would hire more staff to keep an eye out on them. Lets face it, KNOW BODY is watching the students outside on the grounds during lunch, recess, or at morning drop off. I feel scared dropping my children off when they then have to wait in a huge outdoor space with NO supervision and violent acts happening. But they still won't even allow us parents to walk our children to class (which I find very weird, especially with all the child molestation scandals in schools that have gone on is LA lately.) They have a "No Parents On Campus" policy. Being a charter school they have the ability to limit the amount of students if the can not afford to hire more staff but they choose not to because they are just in it for the money. More students, less staff = more money for them. A very sad place.
This school is great...if you like clean bathrooms and kids walking like soldiers on painted lines. However, if you want academic rigor and a culture of high expectations this is definitely not the place for your child. Teachers on this website are boasting about an upcoming computer lab when other schools have a 1:1 laptop ratio. They talk about how high their API score is. There are schools in much more difficult neighborhoods with much more challenging populations like Boyle Heights and Inglewood who can boast API in the 890s or 920s. For a school with such high ADA they are certainly not spending their money on training for teachers or on materials for their students if students are not achieving at higher levels. Other schools offer dance, yoga, meditation, visual arts, after school clubs run by truly dedicated teachers. With so many options, why settle for such a mediocre place?
My child attends this school and he has learned so much. The staff they have now is highly qualified and they do a great job in motivating the children. Parents are informed of the changes that are going on in school during monthly meetings and all parents are welcomed to attend. Since Fenton took over the school there has been positive changes and more are on the way, like the new computer labs that they are going to have this next school year. Just like everything, change is not easy and I understand some of the parents' frustrations, but I can see progress being made, like the API scores going up making this school the best in the area. I recommend this school to everyone.
My son is going into 4th grade and has attended this school since kindergarten and over the last two years there has been some major differences. When he was in Kinder and first grade he used to never get any homework and I never knew what he was learning. He was in a class that had students from K-2. They sat on the floors and didn't use chairs. But two years ago there were some changes and a new school took over. I was nervous that my son's teacher was new to this school, but starting in 2nd grade and now 3rd grade he began getting homework regulary. When meeting with his teacher and looking at his classroom I knew exactly what he was learning. His teacher was always welcoming and willing to discuss his progress with me. The best part is my son scored advanced in both math and language arts on the CST and the school's overall score went up. The school also had a makeover which makes it look a lot nicer now. It's clean and there are more bathrooms for the kids to use. My son does complain about the lunch but I understand that it's supposed to be healthier. Overall I am very happy with this school.
This school has undergone some major changes, but they've all been for the better. They've increased student scores so that they are the highest achieving school in Hollywood. There are more rules and structure than with the old leadership. I've been very impressed with the quality teachers that are working here. I know some of the parents have been upset with the new changes in dismissal, but I understand it's all for student safety. I can see the improvements both in and outside of the classroom and know my child is being treated well. I would highly recommend this school to anyone I know.
Something crazy is going on at this school. Teachers are all leaving. My son got home last night crying because all of the teachers he likes are leaving. He was excited to go to school because the teachers were so good to him. But all these teachers are not coming back next year. No one will give us a reason why. We use to like this school. I use to go here but since Fenton has come here everything is like a robot. My daughters teacher is like that. The fenton teachers are not nice and will only smile if they feel you need to talk to them but they yell at the kids and treat them like soliders or crimnal. They switch from being so mean to pretending like being very nice. I want to take my kids out. there are very little good teachers now. I asked the teachers why they are leaving and they say they just aren't happy here. The school use to be friendly and part of the community but not its like a prison. parent's can't go in the parents center is no behind fences. If i knew this was going to happen I wouldn't have help changed smbccs to fenton.
Some teachers care more about test scores than the students. I graduated from there and now I'm in 9th grade. My brother goes there and the new teachers are nothing like what I remembered. I had teachers that cared about me. They taught me how to love learning. The teachers now don't. It is all about them. My brother doesn't get something in class and when he tries to ask, his teacher screams at him for interrupting. Some of my old teachers are still there. They are great but they can't teach the way they use to. I visited my old teacher and she said it's a new school with new ways of doing things. Maybe they need to change it back because this new way is hurting the students. They spend so much time looking great but under everything the school is falling apart. My mom said they are taking the parent center away. So much for community school. They need to change their name because it doesn't feel like that anymore. The buildings are all painted to look like a prison. The kids have to all act like robots.