Today our school and district came together to find short term solutions to resolve overcrowding in the TK & K programs. That was a WIN for the community and school. Longer term - we need better planning to ensure that future classes dont encounter the rough start we had this year. I look forward to the new year. Support our kids!
Westwood Charter is a wonderful school that teaches the whole child. My children have flourished academically, socially, and emotionally. The school is large with 900 students but feels like a much smaller community school.
This school says they are Anti Bullying but is simply untrue, both of my children were bullied here and told it was there fault. Also if your child has an IEP it will only be followed if it does not inconvienence the teacher, My child of was behind 3 grade levels because of this. Also the Mom Mafia is out of control here! if you child is in the lower mid teir this is not the school for you!
Overall, Westwood is a great school. However, if your child has learning differences, the "Support Coordinator" acts primarily as a strict gatekeeper, working diligently (and subtly) to prevent parents and children from receiving legally-mandated services. She intimidates teachers and resource/support personnel to go along with her policy of limiting or denying help for deserving kids. She also intimidates parents, and actually lied on a number of occasions, making false statements about legal rights regarding special ed., qualifications for IEP, attempting to make us feel "guilty" for requesting help (because so many kids have "much worse" disabilities). We experienced this through our years at Westwood, and found from discussions with our fellow parents that this is the common experience. We would have loved to make a formal complaint to LAUSD, but were quite certain our child (and we) would be the recipient of retaliation. Sad statement on Westwood, but very true. We had to become much more aware of Special Ed law (check out Wright's Law website if you are a parent with a child with LD/special needs- it was an amazing help to us). And document everything!
I cannot think of anything significantly horrible or wonderful that personally happened while our child attended Westwood Charter. The thing that has kept this school thriving with wonderful reviews is the parent involvement. It feels very much like a co-op/community type of enviroment. We made lots of friends we will always adore. Your experience does heavily rely on which teacher you get. Communication is below average between parent/teacher and parent/office staff. The cirruculumn is outdated and its sole purpose is to produce high test scores at the end of the year. And unfortunetly I have witnessed (4 times) and personally had to intervene (1 time) a teacher who was screaming for an extended period of time at 2 of her students in an older grade. Safety measures are in place but rarely used. If we stayed at Westwood Charter we would be accepting below average and hoping for something better. We are looking for a more progressive school with better safety measures and consistency in teachers who really want to love and teach our children.
Westwood is about community. The parents, teachers, administraiton and students all work together to create a safe but challenging environment for the students to learn and flourish. Westwood is a place where all kids can grow, make friends and learn.
Caring, active teachers and parents along with our new principle make WWC a great school! There is a terrific Arts, Music, and Gardening program too! We love WWC!
This school is only as good as the teacher you get each year. Two kids can go to this school and get completely different educations. My oldest son had a wonderful education here. I pulled my younger child from the school-he didn't have the luck of the draw when it came to teachers. Another issue is that the teachers and administration support each other to a fault-if there is an issue, even if a teacher or administrator is off base, the staff rallies around one another and turns the issue around so that the child or parents are the culprit. It is only natural for professionals to look out for each other, but at Westwood Charter this is done to a fault, and to the detriment of the students. We experienced it as have a few of our friends. That said, if you get the "right" teachers there is a good education to be had-it's the luck of the draw.
I have been very impressed with this charter school, it is run by a strong group of involved parents and caring, creative teachers. My son has done well in K and now 1st grade and has formed lasting friendships and blossomed in his learning. There is much here to be admired, including the innovative ways the community raises money, stays organized and takes action -- the new principal this year was just ousted for not stepping up and being a positive, present leader. The only cons for me personally -- the large number of students, the lack of real-world diversity and the ongoing issue of campus security.
Westwood Charter is a very warm nurturing inclusive school. Both of my children went there. There were fun after-school programs as well. It rivals many private institutions. Children blossom there. The teachers and Administration do care.
It's quite obvious that Westwood Charter has a great sense of community. As a possible future attending family, I'm curious to see more reviews about academic instruction: is there a lot of ditto/text work or more holistic approaches, such as Writer's Workshop, literature groups, Cognitively Guided Instruction for math, Foss kits / inquiry based science, etc? I ask because our older child attends a highly reputable school, state scores off the charts, but her classroom could NOT be more teacher and test centered - I couldn't be more disappointed. The classroom sorely lacks lifelong learning skills needed for success the 21st century. I hope it's a different story here.
I used Great Schools to research the best elementary school for our daughter when we moved to LA. We really lucked out that Westwood Charter Elementary was our first pick and we were able to move nearby. Unlike so many charters it is truly a neighborhood school. No competitive lottery with donations flying around from rich donors who buy their way in. If you live in the district, you're in. The acedemic level of excellence is very high, and the only complaint I hear is that some parents do like the challenging academics. I don't mind and my daughter has grown SO MUCH since we started in the middle of 1st grade. There is also an amazing art teacher, music teacher, P.E. teacher, and even a full time gardening teacher. A brand new library and so much parental involvement. When LAUSD makes cuts, the WISE board kicks in with $ and I'm amazed by their fundraising success. It's been a charter school for over 20 years so it's been around... The old principal was incredible and I'm not surprised that the new principal who replaced her seems just as special. I guess any principal would love to be at Westwood Charter! Highly recommend.
Well, I guess I'm a parent of one of those "slightly above average" students that the previous two reviewers had the misfortune of having in their little genius' classes. I feel awful that my child has skewed their learning opportunities. However, I have found the teachers overly caring, supportive, and constantly encouraging my child to be the best she can be. The parent involvement is great. True, the office personnel are horrible and rude. But if you can look past that, your will find an excellent, neighborhood gem that prepares children very well for the future.
If your child is average, then send them here. They have a lot of enrichment that you won't find in other cash strapped schools. However, if your child is highly/profoundly gifted then you need to find a better match for them. They do not know how to help extremely bright kids. They misdiagnosed my son and gave him services that were not appropriate for his needs. Thank goodness I had the foresight to pull him out before more damage was done.
We found the teaching methods were not consistently rigorous and yearned for a teacher who required regular spelling tests and the basics even in the lower grades. One teacher did not challenge my older child and required him to do "busy" math exercises instead of accelerating his learning. She was incapable of educating a gifted student. Despite its fierce nature to raise money from parents, the Charter school (and Charter administration) refused to pay for testing needs and we didn't feel that the the money raised should go into teachers' assistants. It's a good school, but we wished for more rigorous academic standards and received an opportunity to transfer my children to a magnet. When I asked my older child what the difference was between his current school and Westwood Charter, he felt that the lessons at Westwood flowed like molasses with too many students who didn't understand math concepts. As a working mother, I felt that it was very difficult to obtain information from the administration.
In general Holy Angels prepared my daughter well for college. (This also applied to the older child, a few years ahead) She had a good background in most subject areas and was able to take on both the quantity and the individual responsibility aspects of college work. She acquired a love of Italian and (in the earlier grades) of French. The partnership with FDU enabled both girls to get a head start at college as they received Middle College Program(MCP) credits for some subjects - allowing them to bypass some core credit requirements and either move ahead faster or do more interesting electives at college. The one area of concern was math which was a struggle and where I found I had to pay extra for tutorial assistance.
This is a school full of wonderful teachers that work with each childs strong points and help with the weak points. My daughter has excelled in academica and confidence in this very supportive environment.
As a parent whose child went to 3 different elementery school I could fairely call myself a good Judge. In no other school I have seen such a close neat of parents teamwork and so much caring and sensitivity to every child's needs. It is a place where all talents are tended and flourished.
We are new to the school this year, and have found the office staff to be HORRIBLE. They are consistently rude, unfriendly, and unhelpful. If you can get past that than you will find an incredible school filled with teachers and parents who truly care about your child s learning. It is refreshing to see the teachers and parents working so well together.
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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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