I would like to say a special "Thank you" to my son's teacher this year - Mr. Galvez. He is an amazing teacher and person! Mr. Galvez is very kind, patient, knowledgeable, fair and has a great sense of humor, which is so much appreciated by my kid! On those days when he feels sad or something upsets him, the moment he enters Mr.Galvez's classroom his mood changes. My son tells me that "the environment that Mr. Galvez creates in his classroom puts a smile back on my face and makes me forget about my upsets or sad things". How often do we hear words like these from our little students? Not too often. Yes, knowledge is very important for our kids but even more important and conducive to learning is the environment in which this knowledge is shared between the teacher and his students! So, I say "Bravo, Mr.Galvez!" for creating this safe and loving environment which will stay in the hearts of your students long after they leave your classroom and Wonderland School! With much gratitude, love and appreciation for your wonderful work, for your "classroom magic" from your graduating class of 2016! We love you! :-) <3
This is great school with a great new leader Mr. Sean Teer. After long searches and deliberations teachers' and parents' coalition found a great principle for this school! Mr. Teer is always on top of things, great communicator and facilitator, every morning he meets his entire school by the gates! Always impeccably dressed and with a smile on his face! And who can forget his weekly updates by email and phone messages! Great organizational and management skills! Awesome personality! Thank you, Mr.Teer from your thankful community of students and parents at Wonderland!
I am grateful for our amazing plant manager Joyce who keeps our school clean and organized. She has one of the toughest jobs at our school but does it with a smile and is always kind and friendly to the parents and kids. Thanks Joyce! We love you.
L. Costino, Wonderland parent
The best school, public or private, you can hope to have for your child. Teacher's aides in every room; cutting edge instructional technologies; professional development for teachers; instructors and materials for art, music, PE, library, full time gardening teacher with a project-based curriculum, orchestra program, string band, drama program, chicken coop with fresh eggs daily. The list goes on and on. The parents donate over $600K annually to pay for all the programs and it's well worth it. The culture of achievement and pride is pervasive throughout the campus. Like any school, there can be ups and downs in any given year (teachers going on maternity leave, new ones coming in) but year in and year out this school has ranked within the top 3 of all elementary schools in Los Angeles (based on test scores) and it offers so much more than just academics. There is a very active parent body but those families do not receive "preferential" treatment, this is not even possible as all teachers are excellent. As for the negative reviews below, there are always parents who feel that their child is getting the short end of the stick. Likely they would feel this way wherever they end up.
Its a good school but is has its problems. Because parents financially support the school a class structure evolves where those who give more get more. Unlike private schools a barrier does not exist between those funds and how the people holding the degrees and credentials in education feel the money should be spent. Wealth is often confused with educational knowledge and your pocket book buys you experience and power that you did not earned and do not deserve. A handful of parents (5-10 parents) dictate the validity of things like a funded library, to a chicken coup and just about everything on campus often with little regard for what others may feel. If your willing to put up with this for a above average education for your child then its bearable but always annoying, and sometimes belittling and humiliating. But, at the end of the day what other options do you have?
Don't believe the hype! We moved here so our child could attend the Wonder Land, and in his 3 years endured more exiting teachers than he learned to count, unless it was on a standardized test. Four different teachers in 2nd grade alone, and first teacher wasn't even credentialed! Their principal, praised by so many in the community as the second coming, announced his exit mid-school and then his "hand-picked replacement"' bailed a mere week before the new school year began. Don't let all the kook-aid-induced glowing reviews fool you, this school is riddled with problems and doesn't even begin to compare to a private school education, as we now know. Not just in the obv ways - smaller classrooms, more specialists, etc. But in countless other ways, too, like accountability and transparency, which you will not get here --what's this strange occurrence that no one dare mention, where Wonderland families who very publicly donate the most money *shocklingy!* find their children placed in the "preferred" teachers' classrooms?? No doubt it's one of the best schools in LAUSD, but being best in one of the worst school districts in the country doesn't mean all that much now, does it? .
This is our first year at Wonderland (Magnet) and we simply love the school. The fact that it is tucked away up in the hills outside all that urban-ness, nestled in the Canyon, with such great teachers, kids and parent volunteers (and yes, the test scores...) What we love are the dedicated community, the arts and music programs (outstanding really), the gardening program. The feeling that your kid is really looked after and belongs. My son LOVED the overnight science field trip. He came home crying because he wanted to go back and kept saying "it was the complete LACK of technology and one-ness with nature that made it so amazing, so beautiful." He has also started to read voraciously since he started at the school. OK, it would be nice to have computers, but smartboards are cool and lets face it, they will be partnering with computers for the rest of their lives (like it or not). The one thing I would suggest is a typing class so they can do all that writing for the writing program on the home computer, but that is just one for the suggestion box. And maybe a few more direct emails and flyers to parents with events as one learns to navigate shutterfly. Love it overall!
I love love love this school. My girls and I moved here from another country and have met so much understanding and help, because of the language , my girls wasn't fluently in english when we came, but now they are. Thanks to you beautiful teacher with enormous patience and guidance. The teachers are amazing, you are lucky if you end up in Mrs Valdes class or Mrs Zarakowski. Much love
My daughter was new to Wonderland this year, and I can honestly say that I love this school. She had two wonderful, energetic, committed, and amazing teachers, who went above and beyond anything I would have expected in terms of the effort and enthusiasm they showed with the children. The parents, children and staff were kind and caring. The "extras' at the school, like PE, Art,Music, field trips, after-school programs, etc, were so good. My daughter had a great year, we feel very lucky that she was able to attend Wonderland.
We were happy with Wonderland School for quite few years, but the last 2 years have been very disappointed, since it's been constantly testing and testing and testing without a break. I really can't see the teaching here, just testing. How can the student learn if there is not time for learning, just testing (of course, this is because of the LAUSD budget cuts, no doubt). But student are not learning the way it used to be.... : (