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St. Mel Elementary School

Private | K-8 | 599 students


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Living in Los Angeles

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $505,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,180.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
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4 stars

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Based on 3 ratings
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34 reviews of this school

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Posted Thursday, September 11, 2014

This is by far the cheapest bottom tier private school with the tackiest parents. How sad.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 12, 2013

Amazing school!! We went to just about every good private, magnet, and charter school we could for Kinder. The school had a very thorough entrance exam, so we were nervous, but he was accepted and we could not be happier. I can say that this is one of the very best schools, public or private, in Los Angeles. The Principal and staff seem to love what they do, and they run a very tight ship. Teachers are dedicated, creative, and overall outstanding. Parent involvement is excellent. It is definitely a rigorous academic environment, which worried me at first, but we see the school's high standards paying off. Our son loves going to school as well as his teachers and is learning like crazy. I could not recommend this school more hightly. Submitted by a parent
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 9, 2013

Compare to other Catholic Schools in SFV this school is superb . Positives: parents are very involved ( voluntary only ) with very organized PTO and alumni , teachers are fair, are subject matter experts, Principal is extremely involve ( real campus presence) , forward thinker and energetic , students have very few cliques because of 2 class & they get to be mixed up yearly, advance technology ( iPads) , usual fundraising & family obligations are way more sensible to current economic times . Security is also good. Negative: Huge class size ( though must be a good sign cos @ this time when other Catholic schools are struggling, this school is pretty full ), difficult parking on pick-up/drop off esp. for working parents , less diversity (though all are respectful of each other), after school activities are pricey ( though impress there are avail. programs compare to other schools). Overall, my kids are happy, thriving, challenged and are being raise as Catholics , as of us working parents , we are getting back what we paid for and more .
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 14, 2013

I rate the teacher quality low only so that attention is brought to the areas of math and science at this school. When 2/3 of a 7th grade math class require outside tutoring, then something is wrong with the instruction. The science dept also needs attention - there is crossover here, so similar issues apply. Unfortunately, at small private schools, it's hard to find the most dynamic teachers for every subject at each grade level.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 12, 2012

My child went to St. Mel for 2years and in those 2years she excell in academics but had problems socially, there's a lot of clicks and even though they say they are againts bullying, you will find a lot of them in this school.I was amased also but how there's teachers that favor kids because their parents do a lot of hours at the school, some parents are not very friendly either so unless yo have money and you and your kid have the same look as everyone that goes there you will be fine.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 25, 2012

My son graduated from St Mel in 2010. He received a superb and well rounded education. When he started high school he, like most St. 'Melians" (as we call them in our family) blew the curve. He was completely prepared in every way. He has developed a love of all subjects especially reading, history, science and technology. He loves going back to see his former teachers. I have known them all and they are exceptional. We are truly blessed to have such great educators and the close family community. My son has a great future ahead of him because of this school. But a big shout out to Mrs. Genders, Dr. Vrdoljk, Mrs. Lutz, Mrs. Gorman, Mrs. Grombacher, Mr. Lapore and Mr. Lavin who is, according to my son, the worlds most fun music teacher.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 16, 2012

I absolutely love my school! Going to St. Mel is the by far, the best choice I have ever made in my entire life! I went to the preschool, and all the way from kindergarden through 8th grade. Now that I'm in 8th Grade, I am very sad to leave it. So many fond memories.... I love St. Mel for numerous reasons: -the teachers -the students -extra-cirricular activities (drama, volleyball, basketball, soccer, football, music theatre, golf, student council, academic decathlon, and much MUCH more) -the parents of the students -sense of community -the staff (principal, vice principal, office staff) -technology (We have a computer lab and iPad 2's for each individual student) -Of course we have science, social studies, english, math, etc. - but we also have religion, music, art, and Spanish I and Spanish II -the enthusiasm for learning -we go to mass once a week during school and learn all about our faith -they have certain programs for struggling or advanced children St. Mel is awesome, and if there is any school you want to send you child to - it is this one! :) (Note: This is by an actual current 8th grade student at St. Mel)

Posted August 24, 2011

I have never seen a school's teachers so dedicated to the students as St. Mel's School of Woodland Hills, California. Also, the school is technologically advanced and innovated, using IPads for all students starting with the 2011 school year, and allowing instantaneous access to student grades by parents through EdLine. The school as excellent teachers, strong leadership by the principal, Mary Beth Lutz, and challenging academic programs. It also has a strong Catholic identity, providing for a strong foundation in Catholic theology.

Posted August 4, 2010

I went to school at St. Mel and my 2 daughters have gone there too. The school has Smart Boards in every classroom, (you wont find that in any other school in the valley) The teachers and staff are dedicated, but the MOST Important thing is that the school reinforces VALUES!!! Here is a very simple test. Walk on the St. Mel campus and any public school campus and you can HEAR the difference!! The language used by the children on the playground is like NIGHT & DAY.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 12, 2010

St. Mel Elementary is the school of choice. As a father, this school is the best for my daughters...It is enriched in extra curricular activities, such as theatre, music, art and sports...keeping them focused on what is cannot afford a better school for your money...the academics are great. Teachers are wonderful.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 3, 2010

Both my children attended the St. Mel Preschool and are at St. Mel Elementary in 2nd and 5th grade..The academic program is challenging and rewarding...on my drives to and from school I have learned more about science, math and social studies that I can recall every getting when I went to school. The 5th grade reading program has given my child great exposure to books I would otherwise overlook by going to the library or going to the bookstore. My children have been active in the music, art, musical theatre and sports programs at St. Mel. Teachers are A+. I HIGHLY recommend this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 3, 2010

St. Mel academic program is both challenging and rewarding. My children are both active in the music, art, musical theatre and sport programs at St. I have learned more about science, social studies and math on my drives to and from school than I can remember learning when I went to school. The reading program in 5th grade has exposed my child to books I would have otherwise overlooked by going to the library or bookstore. The teachers are A+.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted February 2, 2010

St. Mel has a great academic program that challenges both of my children. The children at the school are bright and well mannered. The school offers music, art, theater and sports. The community is close and social and we are always busy. The teachers are caring and easy to approach - and the parents can be very involved in the school if they choose to be -and in the classrooms - especially in Kinder and 1st. I highly recommend the school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted November 5, 2009

St mel does have wonderful teachers, and students. So why the low rating. One because of the class size. There are over 30 students in each class in each grade. That's a lot of kids for one teacher, and a teachers aid. Also, they give way to much school work/ homework. There are a lot of nights that my daughter is doing home work until 8:30pm or longer, and it's not because she doesn't get it either. There are kids who stay uo till 10pm. Why because they have homework and have to study for test. She's in 4th grade and has six test this week. That's crazy. Two tests on wed., two test on thurs., and two tests on fri. They do have a great community, and loving staff, but the overload of work is too much.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 23, 2009

This school has the nicest teachers. The children seem well mannered and happy. Fun place.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 23, 2009

I would not send my son any where else. He has been there for 3 years now. All his teachers and assistant teachers have been wonderful. I especially like the way they are tough on 'bad' kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 22, 2009

St. Mel is a good school K-5 but Junior High is a problem and spotty at best. The Junior High has some inexperienced teachers that helps foster an environment of bullying --both online and in the classroom--as well as stealing and the principal threatens but doesn't enforce. The bullies run the show here. Math is good but the 7th & 8th grade lacks a science program.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 16, 2009

My three daughters attended St. Mel and received a wonderful eduction as well as a well rounded social and athletic life
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 26, 2009

St Mel is a good school and good community for the kids. My kids love it. The teachers are great and very caring. There have been issues with bullying and discipline in the past, but hopefully the new vice principle will rectify that. Academically, they seem to be ahead of the pack with the school winning awards and contests inthe Catholic School system. Although many public schools in the area are very good, one must see a good public school in California as being the best of the worst. St Mel is simply a better choice for your children academically. Of course as a Catholic School, Christian values and community are reinforced which is very important when making a choice between a Public School (especially in S. Cal) and a Catholic School.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 23, 2009

St. Mel School provides a top notch Catholic education in a nurturing, supportive environment. The teachers and staff are dedicated and caring. I can't imagine a better school for our son. The price, when compared to other private schools of the same caliber, is quite reasonable.

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 73% 26%
Two or more races 10% 3%
Hispanic 6% 52%
Black 5% 6%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 3% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 1%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

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Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

School facilities
  • Computer lab
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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Mrs. Mary Beth Lutz
  • Coed
  • Roman catholic
  • NCEA


Specific academic themes or areas of focus

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  • Religious


School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Library
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
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20874 Ventura Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91364
Website: Click here
Phone: (818) 340-1924


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