Exceptional principal who knows all the kids by name. Great teachers. Strong parent involvement with PTA and Ed Foundation raising money to make up for shortfall left by state budget cuts. Music, art, science lab and even PE in 4th grade and up have remained. Only concerns are true for entire district: growing class sizes to over 20 even in K-3, over 30- in 4th adn 5th and district horrible track record and approach to special ed.
I moved into Manhattan Beach for its schools and boy, am I glad I did. The strength of this school is its excellent & caring teachers, led by Principal Dale Keldrauk, who is the best principal I've encountered in the 4 schools my kids have attended. Advanced curriculum; good resources.
We compared this campus, classes offered and the cirriculum to Rolling Hills Country Day, and with only the exception of the swimming pool and the long scenic drive up to RPV, Pennekamp offered everything; computer lab once a week, science teacher once a week, library with staffed librarian, on staff nurse, and legendary PE teacher, with PE every single day, music program and Young at Art as well as many supplemental educational assemblies, guest teachers and an amazingly involved, hands on, in class group of parent volunteers. This is our first year here at 1st grade from Montessori of Manhattan Beach and we are very, very pleased so far.
Pennekamp is a wonderful school. My son has an amazing teacher. The science, P.E. and other specialists add to the experience. The parents provide good support. The STAR program provides a great variety of activities for the kids. We were previously in a private school and worried about the transition, but we are thrilled with Pennekamp.
I've had two sons attend this campus commencing with my first in 1999 and my second will graduate this year. Over the years I've witnessed few teachers come and go. The school has a strong academic program, teachers and office staff really care about each child and the parent participation is amazing. I would highly recommend Pennekamp to all who are lucky enough to live in this school district.
Pennekamp has been a great experience for both my children who are in 1st and 2nd grade. High parent involvement, many extra curricular activities, and great teachers.
We moved to Manhattan Beach just for the school district, our child has attended two years here, and the Kindergarten experience was mixed, the teacher was incompetent,although the system and curriculum seemed well-planned and organized.First grade experience has been excellent so far, they hired a great teacher.They do too much emphasis on the age, instead of performance of every child, though.Would suggest the school, but be aware that the satisfaction of your experience relates to who you have as your child's teacher.
Parents are impressed with the quality of education their children are receiving and the level of academic challenge.
Excellent program, lots of parent participation, very well run, strong on academics, light on arts, sports and other extracurricular activities
Both my children have gone to Pennekamp since they were 5 years old. Pennekamp is a school where the children come first. Each child is encouraged to do their personal best without being labeled as the smart or dumb kids. The teachers are highly skilled and work hard to bring out the best in each child. The principal is kind and knows each child by name. She is a great example of a leader and I will miss seeing her everyday as my daughter graduates this year. Thank you Pennekamp for bringing out the best in my children and giving them the encouragement and confidence they need to go out into the world!
Excellent band program! High level of parent involvement & fund raising for arts, music, library and technology center.
Our family has decided to go through the private school route after only one year here. Due to budget cuts throughout the district, there are no teaching assistants for grades K-3. That leaves much to be desired in terms of individual attention. In addition, the administration of this school seems to pressure (and scare) parents into holding back their children who have late birthdays so that child as old as 6 1/2 years old are entering kindergarten rather than first grade. In addition, this school district is currently experiencing declining enrollment. For example, in fall of 2003, there were 5 kindergarten classes with 20 children each. In the fall of 2004, there were only 4 kindergarten classes with 17-20 children in each. Part of the reason for the decline in enrollment is that many families (like mine) are leaving the district for private schools.
I hear very good things about this school. I am only unhappy that there is not on-site afterschool care and that it is apparently overcroweded - if you don't go to kindergarten there, there will not be space made for you in later grades.
Superior instructional program, thanks to involved parents, dedicated teachers, and an energetic principal. Maybe the top elementary school in an excellent school district.
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