We have had a great experience at Toluca Lake! When my daughter started there last year I became a member of 2 school groups that work monthly with the principal and faculty and other parents on school matters so I could understand how a public school works and also to see what the staff and faculty were like. The teachers and principal are VERY dedicated to the school and to the kids. The only thing this school truly lacks is the Parent and Community involvement of a Rio Vista, Carpenter or Colfax. As far as the quality of education goes, I think Toluca Lake can compete with all of them no question. What needs to improve at this school is: School's communication with families (use email) about school events, ways to volunteer, etc. Needs more green space and play ground equipment, Parental/Community involvement, update in technology for office and classrooms.
I would agree that the principal at this school is not always warm and fuzzy in adult interactions. I have had to work with her a few times and realize that this is just her personality. She genuinely seems concerned for the welfare of the children and their learning, and for that I over look the personality. I also appreciate her consistency. I try to stay involved with the PTA and the Parent Center while avoiding the politics. I have attended a few meetings that have seemed like I was walking into a high school girls locker room but have ignored the chilly atmosphere to see if I can help in anyway possible. Yes, it has its challenges from time to time, but I love the school and my son has had exceptional teachers each year. If you are willing to put in the work, ignore petty differences and get involved, you will find that this is a pretty great school!
Overall we have had good experiences at the school. They are making great effort in getting the families involved. If everyone pitched in their grain of sand this school would soar.
This school overall is a very good school starting but because of certain teachers and staff but is very poor because of the principal.. in charge she needs to go.. there been a lot of complaints of parents and they never do anything about it.. very rude principal and unprofessional..
I'm very please with the discipline and focus my child has learned at this school. The staff is very efficient and dedicated!
For parents who are willing to be involved & cooperative with the hard-working staff, Toluca Lake is a great place to be. Lots of great teachers, and small classes, give kids terrific opportunities for learning at their own pace. If you're looking for trouble you can always find it, at any school; Toluca Lake is a friendly, welcoming, happy neighborhood school where all are welcome. Each year, as more parents get involved in supporting the school, we can do more to make it great!
The principal at this school needs to be retained. A fellow student with physical disabilities at this school was kept from being integrated because the principal was uncomfortable with his presence...that parent removed their child, and the non-existent parental involvement caused me to yank my kid from this school! I couldn't get my child out of here fast enough! No challenges for the students, but they make sure to have a McDonald's night every other month. The priorities are all mixed up here. The parent center director seems to have a vendetta against the PTA and refuses to work as a team to benefit the students. Very disappointed in this school as it is in my neighborhood- but I'll homeschool instead as they watch too many DVDs instead of teaching and have ZERO field trips. Not very impressed by this school. The YMCA afterschool program offers more learning opportunities than the school does!!
Hooray for small class sizes! The classes are manageable - rarely more than 20 in a classroom, and often fewer. This enables teachers to focus on the individual students' needs instead of being overwhelmed with 30-plus kids in one classroom, as is often the case in LAUSD and other districts. We are very pleased with Toluca Lake Elementary and the education our child is receiving there.
I am highly unsatisfied with most of the school staff and how they acted toward my family in a time of need. They were not supportive and in demand. They dis enrolled my child without a letter or contacting me and other issues that need not be said but I hope if you enroll your child here you do not have any issues with your child because they are not a caring staff team and as a school they are suppose to be there for the child and the parents.
I think this school is on the way up. The teachers are dedicated and caring, which is a huge factor in kids' learning at the elementary level. My kindergarten student loves her teacher and can't wait to get to school every day. I'm from a family of teachers, and I find the quality of instruction to be top-notch. Funding is not what it should be, which is true throughout the public school system and especially LAUSD, but the folks at Toluca Lake make the best of everything. The PTA has gotten more active and is helping to move things in the right direction.
I'm here to give a shout out to specific teachers at this school, who I feel deserve to be singled out. I know there are probably many more, but I'm only speaking to those with whom we've had personal experience: Ms. Gillette (K) & Mr. Murphy (G2). Both EXCELLENT teachers! They both share a trait of recognizing the different needs and challenges of their individual students and being able to work to those needs. They're patient but firm, authoritative yet personable, and seem to have great rapport with all their students. As for the school itself, its biggest challenge is probably with parents & general LAUSD mismanagement/budgetary woes. I've witnessed great parent involvement, and then I've witnessed absolute rudeness or lack of caring & respect (for staff and their own students' education!) by others. I'd love to see more money at this school so they could have more playground monitors and specialty teachers, but NO ONE seems to be getting that from LAUSD at the moment.
This school is on it's way up. Agree (mostly) with last two reviewers - LAUSD feels like an obstacle, and this school, and kids, achieves despite of it. Toluca Lake Elementary is among the top 10% of schools with the highest percentage of identified Gifted students. (see school website or LAUSD Gifted/Talented website). While I wish more parents would get actively involved, the involvement has steadily gone up over the past few years. In my opinion, parent involvement is the best way to combat LAUSD's budget woes - a sort of 'circle the wagons' approach. I recommend this school, but only if you are willing to get involved.
This school is more like a 4 Star, but some of the previous low reviews were irrational ("principal is mean" ?, another review after one week?). Bottom line, Toluca Lake Elementary is part of the broken LAUSD. There are constant budget woes. But this school stands out. And I would agree with a previous reviewer - the school is on it's way to being great. Most of the teachers are great. Parent involvement is growing. And test scores are improving.
The best way to describe this school is pre-gem. It's not a "gem" yet, but on it's way - hopefully. After years of "white-flight", expanding boundaries, and low expectations - the school is clawing it's way back. Last year's API was 807. The principal is Ms. Carol Reo-Bove and she is not mean (previous review), but she is on the strict side, which I feel is positive. The school has some exceptional teachers - not all, but some. Being part of LAUSD, you feel like you're swimming against the tide. But the environment is positive the future looks relatively bright.
Such a shame that kids that young don't get along and see beyond skin color and background.
Its the end of the first week and i cant wait to move my kids out of this school!!! My 1st grade blonde son was called "whitey" and punched in the face. we were not notified. My 4th grader was tossed in a class mixed with 4th & 5th graders. 3 children have already been sent to the principals office. I live in a beautiful neighborhood but apparently only the people on the outskirts send their kids here. I left a message for the principal on Monday have et to hear back. On 1st day told us she's a mean principal & we should know up front. Totally disapointed in the process of trying to get them out ASAP!
After several years of concerted efforts, Toluca Lake has finally hit an API over 800 (807!) for 2010. Congratulations to the teachers, the administrative staff and especially Mrs. Bove for her strong leadership! The campus looks beautiful and the school has become something that the neighborhood of Toluca Lake can be proud of, though there is still much work to be done. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make Toluca Lake a great school.
My child attended kindergarten here and, though the teacher was WONDERFUL (truly great with all the kids, and the kind of leader I'd want my child to listen to), the other aspects of the school make it a "school of last resort." There is very little supervision of the kids on the playgrounds - it's all volunteer (parents), and understaffed. My child was harassed twice during the year, and each time the "solutions" didn't seem strong enough for the incidents. Parent involvement here is pretty terrible, but I don't know that I can blame them. There's a huge language barrier, and it makes it difficult to conduct meetings in Spanish and English, concurrently. It just feels like a school that is fighting to get kids the minimal amount of education. Had I any choice, my child wouldn't attend again.
I have my children in this cool for two years now. My son is in first grade and my daughter in pre kindegarden. It is classrooms with small number of pupills and the teachers really pay attention to the children and they are really good ones. My son knew how to read during preschool. It was amazing. Now that he is in first grade he is with children from other levels and thanks to the very good teacher , they learn respect for others. They have a lot of different activities. My daughter is following the same path. I am really happy with this school and would recommend it to anybody in the area.
This might not be a bad school for many, but their treatment of special needs and the lack of concern for the students from the administration is not very impressive. Not near the quality it should be.
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