School cherry picks students based on three-questions on Choices brochure completed by prior school teacher. Test scores don't accurately reflect teacher/admin efforts. Parents do a lot of the sent home projects. In 9 years, I felt my concerns were NEVER addressed by teachers or admin. Agree with "brick wall" comment and 5/22 & 8/27 posts. No transparency. Lots of fundraisers. Annual donation request was $300 per child when we started at school. Now up to $1,000. Parents allowed to make monthly payments. Felt pressured to give. Donor's named published. Do your homework. There are other great area SAS/Magnet programs with responsive teachers and admins. If you are a parent who wants or expects concerns addressed or needs to feel heard, this place can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless. Ask around. Ask if teachers are required to do annual training to stay fresh and grow. Ask for SPECIFIC examples of how admin addresses discipline issues (bullying online and off). Ask how school notifies parents about issues (head lice) that can be costly/rampant/perennial/frustrating when parents are unaware. Ask about carpool safety. Nice office staff.
This school goes above and beyond expectations. We are thrilled to have our son there.
We had one incredible teacher at Balboa, but that teacher would be a star anywhere. If you are considering Balboa: 1) It's a "10" but the kids are gifted/high ability, so the score is skewed. Students are already 'brighter' than most, i.e., not an accurate reflection of teacher/admin efforts. 2) Teachers may or may not "challenge" your child. Each teacher is different, quality varies. GREATLY. 3) Balboa has over 750 students, four grade levels. If you meet with principal and magnet coordinator, they'll smile, but likely you won't get what you want. 4) Don't even think to request a specific teacher from administration. Again, almost 800 children here; you are talking to the wall. 6) If you and child's teacher are on different wavelengths, tough luck. (You don't like it? Leave, says magnet coord.) 7) If your child has social issues you are on your own. Forget about asking for socialization programs. The focus is competition, not empathy, and 'high academic achievement' is everyone's goal. 8) Playground is scary if your child is at 'psychomotor', recess or after school. Yard aides need to teach conflict resolution, supervision is wanting. Result: This school falls short.
This is an exceptional school. The kids work hard and are prepared for middle school. The parent volunteer is above and beyond. The teachers care for the children. Office staff is great too. I can't say enough about this school. My son has been there for 3 years now and he loves it so much!
Balboa Magnet is truly one of a kind. The administrators, teachers, parents, and students work together to create a school that operates in perfect harmony. Students are valued for their individuality, as well as for their unique and creative contributions to the school community. Lifelong learners are cultivated at Balboa thanks to the support of the families and staff. I love being a part of such a hard-working and loving team!
my daughter just graduation from this school. we had a really bad expireince with his 5th grade teacher mrs Convirs....She used to lower my daughter grades until I let her know that she needs to be fair with every child that color and religion..... it's a different topic ... she try to changin but I was counting for the last day of school I hope that we never going to see her again.... not good teacher she has preferents.... too bad....
I loved Balboa. This school definitely helped me excel because of their high standards. I'm not saying middle school was a breeze, but I definitely did not struggle as much as the other kids. Thank you to all my teachers who made my elementary years amazing.
There's a reason that Balboa Maget has ranked number one among LAUSD elementary schools -- it has an excellent teaching staff that's supported by a wonderful principal and administrative team, as well as a very involved parents organization.
I am a student at balboa magnet and I'm in fifth grade. I have been going to this school for almost 5 years. I have loved it so far here. They challenge you while making everyday fun. For example, in fourth grade, you have pioneer day where you dress up like pioneers and learn about their daily life. The teachers always listen to you and get you ready for the next school year. I really reccommend this school.
The Balboa STAR Ed. after school program is the best enrichment and care program I've ever seen. The kids are happy and do not ever want to leave early. Every day is an amazing enrichment activity including science experiments, art of the Masters, ecology awareness and animal interaction, music (rockstar bands or musical theater), sports/athletics... Homework is completed and kids are full of excitement about the day's activities. I could not be happier!
I am having so much difficulties with my son's teacher. She only likes kids that do not cause any "issues". Kids get benched and punished there for every little reason. And in some cases they are not treated fairly. Some kids can misbehave and get away with it and some kids get noticed for every little thing that they have done wrong. My son got accepted this year. He is in second grade. His grades are high and he is working really hard to make it better. However, he is very energetic and talkative which is an issue for the teacher. The teacher doesn't want to deal with kids like this. She does not accept the fact that he is still a kid. She would not try to find the right approach to him. Instead, she suggested that he has a disorder and asked to take him to a specialist. My son has achieved so much in his learning and has never heard one positive feedback from the teacher whatsoever. But if he fails for once, the teacher would get him benched, send him to the office, and send me a letter pointing that she was right to think that he had a disorder. That brought so much and stress to may family and my son. He thinks he is not good enough for his teacher. This is really sad!
This is a great school and it challegenges the students. Parent involvement is awesome. My son loves Balboa...
I have a daughter 3.5 yrs old and would like to enroll her when she gets to first grade.
We're in our fifth and final year at Balboa and have a wonderful experience from the start. Yes, the academic expectations are high, but they are reasonable. I think the best part of Balboa are the even higher expectations of behavior for everyone from the students, to the parents, to the teachers, to the administration. The people are just decent and respectful here. You can be as involved in volunteering as you want or not, you are not frowned upon. There are so many dedicated parents here the school runs like a well-oiled machine.
I cannot say enough about my daughter's experience at Balboa. She just finished 4th grade. My daughter came to Balboa after leaving a very pricey "academic" school in the valley. Their curriculum, teachers and administration paled compared to what Balboa offers. Balboa's new principal is a dedicated and visionary leader whose door is always open to parents and kids. We are lucky to have her. The teachers are all fantastic. The kids are sweet and smart. The student population is wonderfully diverse. My daughter has made amazing friendships. The parents are involved. The workload is not overwhelming. She loves the longterm projects which allow the kids a more in depth exploration of certain areas. She participates in orchestra (great!) chorus. They do beautiful art projects and go on interesting field trips. Everyone is dedicated to the children's education and development. We are grateful for Balboa
One of the best school. Excellent teachers. My kids love their teachers and school. Highly recommended.
My son is finishing up 2nd grade and I can't say enough about the two absolutely WONDERFUL and GIFTED teachers that he has had so far. He has been attending Balboa Magnet since 1st grade and has loved it. The homework is completely reasonable (20-30 minutes/weekday -if that, plus any long-term projects) and each student has the ROOM to go above and beyond if they are so inclined to do so. The level of instruction and the extras (music, science labs, computer lab, PE, orchestra, field trips, virtual field trips, etc.) that they are exposed to is a huge bonus. Fellow students are also great, so the overall school environment is peaceful (no bullying whatsoever). We feel so fortunate to have this school for our son. He's thriving! Can't wait for our younger son to go to Balboa when he's in 1st grade, too!
I have twins in 1st grade; one here at Balboa and the other at Castlebay Lane Elementary (940 2010 API). Balboa has 5 take home projects for every one Castlebay project. Work hard, play hard. There has been a field trip every 1.5 months at Balboa, (Castlebay Lane has had no field trips by the 100 day of school) Balboa is organized enough so that the trips are partially paid for by the parents, $5 per kid and sometimes relies on parents driving the kids or even walking to places (fire station and Mcdonalds). The home projects are creative that really get the kids excited. They are graded on their oral presentation and quality of the information/props. Powerpoint is taught in the 1st grade computer class. It hasn't been required of the home projects....yet. The teacher, maintains her own website and emails a weekly update to the parents.
High Expectations! High Standards! That's the environment I like to creat for my kids, but you have to understand they are still kids. The fact that this school is"Gifted/High Ability" comes with its challenges for teachers and administrators...they can expect to deal with challenging kids and personalities. Teacher should be prepared and properly trained to deal with such!!! Yet I have felt that some teachers are not willing to deal with such challenges and prefer a model student with no issues or problems. My son is able to keep uwith all the academic requirements and needs the challenge, but he has behavior issues and at times it seems that they don't want to deal with the behavior. It's part of teaching, don't you think??
I agree with an early review that the school is great for independent workers. Unfortunately we didn't know this when our son got accepted and he is having a very difficult time adapting to the routine. Read on your own, follow instructions and complete work. For a third-week first grader? A bit much I think. Expectations are incredibly high. They should let parents know up front what the expectations are for the students so that the parents can either prepare their child or at least manage the problems when they come up. I have a conference with my son's teacher tomorrow - don't know what she's going to say. Half of me thinks she's going to tell me my son's an idiot and needs to drop out. My son is not an idiot and is incredibly bright. I fear that this will affect his self-esteem if it hasn't already .
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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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