Truthfully we are very disappointed in the way this school has gone down hill with the new principle in the last 3 years. I am very glad this is our last year at Beckford! It's sad to see such a great school with so much parent involvement go down hill the way it has.
The first day of school process is horrible! All of our friends children's school had orientation the week before school where you got to meet your childs teacher and know what class their in or they recieved a letter in the mail with the information. This school was crazy!! You had to show up at least 30 mins early, parking was a joke, you had to walk blocks because it was so crowded, then stand in this crowd of people pushing your kids around trying to figure out what room their child's in then trying to find that classroom! Very unorganized and of course the teacher was not very friendly she had no interest in talking to the parents. I'm not sure why what classroom your child has is such a big secret but it makes the first day very stressful for the parents and the children. I sure hope everything at this school is not this unorganized.
Honestly, this school is great if your child is a robot and lacks curiosity. If they will sit down and do busy work and be super happy, you have found your school. if you child is a natural learner and more creative, that will be squashed. They are thrilled with my child who gets good grades, but don't welcome any questions from students. Very boring. My kid hates going to this school. We are changing.
We have 2 kids attending this school. We are impressed with the active and involved parents, caring and competent teachers, and excellent administrative leadership. The school is safe, clean, and welcoming. Kids from all different backgrounds and countries come together for a great educational experience. (This year my kids had classmates from Japan, China, Egypt, Armenia, Russia, South Korea, Colombia, and Mexico, to name a few.) Other highlights included: a wonderful holiday musical program celebrating different cultural traditions (amazing considering ongoing budget cuts to arts programs); an adorable kindergarten talent show; a computer lab with a dedicated instructor teaching K-5th classes; a science program including a dedicated lab as well as an outdoor garden; and finally an AMAZING PTA which sponsors so many wonderful conmunity-building events: Family Fun Day, Halloween Trunk or Treat, 50's Sock Hop, free movie nights, Restaurant Nights, and so much more. API scores are high, thanks to the dedicated teaching staff, strong Admin support, and lots of parent volunteers in the classroom. We are so blessed to have this school in our community. It is a hidden gem in the Valley.
The principal is very rude and I will never recommend this school to anyone. She needs to be fired and replaced. She was rude with an attitude that made me and my family very uncomfortable and I will be definitely writing a review to the school board.
Honestly, I can't believe some of the negative things a few people are posting. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if a school doesn't fit your idea of what it should be, then find one that fits your style. You can't please everyone all the time. In my experience, Beckford is an excellent school! Very strong community feeling, and caring staff. My child is receiving a top notch education, which is remarkable considering the state of many LAUSD schools. The PTA working together with the school staff are responsible for many exciting curricular and extracurricular opportunities for the kids. All my child's teachers have been well trained, knowledgable, have supplemented the curriculum with appropriate fun activities, are skilled in dealing with disciplinary matters when needed (in a positive, not destructive way), and have been fair to all students. I feel as if my child is getting a private school education, in a public school.
The school is uninviting and prejudice towards families who speak up and voice their concerns. The principal, staff, PTA, and parents need to remember that parent(s) are their child's advocate... some requiring special education and other concerns.... no one can judge unless they are the parent dealing with the situation. For educators, this school lacks educated and compassionate staff members; stemming from the administrator. If you have a choice... choose another school.
I highly recommend perspective parents to attend PTA meetings and talk with other parents, teachers, and the principle before deciding on the school based on the reviews and test scores alone. Try to get the feel for the school parents in general to see if there's a *fit*. It's very important that you feel the *fit* before moving into the neighborhood. Also check out their school/community events like Family Fun Day and Trunk or Treat type of events. Do your homework before making the leap of faith! You don't have to live in the neighborhood to apply to the school since it's Charter. If not Balboa, check out Germain and Porter Ranch Community school around the area they seemed to have academic events like Science Fair, Math Night, and strong Art program (PRCS). They group their GATE kids into cluster together. Beckford does have GATE but all the kids are mixed in with non GATE kids, which means the GATE kids get the same instruction as the rest of the population, therefore there's no differentiated instruction for the advanced kids. So, there's no GATE class per se although they will tell you about GATE program. It will only matter when kids go into GATE in middle school.
Honestly, I don't like this school very much! expecially reagrding magnet school program application. this school is getting very weird feeling. last year, we applied, but the teacher didn't give my daughther ceritfied, but she didn't tell us. and this year we want to ask teacher if she can give her certified, the teacher and pricinpal told us this is confidential, but for most of our friends's kids school, the teachers will always direactly told parents, not confidential, I'm wondering if beckford does want to something which is not fair, that's why they want to keep confidential? also I feel this school doesn't have any special program,that is suprised me because it is called charter.