Love Love Love the Principal !!! She is a principal of the students. She really cares what happens to them and the quality of education that they are getting. Kudos to her! This is what education is about. My child is getting an amazing education guided by an exceptional leader. Thank you Ms. Hernandez!!!
This school is not perfect but is doing very well for what it is. Their population reflects all of LA unified, and the school does a fantastic job of getting all these kids -- regardless of where they start out -- to where they need to go: college. To all the people who said the classes are crowded, please pull your kids out and put them in another public high school or middle school. Your kids will fare no better unless you are willing to pay money and even then they may not. I saw what my friends went through as they scrambled in 5th grade trying to find a decent middle school for their kids, and I was SO glad I had put my kids here in 4th. The bad stuff is -- it can be hard to communicate with the teachers. Some of them are very unwilling to call you back or email you, and there's very little you can do about it. They do not all use the computer grade books that they have access to, so it can be hard to find out how your kids are doing until it is too late. Kids don't get much computer time. I am a private tutor and work with elementary kids and middle school kids all over the valley. I know the private schools and the public options, and my kids go here.
my sister, a student of SOCES, said a student in her fourth grade class smokes. I didn't believe it until i started to hear more crazy stories like this such as someone bringing a bow and arrow to school and using it to threaten other students (also in the 4th grade). One a random day, for no apparent reason, someone even wore a hot dog costume and gave out hot dogs, for numerous days straight. This was indeed confirmed by an administrator as well as my other sister who attends the school. How is this school so good if their elementary kids smoke and bring weapons to school. Good test scores come from mentally stable children not the disabled (who, by the way, are considered the gifted kids). Great school? ... Not even a good school.
I saw the post left yesterday and just want to let the writer know that our son was not accepted to SOCES until he entered the 6th grade. SOCES has proved to be a wonderful school, and he thrives there. Because of its reputation, it is hard to get in. We applied for magnet points for many years before we got in. Keep trying. It is worth the wait, and entering at the 6th grade was an excellent option for our son, who preferred to graduate elementary school with his friends.
Attended the magnet orientation yesterday and it sounds great, scores prove that indeed it's a great school. However, I left sort of disappointed in the zero hope that was given by the counselors that my chances of getting in were slim to none. I almost felt as if they were trying to discourage us from applying. It seems like if you don't get in for 4th grade, your chances of getting in after are very slim. Disappointing that I didn't leave cheering and feeling hopeful that my child would have a shot at a great opportunity for her education.
I have been a proud SOCES parent for 6 years. Of course there are budget issues and we've lost great teachers to district decisions and retirees, same as most schools in the nation. The principal has always addressed any faculty issues and I speak from personal experience. There is impressive number of dedicated staff and faculty at this school and in incredible college office. We have the same parents and faculty volunteering over the years, it would be great for more to become part of the solution, instead of just complaining about the problems.
I think this school has too many administrators. Communicaton is bleak and parents of children who need help to thrive are looked down on. Everyone knows that growing up is a process for children and not all children mature at the same rate. When kids are exposed since the 4th grade to high school age kids' actions most kids are affected to years to come. It is not a good idea to subject your kid to this environment because administration is not keen on this issue. Also my kid specifically had a changeover of more than one teacher who had to be fired or laid off. Class routine was interrupted. This was not good and again communication from administration to parent was non existent. There is really no excuse for a small campus with many administrators. In addition it got overbearing just listening to the constant budget problem and threat of stopping transportation.
My two children have been at SOCES for 4 years, both in the honors program. We find it to be an excellent smaller school experience with high academic standards, wonderful teachers and caring administration. Yes the work is plentiful, however not overwhelming for those students who are able and want to walk away and enter prepared for college. While I am interested in hearing individual experiences I would like to share the 2012 US News and World Report for Best High Schools in America. This report has become the Gold Standard for ranking High Schools in America. SOCES comes in ahead and at the top of our surrounding local "best" high schools. I feel fortunate and proud to be a part of the SOCES family! National Rank College Readiness SOCES 581 42.7 Calabasas HS 654 40.1 Oak Park HS 706 39.7 El Camino HS 930 33.3 Agoura HS 1,022 31.5 SOCES beats all these top ranked schools in every category. You can read more at http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools Very extensive and comprehensive Ranking system, taking into consideration many factors.
My children (twins) have been at SOCES since 4th grade and are now graduating from 8th grade. Yes there are cons to the school but in the long run it is a well run campus. Because most students stay at the school for the long haul they are not a number they have a name and are well known by teachers, counselors and administration. There is alot of work and some seems like busy work, but the graduating students go on to some of the best colleges, many at Ivy League schools. The drama and music program teachers are amazing as well as the programs that they put on. SOCES is consistantly a top named school in the country, and I recommend it for those looking for a private school environment without the cost. Students think of it as a family environment especially with siblings attending.
My kids go to this school. At first, I thought this school is one of the best school here in San Fernando Valley. Just recently, I found out from my daughters that the teachers really don't teach that well. They just give them HWs, so they have something to do. Almost all the teachers are just after their salaries. I spoke to alot of parents and they too was disappointed with the outcome. Some of them were thinking of transferring their kids to El Camino or Cleveland. I for one is also considering to transfer my daughters to Cleveland. I've heard Cleveland is doing much better when it comes to education. I'm afraid if I let my kids stay there until 12th grade, they might struggle when they go to college. A lot of teachers are retiring this year. That's why they don't care about their students.
My twins are in fifth grade. They have been assigned a U.S. state report. Ms. Kravitz has organized the project extremely well and in such a way, that our children are afforded an excellent opportunity to start developing these skills. I do not find the work overwhelming. I am thrilled that they are receiving such an education. These skills would help carry them through their education.
I am a student at soces. The classes are very crowded. I have been going to that school for 2 years and only 2 teachers have learned my name. All the food they serve is prepackaged and sometimes cold. I take a bus there and its always hard to find a seat sometimes we even have to seat 3 people a seat. Teachers arnt all that great last year my math teacher got fired and we had a sub the rest of the semester. That made it hard for me to do well on the cst. I always tell my parents but they dont believe me because they think its too much of a good school. If i could i would switch schools as soon as possible.
With the LAUSD budget cuts and staff cuts SOCES has still managed to be a top-notch school for academic work. The office staff is sometimes overwhelmed, but that is through no fault of their own. Blame ridiculous cuts in critical areas the school doesn't control. Staff are friendly and often go out of their way to assist students or run extra-curricular programming. For example, the Speech program has National and State Finalists and is constantly garnering recognition for its work at tournaments. It's coach, Mr. B, has taught our children not only how to articulate themselves with conviction and supporting evidence but also prepated them for success in life and higher academic learning. The College Office is overworked, but does a great job helping students in applying for college and university. The biggest weakness at SOCES is leadership. The new principal means well and seems eager to please, but from what I have witnessed does not garner much support from staff and students and is over-whelmed by her duties. There is a new AP that is "on-the-ball" and seems highly motivated and an excellent communicator.
My child went to SOCES in 4th grade year 2011/12 and I am pulling her out. The school is large and she feels lost. She said bigger kids call little ones names once in a while and she got pushed a few times. 4th graders have to change classrooms with every period, same as kids do in middle/high school. Academically she did well, good grades, but socially she was very unhappy. Counseling office staff is very nice, big thanks to Kim and Mike! Teachers seem overwhelmed and overworked, large class sizes. Also, if your child goes to an elementary school now, this school's hours are longer by about 5 hours a week more of instruction. It could be a nice school for some, but it's not for everyone, I would say if the school your child goes to is good in general, it's not worth it to move them to SOCES unless you want to see them be pushed hard academically, and feel overwhelmed with the size of the school and grown kids around them.
All three of our children went to SOCES for elementary school through high school. They all got into top echelon universities--Univ. of Wis., UCBerkley, and UCLA. Each of them is now gainfully employed in their career of choice, and they could not be happier. I credit CES for giving them the academic tools they needed for success, and the bonus was that they each made friends for life at that school. Overall excellent teachers. Admin. staff could be more welcoming. Otherwise, great school.
I love the staff. There is a family atmosphere here. The Principal is a terrific woman, but she is new and hitting a wall with trying to implement any change (that will just take some time). There is very little parent participation due to kids coming from everywhere. I have a 5th grader so I can only review the elementary school. As for the "grade level" education, I feel more is needed to improve on the elementary education (here is where some of that change is needed) Too many large projects, not enough basics (reading and vocabulary building, basic science and basic history). I love our math teacher and I feel we are on target with math. But due to the amount of busy work and papers and one ridiculously large and tedious history project, we are falling behind in those other areas. Honors student will do better. The average kids, however, struggle. Parents need to be very involved in helping the kids stay on task. Most teachers do not post their homework or grades and some are not internet/email friendly. Again, where change is needed. I am hoping for the best that the school remains open and active. I do plan to stay with it.
Over all this is a great school.Principle and administrative - great. Most of the teachers are good. Homework load is ridiculous. My daughter has Mr. Kravits for science and she is doing homework until 8-9pm every night . If you want your child to have a life and still go to this school, Make sure this teacher is not on your list.
My daughter graduated last year from SOCES, after having been there since 4th grade. Most of the teachers are terrific, although there are a few exceptions. They really care about the students. Because of the small size, there is continuing interaction, even after the students leave a particular teacher's class. To me, one of the best features of this school is the diverse student body. The students come from every possible ethnic, economic, and religious background. I don't know of any other school that has such a diverse group of students.
Most of the personnel working in the office are RUDE and never entertains calls, not even direct you to the right person. It's automatic that they transfer you to a voicemail and you don't even know where they have transferred you to or if that the person that you would like to speak with. Whether calling the office or going to the going office, it's the same experience you get. I thought initially that it was just a one-time experience but it always the same experience everytime. I hope that they should act more professionally.
If your child is high achieving, you push your child hard, your child has no disabilities and not different from the norm in any way then your child will be successful at SOCES. My child is very bright (scored advanced on the CST at previous school), but is quirky. At SOCES he was bullied relentlessly (test scores dropped to far below basic on CST in 2 years). The staff did very little to help. I was told during a meeting that my child would probably do well at a different school. So we moved to our local school and now he is earning straight As. SOCES is a high performing school for a reason. Thank the parents and the students. The staffs roll is to weed out anyone not fitting into the SOCES box.
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