UPDATE (five years later)
The school has taken a down turn. With a high turn over rate in admin, counselling, combined with a drastically changing population much of the uniqueness of the school has been lost. The focus of the school is very broad, meaning that the only programs that are being supported are ones with either a strong parent base or receiving extra funding through Gov. Brown's LCFF. One of the adverse effects of this is that some of the more unique programs have been or are on the brink of being closed. The reasons for the closing range from lack of sign ups to lack of admin/district support.
I will echo the 1 star review that states that the school is not fundamental. This term has been brought up multiple times for discussion in meetings, all ending in heated debates about what it means, what it looks like and if such a strict regime is possible to enforce under the current climate within the district and the state.
(2010) ECHS is Consistently one of the best schools in San Juan. It boasts a rich culture that encourages students to participate in Sports, Performing Arts, and various other extra curriculars. Only draw back that I see is that the school is the second largest, one of the oldest, and probably most out of date (in technology) in San Juan. The staff work hard to maintain a helpful, equitable, and SAFE school.
I'm an alumni of this school, and overall, it's a good school... Where it was lacking, was in challenging gifted students! See, when I was a student, I was so bored with school, and found no challenge in any of my classes, so I neglected to do my school work out of sheer boredom. It's not that I didn't understand the work; I did... It's that the teachers at the time, did little to boost my interest in the subject matter. Heavy workload doesn't make for good students, especially if they're gifted, and bored! They need an expanded GATE program; one that ensures that the gifted kids are encouraged to excel, rather than to languish in mediocrity with the average kids... And, they need to identify the gifted kids immediately, before they slip through the cracks, and become disillusioned with school. Gifted kids are often neglected by schools simply because the administration just doesn't understand what it takes to nurture the gifted kid's interest. There's my two cents worth. Again, great school, just needs an expanded GATE program. IB and EPI aren't enough...
Look at the school's test scores. My son was a junior this year and they put him in chemistry AGAIN after he earned a B in it last year. The counselor said it could take a month to get him out of this class and others he did not sign up for - but not to hold his breath! So why was he in class if he was not going to earn any credits - just to give a teacher a job? After two years of bad teachers (not all of them) games, and wasting his time I pulled him out. So much more wrong but not enough to put it all down. This is NOT a fundamental school as its scores are embarrassing.
Excellent school. Something for everyone. My freshman has had a great experience in honors classes, sports, and band. I highly recommend it to families who care about a place where their kids can be well-rounded and cared about.
I really like this school! Honestly, I was really surprised how good El Camino is. I originally was in Churchill Middle School's IB program. I was fed up with all the busy work and fierce competition, and I decided not to go to Mira Loma. It's true that about half the students have mediocre grades, but there are a lot of students who do care and work hard for what they have. There are also many opportunities, including the Eagle Polytechnic Institute, which is excellent for engineers-to-be, plenty of sports & clubs, and AP/honors classes. The math and history departments are excellent while the science and English department could use a lot of improvement. The electives teachers are also very good, like the band teacher and drama teacher. Of course, like at any school, there will be brilliant teachers and the lazy ones who don't teach anything. Overall, this is a good school that hasn't released its full potential yet mostly because of the students themselves.
love this school. It is the best. the teachers do their best to help the students to prosper and grow. even though we are not the richest school we are blessed with creative teachers that can make it work.