Both of my kids have had caring and competent teachers in the last three years that they have attended this school. However, it is a different story for the office staff. The receptionist is rude and hostile to the parents -- I'm not sure what the problem is but perhaps she needs to get some help. Both of my kids are afraid of her and I think they would be very reluctant to go to the office to ask her for help if they ever needed it. My other concern with the school is the growing class sizes. The fourth grade classes are so large that I don't believe that the teacher has time to get to know the students very well. These are the main reasons why we do not plan to return to the Language Academy next year.
The school concept is amazing. My children have learned an amazing amount at this school.. the teachers have an irreplaceable love for the students. The staff..... whole different ball game. If I could have my children finish through 8th grade without EVER stepping foot into the office it would be a blessing. They are rude, dishonest and just very unpleasant. They don't problem solve, talk to parents and students like second class citizens and make it very apparent that they HATE their job or life for that matter. I have seen the longer the office staff is there.. the more the self righteous attitude. Its very unfortunate to have such a great program but the "faces" of the program ruin the experience.
I know everyone has their opinions but I've been a room mom for years and I get very involved in the school programs and issues. That said, as a room mom I got to say, yeah the principal is not at all easy to work with, she feels like she does not have to involve parents in anything but that one negative thing should not affect the amazing teachers and programs that this school has. To those parents who can not give a clear answer to what is going on in their students lives at school, become involve! Visit the class, join a club with your student, be there and participate. Get off the he said she said and actually experience things for yourself. I love this school and I am very passionate about it.
This school has recently gotten new leadership and needed it. Arce is perhaps not the best PR administrator, but really is passionate about education. She has turned some parents off, but that was because communicating with them and selling them on her decisions was not her top priority. Her priority is the kids and working to better the quality of their education at our school. She has done an amazing amount in just one year and I look forward to seeing what she will be able to do as long as we are lucky enough to have her.
The new parking lot, parent pick-up zone and landscaping is another fantastic addition to the infrastructure of an already academically and culturally rich school. This coincides with development that is going on in the SDSU area in general that will make this neighborhood an even more interesting place to live. A previous reviewer mentioned that recent changes here represent a turnaround at a "failing" school. However, the school has been "failing" only in the sense that it hasn't met targets for its subgroups in standardized tests; tests that have finally become discredited and done away with by the State, by the way. The CSTs have always been a poor measure of true learning and won't even be given this year in most grades. Even so, LA's overall API has consistently been above 800, which is the state target, and its subgroups that haven't met the target (and traditionally don't do so statewide) are very close to the target of 800. But to label a school "failing" for this is ridiculous. I have two children at this school and for me, at least, the fact that they have been learning both English and their mother's native language in school is an amazing success.
The new principal arrived last year and inherited the HUGE burden of turning around a school that has been failing for the past years. She is up to the task! Her management style may not be of the liking of some (angry parents always complaining but offering no solution to help) but she is the leader the school needed so bad to get better. Over the course of one school year, she has put in place a few modifications that are certainly efficient, for the benefit of the kids and the teachers alike. The school looks better, is better and, finally got equipped with books in French for the French program. The task to be accomplished is still huge, but I am pretty confident things are going to get better and better thanks to the leadership of a principal who believes in quality education.
Don't expect much from the principal, it seems like she is not in the best willingness to help either parents or children. When asked for help, it is hard to get an appointment with her but when one finally can meet, she has a negative response. It is unfortunate to have her as the principal because most of the teachers are awesome!
I think the concept of learning a second language is great. Communication with th principal and her secretary leave a lot to be desired. She is lax in communicating with students as well as parents. The school does need to upgrade its use of technology. There is a lot of technology available but the teachers do not take advantage of it.
At first I thought that this was the biggest mistake that I made for my child. The students have to take an assessment test to see if they are ready for school and knowledgeable, apparently some students are overlooked at because you can tell that they are not ready for school or they have special needs. The principal is new and a headache to try to deal with, you never get an appointment with her and she makes the most stupidest decisions, we are hoping she gets her act together soon. I am happy that the old rooms are being upgraded, AC is needed badly during the summer. My child loved coming to this school, this isn't the first school we have attended or looked at but knowing how much the teachers care and try their best is an amazing feeling to have. I recommend the school, take a tour and ask the parents/students questions and you will see that it's a great choice in the end.