A comment. It would seem that you should heed the comments about the office staff. There is nothing more off-putting as a first impression as rude, dismissive office staff. My family experienced this upon its first visit to the school, and was provided little help in working out the problems of entering a new school. As a former teacher, I know how important office staff is, yet I also know that the first impression of a school should be a positive one, and evidently, yours, because of the office people, isn't. It would be smart to address this in the future. My rating is based on other reviews, Great Schools ratings, and the fact that Franklin is a Distinguished School.
A rather mixed and sometimes uneven experience. On the plus side, many of the teachers - senior and junior - are truly outstanding, dedicated, hard-working and enthusiastic. I have been enormously impressed by many. But there are some notably weaker teachers, who seem to exhibit little enthusiasm or interest. The administration is competent, though in the face of genuine complaints seems more interested in damage control than genuinely addressing parental concerns. The front desk is staffed by some notoriously difficult individuals who play favorites - helpful to some parents, terribly rude and dismissive to others. There is a split between mothers who work and wealthier ones who volunteer, reflecting local demographics. Funding is a growing concern, and private fund-raising cannot be a long-term solution. Teacher union rules mean layoffs are based on seniority, not value added. A good school, in an affluent neighborhood, with strengths and weaknesses, facing funding problems.
I like Franklin because it's like one big family and also the teachers make such an outstanding effort to help our children learn.
The teachers are great. The kids are great. The location is beautiful. The staff is great!
Mediocre school. My child is in his sixth year there. I've been actively involved in the school so get to see a lot. The school operates by trying to create a facade of it being so wonderful, giving priority to the children but they teach to do well on tests which does a tremendous disservice to the kids. I find the current principal ineffective and the front office can be problematic unless you're one of the kiss-up parents. I did not find the school to be interested in addressing bullying (which we experienced) or child safety issues....they'd rather turn their backs and stay adamant that the school is so wonderful. There are some really good teachers but also some really bad ones. If you have to go there, advocate strongly for your child, get involved as much as you can and stand up for what is right.
Considering other schools in the LA area, Franklin is great. However, my career requires frequent relocations as such we've experienced a number of different schools, in different states/countries. In the broader context Franklin is average. The teachers are not exceptional and the pedagogy is poor. The front office staff is dreadful rude. My interactions with most of the staff was frustrating but must do for now.
Franklin Elementary is a very unique school in our neighborhood greatly due to the outstanding administration. The school was awarded the California Distinguished award last year and I have to say it is because of our dedicated and impeccable qualities of our principal and her administration. Franklin excels for many reasons. It excels due to its relentless parent body who volunteer their time and money and it excels due to its unbelievable leaders.
Franklin Elementary School, as has been pointed out, offers students a tremendous learning enviroment through the incredible efforts of highly skilled teachers and devoted staff, along wih an involved parent body. Those who know leadership realize, however, that it takes someone with unwavering vision, dedication, fairness, and true empathy for all students to make all these elements come together in such a beautiful way. The head Administrator and her team are the ones, in my opinion, who have taken on the difficult job of running a very large (800+ student) school with a demanding parent body and ever higher academic achievement goals and continue to knock it out of the park on a daily basis. My son wakes up with a big grin on his face wanting to get to school early, and that is the best proof to me that Franklin School is run well.
As an involved parent at Franklin Elementary School, I have had the privilege of working alongside our principal. She actually is a dynamic and charismatic educator. Additionally, I've only known her to be proactive, optimistic, approachable, and dedicated on the part of all students and her entire staff. Our school achieved the designation of California Distinguished School because of our diligent students and our phenomenal teachers. But our students and teachers can be described this way only because of our principal's inspired leadership.
I feel compelled to respond to the 5/22/09 review since I am intimately involved with Franklin as Site Governance parent chair and chair of the PTA fundraising drive, Direct Investment. I, too have been at Franklin 10 years and have experienced the past and current Administrative teams which have both been excellent in their own distinctive ways. I totally disagree with the 5/22 reviewer regarding the current team which is all and more of the traits that she/he says they are not. Also, assume that the reviewer didn't realize that Franklin applied for the Distinguished School award twice under the previous regime before being awarded it on our third attempt under the current regime. This regime has been at the forefront of pushing the staff and students with out of the box thinking regarding academic and enrichment programs.
Franklin is described as being the best public 'private' school in SMMUSD. 'Private' is attached because the PTA/Parent groups provide a great deal of monetary support for necessary programs which the state and district have curtailed and/or eliminated over the years; and that same group has contributed likewise to other schools in the district as well. The only complaint I have about this school is the head administrator is not as dynamic and charismatic a leader, motivator, and educator as was the past administrator. On the plus side is the entire rest of the school; teachers, programs, aides and support personnel, and everyone connected to the school--which make this school well deserved of the title, 'California Distinguished School.' I've been associated with Franklin for the past 10+ years, as a proud parent of two students, who received an outstanding, well-rounded education.
My child has attended Franklin Elementary School for 3 years, and I must say that Franklin is AMAZING ! The title of California Distinguished School is well-earned! There is a high level of parent participation. The teachers are experienced, caring, hard working, and effective. The principal is innovative, visible, quick to respond to parent and community concerns, and is an outstanding educational leader! Franlin provides a well-rounded education complete with rigorous academics enriched with fine arts, cultural arts, physical education, music, art, and drama. Franklin's test scores are the highest in the district and climb consistently higher every year!
We have been at Franklin for 5 years and have had excellent experience throughout. Teachers at every grade level have been first rate -- approachable, dedicated, very involved. Parent particpation makes this a great school. Lots of parents willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved. Fundraising is strong, but has to be because that's what gets the necessities into the school since CA state funding is so poor. It makes all the difference in the world when you compare this school to others. The principal and asst. principal put the children's welfare first always, and don't play favorites with kids or the parents (which may actually irk those parents looking for an 'in'). My child is safe there, her educational needs are met, and she enjoys going to school every day. Administrators have dealt with issues that arise quickly, and make sure the kids' needs are first and foremost.
Admin behind the 8 ball. Teachers appear good so far. Everyone friendly overall - kids and parents and teachers. Definitely a stay home mom vs. others vibe. Bigger issues presented to date, 1st week, but this review does not allow more than 150 words so ... if you are transferring in, prepare VERY early, like a full semester before (March 1 for September 1 enrollment) or you may be in the dog house.
I am a parent of 2 boys at Franklin and we have been attending here for 3 years. Coming from aneducational background, a former teacher myself, I must say my expectations at Franklin have far exceeded the experience I thought we would recieve. Being a former teacher, I tend to be a little more critical than the average parent. The parental involvement at this school, combined with a first class education, has allowed franklin to receive the honor of a 'California Distinguished School'. This honor is not bestowed upon a school without great discretion & there are very few in LA. My boys LOVE going to school, and I love the high expectations set by the administration. My ONLY complaint, is that the ladies in the front are very short and to some, even rude. These ladies need to change their attitudes or move on to other jobs
We've been here a year now and had high expectations for Franklin based on it's reputation. Volunteering in many areas of the school gave me the opportunity to witness significant bullying, very rude front office, and an antagonistic administration in regard to 'problem' students and parents. Not warm.
Horrible school: great students, teachers, and supportive parents. However, there is no effective leadership. The front office has no respect for students or parents, behaves unprofessionally with little regard for the welfare of those they are paid to serve. The principal should be replaced.
I have a fifth grade student at Franklin. My son has received a first class education and has benefitted from caring teachers, a rigorous standards-driven curriculum, and a great circle of friends. The Franklin experience is loaded with lots of fabulous extras, including an excellent elementary school orchestra, a chorus, a thriving after-school program, a stocked computer lab, and an abundance of computers in every classroom. The PTA and Site Governance Council groups are strong. Mrs. Tara Brown, the principal, is an award-winning administrator and a talented instructional leader. Franklin's test scores place us among the top elementary schools in Los Angeles County. More importantly, our vibrant school community welcomes everyone. The active school calendar includes free family fun nights, a school carnival, a multicultural fair, a science fair, a book fair, and school picnics. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this amazing community.
My child has had a great experience here (now 2nd grade). Teaching to the state tests is a district-wide (statewide?) problem, and I haven't actually noticed it being a particular issue with our teachers, who I've found to be creative and insightful. My only problem is lack of differentiated teaching, which the teachers have attempted somewhat to address.
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