My daughter loves going to Kindergarten every day and our teacher is exceptional. In Addition, I had a great experience with all the front desk staff. We recently had a family emergency and experienced great care and flexibility from everyone at the front desk.
I would give this one star if I didn't think my daughters teacher was heroic teaching so many students with proficiency and grace. I am not up for that challenge. I have been overwhelmed by how overrated this schools reputation is. I'm specifically disappointed in the (frankly) rudeness of the tertiary staff and the combativeness of the principal. My daughter is also, as one of you described, above average reader/student. I have been actually pleased with how the teacher sees where my child can learn and be challenged and does this well. I am not a fan of the vibe, however. It's unkind and unhelpful. Feels more like kids are inmates than students. My husband was uber private schooled all over the world. I was publc schooled and mu experience was amazing for elementary school. It was a serene campus with values and kindness. I learned to love books and people and nature. Sadly. A lot happens in a generation. In general. I have found what another reviewer said to be true: they protect their teachers defensively. Even when things aren't adding up.i see this as a serious injustice. We cannot expect everything from a public school but we can expect: no yelling and responsiveness from staff if that is happening. My heart goes out to kids who experience anything less. I think franklin could be a lot more, a lot better but somehow it seems to me. They are resting on their laurels. Not interested in improving. Just interested in towing lines and getting by for a few hours so they can go home. Bottom line: none of the staff seems to like the parents or like Franklin. So why should we?
I think the staff has lost its center. I think they should regroup and try and get back to the heart of what they are doing and why they are there. And if they don't like it. They should move on and let others take the helm.
I think, as with any school, there are positives and negatives. For the parents who cariryng on about how our kids are getting a private school education in a public [aka free]school......you need to do the tours that the private schools offer or perhaps spend time with a family who sends their kid[s] to one and compare notes. I've done both and it's not even close.However, there is a perspective that is important keep. Your child can still thrive and be smart. But it will be up to you to supplement the confidencs building, the emotional curriculum, music[for the first few years], science and foreign language. You will also have to have the "umph" to ask questions. For instance, why are there funds for ballroom dancing not for Spanish or Science?? It's not perfect, in fact it's all quite challenging at times, but you can get involved and make it work, especially, like most of us posting here, we would send our students to private if it were an option.
Given how much people talk about how great this school is and how it is the "best school" in Santa Monica, this has been a bit of a disappointment. While there are people who are genuinely trying to help and do the best they can, on the whole this school is significantly overrated. Teaching "to the test" reigns supreme and instruction lacks innovation and creativity. Science is nearly non-existent in the lower grades and school-wide projects seem to be haphazard. This school could be so much more than it is. I believe the new principal is a positive change and hope that she sets the stage for what can be a truly outstanding place to learn and grow.
I am a elementary teacher in another district. My sons have been in Franklin since K. One just graduated and the other will be in 5th grade. Franklin is an excellent school. Both of my sons individual needs have been met and with exception of 1 teacher out of the 11 years total my sons have attended the teachers have all been great. They have met my sons' need for accelerated programs and my children have thrived. Although I could wish for smaller class sizes, I have never felt that my sons have lacked individual attention. Moreover, I know of no other public school and even private schools that can match Franklin's music program. My older son who graduated has had 3 years of music, two years focused on his pick of instruments and even though he is unlikely to pursue music as a career he is very good at his instrument and is looking forward to Lincoln's music program where he will continue to get instruction every day on his choice instrument. The gifted classes available after school to the students who qualify are terrific and have encourage both of my sons' STEM interests.
I agree with the post from April 10th. But April 24th comments read like damage control. You simply cannot compare Franklin with the almost 30 kids per class to a private school where the teachers have the luxury of teaching only 15-20 kids. The other big difference is that a private school would fire a Kindergarten teacher who is always shouting at the little 5 and 6 year olds and leaving them terrified. Its clearly a policy of Franklin to put teacher's tenure first, regardless of the destructive behavior they may display. If I could give this place 1 star, I would.
Everything is relative. Compared to most LAUSD & other SMMUSD public schools, Franklin is wonderful. The principal is bright, engaged and effective. The teachers are smart, interested, and responsive - working hard to do their best despite funding constraints. The parents are friendly & involved. Are there problems? Yes. I agree with the previous parent that science, math, arts & music are ad hoc - as & when it can be squeezed in. As with many CA schools, class sizes are too large & individual, one-to-one support absent. If you want more than average, parents need to give their child extra attention to reinforce concepts, complete homework, & expose to ideas & experiences at a more in-depth level. That said, this is probably the case with most private schools as well.