I am the grandmother of a child who has had excellent experience at Franklin so far, kindergarten last year and first grade this year. Her teachers have been firm, kind, and effective. They are her role models. I write specially to comment on the content of the Common Core curriculum, which I have examined and seen put into practice by my granddaughter' teachers. As a law professor, it is what I wish my students had had in their formative years. It is conceptual, rather than rote, and teaches children how to think. It is important to distinguish between the Common Core curriculum, which is superb, and the testing associated with it, which seems unnecessary and counter productive. Reading the other comments, I suspect that the writers are a small minority of disgruntled parents. Most parents are satisfied and many are delighted by their children's experience at the school. Yes, the community is over privileged, but most of the children are sweet and friendly, and they are happy to be at school. This year, together with other parents and children, my daughter, who volunteers as a classroom aide, and my granddaughter helped install the school's new science lab. They look forward to more science in the early grades.
Children wear an anti-bullying t-shirts except for those kids who are bullies. These kids are denied a t-shirt and therefor are bullied by the adults at the school. The logic is to bully the bully. This is not education nor leading by example.
Two words to describe this school:
This is how a teacher from Lincoln Middle School (SMMUSD) described it, underscoring our experience exactly. Mind you, my child was only in k-i-n-d-e-r-g-a-r-t-e-n.
The principal uses the words "rigor" and "career and college ready" regularly. She is an advocate for the common core and for constant testing. Mind you it is common knowledge that these standards were not written by early education experts including elementary school teachers and that the rest of the country is altering the standards or getting out of them altogether. Additionally, the plethora of testing is not made transparent to the parents. If you ask to opt-out of them you will be denied both your state and constitutional rights as a parent. This is the "leadership" at Franklin.
The bottom line at this school is test scores, SMMEF money (which clearly creates clout undermining what should be a democratic institution), and real estate values (the local realtor sponsors school events). One could wonder if kickbacks are happening here.
This is not a whole-child centered education. One star = terrible. I wish we could have one year of our lives back. I would choose any other school in Santa Monica over this one.
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.