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.
Science exists in the CA state curriculum. It does not exist as a subject taught below 3rd grade in this school. Art is a once per month event. Music is for grade 3 and above only. All the hulla-balloo about this being a great school, is generated by the self-interested parents who intend to withdraw their children in favor of private schools after 5th grade, or earlier. Of course the private school of their choice would prefer to hear how wonderful Franklin has been. My daughter went into K as an advanced reader. She has been neglected by her teacher who promised advanced books, weekly writing and didn't deliver despite polite requests to continue.The school is focused on test results, yet they are falling. Fundraising is falling as the tiger-moms who used to fuel the process have now moved on. The fundraising process is not transparent. We were told $4m had to be raised to save aides, class sizes, etc. when we didn't raise it, we were told that's okay, the school district has covered it. Was it required, or not? If your ONLY choice is public school then your child will be safe here, but they will not have a solid, rounded, good education, merely a cursory one.
The more I see of other elementary schools, both public and private, the more I realize how lucky we are to be at Franklin School. The teachers are outstanding. With the high level of parent involvement both in the class and financially this public school is still able to offer many programs that you usually see only in private schools these days. The art and music real treat and a regular part the curriculum. The kids learn cursive writing and work on penmanship - this is something all but given up in most public schools. I was listening to a radio interview last week with a high school student, who had never been taught cursive and so he could not read it either! What a shame that we have let public education fall so low in some places, but not here at Franklin.
My kids are extremely happy at Franklin. They are excelling both academically and socially. We feel blessed to be a part of this tight-knit community of parents and kids. My kids get to grow up running into their school friends at the grocery store and on various sports teams which is what community is all about. They have great teachers, friends, learning opportunities, and after school activities. I feel happy dropping them off each morning at school knowing they will have a great day and their exuberance and happiness will be beaming at pick-up. They have great days at Franklin. This is what I most want to see from my kids' school. Franklin creates confident learners, exceedingly well-prepared for middle school, which is undisputed. I continue to be pleased by our overall experience which has included 5 school years/teachers total between my kids. I see no necessity for an expensive private school education when a school like this exists a few blocks away and in my own community. The principal and VP have personally made a difference for my kids on a few very important occasions which underscored their good character & leadership. I wish I had gone to a school like this, truly.