This could be a phenomenal school. Unfortunately the past 19 years have been marred by two principals with egos to uphold. The latest principal is great at talking around issues, about how her personal life kind of relates to the issue, but never hits the issue head on. It's pretty clear that she has teachers to appease and the parents are not allowed to have valid concerns. She has implemented the most ridiculous changes to an otherwise easy flowing system and won't listen to parents when they complain about the chaos and havoc that these changes have created. Fortunately my child has the most amazing teacher and she will be out of Grant after this year. It's a good thing that the parental involvement is extremely high otherwise nothing would ever get off the ground. You need to learn to speak up and speak loudly if you have issues at this school. When that fails, and it most likely will, don't give up. Call the district and let them know what is going on.
Grant Elementary Our kids love the school, the kids and the teachers and so do we! It seems from our exerience that they have a great group of kids. They also have fun events. Thank you.
I think this is a great school. I grew up in Santa Monica, but attended private school K-12. I had no real idea what to expect from Grant, but our experience was very positive. My daughter finished Kindergarten with Mrs. Thomas and we loved her. She was tough, but fair and super dedicated. Our daughter is reading full on chapter books by herself now, and loves school (and homework!). We had a hiccup in the beginning with an enrichment teacher and getting in touch with the principal to resolve it, but it was taken care of within a week and we had no lingering issues. The PTA is very active in fundraising and the like, but it's hard to attend if you work because a lot of the planning committee meetings are weekdays at like 9 or 10am.
We have had an aweful kindergarten year here. There are a number of old teachers who really are just plodding along teaching the same way they did 20 years ago and refusing to adapt to anything new. I have heard through other parents that there are some great involved teachers who enthuse their students but this certainly was not our experience. Principal is almost impossible to get an appointment with when a concern does arise. We are dreading next year and hope that we get a better teacher. Parents really do work hard to support but it does feel like there is constantly a hand out asking for money.
This is an excellent school. We moved to the area at the beginning of the year and have two boys there, now in 4th and 1st grades. Diverse student body, in terms of ethnicity, income, and family structure; very active and social parent community (but not in an overbearing way); teachers who don't just dial it in, but pay attention and challenge the kids that need it while supporting the kids who are struggling. The principal is newish (was vice-principal last year), but seems to be doing a good job. She is visibly engaged around the school on a daily basis, open to suggestions, seems to have a good relationship with teachers and pupils alike. Some teachers are better than others, but you get that in any school. Even the not-so-great ones (one of my sons has one this year) are still fine. Good sports, music and arts programs (rescued through the fund-raising efforts of parents). There is a strong emphasis on academic standards, but an even stronger emphasis on developing the whole child, which I think is great. The kids there are confident but respectful. The best sign? I never hear "I don't want to go to school" in the mornings anymore. Go Grant Geckos!
Excellent school!!! My daughters Zoe and Zareya Fletcher love it. The teachers are very dedicated to making sure the kids learn and excel at their best. Thumbs up the the staff especially Principal Mr. Friedenberg, Vice Principal Ms.Compton, and fourth grade teachers Ms. Ripley, and Ms.Ware. A lot of good field trips during the school year to keep the kids learning and involved. Always constant communication between the teachers and parents. My daughters are looking forward to returning to Grant for the 5th grade.
Grant is the best-kept secret in Santa Monica, Great teachers, great principal, nice kids. My son with school issues has thrived here, with no additional help, when no private school could or was willing to meet his needs. He is flourishing and happy. We feel so lucky!
My son loves it here! No wonder, the campus is beautiful, the teachers are kind and the other children and their families are just wonderful. My son felt safe from the first day and he has so much fun, it is hard to get him off campus after school. But the best about Grant is the neighborhood aspect. All the families know each other from the local parks and many walk together to and from school. Everybody loves to help out, no matter if it is in the class room or with organizing play dates after school. The atmosphere in and around the school is warm and friendly. The education is great too. My son is learning so much in one day, it's hard to believe at times. We also adore the principle, Mr. Friedenberg, he is warm, kind, loves children and is a great leader.
excellent parent involvement, music and arts despite economy, teachers really care about the student learning process, great community.
We only had the chance to do preschool here before we moved out of state. But I always felt like the principal and teachers were awesome. Parents are very involved. Great school!
The Principal makes this school so special. I have never experienced a community that truly takes its lead from the Principal quite like this one does. Mr. Friedenberg is someone who clearly loves what he does. He combines the perfect amount of humor with a serious advocate position for the children and their learning. I have a middle-schooler who was well prepared for his transition and was encouraged to be a student at Grant. I also have a 3rd grader who loves her school and is achieving like crazy. I also love that the community is diverse. It isn't full of a bunch of rich kids. My kids are being well prepared for what the world really looks like out there.
It's true there is a lot of parent involvement and if you don't get along with a parent from one of these 'cliques' your son/daughter will be ostracized. Feels like high school all over again. Teacher's are great and this is why we stay here.
My kids couldn't be happier. It's a school that really cares about the success of each student, and they are supportive to the students families and their community as well.
It has a remarkable faculty who are suppoprtive,creative and scholastically excellent.
great principal; excellent, caring and stimulating teachers;involved parents; a real community school.
As a parent of a kindergartner finishing our first year at Grant, I have been impressed at almost every turn. Great school. Great kids.
We are proud to be Geckos. The building is quite old, but something about it is very special and positive, the light, maybe? the yard is huge and the children have lots of room to be free and play during recess. The teachers are excellent, and it shows on my children who absolutely love learning and have great progress in short amounts of time. Most of the teachers are very focused on litteracy and creative writting, and most of the children come out prepared and ready for middle school. My children never-ever- ask not to go to sschool or complain about their life at Grant. The parents are very involved, and volunteering during school hours or after ios strongly recommended, and in my opinion, such a privilege to make a difference in your kids education. I only have great things to say about it.
I am sad to leave Grant because it is by far the best elementary school: parent participation, fundraiser, great caring parents who run the PTA & Booster Club which give back to Grant 100%. The teachers are top of the line, the office staff & nurse are kind and helpful. The principal is superb and runs the school with his magic wand. Things happen for the kids at this school and this is what counts at the end of the day. Great music program, after school activities and the carnivals/fiesta are so much fun. This school encourages family activities and fun. The communication between parents and teachers are wonderful. The smart boards and COW (computers on wheels) were a great addition. I can go on forever with praise. I am proud my kids were Geckos. Ms. Hoffman, Ms. Takashima, Ms. Smith & Ms. Croft are among our personal favorites.
As a mother of a kindergartner, I can only say that I am thrilled with Grant. I researched schools and realized that we belonged to a bad school... The vice principal was very encouraging and supportive to go to the district office to push the issue to get him through the choice program. He got in! The principal is great, very visible and the kids love him. Our teacher Ms Chamel is very sweet with the kids and encourage parent involvement in the classroom. The class has fun with music, sport, art, ceramic, and dance. At the lunch break there are extra parents on the playground and a guy supervising soccer, a safe and fun environment.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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