As a parent, i fully agree with the PE program at SOECS! Is it tough? yes! Do the kids moan and groan about it sometimes? Yes but these devoted teachers, especially Mr. Cook, are getting them ready for middle school PE which is not very easy and requires even more. How can we honestly sit and complain that our children are being worked? Do you complain that your children are learning too much as well???
The person speaking about the "P.E. Boot Camp" was commenting on a program I began, with the support of all the upper grade staff, at the school 3 years ago. My name is David Cook and I am a teacher at this school. As the anonymous person suggests, I too encourage you to come out and watch the students and our upper grade program. It is amazing to see their growth and development over the course of the year. I believe this person is mistaken in their assessment of the motivations, teaching methodology or value of our program. Yes, there was originally an exercise called the "Circle of Pain." That's what it was called when I learned it. I was told 1 parent came and complained about the name and could it be changed? I changed it officially to "The circle of happy, happy, joy, joy, we all love each other." This one exercise routine is very popular and frequently requested by the students. Regardless of the name, the concept remains the same. Through a shared experience requiring individual effort toward a common goal, a group comes together and feels good about themselves both as individuals and as part of something bigger. I am always willing to address any concerns.
There seems to be a lot of turmoil going on at the school involving the principal and her leadership. Let's hope some changes are made for the better of the school.
My child has been coming here since kinder. As far as education I would of gave this school 5 stars however the overall experience here does not equal that. First of all if you want to send your 5th grader to a P.E. boot camp you found the right place. I'm surprised no one has commented on this so far. I guess its because they are not aware. Hang out for a few extra min after you drop your child off in the morning. You would of had quite a show today. The kids are being yelled at like in boot camp. Can you believe this instruction was actually called "circle of pain" last year? So many parents complained they had to change the name to "happy happy joy joy" but the kids still remember it as circle of pain. I know a few families that pulled their kids out because of this. As far as favoritism I would have to agree with the past comments. I have felt like this for years. Sopa board definitely gets priority with what teachers they want. I do think that is changing with the new Principal now. As far as the complaints about the principal I personally haven't had any issues but I don't know about everyone else. I did leave her a concern once and never received a return phone call.
This school is good over all. Quite a lot of parent involvement and the teachers are great, and really seem to care. They offer music and other programs that have been cut in other schools. They also offer after school classes like guitar, drums, karate, cooking, and other subjects.
Unfortunately we had to pull our boys out due to unorganized teachers and lack of leadership.
We are very happy with this school. The teachers are great and the parent involvement is terrific. Both of our children (K and 2nd grades) are very happy here.
I recommend Sherman Oaks Elementary Charter School because, in addition to it's creative instruction to meet and surpass state standards for all demographics (including the state adoption of the common core, which will begin instruction this year - one year before it's full implementation), it gives back to those kids who have lost a part of their culture and expands the knowledge of other children by acquiring a new language over the course of eight years - TK-6th grade. I see strength, collaboration, and care in the teachers who perform their daily activities in developing the young minds that attend the school. To clarify my point made above about giving children back a part of the culture they lost: for those of Latin/Hispanic descent who lost their language two (span of siblings 15-20 years apart) or three generations down the line, this type of school offers the next set of generations to learn what was lost to them. Coming from a third generation where my parent did not speak Spanish, it is a great sense of regained pride. Not just Latin/American culture is celebrated; other cultures are celebrated and taught throughout the year to inspire diversity and acceptance.
My daughter will be a 5th grader and my son in 2nd grade next year. I am a teacher, so understand how a school runs. The only reason we are staying at SOEC is that my daughter has been there for five years and has a great group of friends. Once she graduates, we are pulling my son out. While the instruction at Sherman Oaks has never been strong (my daughter has had only 2 solid teachers), the favoritism towards SOPA and industry parents (they are always in the best teachers' classes; however, several of the best teachers are sub par at best), the new principal's inability to communicate with parents, the general lack of discipline from the parents, the sense of entitlement from the community, add up to a poorly performing school. When you look at the similar schools rank on the CDE website, Sherman Oaks is a 3 (out of 10) when compared to schools with a similar demographic. As a teacher, this tells me that most of the teachers at the school do not challenge students on a daily basis, that students learn very little from year to year. As a parent this tells me that SOEC is not the school for most kids. I look forward to moving to a real charter school (independent).
I have been a happy parent for some time at Sherman Oaks Elementary even a member of SOPA. My child goes into 5th grade next year. I have volunteered at book fairs, stop, drop, and roll, given money to the school. This year though I have seen parents bully one another, teachers bully parents and unfortunately we in SOPA have had to take administrative things in our own hands, because our administrators, have let us down. I am sad to say this, but I do believe SOPA we need to revisit this, because I am not sure if that is working and we do need a principal and a staff that doesn't support this type of bullying behavior. The most recent post does still promote that behavior as well and unfortunately that person is also probably in SOPA. It has to start with us, obviously the mom who had a spelling error or errors as you say, was upset. The fact is we are all fighting for our kids here, something I think we can all agree on.
Its coming to the end of another school year and yes this year has been challenging with many changes, its a very big school to manage, the kids in the school not all but most have very little respect. The new principle is going to make some great changes which I am excited about and at least next year SOPA wont be able to pick and choose their teachers for their own kids as the old principle used to favor them, Im hoping this year the system will be fairer for all, especially us working parents who donate alot of money but have very little time to be actively involved but do what we can to make this a good environment for our children, thats for all our children, not just our own. I do agree to a certain degree of the review posted below that the SOPA are way more involved than they should be, they do great things for our school, but their should be a fine line between the admin and the SOPA, This school is clicky only if you let yourself get involved too much, just keep your head down remember you are their for your child's education not for all this high school drama, as thats what it seems like sometimes.
We are very happy with the new principal and the direction the school is headed. As a room parent, it seems like the parents are partly responsible for making situations worse by blaming others than helping with coming up with solutions, especially when they don't get what they want.
Awful school!!!! Parents DO NOT send your children here! It is overcrowded, the teachers are stressed out, and there is not enough adult supervision. I don't care if this now a charter school, it does not change the fact that this is one of the worst schools in the area! If you can afford it send your kids to private school.....that's what we did and our daughter is so much happier now. SOEC is full of bullies without consequences!!!
My child started 2nd grade here this year. Her teacher so far has been responsive and she seems to be doing fine. However, the few interactions I have had with the principal have been a nightmare. She does not have the experience to be leading this school. She does not respond to children well at all and seems clueless on how to deal with them. In my personal conversations with her she has been flustered, hostile, and incompetent. I truly hope they find a new leader for this school.
We understand that all LAUSD schools are crowded, and that funds are limited, etc. We were hopeful, that as a new Charter - this school was going to makeup for it with Parent involvement and dedicated teachers. We could not be more wrong. It saddens us greatly to encourage you to find another option for your child. Especially, or at least for Kinder. These are the formative years and this is not the environment you want your child to be forming anything in. Let me assure you, that we are not helicopter Parents, and that we thought long and hard about posting anything about SOEC. We do not want to be those people. But we can only hope that other Parents would do the same to protect our children. Our Kinder child has not only been grievously ignored, but actually neglected and was even injured with a swollen and bloodied knee without us being informed and without our child recieving help ( after telling teacher several times they were hurt ). We are not talking about an unwarrented amount of attention. Perhaps clean up the blood? An ice pack? A band aid?? THIS IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE OF MANY. Above all else, at SOEC your child will be taught that they do not matter.
I was very impressed by the way Principal Harr handled a very sensitive, student specific issue in the past. She didn't throw her hands up refusing to stand up for what is right as some unfortunately would, instead she courageously took the lead and set new precedents for her school. Every school can benefit from having this type of a Principal leading their school to a higher standard. Kudos, Mrs. Harr!!!
SOEC is a very good school! I was raised by a dedicated first grade teacher and I have high standards. My son is in second grade and has thrived academically and socially each year. We have been blessed with gifted and nurturing teachers who have my child, and many others, working above grade level. Most importantly, my son has made nice friends and loves school. His teachers have really fostered a love of learning. But it is more than just the academic standards - all students enjoy an amazing music teacher, an incredible art program, science lab and science teacher, a computer lab and computer teacher, and there is an orchestra, a theater program, and sports teams that keep winning district tittles. I have enjoyed a great level of communication with his teachers, all of whom have gone way above the call of duty and really love teaching children. It is a big elementary school that feels much smaller once you get involved and it is full of caring passionate parents and teachers. With the support of the parent organization budget cuts do not interfere with a quality well rounded education.
We LOVE SOEC. The parent involvement is amazing. And the teachers are caring and generous with their time. All LAUSD classes and schools are crowded but the teachers here do an amazing job of working with the students and parent volunteers are encouraged. The charter says the school needs to have a certain number of students and that is what the school has. LAUSD sets the norm for how many students are supposed to be in each grade - not the school itself so if you want to blame someone for the "overcrowded" class size, blame LAUSD not SOEC. It is not overcrowded, it is exactly at the number it is supposed to have so the posters speaking on the overcrowded nature of the school should gather more information before posting inaccuracies.
This school needs a lot of work. Teachers try their best. There is over 34 kids appx. in one class. Most of the kids dont belong at this school. The school needs to verify address more carefully most of the children are not suppose to attend this school.That is probably why its so crowded. There is no shade on playground. Not enough supervision. Bullying has to be addressed better. They don't move the bully at all. It doesn't matter if they are in the same class. I'm not the only person that has experienced this they are many. I am writing this so the school district can make changes. What is the use of living in an up scale neighbor hood if any one can attend this school? Principal needs a lot of training.
We have been at Sherman Oaks Elementary for 3 years and have had a great experience so far! I am really happy with the teachers we have had and the SOPA program.
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