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.
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.
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).