Overall, this is a good school, with lots of free extra activities BUT what happens in the classroom can be totally different from one teacher to another. Our son -who is an excellent student- has had average to really good teachers at CCC but this year's 4th grade teacher, Ms. Melkanoff, is really a stickler, to the extreme and can be truly mean to the kids (using words like "dummy" when a kid makes a mistake). More and more parents are disappointed in her teaching skills and she now has a reputation of being a hypocrite in front of the parents. We didn't want to listen to these warnings for years, always being positive about our school experience, but now we're sorry we didn't. We would have asked to move our son to a different class. Of course, nobody is perfect and again Carpenter is a good school, always trying to improve the overall development of the community, but this teacher is extreme and we're talking as parents being pretty firm with our kids ourselves, so imagine!
There are good and bad things about the school, but in my opinion it is largely overrated. I think the only good staff at the school are the principal and the science teacher. Both are impressive and exceptional. Nothing else about the school is notable. There are a lot of BAD teachers at the school who seem to run the show. The school year is predicated by the teacher and can be miserable. One child had abysmal teachers. Each year my child spent all day in a boring class getting screamed at by mean, uninteresting teachers who should have retired ten or 20 years ago. My older child is moving on to a highly gifted magnet, but not without totally turning off to school in the elementary years first. My child was not only not challenged whatsoever all the way through school, but was put into special ed at carpenter for a stretch, which was a joke. The second grade teacher even told me my child must be autistic because she had a hard time teaching to my kid because my child finished work so fast and seemed bored. The next year my child was identified as highly gifted. They have no resources whatsoever for anything that is outside the bell curve. They are incapable of challenging bright children with work that is not rote and the typical worksheet stuff. There is nothing outside the box going on here. They only seem to teach to the standardized tests. My other child had better teachers, but was bullied all of the way through. My main gripe though is the school is SO overcrowded the kids are packed in like sardines. They can't run at recess and lunch because there's not enough staff watching them. Both my kids have had serious issues with other kids and bullying at the school mainly during recess and lunch and in the star after school program. Some notable memories are one of my kids being chased around by a kid with scissors. Another time my other child was threatened by a child who was wielding a hammer around after school--also in the star after school program. There's so many people everywhere it's hard to breathe just walking the kids into school in the morning. It seems like there are so many people there they can't all be living in studio city because one doesn't see as many children out and about in studio city as at the school. My older child had 40 kids in class in fifth grade.
Both my boys attended Carpenter. They graduated and left feeling well prepared for Jr High. Carpenter has great teachers and there is tons of involvement from your parents, which make the school so much more pleasant to visit. Ms. Parseghian and Mr Lapittus stood out for us as both my boys had these teachers in 4th and 5th grade. They really prepare these kids and check them when they need to be checked. They hold them accountable for what they are learning and make it stick. I moved to this area just so that I could bring my boys here. It was the best decision as they have solid friends with solid parents with a solid community of involvement.
There once was a man that entered a village and asked the mayor what the people were like. The mayor asked the man about his experience in the last village "they were wonderful, kind people" the mayor then said you will find the same people in this village. Another man approached and asked the same question to the mayor and the mayor asked the man about his experience in the last village "they were rude and unfriendly" the mayor then said you will find the same people in this village. That "dirty play yard" and grass area is a haven for kids to run around and work out indifferences, issues with their friends or just dig in the dirt for bugs. Get involved and then make the right choice for your child. Leave the negative energy out the door. Good Luck.
We have two kids at Carpenter. We contemplated the private schools and then found that Carpenter is just as good. The principal is passionate and committed and it all trickles down to the faculty. I like that the parent body is very involved. There is a strong sense of community. Most importantly, my kids are learning and thriving and have a sense of safety and community.
Not the school for a child who needs any amount of special attention. They make it clear that they would rather have your leave them to give you the support you need and deserve. It's sad that a public school chooses to run off the kids who are not perfect, my tax dollars are wasted since I have to hire all kinds of support that the school won't provide unless we sue the district.
Families that do not like this school need to do one of two things: 1) Get involved and be a part of making the school what you'd like for your child or 2) Leave We're overcrowded as it is. If you are not happy, then go. There are plenty of public and private schools nearby that would gladly enroll you. This school community works very hard for ALL students including yours, and we really only want to be surrounded by people that are positive. Yay!
I don't get the hype about this school. What a mess! The campus is filthy, the facility way overcrowded and there is a pathetic green space that they call a "play yard." Drop off and pick up are a logistical nightmare with all the traffic on Laurel Canyon. It really doesn't live up to the hype, sorry.
We came from England in 2011 and our daughter went into 3rd Grade. A shock to our system in every way! She had previously attended a tiny school in a leafy village town in Surrey. She was made to feel totally welcome and special. The teachers were excellent and although the class sizes are big, she never slipped through the cracks. She had trouble keeping on top of the work but now in 5th Grade she is really enjoying it. Mr Brietstein is an amazing teacher, the right balance in everything. We are going to be sad to move on at the end of this year as it really is a tough act to follow! The Principal Mr.Martinez is incredible and should defo run for president..: )