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GreatSchools Rating

Fern Elementary School

Public | K-5

 

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Living in Torrance

Situated in an urban neighborhood. The median home value is $539,500. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,750.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
No new ratings
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

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16 reviews of this school


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Posted November 5, 2013

front office staff is very rude and unprofessional. class sizes are huge 30+ student teacher ratio and children are treated as a number rather than valuable voice.


Posted August 2, 2013

Fern Elementary School is a Title 1, multicultural school with approximately 500 students. Our main building is a registered landmark. In addition to that we have just added a new facility containing 16 classrooms. These new classrooms are equip with SmartBoards and multiple computer stations and hook-ups. The dedicated staff of educators is continually striving for excellence in learning by developing programs that will inspire the next generation of problem solvers, innovators, and game changers. Our teachers work hard to create, lay, and build a solid foundation of thinking and learning for all students. The Fern PTA (Parent Teacher Association) continues the tradition of a strong and active organization that supports all areas of fun and learning for the teachers and students. Parent volunteers are an energetic and vital part of our school. Together with teachers volunteers support the learning environment for students both during the day and after school hours. This year Fern Elementary is moving into the newly adopted Common Core Standards. As we move forward we are committed to excellence in learning for all.
—Submitted by a teacher


Posted June 18, 2012

I am rating the Fern School with 5 stars bases on the following teachers, my daughters attended from 2nd to 5th grades, they had many outstanding teachers, 2nd Grade Mrs. Garrison / Mrs Vega, Mrs Tenille, 3rd grade Ms. Hagen & Mrs Tenille, 4th grade (no comments) - 5th grade Mrs. Ahola & Mrs Byars - also Ms Williams (terrific teacher) - All this teachers have a great attitude, spirit of teaching, my girls were looking forward to come to school, learn, and challenge themself.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 13, 2012

I love Fern, Mrs Gausman is so kinda and takes special attention with the kindergarten class.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 30, 2011

My family has had a great time at Fern Elementary. We have had excellent teachers that my children have loved and I have appreciated. We like the smaller enrollment and feel like we are part of a tight community of friends. The construction is unfortunate, but the kids are not bothered and have quickly adjusted to the space limitations. I look forward to the new building and many more great years at Fern.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 7, 2011

The principal of the school is unprofessional and lacks compassion. She is inconsistent in her disciplinary actions and is unwilling to work with parents when special circumstances arise.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 9, 2010

This is the elementary school that I went to and now my niece and nephew are going there. Unfortunately like many schools the facility could use some work but overall I think the children could use some TLC wether it be scool books, a special day for them on or off campus... I just feel that they deserve something special to happen for and to them. Everyone needs to feel special and I think this will help the many children and teachers their. They are remodeling the school cafateria and they say that will be over a year to do. Sadly to say they are having a few different lunch breaks with various age groups and they are not able to enjoy the play yard as they should. Please pick this school...


Posted May 18, 2010

Fern has many dedicated teachers who are passionate about the children's education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 11, 2010

Not a good school especially for the 5th grade. Teachers are doing their jobs but not with their best efforts..Some might be lazier than the others.Only few are working as hard as they could to help..Just compare their score with other schools...Big differences..
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 5, 2009

Fern has the best teachers ever! All three of my children got their atart at this school and have grown into successful adults.


Posted May 12, 2009

I believe Fern Elementary school to be a poor academic learning facility. The teacher to parent communication is non-existant, multiple requests pertaining to a student's performance go unanswered, and progress reports are late or incomplete. State testing shows consistently poor performance, especially in Mathematics. Weekly updates are not sent out weekly, and sometimes months go by in between updated information. The staff is often reluctant and late in answering requests for information. Extra-curricular activities are marginal. Class sizes increasing greatly next year which will lead to even worse academic performance.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 28, 2008

Fern is a very warm, vintage feeling school with a big heart! The parent community is coming together to do great things for the kids.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2007

My youngest daughter attended fern for three years.I have to say that fern is not that great fo a place and it is due to leadership of the school Principals need to listen to parents support parents and also take care of situations that need to be addressed this school has a lack of leadership starting at the top.teachers are burnt out and it shows in their attitude and how they treat the kids,it is sad when kids look for role models and can't find them at school.There are 1 or 2 excellent teachers there one is Mrs.Santome many teachers could learn from her she is a great example of what a teacher should be.over all Torrance has a poor school system.Both of my kids grades went down while being there!now we are back in the O.C grades now straight a's.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 18, 2006

Fern has some after school programs that my son enjoys - chess, art, etc. They are inexpensive and good for the kids. Most of the teachers are great but we have a few grumpy ones just like any other school. We really like the principal. She cares about the kids and the school and she is very nice. Just like other schools, we have a handful of very involved parents who do most of the work. They are welcomed into the school and help out quite a bit. One shortcoming about Fern is that it never seems to have enough money. When the teachers need supplies, they don't always get them and have to often buy them out of their personal budget. All in all, I would definitely recommend Fern to other parents. I am thankful that it is our school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 22, 2005

We are new here in the US and my son joined Fern School last January. Needless to say my son went through several adjustments considering the cultural differences he was faced. However, the staff at Fern made him feel good. Let me mention the kindness and caring attention he got from Mrs. Vega and Mrs. Garrison who were his teachers in 2nd grade. He is also very happy about Ms. Crider the librarian. He was not a reader when he started but now he is very interested in reading with these people's help.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 4, 2004

Fern is a pretty good school with a good support community. There is a wide variance of quality among teachers; if you get a good one, life is good. But there are some, especially older ones, who seem to have lost their enthusiasm for the job or are just getting lazy. The principal is pretty tight-fisted but she cares about the school and its students. She also is approachable and easy to access. The schoolgrounds are so-so and undergoing a bit of an overhaul. There's a historic aspect to the school.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

The API reflects year-over-year schools performance based on STAR test score results from spring 2013.

This school's
API score

843

Change from
2012 to 2013

-21

API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

4 / 10


API Growth scores over time

Did this school meet the API goal this year?
The state goal for API is 800. All schools that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met the state goal of 800.

API Growth scores by subgroup

In addition to schoolwide API scores, each student subgroup receives an API score.
Did this school meet all the API goals for student subgroups this year?
The state goal for the API is 800. All the student subgroups at a school that are below 800 are assigned an API improvement target each year.
  • This school met all student subgroup API targets for 2013

This school's
API score

843

What is the API?
The Academic Performance Index (API) is a single number assigned to each school by the California Department of Education to measure overall school performance and improvement over time on statewide testing. The API ranges from 200 and 1000, with 800 as the state goal for all schools.
Change from
2012 to 2013

-21

Change from 2012 to 2013
Comparing the API Growth to the Base shows whether or not this school's test score performance improved between Spring 2012 and Spring 2013. The API ranges between 200 and 1000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools. Schools scoring below an 800 are given at least a 5 point target for the next year.
API Statewide Rank
(2012)

8 / 10

API Statewide Rank (2012)
The API Statewide Rank ranges from 1 to 10. A rank of 10, for example, means that the school’s API fell into the top 10% of all schools in the state with a comparable grade range. The 2012 rank is based on results from tests students took in Spring 2012.
API Similar Schools Rank (2012)

4 / 10

API Similar Schools Rank (2012)
The API Similar Schools Rank ranges from 1 to 10. It shows how the school compares to other schools with similar student demographic profiles. The California Department of Education uses parent education level, poverty level, student ethnicity and other data to identify similar schools.
English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 56% in 2013.

81 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
57%

2012

 
 
67%

2011

 
 
66%

2010

 
 
62%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

81 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
67%

2012

 
 
71%

2011

 
 
66%

2010

 
 
63%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 46% in 2013.

80 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
59%

2012

 
 
55%

2011

 
 
51%

2010

 
 
50%
Math

The state average for Math was 66% in 2013.

82 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
75%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
72%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 65% in 2013.

69 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
74%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
80%
Math

The state average for Math was 72% in 2013.

70 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
74%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
87%

2010

 
 
76%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

The state average for English Language Arts was 60% in 2013.

83 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
73%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
83%

2010

 
 
65%
Math

The state average for Math was 65% in 2013.

83 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
64%
Science

The state average for Science was 57% in 2013.

83 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
70%

2012

 
 
87%

2011

 
 
81%

2010

 
 
69%
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students57%
Females61%
Males53%
African Americann/a
Asian71%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino45%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)41%
Economically disadvantaged48%
Non-economically disadvantaged61%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability59%
English learner58%
Fluent-English proficient and English only56%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduate24%
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)50%
Parent education - college graduate81%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate83%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students67%
Females79%
Males58%
African Americann/a
Asian93%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino58%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)55%
Economically disadvantaged52%
Non-economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability72%
English learner68%
Fluent-English proficient and English only68%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduate43%
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)56%
Parent education - college graduate95%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate92%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students59%
Females60%
Males57%
African Americann/a
Asian64%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino38%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)83%
Economically disadvantaged41%
Non-economically disadvantaged71%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability59%
English learner18%
Fluent-English proficient and English only65%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)70%
Parent education - college graduate55%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate65%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students74%
Females79%
Males69%
African Americann/a
Asian86%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino57%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)89%
Economically disadvantaged64%
Non-economically disadvantaged82%
Students with disability55%
Students with no reported disability77%
English learner64%
Fluent-English proficient and English only76%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)74%
Parent education - college graduate86%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate82%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students74%
Females81%
Males67%
African Americann/a
Asian64%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino71%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)79%
Economically disadvantaged76%
Non-economically disadvantaged73%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability73%
English learner40%
Fluent-English proficient and English only83%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)75%
Parent education - college graduate65%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students74%
Females78%
Males70%
African Americann/a
Asian79%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino73%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)86%
Economically disadvantaged68%
Non-economically disadvantaged77%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability77%
English learner53%
Fluent-English proficient and English only80%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talentedn/a
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)71%
Parent education - college graduate74%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduaten/a
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

English Language Arts

All Students73%
Females76%
Males69%
African Americann/a
Asian67%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino55%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)90%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Non-economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability72%
English learner9%
Fluent-English proficient and English only82%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talented100%
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)75%
Parent education - college graduate69%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate88%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Math

All Students70%
Females71%
Males69%
African Americann/a
Asian87%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino55%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)70%
Economically disadvantaged54%
Non-economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability71%
English learner55%
Fluent-English proficient and English only72%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talented100%
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)60%
Parent education - college graduate76%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate76%
Parent education - declined to staten/a

Science

All Students70%
Females66%
Males74%
African Americann/a
Asian67%
Filipinon/a
Hispanic or Latino62%
American Indian or Alaska Nativen/a
Native Hawaiiann/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Samoann/a
Other Pacific Islandern/a
White (not Hispanic)80%
Economically disadvantaged54%
Non-economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilityn/a
Students with no reported disability71%
English learner36%
Fluent-English proficient and English only75%
Migrant educationn/a
Gifted and talented100%
Parent education - not a high school graduaten/a
Parent education - high school graduaten/a
Parent education - some college (includes AA degree)70%
Parent education - college graduate72%
Parent education - graduate school/post graduate94%
Parent education - declined to staten/a
Scale: % proficient or advanced

About the tests


In 2012-2013 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the California Department of Education; if there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: California Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
Hispanic 37%
White 25%
Asian 18%
Two or more races 8%
Black 3%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 35%N/AN/A
English language learners 23%N/AN/A
Source: CA Dept. of Education, 2013-2014

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
First-year teachers 0%N/AN/A
Source: Civil Rights Data Collection, 2011-2012

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • Valerie Williams
Fax number
  • (310) 972-6393

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Title I Targeted Assistance program (TAS)
School leaders can update this information here.

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1314 Fern Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: (310) 533-4506

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