My son has attended Walteria elementary from Pre-K and now he is at 3rd. What we have experienced in this school are all positive - great teachers with excellent caring minds and expertise, wonderful parents actively supporting the class and the school, and awesome and terrific kids! Someone told us that the school has around 25 different language speaking families, so very diversified. (We have multi-cultural night festival in May every two years, a fun and interesting event.) My son's friends' families are typically hard-working successful upper-middle class folks, taking great responsibilities in their careers and have very good common sense. That is really important when my kid does something crazy to other kids (it can happen). If needed, parents can talk in good sincere words with good caring hearts for both families. School teachers & principal support very good about what happening on campus and treat kids with fairness and most educational way. No nonsense I have ever encountered in our past 5 years at the school. We are so blessed about the very good teachers from the beginning at Pre-K, and then Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. All have different style and characters but one thing in common - they do care about the students and very dedicated to the early childhood education, I am pleased to give all of them 5 stars!
Also, we are fortunate to have great volunteers coming to the classes - teaching and sharing various kinds of interesting staffs and stories, not only arts / music but also histories and cultures. Walteria is big about Adventures of Art program, too.
One thing to note is that each teacher has different way. Some emphasis on science while others do more social studies. Some give more home works while others give less. So, there are variations but as far as I hear from other parents, there are no less-than-average teacher in the school.
There are always some limitations and challenges to the school (such as budget cuts) but we feel unity here at Walteria, teacher - parents - students working together to make the school better, all heading to one good direction. The bottom line - kids enjoy their precious time at Walteria, making solid academic foundation and will be ready for the next and higher schools. Overall, I am very confident about this school and highly recommend this school to all families of any cultural background.
Teachers and students are great, too, but the people behind the scene are the volunteers / class mothers and other supporters. Many of them are not given any reward but truly create great values at the school.
Again, each teacher has different style and methods. Some are more strict and some are more flexible. As far as we know, all of our son's teachers push the students in a good way and making them work toward their own goals properly. Thanks to their guidance, our son has made great progress over the years.
It depends on the teacher, and even at 2nd grade some teachers give homework everyday in stead of weekly. Some let students more projects. In general, we consider the homework are adequate and efficient to keep up good work and making good progress. We do not send our son to any other school or do not hire tutor to teach him about the school materials. He is just following the teacher's guidance and we believe it is just good enough.
Regarding English learner's situation, the school offers good programs to support the kids. They try very hard not to leave anyone behind. The school and teachers constantly monitor their kids performances, and adjust their programs to suit each student's developmental level.
The school make the students feel positive about their developments by constant encouragements.
Another program to develop such characteristics may be the reading challenge contest. It is all school event and winning class (which has the most reading minutes altogether) is rewarded to have a party. Individual high scorers are also awarded by the school.
School has many different ways to praise and honor the students. In classroom, teachers offer many kinds of encouragements by giving awards and certificates of accomplishments. Also in school level they have celebrations during Monday morning flag ceremony for someone making great achievements.
When our son has exit ELL (English Language Learner) program, parents were invited to the flag ceremony and celebrate all students who achieved the goal. There are various other programs (reading contest, science projects, etc.) they praise good achievements.
Also, at the Portfolio Day, all students have their art or science project display and proudly show them to his/her family. They have talent show, also, for those who are good at music or dancing performances. School keeps encouraging kids to develop and challenge something creative.
In other incidents that some other boys made, one pushed other who teased him, principal and other teachers had good survey and interviewed kids around them to reach fair judgement about the situation, and shared their view with parents of both sides, so all understand and resolve the matter in the most fair and peaceful way. They put high priority about eliminating bullying and other offensive behaviors in school, and do not leave the matters to parents but they do positively involve and function to maintain safe and caring environments in school.
There have been two incidents recently our son were involved, teasing others in inappropriate ways. He and friends were sent to the principal's room, and reported what happened. The principal gave them a task to write about human rights and such and could not play, that was their punishment. Our son had two such cases and one of the incident was not reported to parents in writing but our son told to mother about it. We were impressed that certainly the school teachers took great care of the kids - both sides in very educational way.
Moving into the area, I was told that Torrance schools, and Walteria in particular, were excellent, but it didn't take long to see major shortcomings. There is no school bus system. There is no Art, Music, or foreign language curriculum, which is why my child has four recesses. Art and music programs are sponsored by the PTA, but these should be supplemental to the core curriculum, not a substitution. Further, I do not need to be sent notices on the dangers of "entitled" children and giving them what they want when they have four recesses and no creative curriculum. The online presence is amateurish at best. There are four different explanations I've found online and in literature about how to put money into the lunch system, and not one word about how the children are to use the account. My child still hasn't been issued a card after over a month of enrollment. The only emphasis I can see is on academics, but the methodology and execution is suspect, resorting to gimmicks and canned curriculum, and class size is at capacity. Given the apparent lack of resources, I simply do not trust the school to adequately educate my children and will be looking to move soon.
Just Average....I believe there are a lot of changes that should be made at this school..The principal is rude and is completely controlled by her staff. I believe some of the teachers are just old school. The children are rushed thru their academics an the teachers are tired and over worked. This school is not teaching any new technologies and tends to be the same as it was 20 years ago. I hope they get on board with LAUSD and implement the ipad learning system.... For Torrance a change MUST be made