My son is a Kinder in the Mandarin Immersion Program (MI) at Broadway Elementary School. We're almost at the end of the Kinder year and couldn't be happier with the school, the teachers and all the parents we met throughout the year. Like many other families, we permitted out of our highly rated school district to give this a shot and we're so happy that we did. My son is now singing, speaking, writing and reading in both Mandarin and English at almost equal fluency. If you're looking for an academically challenging school while having fun learning it and with a family feel, then this is the right school/program for you. I disagree with one of the previous reviewers that the school hardly offers any opportunity for parent involvement. If anything, I almost think it offers too many opportunities. ;)
Our daughter is now wrapping up her second year in the Mandarin Immersion program and we couldn't be happier. Parents of preschool friends often gave us dumbfounded looks when we told them that we were not going to our neighborhood's 10-rated Westwood Charter, but after two years we strongly feel that we made the right choice. Don't be fooled by the 7-rating on Great Schools, as that average is pulled down by the neighborhood school children who share this campus with the two immersion programs. The Mandarin Immersion program has only completed one year of API testing and scored a perfect 10, yet probably deserves even better due to the added difficulty of learning to speak, read and write in two very different languages. The environment is super friendly and the children have so much fun that they don't realize how much they are learning. (Don't believe the other review that claims the school is very strict, its not true.) This is as good as it gets for public schools, and none of the nearby private or charter schools offer the rigor of a dual language education.
I highly recommend the Mandarin Program. My son is in first grade and not only is he speaking Mandarin to me, his English and Math are either on par or ahead of other non-immersion schools. That was a big concern for me so I try to evaluate the English portion to make sure that we're not sacrificing the English portion. The teachers are great, they are caring but they make it clear that they are there to teach. Music and art are incorporated into the lessons as much as they can. The parent community is very involved and the principal and teachers are responsive to parent concerns. I couldn't be happier with the program!
The newly formed Spanish Immersion program is incredible. Such amazing teachers for my Kinder kid - they are both so kind and caring and teach so well together as a team. After only a few months my son is singing and talking in Spanish and best part, he loves it! I have to pry him away from the after program and listen to him teach me spanish the whole walk home. The parents are wonderful and very involved and working hard to expand the program and add more - already we have 2 fun festivals, monthly movie nights, book fairs, pot lucks, etc. So great to have an excellent PUBLIC school, offering dual Spanish/English learning with diversity and a strong sense of community!
Our son started Kindergarten this year in the Spanish Immersion (SI) program, and he is really enjoying it. :) It's split 50% instruction in English, and 50% instruction in Spanish. Everyday now he comes home singing Spanish songs and making jokes in Spanish - and we're not even at 100 days yet! Overall seems like a terrific school with a super supportive parent community. The SI program is just two years new, so there are still some growing pains, but still, great people, wonderful kinder teachers, and a fabulous school leader in vice principal Olegario Maravilla. I see a real drive to make the school more than exceptional, and strongly believe in Broadway SI's potential and raising the bar for what a neighborhood elementary school should be. We could have gone to the other "neighborhood" school with just a regular all English program, but we thought about the future, and if our son sticks with the SI program track all the way through high school, he'll be fully college level literate in Spanish before graduation. I couldn't think of a better long term life skill to have living in Southern California. More so, my son is a happy learner at Broadway SI with happy parents!
We are in our second year at Broadway Mandarin Immersion and we are absolutely impressed by the quality of teaching that we are receiving in a Public School! Our son is learning Chinese, he adores his teachers and has made many friends. Our principal has amazing leadership and compassion. The parents are very involved and the population is diverse.
Broadway Elementary is trying to do something beyond what most parents in regular English programs can understand. Any negative reviews for this school by previous posters are most likely not in either the MI or SI programs. This was a failing school all but a few years ago. The MI program came in and raised up this school that no one in the local community really seemed to care about. The principal is currently being split between three programs, having to deal with LAUSD politics along with the daily issues of running a school. I applaud what the MI and SI programs are trying to do, it requires strong parental involvement, time and money. This is not just a drop your kids off at school place. The program's success is a reflection of how much the parents ARE the school.
This school is amazing academically but if you are looking for feel good, creative program-- do not look at the Mandarin Program. It is strict and lacks fun. It seems like the school could do something to make it a more enjoyable experience for kids. Also, they ask the parents for A LOT of money! There is no room for lower income families if you ask me. They cater to the rich.
Second time posting... seems like my first post was deleted. Here is goes again. My worst decision as a parent was to send my son to this school. The school is split into 2 programs and it is pretty clear to see which program is favored. The principal seems to undermine the intelligence of the parents and act as if this isn t obvious to see. The teachers lack enthusiasm for teaching and the office staff could learn some manners from my 6 year old son. The school hardly offers the opportunity for parent involvement which makes it difficult to have a strong relationship with the staff. Worst school in this district! Stay away!
Broadway is a great school. We went with the Mandarin program because research shows learning a pictorial language (Chinese, Arabic etc ) in conjunction with a phonetic language (English) challenges the brain even more. Plus, the Mandarin program parents have raised funds so every Mandarin classroom has a TA and the children (in every grade) get to take multiple field trips (unlike the other programs at Broadway, and the majority of schools within LAUSD). To date, LAUSD has not committed any funds towards moving the program to another location and has failed to execute any previous plans for such a move. I don t think they have the money to build anything, anywhere, on the Westside. Time will tell.