I am starting this week with yet another fundraising request--this time for apple computers. I am not really convinced that this is the best way to spend donated money. If the district wants these kids practicing on expensive apple computers so they can take weeks long standardized test then the district needs to supply them, not us. For all the money we have been asked to donate, I feel short changed. There is no library and no art other than a few weeks of LAUSD provided "arts" which are mediocre at best, and do not go on year long. I am not sure every class even the little art we did at all. We do have a nice singing program and this kids perform twice a year. But not sure where the other money goes. The trees that shaded the playground were cut down and there is not shade on the hot blacktop yard. There is a large play yard but the kids are only allowed to spend recess on the small lower yard because of lack of supervision. This school is not so special. It seems to slip more every year.
If I could click no stars, I would. There is no library, no computer lab, and below 4th and 5th grades kids have very little access to computers. If I were a prospective parent, I would read the bad reviews posted on the site, because they are done in earnest. You will also notice that they are always buried by a handful of 5 star reviews directly after the honest review is posted. That's the overactive parent group trying to cover up what really happens.
Yesterday, I attended the Holiday performance at West Hollywood Elementary and was delighted! After much worry about the production team from last year that had quit and left the poor tech guy (who isn't even an LAUSD employee and basically does ALL this extra stuff out of love for the kids and the school) high and dry, the production moms from years prior that had graduated out the school, the beloved music teacher who had moved on to greener pastures and the really late start the children were getting with their song choices --- I was bracing for a disaster. Well, the first rate teachers & staff at WeHo EL swooped in to the rescue and once again produced a bright and sparkling little gem of a show! A couple of the 'go to' moms, decorated the stage, Peter was on lights and sound, the teachers filled in with some songs the kids wrote and some they could actually learn in time. They staged and designed props and rehearsed their little hearts out. The auditorium looked great, the kids were adorable and the show was its usual glorious production! Way to go WeHo! GREAT SHOW!
The review about 5 down about the school survey shows precisely the one problem at this school. Too many parents are only concerned about what they feel is best for them and their child and not about what is good for the school as a whole. Just because one parent felt that aides and PE were the priority were that greatest needs that may not reflect the opinion of the majority of the stakeholders. And to be clear, there are lots of aides at the school...they are placed in the classrooms with the highest needs such as primary classes and split classes. So to boil it down, 5 stars for the school and it's staff and about 2 stars for the parents.
I'm a tad frustrated with the negative reactions of some parents. No one could have predicted the issues that came up with the assigned principle- it's no one's fault. The folks who are referred to as the "clique do ALL the work, volunteer more than most of us Including me, my work schedule does not permit me to volunteer near enough time to the school, I wish I could. The more you get involved, the more influence you have. That is the way it works In ALL WALKS of life. Not just schools. . I am not a fan of cliques, I am a fan of the consistent volunteers who are at the school. They spend more time then I do, and more time then most parents. We can't even get parents to help with stop and drop! Which is a simple task, and fun to boot. Stop and drop are the same faces, over and over.Because of the volunteers, our school is doing great. , The board spends exhausting amount of time and energy trying to keep things running. If there is not enough PE, then take your child out to exercise. Don't rely on the school to exercise your child. Come up with solutions, not ongoing complaints. It benefits no one to keep complaining without having a solution !
Today I received a letter requesting more donations. But last spring I prioritized the spending in a parent survey putting PE and TA's on top. My child still has no TA and gets PE only once a week, less that LAUSD's own mandatory minimum requirement for elementary school. This makes WHE substandard in basic fitness. They parent org funds things a bit out of order, prioritizing luxuries like a full time computer repair guy over fine arts are more TA's. They pay a heafty price for an RTI coordinator that helps only a small group of kids whose needs could be met if the parents sought out special services through the district. Until the parent org goes back to its mission statement and is financing arts and the basics, they will continue to lost financial support from the families as well as losing great families to other schools as they did in droves this past year. Ho Hum. Fourth principal in 3 years. Lost some great teachers too. Future not too bright.
We are in our 3rd year at this school and we truly love it. The teachers love what they do and are thoughtful, hands-on and rigorous. I truly feel that the KIDS are what comes first at this gem of a school. The parent organization is one of the best boosters in all of LA. They work so hard to give our children art, music, PE, TAs, field trips, writing and reading coaches, technology and more. (All the stuff LAUSD no longer provides.) Sure they ask for money and run lots of fundraisers, but 100% of the money goes to student programs and you can see how they spend every single dollar. (It's all published.) My child is thriving in this environment and I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing community. We have a new principal who seems incredibly approachable and has a great vision as well.
This is my 5th year as a parent at West Hollywood Elementary. I am writing this in response to the one posted on 9/2. Inaccurate and full of assumptions. But the worse was judging the teachers. I have had great experiences with all of my teachers and since I have more than I child, I have pretty much almost experienced all of them in one way or another. They are dedicated and they really care for our children. There are social dynamics at every school. But you should definitely go to another school if you think things are different elsewhere.