The good: We've had two kids at Calabash since kinder and nearly all their teachers have been EXCELLENT. Many have gone way above and beyond the call of duty. The mediocre: Parent involvement at this school is weak. The PTA is dedicated and there's a small group of parents that volunteer their time but, for the most part, when it comes to fundraising and helping out at school events, most parents want nothing to do with it. The bad: Sergeant Gillis. She does absolutely nothing to create a nurturing, fun environment for the kids to learn in. It's pretty obvious to most of us that she has her sights set on climbing the LAUSD administrative ladder and all of her decisions are motivated by her own personal goals. Having said all this, our kids have received a great education at Calabash, made great friends and our overall experience has been very positive.
WOW! The rebuttal post about the parent who complained about the winter show has just been deleted. So much for free speech! Let me reiterate that the complaint was unwarranted -- this parent should be thanking the principal and administrators for complying with the City of LA Fire Codes. Due to the high enrollment, the auditorium cannot accommodate the large crowds that usually accompany the winter show.
I love Calabash... Great school, super friendly environment. I love that there is a lot of focus on academics, but arts are not forgotten :-) The teachers are very good and pretty friendly to us parents. Mrs. Gillis is a great leader. She is very strict; however she has a soft spot in her heart for the kids, she knows every kid by name and I love how she dresses up for Dr. Seuss day. Parents are very involved and they are very down to earth and friendly. It's a great environment for my kid and she is very happy here. I am happy too. So glad I chose Calabash for my daughter instead of our neighborhood school.
Please excuse my typo on my below review. Should read "principals" not "principles". Can an administrator of this site please edit for me? Thank you! Go Calabash! Calabash rocks!
This school is the "hidden gem" of the valley. Small private school experience for public school price! I have a 2nd grader and 4th grader. One was identified as gifted and one needed an IEP. So I experienced both ends of the spectrum. The kids were always treated the same and both have gotten much love, respect, and support. The teachers are experienced and patient yet strict. The school focuses on growing them into responsible, self sufficient learners. Thd parents and PTA are very active and the kids get many extra curricular activities such as ball room dancing, music, YMCA lead PE, yoga, art and interesting guest speakers. The best thing is the small family like environment. Everyone knows everyone and it feels like a village where we all look out for each others kids.
I absolutely love Calabash. My son is in 2nd grade and has been their since kinder. The teachers are amazing as well as the principal and parent involvment.
I think Calabash Charter is stellar as far as schools in the west valley. I have a niece and nephew who have been attending Calabas since Kinder. Now that they are in 4th and 2nd grade the growth I have seen first hand is incredible. Everyone at this school really truly care about each and every child! Unfortunately my niece and nephew lost their father at a young age and the parents and teachers and staff have been so great and supportive given this tough situation. I want to thank calabash for just that! Thank you for making my sister and her amazing children better day by day!
Calabash is truly an amazing school. We have now two kids at this school. at k- and at 4th grader. The principal is always involved in all activities, always present on campus, she even knows most of the kids names. I thought that was impressive. The teachers are great , the office staff are very helpful and the PTA is so strong a lot of fundraisings . I am glad we chose this school . Go Calabash!!!!
This school is an absolute gem. It has a small, neighborhood school feel with an incredibly involved and invested group of parents. I'd rank Calabash a 6 out of 5 if I could. Principal Gillis is an incredible leader and sets the bar for what a school principal should be. The teachers are ALL wonderful here; truly not a bad apple in the bunch. Could not be happier with the school. Tax dollars well spent!
Calabash is truly a wonderful school with amazing leadership, parents, staff, and students. I am relatively new at this school, although I have been in teaching for many years. I am always amazed at the dedication of all administrators, teachers, teacher assistants, and staff (custodial, lunch, etc.) that put 100% of their energy into making Calabash an exemplary academic, safe, and respectful school for all students. I feel it a privilege to work here.
I LOVE CALABASH! My son just finished his first year in Kindergarden and I couldn't be happier. His teacher was expecting and would be having her baby during the school year but they made sure to keep their substitute teacher the entire year so the kids wouldn't be subject to too much change. The parents are great and even though the free after school program is for kids in 2nd grade and up, I am glad that I decide to send my son here. I can't wait until my daughter starts there as well.
My daughter has attended this school since 1st grade. I have been very happy with the teachers and parent involvement. I do like the current principal, but often feel that she needs to "update" the needs of the school and extend her knowledge of current technology. I often feel as if she refers to an outdated LAUSD manual and at times seems unwilling to explore options that could greatly improve the school. That said, I think she truly cares about each student and the families: she seems to know each child by name and has a caring interest in their educational future.
Calabash has changed tremendously over the past 6 years since a new principal arrived. Once the small gem of the valley the school has been overtaken by non sensical rules, little care for families with both parents working and a principal who is more like a dictator. It seems that rules and order have over taken concern, care and any sort of individual treatment of students. A shame that there is not a concern for the big picture. Since becoming a charter school in 2011 there has been little investment in technology, science or extra curricular activities other than a few more field trips. The leadership has become a little cold in the past few years.
Calabash simply cares. My daughter is in first grade and her teacher is simply amazing. The parents and staff work together to create a feeling of family. The school has only 400 students, so most of the staff knows your child by their first name. They challenge each child to be the very best they can be. They are integrating new technology like ipods into their class curriculum (which my child absolutely LOVES) as well as their after school intervention. A private school education for FREE!!!!
I have been a part of Calabash for the past 6 years. My son attends Middle School now. The first thing students are taught here is to be kind and respectful. As a sixth grader, he stands out from the rest of the students. He was not only taught the academics, but how to organize, prepare and learn. The principal is amazing! If you don't like her, it s probably because you don't like rules. She runs the school with a BIG picture in mind. The GATE classes don't have "only" GATE kids. And, that's the beauty of it. I didn t want my GATE child to be surrounded by only "gate" kids-when the real world is not that way. How would he learn to be patient, polite and thoughtful towards others learning with him? He was challenged from day one by with teachers, and he built self confidence and character. The quality of school Calabash is -is more than superb! Each staff member works towards the benefits of the students. Technology, the Arts and science and music play a big role in the curriculum at Calabash. I feel fortunate about being a part of Calabash because besides the students, principal, teachers and staff it has some great involved, caring parents too!
This is our first year at Calabash and I am very happy we chose this school. My child is in kindergarten and doing very well. I was concerned that my kid might not be challenged in a public school, but her teacher presents an exciting curriculum that allows her to deepen her understanding of the material. The children are all very respectful and very bright! The PTA is awsome and very welcoming. The principal seems on top of thing and In my experience very approachable. Overall, I would highly recommend this school.
I have a 4th, 2nd & 1st grader & this is our first year at this school. so far I can't stop raving about this wonderful place! the staff & parents are so involved & are truly out for the students best interests. I must say it is a completely new experience for not only my children but myself to finally have a school where everyone is actually involved for the education & doesn't see school as just some place kids can go & be watched while the parents go to work! it is a diverse environment & small which I love! my only issue is the after school care - which the school can't really do much about. Beyond the Bell offers free after school care for 2nd - 5th which leaves my 1st grader out. they do have a creative kids program which is offered to 1st & k but it is not affordable to us & they do not prorate their fee (I only need child care for about an hour not the full 4 that the program charges for) - & it also filled up on the first day! be back at the end of the school year to give a full review!
Still "BEST SCHOOL EVER". This is my 3rd year at Calabash and I couldn't have made a better choice, Each year gets better and my daughter is so happy to be there everyday!! From my observations, all the staff seem to know every child by name. The Principal and the Teachers take great care in placement of the children in classes based on their needs. It is like being at a private school. Parent involvement is great considering the size of the school and even then, working parents take their time off to partipate in scholl and class activities. We love it so much.
F A N T A S T I C school. Great teachers, staff, and extremely helpful PTA parents. I've even warmed up to Mrs. Gillis, the principal, who obviously tries her very best everyday and is doing a great job. I'm really excited about our new Charter school status and am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer. Keep up the great work, Calabash!
My child attends Kindergarten at Calabash I could not have dreamed of a better school experience for my child. The kindergarten teacher, Ms. Bowes, is just amazing. These children are learning academically and socially. They are such a well behaved and respectful group of children. The parent involvement is stellar and the Principal, Ms. Gillis, was able to put a team together of parents and teachers that got Calabash approved to be a charter school for September 2011. My child is happy, learning and has made some good friends already. We hope this all continues
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