We moved to the area specifically to be part of this family-oriented community. Woodlake is truly a hidden gem of a school. It's relatively small (a good thing), the parents are well educated and highly involved. The principal, Mario Thompson, is an excellent leader. They have many different programs for the kids, art, music, gardening, computer lab, etc. Our kids are making life long friends with other kids who have the same energy, smarts and ambition as them. Our experience with the school has been stellar...and we also have private school experience to compare against. An unexpected bonus is that we have seen our property value continue to increase! It's only going to keep going up given the great schools in the area and the development of The Village Center (high end restaurants and shopping) on Topanga. Amazing for families and I wouldn't live anywhere else!
The school is an excellent community school. I live only a minute away from the school and couldn't be happier that we have such a gem of a school in our neighborhood. We couldn't be happier with the principal, educators and staff. The parents are very involved here and every kid matters! Both my children are thriving and we couldn't be happier!
There is a culture of everyone taking care of every kid at this school that I love. I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader and we have experienced 5 teachers, each and every one of them fantastic. The teachers here are attentive, responsive, collaborative, and great at teaching. The new principal is personable, knowledgeable, responsive and respectful, strong but friendly, and leads through example. Could not have dreamed of a better principal! He brings the best out of the teachers and everyone else. Even the after hours custodian at this school is caring and friendly. The PTSA is organized, inclusive, and very active. So many social events for parents and kids to get to know each other, get excited about coming to school, and build lasting fun memories. And last year alone 112 parents volunteered weekly in the classrooms. The Governance Council (50% parents and 50% staff), wields a lot of power over the charter budget, school policies, and represents the needs and wishes of parents and students well. This school has a lot of extras not provided by the district, including a full time library aide (as opposed to 1/2 time) and lots of new books for the library, 2.5 extra days a week of music instruction and lots of instruments and materials, technology in the classroom and in the technology lab, a phenomenal art program and art instruction for the teachers, lots of PE equipment and PE instruction and lesson plans for the teachers, field trips for every grade, assemblies, and so much more. We are VERY happy here.
I like that in the lower grades there is "mandatory" homework as well as "optional" homework. I also like how they allow us to go at the level of the child when it comes to reading and even writing. And I like how we get a week to turn in the homework in K-2, but they build the habit of doing your work every night in the upper grades.
The teachers, parent volunteers, and the staff, and the principal do a good job modeling these behaviors. The PTSA and the student government run donation programs to collect and donate everything from dog toys and blankets to shoes for third world countries to Halloween candy for kids in shelters to books/cloths/toys for the needy.
I've read some of the most recent comments. I can agree with some comments however, reading that the school would like to hire a principal like the previous one from three years ago. That would be worst thing we could do for our school. This school has lost it's way and forgot that the focus should be on our children. Lot's of drama between parents and teachers have been the main focus. We need to put our childrens needs first. I hope that we get a strong principal who can turn our school around.
We love Woodlake, we love the teachers and the PTA. This is our second year in Woodlake. My son loves going to school every morning. He shares many great stories about what happens at school. He loves his teacher. Our daughter is going to join Woodlake for kindergarten this year. We are excited, she is excited. Woodlake has strong PTA and they are very dedicated and well organized. We are a firm believer that a good school starts with good PTA.
I love this school! My son has been going since Kindergarten and is now in 4th grade and my daughter started this year in Kindergarten. The teachers are fantastic! Both of my children are doing very well. The school events are fun for both the kid's and the parents! My favorite is always the Monster Bash Halloween event in which I often bake items to be sold and my husband is the photographer at the photo booth. It really is a super fun event! When I hear of parent's looking for a school for the children I always recommend Woodlake!
Phenomenal School. Great teachers, very strong PTA, excellent academic program that caters to needs of different kids, plentiful and great art education, fantastic extra curriculars, lots of events that put fun into learning, and a tight nit community that is welcoming and diverse. If you are looking for a well-rounded education and a nurturing environment for your child, you have found the place. Only catch: you are expected to be involved in your child's academic and social education! Good news is, there are many different ways and opportunities to be involved, even for this single parent who works full time and makes little dough.