The school has a great program for supporting kids who are struggling with behavior issues. They use positive supportive measures to pre-emptivly allow kids a way to take a "time out" when overwhelmed (private desk, noise cancelling headphones, etc). Meditation is used for all kids as a regular way to self-calm when needed.
Studies show that homework in the early grades is quite detrimental to long term success. In Kindy, there is fun homework once a week or so that is totally optional.
In first grade, there is about the same amount, although not optional.
We have had zero homework battles, and my kid has learned SO MUCH!
This is our second year at Arleta. I had always thought I would send my kid to a "specialty" school - charter or private, but when the time came, neighborhood was best!
We did get in at a charter for Kindergarten, but turned it down after meeting and forming a relationship with the Kindy teacher.
Our son was a reluctant school-goer for preschool, but has been happy (for the most part) to go to both K and 1st.
Every day they have either PE, Music, or Art, kids can be in theatre even in the early grades, and there is an active PTA to keep it that way even as funding crises arise.
We love having so many friends so close, and have playdates several times a week.
The school is an inclusive environment, with posters everywhere that welcome all families, which is of major importance to our family.
Arleta k8 has many challenges and, in my opinion, meets them with competence, good intent, and a positive attitude. I'm not just talking about one or two people, I'm talking about a staff wide 'can do' attitude. It is evident in the growing PTA, the smiles on the kids' faces that go there, the relief on the parents' faces that this little gem is our neighborhood's school.
This is a school on a clear, demonstrated path of growth and success. In a couple more years there will be a wait list to get your kid in here. Parents continue to get more and more involved, more and more students that come, stay through the eighth grade (this is a new development). Enrollment is growing.
I don't say these things lightly, due to a couple moves, our girl and boy attended four other pre schools and elementary schools. Factoring in the ease in our family unit's life by living within walking distance of school, our total family's life and health is now far better thanks to Arleta. My wife and kids no longer spend 2 hours per day in traffic driving to an out of area school. Our kids play dates are all within ten blocks of where we live... These things are huge, and not to be discounted.
The academics are okay, not stellar, and definitely not terrible. They are competent. I think that is a reflection on the challenges each teacher faces with a diverse student body. There is no doubt in my mind that the kids teachers are excellent. I've watched them teach, see how they organize their classrooms, and seen how the kids get down to business. While the music program is very strong, I feel the visual arts program currently is the weakest program at the school. I'm sure it will improve as enrollment grows, because the extra students will bring extra funding.
Overall class sizes average less than 25 kids per class, every middle school student has a chrome book. Just as importantly, the counseling and support is adequately funded, interpersonal problems between students are dealt with in a compassionate, yet firm way.
I want to be clear, I'm not saying the school is perfect and shouldn't change a thing. There are many challenges, and in my opinion, they are being honestly dealt with, subject to reality. All in all, I drop my kids off each morning confident that they have a great chance to thrive that day. Our kids have now been there for multiple teachers each, we plan to stay.
I am not happy with how things are run at Arleta. The vice principal is excellent. That however is the only thing that I would give 5 stars to. My child has had so many issue with bullying and has had a really tough time at this school. My child has been going there for 4 years, and every year seems to get worse and worse. It's ridiculous. My child will not be coming back next year.
We have been at Arleta for the last three years and have loved every minute of it. The teachers and staff are outstanding. They foster a love of community, academics and the arts. They are dedicated and caring. Families in the neighborhood volunteer their time to support this wonderful school. My children have made many friends in the neighborhood through the school. They love attending Arleta!
Arleta is our neighborhood school and we love being part of the school community. This year I'll have a 3rd grader and kindergartener. Our 3 years at Arleta have been great and my son's teachers have been excellent. The administration is very approachable and responsive to questions and concerns. There is a great group of talented parents who always help out in the classroom and for special events. My kids have made many friends at Arleta and enjoy visiting their friends in the neighborhood. Great School!
Do not send your kids to this school if you want them to get an education. The high rate of turnover from staff- both teachers and the principal- says a lot for the environment at Arleta. I have two kids that attended this school for the 4th/5th and 6th/7th grades, respectively. Both were in the TAG program in their previous school (we moved locally), but Arleta doesn't even have a TAG program. I volunteered weekly in my son's class (at the teacher's request because I questioned why there were no spelling tests in the 3rd grade) and I can see why teachers have given up hope. It seems 25% of the students don't speak English as a first language, the class sizes are enormous (28 3rd graders for one teacher), behavioral issues abound which distracts from a learning environment and consumes much of the teachers time and even the most basic supplies are lacking in the classroom. There are no arts, science, music or sports programs. The "middle school" doesn't adequately prepare them for high school studying or socializing. The only positive thing I can say is the secretarial staff is amazing in the front office. Unfortunately they aren't teaching any classes.
Arleta is a K-8. My children will be together at the same location for a while. The neighborhood is up and coming and I feel this school is as well. The caring staff along with more parent involvement make this a gem. Art, technology, a love of reading, and small class sizes are why I do not need to look any further.