Located in one of the most expensive residential estate districts in Los Angeles, Palisades Charter Highschool has a very active parent community. Per pupil spending is one of the highest in the city. Has active extra curricular and AP classes. 95% Graduation rate with a very diverse student body. A large school with enrollment at 2,970.
99% graduation rate, only 2% of students socioeconomically disadvantage, very diverse student body, scores the highest on standard tests. Per Pupil spending is $10,179. 16 AP classes offered. Total enrolment is 2,075
Beverly Hills Highschool, might as well be a private school for the ambiance. 97% graduation rate, very affluent student body and parents are very generous in giving to the school. I feel like for the resources this school has it is surprising the test scores are not higher- I would think this has something to do with indifference.
Santa Monica Highschool is greatly improved lately. I expect this school to start climbing higher in the ranks in coming years. 95% graduation rate, socially disadvantaged 30%. Total enrollment 2,950. Expenditure $5,764 per pupil.
Roscomare Elementary has a strong sense of community and caring Teachers
The curriculum at Roscomare is set to meet the California Common Core standards, however the method of instruction is a little more progressive- the principal gives teachers a lot of latitude for choosing the style of instruction in their classroom. The school teaches the standards, but also something more than just academics- self confidence, critical thinking, and mutual respect. In addition to regular academics, an active Parent Organization raises funding for enrichment programs like art, music, computer lab, and PE Classes.
The Campus is located in Upper Bel Air and has a small intimate environment. Many parents say that it is very warm and that there is a great sense of community. There is a huge asphault playground with playground equipment at the rear of the school that is nestled within Roscomare Canyon. There is plenty of room for outdoor activities, my only complaint would be that there is no grass.
Students at Roscomare score extraordinarily well on statewide testing. This is a great learning environment and a top Los Angeles Public school.
Roscomare’s attendance boundaries spill over Mulholland in two places (B and D on the map). Students living in Area 1 on the map may choose between attending Roscomare Elementary and Warner Elementary. There are 4 kindergarten classes at Roscomare with about 90 students. On a typical year, school wide there may only be 8 or 10 spots open for lottery for students who live outside the attendance boundaries. Students who live within the attendance boundaries are given preference first.
Roscomare Elementary matriculates to Emerson Middle School. Many parents choose when children graduate Roscomare at that time to make the move to private schools like Mirman, Berkeley Hall, Buckley etc, or try to get admission into Paul Revere Middle School across the 405 in Brentwood which is considered a better middle school than Emerson.
John Thomas Dye is not just Elementary school – it’s a Second Home!
John Thomas Dye school is affectionately called JTD by its students, parents, and teachers. It holds one of the top spots on the short lists for best Elementary schools in the whole city. It is a Co-Ed Traditional Private School which means rigorous academics- lots of homework, parent teacher conferences twice a year and quarterly narrative report cards.
John Thomas Dye is tucked away in an idyllic and rustic tree covered 5-acre canyon in Bel Air. With the pristine beauty of the surroundings, John Thomas Dye feels more like a summer camp than an elementary school – maybe that is the reason students love going there so much. In one graduation letter a JTD student writes “sometimes I even sit at home alone and wish that I could be at JTD”. I think that is pretty amazing! Many students echo the sentiment that JTD feels like home.
The school was founded in 1929 by husband and wife Cathryn Robberts Dye and John Thomas Dye II. They taught the first classes in the living room of their home. The first permanent facility was built in 1949 in the schools current location. Originally the school was named Brentwood Town and Country School, however the name was changed in 1959 to John Thomas Dye school in honor of the founders son John Thomas Dye III who was a fighter pilot in WWII and was killed by the enemy in action.
I think the original values of the founders are still very much alive in the traditions and culture of John Thomas Dye today. There is an Honor Code that is taught to students that the administration takes very seriously.
They are focused on traditional family values, which might be a turn off for more modern families. Each morning students recite a school poem and the pledge of allegiance to the flag before beginning the day.
Over the years many improvements have been made to the school facilities. Today the school has every amenities available to students that one could want.
There are two campuses. The Kindergarten is located across the street from the main campus. There are three Kindergarten classrooms and one science lab used for K-3 science program and a small out door amphitheater.
The Main Campus has the computer lab, concert hall, 10 classrooms, gym, library, art rooms, playing field, and the brand new Michaud Academic Center.
Children in grades K-3 are grouped into three classes of 14 and are instructed by two teachers in each class room, one lead instructor and an associate- this means class have a very low 7 to 1 student to teacher ratio! Children stay together in self-contained classrooms.
When students reach 4th grade, they start rotating classrooms for different subjects like they will in middle school or highschool. The school does this to get students ready to graduate. Students are also permitted to play sports, write for the school paper, and participate in student government.
In addition to all these academics and programs, there are a bunch of annual events- like back to school picnic, Halloween, Spring Fair, the Candle Lighting Ceremony.
Parents who send their children to John Thomas Dye are very high networth. There is a natural connection between families that attend JTD and the local country clubs like Brentwood, Bel Air, and The Jonathan Club. They take exotic vacations to places in Europe and Martha’s Vineyard because they have more money than they know what to do with.
It is extremely difficult to get in. There are only 36 Kindergarten spots. The school adds some seats up to a class size of 40-48 in 1st grade so that is the second good entry point. Siblings of present students and children of legacy families who have maintained a good relationship with the school receive preference in admissions. This follows the schools family values- they do not like to split up families if it can be helped. Unfortunately this policy makes it even harder for new parents to get in. You definitely want to apply to multiple schools because it’s harder to get into JTD than Harvard!
Standard Private school tuition of approximately $30,000 a year when you factor in giving and other costs.
John Thomas Dye is a “feeder” school for Harvard-Westlake. John Thomas Dye also send a large number of students to Brentwood School. Almost all students Matriculate to another private school.
Warner is a traditional school that focuses on academics. Parent’s who favor progressive education usually don’t like it. The academics are very rigorous and there is lots of homework assigned to students. The school scores extraordinarily well on state wide testing and is one of the best elementary schools in the LAUSD system. Many parents who send their children to Warner feel like it’s a private school, but it is not- it is a public school and tuition is free. Many of the homeowners in the attendance boundaries of Warner could choose to send their children to a private school if they wished but don’t because Warner is on par with private schools.
Many parents donate to the school to augment the abysmally low $6,000 per student state funding. The Parent group is very active and involved at Warner. Some parents don’t like being routinely asked to donate money to the school when their child is enrolled in a public school and it is not required, but you have to face facts- a comparable private school education (John Thomas Dye) would cost ~$30,000 a year- you can fork over a couple thousand dollars for your child to get a great education.
Warner has a goal of keeping their student to teacher ratio at 20 to 1 which is higher than private schools that average 15 to 1, but still very low! At 4rd grade and 5th grade the student teacher ratio increases slightly to 25 to 1.
The school has an arts, music, and sports program, as well as a computer lab. The campus is clean and it has some very good teachers. Many parents at Warner love the STAR afterschool program. School events include Winter and Spring Sing, Halloween Haunt, and several field trips throughout the year.
A large portion of Warner’s attendance boundary (section 1 on the map) can choose either Roscomare or Warner. Wilshire Blvd is divided directly in half. The north side of the Wilshire Corridor goes to Warner, the south side of the street goes to Fairburn.
Warner matriculates to Emerson Middle School. Paul Revere is considered a better middle school than Emerson, so some parents try to get their children accepted at Revere and drive them. There is a Charted Bus currently that picks up at Holmby park parents sending their middle schoolers to Revere can use. Sign up is $1,200/yr.
Many private schools like accepting Warner Ave students, so that is an option for parents as well.
Warner Ave Elementary in Holmby Hills proudly presents its high API Score on its fence banner
“Academic Performance Index” (API) was created by the California Department of Education in 1999 to measure and compare LAUSD school performance and progress based on Standardized Testing.
API score can give you a quick idea of how a school is performing. Schools with a API of 800-900 are the best in the city. Of course, there is much more that goes in great school than simply test results, so I would encourage you to speak with the school’s principal, teachers, and other parents by arranging a tour or going to the school’s open house night.
Standardized testing evaluates student proficiency in core subject areas of English-Language Arts, Math, Science, and History, and compares student results with other students in the state who took the same test.
API is based on a numeric scale ranging from low of 200 to a perfect score of 1000.
Inflated API Scores:
Warning: API is weighted for schools that raise students from “far below basic” to “below basic” categories (the lowest two). These school receive more credit than students rising from “proficient” to “advanced” (top two categories). “Basic” is middle category. What does this mean? That the API scores may appear really inflated for some bad schools! In Elementary Schools and Middle Schools API is a good comparison, however I have found that it is very inflated for High School comparison.
Take for example Hollywood High which has an API of 762
762 is a really high score! The School has a 11% drop out rate and only about 50% of students are reaching Basic state standards, and only an abysmal 20% in math. How does this school have an API of 750+? Because of the API inflation for struggling schools. I don’t know why they do this (to make themselves look good?) so be aware.