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Friday, September 30, 2016

Atwater school parent says API scores don’t tell the whole story

Image from Atwater Avenue Elementary

Shelli-Anne Couch of Atwater Village had been sending her two kids to private schools even though Atwater Avenue Elementary, a public school, was just down the street.   But after a chance visit to a school open house, Couch was impressed with new principal Charles Smith and his commitment to the students. After a few months of checking out the school, Couch not only enrolled her two children at Atwater elementary she now serves as the newly elected president of the Friends of Atwater Elementary, a nonprofit group dedicated to supporting the school.  She encourages other parents to look beyond a relatively lackluster API score and support Atwater elementary and the friends group, which has been involved in establishing a school reading garden, book club and extra field trips.  Says Couch:

What makes this school so special? Why the crappy API scores? Why is Ivanhoe the holy grail and not Atwater? Mr Smith’s passion to galvanize the community to create a truly neighborhood school was a major factor in our school switch. Now a year later we feel almost smug, knowing things about our school that aren’t reflected in API’s and online reviews.

Click here for a Friends of Atwater Elementary fact sheet and here for a welcome letter from Principal Smith.



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  1. Why haven’t they set up there pre-school program yet.. I have been waiting over a year now… the Funds are there.. I hope this new principal gets things moving…

  2. Hear, hear! Our son has been at Glenfeliz Elementary for two years now… the API scores are slightly higher at Glenfeliz Blvd. than at Atwater, but I’m not up in arms that they’ve slipped in the last year. After all, school is about so much more than how you take tests. You want a place your kids feel comfortable to learn and find out who they are. Judging a school just by their test scores is like deciding who to partner with on a big project based on their GPA… it’s not a predictor of how well you work together. (Nor is it necessarily a good predictor of how well a school teaches or a student learns.)

  3. Ivanhoe is a godsend for my friends who are retired and need to sell their house to get their lives back in order. I hope the fools who think Ivanhoe is going to make their brats smart are ready to pay through the nose.

    IT’S ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, OKAY? GET A LIFE! SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR KIDS AND STOP WORKING OVERTIME TO LIVE NEAR IVANHOE! LOSERS!!

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