1) WESTSIDE GUIDE TO PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: For Westside public elementary schools, our pal Tanya Anton has compiled a terrific guide, complete with interactive maps!  Visit her at http://gomamaguide.blogspot.com

2) WESTCHESTER/PLAYA DEL REY EDUCATION FOUNDATION (WPEF): For more information on the Westchester/Playa del Rey family of LAUSD schools (in partnership–K-16!–with Loyola Marymount University), visit


NOTE: For a discussion of Short Elementary, see comments under GREATSCHOOLS.NET: OUR TAKE page.


14 thoughts on “Westside

  1. Broadway Elementary on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice just got approval to start a Mandarin Immersion program with Kindergarten Fall 2010 as of this week. The goal is to get two classes of 24 kids each. Principal Susan Wang has made herself available to go to preschools, daycare centers, weekend Mandarin Chinese heritage language schools to talk about Broadway Elementary and the Mandarin Immersion program, and to give tours of the school to interested parents. Broadway implemented FLES Mandarin Academy in September 2009 where all the kids get 30 minutes of Mandarin Chinese instruction four days a week. As well, there is a terrific grass roots parent group (BMI LAUSD yahoo group) mobilizing for this program who sent letters to Superintendent Cortines to ask for this Mandarin Immersion program. This parent group is also organizing get-togethers so kids can get to know one another before the first day of kindergarten. If you’re interested in the Mandarin Immersion program, please call Principal Susan Wang at (310) 392-4944.

  2. HELP. Looking for Advise – Regarding picking a Kindergarten.
    We applied to numerous Charters & some privates & didn’t get in – so in a panic I started applying to all the open enrollments & SAS schools I could find (not that my kid is amazingly advanced in reading or math – but I’m reaching). My dream school would be a progressive immersion school with great arts, sports, & environmental awareness – but alas I am lucky to have a school at this point. We live in Hollywood Hills & just got accepted to 3 public school each min. 30 minutes drive from our house (ouch). Each has pros:
    1. Glendale – Muir – Spanish Immersion (we can get the LAUSD permit) – pro: Spanish Immersion, con – I have no idea how the families are involved & if they are going to work together to really get kids what they need with the cutbacks. I like the idea of language immersion & fear I only have 1 chance to start in Kindergarten
    2. LAUSD – Roscomare. Seems like it has GREAT Parent involvement. But a friend mentioned that MORE cutbacks are looming & class sizes may be even greater in size etc. I think? it is pretty academic & I wonder how they cater to different children’s learning styles.
    3. LAUSD – Mount Washington Elementary – seems like it has good arts

    I may hear from other open enrollements I applied to next week… but these places want a commitment asap.

    Our Details
    1)Son born 11/15/06: high energy, loves music & dancing, has great anxiety about being separated from mom, loves to learn in a fun environment
    2) seeking Kindergarten
    3) in LAUSD our local school is Cheremoya

  3. My experience is pretty dated, but one of my children went to Roscomare for a few grades a number of years ago. Overall, it was a good experience and we only left because we moved. It does have quirks, though, that can color your experience. First, it was a fairly test-driven place. My son had homework assignments that involved shading in bubbles to prepare the kids for the standardized tests. Second, it was an odd place socioeconomically and that sometimes affected the classroom environment. There were are a lot of permit kids from Sherman Oaks and the near valley whose parents worked on the westside. There were a few “local” kids who were the children of live-in help for people in Bel Air (basically, the only diversity in the place). There were a bunch of really smart (but sometimes socially disfunctional) kids who were the children of UCLA professors living in the Colina Glen faculty housing complex off of Beverly Glen (called the “slums of Bel Air” by local residents since it is one of the few townhomes/multi-family housing complexes in Bel Air). Those UCLA kids were often Highly Gifted and really demanded academic challenges, which can be good, but a school teaching to the test actually prefers to keep everyone focused slightly above what was needed to maintain the average score rather than providing differentiated learning options – meaning those HG kids could become bored and disruptive. Finally, there were the children of Bel Air families who could afford private school, but chose to send their kids to Roscomare because their kids were special needs children and the State provided them a “shadow” (an Adult teacher who stayed with them all day) if they went to public school. In one grade, my son’s class had 6 adults in it every day: 1 teacher and 5 shadows. Finally, the location of the school is challenging. It is beautiful, isolated, safe (assuming your kid doesn’t jump a fence and fall down into the canyon) etc., but it is on a narrow canyon road and traffic is jammed on Roscomare in the mornings and at pickup and it is difficult to park on the street.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about cutbacks, or at least worry that cutbacks will be any worse than at other LAUSD schools. If any school has the parents willing to raise money to make up for shortfalls, it is Roscomare. They may be suffering enrollment drops, but it won’t feel like your child is getting short-changed there. The parents paid to bring in music teachers, sports programs, drama programs etc. They were also fairly environmentally conscious when we were there, in part because the location makes everyone more sensitive to it and because they want to minimize the production of trash given their relatively small campus.

  4. Ok not sure if this thread is still active but I can’t figure out how to post a new question. Here’s my situation: Our local school is Lanai, which is supposed to be fantastic. We toured Roscomare today, and, in short, I am in love and really feel like this is the school for us. (The two schools are equidistant from our house.) I guess I have two questions: 1) how different are the two schools, and is one “better” than the other (and if so, in what sense?) 2) how difficult is it to get in via lottery to Roscomare? I know they say it’s a random lottery facilitated by LAUSD…but is there anything we can do to up our chances? I was thinking of writing a nice letter or requesting a meeting with principal to let her know that we would be 100% committed school parents, maybe asking my son’s PS teacher to write a letter of rec also, and maybe ask a current family we know there to also write a letter of rec for us. Would love any and all insight. Also, in case it matters, I think our son would ultimately end up being placed in the GATE program (although he is socially age-appropriate). THANK YOU…this is killing me!

    • Thread is still active, all of them are.

      LAUSD lotteries for open enrollment are just that, lotteries. There’s really no upping your chance short of moving into the district. Honestly this is all about to go computerized, and there won’t be any discretion for the principal, and I don’t know of a single family entering a school that wouldn’t say the same things to get in through lottery. Not saying you wouldn’t be the best family ever, but I’ve seen the pleading at various schools at the office counter (we’re just a block outside, our child is super awesome at *insert academy theme here* and this is the ONLY school in the whole wide world for her/him). Once this process goes computer, I’m pretty sure there won’t be letters of recommendation.

      Hopefully someone else can weigh in on the odds at Roscomare. For what it’s worth it’s been a bit, but I’ve known families at both Lanai and Roscomare, and both schools are both supported by fantastic parent groups. If Lanai is your home school and you spent that energy getting to know the parent group there (you can start attending meetings now) you can start making a difference there, by the time your son attends you will be a huge part of the success there. You can do the same thing with Roscomare, but if you can’t get in, it’s only going to break your heart further.

      Good luck, and let us know what happens.

  5. Thanks so much for your quick reply and all your insights. I was hoping there’s some magic bullet to get me in ; ) I have heard fantastic things about Lanai, but Roscomare just seemed to resonate more with us. Can anyone compare the two? Is one “better” than the other? I just have to remind myself we are fortunate to have a good home school…but would be great to be at the one we love. Thanks again!!

    • Sorry one other question: do lotteries work like magnets in that you get points for being rejected? So, if we don’t get picked for K this year do we have a better chance next year if we decide to try to get in for 1st grade?

  6. Hello there. I posted the question below in “Glendale” post in error, so I’m posting this in “Westside” post. Our daughter is half Mexican/half Japanese and we are trying for Spanish immersion 2018-2019 (Kinder) at Edison in Santa Monica and El Marino in Culver City, although we are in LAUSD. Our daughter has been at an English-speaking daycare since she was 5 months old, and although she does understand what we say in Japanese or Spanish, she usually responds back to us in English. Does anyone know what kind of questions are being asked during the language proficiency test? We’ve heard that, even being out of the district, if a child is tested as the target language speaker, he/she has a better chance getting into either school (while English speaking side has a long waitlist). We want to know what kind of questions our daughter needs to be able to answer/address in Spanish during the language proficiency test. Thank you for the help!

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