I am thrilled that Steve Zimmer agreed to write the foreward to my book. I respect him enormously for all that he does for the LAUSD. Also, my thanks to Andrew Rakos, Director of Admissions at Fountain Day School for his insightful piece.
The idea for this public elementary school book came to me originally as I was struggling with the idea of private versus public education for my own children some years ago. It’s a topic discussed by mum and dad’s everywhere and every day! Back then I was just too busy working on my other two books, The Whitney Guide to Los Angeles Private Schools and The Whitney Guide to Los Angeles Preschools. However, now that both my kids are in college I only thought it right to give you one on Public Elementary Schools. So here it is! Oh and by the way I put one child through public school and one through private school. Both got into fine universities and both know what they want to do when they leave and have chosen fields of interest that will have openings. Smart kids. Very proud mum!
Many people wrongly assume that private schools offer way more than public schools. This is not the case. Depending on the public school you choose, your child can get a superior education…..at NO COST!!! You just have to do your homework. Hopefully this book will help you accomplish this as I have picked out what I believe to be over 60 of the top public elementary schools in greater Los Angeles.
Don’t listen to other people when it comes time to making a decision between private and public education. You have to do your own research and figure out what is the best fit for your child and for your family. You must take into consideration your child’s needs, interests and abilities when picking out a school. Many parents will tell you that their school is best. It might be for their child but not for yours. Find a neighborhood where you have a good public school that suits your family and then move there if you have to. I recommend parking outside a school at the end of the day or in the morning and seeing the families that go there. You want to feel part of the community.
Increasing in popularity, Charter and Magnet public schools are getting a lot of attention these days as an alternative to large public elementary schools. These schools tend to have a special educational focus or theme. I have made sure to include some in my book and information on how to get into them. Go to www.calcharters.org to learn more about them. There you will find a wealth of information about Charter Schools and may even decide to start one of your own!
With kids competing against each other for the same spot at private schools, public schools have to accept your child with little more than filling out a simple form to show proof of residency. Going to public school can be far less stressful and think of all the money you will save to put towards family holidays or home renovations. Haven’t you always dreamt of building that pool in your back yard? Well put away the $15,000 – $30,000+ a year it would cost to send your kid to private school and sleep well at night!
I would like to touch briefly on the subject of Special Education through the public school system. I have done masses of research and due to the number of brochures and documents they have available, I suggest that you go to their website, http://sped.lausd.net, specifically the eLibrary section where all of these documents can be found. The LAUSD Division of Special Education is pleased to provide you with this avenue of communication, as part of their ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and quantity of information for Los Angeles (and the global community) concerning their programs and their progress. These documents are updated often, and will be re-posted to their website when updated. It would probably not be practical for me to publish these documents in my book due to their length and also due to the fact that when updated, they would no longer be accurate.
I do hope you get as much out of this book as I’ve put into it. I have given you lots of information about each school but should you need more help I do offer private consultation and would be happy to discuss your different school options both public and private. I would love to hear from you. Please contact me to set up a phone consultation or to meet in person.
Best of luck in your search!