Our 5 year old is thrilled to be joining her older sister at Carthay Center Elementary School.

My husband is the only one reading my blog so far, and he thinks I sound like a bitter white Jewish liberal mother who is questioning our choice to send our daughters to our local school.

Not so!!  Well, true, I am White, Jewish & liberal, but I a NOT bitter! Well, I guess I am little bit bitter ( let me see if I can  find a way to include ‘make the bitter batter better’ in this post!)  about others not making the same choice, but I am not doubting our decision to send our kids there.  I am going to brag for a minute, not to make others feel bad about their schools (y’all probably have the higher scores & raise more money), but just to focus on our positives…


1. Dynamic Principal – Ms. Tracy Calhoun, who attracts enthusiastic teachers, fosters a sense of community at the school, is engaged and communicative with parents and very responsive to student’s needs.

2. Great teachers – each one has been enthusiastic & unique and exposed our 8 year old to different learning experiences.

3.  THE GARDEN.  Just drive by on Crescent Heights and you will see our amazing garden.  I think having done a bit a weeding and digging there over the years sure gave me a sense of pride and ownership of it. Plus, there is a great garden science program centered in the garden where kids, including mine, learn about growing all sorts of plants, fruits and vegetables. They end up trying and liking vegetables they never try at home. There are even 2 chickens now in the chicken coop that are laying eggs…

4. The building & grounds- it has this adorable indoor auditorium with a cute stage where the kids do their plays, award ceremonies, etc.  There is a small but nice grass field. The rooms are big and air conditioned.  It feels like a real school as opposed to some charter schools around that are stuck in the back of other schools that aren’t happy to house them.  Plus, even though the grounds are pretty good as they are, we have won a huge grant to re-do the outdoor space into a dynamic interactive park that people will want to come to on the weekends.

5. It is a small school. – my kids know other teachers and kids from other grades and it seems like the older kids look after the little ones.

6. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! it is less than a mile away from us and a pleasant scenic walk.

7.  STAR program – the school has a grant to provide free after school program run by STAR, a gifted program out of Culver City.  Part of the free program includes theater, dance, math, language arts, sports, lego projects, technology and weekly wild animal presentations from STAR’s exotic pet rescue center.

8.  California Dance Institute  (C.D.I)- 3rd and 4th graders (and ocassionally k-garteners) get to participate in this amazing inclusive dance program that culminates in a fantastic multi-school show in June at the Wilshire Ebell Theater.

9. Writer’s Workshop –  A Columbia University developed method of writing instruction.

10. Nice unpretentious parents.

11. Uniforms – LOVE this idea and it really helps getting the kids out the door in the morning without a fuss about their clothes.  As they get older the kids get less enthusiastic, but the school allows for individualism with college shirt Thursdays and free-dress Fridays.

oh, and don’t forget – A bit of better batter makes the bitter batter better.