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Old Sep 29th 2017, 12:38 pm   #1
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Default Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Hi all

V excited to (very likely) be moving to the West LA area next year. Can anyone give any recommendations re Private Elementary schools for our 1st Grade son - Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica areas specifically?
Any particular thoughts (good or bad) on Santa Monica Montessori, Seven Arrows, The Village School and/or Westside Waldorf are all very welcome

Thanks!
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 2:35 pm   #2
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

it's probably best to go to the LA section of the 'city data' US forums to get this information.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 4:49 pm   #3
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

thanks sorry - how do I do that??! I am really just looking for UK experiences of schools in that area etc.....
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 5:34 pm   #4
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

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Originally Posted by sunshine18 View Post
thanks sorry - how do I do that??! I am really just looking for UK experiences of schools in that area etc.....
City-data.com is the site that was being referred to. That will give you "experiences", but mostly not those of British expats.

I don't think we have any frequent posters in the LA area who have children in private schools, though I think one did but she relocated to SF.

BTW welcome to BE.
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Old Sep 29th 2017, 9:42 pm   #5
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

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thanks sorry - how do I do that??! I am really just looking for UK experiences of schools in that area etc.....
As mentioned previously, there are many Brits who are members who live in California. However, most seem to send their children to public schools from what I've read and chose the town and catchment area they live in based on schools.

City data's references should be helpful regardless of what the nationality of the poster is, shouldn't it? The primary criteria is wanting the best for your child.
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Old Sep 30th 2017, 7:21 am   #6
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Yes absolutely - anyone's view is very useful indeed - sorry I wasn't clear enough. I am v interested in any Brits views too though due to the fact that the children seem to start at school earlier (i.e. aged 4) in the uk v US (aged 5) and how that all works out when moving to US schools etc. - I have not discounted the public schools I'm just keen to get feedback on these private ones listed as a start point from research but will certainly use the reference you mention too - thank you.
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Old Sep 30th 2017, 12:07 pm   #7
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

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Originally Posted by sunshine18 View Post
Yes absolutely - anyone's view is very useful indeed - sorry I wasn't clear enough. I am v interested in any Brits views too though due to the fact that the children seem to start at school earlier (i.e. aged 4) in the uk v US (aged 5) and how that all works out when moving to US schools etc. - I have not discounted the public schools I'm just keen to get feedback on these private ones listed as a start point from research but will certainly use the reference you mention too - thank you.
The difference in the age of starting school is increasingly a red herring. Many children in America go to a "day care" from a very young age, as young as six weeks, and even those who don't go to a "pre-k" the year before kindergarten. At least for those on poverty income-support programs, it is paid for by the state.

My daughter started day cay immediately after her second birthday, and initially her days were fairly chaotic, as you can imagine with a room of two year olds. However, over the following three years her days morphed progressively, changing every few months, until she was following exactly and American school day, and was already familiar with numbers, the alphabet (names, not phonetics), and able to read a little.

The transition into kindergarten at age five was seamless, and in any case my wife and I had always referred to the daycare as "school".

We chose a private school, though we are in a small minority here on BE, but have been very happy with our choice, as it addresses matters beyond purely educational concerns, though it addresses those too. But it ain't cheap paying for a good school! Anyway, starting school at five, the school requires that all children have been in a pre-k program, and the school sent an admissions counselor to the day care that my daughter attended, to see my daughter "in action" and discuss her performance and progress.
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Old Sep 30th 2017, 5:55 pm   #8
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Our wiki discusses the difference in starting ages.

Education: What do I need to enroll the kids in school? : British Expat Wiki

There is an interesting thread we had about a family who thought they could put their toddler 'up' a year because they had already started in the UK but later decided to change.

Getting put down a grade at school
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Old Sep 30th 2017, 8:35 pm   #9
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

While it's true that school generally starts at 5 in the US, most? (many) families have their kids start what is called pre-k at 3 or 4. Some public (government funded schools, notably NYC now have pre-k for all 4 year olds and currently started a pilot program in a few neighborhoods for 3 year olds). Many towns in NJ also have pre-k for 4 year olds. I don't know if they have something similar in the Los Angeles area.


Many families who start their kids in pre-k at 3/4 utilize private schools (day cares, nurseries, montessoris, whatever they are called at that specific school) that range in prices.


We moved back to the US when my son was 3.5 years old. He had been at a nursery school in London since he was 18 months old. He started at his new school here in NJ only for us to be told he was pretty much behind because he couldn't (still can't) hold a crayon/pencil correctly, is quite playful/rough sometimes and so on. We had not had any issues in the UK. This school also used to send home worksheets, mostly from Scholastic Learning (could be coloring, drawing lines, who the president is, counting, etc) each night that they expected him to complete. Mind you, he was still 3 and was to turn 4 three months later. This is just to show you that the kids are learning in these pre-k programs.


We ended up moving our kid to a Montessori school as it's more individualized and I just don't think he needs to be doing worksheets or whatever right now. I think his previous school is ridiculous, but some kids are thriving there and some would be writing and reading before they start kindergarten. I'm not sure why it has to be rushed though so I personally wouldn't recommend that school to anyone.

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Old Oct 1st 2017, 9:42 am   #10
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Thank you; that is all so helpful. I'll be happy as long as he's happy and is in a thriving, caring etc environment - whichever grade that is

One other Q i have is : if you are relocating - how do you apply to public schools when you have no US address yet?! or are they more flexible about this initially with relocating families regarding where they end up living? (vis a vis the catchment area etc). Looking at Canyon and Palisades Charters too as we speak.
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 1:20 pm   #11
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshine18 View Post
..... One other Q i have is : if you are relocating - how do you apply to public schools when you have no US address yet?! or are they more flexible about this initially with relocating families regarding where they end up living? (vis a vis the catchment area etc). Looking at Canyon and Palisades Charters too as we speak.
Until you have a US address it is likely that schools will show little or no interest in you and your attempts to contact them.
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Old Oct 1st 2017, 3:37 pm   #12
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

I think the posh word is what tosh! Increasingly, private schools, particularly in So. Ca cater to International cliente. Not sure if this one is close enough to your location but imho its a great school:

https://www.viewpoint.org/page
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 1:39 pm   #13
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Does look great but I think may be a little far out for us...shame!

think I have narrowed down the private options but as the fees so very high (v UK) - we looking now at some good Charters/Publics - still can't work out how we do this when places will be allocated before we even arrive and have an address for the application form?! (and you have to be in an attendance zone to apply!)
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 5:33 pm   #14
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

Yes if your going public I think that is definitely going to be a challenge. Private's do not to my knowledge have a catchment. How about and I don't know if these will work

Using your future employers address (assuming its close).

Speaking to the HR department and explaining your dilemma they may have a solution.

Opening a US mailbox account:
https://www.theupsstore.com/mailboxes
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Old Oct 2nd 2017, 7:43 pm   #15
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Default Re: Moving to West LA - best Private elementary schools?

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.... Opening a US mailbox account:
https://www.theupsstore.com/mailboxes
This might work, but you would need to use "Apt # __" or "Unit #__" (not "PO Box #__") and you use the street address of the UPS Store (assuming there is a UPS Store in the school's catchment area, which might not be true) .... also don't use a UPS Store that is right around the corner from the school!
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