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Old 02-26-2007, 11:09 AM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,559,996 times
Reputation: 4890

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Quote:
Originally Posted by whcrazychief View Post
Hi Puffle,

Thanks for your input. I have read a bit about both Oak Park and Newbury Park H.S.'s in GreatSchools.net. Most contributors are positive. However, there was an extremely negative review about Oak Park HS regarding bullying of students by other students, with some of the girls being particularly vicious. Additionally, a common thread that I have gotten about high achieving schools, not only Oak Park HS, is that there are the smart kids, who get alot of attention, and then there is "everyone else". If you are "everyone else", the school may not give you the same attention. Apparently, there is incredible pressures for these schools to perform well on various measurements, e.g. API and SAT scores.

I could not get your exact point of view from you bulletin. Are you pro-Oak Park education, elementary - high school, with some caveats? Which high school would you choose, Westlake or Oak Park?

Thank you.

whcrazychief
Having only lived in the district and had a child at the middle school and elementary school, I cannot speak from personal experience about any of the high schools, only what I have absorbed from friends who did have kids in these schools. If you have a brilliant or above average student then you will be happy with these schools, if your child struggles in a high acheivement, high test score focused school, you may not be pleased with the possible lack of attention your child will get, especially if they have a learning disability. I had a friend who took her daughter out of Oak Park due to the lack of empathy and attention to her daughter who does have a learning disability. She said one of the teachers was quite cruel, but this can happen in any school. Academically speaking, I think Westlake High is better with many more elective choices, an outdoor pool and a diverse student population which Oak Park does not share. I personally dislike Oak Park in that I think the parents are bringing up very materialist, self-absorbed brats, somewhat like themselves. It is a cloistered environment with 99% of the population white. Although I am white myself, I find this an unreal world to raise kids in including the high rate of materialism that goes on there that will not prepare these kids for the real world when they get out of school. Most adults don't take their kids past the Topanga Mall so they have no idea what other cultures are like.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:27 AM
 
28 posts, read 92,594 times
Reputation: 12
Hey Yall,
Thanks so much for the feedback. We are going up to check things out in about a week. I am wondering where we can get the most bang (school) for the buck (rent)? What do you think. We don't want to spend more than $2,500 a month for rent for our family of five. Since we have all girls we could get a condo with two masters and it would be doable. But we would prefer to have some space. And I am not looking for a school with the highest test scores. I want a solid, high performing elementary school with a neighborhood feel and lots of other stay-at-home moms...
I liked two schools in Ventura, a handful in Camarillo and NP, and lots in OP and TO.
Any suggestions?
Thanks a million,
Malimea
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Old 02-27-2007, 12:31 PM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,559,996 times
Reputation: 4890
Quote:
Originally Posted by malimea View Post
Hey Yall,
Thanks so much for the feedback. We are going up to check things out in about a week. I am wondering where we can get the most bang (school) for the buck (rent)? What do you think. We don't want to spend more than $2,500 a month for rent for our family of five. Since we have all girls we could get a condo with two masters and it would be doable. But we would prefer to have some space. And I am not looking for a school with the highest test scores. I want a solid, high performing elementary school with a neighborhood feel and lots of other stay-at-home moms...
I liked two schools in Ventura, a handful in Camarillo and NP, and lots in OP and TO.
Any suggestions?
Thanks a million,
Malimea
Hi Malimea,
Best combination for schools and rentals that I personally have experience with would be Thousand Oaks. It is a bit less expensive than Oak Park and Westlake Village. We rent a condo off of the lake in Westlake that I love for the close proximity to shopping that you can walk to as well as movies and restaurants and the buses pick up down the street. You can rent a three bedroom from a private party here for $2500 and have your own garage(two car) front lawn to garden, and nice size patio with a lovely greenbelt and extremely safe area to live. There are a few rentals here right now in that price range and also a couple of little girls and boys on the block. Check out www.craigslist.com and realtor.com for Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks. Good luck and let me know if I can help further. Oh, the schools would be Westlake Elementary, Colina Middle School and Westlake High.
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:25 PM
 
28 posts, read 92,594 times
Reputation: 12
Default Curriculum

I know you were discussing the differences between OP and Westlake. In the elementary schools Westlake is using Everyday Mathmatics.... I checked into it b/c there and here is one less than favorable review (see link.) EM was developed at Univ of Chicago though which is a preeminent institution so I wonder. Have any of you had any experience with Everyday Math???
Thanks much!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,892 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffle View Post
Having only lived in the district and had a child at the middle school and elementary school, I cannot speak from personal experience about any of the high schools, only what I have absorbed from friends who did have kids in these schools. If you have a brilliant or above average student then you will be happy with these schools, if your child struggles in a high acheivement, high test score focused school, you may not be pleased with the possible lack of attention your child will get, especially if they have a learning disability. I had a friend who took her daughter out of Oak Park due to the lack of empathy and attention to her daughter who does have a learning disability. She said one of the teachers was quite cruel, but this can happen in any school. Academically speaking, I think Westlake High is better with many more elective choices, an outdoor pool and a diverse student population which Oak Park does not share. I personally dislike Oak Park in that I think the parents are bringing up very materialist, self-absorbed brats, somewhat like themselves. It is a cloistered environment with 99% of the population white. Although I am white myself, I find this an unreal world to raise kids in including the high rate of materialism that goes on there that will not prepare these kids for the real world when they get out of school. Most adults don't take their kids past the Topanga Mall so they have no idea what other cultures are like.
Very insightful. Thank you for the information.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:44 PM
Status: "I'm going to be a Grandma!!!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
9,677 posts, read 2,204,848 times
Reputation: 1379
I dont know much about Oak Park Schools. The only thing I have ever heard is that they change curriculum often, to whatever the 'hot trend' is. I dont see that as a positive thing, but maybe others do.

My kids go to Newbury park High and we love that school. I feel like the education they have received so far is excellent. At every level, the kids are challenged and I think that Conejo Valley schools set high goals for all students, not just the extremely bright ones.

NPHS has the IB program, which my son is doing. This is a highly intense program where he is potentially earning college credits for the work he is doing now, in high school. NPHS is one of the few schools who offer this program, we are lucky to live in an area where we could choose NPHS.

I actually think that all of the Conejo Valley schools are good, and you really cant go wrong with any of them.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:34 PM
Status: "I'm going to be a Grandma!!!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
9,677 posts, read 2,204,848 times
Reputation: 1379
Default Everyday Math

Just wanted to add my 2 cents about Everyday Math

Most of the local elementary schools have access to this website: http://www.emgames.com/

It is a website with games that follow the Every Day Math Curriculum. The kids have unique logins and they can play the games that go with what they are learning in school. There are a wide variety of games for them to choose from.

I think its more of an open ended, critical thinking sort of curriculum, rather than drill and kill sorts of exercises. To be totally honest, I dont remember if my kids had that curriculum in elementary school or not. If so, it worked. My son is taking all the highest level math courses & has done well!

Conejo schools also use Successmaker, which is the same software that Score Tutoring uses for kids. It is an individualized learning computer program that supposedly teaches kids exactly at their level, helps with their unique weaknesses, and helps them get the basics down. They have it for both Reading and Math. Here is the official website: http://www.pearsondigital.com/successmaker/ (broken link)

Good luck
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:01 PM
 
28 posts, read 92,594 times
Reputation: 12
Default Thanks Puffle and SoCAlMamma

Thanks so much for the feedback. I will check out the programs you described SoCalMamma. And thanks Puffle for all the good advice...Malimea
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:11 PM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,559,996 times
Reputation: 4890
Hope I helped and thanks for the thanks. I was just about ready to give up on Citi but knowing I helped just one person encourages me to stay on. Good luck to you and if you would like to talk, pm me.
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Old 03-13-2007, 04:30 PM
Status: "I'm going to be a Grandma!!!" (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, California
9,677 posts, read 2,204,848 times
Reputation: 1379
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffle View Post
Hope I helped and thanks for the thanks. I was just about ready to give up on Citi but knowing I helped just one person encourages me to stay on. Good luck to you and if you would like to talk, pm me.
Puffle, I have read your posts and I am sure that you have helped MANY people
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