Annelise Collins, The Noel Team’s Buyers Agent and Alex Valenzuela, The Noel Team’s Marketing Coordinator recently were invited to local elementary school Walgrove Elementary on a Walk and Talk with The Principal and a chance to learn more about this incredible school. Ms. Olivia Adams, the school’s principal gave us a in depth tour and look inside the school and Annelise has written a short recap if you are looking for schools in the Mar Vista area.
The overall impression at Walgrove Elementary is a school with a very positive, nurturing and dedicated atmosphere. Teachers and parents integrate as a team for a cooperative “hands on learning experience” for the children. The innovative approach sets them apart from other LA Unified campuses and now LA Unified is looking into some of the successful and unique innovations that this school is incorporating into their curriculum.
These innovations include:
Enrichment Block Sessions
Teachers offer a six-week session of varied “elective classes” that students can choose according to their interests. These students will be taking the class with other students of all different ages and class level.
The Studio Lab
A project based learning center where students can use various materials to test, develop, and experiment with concepts they learn in the classroom. Sort of an art/ design studio meets science lab. Very cool!
Targeted Group Differentiation
Students are grouped within the classroom into smaller groups by instructional and individual need. This ensures that students of different learning styles are not left behind, or are not stimulated if they achieve faster.
When asked about the API test scores for Walgrove (currently at 804 score) Ms. Adams wants to differentiate from the other LA unified schools that “teach to the test” with the sole aim to get better test scores. Walgrove does not separate their Special Education student scores form the general student body, as do some other schools. It has a high population of special Ed children and the school embraces these students, often accepting out of district Special Education students that have been pushed out at other schools.
“Walgrove Wildlands” An Official Wildlife Habitat
This is a large native Californian meadow (over 25,000 sq. ft.) with meandering trails and native Californian plants that have attracted the Monarch butterfly and bees. It has been established as an “Official Wildlife Habitat” for that reason. Loyola University collaborates with Walgrove on this project.
Gardening seems to be a big part of the curriculum. Almost every classroom has veggie beds planted and there is a farmer’s market every few weeks to sell the organic produce they grow on campus. The school cafeteria uses the produce in their lunch program. Ms. Adams also wants to start raising chickens.
She encourages any future parent to come visit the school at any time to tour and speak with her and the parent volunteers.
Fun Fact! Walgrove Elementary was featured in a past episode of he hit ABC television show “Modern Family”
Above is a map of the district boundaries for attending the school You can visit the school’s website Friends of Walgrove for more information and all the contact information!
images and map c/o Walgrove Elementary