Canopy Depot is one of those stores that when you walk in, you will wonder why someone didn't think of a store like this sooner. Think of it as a personalized store, geared towards patios, decks, camping supplies, and similar items. When you walk in, you are greeted by a member of their staff that helps you feel like a valued customer, and a human being, not just money waiting to be spent and ringing cash registers. The prices are what you might expect from a depot type of store, only they are slightly more affordable then I would have thought they would be. If you have a deck, patio, or other outdoor area that needs a canopy, you need some really cool accessories you won't find anywhere else, or you have some basic other basic need, you will find it here. Unlike the big chain stores, they always seem to have everything you need in stock, which makes for happy customers willing to return again and again. There is a fair amount of parking, and the store is well kept and the prices of all items are clearly labeled so there is no guessing how much an item will cost. What sets Canopy Depot apart from other stores is their knowledgeable staff. If you are a first time canopy buyer, or if you've purchased a canopy before and just have a lot of questions, the staff members can answer your questions, help you pick the best product for your needs, and make you feel like the number one, and only customer in the store. If you are in the market for any kind of canopy, or just want something fun to jazz up your deck or patio, be sure to drop by Canopy Depot, you won't regret it!
PROS: Caring, knowledgeable staff, large selection, competitive prices.
CONS: None that I can think of.
Helix High School boasts students who are as excited about learning as the teachers are about teaching. Helix High School is a charter school, and as such, many of the students are not from the immediate area of the school. This lends to the diversity in the school's population, and gives students from rather limited diversity elementary schools a dose of the "real world", so to speak. Grades are taken very seriously at Helix High School. The academics are extremely strong. The teachers are very dedicated and motivated by student success. Helix High School is a high school that prepares children for college and for everyday life. Offering a large number of programs, including special needs programs, there is a program for everyone at Helix. The athletics department is strong, as are the other extracurricular activities programs, and I cannot think of a program that is lacking at Helix High School. The principal is informed and involved in the day to day functioning of the school, and parents are encouraged to get involved, and stay involved in the academic life of their students through graduation. This is an excellent high school, and an excellent chance to give your child the break that they need in the difficult high school world, by providing them with a safe, caring, nurturing environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive on education and success. The only downside to Helix is that in the afternoon, if you go to pick up your child, the place can seem overwhelming and chaotic with students everywhere. Make sure you arrange a specific meeting place to pick up your child, and don't deviate from that spot, and you will do just fine, and so will your child.
PROS: Strong extracurricular activities and sports programs; Excellent academics.
CONS: A lot of students on one campus makes for chaos when the last bell rings.
Hearst Elementary School is one of the nicer elementary schools in the area. With a beautiful campus, a well maintained field, and a comfortable setting, it is one of the few elementary school campuses which is pleasing to the eye, in addition to being academically pleasing. The teachers are very dedicated to their careers, their classes, and each of their students. The students feel a sense of worth from the teachers, in that each child is respected and treated like an individual, and not like just another face in a sea of faces. Teachers work together with parents to close the gap between school and home, by keeping parents involved, informed, and interested in the day to day happenings at the school. The school lunches remind you of the lunches that have always been served at schools, only a little less disgusting in flavor. Academics wise, this school boasts some of the strongest curriculum in the county, with high scores in just about every area to prove it. This school is definitely a place for young children to thrive, learn, and grow. Hearst Elementary School helps children prepare for middle school, and encourages them to make friends, respect their teachers, and participate in class discussions. Even though this school has a high number of students, you would never guess it looking at the classrooms, because they do not appear to be "way overcrowded" like most of the cities schools. Hearst Elementary is an excellent school choice for any child.
PROS: Strong academics. Clean, well kept campus. Brilliant staff.
CONS: None that I can think of.
Lewis Middle School is one of the few middle schools which can boast a strong music program, including a very strong band program. If your child has dropped hints about wanting to be in a band, this is their chance. Unfortunately, outside of music, there isn't much in the way of other activities for students, outside of the normal educational curriculum. But don't let that stop you from sending your middle school aged child to this school. It offers an excellent academics program that meets the needs of all children whether they are extremely behind, or extremely advanced. It's a place where every child feels as though the curriculum were catered to their individual learning needs, and every child feels like the teachers care about their life, and not just school. An extensive list of special education programs also makes this school the place for any child. Like most California schools, this one is overcrowded, not well maintained, and could use an update. However, don't let any of these small downsides keep you from sending your child here; you will be glad that you did!
PROS: Excellent academics program. Strong music program.
CONS: Overcrowded, in need of an update.
Foster Elementary School is one of those schools that actually cares about children and their lives, in addition to just providing academics. They encourage healthy living, healthy eating, and healthy habits, which will carry your child throughout his/her entire life. Recess is looked upon as a chance to get in shape, and there is ample room for children to run around, play, swing, jump, and just be kids. A decent sized playground provides plenty for every child to do. Academics wise, this school does relatively well, and is even more advanced then some of the other elementary schools in the area. Your child will get all of the state required programs, plus the added benefit of the healthy living environment, in addition to computer knowledge that might not be available at all elementary schools. Their computer lab is probably in the top 5 among elementary schools in the area, and keeps up with the technology in the middle and senior high schools. The teachers are caring, kind, sweet, gentle, and yet strict about keeping students on the right path. The principal is very involved in the day to day running of the school. Parents are encouraged to get involved to eliminate the separation between home and school day to day environments. Above all, this school encourages healthy living, something that is almost non existent in today's society, and so important. It's a great school, whether you are looking for a new school for your student, or your student is starting school for the very first time.
PROS: Advanced technology, huge outdoor play area, caring staff.
CONS: None that I can think of.
Hardy Elementary School is another thriving elementary school in the city. This school makes is the "little school" capable of big things. I like to consider this a great "my first" elementary school for children. The school has everything you would expect to find at an elementary school from a caring staff, to a wonderful learning environment. The curriculum does what it can, based on California standards, and the teachers help make this school what it is. With a strong emphasis on succeeding, learning, and growing, the teachers get involved in the lives of their students, encourage them, and "keep them going" as kids go through the normal, everyday routine of school life. Like most California elementary schools, this one is overcrowded, but they are really working on making sure that the classrooms, and the performance of the school doesn't suffer because of that. There are plenty of staff members to go around, and they are truly devoted to their jobs, to their students, and to their school. Kids get a sense of belonging here; that they might not find at other schools in the area, and they are led to believe that learning really can be fun, which it should be, but so often isn't in California schools. Parent involvement is encouraged, and achieved at a very high level, compared to other local elementary schools. The parents are encouraged to voice their opinions, and help initiate change, and I think that's one of the biggest reasons that this school has not fallen through the cracks, like so many other over crowded elementary schools have. Parking is minimal, but that seems to be the case with most elementary schools these days. If you are looking for a great elementary school to start your child at, this is the place to start. Your child will learn everything they should, and probably a little more, as well as pick up social skills and respect that will carry him/her through middle school, high school, and beyond!
PROS: Caring teachers. Strong curriculum.
Bay Park Elementary School proves that California, like most states, does have it's fair share of winning elementary schools, and that they are just "hidden pearls" in a giant sea full of oysters. Despite the number of students at this school, there are plenty of staff members to go around, and EVERY child is made to feel that they are important, their needs are important, and that someone at school wants them to succeed in the world. It's a feeling that children do not experience at most schools today, and if you have a chance to send your child to this elementary school, I would say dive right in and go for it. Parents help fill the gap between home and school life, and parental involvement is encouraged in a big way, and a number of different ways, so that even working parents have a chance to get involved and help make a difference in their child's life. Education shouldn't be separate from home life, and having parents, teachers, counselors, and a principal all on the same level is so vital, and this school is one of the few in the city that accomplishes all of these goals and so much more. The curriculum allows students to grow, thrive, and learn and is up to date in comparison to other local schools. They have a larger number of programs then other schools, including programs that cater to students with all sort of special needs. When children become teenagers, and then adults, they tend to remember the schools and the teachers that made a difference in their lives. This school provides those kind of teachers, those kind of standards, and that kind of environment, that your child may not see the value of now, but will see it in a huge way years from now.
PROS: Sensational staff, from the teachers to the principal.
CONS: None that I can think of.
Encanto Elementary School is one of the few schools in the area that proves that location isn't everything, and that even schools in tough neighborhoods can give students the opportunity to thrive, learn, and grow. The school performs well, in comparison to other area elementary schools. The teachers are very devoted to doing just that, teaching. The level of instruction is a little bit ahead of other surrounding elementary schools, and you can be assured that your student will receive the instruction he/she needs to build the proper foundation for middle school, senior high school, and beyond. The school itself doesn't look like a winner from the outside, but once you venture inside, which parents are encouraged, and welcome to do fairly frequently, you discover a whole new world where learning, fitting in, and fun, come together to provide students with an adequate education. This school proves that not every school has to be performing below the average, just because they don't have all of the above average resources. I would highly recommend this school, if you don't mind it's location.
PROS: This school proves that location isn't everything.
It almost saddens me to write this review of Jackson Elementary. This is yet another California school that has "slipped through the cracks" with out of date materials, learning aids, and extremely limited resources. To make matters worse, its location contributes to the number of problems, and the diversity of this school. There's also the number of students, verses the number of teachers in this school, and it's definitely one of the most overcrowded elementary schools in the area. I am so sick and tired of elementary schools being ignored, especially ones with such large student bodies. The teachers are sensational at making a bad situation seem like no problem at all. The learning that takes place and the curriculum taught, is solely because of the teachers, and has very little to do with the resources or the surroundings found at this elementary school. Students having difficult times, and needing to rely on school counselors, will feel the full affect of this overcrowded elementary school. The bottom line is that this school offers what most California elementary schools offer, overcrowded classrooms, diverse student population, and teachers trying to make do with what they have access to. The location of this school makes me so nervous, located in a very high traffic area, and I would warn parents to walk their children to school and pay extra attention to the traffic in this area.
PROS: Teachers are sensational, caring, kind, and loving.
CONS: Overcrowded classrooms. Location.
Mann Middle School is one of those schools that forces me to question what has happened to education in our company. In my opinion it's a forgotten middle school, as resources continue to be directed to make the large, high cost schools bigger and better, Mann Middle School remains below average on a lot of levels, and could really use an update into the latest technology area. The neighborhood the school is located in, is a cause for concern, and in my opinion, the neighborhood itself would be the first clue to the board, staff members, and everyone else, that this school is in need of serious help. So many of the children in this neighborhood will become just another statistic, and it is so sad to think of any child becoming just another statistic. You won't find state of the art, much of anything at Mann Middle School, and it's not for lack of effort on the teacher's part, the funds simply haven't been allocated to the school, and the school hasn't been a priority in a very long time. The teachers, bless their hearts, struggle to keep learning in the classroom not only educational and in progress, but also fun with the old textbooks, old equipment, and old learning aids that they have available to them. The school serves so many purposes in addition to being just a middle school, including doubling as a recreational facility and a college campus when school is not in session on evenings and weekends. The school does offer programs that the state requires, not necessarily on the highest level possible, but you can be sure whether your child is a below average student, an average student, or an advanced student, that there are classes to meet his/her needs. The arts program is one of the highlights of this otherwise, below average, mediocre school. They also have multicultural programs to meet the needs of their very diverse student population where white students will actually find themselves the minority.
PROS: Strong arts and multicultural programs.