School Details

Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School

1650 Selby Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 234-3100
3

(out of 10)

Public Grades 6-8 650 students 18 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

43%
49%
60%
40%
46%
55%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Los Angeles Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

85%
80%
86%
49%
47%
60%
28%
39%
52%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Los Angeles Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

21%
41%
50%
42%
44%
57%
21%
19%
31%
67%
78%
85%
37%
43%
52%
52%
57%
67%

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2011-2012 California used the California Standards Tests (CSTs) to test students in English language arts in grades 2 through 11; math in grades 2 through 7; science in grades 5, 8 and 10; and history-social science in grades 8 and 11. Middle and high school students also took subject-specific CSTs in math and science, depending on the course in which they were enrolled. The CSTs are standards-based tests, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of California. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the tests.
  • This school in 2013
  • Los Angeles Unified School District average
  • California state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School is a public middle school in Los Angeles. The principal of Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School is Dimone Watson. 650 students attend Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School and identify mostly as Asian; Hispanic; and White, non-Hispanic. 18% of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School students have "limited English proficiency." 57% of the 650 students here have subsidized lunches. The ratio of students to teachers at Ralph Waldo Emerson Middle School is 18:1. St. Paul The Apostle is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Spanish

Sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Asian 8% 4%
Hispanic 54% 73%
White, non-Hispanic 20% 9%
Filipino 2% 2%
Black, non-Hispanic 17% 11%
Unspecified 0.9% 0.7%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.8% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.5% 646343%
Multiracial 0.1% %
Pacific Islander 0% 0.3%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 57% 75%
Limited English proficiency 18% 32%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (2 months ago)

    My daughter is in 7th grade. She had a great 6th grade and 7th grade is off to a great start. She went to her first Speech & Debate tournament last week. S&D is integrated into 7th grade English curriculum. Many of the kids were really freaked out about having to compete but after the tournament some of those who were most afraid are now totally hooked and can't wait to compete at the December competition. My daughter is so into it that she takes Speech as her elective and goes to the after school Debate club coached by a member of UCLA's Debate team. Last year my daughter acted in the Shakespeare play Midsummer Night's Dream. She still rattles off soliloquies that other actors recited. The amazing thing is that she understood the story and themes of the play in ways that I only began to learn in high school and college. This year she'll be studying Twelfth Night. In the first week of school her English teacher took students to see a production of the play in Griffith Park. 3 weeks later her history teacher took her class to the Pompeii Exhibit at the Science Center. There are so many more ways that Emerson has exceeded my expectations but you get the picture.

  • (2 months ago)

    My daughter is in 7th grade at Emerson Community Charter. She is thriving socially in a rare middle school environment where every child has his/her rightful place. The racial/cultural/economical diversity creates an ideal social setting where no one feels less or more entitled than others. When there are so many race/language/style/culture/interests the "main stream" fails to form. There are no "In crowd". In fact this is further enhanced by the recent implementation of their charter philosophy of small learning environments where students choose academies of their interest. I believe there are 4 academies; Sports Academy Media & Art Academy science & Math Academy and Leadership Academy. My daughter is in Media & Arts academy and gets to be in a drama class for an hour and half every day with 45 other students from various grades who are strictly interested in drama and are in the same academy. I find that this systematic grouping by common interest really helps break down the age/gender/race barrier. Academically she was accepted into their SAS program where she is very challenged. Many of her classmates have tutors to keep up with the instructions.

  • (3 months ago)

    My daughter is now attending 6th grade at this school. it is our home school and we are very happy that we stayed in the area. My daughter is in the STEAM academy and really enjoys it as well as the futsal team. The school has a diverse student body which represents real life in los angeles which we love. Since we chose this school it has became a charter has a beautiful new gym under construction and has done everything they promised. One of the best things is that is not overly sized but still gives real middle school experience. they have a lot of involvement from parents and UCLA which is awesome. My daughter is currently in the UCLA after school Spanish and guitar programs. Most of all my daughter actually likes to going to school and loves her teachers ! Can't ask for much more )

  • (3 months ago)

    My child transferred to Emerson and we just couldn't be happier! Emerson offers kids a choice of "academies" STEM Art/media Sports and Leadership and this system creates affinity groups around which relationships are formed with like minded kids and instructors. The academies offer a truly innovative system for both motivating kids to come to school every day and giving them what amounts to an extra elective in a subject area of their choosing. My son was so excited to tell me about all the things they were doing in his robotics class! The facilities are amazing. The new multi-million $ sports facility is being completed and will be open by fall there's a big impressive theatre where elaborate productions are staged regularly and the buildings themselves were designed by celebrated mid-century architect Richard Neutra and they're surrounded by green spaces. The teachers and principal have been very responsive caring and available (a benefit of being at a smaller school). I feel like they are invested in helping my child succeed. Lastly my son is having a wonderful experience socially at emerson and that's so important at this age. Just a great school experience.

  • (4 months ago)

    I am a current parent of two seventh graders at Emerson Community Charter. My boys have had a wonderful middle school experience at Emerson. This school has so much to offer a child. There are great teachers off-campus learning smaller community learning "Academies" a gorgeous campus a rich performing arts and costume design program sports teams Common Core learning etc. etc. Most importantly the teachers really care about their students and really help them make a smooth transition through what is a very complicated time in a teen's life. It's so disappointing when I hear the rumors that swirl around our community about our school. I wish those people would just come visit the school and see for themselves.

  • (8 months ago)

    My daughter will be entering middle school next year and Emerson is our home school. The reviews are really positive and encouraging but why is this school rated only a 3 out of 10?

  • (1 year ago)

    The diversity of the student body is possibly my favorite thing about Emerson. Coming from an elementary school that was rather homogeneous I was thrilled to know that my kids were meeting other kids from all cultures and walks of life. The world is obviously a highly diverse place so being able to learn to embrace that diversity early in life is one of the most important lessons you can receive. The academic and extracurricular programs are also outstanding. My current Emerson student participates in the SAS program (as did my older son who is now a freshman at University High School). The program is very challenging and definitely keeps my son on his toes. The subject matter is tough but the methods of teaching including project-based learning field trips and guest speakers make it very interesting for the kids and helps keep them focused and engaged. The level of teaching and work required is/was great preparation for high school and beyond.

  • (1 year ago)

    Our daughter can be very uncomfortable in new situations. Every year in elementary school it took her a few months to become comfortable volunteering in class and talk audibly. We were concerned about how she would adapt to Emerson because she knew only two other girls there but we have been amazed at how quickly she has formed new friendships and she started raising her hand in class - repeatedly - the first week of school. We have been so happy with Emerson's warm environment. Mr. Watson the principal has really fostered an environment that feels like family. We've also been pleased with the strong academic program offered. Our daughter loves the robotics program!

  • (1 year ago)

    In 2006 we moved into the Westwood area so our younger son could attend Fairburn Elementary School. Our older son attended Fairburn but under a permit as they issued them at that time. But no more so we had to move into the area. At that time our older son was attending Emerson Middle School and we were thrilled. Many of his friends from Fairburn attended Emerson and then moved on to University High School. The Fairburn Emerson University High feeder patter of schools provided the perfect foundation and education for my older son so much so that he graduated 4th in his graduating senior class at Uni. In fact the top four graduating seniors at University High all came from Fairburn & Emerson. They now attend prestigious universities such as UCLA Yale Cornell & Loyola Marymount University. My son attends LMU on a major academic scholarship. I credit his success to the preparation he received at Emerson allowing him to be prepared and successful at Uni. When it came time to decide on middle schools for our younger son we looked no further than the Emerson Middle School doors. We knew it would be a perfect match a perfect fit & it absolutely has been without a doubt!

  • (1 year ago)

    This is my 3rd child entering a public middle school. I must say I have been very impressed with Emerson so far. The way my child has been treated and the way I have been treated made the transition into middle school very comfortable. When you step onto campus you see the teachers the principal the staff and the volunteer parents working hard to make the school better. It is a under-enrolled public school in an area where most people send their kids to private schools. It is a very diverse campus. And if you are the kind of person to be put off by that then this is not for you. If you are someone who can focus on your child's experience and your child's education I think you'd be very happy there. Besides you don't want to raise your kid to be the kind of person who can't coexist with diversity.

  • (1 year ago)

    I have a sixth grader entering Emerson Middle School. She attended Camp Emerson the transitional program that orients the kids to middle school and the campus. Even though she knew many other kids from elementary school attending with her she came home from the camp and talked about all of the new kids she met from other elementary schools. She rotated through classrooms and met many of the teachers. They played flag football and had a blast even though she didn't win. The school is very inviting has dynamic teachers a principal that has been very accessible and an amazing new assistant principal. Most of all it has a very diverse and involved parent body. Couldn't be happier that this is our neighborhood school.

  • (1 year ago)

    It is the best school ever we just had a camp emerson before we go to school the teachers are great and nice ) I reccomend Ms Graham the drama teacher she is such an amazing teacher !!!! There academics are great all the students have a lot of dicipline they are very nice !! The Principal Dimmone Watson is the best ) All the staff are very polite and respectful they listen to what u need to say ) The classes are really advanced even if u dont get into the SAS program !! Well All I Can Say Is That Emerson Middle School Is A Perfect School !!!

  • (1 year ago)

    To be completely honest Emerson's academics are not that great. I studied there for a year before moving on to a private school. I went through the IHP program and got straight AEEs but despite all that I was still behind my peers at the private school. The school is not academically rigorous and there were students in the IHP program that would not be considered "IHP worthy". There seem to be more bad teachers than good. They don't seem to really inspire their students and many are easy graders (but that does not give one an excuse to not work hard). Social life is decent. As long as you are not overweight or weird looking/acting you will do fine. It sounds cruel but it's middle school. Many kids love to make racial slurs (if your Asian) or fat jokes to their peers (the students are very unimaginative and it shows by the insults they come up with). Though I do not have as favorable of a view of Emerson I was glad to spend a year here. I made many friends and enjoyed a stress free year.

  • (2 years ago)

    Our neighborhood middle school is Palms. Though a Magnet we thought Palms was too big. We hoped to get into LACES because it is 6-12th grade has a great reputation and lovely learning space. Emerson was our back-up. We were attracted to Emerson because of its size welcoming spirit friendly Principal an active parent group and programs that challenge my child. We were excited to be a part of the IHP program which allows kids to test in to a higher level Honors class in Math and English the Emerson Sports Academy which focuses athletes on self-dicipline in fitness and study habits as well as the Costume Design Workshop a year-long elective in which kids work together to build costumes for the fabulous 8th grade drama productions & the week-long experiential science Yosemite trip where kids get to learn about glaciers and history and teamwork while surviving snowshoe hikes cross-country ski outings ice skating mountain climbing cave exploration and night hikes while also taking care of themselves and keeping their feet dry. Because "the only thing that stays the same is change" there's been changes while we've been here at Emerson. Read on for more.

  • (2 years ago)

    I have a daughter in 7th grade at Emerson. She loves the small school environment and has been academically challenged throughout her time at Emerson. The teachers and administration are committed to creating a supportive and creative learning environment for the students. I have been particularly impressed with the curriculum development and collaboration amongst the faculty.

  • (2 years ago)

    My child has been at Emerson for the last 2 years and we couldn't be happier! He is challenged academically the teachers and staff are dedicated hardworking and committed to educating their students as well as easily accessible to both students and parents. Socially he is grounded and has made a ton of new friends. It is a safe and welcoming community school where each child is greeted by name by their principal - he too is a hard working dedicated educator! The parent group is also great! They work hard to keep parents informed and make families feel welcome! We will definitely be send our next child to this school in 2 years!

  • (2 years ago)

    We are proud to have both of our daughters attend Emerson Middle School. Our eldest is in 8th (she is going to miss Emerson next year) and our youngest is in 6th (she feels at home already). Our daughters are thriving in the excellent learning environment at Emerson. The staff is professional and hardworking. The students are motivated and engaged. What a pretty campus sitting up on a little hill!

  • (2 years ago)

    We are very happy with Emerson and our 7th grade daughter loves it. She is challenged academically and has made good friends from the other schools that feed into Emerson (she went to Westwood Chater). We really like the new principal Mr. Watson and really appreciate how he is always striving to improve Emerson. Although there have been staff changes there are still very good teachers. We have no hesitancy in recommending Emerson.

  • (2 years ago)

    My children love this school. Great teachers and the students are well behaved. Don't hesitate on letting your child attend this school. If there is a problem which so far I haven't had the principle and teachers will do everything they can to put a stop to the problem. Best school ever!

  • (2 years ago)

    I have 2 daughters one going into 7th & one going into 8th. They love their school. They have an outstanding curriculum. They are always challenged yet always feel confident. My girls' test scores are extremely impressive and that is what I look at. They take amazing field trips. We feel spoiled that we drive 3 minutes to our neighborhood school when I hear stories of their friends having very long commutes to theirs. We couldn't be happier!

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 83 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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