School Details

Emerson Community Charter School

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

(out of 10)

Public Grades 6-8 550 students 18 students/teacher (CA avg is 21)

Test Scores by grade

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

California Standards Test (CST)

In 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 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 2012-2013 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

Emerson Community Charter School is a public middle school in Los Angeles. The principal of Emerson Community Charter School is Dimone Watson, who can be contacted at daw2423@lausd.net. 550 students attend Emerson Community Charter School and identify mostly as Hispanic; Asian; and White, non-Hispanic. 13% of the Emerson Community Charter School students are "limited in English proficiency." 63% of the 550 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. The student to teacher ratio at Emerson Community Charter 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
Hispanic 53% 73%
Asian 4% 4%
White, non-Hispanic 21% 9%
Black, non-Hispanic 20% 11%
Filipino 1% 2%
Unspecified 0.9% 0.7%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.5% 0.3%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0.5% %
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.2% %
Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.3%
Multiracial 0.1% %

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 63% 75%
Limited English proficiency 13% 32%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (4 months ago)

    In addition to the challenging academic program at Emerson for my 7th grade student the school's new academy structure has created an amazing family-like dynamic on the campus where the students have an opportunity to interact with each other across grade levels in a mentor/mentee relationships that I believe are invaluable. My child is also actively involved in the school's speech and debate program and has participated in a number of competitions. I feel that these opportunities are preparing her not only for high school but challenging life situations. We couldn't be happier with the supportive parent and teacher community at Emerson.

  • (5 months ago)

    Emerson is our neighborhood school. We were initially reluctant to send our daughter there as she did not score high enough on the CSTs to be considered for the SAS (honors) classes and to be frank she is in the minority being a white children in the regular classes. However she has thrived and we have been very happy. The teachers have been good and there are a wide variety of options for electives due to the academy structure. For her the diversity of the students has been refreshing and fun and any concerns we had have been replaced by true satisfaction and a relief that we do not have to commute any distance! She has enjoyed the FREE after school program offered by Team Primetime through which she has enjoyed Mock Trial Spanish classes art (taught by UCLA students) and homework help. My only dissatisfaction has been in the lack of any band or orchestra which I hear is being developed for the near future. This school is clearly on its way to being the great neighborhood school it can be.

  • (6 months ago)

    I have mixed feelings about Emerson and I suspect my experience there is reflective of other Westside public schools. The bottom line is if you have the time and resources to be proactive get involved and advocate for your child then s/he will be fine and receive a solid education. I do have concerns about parents with less privilege including those who are native Spanish speakers. In some cases they and their children are on their own. I also think the school's assignments (particularly in history) could better reflect the multicultural student body. Mr. Watson is not a spectacular principal but he is an improvement over the one prior.

  • (6 months ago)

    Unfortunately we will never know the complete truth of who knew what at Foshay Learning Center in 2008. I don t think it is fair to hold this principal responsible.

  • (6 months ago)

    Our daughter entered Emerson in the 7th grade and is genuinely happy there. The teachers are communicative and make themselves available when we want to discuss a grade or learning issue. The size of the school while much larger than her elementary school is not overwhelming and is a great transition before entering high school. Principal Watson and Assistant Principal Muckenthaler are a great team. He sets the vision for the school works with parents and stays in touch while Ms Muckenthaler is at on the yard with the students every day solving issues talking with them and knowing them all by name.

  • (6 months ago)

    Emerson is a great neighborhood school. My oldest graduated two years ago and my youngest graduates this year. Both were involved in programs that you won t find at most LAUSD middle schools. The Sports Academy where my oldest spent a day at UCLA with a student athlete to better understand what it takes to succeed. The MESA program where he participated in several science fairs and took a full-day trip to the UCLA Brain Institute. The 6th grade trip to Yosemite where both kids learned what it means to be part of a group working toward a common goal. Both wrote 20 000 word novels as part of NaNoWriMo. My youngest performed Shakespeare and understood the meaning of the words he was saying. He is on the Speech & Debate team which has given him an increased sense of self-worth. The trip to Astro Camp he'll be taking later this year where he'll get hands-on science experience. I could go on and on but I think Emerson should be a serious contender for your middle school student. I wish families that have had little to no experience with the school would take the time to learn what the school is really about rather than listening to unfounded rumors.

  • (6 months ago)

    This is our son's first year at Emerson and we couldn't be happier. Choosing and worrying about which middle school to send our son to was stressful to say the least. We feel fortunate to have been accepted into the SAS program at Emerson and our son is thriving. The principal is personable accessible and genuinely cares about his students' success. The size of the student body is a perfect transition from elementary school and the Academy structure adds a different element for the kids that keeps them interested and excited to learn.

  • (6 months ago)

    We are having a wonderful experience at Emerson. My son is in the SAS program and is being challenged and learning a lot. All the teachers are responsive to any questions or needs we have. It is a warm and welcoming environment. The principal and teachers know all the kids there is no bullying a true community at the school. The parent organization is extremely involved and helping to make positive changes and support the faculty and students.

  • (6 months ago)

    Emerson is the jewel on the Westside. My son will be sad to leave @ the end of this year as he has had a terrific experience @ Emerson. He even was accepted to LACES in 7th grade and did not want to leave here. Under the leadership of our principal Dimone Watson the school has excelled and the students are flourishing. There have been many new programs implemented like Speech and Debate STEM Leadership and the re-vitalization of Drama w/Ms. Graham which have been tremendous additions for the students and well received. If you are looking for a great home for your child to transition from elementary school Emerson is your place. I actually only wish they would get a charter for High School.

  • (6 months ago)

    My daughter is a 7th grader at Emerson and she is thriving. I feel extremely fortunate that I found Emerson and chose to enroll my daughter. After spending our elementary school years in the Palisades I wanted a smaller middle school for my daughter and Emerson turned out to be the perfect fit. I chose Emerson after touring listening to the students its diversity the parent association and the Principal. Test scores are not the determining factor on how great a school can be and whether or not a child will thrive. My daughter has had some great teachers at Emerson who care about their students and their success. The academies are outstanding and the school community is amazing. Transitioning to middle school is not easy but we made the transition and my daughter is learning she is a good student and most importantly she is happy.

  • (6 months ago)

    A parent a few reviews down commented negatively about our test scores and our principal. I personally think that test scores are NOT the best or only measure of a school. As for our principal he is extremely innovative and I stand by him 100%. Please take the time to read many of the other reviews of this school that relay personal stories of student success. This school is a special place! Middle school is all about preparing for the rigors of High School and also about supporting these kids as they go through so many developmental and emotional and emotional changes. Emerson provides great academics and a supportive environment. There is no bullying rather a great sense of community. My child feels safe and we feel great about having her there!

  • (6 months ago)

    I couldn't be happier with Emerson. I wouldn't send my kids anywhere else! It's the best kept secret in town! My older daughter graduated 2 years ago and my middle son is a 7th grader. My 5th grader will be going there next year. The quality of the education is excellent and the academies afford students a very unique experience. The teachers are just wonderful as is the principal. ...And the kids are really happy there - nice group of kids!

  • (6 months ago)

    Emerson s test scores tanked last year in this principal s first full year. At best this principal is a skilled politician. Emerson s test scores need to improve and I see no evidence that this principal can do the job. I was shocked to find out at what happened at his last school while he was vice-principal in charge of deans. Please do your own research. I did not at all like what I found out. Currently Emerson ranks 1 out of 10 in API when compared to similar schools. Why can t we get a principal that can help raise the academic standards to the level our children deserve? We need to demand better.

  • (8 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.

  • (8 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.

  • (8 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 )

  • (8 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.

  • (9 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.

  • (1 year 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.

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 98 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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