Transitional Kindergarten – 5th Grade (TK-5)

Coeur d’Alene Avenue School is a TK through grade 5 school in Venice, California.  It is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Winner of LAEP’s Excellence Award in 2000 and 2001, the Music Center’s Bravo Award in 2007, and the distinction of California Distinguished School by the State of California’s Department of Education in 2008 and 2012,

Coeur d’Alene Avenue School prides itself on meeting the needs of all students, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and life experiences. Approximately 55% of our students are European American, 15% are Latin American, 11% are African American, and 19% are of other ethnic backgrounds. Over ten languages are represented in our English learner population. Meeting the needs of such a diverse student body is a challenge we embrace.

Our vision is to prepare successful, compassionate, critical thinkers who are productive members of society. We believe in fostering a cooperative learning environment in which the school, family, and business communities work together. We are committed to working together in collaborative teams; initiating individual programs and strategies to provide learning time for students; monitoring each student’s progress; and providing parents with resources, strategies, and information to help children succeed academically.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

We are proud to have had a vibrant class of up to 24 students for four years, two classes of 22 four years ago, a class of 27 students three years ago, two classes, one full class of TK and a TK/K, two years ago, and a full class of 24 students this past school year. This school year, our eighth with the program, we will have one transitional kindergarten (TK) class of no more than 26 students.

Our teachers and teacher’s assistants create the kind of hands-on, experiential program that develops and nurtures their students and prepares them for kindergarten and beyond.

Preference is given to families who live in area with children who turn 5 from September 2 to December 2. Students with birthdays before September 2 whose families wish them to have an “extra” year can request a TK spot, space permitting. Any family in this case, though, whose child is granted a spot in TK must agree to the second of year of our traditional kindergarten program, as the TK program is preparatory for kindergarten, not first grade.

TK is considered an extra year of kindergarten, the materials and curriculum used are similar to our traditional kindergarten program but we expect exposure, not mastery. The teachers use the balanced literacy approach with daily readers’ and writers’ workshop lessons, and use Cognitively Guided Instruction for mathematics. They also employ Zoo-phonics and a science program developed by the California Science Center.

Students in the program take part in our weekly music, visual arts, and physical education classes as well as a 10-week rotation of theater and dance. They can also take part in our STAR Nova and Mad Science after school enrichment programs. Transitional kindergarten is a full day program.

Kindergarten – Fifth Grade (K-5)

We challenge all children at their current learning level so that they master grade level standards and beyond and become lifelong learners. Students receive instruction in the core subjects of English language arts, mathematics, science, and history as well as instruction in health, character education, physical education, garden science, and the arts.

Through the collaboration of P.S. ARTS and LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch, all children receive weekly instruction in visual arts and music and 10 weeks of instruction in dance or theater.

Our school uses balanced literacy (readers’ and writers’ workshop) and Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) for the teaching of English language arts and mathematics respectively. Both approaches are student centered and anchored to the interests, knowledge, understanding and needs of each individual learner. Because of our partnership with the Cotsen Art of Teaching foundation, UCLA’s Mathematics Project, and Growing Educators, our school has served as a demonstration site for both practices. Our teachers regularly host teachers from other schools who want to learn more about the power of these approaches, and three of our teachers’ classrooms were videotaped for blended learning modules for teachers across the district. Our teachers’ dedication and passion for teaching and learning enable them to use the best of the the District’s adopted instructional materials for English language arts (Benchmark Advance), mathematics (Math Expressions), science (FOSS), history (Pearson Scott Foresman California History-Social Science), and character education (Second Step). Our approach to the teaching of reading and writing and mathematics is systematic, collaborative, results-driven and continuous. Teachers collaborate on problems and warm-ups in their CGI approach to teaching and learning in mathematics and use Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Reading and for Opinion, Information and Narrative Writing. Both of these approaches are strongly aligned to the Common Core State Standards and are research proven to develop a love of reading and writing and an ability to solve any problem.

Finally, learning is supplemented and enhanced through field trips to the California Science Center, 826LA, the Natural History Museum, the Long Beach Aquarium, the Los Angeles Zoo, STAR ECO Station, Ballona Wetlands, the Broad Stage, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Getty Museum, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Marine Mammal Center, the Grammy Museum, LACMA, MOCA, the Griffith Observatory, the Los Angeles Opera, Astrocamp, and many more places of learning! Our teachers work collaboratively to extend and make meaningful the learning that happens in the classroom.