Los Encinos School
These third graders are busy working on a project that combines art, engineering, and design in the school’s new makerspace
Founded in 1980, Los Encinos School is an independent K-6 elementary school that offers rigorous academics as well as comprehensive arts, humanities, technology, science, drama and P.E. curricula. Students’ service learning projects are often focused on community needs to benefit those in the immediate or surrounding areas. The school also offers co-ed sports teams and a variety of after-school enrichment classes.
What are your top tips for a successful school?
“We know children benefit from a comfortable environment with individualized attention. Kids learn best when they feel good about who they are. Our small classroom size with two teachers and an assistant gives each student the ability to reach their full potential on a campus that is non-intimidating. Ultimately, Los Encinos School infuses the children with the skills and confidence needed to be successful in middle school.”
What do students love most about Los Encinos School?
“The arts program, the freedom each student is given to express themselves creatively, and the fact that Los Encinos School is small enough so that every student knows each other by name—making the school one big family.”
Tell us about the “buddy program.”
“The buddy program pairs each sixth-grader with a kindergartener and each fifth-grader with a first-grader to give the older students an experience of mentorship while providing the younger students with a confidant and a role model. The buddies meet formally once or twice a month for multi-grade activities.
In addition, recess and lunch times are not divided by age, so the buddies can often be found together building camaraderie. The older kids often remark how much they learn from their younger counterparts, and the friendships often continue long after graduation.”
Do you offer A character development program?
“Since the school’s founding, the Virtues and Values Initiative has been one of the main focuses of each school year. The faculty meets in September to select 10 character traits that will each serve as a month-long theme to be emphasized in age-appropriate ways across the grade levels. This year, the ‘double V’s’ include authenticity, collaboration, empathy, creativity, sense of humor, integrity, resilience, curiosity, responsibility, and gratitude & joy. These ‘soft skills’ are key to rounding out the whole child.”