Best District to work for (Around LA/OC County)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by infil, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. infil

    infil Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 20, 2015

    I am a moderate/severe credential student and I have a year left to finish my credential. From what I hear there is a lot of demand in special education. The problem that I am facing is I am unsure what district to work for. I would love to settle down around LA/OC County.

    What are things that I should look at before deciding on accepting a job offer? Are there any school districts that anyone can recommend?
     
  2.  
  3. creativemonster

    creativemonster Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    185

    Aug 20, 2015

    hmmm....not sure how to answer and I am NOT special ed - but I do recommend that you spend some time (if you can) doing informational interviews or research on line. Go to each district's web sites and see what they offer their new teachers and what their contracts request. LAUSD is the largest district in the area which can be a negative or positive. Look at salary tables as well as their other benefits and check their contracts - most should be on line I think. Also, look at where you want to live. In LA/OC areas you don't want a long commute. Maybe as you are looking you will have more specific questions more people can help answer?
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    887

    Aug 20, 2015

    I've never been west of St. Louis, so I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know anything about the districts around LA. One thing I will say though is that even within a district, there can be HUGE differences from school to school. I teach in a district generally considered to be one of the best in the country, and at a school generally considered one of the best in the district. There are schools in this district that I would not even consider driving past, let alone teaching in.
     
  5. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,292
    Likes Received:
    123

    Aug 20, 2015

    My district is just over the LA County line in Ventura County and is highly rated.
     
  6. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    59

    Aug 21, 2015

    I student taught in Downey USD. The kids were nice, parents were involved, and I understand they are one of, if not the highest paying district in the area.

    I have heard horror stories about LAUSD but its so big I'm sure it depends more on the school than the district.
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    Aug 21, 2015

    I lived in that area for many years. Lots of huge districts, lots of high paying districts, and lots of districts that have half "haves" and half "have nots" (Placentia Yorba Linda, Newport Mesa, Corona Norco, Orange, Capistrano, etc etc). I would avoid LAUSD at all costs.

    I think it would be more to the point to find where you want to live and then apply to districts within a reasonable commuting distance - which probably isn't much over 25 miles or so down there.
     
  8. infil

    infil Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 22, 2015

    Thanks for all the replies! I just thought that I should look into this sooner rather than later so I have a better idea of what to do after I'm done with student teaching.

    From what I am understanding regardless if a district is good/bad, it really depends on the school in particular. Is there a way you can gather data about a school before having to work there and finding out whether it is bad through experience?
     
  9. miatorres

    miatorres Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    97

    Aug 22, 2015

    "From what I am understanding regardless if a district is good/bad, it really depends on the school in particular. Is there a way you can gather data about a school before having to work there and finding out whether it is bad through experience?"

    I think that www.greatschools.org is a helpful source. It provides data on test scores and demographics of schools.

    Another website you might want to look into is https://niche.com and click on "K-12." In addition to test scores and demographics, it gives students' and parents' ratings on factors like extracurriculars, resources, and diversity.

    Both of these websites have reviews from students and parents, but it's well-known that some of the reviews aren't legitimate. After you read some of the reviews, you'll figure out which ones are believable.

    I hope you land a job at a school you like!
     
  10. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    2,653
    Likes Received:
    233

    Aug 22, 2015

    greatschools.com really only gives you a partial picture. Any school with a high population of free and reduced lunch or ELs is going to have a lower score because their API will be lower. And some of those schools are amazing. I agree with anon55 - some schools with high APIs are miserable places to work. Parents loving a school does not necessarily mean teachers will love working there.

    There's a site called ed data (Google it) that has data on all CA schools and districts. I guess you could start there. It really just depends what you're looking for.

    No matter what, you're really not going to know if the school is truly a good fit or not until you work there.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,468
    Likes Received:
    1,497

    Aug 22, 2015

    Personally, I'd use the School Accountability Report Card (SARC). Is is published by the California Department of Education (CDE).

    There are no parent comments--strictly facts/statistics/data about the school.

    Each public school here in CA has a SARC. Here's the link to search for a particular school: http://sarconline.org/
     
  12. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    59

    Aug 22, 2015

    Also another way to learn about a school is to ask questions during an interview. Also drive around the areas your interested in. This should give you an idea of demographics and culture of a community and you can decide if it be a good fit for you.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. TeacherNY,
  2. miss-m,
  3. nstructor
Total: 220 (members: 3, guests: 201, robots: 16)
test