Fiona Whitney’s latest book in her trilogy of Los Angeles school guides, embraces the recent trend by many parents to try to find a public school for their child rather than going the more expensive private school route. “The Public Elementary School Guide” First Edition was released in July 2012 and reviews over 60 LA schools in depth, giving parents a one-stop shop for finding the best public school for their child.
“The idea for this came about when I realized just how many parents were finding themselves unable to pay the ever-increasing tuition costs,” Whitney told the Buzz. ” I wanted to give them option to really take a close look at their neighborhood schools and if they weren’t good, then consider moving to an area that has excellent public schools.” The Public School Guide follows on the heals of her popular “Private School Guide” that is now in its 8th edition, and the Preschool Guide. All three books are available at Chevalier’s on Larchmont, as digital Kindle books online via Amazon, or via Whitney’s website.
The Guide covers Charter Schools and Magnet Schools and reviews each of the 60 schools on criteria including First Impressions, In the Classroom, Mission Statement and History, Safeguard & Security, the Whitney Insight (her personal impressions), a list of the best and worst aspects of the school and most importantly How to Get In. These being public schools, however, for most schools, students are not accepted on their merit or compatibility – but must live in the district, win a “lottery” seat, or find a space via a lucky Open Enrollment application when the school has some extra space available.
Whitney is a London-born Hancock Park resident of 20 years who raised her own two children using a mix of private and public options, so she knows the terrain well. She is also a sought-after school consultant, helping parents sift through the multitude of confusing options available for their children. “I often get families from outside LA who suddenly have to move here and are terrified about finding the right school for their children,” she said. She works with families to find schools that are a correct match for the type of child and educational experience the family is looking for. It could be a simple as a short consultation, or as in-depth as assisting throughout the entire application process. “I have one family I’ve been working with over time who has five boys – a set of triplets and a set of twins – and need assistance finding the right schools as they grow up and move on in school.”
Some of the local public elementary schools reviewed in the new guide include Larchmont Charter, Rosewood Elementary, Van Ness Elementary, Third Street Elementary, and Hancock Park Elementary. Learn more about Fiona and the Whitley Guides at her website thewhitneyguide.com.