Beethoven Elementary is supported by an active community of parents and educators. Dr. Althea Ford, Principal: This is my fourth year as principal at Beethoven Elementary School. It is an honor to work with our brilliant and highly-experienced staff, enthusiastic and supportive parents, and wonderful children. As a graduate of both UCLA and USC, I lead with a collaborative spirit and an eye on always improving our academic performance while transforming the campus into a beautiful learning environment. At Beethoven Elementary, students receive an excellent academic education alongside extensive enrichment programs in the arts and physical development.

Debra Layne: I have been teaching with LAUSD for 25 years and have been lucky enough to be at Beethoven Elementary teaching kindergarten for the past 11. It is exciting for me to see how my kindergarten students progress through the year! I also enjoy seeing the campus becoming more and more beautiful and am thrilled at watching the parent involvement grow with each passing year. Brooke Ramirez: I have been a teacher at Beethoven

Home of the Bears

Robin Shindle/PTA President:
I am a fourth year parent at Beethoven Elementary and PTA president. I have a son in Third Grade and a daughter in Kindergarten. My family has had a fabulous experience being a part of the Beethoven community. The teachers are dedicated, inspired and in tune with the children. The parents of Beethoven are committed to turning Beethoven into the best school in the area. Enrolling at Beethoven was one of the best decisions we have made for our children.

for five years, and my ties to this wonderful school far surpass my time working here. As a former Beethoven "Bear", it is such an honor to have the opportunity to return as a teacher and give back to the school and community that have had such a positive impact on my life. I am lucky enough to teach in the same classroom where I attended kindergarten and am now making new memories with my students and helping to create the same love of learning I received here as a child.

Patty Gomez: It is a pleasure to be a part of the
Beethoven community. This is my second year as a kindergarten teacher and I previously taught 1st grade. I have a Masters of Arts degree in Education and have been a teacher leader in different academic areas. I am committed to providing a student centered environment in order to meet the individual needs of my students. I enjoy teaming up with parents not only in my classroom but also in other school activities that support all Beethoven students. It is delightful to start each day seeing the amazing smiles of my kindergartner students.

Trish Halfacre, Friends of Beethoven Booster Club Co-President: I have two children
attending Beethoven – a son in fourth grade and a daughter in first grade. I was born in Santa Monica and grew up in Mar Vista, attending Beethoven Elementary alongside my future husband! I continually strive to make Beethoven the best school in Los Angeles both academically and physically for all of our children.

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Dr. Althea Ford, Principal Mr. Carlos Ponce, Assistant Principal
3711 Beethoven Street, Los Angeles, CA 90066 310-398-6286


Bill Latka, Friends of Beethoven Booster Club Co-President: It is a pleasure to serve
alongside so many dedicated parents at our school. Of the many factors that we considered when choosing a school for our girls (in first and fourth grades), was the level of parental involvement. We are very lucky to have such a high level of participation and dedication from our parents – it makes a huge difference for the teachers and our children.

Year-round events include too many to list but here are a few:
• Beethoven’s Night Out at local restaurants • Halloween Parade & Bear Scare Festival • Winter Boutique • Winter Holiday Program • Two Scholastic Book Fairs • Spring Boutique & Silent Auction

Your Neighborhood School Since 1949.
Beethoven offers weekly psychomotor classes for all students to encourage physical development and coordination as well as sports teams offered through Beyond The Bell. Beethoven offers a strong GATE (the Gifted and Talented Education) program. Beethvoen’s enrichment activities have included chorus, Spanish, French, sign-language, financial basics, golf, chess, clay, soccer, drama, Cub Scouts and a Brownie Troop, Boy Scouts and Girl Scout Troop. Beethoven offers small class sizes, a homework lab, English instruction, and an after-school-care program, Beyond the Bell, which includes an organized soccer, flag football, basketball and homework assistance. We are excited to share with you some of the unique and wonderful things our school has to offer you and your children. We look forward to you joining our community this coming fall! Campus-wide murals have continued to grace and beautify the school, including two in the kindergarten yard, two adjacent to the kindergarten yard, and one newly-completed in the cafeteria, all led by muralists Neil D'Monte and Jasser Montebro. The Learning Terrace, completed in 2006, is an outdoor tiered classroom area adjacent to the current Reading Garden and set amidst a colorful garden. The Community square is now feautred in front of our auditorium. Our auditorium has been given a freshly painted exterior and newly renovated interior. Beethoven’s Kinder Yard is a wonderful environment surrounded by trees, flowers and greenery. The recent addition of an arched entryway has created a welcoming entrance to our incoming families. There are approved plans already in place for additional improvements including an outdoor stage, a new sand area, a learning trail and more! Beethoven’s Big Yard now features a spectacular new play structure from the Anne & Kirk Douglas Foundation. Additionally, we are currently implementing a massive greening project that will include 100s of trees and be completed by fall of 2008! And that’s not all! We have an active and committed group of parents, teachers, and administrators continuing to apply for grants and solicit community support to continue to transform Beethoven’s Big Yard in the back of the school.

Beethoven ranks 9 out of 10 statewide and 10 out of 10 when compared to similar schools in California’s most recent API (Academic Performance Index). Beethoven received an API score of 859 in 2007 which places Beethoven in the top tier of elementary schools in Los Angeles. Beethoven stresses the fundamentals of math and reading, including several one-on-one reading programs such as Wonder of Reading, Reading By 9, and Koreh LA as well as partnerships with Harvard Westlake and Venice High School for language arts and math tutoring. Additionally, students receive computer instruction with classrooms connected to the Internet. Beethoven offers an arts enrichment program, developed in partnership with the PS Arts Foundation which funds, art, drama, and music teachers for all the grade levels. The music program includes a grant to provide every third-grader with a musical instrument (violin, trumpet, clarinet or cello) and musical instruction. Beethoven also offers a multicultural music program through the Music Center of LA that has quarterly presentations of puppetry, music, dance, and theater.

Beethoven Elementary is a much-desired small school with approximately 350 students. The Wonder of Reading Library, completed in 2000, more than doubled the size of the existing library and now includes an extensive volume of books, all new fixtures, and a new computer system. The Venice Community Artist Association Mosaic Mural, completed in 2002, adorns the front entrance to Beethoven School. The DWP Reading Garden and Mural, completed in 2003, transformed the area just outside the Library into a vibrant garden complete with a brick walkway, benches, trees, and planters.

To learn more about Beethoven